Stats and Case Studies for Communities from Lithium


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Disclosure: I don’t have any relationship with Lithium other than I like their product and how they are taking it to market. This is not a sponsored post and this information is from my notes and not from Lithium.

If you don’t know Lithium, they are one of the market leaders in the Community space, and have a tremendous momentum right now (81% growth first half of this year).

The presentation had two parts, first was marketing – feel free to go to their web site and look at their video if you want more information on their product. That is the same video that played at the show.

The second part was a set of slides that contained stats and case studies. This is the summary:

  • 66% of Internet users participate in communities
  • 96% of Generation Y users are in at least one social network (most tend to be in 2 or more)
  • 58% of Baby Boomers are in Facebook
  • When searching for the top 20 brands in the world, whether in Google or any other search engine, 25% of the results generated are user-created content from communities (yes, blogs are communities)
  • The number of people that dissatisfied users communicate with in this new world has increased by a magnitude of 100
  • The cost of a lost customer is between $50,000.00 and $500,000.00, per executives of different companies interviewed.

Further, a PwC study confirmed that CEO from the Global 2000 organizations are increasingly worried about how to handle communities – it has already reached the executive level.

Finally, three case studies they shared with us with results:

  • Sage, a software vendor, deployed a community for their users and prospects to contribute ideas on how to innovate their products. They were able to track an increase in participation on their Beta program (resulting in better, more stable, more reliable software being shipped) of almost 300%, Users felt they own the product and wanted to make sure it represented their quality.
  • FICO created a community for financial matters (Fair Isaac Corporation – FICO – were the originators of the credit score and still one of the largest provider of data related to credit). In spite of the sensitivity of the data (users are encouraged constantly to not share critical data), they grew into a vibrant and ever-growing community. From the results they tracked, FICO was able to increase their sales 41% year-over-year after deploying the community.
  • Linksys, a unit of Cisco, launched a community for user-generated support. SuperUsers and other customers contribute their time to the community to help answer questions. Linksys was able to disconnect email support (a constant source of complaints and headaches), deflect 1.4 million calls. and save over $100 million dollars in support costs year-over-year.

You have probably also read Natalie Petohouff’s case studies (her blog has them) with similar results and more details. This is a very important thing as we move to increase adoption of Communities by organizations as it allow us to prepare detailed ROI models that are necessary to make the move to mainstream (OK, I will say it this time and never again – to cross the chasm – there).

Esteban Kolsky
ThinkJar, LLC
Esteban Kolsky is the founder of CRM intelligence & strategy where he works with vendors to create go-to market strategies for Customer Service and CRM and with end-users leveraging his results-driven, dynamic Customer Experience Management methodology to earn and retain loyal customers. Previously he was a well-known Gartner analyst and created a strategic consulting practice at eVergance.


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