Building B2B
   Communities in a Low
   Trust World




Lou Ordorica                  Social Networking Conference
Senior ...
Agenda

• Business climate, business drivers, and business values


• Case Study:


  • Construct a B2B community for $3B ...
A Challenging
Business Climate

• “Flat is the new growth.”


• “Necessity buying” patterns taking
  hold


• Doing more w...
Business Drivers

• ROI


• Gaining net new business


• Protecting customer base and
  margins


• Filling the pipeline w...
Business Values

• Trust in corporations is deteriorating in the U.S.


• People buy from people they know


   • “This is...
Case Study

• $3B specialty distributor of data networking and phone systems with 1,500
  employees


• Customer base comp...
Business Goals

• Enable resellers to grow their businesses profitably


   • Develop “Silver” level dealers into higher re...
Community Model
Community Model



   physical
    events


   1 per month
   Boot Camps
 Partner Councils
    Customer
Appreciation Event...
Community Model



   physical           +     webinars
    events


   1 per month             8 - 12 per month
   Boot C...
Community Model



   physical           +                        +       online
                            webinars     ...
Building the Community: Describe the Problem

• Who is the executive sponsor? Who are your champions?


• Who are your buy...
Reaching Out to the
Community

• Get guidance from executive sponsors
  and people invested in business goals

   • What i...
Capture the Community Vision

• Clearly articulated, memorable, and easily repeatable


   • “We want the online community...
Selling the Community

• A B2B Community exists for business — customers, profits, productivity


• Make the community rele...
Make the Community Relevant to Executives


           Benefits     Area                         Business Impact




      ...
What Makes a
Business Community?

• Community building blocks are
  the same


  • Identity


  • Belonging


  • Connecte...
Create Business
Community Structures

• Primary audience is C-level
  business executive


• A “gated” community:


   • E...
Create Community
Member Personas
• Personas are fictions rooted in reality


• Describe roles, motivators, pain points,
  t...
Select Tools for the Business Community

• Focus on the building blocks — identity, belonging, connectedness


• Leverage ...
To Brand or Not to Brand?

• Does your company possess brand equity? Protect the brand.


   • Trademarked names of produc...
Build the Community
Plan

• Audience definition — primary,
  secondary, tertiary


• Content — taxonomies that define
  topi...
Drive Participation with Content


           Aggregated tools and      Timely, productive, and
           information cov...
Content Taxonomy


  Community   Category         Name           Description

                                            ...
Establish a Social
Proof
• Follow people and adoption patterns


• Implement structures and processes that
  spur interest...
Market the Business
Community
• Market within the organization and
  externally


• B2B outbound marketing is alive and we...
Measure and Report

• Be sure to tell the stories


• Unsolicited member praise or criticism is gold


• Don’t fixate on ac...
Lessons Learned

• Manage expectations early and often


• Delivering high value content is critical


• Embrace your role...
Thank You

Lou Ordorica
lou.ordorica@gmail.com
@lordorica

Subscribe to my blog:
http://web-achiever.com




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Building B2B Communities in a Low Trust World

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B2B communities exist to help companies attract and retain customers, improve productivity, decrease costs, and more. Learn how to create a trusted business community environment where relationships and opportunities flourish.

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  • Businesses are slow to hire, worried about the economy
    photo: NYC 2009 marathon
  • Photo: Covent Garden
  • According to the 2009 Edelman Trust Barometer, more than 50% of respondents said they trusted corporations less than last year.
  • RMS is run as a P&L center
  • Start with the structures that are currently in place. Leverage!
  • Peter Block writes about the foundation in his book Community: The Structure of Belonging
  • Building B2B Communities in a Low Trust World

