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Active lurkers – the hidden asset in online communities

February 18th, 2010 francois Posted in communities, Hyper Social Enterprise, Interesting Links, social media, social networking, Strategy 13 Comments »

lurkersmMost communities have 90% of users who are lurkers – people who may consume things from the community, but who don’t contribute. Through our yearly Tribalization of Business Study, we found that many companies who run communities consider this a problem (30% of respondents considered it an obstacle) – and that of course is a problem all by itself.

You see, not all lurkers are created equal.

While it is inevitable that larger communities will end up with 1% of their members being very active users who provide enough value for the 9% of somewhat active users, who together provide enough value for the 90% of lurkers, the largest form of participation in online communities happens to be active lurking, which according to an MIT research study can make up 40-50%  of your community membership. Active lurkers are those that may take something from the community and pass it along to others using different channels – so they participate in your word of mouth. Active lurkers also include those people who may visit a customer support community and find a solution to their problem without contributing to the community. Those people derive a lot of value from that community interaction and so does your company since they do not clog up your customer call center. Active lurkers also include those who will contact the original poster through a different channel, like telephone, email, or perhaps a face to face meeting – in effect continuing the conversation outside of the visible public side of the community, but not outside of the community itself.

Thankfully we found that 18% of companies who participated in the 2nd Annual Tribalization of Business are starting to track lurker metrics. It’s not easy to measure the impact of active lurkers, but without some sort of measure about their activity, you could miss a lot of the value that they bring to your Hyper-Social processes – especially in a world where the customer lifetime value is directly proportional with word of mouth activities.

When you think about communities, you need to think about the tribes and their members first, not just one of the public places (the online community forum) where they can interact with other tribe members. They will inevitably interact in multiple places, both virtual and physical.



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One-to-one marketing and product customization wave – the things we never wanted

October 29th, 2009 francois Posted in communities, Hyper Social Enterprise, marketing, Strategy 5 Comments »

customizedsmOne-to-one marketing was supposed to be the holy grail of customer relationship management.

Companies would no longer have to isolate us from the rest of world as a group to sell to us; they could actually do it on an individual basis. Problem is that we are hyper-social beings who prefer to operate within our tribes. We do not want to be isolated from our group so that sales people who know more about us than we feel comfortable with can give us the hard sell. We want the buying process to be a social process. We don’t trust companies to be on our side and prefer to get the information that will let us make sound buying decisions from our peers. The good news is that those hyper-social tribal peers cannot wait to help us and warn us about bad products and services.

As a team we may want to customize our group workspace, the tools we use, or the T-shirts we wear, but we don’t want one-to-one product customization. In fact we do not like too many choices. Research  has shown that it significantly reduces our willingness to actually buy something. Even mass-customization leads to “mass confusion.”

Forget one-to-one, it never worked and never will because we do not want to be unique, we don’t want to have one-to-one conversations with companies, and we do not really want customization.

Now, wait – don’t throw that CRM system out just yet. While we may not like to have you try to sell us on a one-on-one basis based on all that rich data you have about us, we love it when we are actually ready to buy your product, or when we have a problem with your product and we call your call center, to feel super special by having you recognize us and treat us as if you were a long lost relative trying to help us. We also like it when “the system” (your ecommerce site or your online community) recommends content and people for us that is highly valuable because it’s based on what you know about us – much like Amazon will recommend us books, or the Apple Genius music.

Remember this – when we are ready to buy or when we have a problem with your product or service we want to be treated as an individual, when we are in the process of making a buying decision, we want to be treated as a member of our tribe. And yes, the logical extension of that thinking is that all your behavioral and contextual targeting campaigns are in fact a colossal waste of time and money. During the sales cycle you need to target our tribes!

Do you buy this argument? Please let me know.



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Who are your tribes, and where do they hang out?

August 3rd, 2009 francois Posted in marketing, social media, Strategy 6 Comments »

No matter whether you plan to leverage social media to enhance your product innovation process, your lead generation process, or to amplify the word of mouth that may already exist for your products or company, you first need to find out if your customers, prospects and detractors are already forming tribes in social media circles, and if so, where they hang out.

Understanding who your tribes are and where they hang out will allow you to decide how to engage them – on their own platform (e.g., Facebook group, Ning community, Twitter, or other proprietary platform), on your platform, or on a combination of platforms – a “federated” engagement strategy that most companies eventually will have to adopt. Knowing where your tribes hang out will also allow you to identify the tribal leaders and define strategies to engage those leaders across all your efforts.

