Bentley College Marketing- Honors

This blog is for MK 402-H01 and the greater Bentley College population.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Blog Elitism

based on postings from the BrandBuilder blog by Olivier Blanchard

In this posting Blanchard discusses what he calls in the business world “the new snob mantra: Only “experts” should have a voice.” “Blog Elitism” was written in response to a posting by Spike Jones of Brains on Fire lamenting the decreased credibility of bloggers in the blogsphere. Jones writes that so many bloggers “have no real-life, hands-on experience to back [their ideas] up…And until you dig down and find out what really makes them an “expert,” then you just don’t know.” Blanchard believes that the beauty of the blogsphere is that individuals do not have to be experts to share their ideas. Further, the best ideas don’t necessarily come from those we consider to be experts. Blogging is not about “status and titles. It is about sharing ideas” and all marketers can benefit from considering these ideas and learning from them.

This article is marketing relating because it lays out the benefits of blogs for individuals in the field of marketing. Blanchard tells marketers that they can get the opinions of all types of individuals involved in their trade at any given time, as blogs allow all kinds of individuals to spread their ideas without the help of established journals or publishing companies. As a result, marketers are able to see issues that affect their trade from so many different angles and experiences, whether it is from a said ‘expert’ or a “retail clerk with no formal experience in marketing.” Blanchard also steers people away from ‘expert worship,’ pointing out that the “most relevant observations… come from the trenches, not the board room.”

Blanchard’s post informs marketing as it encourages marketers expand the sphere of what they consider to be credible, relevant sources for marketing. As noted above, relevant observations might not come from ‘ivory tower’ experts. Blogs level the playing field, giving everyone a voice. Blanchard encourages marketers to take this abundant source of information seriously and to realize that they can obtain great ideas from this medium.

This article improved my understanding of marketing by lending credibility to more blogging sources in my mind. So often in the academic world we are forced to look at what the ‘experts’ say, taking articles that have been published as the only source of credible information. It is still important to consider the opinions contained in these reputable sources. However, it is also important not to overlook the great ideas that appear in Internet blogs from people who work closely with the topic at hand. Considering so many points of view on a topic will greatly enhance a marketer’s depth of understanding of an issue. Blogs can make this possible.

Companies and marketers are starting to understand the importance of the fact that “everyone has a voice” in the blogsphere. For example, one of the students in our class does a blog scan at her internship and came up with relevant information, straight from the mouths of customers, on how they viewed the company’s product. It would not be possible to find such direct and impactful information from an expert in a published research journal.

An additional opinion/critique of this article: It is important to consider many points of view when grappling with a marketing issue. I agree with Blanchard’s point that one does not need to be highly trained in marketing technique to have great ideas on a topic. Experience “from the trenches” is sufficient to lend credibility to a blogger’s opinion. However, it is important for readers to know what that experience is.

That said one of the problems we have encountered in following our respective blogs in this class is that it is sometimes difficult to find out the experience behind the opinion. General class consensus was that biographies of our bloggers were not easily accessible or, in some cases, nonexistent. We had to work, to ‘dig,’ to find the experience behind our bloggers’ opinions. I could not a biography for Blanchard on his blog and had to Google him to find out his background. Since credibility is a big issue in the blogging medium, it is important that biographies be better utilized by bloggers to let readers know an author’s experience behind topics discussed whether the author happens to be a big shot CMO or a sales clerk.


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Tuesday, April 10, 2007 4:32:00 PM  

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