<![CDATA[ Erin Nelson, CMO of the international giant Dell Computers, wrote in Forbes Magazine about how blogs have become essential marketing tools for all companies, both large and small. Despite this reality, many firms still fail to realize the importance of attracting clients through such means. Nelson estimated that only 15 percent of all major companies in the United States actually maintain blogs. This seems to be in stark contrast to non-business-related organizations, which have come to understand just how essential blogs and other social networking tools are in keeping connected with people online. In fact, Nelson noted that it even took Dell a few years before the computer firm came to grasp the importance of blogs. While Nelson estimated that there were 5,000 online conversations relating to Dell or its services each and every day, the firm failed to engage these clients and answer some of the criticism or unflattering comments that were directed at the company until about four years ago. Since then, Dell has decided to use blogs and other social networking tools as a way to seek customer input on product development and feedback on the quality of customer support. Nelson believes that blogs are essentially online ?sounding boards,? where companies can develop the most personal and direct contact with clients. In fact, both the company and the customer can benefit from a well-written blog. The firm can offer clients sound advice, tips and expert opinions on any theme or topic, while the customer can provide the firm with authentic, grassroots information on what others really think about a given product or service. Thank you to Forbes for the initial report. ]]>
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