Community Spending on Agency Side on the Rise?

Picture 219David Deal of Avenue A | Razorfish sent me a copy of the Digital Outlook report (you can register for it here), (update: it’s available without registration here) it contains many of their findings from the past year, future predictions, and even has some excerpts from Forrester Reports. The scope is on interactive marketing, so it includes elements of social media, search, mobile, verticals, media, etc. I found the digital PDF version difficult to read, so they sent me a print version.

No way is this an endorsement for their interactive firm (If you want to learn more about the connected agency go read colleague Peter Kim) but I find it interesting that they published their billings (revenues) and broke it down by category.

From 2006-2007 “Community” shot up 34 million to 55 million an increase of 61%. If you look at that trajectory it was the fastest growing billing for their firm in the last 4 years.

At one time in my career I considered working at a PR or Interactive agency, and I told them that I thought they should be increasing their billings on social media at 20% for nearly every account.

Take a look at the list of companies that came last night, there were quite a few that had dedicated roles focused on community and social media.

Although we defined Online Community as: An online community is an interactive group of people joined together by a common interest, many executives have a hard time understanding the fluffy term community (“conversations” is far worse btw). so here’s how I translate it: Companies care about their marketplace. Also, customers are important. Since a group of customers is a community, a community is actually another word for marketplace. If you care about customers or your marketplace, you’d ought to care about community.

Now only if my bank account looked like that chart.

  • Very interesting, but I don’t actually see “community” on the chart above. Which of the four categories does it fall under?

    Also, you have a typo “from 2006-2006” I assume this is 06 to 07, but thought you’d want to update the post for clarity.

    – Sean

  • Right, I had the wrong chart up, refresh

  • I borrowed from Peter Drucker and came up with “The Practice of Community”. I think we can draw heavily from parallels to Drucker to help executives get a better understanding of how community is going to affect their business.

  • Cool Graph, I wonder about the statistic outside USA as for example in Canada. This is probably an overview of the what is comming up here.

  • Curious that community is treated as ‘vertical’ outside of what I’d call proper verticals? (ie healthcare, entertainment, etc). I thought vertical communities were the way ahead (outside of B2C anyway).

    I’d better read the report…

  • Yes, these are just US figures. We don’t aggregate our international numbers similarly as yet. On a related note, the report includes several articles on Social Media and Social Influence Marketing as well. (Disclaimer, I work for Avenue A|Razorfish and contributed to the report).

  • Update: by popular demand, Avenue A | Razorfish (my employer) is now making the 2008 Digital Outlook Report available registration-free here: http://www.jefflanctot.com. Thank you to everyone in the blogosphere who challenged us to do so. You are correct.

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