Blog Marketing: 3C’s and a B

Yesterday, the Alliance for Building Capacity at the George Warren School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis hosted a program for non-profits called Create a Market for Your Mission. An overview of Strategic Marketing Management was provided by Professor John Branch of the Olin School of Business, Washington University. I presented at one of the breakout sessions on Blogging as a Marketing Tool.

Professor Branch referred to 3 C’s (since my degree from the B School preceded Professor Branch’s tenure I knew he was not referring to my transcript) commonly used to describe the marketplace: complex, changing and competitive. He challenged his listeners to understand their organizations and their customers in terms of the the 3 C’s. He is so right! When I talk about blogging, I don’t use the 3C’s jargon but I do talk a lot about the 3 C’s in terms of change, competition, and complexity.

To note, while  I was an MBA student trying to understand quantitative business analysis, Professor Lyn Pankoff assured me that it would not be crucial to business success to completely understand the formulas, only to be able to correctly use the jargon. In many respects, this turned out to be good advice.

When I talk about the 3C’s I talk about two other C’s, the Cluetrain Manifesto with the subtitle, "The end of business as usual" and the statement, "A powerful global conversation has begun.
Through the Internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to
share relevant knowledge with blinding speed. As a direct result,
markets are getting smarter—and getting smarter faster than most
companies
."  And C, for conversation, as in "these markets are conversations". And here comes the B, Blog. Blogs are conversations.

I also have a slide that quotes the Business Week article, Blogs Will Change Your Business: "Look past the yakkers, the hobbyists, and political mobs. You customers and rivals are figuring blogs out. Catch up or catch you later." Fortune said in December of 2004 that there is no escaping the blog and a force that cannot be ignored. I also refer to that "says it all" chart from Creating Passionate Users about new marketing versus old school marketing that could probably launch a 1000 topics for blog posts; the message direct to the 3C’s is at the top: Old School Marketing is done by marketers and advertisers/Neo Marketing is done by everybody.

So, I would of course agree with Professor Branch that the marketplace is changing,  complex and  competitive. I would also agree with his statement that the likelihood of being successful in the marketplace is increased by a disciplined approach that requires research, analysis, planning, implementation and control. It will all lead to the same place: If you are marketing a product or a service to customers or clients,  either non-profit or for profit you need to join the conversation.

Matt Homann’s {non}billable hour in a post entitled, "When Are You Starting Your Blog?" references a reference to a study that found "that 55% of corporations have adopted blogs for
both internal (91.4%) and external (96.6%) communications. More than
half of these organizations launched their blogs within the last year,
and most of these started within the past three months.That’s a hockey stick. And it suggests that corporate communicators will drive future growth of the social media market.

The expected benefits from the external blogs according to the Guidewire Group Study are listed on Trends I’m Watching  "include improved brand
recognition (78%) and external communications (78%), as well as a
vehicle for customer feedback (66%). A few respondents are expecting
blogs to generate income (20%), but many more are expecting them to
improve search engine positioning (58%)."

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