Most Senior Tech Execs Blog
The merits of business blogging are still widely debated amongst those that operate in the online space and their offline contemporaries. However, a new worldwide survey by Eurocom Worldwide, the global PR network, in association with UK member agency, Six Degrees, has found that the majority (53 per cent) of senior technology execs contribute to a blog.
The Eurocom Worldwide Annual IT Confidence Survey showed that exactly half of the bloggers did so to improve interaction with the public or their customers. One in five (21 per cent) blog to participate in industry debate and issues and a similar figure (19 per cent) used blogging to raise their own profile. Search engine optimisation was cited as a goal of blogging by only 10 per cent of respondents.
Of those that do not blog, the main reason given was that they do not see the value in blogging with 42 per cent highlighting this as a concern. Nearly a third (32 per cent) also feel that blogging is an exercise which is too time consuming. According to Jennifer Janson, Managing Director at Six Degrees, businesses are still not fully taking advantage of the potential of blogging.
"The jury seems to be still out on the merits of corporate blogging as a tool," commented Janson. "Corporate blogging requires dedicating time and resource, as well as a commitment to transparency, which may not sit well with many traditional companies. However, its value in terms of search engine optimisation and interaction with the public is potentially enormous."
Conrad Bennet, technical service director at marketing intelligence and web analytics specialist, WebTrends agrees.
"Blogging is much more than a "nice to have" in business today - whether you’re a growing SME or a corporate behemoth. Corporate blogs have become increasingly effective communication tools within or on behalf of a corporate community. Conversely, more businesses are paying greater attention to what those 100 million consumer bloggers are saying about them. A dissatisfied customer airing negative views can damage reputations faster than Gerald Ratner can call his own jewellery crap," he said.
However, blogging in the business environment is different from personal blogging, according to Simon Wharton of search marketing agency PushON and director of Manchester Digital, and business should have guidelines in place.
"There should be an agreed and understood policy on blogging between staff, the company and clients. A best practice policy should be discussed, written down and distributed freely to all concerned parties. Corporate blogs are not about ego. They are not about the managing director’s image," commented Wharton. "Those that use blogging for sales will not last long. Those that use it to showcase their ability, passion and are willing to interact with their peers and other interested parties will succeed."
The survey also revealed how the majority of the 350 senior technology executives who took part in the study felt that search was the most important development in marketing in the last ten years. Four out of five executives (79 per cent) highlight the importance of search engines and their impact on corporate communications and marketing.
The majority of respondents expect their company to increase expenditure on Internet advertising in 2008 and rated Internet marking as the best value for money (43 per cent of respondents). The was closely followed by Public Relations (42 per cent) and well ahead of traditional technology industry marketing tactics such as trade shows and exhibitions (13 per cent).
"The Eurocom Worldwide survey shows that corporations and businesses around the world are going through a fundamental shift towards embracing the Internet as an engine for marketing," said Network Director Mads Christensen, Eurocom Worldwide. "This applies across all sectors from business-to-consumer (B2C) to business-to-business (B2B)."