Impact of Communities on Marketing

Community marketing is a strategy to engage an audience in an active,
non-intrusive prospect and customer conversation. Whereas marketing
communication strategies such as advertising, promotion, PR, and sales
all focus on attaining customers, Community Marketing focuses on the
needs of existing customers. A number of virtual areas function as a
community through discussion lists, chat rooms, and message boards.
The unique properties of online communities offer marketers
opportunities to reach their customers in ways that never existed

This accomplishes four things for a business:
• Connects existing customers with prospects
• Connects prospects with each other
• Connects a company with customers/prospects to solidify loyalty
• Connects customers with customers to improve product adoption,
satisfaction, etc.

There are two types of community marketing:
• Organic (created by users with no company intervention)
• Sponsored (fostered and hosted by a company)

Recent skepticism building among consumers as a result of unbiased
advertising and other unethical communications has affected the
success of the sponsored form of Community Marketing. Continuing
success in community marketing strategies has been found in engaging
and cultivating the natural communities that form around their

Benefits include:
• Bi-directional communication with customers – Resulting in increased
feedback, identification of customer needs, and a customer-focused
product development.
• Reduced Communication Barriers – Easily introduce messaging to
customer audience regarding new products, Public relations strategies,
or Damage control (news)
• Identify, engage, and leverage Advocates – Allow enthused and loyal
customers to benefit your overall marketing through Word of mouth and
Knowledge Management that reduces the load on your internal support
mechanisms (particularly for tech products). Knowledge Management
efforts typically focus on organizational objectives such as improved
performance, competitive advantage, innovation, the sharing of lessons
learned, and continuous improvement of the organization.
• Gaining Trusted Advisor Status – Reduced skepticism towards your
marketing message as a result of a demonstrated openness,
transparency, and commitment to customer focus through Community
Marketing involvement. Results in an “ownership” of the discussion
surrounding a product/service that reduces negativity and positions
the providing company as a resource, rather than simply a vendor.

In order to investigate first-hand how marketing communities work, go
to the websites listed in the questions below. You can list them 1, 2,
and 3, but don’t just answer the questions—give me at least 1/2 page
graduate level discussion of each. Please include other ideas that you
have rather than only answering the questions listed below. These are
provided purely as discussion starters, just to get you thinking…..

1. Go to the American Cancer Society’s online community at
and click on the various “Online Communities and Support” links on the
page. Surf around this website. Describe the various attempts at
building community and support that exist on the site. How does The
American Cancer Society use their website to help those touched by
cancer? Evaluate their attempts at building community through these
means. Why do you think the website would help in the battle against

2. Visit the message/community boards at at and pick a topic. Discuss the online community
for the topic you picked. Have you ever participated in an online
community? If so, what was your experience? If not, why not? How might
a company benefit by providing community message boards on their
website? Would this be beneficial for all companies? Discuss why
companies might not want to provide this type of forum. Why would they
be hesitant? Do you think the benefits outweigh the drawbacks?

3. Does your organization participate or sponsor any online
communities? Does your organization have a Facebook page? Twitter
account? If so, describe what they are doing and benefits you see for
your organization. If not, is this something that you think your
organization could benefit from doing? Why or why not? Discuss your
recommendations …





preview of the answer..

The American cancer society

            This is an online community which has come up with various ways of assisting people suffering from various types of cancer. This society is very important to cancer patients as it enables them to get instant access to cancer resources. Through this website, cancer patients are in a position to know how to take care of themselves in order to overcome the negative effects of this disease. The society acts a major motivation of these patients as it contains success stories of cancer patients who have been healed through several treatment methods. Through such stories, these patients usually get hope of recovering from the illness irrespective of the condition that …

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