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Online Communities: Take a Cue from Philips, Starbucks, Dell, Marketo, Foursquare

Online communities can take you a step closer to become industry leaders. As a CEO, CMO, Marketing Director or Marketing Manager, deciding which type of online community can help you achieve your business goals better can be time-consuming. To help you get started, we have put together a list which includes companies from different industries who have built successful online communities to improve marketing operations, reduce support cost, increase employee engagement and build an army of advocates.

Support Communities

Marketo, a leading marketing automation company reduced their support cost by 60% after building an online support community on Salesforce platform. Used by customer support and client servicing teams, support communities are setup to reduce call volumes, lower support cost and increase the bandwidth for your support teams.With active participation, customer can discuss issues, share ideas, resources and identify best practices with other customers, employees and partners.

Online Communities: Take a Cue from Philips, Starbucks, Dell, Marketo, Foursquare image marketo4

Customer Network Communities

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Starbucks launched its online community in 2008 to create an online platform to enable customers to interact and engage with each other. Building evangelists for your company, network communities act as virtual hangouts for your existing and future customers. With companies that have a cult following, these communities increase brand promotion and boost online reputation. Meeting people, talking, sharing ideas and having fun are some of the reasons why your customers will love such a community.

Online Communities: Take a Cue from Philips, Starbucks, Dell, Marketo, Foursquare image starbucks4

Internal Communities

Internal communities of companies like Philips, Cisco, IBM, and Zappos have helped them companies increase employee engagement and create a learning organization. Apart from fostering communication and collaboration, employee-to-employee communities enable information sharing in real time, create a sense of bonding and identify the heroes in your company. These communities offer features such as online chat, blog, wiki, file storage, and integration with central data management system to motivate employees to engage better.

Online Communities: Take a Cue from Philips, Starbucks, Dell, Marketo, Foursquare image philips for internal communities4

Developer Communities

Salesforce.com relies on its developer community to engage its growing army of 1.4 million registered developers and programmers. Focusing on niche development related topics for programmers, development communities inspire developers to help each other, test out software, solve technical issues and for some, bolster their professional reputation by showcasing their expertise in chosen topics during discussions. Technical libraries, discussion boards, code share, API cook books are some common elements in developer communities.

Online Communities: Take a Cue from Philips, Starbucks, Dell, Marketo, Foursquare image developer community4

Ideation Networks/Innovation Communities

Dell Ideastorm crowd sources ideas for conceptualising and developing new products and services. It runs online campaigns and social media contests to promote Dell as a brand and create a buzz. Like Dell, other companies use innovation networks which can either exist as separate community or as part of the main community to leverage the fact: input from the end users i.e. customers ensure faster adoption for new products or services.

Online Communities: Take a Cue from Philips, Starbucks, Dell, Marketo, Foursquare image dell ideastorm4

Customer Retention Communities

Foursquare’s online community introduced gamification to increase customer activity and improve the entire experience. It rewards users who check in regularly, connect with friends, complete a task, or reach a milestone, with virtual currencies. Consumers love this and this has been very useful in helping Foursquare succeed. Either ways you are successful in getting new users to enthusiastically join in and encourage participation from older, inactive users.

Online Communities: Take a Cue from Philips, Starbucks, Dell, Marketo, Foursquare image gamification4

About Grazitti Online Community Services

Building a successful online community requires expertise, experience and clear understanding of your business objectives. With a team of certified developers, Grazitti offers community strategy, development, maintenance and support services. Trusted by companies like Marketo, M2M, Alteryx, Lancope, we have worked on community platforms like Jive, Salesforce, WordPress, Drupal, PHP and more.

  • Expertise in building award winning communities
  • On-demand custom solutions
  • Cost-effective community packages
  • Quick turn around
  • Dedicated support teams

To know more on how we can build and optimize online communities for you, drop us a line at info@grazitti.com.

This post was originally posted in blog.grazitti.com

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