Note that tribes almost never form around products, services, or companies – they form around shared passions (e.g., fan clubs), shared pains (e.g., cancer survivors), shared sense of duty (e.g., school alumni communities), or around categories based on common traits (e.g., poor frugal moms). So the Harley community is not a vibrant brand community centered around Harley, as some will lead you to believe, but rather a community based on a common sense of belonging around a shared lifestyle – riding. Tribes are also different from market segments, which are centered around categories based on individual traits, mostly geographic, demographic, or psychographic (e.g., moms who have children) and not around categories based on behavioral traits (e.g., frugal moms who love the art of the deal ).

Failing to understand who your tribes are, where they hang out, and who their leaders are, will result in misguided efforts that will have no measurable impact on your business, or worse, misguided efforts that will anger your potential tribes and their constituents.



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CMO 2.0 Conversation with Mark Gambill, CMO at CDW

July 20th, 2009 francois Posted in cmo2.0, Strategy 1 Comment »

Mark GambillI just had another great CMO 2.0 Conversation – this time with Mark Gambill, the CMO at CDW. As usual we started by having Mark provide some context about his company and his focus there. In this case the company is an $8B provider of software, hardware and services to a variety of industries that has more than 400,000 customers.

The conversation then moved to how some of fundamental changes in the industry – e.g., the fact that people are making their buying decisions based on information they gain online and in social networks, that they increasingly bring their own tools to work, and that mobile devices are more and more looking like full fledged computers – is affecting marketing. Mark talked about the blurring lines between consumer and business applications and about the need to not flail as a marketer when it comes to integrating social media as part of your marketing mix.

He also talked about the need to segment customers differently and how deep consumer research allowed them to uncover six customer profiles that help them better answer the questions: “what do we stand for?”, “who do we serve?”, and “how do we win?” Interestingly enough (and we see more and more marketers follow this trend), much of the segmentation was based on behavioral characteristics of potential buyers and not traditional market segment data. Other information that came with the profiles include data on where those people like to hang out, how they prefer to receive and consume their information, who else they are listening to, and more. All of this allows them to create and distribute content – both online and offline – in a much more effective way than what they were able to do before.

We then talked about the challenges of developing a recognizable brand when you do not manufacture your own products but instead distribute those of companies that may have pretty strong brands themselves. The way CDW tackles this complex problem is by being “technostic” (meaning technology agnostic) and by positioning themselves as a trusted solution partner. They also realize that buyers establish trusted relations with people more so than with companies or organizations, and so every customer gets a dedicated account manager. With a maniacal focus on customized personal service for every customer they hope that this is what will allow them to deliver against that “trusted partner” brand promise.

We also talked fairly extensively about CDW’s commitment to and use of social media. They had started a small business community but then decided that they would be better served by engaging, as participants as well as sponsors, in places where people were already hanging out. (It is always good to speak with a marketer who resists “the not invented here syndrome” that we have witnessed so many times when companies deploy communities as part of their business processes. They feel like the only way to be successful is by hosting the community on their own platform, even if a strong community already exists on some other platform.) Mark sees social media as a meaningful way to engage people in the context of customer support, but he thinks there is a scaling issue when it comes to leveraging it for lead generation. This is something we have heard from other marketers who need hundreds of thousands, if not millions of customers to be successful. The key here may be to develop a comprehensive leader/ambassador strategy and to understand how those people will help amplify everything you do across the various platforms where your customers, prospects, and detractors hang out.

Although, as usual, we ran out of time, we did get to talk about the types of people that Mark is looking for in staffing his marketing department. Besides finding people who are a good fit from a corporate culture point of view, Mark is looking for well rounded people who, while they may not yet have the full battery of skills one might desire, can be trusted to learn them as well as embrace future skills that we don’t yet know will be valuable. Another important hiring criteria in Mark’s business is diversity. Mark is also convinced that a CMO has to increasingly become a well rounded generalist, with knowledge that goes well beyond marketing.

Other things that we discussed include:

  • The importance of face-to-face meetings in customer relations
  • The importance of good customer service in brand building
  • How they are monitoring what is being said about them in the social media space and how they are engaging
  • The importance of understanding “human 1.0″ in explaining what is happening in a web 2.0 world
  • The importance of appealing to the altruistic part of the brain instead of the pleasure side of the brain when running communities
  • The impact of the “green wave” on technology sales
  • The importance of ROI, customer loyalty and other marketing metrics

As usual you can listen to the interview on the CMO 2.0 site and soon we will put up a transcript of the call.



