As to my background and credentials as editor of this publication: I began my career as a sports journalist, where I worked closely with Sports Illustrated, and later as a reporter at the Cincinnati Enquirer and as Weekend Night Sports Editor for the Cincinnati Post. I moved on to work as a copywriter in the marketing department at Union Central Life, then one of the top 50 insurance companies in the US. My next stint was as a Marketing Manager for KDI Corporation, a high-tech A&D conglomerate. From there I served for a couple of years as a writer and account executive at a promotion agency, working for Champion Spark Plugs, Owens-Corning and Jeep. I did a stint as editor of an international trade magazine and then made the jump to marketing management at a chemical company, and later at NuTone, a manufacturer of home building products. That’s when I made the big jump, opening a sales promotion agency with partners Richard Blumberg and Barron Krody. Over the next two decades we built the agency up to one of the 50 largest in the US, serving Procter & Gamble, Toshiba, Florida Power & Light, 3M, Imation, Quaker State, Pillsbury, St. Paul Insurance, among others. I sold the agency to join Cincom Systems — the oldest software company still in existence — where I worked with a phenomenal group of marketers as Marketing Director for Manufacturing Customer Strategies and to manage marketing programs with Microsoft Dynamics, our primary business partner . I retired from Cincom at the end of 2015 to put renewed focus on this online magazine.

RSS and Podcasts Cited as Best Value in the Web 2.0 World

First, a few facts from Forrester about ROI from Web 2.0 strategies, and then my two cents worth on the findings:

According to a new study by Forrester. much of the value of a Web 2.0 deployment is incremental and "soft" in nature, and as a result, clear business value measurement remains elusive.

Despite this challenge, the 275 IT decision-makers that Forrester recently surveyed indicated that not all Web 2.0 is created equal.

Among current users, Really Simple Syndication (RSS) and podcasting show the highest average business value, while social networking and blogging show the lowest

We do find, however, that those firms with the largest number of tools deployed see the best value, although no "killer combination" of tools has emerged. In addition, most firms continue to use traditional value measurement techniques like ROI and total cost of ownership (TCO) when evaluating Web 2.0 deployments. For tech marketers, this means a dual challenge of accommodating clients’ corporate value measurement expectations while helping them onto the right track for incremental and softer value realization from the onset.

Now for my two cents worth …

Fear not, bloggers. Measuring what we do to contribute to a quality customer experience cannot be measured by traditional TCO metrics. We can, as I do on this blog, include links to useful resources and keep track of the sales leads that originate this way. But in the end, blogs are part of a larger customer experience strategy. They contribute to customer loyalty (defined as an attitude that leads a customer organization to consistent repurchase, increased spend and a greater propensity to adopt new products and services from a given supplier).

Blogs, from my point of view, fit into a strategy of learning from customers, teaching customers how we can make them more successful and amplifying the voice and influence of our advocates within our customer base. This is a huge strategic direction and when a blog contributes to this process, it has enormous value to the corporation.

That all said, I am not here to downgrade the importance of RSS and podcasting. We are finding RSS stimulates response rates. And we find podcasting to be a new tool in our arsenal that has many of the same attributes as blogging … it is a tremendous medium for learning, teaching and amplifying core messages and building a positive customer experience.

Now, for your two cents worth …