Why a blog and why now?
Communispace needs a clearer voice! We’ve done a good job of sharing our experience with clients, but we haven’t done as well getting our ideas and opinions ‘out there’, despite our $1MM annual budget for research. Traditionally we have used our press outlets, white papers and studies, but a blog is the best way for us to start a real conversation with customers. Also, we want to add to the conversations already out there, and we are going to be as open and original as possible.
Are you excited to have a voice?
Oh, it won’t just be my voice. We’ve got about a dozen employees who will be blogging, and I agree with the opinions of about half of them (just kidding, just kidding).
Who do you want to read your blog?
Anyone and everyone. We’re all living in transformational times. We want to connect to others with ideas: small companies, individual players, academics, large corporations, you name it.
Do you feel that you have a lot to say to large corporations?
Actually, I think large corporations know a lot more than people give them credit for. Our clients are mostly large companies and they are amazingly adventurous and creative. We hope some of them will be guest bloggers because they are inspirational.
What’s the most interesting research your team ever did?
That’s a tough one… This year, we won an ESOMAR award for Best Paper for our work in creating trust and engagement in an African-American community. And we got great coverage for research we published on engaging Hispanics online. There was also a lot of buzz when we found that small is the new big: that in a community of 4000 people, fewer people participate than in a community of 400.
What’s the biggest myth about Communispace?
Some people think we’re a small start-up with a team in a basement. Actually, we have 210 amazingly talented people with a wide variety of backgrounds. Our people are a huge part of our success.
You are really passionate about Communispace, aren’t you?
Of course, but especially these days because it’s a terrible time for companies to lose touch with their customers.
What are your other passions?
Baseball! I have a collection of signed baseballs, and binders of cards for every team since 1983. We have a lot of fans at Communispace. We all love customer data – and I suppose we love baseball because it’s a data-rich sport.
You are also on Twitter ( @communispaceceo).
Oh yes. It’s one big virtual cocktail party, and I am learning a lot, including how to use Twitter in our clients’ communities.
Why are you looking sideways in your photo?
I was talking to Rocky Prozeller, our Youth Expert (and one of our bloggers) about the latest episode of 24. That topic always gets my attention.
Any final thoughts? Lessons you’ve learned over the last decade of working with communities?
As I recently told Aaron Strout for his blog, Citizen Marketer, I’ve learned that:
- Community size (number of members) is overrated as a metric
- It’s not an impression if it doesn’t make one
- It is amazing what people will tell you if they think you are willing to hear them
- Listening is a really underrated marketing strategy.
- My daughters have no desire to be my Facebook friend.