In our previous blog post we mentioned the top 5 reasons why every organisation should build an online community. There are of course more than 5 reasons, so in this blog post we will describe the other 5 , and who knows, maybe we can come up with another 5 in the future :).
Here are the other 5 reasons why every organisation should build and operate private online communities with its stakeholders:
1. Open a window into your customers’ lives
An online community of customers can make the necessary marketing-related information available on tap. It is now possible for all levels of your organisation, not just the marketers, to connect with customers and get first-hand information from them – see them on video and hear them express their thoughts.
2. Increase the number of marketing resources/employees without having them on the payroll
Imagine having an online community of 200-300 customers who can participate in any marketing decision you will ever make. Instead of sitting in a meeting room brainstorming with a handful of colleagues in the marketing department, you can now involve another 300 people in your decision-making process without adding headcount on your payroll.
3. Impress your Board/CEO
Board Directors and CEOs, especially in B2C, love to see and hear a consumer talk about their needs and their products and brands. They are many degrees away from talking to consumers on the street, so bringing the consumers into their boardroom elevates their understanding of the ultimate client and helps them make more informed decisions.
4. Reduce your market research cost
Especially when the target customer is difficult to recruit due to low incidence; owning online communities of customers and being able to invite them to participate in research projects can provide a dramatic saving. For any incidence rate of customers below 10%, a substantial saving can be achieved in the case of needing sample for online surveys and online focus groups.
5. Increase the speed of accessing insights (reporting)
Having a few hundreds of customers on private online communities first of all eliminates the need to find them; that alone takes days if not weeks out of a traditional research project. On co-creation communities, where customers can participate in research as many times as we want them to, not only are we not worried about expert respondents but on the contrary, we want them to become really good marketing employees honing in on their creativity and other skills. Frequent participation and especially designed data collection tools (e.g. short polls) can get surveying time down to 24 hours with a real time observation of the progress. Also, employing the advanced text analytics methods used in listening247 such as machine learning, unstructured discussions on the community wall or a bulletin board can be analysed in real time.
I hope the 5 other reasons make as much sense to you as the 5 main reasons described in the previous blog post. We are very keen to hear your views on other good reasons why an organisation should make it a priority to engage with customers on bespoke online communities.