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October 28, 2009

Winners of the 2009 Forrester Groundswell Awards

by Josh Bernoff

This will go live just as I'm announcing the winners at the Forrester Consumer Forum. These awards are based on business performance, and with 140+ entries this year, they represent truly outstanding social technology applications. If you want to learn how to do social technology applications with real results, please click through and read these entries -- you're sure to learn a lot. This is a long post, since it includes all 13 winners and the finalists in each category.

Business to Consumer Division

B2C Listening


Intercontinental Hotel Group / Communispace
McNally Smith College of Music / Risdall Marketing Group
Walmart SmartMoms Community / Martin Agency and Communispace


NASCAR Fan Council / Vision Critical

NASCAR and Vision Critical created a community of 12,000 fans and used it to reduce research costs by 80%. NASCAR took the community’s suggestion and changed its restarts from single file to double file, which fans loved. They also improved brand attributes including “thrilling and exciting” and “down to earth” by at least 10%.

NASCAR Fan Council

B2C Talking


Bank of America Morris on Campus / Organic
GoGirl Conversations / Risdall Marketing
HootSuite 2.0 Launch Campaign
MasterCard Brazil “What’s Priceless To You?” / Universal McCann & McCann Erickson
TripAdvisor More Than Footprints Charity Campaign


Lion Brand Yarn Blog and Podcast / Converseon

Converseon identified influential bloggers and social networks dedicated to knitting and crocheting. Entering this conversation, Lion Brand Yarn created a biweekly podcast that generated 15,000 to 20,00 downloads and a blog featuring “knit-alongs” so customers could work on the same project at the same time. This drove impressive ecommerce at the brand site, including people ordering the knit-along projects. Those who visited the company’s social media were 41% more likely to buy at the Web site.

Lion brand yarn

B2C Energizing


Adobe Students Real or Fake
Intuit Social Campaigns
Jeep Experience / Organic
Mad Men Yourself / Deep Focus
Redwood Creek Blaze the Trail / Affinitive


Norton Advocates / Zuberance

Zuberance’s simple yet clever program identifies those who are most likely to promote a product through surveys, then gives them the tools to put their reviews on sites like CNET and Amazon. Using Zuberance’s word of mouth platform, Norton recruited 10,000 of its fans or advocates and helped them to post 1000 reviews on online review sites. Among the amazing results for Norton after this campaign was that its average rating on consumer sites shot up from two to four stars, and its Net Promoter Score doubled.

Norton advocates

B2C supporting


Atkin’s Community / Powered, Inc.
Lenovo Customer Community
Marriott Rewards Insiders / LiveWorld


myFICO Online Customer Community / FICO

FICO, an organization that scores consumers on credit, created a site where consumers can share credit knowledge, experiences, and advice with each other. Because FICO was prevented by regulations from advising customers on how to improve credit scores, it created a community where those customers could help each other. Among the results: a 1% decrease in support costs (costs had gone up 23% in the previous year) and 10% of all support calls are directed to the community, cutting the amount of time CSRs need to spend on the phone. Plus 39% of search engine traffic now lands on a community page, and 13% of all online sales include viewing one of those community pages. Finally, a customer spends on average 66% more after joining the community.


B2C Embracing


Adobe Acrobat Ideas / BrightIdea
Hyundai ThinkTank / Passenger
Justin.tv Feedback Forum / UserVoice


Scholastic Book Clubs Reading Task Force Community / Communispace

Scholastic truly embraced the input of the community in its project to redesign the flyer that is its main vehicle for book sales through schools. Using a community of 200 teachers and 100 parents, the company embarked on a 10 week collaborative process to improve the design of its school flyer. The process generated ideas like including student recommendations and showing interior pages so parents could judge the reading level of the books. Results – the new flyer has already generated a 3% increase in sales in test markets.

