Measuring and Improving Community Performance

Impact Interactions and Edmunds.com at OCBF2009

Impact Interactions and Edmunds.com at OCBF2009

The third session at Forum One’s Online Community Business Forum (OCBF2009) covered measuring community performance featuring Mike Rowland from Impact Interactions and Sylvia Marino from Edmunds.com.

Essentially Mike discussed that measurement breaks down into 3 categories:

  • Traffic – how many?
  • Behavior – what did they do?
  • Value – what did we gain?  (such as revenue, leads, insights, brand awareness, purchase influence, content, etc.)

Mike went on to discuss the difference between traffic and behavior.  Traffic is the function of outreach, marketing and content while behavior is a function of the user interface, feature sets, etc.  Traffic and behavior do not equal value, but they help drive value.

Finally, Mike identified the 4 mistakes that impact community results:

  1. Poor outreach
  2. Too much input
  3. Confused users
  4. Enthusiasts and volunteers

According to Sylvia, Edmunds.com focuses on consumers and not on advertisers, and they rely on several underutilized and underappreciated metrics such as:

  • Registered visitors and guests (and the ratio of registered to guest)
  • % of time spent per session
  • pageviews per session

Sylvia’s recommendation is to sit down with the executive team and tell them why they want to know care about measurement.  Then help them clarify and justify specific objectives for the community and identify metrics that will meet those objectives.

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