    1. 1. Building B2B Communities in a Low Trust World Lou Ordorica Social Networking Conference Senior Community Manager 2010 Reseller Marketing Services
    2. 2. Agenda • Business climate, business drivers, and business values • Case Study: • Construct a B2B community for $3B Hi-Tech distributor • Building the community — methodology • Lessons learned
    3. 3. A Challenging Business Climate • “Flat is the new growth.” • “Necessity buying” patterns taking hold • Doing more with less is the new normal • Margins are under pressure • Work much today harder to earn the same dollars • Weaker companies disappearing • Customers putting off large purchases
    4. 4. Business Drivers • ROI • Gaining net new business • Protecting customer base and margins • Filling the pipeline with qualified leads • Converting leads to paying clients • Achieving market differentiation • Reducing costs and improving efficiencies
    5. 5. Business Values • Trust in corporations is deteriorating in the U.S. • People buy from people they know • “This is a relationship business.” • Success or failure in relationships occurs “one conversation at a time” • Golden Rule deviations usually end in tears Our opportunity: to create a business community environment where trusted relationships flourish
    6. 6. Case Study • $3B specialty distributor of data networking and phone systems with 1,500 employees • Customer base comprised of resellers, VARs, and ISVs • Rebooted marketing organization • Created a marketing joint venture with channel-focused conference organizer in March 2009 • Spending less on traditional marketing and investing in community resources • Hired Community Manager and invested in Telligent community platform
    7. 7. Business Goals • Enable resellers to grow their businesses profitably • Develop “Silver” level dealers into higher revenue producing “Gold” and “Platinum” levels • Double revenue in 5 years • Grow wallet share — and take it from competitors • Gain competitive advantage through innovation and differentiation • Develop high margin professional services business
    8. 8. Community Model
    9. 9. Community Model physical events 1 per month Boot Camps Partner Councils Customer Appreciation Events High Cost
    10. 10. Community Model physical + webinars events 1 per month 8 - 12 per month Boot Camps Cisco WebEx Partner Councils Meeting Center Customer Citrix GoToWebinar Appreciation Events High Cost Medium Cost
    11. 11. Community Model physical + + online webinars community events 1 per month 8 - 12 per month 7x24 Boot Camps Cisco WebEx Private Partner Councils Meeting Center Branded Customer Citrix GoToWebinar Discussion Groups Appreciation Events Managed High Cost Medium Cost Low Cost
    12. 12. Building the Community: Describe the Problem • Who is the executive sponsor? Who are your champions? • Who are your buyers? Partners? Competitors? • What are the “people places”? • Web sites • Conferences • Meetings — physical and online • What keeps your community up at night?
    13. 13. Reaching Out to the Community • Get guidance from executive sponsors and people invested in business goals • What is generating the most calls? • What are the big trends? • Who can speak to issues and opportunities facing the community? • Group and prioritize the resulting list of topics and people • Conduct interviews • Listen generously!
    14. 14. Capture the Community Vision • Clearly articulated, memorable, and easily repeatable • “We want the online community to be your Google — a starting point for information, best sales practices, and networking.” • “Enable our customers to grow their businesses with practical advice they can put to work right away.” • “A tool that brings closer to our customers and partners— one conversation at a time.” • Group brainstorming is best to capture and refine the community vision.
    15. 15. Selling the Community • A B2B Community exists for business — customers, profits, productivity • Make the community relevant to executives. How will the community: • Make it easier to find new customers? • Increase customer loyalty? • Improve employee productivity? • Decrease costs?
    16. 16. Make the Community Relevant to Executives Benefits Area Business Impact Reducing Support Costs • Ask the Experts • Reduce Support Calls • Discussion Forums • Fewer FTEs • Blogs • Decrease OPEX • Wikis • Improve OI
    17. 17. What Makes a Business Community? • Community building blocks are the same • Identity • Belonging • Connectedness • Social capital • Caring for the whole
    18. 18. Create Business Community Structures • Primary audience is C-level business executive • A “gated” community: • Exclusive • Controlled access • Segmented, based on roles — very important! • Managed • Long-term growth
    19. 19. Create Community Member Personas • Personas are fictions rooted in reality • Describe roles, motivators, pain points, trigger words • Use personas to guide editorial decisions — microcopy, too • Example: William Smith is a CIO at a Fortune 500 company. • Priorities: Growth (acquisition / retention), Controlling costs, Improving productivity • Trigger Words: Cover Capital Costs (NPV), Internal Rate of Return (IRR), Payback, Cash Flows
    20. 20. Select Tools for the Business Community • Focus on the building blocks — identity, belonging, connectedness • Leverage mass social media where it makes sense • Survey the landscape — look at competitors • Focus on requirements, but be prepared to wear many hats • Design • User Experience • Usability and User Acceptance Testing
    21. 21. To Brand or Not to Brand? • Does your company possess brand equity? Protect the brand. • Trademarked names of products and technologies • Logos, colors, shapes • No or little brand equity? • Build the community first • Let your customer’s needs dictate choices
    22. 22. Build the Community Plan • Audience definition — primary, secondary, tertiary • Content — taxonomies that define topics and relationships • Data sources • Moderators • Working Groups • Steering Committees • Editorial Calendar
    23. 23. Drive Participation with Content Aggregated tools and Timely, productive, and information covering visible dialogue that helps business functions — sell, people run their Effort quote, configure businesses Repurposed web pages, Market research — best white papers, podcasts, practices, competitive videos covering products analysis, insights and solutions Value
    24. 24. Content Taxonomy Community Category Name Description NPV, IRR, Evaluating Payback, Cash Investments Flows Capital Costs, Business CEO ROI Risk Enablement Management Business Process Improving Refactoring Productivity
    25. 25. Establish a Social Proof • Follow people and adoption patterns • Implement structures and processes that spur interest and growth • Leverage sponsors and existing community base • Roll up your sleeves — this is hard work! • Create interesting profiles for your “starter” members • Start discussion threads, write blog posts, set up wiki pages • Get people interested and excited, and ask for their participation
    26. 26. Market the Business Community • Market within the organization and externally • B2B outbound marketing is alive and well • Leverage communication channels and customer touch points • Email: Newsletters, Email Signatures • Direct Mail, Tele Marketing, On-Hold Messages • Webinars • Tap into existing systems used for digital marketing — SEO, CRM, SEM
    27. 27. Measure and Report • Be sure to tell the stories • Unsolicited member praise or criticism is gold • Don’t fixate on activity — it is not the only measure of business impact • Perceptions matter — be persistent, talk up the community at every opportunity • Enlist champions — people who believe and can convert others • The most useful feedback is rooted in truth. Be open and avoid defensive postures.
    28. 28. Lessons Learned • Manage expectations early and often • Delivering high value content is critical • Embrace your role as a sales person • Expect course corrections, sometimes mid-stream • Guard your time and attention with vigilance • Be courageous and take risks • Leverage will get you to your goal faster and with less effort
    29. 29. Thank You Lou Ordorica lou.ordorica@gmail.com @lordorica Subscribe to my blog: http://web-achiever.com This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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