From These Organizations:
Private online communities (POCs) should be part of every brand’s social media strategy. POCs can be used for co-creation and for other more traditional marketing research objectives. The holy grail of social media marketing is maximising advocacy. This basically means motivating highly influential people to become brand ambassadors. It has been proven in multiple surveys that consumers trust other consumers (even if they are strangers) more than they trust advertising by the brands themselves.
Communities create potential for genuine dialogue and relationship building both among consumer members and with the brand owner. If run correctly, these communities can develop into powerful research tools that also build brand advocacy. The research element is not restricted to just asking questions – when your community members are interacting with one another it’s a great place to simply listen. It’s a bit like finding out what your customers and potential customers think of your brand, once you’ve left the room!
Brands want to know what the connected consumer of today who is also a publisher on earned media (earned as opposed to bought or owned media are mainly social media where “followers” or “likes” are earned based on merit) , thinks and feels so that they can align their marketing approach for maximum impact, for advocacy.
Another reason for POC ownership that applies to some brands, is to boost low incidence of respondents which can otherwise make research projects cost prohibitive. Owning the sample in a private online community or community panel means that the owner pays for sample acquisition only once and is able to use it multiple times.
The era of brand control and one way communication is long gone. We are now witnessing a transformation of our society that makes change in the way we market and sell products a must. Private online communities are one of the tools in the armoury of the marketer of today. It is actually the fastest growing tool in the market research industry during the last two years. Creating new products and messaging with the help of customers is not only easier, faster and cheaper but it also enables companies to create better products targeted to specific segments of the market. If the products are co-created by the people who later are going to buy them, it significantly reduces the risk of failure. The FMCG industry certainly has a lot of room for improvement. A.G. Lafley one of the former successful CEOs of P&G disclosed in an interview that only 15% of their new products were successful. A constant dialogue and connection to the people who buy and use our products can only improve this success ratio.