I read about 100 different blogs each day to keep up with what’s going on out there in the world. I also read a lot of articles, academic papers and quite a few books too. But for the latest ideas, fresh out of the minds of the smartest writers, you really can’t beat blogs.
That doesn’t mean that I just read blogs about CRM or CEM either. That would be rather dull. Rather, I read a broad variety of business-related blogs so that I can pick up new ideas whenever they happen.
If I had to pick only 10 blogs, these would be my choices. They represent the best of the best blogs if you want a broad perspective on what is happening in business in general and in customer-driven business in particular:
In no particular order:
- John Hagel’s Edge Perspectives – John Hagel is a former McKinsey consultant and one of the best thinkers in business strategy today. His blog posts are always challenging and are packed full of references to other information sources so that you can expand your knowledge further.
- Tomi Ahonen’s Communities Dominate Brands – Tomi Ahonen has a long and distuinguished track record in the mobile telecoms industry. His knowledge of mobile is simply unparallelled. If you really want to know what is happening in mobile telecoms in Korea, with mobile social networks, or just the latest sales figures for the iPhone, Tomi is your man.
- John Kay – John Kay is an English economist who writes a weekly column on economics in the Financial Times. John manages to make a very dry subject into a must-read commentary on the state of the economy. But more than that, John represents the very best of erudite English writing on the Internet.
- Matthew May’s Elegant Solutions – Matthew May is a former innovation trainer with Toyota in the USA. His blog is all about the magic of the Toyota Way, how Toyota innovates acoss its business and about the lean way of thinking. If you want to know what makes Toyota so successful, Matthew’s blog is a great start.
- David Armano’s Logic + Emotion – David Armano is a creative with a strong interest in social media. He is one of the few marketers who really is interested in the customer’s perspective. His frequent blog posts cover a wide variety of topics, are always interesting and are illustrated in his own unique style.
- Frank Piller’s Mass Customisation & Open Innovation News – Hardly anyone know who Frank Piller is. He is a professor at Aachen RWTH in Germany and at the MIT Smart Customisation Group in the USA. Frank has a sophisticated view of customer-centricity that greatly supasses that of most of the CRM experts who regularly hold forth on the subject. He also runs the only course in the world on ‘Creating a Customer-centric Organisation’ at the IE Business School in Madrid. The next one runs in March this year.
- Garr Reynolds’ Presentation Zen – We all need to greatly improve our presentation techniques. Garr Reynolds Presentation Zen is the definitive source for inspiration to do just that. His book of the same name was my favourite book of last year.
- Springwise – Springwise is a blog that showcases great new business ideas. I have been inspired more than once by the ideas on the website and frequently use the ideas from Springwise as mini case studies in my conference presentations .
- Ken Thompson’s The Bumble Bee – Colaboration is one of CRM’s greatest challenges. The lack of it is perhaps the single biggest reason why CRM still fails so often. Ken Thompson’s Bumble Bee is all about how teams can learn to collaborate better using principles borrowed from biology, particularly the world of social insects. Ken’s ‘Bioteams’ books was one of the most insightful I read last year.
- Ginger Conlon’s Think Customer: The 1to1 Blog – The only CRM blog on the list. Ginger’s team at Peppers & Rogers post frequently about CRM, CEM and increasingly, about customer co-creation. They focus on the business side of CRM and its effect on customer behaviour. Quite a change from the overly-techy blogs that dominate CRM blogging today.
Looking over the list, one thing that strikes me is that there is only one pure CRM blog, no analyst blogs and no vendor blogs. To be perfectly frank, I do not rate many of the so-called analysts highly at all: their blogs are heavily dominated by an almost irrational obsession with technology, rather than with the broader capabilites that actually create value for business. And the vendor blogs are little more than corporate marketing channels.
Who are your favourite business bloggers?
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