Blogs not in the Marketing Mix
A survey from Webtrends shows that few businesses have embraced the ‘push-button publishing’ power of blogs and that email remains the number one marketing tool for firms on the Web.
Only one in twenty online businesses use blogs on a regular basis, despite the recognition from 85% of them that an effective web presence is important to achieving their sales and marketing objectives.
In a survey of 200 internet marketers, there was a sharp drop-off between the most popular tools (email, analytics and website optimisation) and social media tools such as blogs.
E-Direct mail – Often 46% / Never 21%
Web analytics – Often 37% / Never 26%
Web optimisation – Often 36% / Never 20%
Online competitions – Often 8% / Never 48%
Website / E-News sponsorship – Often 8% / Never 58%
Viral marketing – Often 5% / Never 63%
Blogs – Often 5% / Never 78%
Podcasts – Often 4% / Never 81%
Web seminars – Often 3% / Never 77%
However, those companies that did use podcasts were often far more satisfied with the results than they were with the results of traditional tools. Podcasts achieved the highest ranking of any web marketing tool, with almost half of businesses satisfied with the results of their efforts. One caveat to this is the small size of the sample in this poll. If only 8 businesses out of the 200 used podcasts, then their opinions about its effectiveness, while interesting, are not statistically reliable. Business bloggers remain ambivalent about the effectiveness of the tool, with 29% satisfied, 27% unsatisfied and the remaining 44% undecided. Again, the reliability of this measure is somewhat questionable, given that only 10 businesses used blogs in the sample.
Podcasts – Satisfied 44% / Unsatisfied 18%
Web analytics – Satisfied 42% / Unsatisfied 23%
E-Direct mail – Satisfied 36% / Unsatisfied 24%
Online competitions – Satisfied 29% / Unsatisfied 23%
Web optimisation – Satisfied 29% / Unsatisfied 25%
Blogs – Satisfied 29% / Unsatisfied 27%
Website / E-News sponsorship – Satisfied 21% / Unsatisfied 29%
Viral marketing – Satisfied 14% / Unsatisfied 43%
Web seminars – Satisfied 13% / Unsatisfied 33%
However, Webtrends, despite its specialisation in analytics tools, is keen for businesses to embrace the power of blogs. “Blogging is much more than a “nice to have” in business today,” said Nick Sharp, VP and general manager EMEA, WebTrends. “With the power to publish, share and influence, this new consumer movement is impacting every aspect of the business world. Some experts predict that businesses that are not blogging now, may not exist in a couple of year’s time. In contrast, Gartner forecasts that blogging will peak in 2007, levelling off as the number of bloggers reaches 100 million, when the novelty value of the medium will wear off, and new bloggers will offset the number of writers who abandon their creation out of boredom.
“Corporate blogs can be very effective communication tools within or on behalf of a corporate community. Not surprisingly, more firms are paying greater attention to what bloggers are saying about them. A dissatisfied customer airing negative views can damage corporate reputation over night.”