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Making the Case: The Business of Community

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What is the value of your community initiative and how do you communicate that succinctly to stakeholders? Communities are playing an increasingly strategic role in innovation, organizational change, learning, knowledge management, support and marketing – and impacting every part of the organization. Yet community dynamics, business models and management are still poorly understood.

This presentatio includes:

- Findings from the 2018 State of Community Management showing the impact and value of communities.
- Why investment in community management is a strategic imperative.
- How to build a community business case including a strategy, ROI projection, and roadmap.

Published in: Business
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Making the Case: The Business of Community

  1. 1. Making the Case: The Business of Community Communities Accelerate Organizational Transformation
  2. 2. Time Return Communities value compounds by making knowledge transparent and normalizing new behaviors
  3. 3. Communities are networks of relationships, not transactions Content Distribution Network Community Network The difference, is typically not the channel, but instead the approach to management@rhappe
  4. 4. 2009 20192014 Tactics: Defining What Matters in Community Tactics: Measuring the Artifacts of Successful Communities Operations: Benchmarking Community, Defining Value Strategy: Impact on Organizations TheCR’s research documents and defines communities and community management Strategy: Impact on Markets @rhappe
  5. 5. Research Findings Communities Accelerate Organizational Transformation
  6. 6. Key Finding #1 Communities Are Change Agents
  7. 7. Communities impact functions across organizations,… Independent Customer Service Marketing 43% 45% 57% 37% 65% 57% 35% 58% 48% 57% 59% 91% 26% 30% 35% 36% 64% 74% Learning & Development External Communications Customer Support Workflows Product/Engineering Knowledge Management Marketing FunctionalOwner Cross-Functional Impact of Communities Despite where communities sit departmentally, they have impact across functions. This power of @rhappe
  8. 8. …contribute to a range of strategic objectives… to be successful. Communities Support Individual and Organizational Potential Communities are evolving from cost centers designed to serve members, to key enablers of revenue and profitability, which is a major strategic shift in how stakeholders view communities. 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Revenue Growth Innovation Quality Improvement Demand/ Lead Gen./ Acq Case Deflection/ Scaled Support Productivity & Efficiency Loyalty/ Retention Communications Efficiency/Speed Learning & Dev. Marketing Customer Support Knowledge Management Communities are contributing to multiple strategic objectives The four workflows most enabled by community participation, are marketing, customer support, knowledge management and learning & development. Each of these workflows derives multiple benefits like efficiency and speed, case deflection, revenue growth etc. due to community participation. @rhappe
  9. 9. ...and empower individuals Not Often/Never SometimesFrequently All of the time 11% 40% 42% 7% Asking & Answering Sha Exp Validating/ Supporting 80% 70 63 75% As important as organizational value is in aggregate, communities are also promp single benefit) are attributed to community in each of the four most enabled use ca above. Communication efficiency and speed — the most recognized benefit of co critical to the success of any change. The existence in this context suggests that c uniquely qualified to enable organizational agility. Communities empower individuals % of Respondents repor in empowering behavio 51% of respondents reported that the community empowered individuals frequently or all of the time. Only 6.5% did not see empowering behaviors. Nearly 30% took leadership provided solutions thus pro to the organization. NEW CHART C As important as organizational value is in aggregate, communities to change by engaging them in empowering behaviors. A large programs report an increase in asking and answering behaviors, implicit knowledge and making it transparent and accessible. On ...Leading to Ba Exter 10% 10% 8% 17% 55% 0% 100% SometimesFrequently 40% 42% Ask Vali Sup 75 Providing Solutions/ Answers Taking Leadership Initiative Being Heard/ Listened to Feeling Seen/ Recog- nized Connecting with Each Other 29% 71% 61% 59% 52% Communities Empower Individuals... An indication of the complex value generated by communities is tha single benefit) are attributed to community in each of the four mos above. Communication efficiency and speed — the most recogniz critical to the success of any change. The data suggests that com to enable organizational agility. Not Often/Never SometimesFrequently All of the time 11% 40% 42% 7% Asking & Answering Sharing Exploring Validating/ Supporting 80% 70% 63% 75% An indication of the complex value generated by communities is that a variety of benefits (versus a single benefit) are attributed to community in each of the four most enabled use cases mentioned above. Communication efficiency and speed — the most recognized benefit of communities — is critical to the success of any change. The existence in this context suggests that communities are uniquely qualified to enable organizational agility. Communities empower individuals % of Respondents reporting increases in empowering behaviors 51% of respondents reported that the community empowered individuals frequently or all of the time. Only 6.5% did not see empowering behaviors. Nearly 30% took leadership initiatives and 71% provided solutions thus providing real value to the organization. NEW CHART COMING @rhappe
  10. 10. Community professionals build this value through strategic engagement… Community Engagement FrameworkTM As important as organizational value is in aggregate, communities are also prompting individuals to change by engaging them in empowering behaviors. A large majority, 80%, of community programs report an increase in asking and answering behaviors, which are critical to capturing implicit knowledge and making it transparent and accessible. Only 7% of community programs have not seen any empowering behaviors. Nearly 30% of community programs saw individuals taking on more leadership tasks, including helping individuals proactively address problems, which is key to unlocking hidden potential. ...Leading to Balanced Engagement Inactives Validate Share Ask & Answer Explore InternalExternal 10% 10% 8% 17% 55% 6% 9% 13% 32% 40% 0% 100% SometimesFrequently 40% 42% Asking & Answering Sharing Exploring Validating/ Supporting 63% 75% Providing Solutions/ Answers Taking Leadership Initiative Being Heard/ Listened to Feeling Seen/ Recog- nized Connecting with Each Other 29% 71% 61% 59% 52% 27% 27% 14% 13% 14% 3% 2% All in Supportive See potentia Neutral Not intereste Critical Hostile Communities Empower Individuals... An indication of the complex value generated by communities is that a variety of benefits (versus a single benefit) are attributed to community in each of the four most enabled use cases mentioned above. Communication efficiency and speed — the most recognized benefit of communities — is critical to the success of any change. The data suggests that communities are uniquely qualified to enable organizational agility. We have updated how we report engagement in 2018 to align with the Community En- gagement Framework, which categorizes engagement behaviors by their value. @rhappe
  11. 11. … and that has an overwhelmingly positive impact on perceptions ross n s 13.6% 56.7% 29% <1% Negative Neutral Postive Significantly Positiveacross ion sts 13.6% 56.7% 29% <1% Negative Neutral Postive Significantly Positive ritical elatively left behind. Community programs have an overwhelmingly positive impact on organizational culture/brand hen Community’s impact on culture/brand sentiment % an increase past year. reporting more than 60% continuing to be positive (“All in”/”Supportive”/”See potential”). Those that have see a significant increase in executive interest are reporting nearly 53% are “All In” and 24 % are “Supportive”/”See potential.” SometimesFrequently 40% 42% Exploring Validating/ Supporting 63% 75% Providing Solutions/Answers Taking Leadership Initiative Being heard/ listened to Feeling Seen/ Recog- nized Connecting with each other 29% 71% 61% 59% 52% 27% 27% 14% 13% 14% 3% 2% All in Supportive See potential Neutral Not interested Critical Hostile Exploring Validating/ Supporting 63% 75% Providing Solutions/Answers Taking Leadership Initiative Being heard/ listened to Feeling Seen/ Recog- nized Connecting with each other 29% 71% 61% 59% 52% 27% 27% 14% 13% 14% 3% 2% All in Supportive See potential Neutral Not interested Critical Hostile Nearly 71% of the respondents reported seeing an increase in empowering community behaviors over the past year. Executive attitude towards communityCommunities are empowering members in a variety of ways And even the 43% of respondents reporting no change in executive attitude over past year are reporting more than 60% continuing to be positive (“All in”/”Supportive”/”See potential”). Those that have see a significant increase in executive interest are reporting nearly 53% are “All In” and 24 % are “Supportive”/”See potential.” @rhappe
  12. 12. Key Finding #2 Communities Generate Transformational Value
