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Posted by Zachary Reiss-Davis on February 14, 2013
Two of the most common questions we receive from marketers are “How do I know if it’s worth having a community?” and “How can I prove to my executives that my community is worth their investment?” To get the initial funding and keep support coming for an owner community — one which you operate and fully brand on your own website — you must be able to clearly measure and communicate the value up to your CMO and CFO. That means capturing the effect it will have on your company’s profitability as a part of your overall marketing investments.
As a part of a new research report I just published today with Shaheen Parks, we built upon Forrester’s Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) methodology to provide you with a reference framework to estimate the ROI of your community.
We suggest that you focus on these three qualitative benefits, which form the core of our framework:
As well as two “softer” quantifiable benefits which are not part of the formal framework:
And then account for these three costs:
To illustrate how these factors come together, we created a reference model of a successful owner community implementation for a B2B company with an average deal size of $100,000 and 2,000 qualified annual leads:
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the model in a comment or a tweet, and if you’re a client, I encourage you to read the full report, which includes an interactive version of the framework and many examples from other marketers we have spoken with.