LIFT Presentation

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Presentation on online communities given at LIFT summit in Atlanta. Talks about B2B online communities, personal branding, and how vendors can get involved.

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  • LIFT Presentation

    1. 1. The Evolution of Online Communities:<br />From Knowledge Sharing to Personal Brand Building<br />George Krautzel, Co-Founder and President, Toolbox.com<br />OfficeArrow, LLC. 2009. <br />
    2. 2. Table of Contents:<br />Section 1: Introduction <br />Section 2: Evolution of Online Communities <br />Section 3: How Professionals Are Using B2B Online Communities<br />Section 4: Personal Branding in B2B Online Communities<br />Section 5: Why Vendors Should Start Engaging Now in Online Communities<br />Section 6: Q&A<br />
    3. 3. Section 1:<br />Introduction <br />
    4. 4. Who is Toolbox.com?<br /><ul><li>Mission
    5. 5. Provide an online platform that enables professionals to easily share knowledge with their peers
    6. 6. Existing Communities
    7. 7. IT (11 years), HR (<1 yr), and Finance (<1 yr)
    8. 8. More than 3.0 million unique monthly visitors and 1.6 million registered members
    9. 9. Over 2.6 million pages of user-generated content
    10. 10. Advertising Services
    11. 11. More than 800 advertising partners, including: IBM, HP, Oracle, Microsoft, Dell</li></ul>Toolbox.com Growth – Registered Members<br />Q3 2009<br />1,659<br />
    12. 12. Toolbox.com in the Media Space<br />User-Generated<br /><ul><li> Content is communication, specific appeal
    13. 13. 2-way conversations between friends
    14. 14. Personal experiences, socially driven
    15. 15. Content is communication, specific appeal
    16. 16. 2-way conversations between peers
    17. 17. Personal experiences, best practices</li></ul>Editorial<br /><ul><li> Content is carefully vetted, broad appeal
    18. 18. 1-way conversation from experts to readers
    19. 19. News, consumer interests, and trends
    20. 20. Content is carefully vetted, broad appeal
    21. 21. 1-way conversation from experts to readers
    22. 22. News, case studies, best practices</li></ul>Consumer<br />Business<br />
    23. 23. Section 2:<br />Evolution of Online Communities <br />
    24. 24. Community is Not a New Concept<br />
    25. 25. Usenet <br />Strengths<br /><ul><li>One of the first computer network communications systems (1980)
    26. 26. Precursor of discussion boards, peer-to-peer networking
    27. 27. Organized and categorized for easy knowledge sharing
    28. 28. Significant influence on online culture (coined “spam”, “FAQ”, etc.)</li></ul>Gaps <br /><ul><li>Not moderated
    29. 29. Short binary retention time (although now archived as Google Groups)
    30. 30. No registration, anonymous participation = no brand building</li></li></ul><li>AOL <br />Strengths<br /><ul><li>Made online service available to the masses (30 million users at peak)
    31. 31. Offered a graphical user interface (GUI) instead of command lines
    32. 32. Pioneered the chat room concept
    33. 33. Emphasis on communication with other members as value proposition </li></ul>Gaps <br /><ul><li>Proprietary software/service needed to gain access (“walled garden”)
    34. 34. Repositioned as content provider instead of a community (lost focus)</li></li></ul><li>Facebook<br />Strengths<br /><ul><li>Dominant reach- 250 million active members
    35. 35. Well designed to create member engagement
    36. 36. Wall/newsfeed functionality highlights activity of connections
    37. 37. Various applications for sharing/collaboration
    38. 38. Ability to leverage for B2B and B2C with Facebook Fan Pages</li></li></ul><li>Twitter<br />Strengths<br /><ul><li>Simple communication vehicle – “What are you doing” in 140 characters
    39. 39. Easy way to stay current on news and trends in your areas of interest
    40. 40. Potential to connect with and influence the influencers
    41. 41. Fluid process for “following” and “unfollowing” connections</li></li></ul><li>Section 3:<br />How Professionals Are Using B2B Online Communities<br />
    42. 42. Tracking Social Media Consumption Among Professionals<br /><ul><li>Trend: consistent increase in social media consumption, up to 4.72 hours per week in June 2009
    43. 43. Results from the Toolbox.com/PJA Social Media Index Survey of 3,000+ IT pros in each of the four waves</li></ul>Source: Toolbox.com/PJA IT Social Media Index, Wave 4, June 2009<br />
    44. 44. How and Why Professionals Use Online Communities<br /><ul><li>Increase productivity and efficiency through knowledge sharing
    45. 45. Manage careers
    46. 46. Stay current
    47. 47. Solve problems faster
    48. 48. Research vendors
    49. 49. Make better decisions
