• Sam Decker

When I Launched My Blog in 2003...

I started a personal marketing blog when I was at Dell in September 2003, inspired by John Porcaro from Microsoft. I didn’t tell anyone at Dell because there was no reason to — it wasn’t about Dell. But I didn’t expect it to take over two years for anyone inside of Dell to find it (and it was Developers who first found it, not Dell marketers). All the while I was getting good traffic, links and kudos other bloggers and marketers.

I didn’t really know what I was doing in 2003, but over the years I learned a lot and connected with great people I never would’ve met otherwise. There are several reasons I launched a blog — one of the most important reasons was that I sensed this ‘something’ was happening, and I wanted to learn by doing.

In fact, blogging contributed to my conclusion that marketing is changing. It gave me reason to lift my head up and see what was going on, and participate. I realized that today customers know more than the company, they believe marketing messages less, and are more in control in an economy with a lot of product and channel choices. So, great products and word of mouth rule. So what does the marketing profession look like 5 years from now!?

I think Blogs are one visible manifestation of this tipping poing. I left Dell to launch Bazaarvoice to focus my journey to learn and master the changing role of marketing. Transparency, authenticity, credibility, relevancy are difficult concepts to put into operational practice, and this way of thinking is new to corporations (although shouldn’t be new if more were acting on Cluetrain Manifesto in 1999).