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  1. 1. Using Marketing Blogs for Agenda Setting and Business Development – Experience from Lithuania Giedrius C iupaila Marketing Communications Consultant EuroBlog International Research Symposium 2007 , Ghent, Belgium 17 March 2007
  2. 2. Contents <ul><li>Internet and blogging in Lithuania </li></ul><ul><li>Media blogging </li></ul><ul><li>Politics = business </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate blogging </li></ul><ul><li>From a blog to a business start-up </li></ul>
  3. 3. Internet and blogging in Lithuania <ul><li>Internet penetration in Lithuania is 35% (out of 3.4 million total population), the EU25 average is 51%. </li></ul><ul><li>The new media – news portals, social networks, etc. – are growing but: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs are still a novelty in Lithuania </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Blogging is at its infancy but growing fast. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>14 March 2007 – the first bloggers’ conference in Lithuania, </li></ul><ul><li>a “ B2B” event: bloggers talking to bloggers and not to a wider audience. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Media blogging <ul><li>Media outlets, especially news portals, pay attention to blogs most: </li></ul><ul><li>The most popular news portal in Lithuania, , has a blog: </li></ul><ul><li>The business daily Verslo Zinios [ Business News ] has recently revamped its website, which now looks more like a blog </li></ul><ul><li>Other news media also review their web presence to make it more interactive and engaging for the visitors. </li></ul><ul><li>A clear trend towards web 2.0 media! </li></ul>
  5. 5. Politics = business <ul><li>Politicians discover blogs as an effective channel to reach their electorates: </li></ul><ul><li>ex-mayor of Vilnius, formerly a businessman, has had his personal blog for a couple of years: </li></ul><ul><li>local municipality election candidate used a blog to get more votes </li></ul><ul><li>They employed blogs to: </li></ul><ul><li>Create the image of a more accessible official </li></ul><ul><li>Attract the younger generation, which is an active and powerful audience </li></ul><ul><li>Politics means business  </li></ul>
  6. 6. Coporate blogging <ul><li>Examples of corporate blogging in Lithuania are scarce: </li></ul><ul><li>MTV – an international brand </li></ul><ul><li>Monton – an Estonian apparel retailer </li></ul><ul><li>Vilnius Conference Centre ( ) </li></ul><ul><li>Businesses (just like the general public) have not yet discovered social software, including blogs. </li></ul>
  7. 7. From a blog to a business start-up <ul><li>Before starting a business venture, a “personal” blog, Blogging Out , http :// was set up to: </li></ul><ul><li>Keep closer relations with a network of contacts: colleagues in PR, marketing, media, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Get ready for the launch of the business venture </li></ul><ul><li>Engage the audience that included both colleagues and propective clients </li></ul><ul><li>The blog was used as a marketing teaser. </li></ul>
  8. 8. From a blog to a business start-up ( 2) <ul><li>Key practical findings of the short period of “personal” blogging : </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs are a novelty ( terra incognita ) in Lithuania, even among people working in media, marketing and PR (~10% awareness) </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs attract positive interest from the target audience (curiosity) </li></ul><ul><li>Bloggers may be viewed as experts in their field (they seem to know what others do not) </li></ul>
  9. 9. From a blog to a business start-up ( 3) <ul><li>Therefore, blogging enables a new market player to : </li></ul><ul><li>Differentiate itself in a highly competitive information environment </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate the desired messages more easily </li></ul><ul><li>Build credibility and trust , which is vital </li></ul><ul><li>Awareness was the ultimate goal of blogging as a communications tool which has proved to be efficient and cost-effective! </li></ul>
  10. 10. To blog or not to blog? <ul><li>The decision to start a blog depends on: </li></ul><ul><li>Overall business and marketing/PR strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Type of business </li></ul><ul><li>Client base </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing is all common sense combined with a bit of creativity. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Contact s <ul><li>Giedrius Č iupaila </li></ul><ul><li>Ma rketing Communications Consultant </li></ul><ul><li>Email: </li></ul><ul><li>Skype: giedriuscp </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>