Insights On The Tribalization of Business


from the Tribalization of Business website

At the Community Roundtable weekly chat on Wednesday,  Francois Gossieaux of Beeline Labs led a discussion about community participation and shared the results of the Tribalization of Business community survey that he is working on in conjunction with Deloitte and The Society for New Media Research.

One quote in particular stands out from his presentation which is presented below:

Social media is not about a new media channel, it’s about the social taking root in all aspects of business

The other interesting part of the discussion were the four insights that he shared with us about the traits of companies who are successful with their community efforts.

According to Francois’ research, successful companies:

  • Think about “tribes” and not market segments
  • Treat their community as a network and not a channel
  • Are customer-centric instead of company or product-centric
  • Understand what it means to be social

The “tribes” comment resonated a lot with me.  With tribes, group behavior is key –  where in segments, personal characteristics are in charge.  Essentially, it’s about finding groups of people who have something in common based on their behavior and not their market characteristics.

Some of the preliminary results shared by Francois include:

  • Most communities are still owned by marketing (which is a good thing)
  • 35% of the companies are leveraging communities for customer support (which is the one place where customers expect their vendor to participate)
  • 32% of communities do not have a full time employee or manager (which begs the question of how can you engage without participating?)
  • More than 75% of communities are hosting time-based (like webinars) or offline activities (like conferences or meet-ups)

For more insights and information, here is the entire “Early Peak at Tribalization of Business 2009” presentation:

And for social media ‘historians’, here is the presentation which summarizes the 2008 findings and are still very applicable:

You can also find out more information on the Tribalization of Business website.


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