As businesses become global and competitive the least any organizations can do is to whittle down on their efforts towards maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship with their customers being it existing or prospective through the power of corporate blogs which will keep and track customers from purchasing journey stage to the need recognition stage as well as the post-purchase stage.
Corporate blogs have been possible and largely successful because of the advent of web 2.0, an internet regime characterized as collaborative, interactive, user controlled, and based on open source online applications that expand the experiences, knowledge and market power of users in a commercial and social interaction. Experts hold the view that web 2.0 does not represent any technical upgrade to the internet technology but rather an expansion of the users to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue as creators of user-generated content in a virtual community.
Customer acquisition efforts in any business largely depends on corporate blogs as an input and channels participation that stimulate need and placing an organization in a favourable position at the stage of information search and influencing the processes involved in a customer’s alternative evaluations efforts.
Multinationals and international organizations in Europe, America, China and a number of Asian- tigers have proffer to corporate blogs which has played a critical major role in customer decision-making process from need recognition, information search, alternative evaluation, purchase and post purchase or subscription and so on with the power of customer relationship management which ultimately has led to booming of their market share in the world trade index.
Beyond the mighty corporate blogs, web 2.0 offers an online community for social networks, video sharing, hosting services and web applications with a wide array and collection of business opportunities in the domains of marketing, public relations, customer relations and corporate communications.
Ample evidence based on an exploratory intends and literature based method as a researcher, I can say without fear or favour that most industries in Africa had no corporate blogs to track and maintain customers. Indeed most of the active blogs were either political or sensational without any commercial or corporate outlook.
African mobile penetration keeps growing as an average individual on any street from Cairo to Johannesburg via N’Djamena and from Dakar to Mogadishu via Bamako holds multiple cellular phones has not triggered any organization mindset to launch a strong formidable corporate blog to attract , retain and maintain customers.
Most of Africa industries still focus on just a segment of the web 2.0 technologies at the expense of others and some not even at all, this has led to social networking budgets and patronage among industries in Africa keeps down-soaring day after day.
Again it appears that not much effort has been directed to corporate blogs in Africa whiles the few blogs that exist are only known for politics with less information and much effort wage into entertainment and sensational activities.
Organizations in Africa must know that corporate blog is the lifeblood for any organization to survive both internally and externally through sustainable, meaningful brand, competitive corporate entity and increasing customer based.
With humble appeal will recommend to all businesses operating on the soil of Africa to at least urge their communication / public relation department to consider among the channel of communications by adding corporate blogs which in a long effect will boost the image and the credibility of the organization in question through building a sustained and mutually beneficial relationship between corporate entities and their customers, corporate blogs as a vital and essential tools or vehicles for bringing people to terms with the values, mission and vision of a brand.
Lastly, Africa with its socio-cultural context where reading habit is but satisfactory, the best organizations can do is to balance text, images, audio and video via corporate blogs in multimedia outlook.
The writer is a communication specialist with more emphasis on communication auditing and international relation issues.
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