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There's a lot of questions asked about the measurable business value of social media, and here's a great story -- straight from the customer -- the proves there is substantial value. 

Bill Marriott, the CEO of Marriott International, has been blogging on an Awareness-powered community for about 1.5 years.  He recently appeared on the NBC nightly news to talk about how he blogs (he describes how he writes his blog entry on paper because he doesn't know how to type).  During his interview he drops this little pearl which may go unnoticed by some, but it was the highlight for me:  Marriott says the blog is responsible for over $4M in incremental bookings (that's not a typo -- four million dollars).   How's that for measurable results?

You can watch the video on Mr. Marriott's blog -- he blogged about the video himself!

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Tags: marriott, roi
i saw another article about the success of Marriott's social media efforts.  It's called The Bill Marriott Blog -- Is It a Success?  Some interesting things about the article:
  • It's written by someone focused on travel and tourism with an eye toward the business value of Marriott's social media effort
  • The author initially admits she was skeptical about Marriott's efforts, but now sees it differently and as a success.
  • It is positive about both Marriott's original CEO blog and their new chef's blog 
  • The article mentions how Marriott has actually realized incremental revenue from their CEO blog -- that sure contributes to a positive ROI!
Of course, we're thrilled with this because we built the social media communities mentioned in the article.

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Tags: marriott, roi
I just read a recent article in USA Today about the benefits of communities and blogging for travelers.    It's called "Blogs start a dialog between travelers, those serving them"

The article mentions Bill Marriott's blog, which is often sited as a very successful two-way dialog between Mr. Marriott and his customer base. 

One of my favorite travel-oriented communities is the new one at Flight Centre, the GlobalTravelBlog.  It's really an online community and much more than a blog -- it incorporates wikis, geo-tagging, tagging, photos, video, etc.   The user interface is innovative and very engaging.  I describe it in more detail here

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