  13. 13. Communities generate immense value @rhappe
  14. 14. Most community programs cannot calculate value or ROI… Despite most programs showing high returns, only 41% of community programs surveyed say that they are able to calculate value in any way themselves, and only 23% have taken the next step to calculating ROI for their community program. The 41% that calculate value tend to calculate ROI in much greater numbers: 51% compared to the 23% of all community programs. Many respondents haven’t even tried to calculate community value at all. For those programs that have measurable strategies in place, the percentage of those who haven’t tried to calculate value is significantly lower at 17% (vs. 37% in the total population), suggesting that the first step towards calculating value is to get an approved and measurable strategy in place. Measure/Prove Value 41% Calculate ROI 23% 44% Measure/Prove Va Measure/Prove Va Calculate ROI Calculate ROI Measure/Prove Va Measure/Prove Va Calculate ROI 1 Calculate ROI Overall Both External Internal Overall Calculated 37% Yes No Well Developed Strategies Overall Don’t Know/ Haven’t Calculated 67% 41% 16% 22% 17% 37% And Those Programs That Calculate Value are More Likely to Calculate ROI Those Programs That Have Well Developed Strategies Can Calculate Value… For community programs that do calculate ROI, more than 50% were using it to reactively defend or increase confidence in their community program. This is surprising because the more typical use of ROI calculations is to actively secure budget and support for a program. Given that 65% of executives support community approaches, this finding suggests a concerning disconnect between executive understanding of how to support communities, what’s required for successful community Despite most programs showing high returns, only 41% of community programs surveyed say that they are able to calculate value in any way themselves, and only 23% have taken the next step to calculating ROI for their community program. The 41% that calculate value tend to calculate ROI in much greater numbers: 51% compared to the 23% of all community programs. Many respondents haven’t even tried to calculate community value at all. For those programs that have measurable strategies in place, the percentage of those who haven’t tried to calculate value is significantly lower at 17% (vs. 37% in the total population), suggesting that the first step towards calculating value is to get an approved and measurable strategy in place. Measure/Prove Value 41% Calculate ROI 23% 44% Measure/Prove Va Measure/Prove Va Calculate ROI Calculate ROI Measure/Prove Va Measure/Prove Va Calculate ROI 1 Calculate ROI Overall Both External Internal Overall Know/ Haven’t Calculated 17% 37% Yes No Well Developed Strategies Overall Don’t Know/ Haven’t Calculated 67% 41% 16% 22% 17% 37% And Those Programs That Calculate Value are More Likely to Calculate ROI Those Programs That Have Well Developed Strategies Can Calculate Value… For community programs that do calculate ROI, more than 50% were using it to reactively defend or increase confidence in their community program. This is surprising because the more typical use of ROI calculations is to actively secure budget and support for a program. Given that 65% of executives support community approaches, this finding suggests a concerning disconnect between Despite most programs showing high returns, only 41% of community programs surveyed say that they are able to calculate value in any way themselves, and only 23% have taken the next step to calculating ROI for their community program. The 41% that calculate value tend to calculate ROI in much greater numbers: 51% compared to the 23% of all community programs. Many respondents haven’t tried to calculate community value at all. For those programs that have measurable strategies in place, the percentage of those who haven’t tried to calculate value is significantly lower at 17% (vs. 37% in the total population), suggesting that the first step towards calculating value is to get an approved and measurable strategy in place. Measure/Prove Value 41% Calculate ROI 23% 44% Measure/Prove Value Measure/Prove Value 41% Calculate ROI 25% Calculate ROI 23% Measure/Prove Value 41% 4 Measure/Prove Value Calculate ROI 19% 36% Calculate ROI 23% Overall Both External Internal Overall Haven’t Calculated 37% Yes No Well Developed Strategies Overall Don’t Know/ Haven’t Calculated 67% 41% 16% 22% 17% 37% And Those Programs That Calculate Value are More Likely to Calculate ROI Those Programs That Have Well Developed Strategies Can Calculate Value… For community programs that do calculate ROI, more than 50% were using it to reactively defend or increase confidence in their community program. This is surprising because the more typical use of ROI calculations is to actively secure budget and support for a program. Given that 65% of executives support community approaches, this finding suggests a concerning disconnect between executive understanding of how to support communities, what’s required for successful community programs, and how ROI models are used. @rhappe
