Marketing and Advertising 2.0

16 Nov

In class on Monday, discussion focused on corporate blogs and how best to market and advertise a business through the tools of Web 2.0. One of the most effective and growing ways to communicate with customers and successfully advertise a business is by corporate blogging, in which one or more authors write as an official or semi-official worker or partner of the enterprise. Blogs can be beneficial to consumers by offering discounts, deals, and updates about existing or upcoming products. For a corporation, a well-written blog can work to promote customer relations or to generate mass publicity about certain products or the company as a whole.

I noticed an especially successful form of marketing through Web 2.0 while spending this past weekend visiting friends in Edinburgh. In order to find a dinner place, I used my trusty favorite website, TripAdvisor. The #1 rated place on the site for the city of Edinburgh was the Indian restaurant Kismot, which had over 330 reviews, an uncharacteristically high number for a relatively small city. After EACH one of these user reviews was a personal reply back from a member of the family-owned Kismot employees, who often cited specific examples from each diner´s experience to complement his reply. For example, the self-proclaimed ¨not so skinny brother ;-)¨ writes back long paragraphs thanking people for such things as  “allowing him to recommend a dish (Methi)” and for “asking my dad to take out the onions from the curry for you guys”. Mentions of superb customer service and personalized care accounts for a large portion of the TripAdvisor reviews left by diners of the restaurant. The owners of Kismot are well aware of their popularity on TripAdvisor, as one of the brothers was sure to ask me where I heard about the restaurant and encouraging me to share my opinions online.

A large percentage of Kismot´s clientele also come curious about the Kismot Killer, described as the World´s Spiciest Curry. Each year, there is a challenge for people to finish generous helpings of the curry, with prizes going out to the very few who are able. The competition even sends people to the hospital, which is advertised all over the internet, almost even more often than actual reviews of the restaurant.

Kismot is a perfect example of a business that has flourished as a direct result of their usage of Web 2.0 tools to advertise. Even seemingly negative press such as sending people to the hospital has worked in their favor, as they have been able to generate both excitement and curiosity about their restaurant. Like voters in political elections, restaurant consumers want to experience a personal connection, and Kismot has clearly figured out how to combine these modern and ever-growing forms of communication to provide this experience.


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