2011: Connie Bensen (Dell) - 5 Steps to Grow the Community Manager Role


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An online community can provide so much more to an organization than just customer support. Connie will provide five steps for creating a business model for your role that will lead to sustainability of the community manager role and career growth.

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  • Challenges – the business doesn’t realize the value of community management
  • Push marketing – 1. timing – hitting buying cycle 2. hitting the buying center 3. is info relevant & does it resonate?Customer-centric marketing has a number of benefits - self qualified leads -
  • 2011: Connie Bensen (Dell) - 5 Steps to Grow the Community Manager Role

    1. 1. 5 Steps to Grow the Community Manager Role • Swarm Sydney, Online Community Manager Conference • November 10, 2011 Connie Bensen
    2. 2. Global Marketing Connie Bensen, Community Strategist • ACD – Digital Image Organization Software (B2C) – Brought a new buying group to the company – Redefined the support forums by creating an advocacy program – Defined the Community Manager Role (Wikipedia) • Techrigy SM2 – Social Media monitoring tool (B2B, B2C) – Evolved tool based on customer’s business needs – Wore many hats in tech startup which grew 840% in 9 months • Alterian (Via acquisition of Techrigy) (B2B, B2C) – Defined 10 use cases for data from social media monitoring – Integration of social into corporate marketing and sales • Dell (B2C, B2B) – Advocacy program for support forums – Mentorship for internal community managers • Blog http://communitystrategist.com 2
    3. 3. Global Marketing Social Media Role is Mainstream • The business unit that it resides in is a variable. • The need for community management is not yet fully realized. 3 • The internal community is the most important (your colleagues). • The external community can’t be supported unless the company culture is prepared to do so. • It is imperative to dedicate time and energy internally in order to grow and expand your role. A Philosophy for Career Growth
    4. 4. Global Marketing Your Future 4 Community Marketing Customer Service Sales Operations PR Product Dev’t
    5. 5. Global Marketing Create a Business Model for your Role 1. Put on a Consultant’s Hat 2. Synthesize Your Concepts 3. Become a great Salesperson 4. Lead 360 degrees 5. Continually Redefine Yourself 5
    6. 6. Global Marketing Definition of a Business Model • A tool used to describe all the touchpoints and impact to the business Needs to include: • Visuals that simplify your message • Resonate with executive pain points • Metrics based on business objectives 6
    7. 7. Global Marketing A Business Model for Your Role 7
    8. 8. Company-centric (old) Buyer-centric (new) Search & find info, links Visit website Download a resource Request a call Describe a project Give spec’s & budget Request a proposal Participate in a demo Identify buyer Send an Email Call prospect Assess the need Determine budget Submit proposal Give a demo Outbound Inbound Paradigm Shift in Buying Cycle
    9. 9. Community Driven Social Business Model Global Community Educate Activate Empower Hosted Communities Social Channels External Communities Partners Keyword Search Mobile
    10. 10. Impact of the Social Strategy Role Sales Funnel PR Social Channels Website Social Channels . . . . . . . . Awareness Business Objectives Return Conversions Up-sell Cross-Sell • Brand Awareness • Marketing • Lead Gen • Product Marketing • Sales • Biz Development • Peer Support • Increased Loyalty • Product Development • Executive • Increased Sentiment • Decreased Spend • Decreased Costs • Shorter Acquisition Time • Increased Revenues • Decreased Support Costs • Faster Time-to- Market • Competitive & Industry Insight . . . . . . .
    11. 11. Global Marketing Be a Consultant
    12. 12. Global Marketing Think Like a Consultant Management doesn’t always realize the value that an in-depth and over-arching community strategy can provide. You can periodically provide a: • gap analysis • identify opportunities and barriers • educate internally • sell your initiatives in order to drive innovation Build relationships in order to execute on the necessary culture shift required to integrate the input from the external community 12
    13. 13. Global Marketing Identify the business objective(s) • % Reduced spend on PR, Marketing & Advertising • % Increase in Sales – % shorter sales cycle – % increase in customer retention • % Reduction in Customer Service Costs • % Reduction Product Development Costs • % Increased SEO Presence • % Increase in Leads from Campaign • % Increase in Brand Visibility 13
    14. 14. Global Marketing Who are the Stakeholders? • What are their challenges and perspectives • What motivates them • What are their fears (keeps them up at night) • What are the competitive threats 14
