Cheers to spring. It means gardening, baseball, sunshine, barbeques and the promise of summer. It also means that ComBlu is busy gearing up for the 2012 State of Online Branded Communities Study. It is hard to believe that we have been on this journey for four years now. We have watched community strategies mature and evolve, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store this year. What brand will finally break into the Black category? Will the Auto industry get off the schneid? How has Pharma dealt with regulations over the last 12 months? Will it be the year for Entertainment?

In any case, I expect to be wowed. If you are a brand included in our study I will be asking some important questions about your communities:

· Do you offer a personalized experience that improves with each interaction?

· Do you publish diverse and quality content? Do you have a balanced mix of branded, social and aggregated content?

· What are you doing to incent behavior? Is it working?

· Are you engaging advocates and do you know what to do with them?

· Do you really leverage all of your social assets? A link to Facebook and Twitter doesn’t count.

· Did you invest in unique tools and functionality? Think beyond “out of the box”.

In the ComBlu spirit, I am looking for true innovators who are not content with the status quo. Last year we found that, “optimizing member experience remains an aspirational goal.” This year we hope to find it realized.

Click here to download last year’s study, and stay tuned for some sneak peeks on what’s in store for 2012.

Happy spring!

Jennifer Voisard

Jennifer Voisard

Senior Consultant

Jenny is a digital content strategist, who leads customer-centric engagements that focus on understanding B2B buying behaviors and developing custom roadmaps.

Her expertise is creating buyer personas and mapping digital content journeys to assess the multi-channel user experience. She helps clients operationalize plans across workstreams and identifies processes to create efficiencies in marketing operations. Jenny also has extensive time under her belt developing and managing customer advocacy programs and community building.

She has helped a diverse group of organizations including Cisco, VMware, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, BMO Harris, Capital One and many others become more customer-centric.