Earlier this month JDA Software Group launched a new corporate blog called Supply Chain Nation. The software company positions it a forum for real-time conversations about industry trends, best practices and market insights around supply chain, merchandising and pricing innovation. It will feature lead expert bloggers, according to Apparel.
"We want it to be a place where customers and prospects discover ideas that spur action within their own organizations, while at the same time inspire them to enact change that delivers real results," Tom Dziersk, executive vice president, sales and marketing , told the publication.
"It's also a medium for JDA to connect with our customers and partners on their pain points and approaches to solving key challenges."
JDA may soon find itself in the minority in its use of a corporate blog to communicate with customers—both in general and in its industry in particular.
Peaking as Communication Tool
The use of blogging may have peaked as a primary customer communication tool in the US business world, according to the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Data from the study shows that the adoption of blogging is declining for the first time since 2007 among the Inc. 500 companies.
Fifty percent of the 2010 Inc. 500 had a corporate blog, up from 45% in 2009 and 39% in 2008. In the new 2011 study, the use of blogging dropped to 37%. Companies in the advertising/marketing industry are most likely to blog while companies in government services and construction make very little use of this tool.
Social Media Steps Forward
Not surprisingly, the use of social media is taking the place of blogs at many companies, the survey also found. However, companies are using social media to communicate—not monitor buzz as they once did. The 2011 study shows 68% of companies do monitor, down from 70% in 2010, which was the highest percent of the past 5 years.
It is possible that while corporate blogging as defined by the traditional model may be on the decline, blogs coupled with more collaborative formats will remain popular. Also, a highly-relevant topic can’t hurt either. Walmart delivers on both counts with its newly-launched Green Room blog.
The blog is a "platform for an ongoing conversation with NGOs, suppliers, the media, and others who want to share ideas and partner with us in helping people live better around the world," Walmart explains.
Judging by the comments, the Green Room is being read by a wide range of stakeholders, says Triple Pundit. "Commenters seem to be aware of such achievements as installing skylights in stores, improving the range of organic produce in stores and many folks praise the general convenience of Walmart as a positive gain in people's busy lives," it said.
"On the other hand, an equal number are up in arms about planned obsolescence, greenwashing, destruction of small town America, Chinese labor and plastic bags."