Trust Seth Godin to come up with a nice little soundbite which so nicely sums up the attitude of many companies when it comes to taking on new ideas or new ways of working.

Granted he wasn’t referring specifically to blogging or the take up of social media marketing but he could very well have been because, in corporate organisations of all sizes, this attitude certainly exists.

He comments:

Most organizations need a good reason to do something new.

All they need is a flimsy excuse to not do something for the first time.

And they often need a lawsuit to stop doing something they’re used to.

But should we really be surprised? After all, organisations, like people, come in all shapes and sizes. Some of us take on new ideas very early and others are more cautious, preferring to wait to let others try, evaluate and report back.

This is certainly the case with corporate blogging, with companies moving at very different speeds in taking these new marketing opportunities on board. For me, the attitudes are well explained by the technology adoption life cycle which I feel is very relevant to what we are currently experiencing I’m sure the diagram (taken from Geoffrey Moore’s book “Crossing the Chasm“) is familiar to most.

Certainly, we have a number of innovators and early adopters in the corporate world who have led the way and, in many cases, made mistakes that the rest of us will (hopefully!) learn from. Presuming that blogging successfully crosses the ‘Chasm’ (and that’s for another post, another time) then the early majority should be able to build on the lessons learned, though they will be looking for well established references before taking the plunge themselves.

Equally, there are those organisations which will wait even longer, perhaps uncomfortable with the new technologies that they are being asked to adopt to market their businesses or perhaps still dubious of their use in their own business areas. Much will depend on the company culture as well as the personalities and outlook of those in charge.

In the case of corporate blogging, the trouble for the late adopters is not really that they have failed to adopt it per se. Rather the problem is that they have failed to take on board that they are no longer reaching their customers using their old marketing methods and so need to be consdering these new methods if they are not to lose their established client base.

Likewise our role in helping them is to keep them focused on their business goals (and their customers) rather than be distracted by words such as “blogs”, “podcasts” and “social networks” which are merely the new tools they have at their disposal to achieve these goals.

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