Forester analyst Peter Kim has started a list of top blogs authored by client-side marketing people — versus bloggers from advisory firms trying to sell their blog advisory services. He says:
While many of us might have been there and done that in some fashion, these are marketers who are *doing it* right now. If you’ve ever been on the client side, you know the joy and pain of building a brand that an outsider may never know…These are people who are doing their brands a favor by engaging customers and prospects in conversation.
Examining Pete’s initial list, I think it is important to note that many also are largely personal and passionate endeavors, as evidenced by the quasi-independent relation to their employers. In other words, these are not “official” company-sanctioned blogs; they live on completely different hosts and domains. Most are personal blogs and digital profiles likely to travel with these individuals regardless of their future relationship with their employer. This is a new phenomenon in business, where niche yet potent and personal brands are playing a bigger role in marketing. They’re benefiting the companies while changing the dynamics of employee-business relationships.
As an author of one of the blogs on Pete’s list, I would add that the scrutiny in adhering to company communications standards and confidentiality policies rises significantly — both from myself, colleagues and management. The ambiguity between personal and professional identity — especially when a big passion and portion of your life is your work — can be muddy, so adhering to transparency and consistency also is critical. We’re in new territory here, so being smart is key.
Such beneficial marketer-blogger scenarios today probably are more confined to companies who have an open and trusting relationship with their employees. (For the record, I feel I have an open and trusting relationship with my employer, and I am loyal.) But I wonder, over time, if companies will even have much choice but to accept the advent of personal brands accentuating over digital expression platforms, such as on blogs, social networks and yet-to-be-invented venues. The fact is, all people are becoming content creators, leaving behind digital, perpetually-lasting trails of expression and past behaviors. But as Pete underscores, the fundamental mandate is “these are people who are doing their brands a favor by engaging customers and prospects in conversation.”
I’d love any thoughts you have on this changing dynamic of business, management, marketing, customer relations and even human resources. This is only my opinion on a trend in its infancy, so debate is expected.
Finally, here’s Pete’s alpha list of top marketer blogs below. I will suggest some additions later. Feel free to leave any suggests here, or send them directly to Pete.
- Flooring The Consumer :: Technorati authority = 504. Authored by CB Whittemore, Director of In-Store Innovation, Wear-Dated Carpet Fiber.
- Marketing Nirvana :: 424. Mario Sundar, Community Evangelist, LinkedIn.
- ExperienceCurve :: 332. Karl Long, Web/Social Media Integration Manager, Nokia.
- The Marketing Excellence Blog :: 254. Eric Kintz, VP Marketing, Digital Photography & Entertainment, Hewlett-Packard.
- cgm :: 191. Pete Blackshaw, CMO, Nielsen Buzzmetrics.
- Decker Marketing :: 167. Sam Decker, VP Marketing, Bazaarvoice.
- Masiguy :: 162. Tim Jackson, Brand Manager, Masi Bicycles.
- AttentionMax :: 153. Max Kalehoff, VP Marketing, Nielsen Buzzmetrics.
- Churbuck.com :: 148. David Churbuck, VP Global Web Marketing, Lenovo.
- Emerson Process Experts :: 130. Jim Cahill, Marketing Communications Manager, Emerson Process Management.
- Bernaisesource :: 99. Dan Greenfield, VP Corporate Communications, Earthlink.
- John Dragoon’s Blog :: 29. John Dragoon, CMO, Novell.
- Randy’s Journal :: n/a. Randy Tinseth, VP Marketing, Boeing.
Happy Friday the 13th! (Ironically, I’m packing up boxes for a move to a new office on the 13th floor.)