Thursday March 03 - Bad business blog from Motorola

A successful business blog basically needs three things:

  1. A clearly defined and well understood target audience
  2. Relevant reasons to the target audience to keep returning
  3. Marketing plan to reach the target audience

Pure common sense that applies to virtually any marketing plan. Which is why the complete and utter failure of is a testimony to absolute cluelessness.

Bad Business BlogBad business blog

The blog, sponsored by Motorola (with the logo clearly endorsing it in the blog's masthead), showcases four "dynamic individuals" (four real life bloggers) who will supposedly to attract other "dynamic individuals" to the site. Oh and by the way, they use the Motorola MPx camera phone. The content of their blogging isn't at all exciting or demonstrative of their dynamism. I would have thought that I'd see a lot more photos on the site since it is a camera phone they are using, but out of every five or so entries, only one is a photo. And the photos are generic shots of cars, food and other still life. Hardly "dynamic" stuff.

As for the writing, the average entry from each blogger appears at the rate of about two or three per week. They're rarely over 100 words and read like inane Livejournal entries about what they did during the day but with one difference. Each entry either has a photo taken with the MPx or has a very forced reference to the camera phone. For example in January, one of the bloggers posted a quote by Alan Kay about inventing, oh and by the way, the MPx is so inventive! Tada! A business blog of this nature that seeks to promote a product relies solely on its credibility as an opinion-former. But this blog has about as much credibility as Attila the Hun has of being a dove.

It seems as though the audience is the client herself -- and she obviously likes seeing the name of her phone on the internet every few days. Or maybe they are confused who their audience is: in the blog's terms and conditions, it ironically states that the target is the general public who are over the age of 13, and citizens of the United States or Canada. Apart from that, the content seems to be targeting an evasive kind of audience -- the kind who would enjoy flippant remarks and irrelevant chatter. Or maybe they don't have an audience at all if the number of comments left in the last month of the blog is any indication: a big fat zero.

Since they didn't do any above-the-line advertising, the marketing plan seems to be tied to generating buzz among other Malaysian bloggers. A search using finds only seven links to motoblog from five sources and three of them are either the bloggers themselves on their own personal blogs or the freelance webdesigner who made it. A search using Google's link: operator finds the total of ONE link from one of the bloggers' personal blogs. In the three months that motoblog was active (it was closed in late January with no reason given), it seemed no one was interested in talking about it. So much for the buzz! I think Motorola was relying on the profile of two of the bloggers who had previously gained the reputation of being among the more likeable ones in Malaysia to generate buzz simply because of their involvement in the project. But the two of them put so little effort into the motoblog, their personalities which made their own blogs popular failed to come through. And a search on their own blogs reveals that only one of them had mentioned motoblog and only ONCE. You'd think that Motorola or its web design agency was at least savvy enough to make the bloggers sign a promotion contract.

If the blog's authors behaved less like corporate automatons and more like people with personalities and likeability, the blog might have given people more reason to visit it and entice more people to return. As it is, the experiment lasted three months and cost the client RM20,000 in my estimation, most of which went to the freelance web designer who created the website and the web design agency's commission. And the client got nothing out of it except bad press and a "We don't get the internet" reputation.

So I hope Netinfinium, the web design company that has the Motorola account doesn't lose the account just because of this experiment with the four bloggers (althought part of me thinks they deserve to) and I hope everyone learns a lesson. Bloggers cannot carry a business blog alone. Content is king and marketing is queen. If you have crap content, no one will recommend the blog and no one will return.

markerShare this article on // Comments [2]


This was a very insightful article. Thanks for posting it! Keep it up. We need more bloggers who take an interest in business blogs and speak up

Posted by Danny on Mar 10, 05 | 12:23 pm

Thanks Danny! We have a lot of trolls in Malaysia, I’m glad you’re not one of them!

Posted by Tim on Mar 10, 05 | 12:41 pm
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