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CMO 2.0 Influencer Conversation with John Hagel

July 8th, 2009 francois Posted in cmo2.0, Strategy 1 Comment »

John_HagelI had a lot of fun conducting this CMO 2.0 Influencer Conversation with John Hagel, the Co-Chair of the Center For the Edge at Deloitte, and one of my all time favorite business thinkers.

John started off by explaining the meaning behind the name of the center which he co-leads with John Seely Brown – the Center For The Edge. For them, the edges are those areas on the periphery where you first see emerging new opportunities. The challenge with the growth opportunities at the edges is to scale them – either by connecting them to the core where all the money and all the people are, through collaboration, or through competition. There are many different types of edges, including geographic ones (think China, India), demographic edges (e.g., the younger generation entering the workforce), marketplaces with unmet needs, or technology edges. The key take-away for executives is to keep focusing on those edges as they are the places where future growth opportunities will first show up. They also need to realize that many of those edges are not part of their organizations or their existing ecosystems.

Next we talked about the newly released Shift Index, a set of three indices and 25 metrics designed to make longer-term performance trends more relevant and actionable (you can download the full report here). The Index, which was based on a yearlong research project, helps explain, among other things, the intensification of competition that many companies are witnessing today, and which has lead to the mean for company survival to come down to 10 years compared to 75 years in the 1930′s. Other metrics within the index help executives measure the consequences of that intensifying competition and also allow them to measure their performance relative to others. The research also uncovered some concerning trends – one of which is that ROA (Return On Asset) in the US decreased by 75% in the last four decades. And that in the face of consistent increases in labor productivity over that same period.

One of the key conclusions of the study is that competition is intensifying and that companies are not doing so well – their existing management practices are not keeping up with the changes.

We talked about some of the things that companies can do in order to cope with the changes afoot. One of those is to shift from a knowledge stock mentality, where you aggressively protect and hoard proprietary knowledge, build scalable offerings around it, and then extract value from it for the longest possible time, to a knowledge flow mentality, where you realize that what you know today has rapidly diminishing value and where you refresh your knowledge stocks by participating in knowledge flows. One of the big challenges for companies is that unlike information or data flows, knowledge does not flow easily – as it relies on long-term trust-based relationships. So the key to success in this new economic reality is to move from a transactional world to a long-term trust-based world. Examples of taking on a knowledge flow approach include letting your key customers participate in product innovation, or turning them into affiliates to allow them to help one another.

In this increasingly fast-cycle world, John believes that the role of serendipity will be progressively more important. He defines serendipity as “unexpected encounters that are valuable and generate pleasure when you encounter them,” and rather than believe that serendipity is based on pure luck, he believes that we can shape serendipity – both by increasing quality and quantity of unexpected ecounters. One way of doing that is by selecting location. By choosing a “spiky” physical location where there is a high concentration of talent you are much more likely to encounter serendipity than if you were on a farm in Iowa. The same is true for the virtual locations you decide to hang out in – whether social networks or communities. Choosing location by itself won’t do the trick however. If you want to shape serendipity you still need to set yourself up so that you are attracting attention, and increasing visibility and findability for yourself.

Another thing that companies need to focus on to better deal with this new economic reality is to shift from a push model to a pull model – one in which you attract partners, customers and talent, instead of pushing out products and messages. John reiterated the importance of shifting from an intercept, insulate and inhibit marketing mentality to one of attracting, assisting and affiliating customers and prospects.

We wrapped up by talking about John’s evolving views about business communities since he wrote Net Gain almost 12 years ago (to date, and in my biased opinion, probably still one of the most important books on business communities). He would reaffirm that there are huge challenges to building communities, but that if you build them around the needs of the members they can be very powerful. He would also expand on the need for three distinct, and sometimes conflicting, skill-sets or cultures that are required to ensure successful communities – centered around content, social interactions, and economic business models. Unfortunatelly, most communities only have one or two of those skill-sets engaged.

