Monday, February 13, 2006

Ethan's Final Shot: Why Large Corporations Don't Blog

Ethan from the Vision Thing is shutting down his blog and focusing on Vision Monthly, his new e-zine.

Just to make us miss him, his penultimate post is a look at why large companies don't (or won't) blog, taken from his own experiences within a very large company.

His point is that large public companies do things that can be tied to numbers. If you can't tie a blog to revenue, then you're going to be spending a long time explaining its value, and you'll be losing 'em.

I agree that smaller companies have a lot more opportunities to tie blogs directly to revenue. He is right that larger companies already probably have a dozen ways they engage with customers, and blogs may be unlikely to be the point of engagement that pushes someone to invest, purchase, hire etc. Smaller companies, on the other hand, are not out there engaging in every marketing method known to man, and the blog really can become a central and significant point of contact and commerce.

Even for those larger companies for whom the blog is just an added channel without much opportunity to drive tons of revenue, I'd argue that it is no different than the struggles marketing departments went though a decade ago to justify that yes, we really do need a web site. Or that tech support and engineering departments wen through to justify that yes, bug tracking and/or trouble ticket enterprise software solutions would increase customer satisfaction and efficiency.

Not every investment a company makes is tied to dollars directly. I'd venture to say that blogs provide more opportunity to track quantifiable results than many a marketing tactic. More than a press release. More than many aspects of trade show attendance and sponsorship.

Blogs will likely usually be considered part of a marketing/communications budget. And marketers are well used to this aspect of their jobs. Nobody understands or appreciates us...we know that :)

I'm not completely done posting at TVT, but the firehose will ratchet down to a trickle soon enough.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about that post. The Estonians (over at "" - not a typo) have been going at it, apparently disagreeing with my conclusions, if I read what they said in English correctly relative to what they wrote in Estonian.

BTW, I'll be writing more over at (I am working on a veg-friendly recipe now). You won't be missing me so much as not having anything new to read at TVT. :-)
Yes, but will you add an RSS feed? You know addicts like me need our speeed.
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