The Economy of Reputation: How Social Networking Can Improve Performance


Marketing Focus Groups
Anyone who has ever hired a marketing firm to assemble and conduct a focus group, or who has assembled and conducted their own knows that it is a costly and time-consuming proposition. However, communication with current and potential clientele is important. In fact, one may say it is a marketing organization’s prime directive. The cost of focus groups is also often a barrier to entry for smaller organizations. However, the creation of ‘Affinity Communities’ around certain subjects can literally give you a ‘focus group in a box’, so to speak.

Food & drug companies have led the way in this new approach, with gaming and entertainment companies running closely behind. Once you have a pre-qualified community built up (meaning they joined because of an affinity with the subject matter), you can offer surveys, contests and all manner of activities that enrich your community (can anyone say buzz marketing?) while providing yourself with all kinds of metrics to allow you to strengthen your margins, build better products and more resonant messaging all in one fell swoop.

That’s only a few of the possible uses for a Social Networking platform within an enterprise situation. If you think about Socnet as ‘matching people with people, places and things’ ala an Object Oriented Programming (OOP) view of the datasphere, I’m sure you too can come up with a lot of different uses for matching and networking.

Happy networking.


  1. Excellent article laced with soem really good points. I’ve always thought that applications like MySpace were simply the tip of a very large iceberg.


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