Scholastic Book Clubs

Employee and Non-Profit Division



AFLAC Field Force Buzz
American Family Facebook
ArcelorMittal Web TV
Xerox Competipedia


UPSjobs Problem Solved / TMP Worldwide

UPSjobs, a social program created with advertising agency TMP Worldwide, reached 4 million job seekers in one year. It included employee videos of actual UPSers, email, employee retention marketing, college recruitment, search engine optimization, job boards, search engine marketing, and social media sites including MySpace, Friendster, Facebook, YouTube, radio, cable television, text messaging, mobile marketing, and the newspaper. 30,000 responses came from mobile marketing alone. Since January the program has generated 345,000 job applications, at a cost of 75 to 80% less than traditional newspaper ads in many cases.


Social Impact


CaringBridge.org Online Communities of Care
Boundless Fundraising / Charity Dynamics


Flowerdale Bush Fire Social Outreach

Flowerdale, a community in Victoria, Australia, was was devastated by the Black Saturday bushfires. 13 people died, 224 houses were lost. The Flowerdale Recovery Committee used blogs, the video site Vimeo, YouTube, and Flickr in a coordinated social effort to raise money to rebuild the town. Social media has helped build a village in a few weeks, raising over $1.5 million, including donations of goods like cars. It has also been crucial in keeping residents informed, liasing with media and government and maintaining a historical record that the Australian National Library wants to put into the national archive. According to the organizers, "We couldn't have coordinated the 20 organisations involved without the wiki."

Flowerdale Bush Fire

Business to Business Division

B2B Listening


CDW Advisory Board / Communispace

Communispace created a research community for B2B retailer CDW, which used it to redefine its sales techniques, generating a 17% increase in customer value.

CDW Advisory Board

B2B Talking


Blurb Inc.’s Killed Ideas / Ammo Marketing
Juniper Networks Fast Track Promotion


The Conversation / Eloqua

Eloqua, a marketing services company, created “The Conversation, a online sales tool, and promoted it with blogs, Twitter, social networks, and emails. 18-20% of those who participate convert to leads.

Eloqua The Conversation 

B2B Energizing


Mashup Developer Community / JackBe & Never Stop Marketing
NIWeek Activities / National Instruments
Web & Social Media at Impact 2009 Conference / IBM Corporation


UNLEASH 2009, The Mediasite User Conference / Sonic Foundry

Sonic Foundry’s social applications for its 2009 User Conference included online video, Webcasts, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. They created persistent online value from the conference and helped conference attendance, engagement, and satisfaction.

Unleash 2009 mediasite 

B2B Spreading


Inbound Marketing University / Hubspot, Inc.


MetricStream Community / Regalix

Regalix created a community for MetricStream – a regulatory compliance solutions provider. The portal has 500,000 users and generates 30% of the company’s sales leads.


B2B Supporting


NetApp Community
SAP support forums


commonground Global Community For Environmental Professionals / EDR

The commonground community for environmental professionals helped increase EDR’s search ranking and contributed to 93% of its clients rating its service good or excellent.


B2B Embracing


Chordiant Mesh / Chordiant Software
Thwack / Solar Winds


The Archer E-GRC Ecosystem / Archer Technologies

The Archer E-GRC Ecosystem, including both a community and an application exchange, generated 1529 ideas for Archer Technologies' enterprise risk, governance, and compliance business.



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Mark Wallace


On behalf of the EDR and commonground team, we would like to thank you selecting us for the B2B Supporting Award.

We are absolutely thrilled to be recognized by you and the Forrester Groundswell team. It means the world to us.

Thank you again!

Mark Wallace


Will echo Mark's sentiment on behalf of JackBe and Never Stop Marketing. Thanks for motivating us to excellence!


Bryan Smith

congratulations to all the winners...great job, guys!

Erica St. Angel

Sincere thanks to the crew at Forrester for this award. It's a great confirmation of what our team does each day - and the whole program reads like a playbook for how to do social right. Kudos to the entire Groundswell Class of 2009.


Ammo Marketing

We were thrilled to be a finalist amongst such esteemed company.

Congratulations to all the winners and finalists!

-andrew strickman
ammo marketing


Congratulations to all of you. All of you done a fabulous job just keep it up.

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