Invest in community. The end.
Ok it's not quite that simple, but not investing in community creates the very situation where a lack of investment becomes 'justified'.
When organizations fail to invest time and resources into community, it creates an environment in which community isn't fully understood. When community isn't fully understood, its difficult (or even impossible) to measure it. Without measurement, its impossible to grasp the impact that community can have on the organization. And then right back to the start, where organizations don't make the necessary investment because they can't see the impact of community.
And thus we're left with a self-fulfilling prophecy for not investing in community. For many companies, a thriving community can and will be their single greatest asset, but it takes time to nurture and grow a community to the point of being able to understand this in pure numbers.
For many companies, community can also be a bit of a prisoner's dilemma. Take two companies, with relatively equal products and pricing, but one has a thriving community of fans and support around it. Which are you more likely to pick when making a purchase choice?
For those of you looking to convince your CEO's, CMO's and other executive leadership to invest in community, I've found it incredibly helpful to present as a cycle that must be broken before the benefits can come.
Break the cycle, invest in community. Or your competitors will, and you won't realize your mistake until its too late.