  15. 15. …and value is created is in spite of imperfect business practices 70% of communities lack approved, operational and measureable strategies@rhappe
  16. 16. But given the visibility of communities across organizations, this lack of solid business practices is surprising @rhappe
  17. 17. Community teams that do have ROI use it to defend programs vs. secure investment – despite executive buy-in Lack of buy-in Too many competing priorities Lack of resources/ capacity Lack of understanding about its value for individuals Community is a non- traditional way of doing business Unclear community purpose/ business case/ strategy Budget/ Funding Lack of Awareness Other 29% 14% 13% 11% 10% 8% 6% 5% 4% Too many community programs put together strategies without clearly defining primary business objectives, key behaviors, or identifying their use cases. Instead they focus on metrics and building a roadmap. This is like defining a speed goal before you know whether you are riding a horse, driving a boat, or flying a plane. It’s risky at best and completely random at worst. While 72% of respondents have identified key metrics, only 46% have identified key behaviors. This 24% gap is concerning because identifying key behaviors is what should inform key metrics and implementation options on roadmaps. The lack of detailed strategies also impedes reporting progress and the ability to make good implementation decisions. It makes it challenging to compete for resources effectively, which is one of the biggest barriers reported The Biggest Barriers to Community Program Success are the Result of Poor Strategic Prioritization Internal 54% External 57% Direct stakeholders Senior executives Other functional executives Board of Directors N/A / No regular reporting Individual professional development plans Managerial professional development plans 73% 44% 35% 18% 16% 15% 11% 6%3% /Prove Value 41% e ROI 23% 44% Measure/Prove Value Measure/Prove Value 41% Calculate ROI 25% Calculate ROI 23% Measure/Prove Value 41% 44% Measure/Prove Value Calculate ROI 19% 36% Calculate ROI 23% Overall Both External Internal Increased budget New headcount More attention & visibility Increased stakeholder confidence Increased community team assertiveness Change in community roadmap or priorities Allowed to continue the community program Secured resources from other areas of the organization Develop performance/ community engagement objectives for other areas of the business Created more internal pressure Other 27% 15% 23% 8% 3% 3% 5% 6% 4% 4% 4% Using ROI Has Increased Confidence But Not Budgets executives support community approaches, this finding suggests a concerning disconnect between executive understanding of how to support communities, what’s required for successful community programs, and how ROI models are used. Community ROI can be calculated, but more often than not, it’s not. When it is, it’s not typically used to secure more support, even though just 4% of respondents report that lack of buy-in is a key barrier. This is a huge missed opportunity for community programs that would garner more attention, support, and resources – enabling community programs to be key actors in organizational transformation. Measure/Prove Value 41% Calculate ROI 23% 44% Measure/Prove Value Measure/Prove Value 41% Calculate ROI 25% Calculate ROI 23% Measure/Prove Value 41% 44% Measure/Prove Value Calculate ROI 19% 36% Calculate ROI 23% Overall Both External Internal Overall Measure/Prove Value Measure/Prove Value 41% Calculate ROI 25% Calculate ROI 23% Measure/Prove Value 41% 44% Measure/Prove Value Calculate ROI 19% 36% Calculate ROI 23% Well Developed Strategies Overall 67% 1% % Increased budget New headcount More attention & visibility Increased stakeholder confidence Increased community team assertiveness Change in community roadmap or priorities Allowed to continue the community program Secured resources from other areas of the organization Develop performance/ community engagement objectives for other areas of the business Created more internal pressure Other % Confidence But Not Budgets that do calculate ROI, more than 50% were using it to reactively defend their community program. This is surprising because the more typical to actively secure budget and support for a program. Given that 65% of unity approaches, this finding suggests a concerning disconnect between of how to support communities, what’s required for successful community odels are used.
