Blogging as a marketing tool

by Volker Weber

Roger Signer studies at the University of Zurich and is preparing a thesis on Blogging as a Martketing Tool. While I would suggest that blogs as marketing tools are evil, I don't think research is evil. ;-) You can help Roger by filling out this questionaire.


Which does not seem to be working unless you want us to see a nice help page?

Nicole Simon, 2005-10-01


Volker Weber, 2005-10-01

And why exactly do you think blogs are such an evil marketing tool? They are completely opt-in, which is different than almost any other marketing, and they force a company to interact at some level with its clients, customers, public. Of course I am biased, but I don't see the terrible evil.

Ben Langhinrichs, 2005-10-03

"Evil" is the wrong word. Maybe futile is right. Let me try an oversimplification: Marketing people are paid to lie for their company. Blogs that try to lie for their company don't work.

Volker Weber, 2005-10-03

Again, I am biased, but as much fun as it is to put down marketers, wouldn't it be more fair to say that marketing people are paid to tell a story about their company? That story may or may not be true, or it may be mostly true or mostly untrue, but it seems a little extreme to say they are paid to lie for their company.

Let's take two examples: my blog and Ed Brill's. Much of what we do is marketing. Much of what we say is the truth, or at least the truth as we see it. Both of us focus on, or avoid focus on, certain topics that suit our companies. But is either of is really "paid to lie"? I would also argue that what we do is not inherently futile. I have seen futile marketing blogs, I'll admit, but then I've seen really bad blogs that were not marketing blogs. Companies that try to market via a blog without either a committed zealot type who cares about the company deeply are doomed to failure, but if you have someone like that, it can be a powerful marketing tool. At least, that is how it seems to me.

Ben Langhinrichs, 2005-10-03

Volker, maybe that's exactly the good thing about blogs in marketing. The "lying for the company" doesn't work that well here, so here the marketing people have to switch to a different set of messages, more reliable and more trustworthy. And as Ben already said: more interactive and direct. And I would also back Ben's argument that not all marketing people are the same. There are so many clichés about so many groups which usually bear some truth, but one has to be very careful with generalizations, especially when they are used as reasons for objecting against new ways of thinking or doing something.

Ragnar Schierholz, 2005-10-03

Ben, of couse you are right with what you are saying. Please bear with me when I say I make an oversimplification. I did not go so far as to say that all marketing people are paid to lie for their company. I also do not believe they are "evil" or that they are of no use. It is just that the modus operandi of marketing is the exact opposite of what make a blog work. Does anybody read this blog?

Volker Weber, 2005-10-03

I see your point. I certainly don't read that blog.

Ben Langhinrichs, 2005-10-03

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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