BazzarVoice surveyed Chief Marketing Officers and found that for 2010, a branded online community was second only to Ratings and Reviews for generating a positive return on investment. While Facebook is growing quickly, a branded online community still offers higher ROI, and nearly doubles that of LinkedIN or Twitter presence.
What drives that return on investment? The real value lies in the processes (and tools) that help real customer insights get to the most relevant departments to improve the business overall.
Customer input can help identify what the customer likes. When the product development group reads, analyzes, and integrates customer input — specifically, reviews of distinct products — they can create the next generation of products that focus directly on consumer-stated needs and wants. For example, Dell Corporation strongly considers customer reviews when developing products, and strives to create products that are rated with four or five out of five stars across the business.
If Marketing uses customer generated content, they can be more effective in generating leads and increasing sales. In 2009, fashion brand Burberry launched the “Art of the Trench” campaign, encouraging customers to send photos of themselves in this iconic brand. After using this customer-generated content in a marketing campaign, Burberry reported increased sales, due in part to some of its fresh, user-generated campaigns.
90% of companies are using several social media tools, including blogs, branded communities, and social networks. The challenge lies in taking that content and driving conversions, sales and improved products.