  18. 18. Key Finding #3 Community Teams Are Underfunded
  19. 19. Given community success and growth, community professionals are overwhelmingly optimistic @rhappe
  20. 20. But many community professionals are burnt out Community professionals who experience a high degree of burn out Biggest challenges experienced by community professionals 1. Not enough resources 2. Unclear direction/Lack of clear strategy 3. Lack of executive understanding @rhappe
  21. 21. Community teams fulfill a range of roles, with limited headcount Community Strategist Community Manager Director of Community Community Engagement Specialist Community Analyst Membership Administrator Moderator Community Product Manager Community Systems/Platform Administrator Community Executive (Vice President or higher) Content Specialist Advocate/Influencer/Super User Technical Support Subject Matter Expert 87% 86% 84% 81% 76% 69% 69% 66% 61% 51% 49% 48% 42% 37% At the same time, activity, engagement, and attention are growing in the communities that community professionals directly manage. The average community team is 4.4 people and 50% of teams fulfill about 12 different community roles. That’s a lot of juggling for anyone. With an average of four full-time staff and a lot of responsibilities, community teams are stretched thin. Average Full Time Staff: 4.4 The Percent of Community Teams That Perform The Following Responsibilities: Average Full-time Staff: 4.4
  22. 22. The breadth and depth of impact is also adding ‘hidden’ work for community teams Yet, only 8%of community programs self-identify as Centers of Excellence and only 27% of community professionals have been promoted within their organization. Usage/Member Support Ongoing Community Management Support Information Requests Consulting on a Project Training Support Coaching Inquiries 75% 70% 69% 47% 43% 32% Requests Received from Other Departments These trends suggest that community teams are community engagement and management, to one o the organization, where the community team acts as While this is an exciting shift, it requires more resour COMMUNITIES SUPPORT INDIVIDUAL AN Community Engagement as Performance Goal Community Responsibilities 52% 43% Re of t of Co on P W Community Engagement as Performance Goal Community Responsibilities 52% 43% The Distribution of Community Roles Across the Organization Exp 12 suggesting that community management is fast b Community engagement is part of individual perfo community team 43% of the time, and explicit commu to individuals in other departments 53% of the time. and across organizations is expected to grow rapid additional workflows to be implemented or a greater @rhappe
  23. 23. This wide range of responsibilities and growing activity, leaves community professionals stuck in day-to-day tactical tasks With Stretched Resources, Community Teams Prioritize Maintaining Community Value THE STATE OF COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT 2018 • 24 • WWW.COMMUNITYROUNDTABLE.COM It’s easy to dismiss frustrations based on lack of resources, because who wouldn’t like more staff? The research, however, shows that not only are communities generating value across multiple functions and levels of the organization, but community teams are also responding to more requests for internal consulting support, which pulls them in more directions and creates a “hidden” load on community teams. Community Value Significant Decrease Decrease No Charge Increase Significant Increase Comments/Posts and Answers Activity and Engagement Interest From Across The Organization Executive Support 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Value, Activity, Interest, and Support are Growing Not Enough Community Resources Technology Changes Unclear Direction / Lack of Clear Strategy No Support for Professional Development You're Being Measured by the Wrong Metrics Lack of Executive Understanding Unrealistic Expectations I Don't Have the Skills I Need Other Community practitioners have good reason to be optimistic: their community programs are successful. Across the board, value, activity, engagement, and interest are overwhelmingly increasing. Technical Support Subject Matter Expert 42% 37% Technical 16% Business Management 10% Strategy 17% Content 27% Engagement 30% So how do