The Strategic Value of Corporate Blogging

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This is the abstract of my PhD thesis "The Strategic Value of Corporate Blogging", published in 2011 by the School of Business at the University of Otago, New Zealand.

If you're interested to learn more about my research, kindly email me.

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The Strategic Value of Corporate Blogging

  1. 1. The Strategic Value of Corporate Blogging (PhD Abstract) By: Adeline Chua Phaik Harn (University of Otago, New Zealand) Email: addychua@gmail.comCorporate blogs allow companies to connect and communicate with their customers online.Research in the area of corporate blogging has largely focused on established US-based B2Ccompanies (e.g. Fortune 500) operating in technology markets; little is known aboutcorporate blogging practices among smaller B2B companies in service-based markets.Furthermore, the importance of company-customer communications has been highlighted inthe Service-Dominant Logic (S-D Logic) literature as a crucial precedent for both parties toco-create value. However, despite corporate blogs being touted as a suitable platform forcompanies to facilitate company-customer interactions online, no research has so farcombined the study of corporate blogs and its potential for value co-creation from an S-DLogic perspective.Particularly lacking is knowledge about the company’s role in affecting the customer’s valuecreation processes through interactive company-customer exchanges occurring on thecorporate blog. To address this gap in the literature, this thesis explores the usage ofcorporate blogs as a marketing tool and its potential in creating value online, based onfindings drawn from qualitative interviews with 16 New Zealand companies from fourservice industries. A mix of inductive and deductive content analysis was performed on theinterview data, resulting in meaningful themes portraying the participants’ collectiveblogging experience. Each company’s corporate blog data was also analysed to corroborateand extend the research findings.Findings showed a majority of companies utilising corporate blogs as a communicationplatform to share information and expertise with their target audience online. The corporateblog’s potential for value co-creation was also demonstrated through seven kinds of valuepropositions offered to customers, based on four types of interactive company-customerexchanges occurring on the blog. Favourable business-related outcomes were also obtainedfrom the companies’ blogging endeavours. A model (called ‘the co-creation of valuetaxonomy’) was subsequently developed from the research findings; illustrating four levels ofinteractive company-customer exchanges, the corresponding value propositions offered tocustomers and value received by the company. To convey trust to their customers on theblog, companies adopted a mixture of approaches in appearing transparent and credibleonline. Furthermore, in maintaining the informality and authenticity of blogging as anactivity, most corporate bloggers resorted to using ‘common sense’ or peer reviews to ensurethat they blogged appropriately. Finally, depending on the company’s blogging objective andmarketing strategy – both hard and soft returns were used as indicators in assessing thecorporate blog’s ROI value.This thesis found corporate blogs to be valuable as a marketing and communication tool, andthat its potential for value co-creation with customers is possible. It is hoped that the findings 1
  2. 2. obtained would help to highlight the role of corporate blogs in improving company-customerengagement online, while significantly contributing to the online marketing and evolving S-DLogic literature. In particular, it is believed that the co-creation of value taxonomy modelwould help marketing practitioners and academics to research more effective corporateblogging strategies. Such knowledge could help companies and their customers to harnessmore meaningful and valuable co-created outcomes online. 2

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