I don't like to discuss blog lists too much due to the contention surrounding them but they are a very informative way for newbies to bookmark links and become aware of the array of quality free citizen-generated content available. The lists can often be criticised of being subjective to the composer and can cause disappointment to those not included on them. They can enforce status and hierarchy within online communities that should strive to be flat. Nevertheless, anti-listers are hypocritical because they enjoy being included on such lists and the accolade does make its way into the individual's speaker bio and the like. So, with the recent launch of B&T's Top 50 Marketing Blogs, I did enjoy having the blog section of the site I edit, Marketingmag.com.au come in at sixth, and this 'thing' coming in at 46th. And a heartfelt thanks to the guys for including us.
Today I revisited the list, however, to scroll through the rest of the Top 50 and to see how people fared. Knowing many of the inclusions off the top of my head, and having met many of the bloggers personally, something stood out. And that was that everyone on it, wasn't actually a marketer. The list is therefore a Top 50 Marketing Blogs without marketers. I know this could sound absurd, so I should explain what I mean by a 'marketer'. This is someone who has the word 'marketer' in their title or whose main role is to serve in a marketing capacity. Yes, we all have elements of marketing in our roles, but are we marketers? For instance, the list includes many agency adland types, PR gurus, digital strategists, social media strategists, online evangelists, general commentators and (copy)writers but I couldn't recall any marketers. We exist to help marketers – our 'clients' – under the marketing umbrella, but don't directly function in the same capacity as marketers. This is a case echoed by my work on a publication for marketers – it's difficult to get marketers to do the talking or writing, as one, they don't want to give away IP or competitive advantages and secondly, they are busy people. It's also a similar scenario at events – it's mainly the agency's voice or periphery businesses presenting – it's difficult to lock in marketers who aren't in the B2B space with something to sell!
I think one of the gaps for me in the Australian marketing blogosphere is the result of this. There aren't really any strategic business-marketing blogs. Blogs which look at ROI, metrics, other mediums outside the current sexiness of social media such as direct or database marketing, brand management (and by this I don't mean a logo or packaging), research, channel management/distribution and most importantly, sales! Actually I think 70% resolve around social media and 99% digital in some way. Only natural for online it seems.
I once stumbled across FMCG Blog – fmcgblog.com.au and though the blog doesn't appear to be longer updated, was amazed at the scope of such a thing. It was written by a FMCG marketer for FMCG marketers. Imagine that! There are a huge number of marketers working in FMCG-client side, yet there aren't any blogs dedicated to transferring knowledge and experience in this area outside the creative aspect.
Some bloggers do include case studies that are useful strategic tools but again, these are mainly of digital or social media campaigns and are light on results with a skew towards creative execution. In a case of the echo chamber, bloggers who start off blogging about their area of expertise often migrate over to full-time social media after several posts because they are drawing inspiration from social media.
While I am not offering solutions or even posing that it really is a problem at this point in time, I would like to see the gap bridged between marketers and what I'll call content producers and at least, have the producers address more issues that are applicable to marketers.
To not rain completely on the parade, I would like to finish by saying congratulations to Australian marketing bloggers for their part in building the community and for the list composers for dedicating their effort.