In 2011 Leader Networks, a well known social business research and consulting firm, researched and published a list of the top 71 online customer communities –drawing attention to thriving, dynamic, communities that didn’t receive much fanfare due to their focused audiences and limited public exposure. It holds true today that little is known about many of the most vibrant and visionary B2B communities due to their role as competitive advantages and their importance to their company’s strategic mission. In fact some of the most important and innovative B2B communities aren’t visible to the public at all.
The limited exposure of many B2B communities is why the Big List was so valuable as it generated countless conversations and insights into the diverse eco-systems of B2B communities. And, for the record, when we say “online customer communities,” we mean an interactive, often gated, website that a company sets up for customers to collaborate on topics of mutual interest.
We decided that it’s time to revamp the list and dig deeper in the hopes to provide even more nuanced and generative research about the spectrum of B2B communities, and to highlight those that are knocking the ball out of the park.
Cue the 2014 B2B Customer Communities Research Project! Our mission is to collect and share information about B2B community powerhouses and shine the spotlight on these community building heroes. We’ll be compiling another list and following up with the most intriguing communities for case studies.
As community builders ourselves it’s important to us to make the Big List 2.0 as interactive and collective a process as possible, that’s why we’re asking you to fill out the form and share it with your networks. We’ll then analyze and aggregate the data and share our findings back with you, making our research available to you and your team. And, of course, all of your information will be kept strictly confidential. Only a few of the questions are required (like name of community and URL), the rest optional – but remember we can’t showcase your community if you don’t tell us enough! The whole form takes under 3 minutes, don’t worry!
The form will be open until September 4, so be sure to submit as soon as you can. Thank you for your support of this project, we look forward to sharing the results with you soon!
For more on B2B community best practices see these posts:
- Keeping The B2B Customer Satisfied: Why Companies Need Online Communities
- B2B versus B2C: An Online Community Taxonomy
- Spotlight on HDS Community (case study)
- Spotlight on SPS Commerce (case study)
- Spotlight on LexisNexis Law Enforcement community (case study from the archives – posted 2010)