We’ve begun accepting nominations for our 2013 Forrester Groundswell Awards, the seventh year we’ve recognized top social marketing efforts.  We use these awards as best-practice examples in our research and presentations, and I wanted to look back and highlight one of my favorite winners from 2012. 

Premier Farnell — an electronics components supplier with $1.4B in 2012 revenue that also operates as Newark in the United States — has a goal to sell to a broader range of design engineers by offering them resources throughout its projects. To do this, the company built a community called element14, which offers resources about all types of electronic design topics and — crucially — does not focus just on products that Premier Farnell supplies. The community has about 120,000 members, and 5% to 7% of them click through from the community to the transactional portion of Premier Farnell's site each day as fully qualified leads. Premier Farnell shows that large corporations can generate substantial new business by offering potential customers vendor-agnostic reasons to visit a new community.

The community also generates new content for the rest of the company's marketing, as 45 experts create a series of new content in the community which provides another reason for customers to return; in fact, a third of the community members return every week.  

They won our 2012 B2B Supporting award, but this year they would have been a strong candidate for our new B2B Social Depth award, based on our new Marketing RaDaR model.  Like this winner, some of the best social reach and social depth solutions are not about just pushing your products and solutions, but solving real problems for your prospects. 

The deadline to submit your entries this year is August 30. I’m looking forward all the great entries!

Premier Farnell element14 community