Online Community ROI

At the recent Online Community Business Forum, Joe Cothrel and I presented on Online Community ROI.

Specifically, we proposed the notion that there was enough publicly available data and likely enough data internally that most companies could put together a model that describes the ROI of its’ Online Community Investments.

Session 3: Online Community ROI
Publicly available stats (compiled by Joe)

– Community users remain customers 50% longer than non-community users. (AT&T, 2002)
– 43% of support forums visits are in lieu of opening up a support case. (Cisco, 2004).
– Community users spend 54% more than non-community users (EBay, 2006)
– In customer support, live interaction costs 87% more per transaction on average than forums and other web self-service options. (ASP, 2002)
– Cost per interaction in customers support averages $12 via the contact center versus $0.25 via self-service options. (Forrester, 2006)
– Community users visit nine times more often than non-community users (McKInsey, 2000).
– Community users have four times as many page views as non-community users (McKInsey, 2000).
– 56% percent of online community members log in once a day or more (Annenberg, 2007)
– Customers report good experiences in forums more than twice as often as they do via calls or mail. (Jupiter, 2006)

From the Forum One OC ROI Survey (April 2007):
– Only 22% of respondents had clear ROI Model
– 42% had staff of 1-5 people
– 49% Report Monthly to Mgmt
– Establishing ROI Model was a priority for most respondents in the near term

Full powerpoint deck here.

Bill Johnston - Founder, Structure3C. Former Head of Community at Dell & Autodesk. Mobile: (415) 233-6914 Twitter: @billjohnston LinkedIn: In a sentence: Seasoned online community and social media executive and advisor with over 15 years experience developing large scale online communities, social media initiatives and successful online product strategies.
  1. […] on CoPs stats (credible) 8 05 2007 At the, Bill Johnson offered a recap of CoP ROI statistics that are publicly […]

  2. […] Canadian Marketing Association, and came across the most wonderful list of statistics, courtesy of Bill Johnston, and compiled by Joe Cothrel. Amazingly, I’d never come across these numbers before, so I […]

  3. I know this is a bit of an older post, Bill – but it’s a great one. Thank you for sharing these stats!

  4. I, too, would be very interested in chasing down the original references behind those statistics. I have a business case to prepare … you know how it is.

  5. […] From a recent Online Community Business Forum, Joe Cothrel and Bill Johnston presented Online Community ROI […]

  6. Doing some research on communities and ROI and came across your post. Thanks for posting your deck .. excellent resource. Ditto Dave’s request any references to the stats would be much appreciated.

  7. Bill – read to quickly and didn’t see your notations.

  8. […] Of course, this all begs the question: what is the future of ecommerce going to look like? After all, one of the biggest players in legitimizing ecommere was eBay, and they’re product has always been relatively social in nature — a kind of Web 1.5, if you will. In fact, the ROI of social communities dawned on eBay relatively early when they noticed that forum users spend 54% more than non-community users. […]

  9. […] Social media has lurked around the edges of igaming for a while now. Not only have operators themselves (especially in the Bingo vertical) been providing increasingly social experiences for their players, but other third-parties, such as affiliates, have begun to follow suit by offering their own community experiences online. It seems, then, that the greatest potential for social media in igaming is more of a cost-effective retention strategy rather than an outright acquisition channel. Just consider some of the following numbers: […]

  10. […] via […]

  11. […] The last comment is from Bill Johnston at Forum One. Bill has compiled a set of publicly available data that are related to Social Media ROI: […]

  12. […] closing consider these community ROI stats  from Bill Johnston to underline the potential value of your community: a. Community users remain customers 50% longer […]

  13. […] more per transaction on average than forums and other web self-service options. (ASP, 2002) (via: 2. A New Class of Leaders: For those of you who have heard me speak or have read my blogs, you […]

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