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November 1st: Torsten Jacobi, CEO of Creative Weblogging, joins host Anita Campbell. Sponsored by Six Disciplines. Show details.
Sunday, March 20, 2005
PowerBlog Review: Decent Marketing

Editor's note: it's time again for our weekly PowerBlog Reviews of business weblogs. This is the fifty-seventh in the series.

Decent Marketing. The name carries with it all sorts of connotations. Not bad. Respectable and worthy. Kind.

Katherine Stone writes the Decent Marketing blog. And she wants us to take the name in different ways. She's making a statement with the name. She's demonstrating what's good in marketing by commenting on the bad, or as she says, "stuff I see that is simply silly, wasteful or lacking in strategy, and stuff I see that is clearly about making money regardless of its impact on people."

Katherine has a background in experiential marketing. She says experiential marketing is about creating fresh connections between brands and consumers out in the world (i.e., memorable experiences with products or services). So she tends to write about experiences and how companies create them.

This is not just another marketing blog. There are so many of those now, that it is getting harder to distinguish between them. But Decent Marketing stands out, for two reasons. First, the topic -- experiential marketing -- is sufficiently narrow to go deep into the subject matter, but broad enough to be interesting. Second, the way Katherine executes and delivers the blog is fresh and genuine (an overworked word, to be sure, but one that truly fits here).

Katherine told me in an email that she created the blog more for herself than for her business, Engage Consulting. It seems that she simply wants to express herself. She doesn't write about the hot blog topic of the moment or try to ride the coattails of sensationalism; rather, she talks about what interests and engages her.

I've come to really really enjoy this blog after reading it off and on the last several weeks. I don't know -- maybe it's her distinct "voice" that comes through so clearly. Or maybe it's the picture of Katherine as a little girl that she has on her blog. It was so memorable, open, accepting and precocious, all at the same time.

I asked Katherine if there were an interesting anecdote she cared to share about her blog. She pointed me to this remarkable exchange -- I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it on a blog. Katherine wrote a post about Dairy Queen. Well, let me allow Katherine to tell the story in her own words:

"I was writing about a store redesign they plan on doing and why I didn't really like the concept. I ended up getting quite an emotional and detailed comment on the post from a gentleman who thought I must have some sway with Dairy Queen and who obviously had no other place to vent - he was angry because his local Dairy Queen failed to honor some coupon or special deal he wanted. THEN, the owner of that actual Dairy Queen outlet answered that comment with another comment about the incident trying to defend their decision to ask for full price. I was completely amazed."
Let me add one more thing about Katherine and her approach to blogging. Despite having a Corporate background herself (she was Director of Experiential Marketing at the Coca-Cola Company), she foresees it being very difficult for large corporations to blog, and it is refreshing to hear her say it. As she points out, corporations fear offending their constituencies, and that will make Corporate blogs bland. Smaller companies for whom it is OK to not be all things to all people stand a better chance of having successful blogs. Hear hear.

Katherine blogs from Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

The Power: The Power of Decent Marketing is the remarkably fresh and distinct voice it manages to convey, and its choice of a subject matter that stands apart from other marketing blogs. Decent Marketing makes you feel richer and better for having read it.
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