You may never know or hear from those who wind up passing your name along for business or even actually buying your product or service. They're the watchers or voyeurs for the online communities you built. If you have done those right, you have created a new form of performance art. Your site provides those interested in what you and your business are about with all the theatrical artistry and excitement of Cirque du Soleil.
What the digital posse at Rubicon Consulting collected was data that online communities, which are second only to word-of-mouth in influencing purchases, get their power from those who are there to observe, not participate. They expect the active participants to do all the heavy lifting in sharing information, creating a feeling of being a-part of, and breaking news in real time. They will take all that in, thank you.
Yes, we who create the communities save millions perhaps billions in what used to go into traditional marketing and public relations. The trick, of course, is being effective. Here's insight on that.