We also talked about:

  • The need to shift from firewall around the company mentality to a modularized firewall around core company IP
  • How you cannot participate in knowledge flows for very long if you are only a “taker”
  • The importance of face-to-face in building trusted relationships
  • The importance of having hyper-local face-to-face components in large online community
  • The balance between the need to increase the number of partners we engage with with the need to build deep relationships in order to allow knowledge flow
  • The talent Dilbert paradox and how talent is motivated by the talent development
  • How you need a high growth strategy to attract and keep talent
  • The importance of the “collaboration curve” in scaling the organizational learning, which they described in detail on their new blog - The Big Shift
  • The importance for companies to start adopting a federated view/architecture for their online community efforts

You can listen to the actual CMO 2.0 Influencer Conversation on the CMO 2.0 Conversation site and soon we will be putting up a transcript of this conversation.



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5 Lessons That Organizations Can Learn From #IranElection

June 24th, 2009 francois Posted in Strategy 3 Comments »

We Are All NedaFor those who have had their head in the sand in the past couple of weeks, #IranElection refers to the hashtag that is being used on twitter and other social media sites for anyone who is posting tweets and posts about the ongoing election protests and government brutality in Iran – some call it the latest revolution.

Having been a relatively active “armchair” participant in this latest drama, and always thinking about the impact of social media tools on the world of business, I thought it would be good to take a quick look at some of the lessons that can be drawn from what is happening in the #IranElection campaign.

Lesson #1 – You Cannot Stop It!

No matter how hard you try, you cannot stop the social from taking hold anywhere – not within your employee community, not within your customer communities, and not within your community of detractors. People will find ways to help one another reach and help other people. In this case the government tried to blindfold the country – jamming satellite feeds, shutting off sms and mobile phones, doing deep packet scans on internet traffic, filtering sites, etc – it did not make a difference.

People are hardwired to be social, they now have the tools for the social to scale to where it makes a difference, and they will use it whether you like it or now.

Be like Obama, and embrace it, and don’t emulate Khamenei and his band of crooks.

Lesson #2 – Leadership and Leaders Are Defined By Their Tribe.

In this case we had an accidental leader – Mir Hossein Mousavi. While it is impossible to predict what kind of leader he would have been if he had been declared the winner of the election, most people agree that he would not have been the same leader as the one that emerged in the past two weeks. He has been reshaped by the people who consider him his leader, and is in fact allowing his leadership to continue to be transformed by the people who support him.

There has been a great deal of research on the subject of Tribal Leadership, and how successful leaders are defined by their tribes – you can find much of it in the Tribal Leadership book.

Lesson #3 – The Best People for the Job Will Emerge

Nobody appointed people to play different roles in the self-organizing #IranElection campaign. The best curators bubbled to the top automatically, the best front line reporters, the best organizers, the best leaders, the best technical advisers – all emerged from this chaos in which we also had many trolls and impersonators who tried to disrupt the process.

At different stages of a process lifecycle you will need different talent. That talent cannot be hardwired into fixed hierarchies. You need to enable the social infrastructure that supports your process to allow the right people to step up at the right times.

Lesson #4 – The Best Rules Will Emerge From the Social Messiness

In #IranElection, nobody set rules upfront, yet most people quickly agreed to settle on one dominant hashtag, not retweet names from people who are in Iran, on how to communicate the setup of proxy servers to help people inside Iran access outside services, on how to track impostors and to filter out spammers. Those rules emerged, they were not imposed or dictated by the leadership, nor were they democratically selected.

You have to have trust in your teams’ ability to sense and response and make up rules that are appropriate as the landscape in front of them constantly changes.

Lesson #5 – Social Media Is Not an Information Channel, But A Social Platform

Some debated whether twitter had more value as a news channel or an organizing tool during this latest #IranElection. In a lot of ways that mimics the discussions that many people in business are having around social media tools – is it a new way to reach employees, customers and prospects, or is an inevitable environment in which they can organize themselves into powerful social tribes.

Of course it is the latter – and of course the value as an information/news communication platform is very high as well. It is a platform of participation that allows the social to scale to where it can be turned into movements, both in politics as well as in business. But it is also a platform that allows people to interact, share information, and help other people – whom they trust, much more than faceless corporations or corrupt governments. So it is both an organizing tool as well as a information/news tool.



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Socialize what you do – don’t try commercializing the social

May 27th, 2009 francois Posted in customer service, Interesting Links, marketing, social innovation, social media, social networking, Strategy No Comments »

Everybody will agree that the social has reentered business and commerce as we know it.

