Check out this article via Jeff John Roberts on how J&J and P&G are changing the tenor of the dialog with bloggers. While basic product placement with bloggers in exchange for an online review is nothing new (I’m sure you’ve heard of BlogHer by now), this is an interesting twist. This twist on the traditional blogger placement is courtesy of Social Media Link. (Nice work, SML!)
Giving bloggers a mission gives the blogger a purpose. This is a far better way to highlight a product’s features than a simple review that can take whatever form the blogger wants.
At my product innovation company, we like to do the same thing to get insights from consumers. Focus groups and consumer interviews are useful tools. But, what if we give a consumer a specific task to do in her home or at the store? By giving her a challenging mission to accomplish, we can reveal:
- How the consumer meets current needs, especially when we tell them that they cannot use any of their existing products.
- Product and packaging delighters. We can ask or infer what elements of the product or packaging are helping to communicate the benefits the consumer is looking for.
- Rationale. The consumer can talk us through how a decision was made.
Missions of all sorts (religious, scientific, expeditionary) have been used for a long time to both accomplish worthy tasks, while discovering something about yourself. Have you ever been sent on a mission? Why not use this technique next time to learn even more about your consumer?
Would love to hear your stories on learning through Missions – post them in the comments!