Earlier this week I did some prep for a roundtable on the ROI of Communities at a conference held by the Canadian Marketing Association, and came across the most wonderful list of statistics, courtesy of Bill Johnston, and compiled by Joe Cothrel. Amazingly, I’d never come across these numbers before, so I wanted to make sure to share them with you.

  1. Community users remain customers 50% longer than non-community users. (AT&T, 2002)
  2. 43% of support forums visits are in lieu of opening up a support case. (Cisco, 2004)
  3. Community users spend 54% more than non-community users (EBay, 2006)
  4. In customer support, live interaction costs 87% more per transaction on average than forums and other web self-service options. (ASP, 2002)
  5. Cost per interaction in customers support averages $12 via the contact center versus $0.25 via self-service options. (Forrester, 2006)
  6. Community users visit nine times more often than non-community users (McKInsey, 2000)
  7. Community users have four times as many page views as non-community users (McKInsey, 2000)
  8. 56% percent of online community members log in once a day or more (Annenberg, 2007)
  9. Customers report good experiences in forums more than twice as often as they do via calls or mail. (Jupiter, 2006)

I also pulled together some fine examples of successful online communities used for pure marketing purposes:

1. Nike+ Runners Community
2. Barbie Girls virtual world
3. Club Pengiun

Earlier thoughts on calculating the ROI of communities can be found here, and I’m also currently working through a bunch of ROI-based stuff that I hope to be able to share with you as soon as it’s gelled. I’ve come across some interesting thinking, so hopefully it will make a good post. Have a great weekend!


  1. Hi Maggie,

    Thanks for the mention. ROI is a topic we are actively researching, and I have just released our research report from earlier this year at http://www.onlinecommunityresearch.com .

    Bill Johnston

Trackbacks for this post

  1. Anne Truitt Zelenka » links for 2007-11-23
  2. Ideas That Spread » Social Media Metrics

Comments are closed.