Some industries will be impacted more than others and with community being the ‘new hot thing’ perhaps we have to prove ourselves even more at this stage.
I suspect that we’ll have to double down and work hard on the things that will bring real value and impact, otherwise community will run the risk of not being seen as important enough (and lose our budgets.
Things will get tighter. Budgets and headcount are going to shrink for a time. Accept it now. Plan for next year assuming you’ll get nothing new (but still fight for it).
Companies will be actively looking for solutions that scale. This gives community builders a nice advantage, as our work scales well! Lean into involving your community in expanding your programs.
Existing customers will be more important. You can see some of that in this survey that Gainsight conducted. Getting people to sign up to pay for new things will be hard, so efforts will go towards retaining customers and getting them to upgrade. Again, good news for community builders as our work can be really powerful for success and retention.
You’ll really have to show your work. I don’t foresee the community boom disappearing, but I do think companies will be looking more closely at what the exact benefit you’re delivering is. Go read The Indispensable Community. Dig through Commsor and CMX for pieces on measurement and ROI. Align your programs with company goals and measure them.
Don’t freak out. This is going to be a scary time, and I don’t want to minimize how hard it will be on some. But recessions end, and community can be even more deeply valued when times are tight. Keep focused, measure your work, and build your network in case the worst happens. We will get through this together.