The majority of marketing Bloggers are on the agency or consulting side. This is only natural. It is part of the process of marketing their services to share their ideas and gain recognition as intelligent, practical marketers. There isn’t really a risk of divulging too much information – nothing will be specific enough to replace the need for the agency or consultant.
On the other hand, corporate marketing Bloggers have much less to gain from Blogging. This is why there are so few corporate marketing Blogs. And there is plenty to lose. Every Blog entry carries risk. Am I revealing company secrets? Am I giving my competition something they can use? Am I suggesting weakness to potential investors or business partners? Corporate marketers must filter every word in a Blog for appropriateness. This is hard work and slows down the process.
So why do we do it? Well I can’t speak for every corporate marketing exec, but there are two main benefits I derive from Blogging. The first is that it provides an opportunity to interact with other marketers and become part of a bigger marketing community. It’s almost like open source for marketers and raises all of our games. I read the ideas of another marketer and in tailoring a response or opinion I really need to think it through. If I just ponder it for a moment, it is easy to fool myself into thinking I have it figured out. But in a Blog entry I reread it and realize that it doesn’t make any sense. I know that if I am a bit confused by my own words, any outside reader doesn’t have a chance of getting my point. So I rewrite and rewrite until it is clear. I’ve found this process not only helps my ability to figure out different marketing concepts, but it also improves my skills at articulating marketing concepts to my team and the rest of the company.
The second benefit I get from Blogging is that it lets me establish an identity that extends beyond my current role. Most marketing leaders are at a company for less than five years. With a Blog they can build an identity and reputation that lasts an entire career. Of course this is very self serving – but isn’t every Blog?