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
Intercontinental Hotel Group / Communispace
McNally Smith College of Music / Risdall Marketing Group
Walmart SmartMoms Community / Martin Agency and Communispace
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%.
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
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.
Adobe Students Real or Fake
Intuit Social Campaigns
Jeep Experience / Organic
Mad Men Yourself / Deep Focus
Redwood Creek Blaze the Trail / Affinitive
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.
Atkin’s Community / Powered, Inc.
Lenovo Customer Community
Marriott Rewards Insiders / LiveWorld
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.
Adobe Acrobat Ideas / BrightIdea
Hyundai ThinkTank / Passenger
Justin.tv Feedback Forum / UserVoice
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.
Employee and Non-Profit Division
AFLAC Field Force Buzz
American Family Facebook
ArcelorMittal Web TV
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.
CaringBridge.org Online Communities of Care
Boundless Fundraising / Charity Dynamics
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."
Business to Business Division
Communispace created a research community for B2B retailer CDW, which used it to redefine its sales techniques, generating a 17% increase in customer value.
Blurb Inc.’s Killed Ideas / Ammo Marketing
Juniper Networks Fast Track Promotion
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.
Mashup Developer Community / JackBe & Never Stop Marketing
NIWeek Activities / National Instruments
Web & Social Media at Impact 2009 Conference / IBM Corporation
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.
Inbound Marketing University / Hubspot, Inc.
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.
SAP support forums
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.
Chordiant Mesh / Chordiant Software
Thwack / Solar Winds
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.