Jonathan Lumley, Head of Clients, Channels and Markets at immedia, says if community is the focus of your organisation, you have a superpower that can grow your bottom line. For brands, businesses and organisations that have audiences, members or communities, there is no better time than the present to build and leverage a highly engaged audience.

‘Businesses and organisations are fast acknowledging the benefit of owned, highly leveraged communities to their bottom line, but the problem is that many don’t know how to connect their fragmented audiences, nor manage them to the benefit of the business,’ explained Lumley.

Some of the organisations that typically face this problem include public audio and broadcast businesses, as well as organisations that communicate in a private way with their various customers, partners and stakeholders.

Many of these organisations have closed communities, who often resort to using WhatsApp, Facebook messenger or similar to engage with their members, or otherwise they use traditional communication channels like newsletters.

‘This can be frustrating because it doesn’t result in engaged or connected audiences. It can also create delays and closed, one-way communication,’ said Lumley. ‘On top of this, much of the technology used by such businesses and organisations is outdated, and many have yet to harness digital to their advantage.’

He said that digital tools and technologies should be embraced, not feared, as businesses will benefit from the capabilities offered by exciting and modern cloud-based technologies, including data-driven insights.

‘History teaches us that if we are brave and overcome our fear, we are most often rewarded. This is especially so for businesses that understand the key to growth is to build and leverage ‘owned’ digital communities,’ said Lumley, adding that for those with closed communities, it can result in growing ‘your own private social network’.

There is a suite of tools developed precisely to alleviate this frustration for businesses and organisations, allowing businesses to digitise, consolidate and monetise audience engagement easily and effortlessly, which ultimately catapults community-centric businesses into the future by leveraging the opportunity presented by digital.

‘Ignoring the need for connection is simply not an option anymore, and for smart companies with member-driven communities who are ready to take the digital leap and change the way that communities engage, the opportunities are unrivalled,’ concluded Lumley.