Voice of the Restaurant Industry
It's good to keep track of what is created over time with hard work, passion and dedication. We at FohBoh have always advocated for the restaurant industry, working hard to deliver on our promise and this will only continue as we move in to 2012.
The FohBoh Milestone Timeline: 2007-2011
Our promise: "To connect, empower, enlighten and engage a large, vital and fragmented industry in an online and global community of practice." Our members from over 180 countries represent restaurant operators, owners, corporate executives, staff, vendors, manufacturers, distributors and service providers who collectively influence much of this industry and have a significant economic impact on our nation's economy. With the help of you, our members, we have achieved this goal. But we're not stopping there.
So, where to go in 2012? Well, more of the same with regard to community building. The slow, inexorable growth of registered members, generative content and shared information. We're especially excited for another #FSMU conference in Chicago September 16-18th with new and original content. Our newsletter that reaches nearly 50,000 a month will continue to grow as will our internal community management team. The community offers every member a treasure chest of connections and content that begs to be shared.
FohBoh, as a social media communications company, has three core competencies: (1) foodservice digital media; (2) social web technologies and; (3) social media customer intelligence. We have become an interesting and unique company with novel capability centered around the foodservice industry as our vertical market of choice. However, what we've learned in 2011 is that consumers don't talk online in "vertical markets silos," people communicate openly and freely on all topics across the web. When our recently patented Customer Intelligence System (CIS) listens to and gathers C2C conversations, we used to parse out anything unrelated to the foodservice/restaurant vertical, then toss it. Now we've realized that we're capturing many useful insights beyond the foodservice industry that is helping us paint a more integrated and interesting profile of the consumer, beyond just what they ate and where they had lunch.
The Lifestyle Data Loop™
We live our lives in a loop. Typically we, as consumers, tend to follow a fairly predictable lifestyle. We travel. We eat - at home and away from home. We visit friends and relatives. We travel on business and check into hotels. We go to movies, concerts and sporting events. We buy stuff - both offline and online. This year alone since Cyber Monday, we have spent more than $31 billion online. Clearly, we shop. Online and offline, again and again. Restaurants + Travel + Hotels + Entertainment + Retail = lifestyle, or the consumer sector of our economy that represents about 2/3 of our GDP. That's huge. It's also the subject of the vast majority of online conversations.
We call this the Lifestyle Data Loop™ because we repeat this activity as consumers, spend our lives here and generate a lot of content on this matter. We generate content here because emotion is involved. Why? It's interesting, discussable and shareable and in many cases, timely and vital. FohBoh listens and interprets vast amounts of C2C conversations taking place online and now we can connect a conversation about a restaurant dining experience with a travel and retail event. Or a hotel, a lunch and a sporting event. We can interpret the Who, What, Where, How, When and even the Why. Why just measure positive and negative sentiment, or just target 1/5th of the lifestyle loop, when you can uncover the exact themes, opinions and drivers of sentiment inside the social media conversation that may begin with food? We think this is important and so should you. Being able to connect the dots and find the meaning of online conversations affects more than just the foodservice industry. It affects our lives in every way. B2B Social web intelligence is a new science and now, it's an industry that we, like many others, are helping to shape. Who ate French fries? Where? What did they say about it? Where were they going next, shopping? To a movie? Which movie? It's all part of the online conversation that we find fascinating and useful and so do our clients.
Please take another look at our timeline above. We are still the original and leading foodservice industry community of practice. We are still a digital media company that delivers solutions to hundreds of manufacturers, brokers, distributors and restaurant operators. We are still very much a foodservice industry company. But beginning in 2012, because the social web tracks our lives and because we are all consumers, FohBoh evolves and grows again to include the Lifestyle Data Loop as the center of our Customer Intelligence System.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! I loved 2011 and look forward to a great and successful 2012 and I hope you do as well.