David 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.