The 2020 Community Industry Trends Report says that 9 out of 10 of community professionals believe that community is critical to the company’s mission.
And 33% of organisations have 10,000 people or more in their online communities. Over half of the community professionals report that it’s difficult to consistently engage members and almost half are facing challenges when it comes to quantifying the value of online communities.
In many cases, but not all, communities give brands an opportunity to test the use of a branded community in a more controlled, private environment, with 54% of respondents indicating that the company’s experience with private online communities has “changed the way we think about collaboration in general”. And a whooping 46% felt that the branded communities changed the way companies think about customers.
Furthermore, almost 9 out of 10 report that they have experienced “deeper/richer insight into customer needs” and 8 out of 10 say they have gained the “ability to listen/uncover new questions.” On the more tangible front, 1 of 3 reported that their community changed product design and another 1 out of 3 said that it changed the company’s marketing strategy.
In the survey the Power of Virtual Communities the researcher conducted interviewies wits 50 leaders of digital communities in 17 countries, along with 26 global experts in online community building that
"In the survey, about a thousand respondents in each of 15 countries were asked whether the most important group they belonged to operated primarily online or offline, or in both those spaces. In 11 out of 15 countries, the largest proportion of respondents reported their most important group as primarily online, and in three of those countries that proportion was 50% or more of respondents."
That's a significant finding, while overall, 77% of respondents indicated that the most important group they're a part of now operates online.