Mario Sundar has a great post on MarketingProfs where he is talking about the FOUR steps of blogging for business, based on the four Ps of marketing. When it comes to social media, Mario chooses to add a FIFTH P — participation — to the mix.
His four steps are:
I like the approach, I must say … but Dusan Vrban asks a great question in the comments — "As from my point of view, first P (Product) stands for product in all it’s forms. And mostly, it means to develop product through different research method. Involving consumers is one of the strongest … what do you think on that?"
My take is this … the fifth P deserves its own spot and should not be consolidated or merged as part of the product. Why? Partly because participation is and should be chaotic. Participation may or may not lead to a product outcome … it could affect many other aspects of your marketing and brand. In fact, if you are managing participation well, then it should — especially in relation to blogging.
I also think it is important to emphasise the HUMAN and emotional nature of participation. It is this aspect that colours and brings to life a brand experience — and something that is particularly challenging within a corporate blogging environment. Can it be achieved? I am sure it can … take a look at some of Mack Collier’s blog reviews for some examples. The importance of the fifth P to a social brand cannot be underestimated.
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8 thoughts on “Blogging for Business”
I can’t express strongly enough what the “chaos of participation” means to my product/service development.
When I started blogging (just a year ago), I had some fairly firm ideas about what was important to people and what wasn’t when it came to organizational learning and professional development.
After a year of conversations and relationships here, my thinking has been tweaked, refined, and turned around on occasion. The pulse of the community–and the trust I place in it–far outweighs the influence of professional and trade journals or market “research” (which is already dated in some ways by the time one reads it).
With so many rapid changes in all of our niches, the spontaneous ebb and flow proves time and time again to deliver the best sense of what people are thinking and feeling about a given topic.
Keep the 5th P in its own place.
And keep writing…
I have recently started my corporate blog and one of the first things I did was to invite my consumers to ask questions. I was delighted by the response and answering them has been a pleasure. I couldn’t with you more that participation requires emotional and passionate engagement.
I couldn’t AGREE with you more that participation requires emotional and passionate engagement.
Steve … thanks for commenting. You are right, one of the best ways of learning in this space is to participate. Those who choose not to miss out on more than just opportunity.
God … I am humbled that you could spare the time to stop by.
Participation is a key to any blog, and I agree that without the Fifth P, a business blog is just another version of corporate PR.
As an ad agency guy, I think participation on our corporate blog has another benefit in addition the humanistic sense of belonging to a community. We are always advising our clients to be more transparent with their brand and to invites their customers into the conversation. Having an open forum on the business blog is our way of walking the talk.
Yes, I would agree that the fifth P is crucial to any business blog. This is the part where the chaos comes out :-), as you’ve noted, and this is why it’s often the scariest part when biz owners start their blog. You just don’t know what’s going to happen, what people are going to say, and will you need to change your perception of your audience based on what they say, etc. You have to let go of your desire for control and learn to love the chaos.
I used to think of my blog as a marketing tool and an educational resource, which it still is, but now I also regard it as a learning/social tool for myself.
When David Armano started saying that bloggers could become Conversation Architects, it got me thinking…the conversation is the key with a blog, really.
I think the 5th P, participation, applies to much more than just social media! If we get our customers to participate with us on an ongoing basis, we learn so much more about them than we could in any other arena. This will lead to (on the customer’s part) trust (as you mention in another post, Gavin), better engagement, preference, word of mouth, and ultimately brand loyalty.
Hey, I think I feel a blog post coming on…!
thxs for noticing and involving my lonely opinion. 🙂 And sorry for late anwsering (work and vacation related). Anyhow, just to give some growth into this and explaining my way of thinking a bit more.
From my experience, marketing departments should be involved into Product Development much much more then they Actually Are. And Participation of consumers is absolutely an amazing way of Developing the Product. So leaving Participation inside Product Development – and even more – exposing it inside companies as Product Development – can lead to serious thinking even among technical and other (service) staff. If they sense the word product development, they start to listen and argue. And there’s a much greater chance that they will include it into their development ideas.
On the other hand, there’s some minor argue I allways try to expose when “new things” come arround. In marketing, every new communication channel, idea or way of doing stuff tries to find it’s own P. Sometimes people discover hot water and try to sell it as new CRM model. 🙂 So therefore I try to sometimes keep it cool. 🙂 And of course expose a debate weather that’s just something we allready have, but it’s a bit improved. As in this case – Yes, it can be a fifth element (fifth P). Still, it can be just product development method that is amazing for it’s results (that are much broader then just product development of course).
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