Online community strategy may be entering a new phase of experimentation, finds ComBlu in its latest report, “The State of Online Branded Communities.” In its evaluation of 219 communities across 92 brands and 15 industries, ComBlu finds that the proportion of brands that could be classified as having a cohesive strategy dropped from 42% last year to 37% this year, while the proportion in the experimental stage grew from 50% to 55%. This suggests that brands that previously were considered to have a solid foundational strategy are trying out new tools and entering a second phase of experimentation in the maturation cycle.
The report defines the cohesive strategy classification as a brand having “a solid community foundation with multiple activities rolling into a single online experience,” while social experimentation refers to a brand that is “experimenting with one or more communities, as well as social media, but lacks evidence of a cohesive strategy to tie it all together.”
Other classifications include the self-explanatory “community ghost town,” which grew from 5% to 7%, and “community overload” (multiple communities vying for attention), which dropped from 3% to 1%. Read the rest at MarketingCharts.