In fact, in the beginning, all business was social. If someone sold you a bad chicken, you would badmouth the business and others would shun it until the merchant cleaned up his act. Then the business infrastructure scaled and we ended up with large multi-national companies. People were still social, but the impact of them being social was no longer affecting business – we became at their merci and the social all but disappeared from business. That is when businesses started to develop real bad habits – treating their employees as commodities and waging war with their customers. With social media, a massive platform of participation, the social infrastructure scaled to the point where the social made a difference once again. And because humans are hardwired to be the only Hyper-Social species without all being siblings – the social made a comeback in business with a vengeance.

So what do you do with that? Smart business people, like many of the ones I interviewed as part of the CMO 2.0 Conversation, will tell you that the only thing you can do is to allow your business processes to become social. Barry Judge, the CMO from Best Buy who I interviewed said: “So to the extent that we can basically be human with what we know, and share it as freely as we possibly can, I think we’ll go a long way towards gaining a higher or stronger level of trust with the consumers.” In talking with Luis Suarez recently, he told me that IBM went as far as letting its complete knowledge management process go social. Pfizer’s Sr. VP of Strategy and Innovation, Kristin Peck, was recently quoted in an interview about their innovation process as saying: “when we thought about innovation,we asked ourselves “how do we make it more social?”"

It looks so obvious, right? Yet what do many companies do? Looking at how to commercialize the social that is happening between their customers and prospects. Buying ads on social networks, trying to develop buzz networks, and paying people for recommendations and word of mouth.

That unfortunately will not work much longer. Let’s just hope that those who try to commercialize the social do not muddy the waters with decreased levels of trust among customers and prospects for the rest of us.



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Join me for a CMO 2.0 Conversation with Porter Gale from Virgin America

May 11th, 2009 francois Posted in cmo2.0, Interesting Links, Strategy 1 Comment »

Porter_GaleAs part of the ongoing CMO 2.0 Conversation series we are hosting in the Marketing 2.0 Community, I will be interviewing Virgin America’s’ CMO Porter Gale on Tuesday May 12th from 3-4 pm EDT. I hope you can join me!



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CMO 2.0 Conversation with Pete Blackshaw, EVP at Nielsen Online

May 8th, 2009 francois Posted in cmo2.0, social media, Strategy 1 Comment »

Pete_BlackshawIt was fun to have a CMO 2.0 Conversation with Pete Blackshaw for a variety of reasons. First, it was reminiscent of a great SkypeCast conversation he and I had a few years back (right after Skype launched Skypecasts – we felt like pioneers), but also because he brings three distinct angles to the CMO conversation – that of a CMO, that of a person who markets to marketers, and that of a thought leader and author. Pete is the author of Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000, and also blogs at ConsumerGeneratedMedia.com.

We delved straight into one of Pete’s favorite topics, which is what he calls the great “Conversational Divide” that exists between marketing and customer service. Pete believes, and I agree, that is unfortunate that customer service is so frequently considered a non-strategic part of the business, with little integration between what companies know about their customers from their CRM systems, their social media strategies, the promises they make through marketing , and what actually happens in their customer service departments when they talk with customers. Pete’s take is that it is time for CMO’s to step up to the plate and define a unified conversational ecosystem. It makes no sense, he says, to have different rules in the different parts of the organization.

Companies should also start capturing information about their customers’ influence in their CRM system, i.e., do they have a popular blog, do they have a lot of twitter followers, etc. – especially since the people who typically use the customer service back channels are the same people who tend to use megaphones to express their dissatisfaction. If you do it right you could develop a so-called user contribution system, where consumers help one another and become advocates for the brand, reducing not only your customer support cost but also other costs like consumer research.

Pete talked a lot about the importance of credibility in the age of consumer generated media, and described in detail the six drivers of credibility: trust, authenticity, transparency, listening, responsiveness, and affirmation. He is convinced that trust is perhaps one of the most important competitive differentiators that companies can develop.

We also spent a fair amount of time talking about the benefits of building brand communities, and whether companies should all have their own or affiliate with one another to deliver better value to their members. And we discussed the community efforts at Intuit as we both have familiarity with Scott Wilder’s work – and especially highlighted the importance of setting up a cross-functional center for excellence to capture all the potential benefits of communities, as well as the power of a credentialing model to ensure quality control when customers help one another.

