Brian Fuller's blog on the media, marketing and content creation

Corporate publishing

Posted on | July 14, 2006 | No Comments

In our business-to-business publishing world, there’s an big shift in where marketing strategies. It is and it isn’t surprising. It isn’t surprising in that the web as a medium for communications is very well established but at the same time has enormous upside. It is surprising in that it’s taken our world a while to catch on to the internet as a marketing tool, believe it or not. A minority of companies in our world do online marketing (digital marketing) well and creatively. Really, only a handful. The rest are scrambling to figure it out. I present to a lot of companies research that we do into media consumption and I get a lot of wide-eyes stares when I bring up new media, even things like podcasts and RSS feeds.

The budgets now are being mixed into a broader strategy that includes third-party media and, increasingly, a company’s own digital marketing efforts, especially its website. And some are going so far as to become their own publishers, a natural extension of the power of the technology.

Sam Whitmore points out today in his email blast (registration required) that Cisco is becoming its own little publishing powerhouse:

From Feb. through Apr. 2006, roughly 1.5 million unique visitors did just that, generating 11.8 million page views. That’s not anywhere near MySpace or the New York Times, but it’s a smashing publishing success for a tech manufacturing company.

And why wouldn’t a company do this? A recent Information Week story indicated most people consider press releases news anyway.


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No Responses to “Corporate publishing”

  1. jeff
    July 24th, 2006 @ 7:07 pm

    Great post, Brian. As you know, we at McBru often suggest that b-to-b tech companies act as publishers through e-mail newsletters, blogs, podcasts, etc. However, sometimes, I often find that the biggest learning curve isn’t in the technology, but the approach one has to take in order to be an attractive read. For example, it’s easiest to be self-promotional in a blog — like I did above 😉 – but what people generally like to read is more selfless, educational content or links to others blogs. It’s easy to focus an e-mail newsletter on new product announcements and company news, but recipients would probably rather find links to white papers and case studies. (Or would they? Let me check the click-thrus!) So, when marketing departments try out one of these self-publishing platforms, but keep the content focused on themselves, you’ll often find them abandoning the initiative shortly thereafter because nobody is paying attention. This is a lesson that the great pubs of the electronics industry have known for a long time: Write for the reader, not yourself. So, just as people like you, Santarini, Blyler, and other journalists are taking the lead on adopting the tools for the industry, I’m sure it will require you showing how content should be less self-centered — as you all are already doing — before b-to-b technology companies’ marketing departments will follow suit and find success in corporate publishing. If they can be primarily educational in whitepapers and contributed articles that only mention their names once, they can do it on blogs and in e-mail newsletters.

  2. Anonymous
    July 17th, 2008 @ 10:42 pm

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