The biggest challenge I see now is that communities used to be considered a strategic initiative. And we’ve sort of fallen back into thinking of them as a marketing program. Many times, communities are being used to broadcast information, as a marketing tool or tactic, and not as an opportunity for relationship-building.
Part of it is the tools are much easier and cheaper to build. So organizations can stand one up from a tool basis quite cheaply, and not pay heed to some of the human relationships and processes that need to be in place to make them successful.
But due to the current failure rate and some of the challenges in the industry, we’re coming back to the future, as the saying goes. Organizations are now starting to say, “Hey, communities aren’t a tool. They’re part of our strategic footprint, part of our customer and partner relations” and are giving them the strategic and operational attention they require to succeed.