Other things that we discussed include:

  • How Dell Hell could have been prevented
  • The importance of emotion and fairness in word of mouth
  • How the new customer service motto might be “this company is being monitored for quality improvements”
  • How there is a real risk that bad marketers will spoil it for the rest of us
  • The symbiotic relation between traditional marketing tools and social media based tools

We wrapped up the conversation by talking about the challenges that Pete is facing as a marketer, and how he measures progress and success. Not surprisingly, his primary way to measure success is by monitoring his client advocacy. Are customer willing to get on a stage with him? Are they willing to recommend his company?

We also talked about the challenges associated with competing in a world with many free offerings – and with Nielsen actually having their own free offerings. Interestingly enough, the way Pete looks at it is the same way you would look at it from a consumer packaged goods manufacturer’s perspective like P&G – which is that “sampling” does lead to purchases.

As usual you can listen to the recorded podcast on the CMO 2.0 site, and we will put up a transcript as soon as we can.



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Conversation with Rob Kozinets, Marketing Professor and Editor of Consumer Tribes

May 7th, 2009 francois Posted in advertising, buying behaviour, cmo2.0, communities, marketing, Strategy, technology enablement, worst practices No Comments »

Rob_kozinets

For my first CMO 2.0 Influencer Conversation, I spoke with Rob Kozinets, a professor of marketing from York University in Toronto, about communities, consumer tribes and word of mouth marketing – not surprising considering that Rob was the editor of Consumer Tribes, a collection of research papers on consumer tribes, recently finished a book on word of mouth, and is one of the few researchers looking at the practice of business through the eyes of an anthropologist/ethnographer (among other things).

We started the conversation by talking about the disconnect between the world of academics and the world of business, especially as it relates to marketing. It is an unfortunate fact that many mistakes could be avoided if marketers were making informed decisions based in part on some of the recent findings in the fields of behavioral economics, anthropology, complexity theory, sociology, and psychology.

One of Rob’s main themes is that consumer learning, opinions and transmission of influence happens in smaller groups – hence the idea of tribes. Today’s tribes have looser affiliations and are more hedonistic in nature than ancient tribes. They are nomadic by interest, rather than geography, and centered around expertise and commercial culture. Consumer Tribes are also not typically focused on a single brand but rather on a whole group, a whole culture or lifestyle, or a set of activities. Another challenge for marketers, according to Kozinets, is that consumer tribes don’t typically develop long-lasting relationships. Even some of the stronger tribes, like the Star Trek groups that were so popular in the 90′s, aren’t as active anymore – people move on as they get more options. It would actually be interesting to see if the Harley community is still as strong as it used to be. People move in and out of consumer tribes, and the tribes seem to have a natural life and death cycle – including a revival stage sometimes.

Of course, most marketers don’t think of their customers as tribes yet, or don’t realize the enormous impact that successful customer communities can have, so for many of them this is an non-existent problem.

According to Rob, one of the big problems with communities is that companies are setting them us expecting fixed ROI. In reality the measurement of the the impact of communities is very hard. They are hard to set up, take time to take off, and are challenging to maintain. And, as Rob points out, a lot of the successful community marketers have had their communities formed for them by their customers – much like Harley.

We also talked about the proliferation of special interest communities sponsored by various companies – e.g., small business focused communities, of which there are dozens. Obviously members will not want to belong to multiple small business communities, so what then? Consolidation, with most members gravitating towards the most successful small business community, or further fragmentation, with more user-driven communities aggregating around micro objectives? It’s hard to predict where we will see consolidation vs. fragmentation of communities as we do not quite understand how people move in and out of those spaces.

An interesting concept which Rob brought up was “share of community time,” which, in a way, is a measurement related to John Hagel’s Return on Attention (John has also agreed to conduct a CMO 2.0 Influencer conversation with me – stay tuned for a date). The problem with calculating share of community time is that there is a huge spread in the estimated number of people who participate in communities – between 100M and 1b.

Other things we talked about include:

  • The role of payments and incentives in communities
  • Whether online focus groups are stretching the possibilities of online community environments
  • How to engage with your detractors as well as your champions
  • How, if you are going to open things up, you should have a strategy to deal with criticism that will come
  • The pros and cons of having a neat classification system for communities based on the different needs that they are trying to solve
  • How community organizers need to think about members first and brand second

We also touched on word of mouth and how most marketers expect word of mouth to amplify their message, when in reality most word of mouth will transform your message.

As usual, you can listen to the podcast on the CMO 2.0 site, and we will be releasing transcripts soon.



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