I was talking to Dan Short (our Director of Product Marketing, and analytics guru) the other day about the oppressive weight of trying to do a comprehensive ROI analysis for an organization that ties together all the pieces of social productivity. While it is achievable and useful as an overview piece on the nature of productivity in an organization, sometimes it's best to start small and measure the specific teams trying to get work done. And then sometimes you just get a great stat that falls in your lap, like this one: one of our customers, a consumer products company, implemented an enthusiast community and tracked whether the members of the community were using their product. Within less than a year, 40% of the members who weren't using their product had switched and become customers.

 

I was astounded. 40% of people who joined their community switched to their product in less than a year.

 

Now most customers of ours who create customer communities are just going out to existing customers and measuring customer sat, loyalty, feedback, support costs, etc. But expanding the funnel and focusing on brand awareness and capturing new customers is a newer and more innovative approach that's starting to gain traction. We're seeing a number of clients putting out communities of interest in the hopes of attracting customers away from the competition. And so far, it seems to be working.