One of the beautiful gifts of blogging is that smart marketers have yet another avenue for free and easily accessible qualitative research. There is both art and science to research and making this kind of research useful requires some skills in the art department but those are skills well worth cultivating.
Allow me to give you an example. Blogger Jenifer Hanen coaxes the most extraordinary photographs from her mobile phone. She might be in the market for a new phone and the iPhone is getting a tremendous amount of hype at the moment but it doesn't quite work for her. What Ms. Jen wants is simple:
"I don't want an office phone, I want a digital artist's phone."
And if you aren't quite sure what that means mobile phone manufacturers of the world, she provides you with a detailed and comprehensive list and explanation in her blog post.
Whether it is the detailed list of features Ms. Jen seeks specifically or the alternative perspective ("a digital artist's phone") I guarantee that she is not the only consumer who would find value in the features she craves. I also think that a phone geared to artists would create new markets for the creative class who would find fascinating ways to use the device that perhaps the engineers building it could never imagine. This is the difference between creating a device to serve existing needs (an office phone, word processing) versus providing tools to create with (a digital artist's phone, blogging platforms).
So marketers of the world, do a little research, let your mind wander through some blogs and see what you can find in the data to inspire you.