Posted by Amanda Chapel
This just in... According to the preliminary findings of a new survey, more that 60 percent of corporate bloggers have completely lost touch with reality; and a leading business analyst says that the likely culprit is drug abuse.
The survey, recently conducted by Debbie Weil, blogging consultant and author of The Corporate Blogging Book, found that the majority of the handful of today's corporate bloggers say that the success of a corporate blog does not need to be measured in dollars or tied to the bottom line.
Since the release of her book last July, Weil has been pretty realistic in cautioning corporate bloggers. In an interview last summer Weil said emphatically:
Despite the cold realities, ironically the zealotry among corporate bloggers continues. Commenting on the findings of her recent survey, Weil said, "The answer to the question 'Does corporate blogging need to be tied to the bottom line?' is a pretty clear; 'No.'"
Martin Turnbull, renowned business analyst from the Kepler School of Management commented, "In light of the tremendous potential risk coupled with no quantifiable return on investment... what the fuck drug are these people on?!"
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
That's a very interesting survey. And so far I agree that the results are not promising. The question of whether the ROI of a blog should be measured should be an easy Yes.
The question of how to measure the ROI of a blog is where things start getting more difficult. The obvious appeal of corporate blogging is tapping into the 'conversation' or 'community'. I'm pretty sure every company-sponsored or corporate-branded personal blog was pitched with one of those two words.
But the reality is that most corporate blogs are still a 1-to-Many communications channel. They act as another distribution method for your message. Except, because of the desire to not look too corporate, they are less likely to have a direct call to action for customers.
So, on the one hand the blog is seen as a way to better interact with customers and get them more engaged with the brand and on the other hand blogs are cutting off their ability to be measured by their desire to stay away from becoming 'just another marketing channel'.
The reality of the situation is that blogs, even corporate blogs, are here to stay. Rather than rejecting the idea that a blog needs to provide measurable ROI, companies should be looking at what kind of returns they can measure. Even imprecise measurements like blog traffic, in-bound links, comments, etc. will provide a starting point for measuring the effectiveness of the company blog.
Unless of course they are on some really good drugs. In which case they just may be unwilling to give them up.
And, yes, up here on the surface is better than down in the murky depths of the archives ;)
It's the drug of utopian idiocy sniffed by the new breed of PR bloggers who never had a client breathing fire demanding to know ROI when they are shelling out 10-20K monthly for a PR program. Everything in business - in this capitalist society - needs ROI.
Vanity, vanity, all is vanity. Perhaps the most consistently powerful drug humanity has seen. Screw ROI. At least when it comes to having your own soap box. Who cares. Most websites -- corporate included -- are like kids screaming at Mom and Dad saying "look at me!" Fact is, there is a helluvalot of publicity that doesn't have ROI. But those dotted pictures in the WSJ are priceless, right?
Funny, I never had a client willing to give me one cent without an understanding of what the business objective was and how it was going to support their business goals. We must live in two different worlds.