    15. 15. Global Marketing What metrics are important? Dependent on business objective(s) • Amount of increased conversation • Overlay sales performance on volume of conversation • Number of uses of online content • Number of issues resolved online by peers • Increased customer satisfaction - qualitative • Number of ideas gathered/implemented • Compare previous cycle cost to present • Reduced cost due to beta • Google your brand/product Attribution to social channels is critical. If your efforts are counted in other processes, you won’t get credit. 15
    16. 16. Global Marketing To Be a Successful Consultant Divide your time between: • Working towards existing objectives: Majority of time • Growth initiatives including: –Learning new skills and needs of organization: 5% –Investing in securing new projects: 10% 16
    17. 17. Global Marketing Synthesize your Ideas
    18. 18. Global Marketing Synthesize and Share Your Concepts • Listen • Learn • Communicate Know what works for you. 18
    19. 19. Global Marketing Sell Yourself
    20. 20. Global Marketing Sales = The Art of Closing the Deal • Know what you’re asking for –A pilot or project with measureable results that meets a needed business objective • Identify the objections • Systematically remove them • Make the ‘Ask’ Keep the pilot manageable and measurable so that it’s successful 20
    21. 21. Global Marketing Tips for Success in Selling your Concept • Need to speak the language of the business • Learn your market, positioning and your competitors • Find out who the internal influencers are – Are they willing to champion your project – Are they early adopters – What is their risk tolerance (and that of the business?) • Presentations need to be succinct and high level – Pictorial translation of your meaning • Make sure the objections are not talking points Prepare for the top 10 questions that you anticipate getting. 21
    22. 22. Global Marketing Lead in All Directions
    23. 23. Global Marketing Lead 360 Degrees • Manage expectations up, across and down • Work cross-functionally across the matrix 23
    24. 24. Global Marketing ReInvent Yourself
    25. 25. Global Marketing Continually Redefine Yourself • Learn and ask for assistance • Know your weak points • Gather data from the organization that supports your premises – Use it to convince and convert and depict what you know Example: Q2 – traditional marketing created 125 meetings for sales – 5 deals were closed – Leads from social channels had a shorter conversion time and higher close rate Remember quality versus quantity 25
    26. 26. Global Marketing No Metrics are Ineffective and ‘so what?!’ • Drove market expansion for the company and built a community that included resources, training materials and identification of advocates. • Reinvented the online product forums and engaged six moderators to guide the conversations while encouraging peer support. • Developed and implemented overall community engagement plans based on the marketing strategy for each customer segment. • Defined and implemented the first comprehensive beta program for ACD’s flagship product that incorporated formal paths for gathering participant feedback and product requirements. • Established & built framework for support of communities around the products • Engaged evangelists & provided them with motivation & leadership • Provided & implemented creative marketing solutions • Utilized social media & WOM techniques • Collaborated with product development & quality assurance teams. 26
    27. 27. Global Marketing Metrics – Express yourself in terms of data • Impact versus Tactics – Don’t tell what you did, express it as the impact you made › Not tactics, but rather the change the organization realized and the timeframe – Resume, CV, LinkedIn profile Examples: – Refined corporate blog resulting in 275% increase in subscribers Increased corporate digital footprint by 80% over the past year – Implemented digital marketing strategy resulting in 840% increase in customers and 1400% revenue growth in 9 months – Leveraged freemium model and created self-paced online training materials to scale the demand which resulted in: › shortened the sales cycle from 8 weeks to 3 weeks › 460% increase in freemium signups over 9 months 27
    28. 28. Global Marketing When Philosophies Collide A major change in the business such as a change in leadership or acquisition. You have choices: • Be satisfied with the status quo and maintenance mode (support helpdesk) • You no longer feel that you can initiate change and need to move on Irregardless, it’s important that you are growing your role and preparing for the future. 28
    29. 29. Global Marketing Using the Process • Identify the Business Objectives • Who are the Stakeholders? • Propose a pilot • Sell the strategy and remove objections • If rejected (or not understood), step back • Revisit by planting seeds to build case over time and doing more research • Set expectations with parameters for timeframe and metrics 29
    30. 30. Global Marketing Discussion and Resources Email conniebensen@gmail.com Blog http://communitystrategist.com Presentations http://slideshare.net/conniebensen Community groups: Facebook Community Manager, Advocate, and Evangelist http://www.facebook.com/groups/3553055120/ Community BackChannel http://community.thebrainyard.com Outstanding LinkedIn profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/cinnylittle 30