Blogs: A New Arrow for the Marketing Communication Quiver

Some features of blogs as a marketing communication tool:
  1. Blogs are disruptive. Dan Gillmor makes a strong case that blogs are a disruptive technology reshaping business models and value chains in the news industry.
  2. Blogs are viral. RSS (i.e., XML formatted files slurped up by a reader client) speeds transmission to any and all interested.
  3. Blogs bust the richness/reach tradeoff (see also Evans & Wurster 1997 HBR) that have traditionally bounded word of mouth communications. Blogs also break the reach constraint that typified most discussion groups and usenet news groups: group membership defined the audience size and breadth of resources available. Blogs published to the web are visible to anyone with an internet connection.
  4. Blogs leverage Reed's law. Each blogger--due to his/her singular perspective-- adds unique value to the network.
  5. Blogs empower smart mob swarming. Blog swarms enable self-organized word-of-mouth buzz intensity previously unknown.
  6. The blogosphere occupies an inherently invisible mindspace.
  7. Blogs are a "high involvement" media that require relatively high levels of motivation, opportunity, and ability to process. Blog creators and readers are not not your average golden retriever.
  8. Blogs compete with all other media and non-media diversions for individual's finite attention.
  9. Blog swarms achieve visibility to the nonblog-obsessed when (if) their theme feeds back to traditional media channels.
Simplified ability to create, distribute, and identify newly created content are the features central to the blog value proposition. As a marketing communication tool, blogs afford a channel for proactive communication of timely content with strikingly little effort at exceptionally low cost. Imagine how useful blogs would have been to Johnson & Johnson when negotiating their trial by cyanide. Or for announcing product recalls. Or for announcing new products. Yes, simple announcements. Or, like Bob Lutz, as a tool for cultivating a direct link between top management and a companies end-users.

Yet, these efforts nibble around the ankles of traditional marketing communications efforts. Or do they?

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