Charlene Li of Forrester is referring to a report they’ve produced on blogging called “The ROI Of Blogging: The “Why” And “How” Of External Blog Accountability” which apparently includes a spreadsheet to compute the monetised benefits/costs.
She goes onto list some Q&A she considered relevant, one of which struck me.
Q: But this is heresy – you can’t put the benefits of a blog on a spreadsheet! You’ve just got to believe that blogs are a good thing because they develop conversations with customers. A: At the core of my bleeding heart pumps the soul of a pragmatist. Sure, I buy into all of the positive, feel good reasons to have a blog. But when your manager asks why the company has a blog versus spending more time and resources on XYZ initiatives, it sure would be helpful to be able to show a spreadsheet of those blogging benefits in dollars and cents.
Funny, most companies I know don’t have the first clue how to calculate a return on their marketing spend but happily commit large sums to marketing because it seems “the right thing to do”. Bigger challenge if one is to adopt this fiscal disciplined approach is surely assessing whether the company is prepared for the blog author(s) to speak with a honest voice about interesting stuff. Recycling press releases as blog posts don’t tend to work so well, nor does related corporate fluff or failures to recognise the imperfections of a company.