Saturday, April 07, 2007

Are marketing blogs positive or negative?

Kevin Hillstrom has a keen analysis on the MineTheData blog today. I picked it up from a post on JaffeJuice. Bless those feed readers :) Kevin digs into The Viral Garden's top 25 Marketing Blogs by creating 9 categories to analyze. He's trying to find out whether his hypothesis - that top marketing bloggers are negative toward brands - is true or false. Not to spoil the fun - you need to read, it's good - he concludes his assumption is false. He does discover some key differences around brands between the 1-10 group and the 11-25 group.

What grabbed me about his analysis is the recognition of "perception" at the very start. We all live with biases and perceptions. When we recognize them, it takes effort on our part to make sense of them. In addition, he uses a tool that is often overlooked in this age of technology - paper and red marker. He clearly spent some time with the exercise. It reminds me of a statement often made about the press - specifically newspapers. Some people say "They're too liberal". Some say "They're too conservative". Ever notice how its always "they'? It gets loud and rowdy along the spectrum at times. It swings back and forth. In 2000, I got tired of hearing it and decided to "analyze" the columns we ran in our paper. Can you guess? Almost 50-50 - a slight tilt toward conservative. Good enough for me to consider it balanced.

Kevin's 9 categories of posts can generally be used to analyze the blogs I read for positive/negative comparison. I had never thought of looking at them through that lens. But it does beg the question: In addition to links from other blogs and staying power (longevity) - what drives the really good ones to to the top 25, 50 or 100?

And this is totally subjective but I'd classify Kevin's post as a positive comment on the marketing blogosphere :)


Robyn McMaster said...

Hi Bob, you make a good point about assumptions. And, many of us are blinded to some of our own.

David Reich said...

Interesting analysis. Thanks for pointing it out, Bob.

I think much of the negativity that we do see towards brands and marketers is based on frustration over how much better a job marketers can do to reach out to/serve their customers. Much of what I've seen that could be perceieved as negative could also be construed as being hopefully constructive.

BobG said...

Your welcome, David. It certainly caught my eye. Part of it was the marketers I know seem generally positive in both blog writing and idea presentation. Obviously, my perception though Kevin's brief study points that direction, too. Excellent point on constructive criticism. I know, at times, I'll take critique a little too personal. Overall, I believe in the generous nature of humanity.

Excellent, Robyn - assumptions always remind me of the scene in "The Bad News Bears" where Walther Matthau is addressing his team of little leaguers. He writes the word ASSUME on the board says "Never assume anything" then proceeds to underline the first 3 letters, the u and the final 2 letters. "that way you don't make and ass out of u and me"

Shawn said...

I wish "they'd" finally say "they're right" about us.

But good points. It's always an us vs. them without much taking stock of ourselves.

BobG said...

And at times that "us" vs "them" gets annoying, Shawn. The self reflection each of us must practice helps us reveal our assumptions. With me it seems to take longer to recognize some of them.