Friday, October 21, 2005

Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way

Of the more notable occurrences at the BlogOn 2005 Social Media Summit in New York this week were details of a survey conducted by The Guidewire Group. The results shared in an executive summary bearing the title Blogging in the Enterprise--A Guidewire Group Market Cycle Survey are insightful. Any marketing or communications professional worth a grain of salt who reviews the data should realize that if their organization isn’t making its voice heard in the blogosphere, it is time for a corporate blogging action plan immediately.

The survey was seeded by a random e-mailing nudge to 5,000 readers of CMO Magazine. It was conducted online over a two week period in September 2005. 140 people from all corporate walks of life (C-level execs, presidents, directors, managers, students, consultants, professors and systems analysts) participated in the survey. On the money side, over half of the participant companies were ‘smaller’ ones, with revenues ranging from $10M - $100M per year.

The summary contains a lot of useful information, and Chris Shipley’s DEMOletter does a great job of summarizing key facts and figures. He concludes the findings suggest that “corporate communicators will drive future growth of the social media market.”

As I said in a previous post (Keep Your Hand in the Wave), there’s a metaphor for the wise here…

Real surfers (of oceans, not the Internet) 'connect' with the water they're riding by keeping a hand in wave they surf. This connection helps them to ride the wave. Without a hand in the wave, they’re left behind or altogether wiped out by it. This surfing metaphor speaks for the data Guidewire Group shares.

I’ll say it again. Companies that fail to get their hand in the water and ride the 'corporate subscription wave' will be left behind and irrelevant.


At October 21, 2005 7:17 PM, Anonymous Thom Allen said...


I appreciate the information you have been sharing on corporate subscriptions. But I have a suggestion, one that would give us "your" view on corporate subscriptions. Give us a plan, outline, reasons to implement subscription to information. Why do YOU advocate it.

Your last sentence says "...get their hand in the water and ride the 'corporate subscription wave' will be left behind and irrelevant." Why, how did you come to that conclusion? How would a company keep from becoming irrelevant just by implementing this technology? Give us the meat Kip!

At October 22, 2005 12:56 PM, Blogger Kip Meacham said...

Fair comments, Thom...

As for item #1, A series on a “high-level strategy and action plan" for organizations to integrate subscription marketing into their corporate messaging strategy is in the works, so stay tuned for that.

As for item #2, my "irrelevance" conclusion derives from classic positioning and messaging principles. If you accept as an axiom that core product or service positioning hinges on differentiating what your company does or sells from the competition, enabling a conversation with the customer when your product or service is "top of mind" for them WILL result in more purchases of your stuff and increased market share for your company. This will come at the expense of your less communicative competitors.

It is obvious to me that subscription technology-based messaging and customer conversations are making this happen, are a vital part of growth strategy for smart marketers, and are ignored at the peril of lost sales and shares by less wise corporate messengers.


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