Advertizing by Blogging at BzzAgent Case Study

High School ・Business ・MLA ・1 Sources

To be current, organizations must make know their companies' activities. One method of getting this results is by use of truth marketing strategies such as blogging. Blogging is a type of viral marketing in integrated communication that utilizes interaction, social networks and allows for user-generated content for creating awareness. BzzAgent a forerunner company in word-of-mouth marketing, is an example of strong viral and truth marketing which has utilized blogs to push their mission. It is a perfect example that can be utilized by businesses to model marketing strategies upon. Marketing is an enormous investment for any business. To be current in business, it must guarantee huge profit on investment. Blogging is a strong truth marketing strategy to make an organization shine in terms of popularity and customer interaction in order to achieve organizational goals. Blogging, as a major part of marketing strategy is therefore essential in any modern day organization. Researchers and industry experts acknowledge that blogs are now an important part of a sound marketing strategy. Technorati, a firm that tracked blogs, estimated that there were 175,000 new blogs created every day and that users were posting a total of 1.6 million comments daily which shows the significance of blogs in the modern day. (Godes)

BzzAgent, a marketing company, believes in truth marketing by use of illustrations of their daily business. (Godes). In 2003, Dave Balter, founder, and CEO of BzzAgent created BeeLog, a blog that has numerous interactions between the organization’s employees and its Agents. Since its founding in 2001, BzzAgent had come a long way but at the same time, Balter wanted some firm’s culture and ethos maintained especially through BeeLog. Unfortunately, this was not the case since the support for the blog in day-to-day check-ins seemed to dwindle. The blog had many frequent readers and posters consisting of both agents and employees, however, Balter sensed a form opposition to the blog. Employees worried about the risk of showing both potential and current clients the firm’s private faces. Some employees felt they had better things to do with their time, during and after work, than contributing to the blog.

BzzAgent has had numerous forays into corporate blogging. BzzAgent has had blogs like 90days, 10days, and BeeLog to support its marketing strategy. The “90 days at BzzAgent” blog was published in 2006 by John Butman in an attempt to capture and communicate from the inside about the growth trajectory of the firm. There were various reactions towards the 90 days blog. While some bloggers admired the project and felt that it was so transparent, others felt that it wasn’t real and was too lame and too lame.

The closure of the 90 days blog led to the launch of the 10 days blog by Balter. 10days blog applied visual art concept and was delegated to Seth who would spend 10 days at BzzAgent offices and capture on canvas what he was observing. After the 10 days blog came which was more than a blog. It was more of an online community where anybody could start a conversation. operated for six months and could have up to 350 visits a day.

BeeLog is the primary BzzAgent blog founded in 2003.Until May 2007, BeeLog had eight-month hiatus due to what Balter put as lack of engagement on behalf of those at and around BzzAgent. Employees pushed for its return since they loved the blog more than any other internal project. BeeLog was receiving about 12,000 visits a month. Just before its return, this is what Balter had to say:

“It was a recent massive employee survey that finally hit it home for me. Overall, the results have opened our eyes to many things you don’t hear in the halls every day. While most of the feedback we received was positive, there is much that is hard to interpret and clearly areas we need to work on.” (Godes)

Below are an employee’s survey on all BzzAgent blogs and how they affected the organization.



90 days

10 days

Benefited BzzAgent internally




Benefited BzzAgent externally




Made me proud of BzzAgent




Was a good investment of time and resources




Would be good to bring back




Source: BzzAgent

While Balter felt that blogging was the best mode of communication for BzzAgent, many of the firm’s senior managers had different thoughts and views. Some managers felt that the blog was the main distraction to the organization’s main focus and that the blog was unmanageable and risky. Other managers had somewhat moderate views since they were concerned about the blog but would prefer having it within the context of the BzzAgent site to be able to see, learn from and interact with the blog.

Some managers noted that the blog was of interest to some stakeholders. According to Michael Bird, for example, “some of our clients are really concerned about it. They wonder what the agents will say, for example. Other clients find it refreshing and exciting and read it pretty frequently.” (Godes)


Due to the risk and unmanageability of the blog as noted by some managers, an option would be to hold the blog privately. Joe Chernov, Communications Director, saw the blog as “organized voyeurism” and found it “ironic that it might be safer to discuss things publicly than privately.” (Godes) Employees were also uncomfortable using public blog since they worried about the risk of showing clients, and potential clients, the firm’s many, and perhaps private, faces. Going private would also favor the managers that preferred having the blog within the context of BzzAgent site so they could see it, influence it and learn from it.

The content of the blog would be interactive for both employees and customers if only it discussed content that directly depicted the organization’s mission. Some managers saw the blog as a distraction from the organization’s mission which was becoming unmanageable. They also didn’t see the need to invest scarce resources like time supporting such an effort. (Godes) Having ideas that the company’s interests were directly related, could have everyone comment and share their ideas on the blog. Balter is seen frustrated by the few comments a post can attract in his statement:

Most posts have fewer than 20 comments. With hundreds of clients, hundreds of thousands of agents and almost a hundred employees, I think we can do a better job engaging the marketplace in a real exchange of ideas.” (Godes)

As Balter noted just before the return of BeeLog, “One concept that became clear is that the staff loved the BeeLog more than any other internal project. So, why the hesitation to bring it back? It’s not shortage the of ideas - rather, it’s choosing the ones that will really build something new based on the initial premise of the idea, while maintaining its core point: to be as transparent with the inner workings of the business as we can be.” Balter pointed out in this statement that the problem was not a shortage of ideas but rather having an option of choosing ideas that will really build something new based on what the idea was previously about.


For BzzAgent to excel in the path of marketing by use of blogs, they should privatize blog posts, have organization mission as the subject of discussion for the blog posts and choose ideas that build something new in the organization. Privatizing posts on the blog will give employees the confidence to discuss real organization issues and lead to growth. Having the posts stick to the organization’s mission will engage almost everyone in the company and hence increase the number of interactions per blog.


In the recent past, marketing has grown from the traditional way of marketing a product or service to a form in which engagement with the customer to the marketing experience is core. BzzAgent has used blogs as part of their marketing strategy. The blogs have been transparent and shown the client exactly what happens at BzzAgent. The blogs have paid off well and although they occasionally flawed, they place BzzAgent in the space of a successful model of a marketing company that has invested in fruitful blogging.

Work Cited

Godes, David. Blogging at BzzAgent. Case Study. Boston: President and Fellows of Havard College, 2008.

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