The community in question was The Customer Collective. And since you're reading a TCC post at this moment, you can perhaps guess how things turned out. But at the time, a happy ending seemed anything but assured.
The Oracle CRM-on-Demand marketing team was composed mostly of demand-generation - not social media - experts, and they were among the smartest people we've ever worked with. They took a significant gamble and convinced their management that although the leads had only recently begun to trickle in, the ability of a collaborative blog platform to tap into the networks of trust surrounding the bloggers themselves would greatly improve Oracle's ability to bring in new contacts for their sales teams.
Oracle decided to renew its commitment to the community and the site, and made significant incremental investments throughout the year. The results speak for themselves:
• September 2009 registered members: 8,645
• Top lead generating single content assets:
o Webinar on 1,560 leads
o Ebook on selling through recession by industry: 768 leads
• Average daily unique visitors: 1,547 (over 2,000 Monday through Friday)
• Newsletter list: 7460
• Opt-in List: 4008
Oh, and we should mention, that in February 2008 The Internationalist Magazine awarded Oracle's agency its Gold Medal Award for "Innovation in Media."
We found this client relationship to be particularly stimulating and creative: in its collaborative phase the brainstorming led to significant insights for our own business and drove us to ever higher levels of marketing execution. We learned a great deal about how to create strong and compelling content, how to test, and how to make lead generation win-win for all our clients--meaning both Oracle and our members. It was exhilarating. And bracing.
But we've recently learned that Oracle wants to move on and will no longer be the enabling sponsor for TCC. We greatly appreciate Oracle's and its agency's two-year commitment to our project. The Customer Collective wouldn't be what it is today without their support. And let's face it, you don't need to watch Mad Men to realize that two years is a really long time in advertising.
Meanwhile The Customer Collective continues to grow and attract new visitors and community members. While many online communities sputtered during the turbulence of the Q1 crisis, TCC trended upward from 8,057 unique visitors in January, doubling to a record 16,515 in September. And total page views zoomed from 143,800 in January to 257,925 last month.
We continue to work with Oracle on a new collaborative blog project: WealthManagersLeague, focusing on investing and financial management. Here at the The Customer Collective, meanwhile, with our broad network of sales, marketing and social media bloggers like Augie Ray, Dave Brock, Tibor Shanto, trust expert Charles Green, Ardath Albee and others you see on our blogroll, we're excited about adding more value to the conversation and getting to the next level with new partners and projects.