community teams respond to this growing set of deman community skills that make communities successful to begin with: Community teams spend 30% of their time on engagement and 27 tasks. Important, but less urgent, tasks like measuring value, program advocacy remain under-addressed as a result. It’s easy to see why community professionals are frustrated and burnt could be addressed by allocating budgets to add resources to the com expertise to address critical gaps. In order to continue pe professionals are spen their time on maintaini engagement and conte Community profession time for critical tasks li value, program manag internal advocacy - all under business manag With Stretched Resources, Community Teams Prioritize Maintaining @rhappe
  24. 24. A surprisingly small percent of community programs have funded roadmaps In order to break out of this loop, community teams need both business skills and resources as well as an understanding of the value of these skills. It is incumbent on executive stakeholders to help them acquire or build those skills because it requires resources, time, A Community Roadmap Does Not Exist Some Tactics Exist but are Not Consolidated into a Roadmap An Informal Roadmap Exists A Roadmap is Shifting & Still Being efined A High-Level Roadmap Exists & Has Been Approved but Resources Have Not Been Allocated We Have an Approved & Resourced Community Roadmap 17% 23% 15% 17% 17% 11% mentoring to get there as well, because many can’t even see why those skills are critical to their advancement – community professionals regularly ranked engagement, content, and even strategic skills in the top three priority-wise, but business skills are regularly ranked fourth out of five. A Surprising Majority of Community Roadmaps Are Not Funded Executives can help community teams by allocating business skills to help them finish their roadmap and translate their roadmap into itemized budgets. @rhappe
  25. 25. Pulling it Together into a Community Business Plan
  26. 26. Problem Statement What is the business use case in need of adaptation? Where is the pain point? What workflow is decreasing value? “Competing sources of information slow searches” Your’s? “Employees do not have direct access to SME’s” @rhappe
  27. 27. • What behavior does the community change? • What process does it replace? • What new behavior does it introduce? • What is the shared purpose for organization and employee? Solution: Communities with strong shared purpose and shared value Member Objectives Organizational Objectives Shared Purpose Shared Value When a member wants to ___________________________ they will use the community to __________________________, instead of doing _____________ __________________________ __________________________. resolve an issue ask a question emailing a ticket system (CRM, bug tracking tool, etc.) @rhappe
  28. 28. • What are your community efforts to date? • What will be required as community engagement grows? What’s required to build a community or a network of communities? @rhappe
  29. 29. • What is the current community ROI? • What is the projected ROI value for FY19? • What is required to hit our goals? What value will that network generate? @rhappe
  30. 30. • What does the current workflow ROI look like? • What does the community workflow look like? • What is the value saving? How is ROI generated? @rhappe
  31. 31. • What does the updated workflow look like? • How is the value actualized in the community? What does it look like? @rhappe
  32. 32. • What are your top community initiatives for FY18? • What are the top line goals for the next 12 months? What are our FY18 Goals? @rhappe
  33. 33. • What is your budget request? • Conservative vs. aggressive approach? • What does your roadmap strategy look like? Roadmap & Budget @rhappe Budget Request FY19 Conservative: $648K Aggressive: $1.05K
  34. 34. Recommendations
  35. 35. 1. Invest in communities confidently 2. Build community business skills capacity 3. Adopt a new mindset
  36. 36. Ways to Engage with TheCR the.cr/socm2018 #1 Download the SOCM Report #2 Get your Community Score #3 Subscribe to our newsletter
  37. 37. Thank You! Rachel Happe rachel@communityroundtable.com @rhappe www.communityroundtable.com

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