Community Marketing: Definition and 4 impacts

Written by Yuya Takada, Founder & CEO at Commune

In recent years, “community marketing” is a marketing method that has been gaining attention across BtoB and BtoC companies, regardless of industry.

But what is the essence of it?

For what purpose should we work on it? In this article, we will discuss the definition of community marketing and how it can be applied to your business.

In this article, I would like to introduce the definition of community marketing and the four main purposes for implementing it in a company.

The Definition of Community Marketing

Community marketing, as the name suggests, is a marketing method that utilizes user communities.

In general, it refers to the use of “communities of existing customers” for marketing purposes.

The term “community marketing” is also used as an umbrella concept for both online and offline community initiatives.

The term “community touch” is also used in a similar sense. I would say that community touch is often used by BtoB SaaS companies, while community marketing is used by companies that provide BtoC services.

The important thing about community marketing is that it is a method of marketing. In other words, if “building a community itself is a goal / objective”, it is not community marketing by definition.

The goal is to create value for your company and your business, and providing a community that is beneficial to users is a means to an end.

4 impacts of Community Marketing

There are four main purposes for which community marketing, especially online community marketing, can be used by companies.

1. User Insight


The first purpose of community marketing is to obtain user feedback by taking advantage of the close proximity between companies and users.

Conventional research activities have mainly involved sending out questionnaires to panels or conducting face-to-face interviews, but community utilization has advantages in the following ways



  • Surveys that used to take a lot of time and effort can be done quickly and simply, like chatting with a friend.


  • Real insights and feedback can be obtained from casual, two-way conversations among users, rather than questions and answers as in surveys.


  • With traditional customer surveys, it is difficult to ask the same people intermittently, but with communities, you can target and ask questions as needed.

An international apparel company that uses Commmune has succeeded in reducing research costs by about 50% and accelerated the acquisition of effective feedback.

Nagi Spirits Co., Ltd, which operates Ramen Nagi, operating a community for the purpose of effectively obtaining feedback and ideas from customers who visit the store, says “A user community that has realized the effect of sending customers and effective product development”.

2. Improve User Engagement, Boost Customer Lifetime value


If the community experience enhances the overall user experience, the community itself can play the role of a loyalty program and improve user engagement.

For example, Kagome Corporation is working on a fan community called “&KAGOME,” which provides a place for users to share how to grow tomatoes and share delicious recipes.

This is being operated with the aim of turning ordinary users into loyal customers and keeping them loyal, and the purchase amount of core users is 1.4 times that of ordinary users.

USAC system, one of the leading RPA software providers in Japan, uses Commmune to provide meaningful information that can be used for the user’s RPA operations more effectively than conventional communication such as email newsletters, and that it can lead to increased engagement by bringing users closer together.

USAC realized significant customer churn rate improvement, from >10% to 7%, thanks to their community.

3. Work as media channel to effectively acquire new customers


Community content can function as an asset with media value if the interactions between users in the community and the interactions between users and companies can become attractive content that attracts non-customers.

For example, at Base Food Co., Ltd. users share recipes with each other in the community. The community is partially open (anyone can view it), and this creates a marketing effect that attracts the interest of people who have not yet tried BASE FOODS products and encourages them to try them out.

When engaging in community initiatives for this purpose, you have to be careful about the time frame required for value creation. Since the first priority is to establish the value provided to users as a community and to accumulate content, it should be understood that at least about six months is necessary.

4. Reduce customer support cost by leveraging users’ knowledge


Sometimes users are more likely to be knowledgeable about your product.


The goal is to reduce customer support costs by allowing users to ask questions in the community, and users to answer them.

In addition, the accumulated content can play the role of a help center, providing the value of resolving questions before they are asked.

In fact, 80%~ of questions are asked by multiple users.

A leading project management SaaS provider uses Commmune and enjoys 20% reduction of questions from users per year.