Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Keeping up with the corporate Joneses: Does every company need a blog?

Is getting a blog like getting a pool when everyone else in your neighborhood has one too? Is it a corporate version of keeping up with the Joneses?

Forrester Research is currently surveying business to business marketers (b2b) and so far the response is ho-hum. Despite interest around blogging as a business to business channel, over 50% of respondents don’t (yet) sponsor a corporate blog or are still setting their strategy.

What’s more: 75% don’t yet consider it a key element of their marketing mix.
What do you think? Got an opinion? Take Forrester's survey here.

Sometimes it is hard to see how a blog can work for a company. We recently spoke to a reader who sold little marking flags, the kind used by the county when they are digging up the road outside your home at 6 a.m. in the morning ... and realtors, etc. Not much you can say about them except the height, the dimensions, etc. That company's problem was that its site was bereft of content, it had practically no words, no descriptions, no nothing that would generate organic search traffic.

Would a blog address that problem perhaps? My view is there is always something to say (call me a loud mouth!). They could write about problems sticking them in the ground when the ground was rock solid, or how a realtor used them with special impact, or problems shipping, or the company's philanthropic efforts, or their role in the local community. It could add character.

We are asking the same questions about this blog. And perhaps you can answer the question. Does a print publication like the Internet Marketing Report automatically need an online blog just because it is about internet marketing?

One thing I have discovered very quickly is that blogging is a real commitment. If it is a daily blog like this, it is often fun, nearly always interesting to write, but it can be an obligation. And in the early days when you wonder if anyone is reading, it can be kind of lonely.

By the way, Wikipedia says the tagline for the 1989 film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was "Have the adventure of your life keeping up with the Joneses", in reference to the title character and his father. And a cue on the soundtrack was called, "Keeping Up with the Joneses."

Writing a blog can be like that. Great fun. But the trouble is, these days we all need to find the hard business benefits (the business grail, if you want to put it in Indiana Jones terms) to justify the work.

Any comments?

Posted by Internet Marketing Report editor, Julie Power, Tuesday February 5, 2008 at 10 am.



Andrew said...

Half of all companies blog? I doubt it. Half of these respondents is more like it. And 75% of those who do blog believe it does nothing for the company. Hardly a ringing endorsement of this up-and-coming medium.

Yet I don't see how anyone who is serious about search engine optimization wouldn't at least try to blog.

Do some searches on almost any topic, and a blog will come up on one of the first two or three pages of results.

The trick is how to arrange the blog to make conversions, and that's why this medium is still being used ineffectively, in my opinion.

Too many companies aren't putting an offer on the first screen of the blog because they don't think the blog will be effective if it appears to be too commercial. Many others aren't putting enough effort into getting readers to visit so marketers can collect the leads a blog can provide.

Lynn Anne Miller said...

I don't think every company needs a blog - it really depends what business or industry you are in and how much energy you can devote to a blog. They're fantastic for consultants, for those doing business on the net, and for those companies needing to have a real conversation with community members.

IMR editor said...

thanks lynn and andy for those comments.
btw, lynn has a great blog of her own, www.organicmania.com