July 12, 2008
[Posted by Laura Ramos]
Last month Forrester published my latest report on B2B blogging, which has been picked up extensively by the business press and blogging community — the Wall Street Journal Business Technology blog, BtoB Magazine Online, and Marketing Pilgrim to name a few. As a long-time analyst, let me say there is nothing more satisfying that to see your research read and discussed. Thank you sincerely for your interest!
While the business media has been t representing the details in the research accurately, I’ve run across a couple of blog posts that – and let me be very clear here – AGREE with the main message but do not establish some key facts up front. To make sure readers understand the scope and methodology behind this research, and to avoid confusion, I want to clarify a few things that some may have missed if not reading the whole report (or the endnotes and attached spreadsheets).
1) To look for trends, we reviewed blogging activity publicly available from 90 of the Fortune 500 and Computer Business Review 250 companies. Why 90 companies? Because we wanted a round number and could only find 44 B2B-focused companies with blogs in the Fortune 500 list. By the way, this is an increase from the 29 we found in late 2006, when we published our first report on this topic. We expanded our search to the CBR 250 because we are interested in how large, enterprises (who represent many of our clients) approach blogging. Endnote 1 in the report explains our sources and the spreadsheet behind Figure 2 lists the blogs we examined in detail.
2) This report focuses on B2B firms exclusively, and high technology companies primarily. I believe that blogging activity among B2C firms is experiencing a different set of trends and you can check with my colleagues Charlene Li, Josh Bernoff, and Jeremiah Owyang to find out more about this. For example, Charlene’s key research on the “ROI of Blogging” looks at the Total Economic Impact of GM’s Fastlane blog. Charlene and Josh revisit this example in the book Groundswell. The TEI model applies to B2B blogs, but B2B marketers must realize that their mileage may vary and the assumptions Charlene uses may or may not apply. Do your own math, folks, don’t just use our numbers….
3) This report does NOT try to put a number on total blogging in the B2B space. Regardless of your opinion about the validity blog counts running around out there, we all agree there are a lot of them. I don’t know this for a fact, but my experience tells me that sole proprietors and small business owners author the majority of B2B blogs. This report reviews what is happening at very big firms because, frankly, that’s who most of our customers are. So be careful when you read the percentages quoted by some bloggers because the percentages apply to either the 90 firms we examined or the 189 respondents to our survey. It’s a smaller universe than “all B2B blogging”, so take a moment to understand whether our data and analysis fits your situation.
Again, thank you so much for your interest in this report. (And please take a moment to give me your feedback using the “rate this document” link when visiting the Forrester site.) I look forward to hearing your comments about the document – and the surrounding traffic!