Communispace creates and runs online customer communities, one of the fastest growing marketing strategies for engaging customers and hardwiring the voice of the customer into business.
Founded in 1999, Communispace has nearly doubled its business year over year for the past three years and achieved a 90+ percent client renewal rate due to the value of customer communities to clients' business strategies. In the first half of 2007, Communispace signed 21 new clients using both business-to-business and business-to- consumer communities and increased its staff 50 percent. In addition, it released four new research studies about how customer engagement and influence play out on the Internet.
Communispace has created more than 275 customer communities for over 100 major companies including Charles Schwab, Unilever, Kraft, Hallmark, GlaxoSmithKline, Avon, Hewlett-Packard, PepsiCo, Capital One, Cox Enterprises, and Starwood Hotels.
Viewed as a strategic marketing asset, a community is a password-protected online site where 300-500 invited customers and/or prospects connect weekly to brainstorm ideas, offer advice to one another and to the sponsoring company, comment on market trends, share experiences, and help the company figure out business issues. Unlike most public customer forums and message boards, these private, branded sites are facilitated by Communispace to keep the conversation fresh and strategically relevant.
Companies use these communities to generate customer and market insights, accelerate new product innovation, and improve marketing effectiveness. The communities are a way to deeply engage with customers in richly-textured conversations that builds trust and loyalty, and drives word-of-mouth.
In a recent study, The Fifth "P" of Marketing: Participation, Size Matters, researchers evaluated participation behavior among 26,539 members of 66 private online communities, built and facilitated by Communispace, and found 86 percent of the people who log on to their communities made contributions compared to only 14 percent who merely observed, or "lurked." When a few hundred members are participating on a regular basis, the quantity and quality of the content is deeper and richer than from large public sites, with a dramatically more rewarding member experience and payoff for the sponsoring company.
In fact, Communispace has found that when companies demonstrate they are not just listening to community members' ideas but acting on them, customer insights, loyalty and willingness to recommend the sponsoring company soar.