This brings up a familiar quandary: Namely the great disparity in website development efficiency between small groups of people who know what they are doing vs. people (or corporations) who don’t. Mansgland represents a quick and easy way to communicate an important message using the Internet. The site is hosted by Blogger, doesn’t contain any complex navigation or architecture, and probably took all of 3-4 hours to build. In contrast, if any larger corporation wanted to communicate a similar message they would have to go through the proper channels, including:
- Proposing the idea to the marketing head;
- Waiting 2-3 months for the idea to be accepted internally;
- Putting out an RFP to the lead creative agency for the brand;
- Waiting for the creatives to go through a complex and costly “discovery” process which would essentially repeat the original idea but transform it into Microsoft Word format;
- Building a proprietary content management interface which doubtlessly would be more complex and far most costly than any commonly available free system;
- Undergoing long design and copy approval processes involving far more people than can ever agree on anything creative;
- Launching with an expensive promotional campaign;
- Failing to meet their ultimate objectives.
What this rant boils down to is a hypothesis that’s been going through my head lately. I’m starting to think that the “Business Blog” movement might be doomed to failure — or at least relegated to the margins — by the basic incompatibility between the free and easy blog culture and the buttoned-down and bureaucratic corporate culture. Will GM or Pfizer ever be able to adopt this a communications style this loose? I seriously doubt it.
Of course, the corporate communications culture isn’t entirely an unexplained phenomenon. Larger companies are in the financial and governmental spotlight. All of their communications are scrutinized by multiple, sometimes hostile audiences. The Mansgland site, for example, would be very difficult for a pharma company to publish because of their heavy regulatory burden.
For smaller and entrepreneurial companies the prospect of business blogging remains great. I am much less optimistic about adoption among the Fortune 500.
Comments from the Old Blog
Ari, you are spot on with your comments. We put up this Blogger site in a flash (we had the remixed covers already done) for two reasons: 1. speed with the launch of our non-profit; 2. to demonstrate to possible funders/partners of our non-profit, including drug and healthcare companies, that they could reach men in a different and faster way than their own marketing programs (which follow the process you wrote about). thanks for the insights….
Posted by: Kim Garretson on June 18, 2003 7:55 AM
Agree, agree, agree. Am working on a web site overhaul for a Fortune 100 company right now and it’s been in discussion for *four months* now. Not a drop of actual development work has been done. (There are a lot of power points that have been made, however…)
Posted by: Zinegrrl on June 26, 2003 7:27 PM