Stats and Case Studies for Communities from Lithium

Disclosure: I don’t have any relationship with Lithium other than I like their product and how they are taking it to market.  This is not a sponsored post and this information is from my notes and not from Lithium.

If you don’t know Lithium, they are one of the market leaders in the Community space, and have a tremendous momentum right now (81% growth first half of this year).

The presentation had two parts, first was marketing – feel free to go to their web site and look at their video if you want more information on their product.  That is the same video that played at the show.

The second part was a set of slides that contained stats and case studies.  This is the summary:

  • 66% of Internet users participate in communities
  • 96% of Generation Y users are in at least one social network (most tend to be in 2 or more)
  • 58% of Baby Boomers are in Facebook
  • When searching for the top 20 brands in the world, whether in Google or any other search engine, 25% of the results generated are user-created content from communities (yes, blogs are communities)
  • The number of people that dissatisfied users communicate with in this new world has increased by a magnitude of 100
  • The cost of a lost customer is between $50,000.00 and $500,000.00, per executives of different companies interviewed.

Further, a PwC study confirmed that CEO from the Global 2000 organizations are increasingly worried about how to handle communities – it has already reached the executive level.

Finally, three case studies they shared with us with results:

  • Sage, a software vendor, deployed a community for their users and prospects to contribute ideas on how to innovate their products.  They were able to track an increase in participation on their Beta program (resulting in better, more stable, more reliable software being shipped) of almost 300%,  Users felt they own the product and wanted to make sure it represented their quality.
  • FICO created a community for financial matters (Fair Isaac Corporation – FICO – were the originators of the credit score and still one of the largest provider of data related to credit).  In spite of the sensitivity of the data (users are encouraged constantly to not share critical data), they grew into a vibrant and ever-growing community.  From the results they tracked, FICO was able to increase their sales 41% year-over-year after deploying the community.
  • Linksys, a unit of Cisco, launched a community for user-generated support.  SuperUsers and other customers contribute their time to the community to help answer questions.  Linksys was able to disconnect email support (a constant source of complaints and headaches), deflect 1.4 million calls. and save over $100 million dollars in support costs year-over-year.

You have probably also read Natalie Petohouff’s case studies (her blog has them) with similar results and more details.  This is a very important thing as we move to increase adoption of Communities by organizations as it allow us to prepare detailed ROI models that are necessary to make the move to mainstream (OK, I will say it this time and never again – to cross the chasm – there).

4 Replies to “Stats and Case Studies for Communities from Lithium”

  1. Excellent timing Esteban, I was just researching Lithium’s offerings for a project I am involved in and it seems very interesting in the capabilities it provides organizations with. But may I remind you of your own very astute post Technology is NEVER the solution from a few weeks ago? Lithium seems to be an awesome platform, with its real power lies in having the potential to trigger organizational transformation towards greater interaction with and amongst customers.

    Given the history of CRM deployment, though, it is pretty safe to predict that while some organizations will deploy Lithium to its full potential, others will only pay lip service to the SCRM scene and retain their old, fragmented ways.


    1. Great point Haim and frankly I too was thinking on the same lines as I read the blog (apologies Esteban for jumping in to reply to a comment before you did – have always appreciated your one-on-one replies to comments).

      But as I understand Esteban, this is just your summary of what was presented – typically you add your quality critique at the end which most of the times is the icing I wait for.

      Another thought I got as I read this, was around the really impressive turnaround case studies of Linksys etc. – Most of the times the data these summary case studies showcase is too overwhelming for readers to forget assessing the real reason – that it actually might not have been just the software. I’m sure for each of these hugely successful case studies, there must be many others that are not equally successful or possibly near-failures (?). And a deep-dive into each of these might reveal another angle altogether that played an equally important or even more important role – the strategy, approach, end users, an evangelist, implementation team, management commitment etc….

      Anyways, hope I didn’t drag the discussion in another direction – this definitely is a great summary and brings forth some good thoughtful points Esteban, Thanks!


      Sid Mishra


  2. Sid – Thanks for the reply. I was in no way trying to downplay Esteban’s post. I always enjoy reading it and participating in the discussions, regardless of where they lead.

    Everything I know and have seen about Lithium points to it being an excellent tool, friendly looking and well thought. My point was strictly that the same people and organizations that implemented CRM without sufficient thought and planning will be those that implement SCRM, and with all else being equal they’ll put the same level of thought and commitment into it and consequently achieve similar results.


    1. @Haim,

      Yes, technology is not the solution – but is the aid. To that extent, I am fairly impressed by Lithium at first impression due to the story they tell, the results they have, and their approach to market. Despite having good marketing, they are basing their approach to market in the results from many years of working with communities. I am blown away, almost, by the fact that they track 100 different metrics of user involvement in the community. and the flexibility of the tool.

      Alas, I am fearful that some people will, as you say, pay lip service only. However, Lithium is very well invested from what I have seen with their customers and try to prevent this. No vendor is perfect, and I see this as a downfall for early adopters of SCRM who don’t understand the role of technology in a solution.


      Ah, you read my mind. Working on getting that information – but from experience I know it is the hardest to get. Good results? easy. I think it is a great point and something I will be looking for in more detail going forward. Thanks for bringing it up.


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