Message Boards - The Missed Opportunity of Marketing

Thread Title:
Message Boards Missed Marketing Opportunity
Thread Description:

Theres a lovely short post over at adverblog on one of the great missed opportunities of online marketing: The message board.

I agree with the general principle that communication with clients via forums and other social media is a massive missed opp for most companies - in the post, they talk about fixing a customer problem: The guy complains about the product, then gets a nice response saying "right! I'll talk to our design guy about that and come back to you ok?" - It's the little things that count.

If a company is seen to take swift action on customer problems, and to take customer suggestions and feedback seriously it inspires confidence in all who witness the exchange. In the context of a message board, that exchange can be refered to again and again by linking to it in future cases. How could interacting with your customers and being actively involved with them possibly be a bad thing?

Also, there's the benefit for search marketing, thousands of highly specialized search terms in the titles of your pages, and the noticeable benefit dynamically grown and organic looking site content provides. Ok, so that's pure(ish) speculation on the boost to rankings but im not the only one to have remarked on this lately, Mikkel has also said he's noticed it and so have a few others around the community.

So what do you all think, is there ROI in communities?