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A lot of these figures are coming from a study conducted by Deloitte and Beelinelabs: Tribalization of Business Study

How are companies measuring success? (in order of prevalence)

  • Greater awareness (50%)
  • Number of new ideas (43%)
  • More referrals (25%)
  • Increased sales (25%)
  • Others…

Biggest obstacles to making communities work (according to survey respondents)

  • Getting people to engage
  • Finding time to manage the community

This is an interesting point emphasised by the presenters. “Getting people to engage” implies that you are trying to get them to do something you want them to do, which belies the true dynamics of communities. Finding time to manage the community is similar, in that if you are getting the funadementals right, a lot of the work in managing a community will be done by the community itself.

How companies are incorporating communities:

  • Usually managed by marketing department, not a job for interns, take it (and resource it) seriously
  • 58% of survey respondents are spending less than $50,000 on community management
  • Investment in community building is relative, $50,000 may be ample if the fundamentals are right

Takeaway #1: Communities are about delivering game-changing results

  • Communities can increase revenue per customer dramatically i.e 50%
  • Communities will increase product introduction success ratios
  • Communities amplify everything you do – increasing effectiveness and decreasing costs

Takeaway #2:

(missed this one, was too busy twittering, sorry)

Takeaway #3: The need for new management thinking

  • Mismatch between community goals and associated investments
  • Major gaps between community goals and what is being measured
  • Communities have to combine with major talent initiatives
  • Communities will transform most business processes. (You can start communities without changing the way you work, but eventually it is going to impact on the way you work)

Takeaway #3.5 : The worst practices enjoy wide adoption

  • The build it and they will come fallacy
  • The let’s keep it small so it doesn’t move the needle phenomenon
  • The not invented here syndrome (especially applicable for newspaper and magazine publishers – people already have a vibrant social network on facebook, myspace, bebo, they do not want to rebuild networks on your site. Engage people where they are.)

Early predictions

  • Many community initiatives will continue to fail
  • Communities will eventually transform the role of the the CMO
  • Early adopters will force industry-wide changes
  • Companies will find out how to build predictable communities

Prediction #1 for publishing industry: Have your community cell-phone ready
(*Based on data from Deloitte’s “State of the Media Democracy” Survey, 3rd Edition)

  • A third of US consumers are using their cell phone to entertain themselves, over half of Millennials
  • Almost 50% of consumers, 40% of Boomers, and a surprising 35% of Matures are interested in ease of access to product information via product bar code scanning on their cell phone/hand-held
  • Although a very small percentage, almost 5% of every generaiton considers cell phone advertising as being the MOST influential form of online advertising

Prediction #2 for Publishing: Media will never travel alone

  • In order to optimize subscriber and ad revenue potential, media companies must create new product development and advertising strategies
  • Package of channels around content, not separate and distinct, but integrated, convergent

Prediction #3 for Publishing: You will need to provide the full capabilities of the digital media menu

  • Customizable interface
  • Personalized content
  • Personalized recommendations
  • Extensive content selection from all sources
  • Sophisticated content search
  • Active/Passive viewing
  • Free/Ad supported option
  • Supports multiple platforms
  • Same menu on each platform
  • Transfer content license across platforms
  • Integrated cross-platform builling
  • Purchase, rental, free w/ads
  • Off-line viewing
  • Single integrated sign-on
  • High speed, real-time streaming
  • High reliability
  • [Wow, that’s a lot to be ready for!]

Key message: “Social is embedded in everything.”

Advertisements

NOTE: This started to be a very long post, so I’ll split up into chapters.

Some notes from the Buliding Online Communities seminar on Day 1…

Dynamics at work in communities

  • Let people behave the way they are hard-wired by evolution to behave: in tribes and social groups
  • People will spontaneously form communities whether you are involved or not
  • The community will do your work for you if you align yourself with them in the right ways
  • The more CONTENT you have the more members you will get.
  • The more MEMBERS you have the more CONTENT you will get.
  • The better you match CONTENT and MEMBERS to MEMBER PROFILES the more MEMBERS and CONTENT you will get.
  • The technology infrastructure of the community is important
  • The social infrastructure of the community is more important
  • The easier it is to do TRANSACTIONS the more MEMBERS you will attract.
  • Communities work because they bring value to the users. The job of companies who want to build (and possibly monetise) communities is to work out how to align their business goals with what community users are trying to transact/do/achieve.

What are the human motivations making this happen?

  • People want to connect with other people
  • People want to help and be helped – it’s a reflex!
  • People operate either in one of two frameworks: social framework and market framework
  • Success happens within a social framework. Switching to a market framework screws up the dynamics of your community

 Reasons companies use communities:

  • Amplify word of mouth
  • Canary in the coalmine – an early indicator of customer service issues
  • Market research
  • Long tail sales
  • Idea generation
  • New product Devleopment
  • Employee communications
  • Reputation management
  • Customer service

Which areas of the company typically have communities under their control (in order of prevalence):

  • Marketing
  • Public Relations
  • Produc development
  • Customer Service
  • IT
  • Sales
  • Employee communications
  • R&D
  • Finance