Something I have been consistently hammering on about for a number of years is that communities are going to change how we build businesses and engage with customers.

With global smartphone penetration expected to reach 45% this year and global data rates dropping (such as 1GB of data costing $0.26 in India, compared to an average $6.66 in the UK and $12.37 in the US), the world is getting more and more connected. What’s more, newer generations are growing up surrounded by social technology and wanting to be ever more connected to the people and brands they love.

I am a firm believer in the value of authentic, real relationships. People are getting tired of being bombarded with marketing cliches and instead want genuine, focused, valuable engagement with human beings, not merely newsletters.

Communities provide an incredible environment to not just build relationships between customers and companies, but between customers and customers too. These kinds of communities can generate enormous value, very tangible results, and deliver fulfilling, lasting experiences.

Recently, I was talking about this with Jeff Bussgang, who suggested this could be an interesting Harvard Business Review piece. Of course, I agreed. HBR is one of those publications where people read something and pass it onto their colleagues. This seemed a great opportunity for more people to discover this community trend that is forming.

Well, the piece went live recently, and you can read it here.

I have been thrilled with the response: people have been getting a lot out of the piece, and as I hoped, sharing it with their colleagues and friends. I hope you enjoy it too!

We are at the beginning of an exciting, collaborative revolution in community. I am excited to see how it unfolds further!

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