    50. 50. Tap into tools for peer collaboration
    51. 51. Personal networks
    52. 52. Blogs
    53. 53. Discussion groups
    54. 54. Wikis</li></ul>Cost-effective, timely, and better solutions<br />Member question<br />Community feedback<br />
    55. 55. Solving Problems – Discussion Group Example<br />
    56. 56. Section 4:<br />Personal Branding in B2B Online Communities <br />
    57. 57. Managing Your Personal Brand<br /><ul><li>Personal branding is “your promise to the marketplace and the world”
    58. 58. Tom Peters, best selling author on business management
    59. 59. According to a recent survey by ExecuNet, the average tenure of an executive with the same company has slipped to 2.8 years
    60. 60. Loyalty to “You” does not have to be in conflict with loyalty to your company
    61. 61. In today’s business environment, proactive career management through active shaping of your personal brand is essential</li></li></ul><li>The Permanence of Participation in Communities<br /><ul><li>“What happens in Vegas, stays on Google”
    62. 62. Scott Monty, head of social media at Ford Motors
    63. 63. While this quote has a negative connotation, the same understanding also creates opportunity
    64. 64. Professionals can leverage this permanence to support their personal brand management through active networking and participation</li></li></ul><li>Reputation Management - Creating Value for Individuals and the Community<br /><ul><li>A clear, logical reputation management system can be a tide that lifts all ships in a professional community
    65. 65. For individuals
    66. 66. Answers “what’s in it for me” and provides a foundation for personal brand management
    67. 67. Increases likelihood of responses to inquiries
    68. 68. Produces the opportunity to leverage the community to vet answers
    69. 69. For the community
    70. 70. Provides incentive for transparency
    71. 71. Increases the quality of contribution</li></li></ul><li>Reputation Management Key Ingredients – Ratings<br />Example: Digg<br />Ratings Systems<br /><ul><li>Easy to use voting system
    72. 72. Community assesses value
    73. 73. Highest rated posts receive the most visibility</li></ul>Ratings Systems in a B2B Community<br /><ul><li>Helps determine the “best” solution to an issue
    74. 74. Provides a quick input to judge the competency of the poster</li></li></ul><li>Reputation Management Key Ingredients – Achievements<br />Example: eBay<br />Achievements Systems<br /><ul><li>Powerful means of rewarding participation
    75. 75. Can be based on quality, quantity, response time, etc.
    76. 76. Feeds the human need of “Everyone wants a gold star”</li></ul>Achievements Systems in a B2B Community<br /><ul><li>Creates a carrot for greater engagement and higher quality
    77. 77. Provides a system to identify high value contributors</li></li></ul><li>Reputation Management Key Ingredients - Profiles<br />Example: Toolbox.com<br />Achievements: <br />Provides a systematic way to recognize high valued contributors, whether it is based on volume, quality, or response time.<br />Participation:<br />Shows contribution from a user that has taken place within the Toolbox.com community.<br />Capability: <br />Online résumé to detail relevant experience, accomplishments, interests, and values. <br />Connections:<br />Lists the community members who are part of a user’s network.<br />
    78. 78. Benefits of Active Participation – <br />Example: Nic Harvard<br />“By participating in an active community, I can benchmark my skills and understand my knowledge gaps. By doing so, I can plan my career path, better position myself for new appointments, and/or understand the greatest value-add ability to a current employer.  At the very least, it allows anyone, no matter where they are in their career, to know what they don’t know.”<br />
    79. 79. Progressing Reputation to Commerce – <br />Example: Ron Fisher<br /><ul><li>Founder of Profiling Solutions, an Atlanta-based company
    80. 80. Transitioned from a consumer of Toolbox.com to a contributor to enhance brand
    81. 81. Benefits of participation:
    82. 82. Builds brand awareness
    83. 83. Positions company as having a deep pool of knowledge
    84. 84. Contributes to top line growth – 20-25% of annual new customer acquisitions come from the community</li></li></ul><li>Section 5:<br />Why Vendors Should Start Engaging Now in Online Communities<br />
    85. 85. Universal Truth in Marketing<br /><ul><li>“Advertising dollars always follow the audience”
    86. 86. Scott Karp, CEO of Publish2, Inc., and various sage marketers</li></li></ul><li>Attitudes About Vendor Participation in Online Communities<br /><ul><li>More than 76% of community members believe it is important that vendors listen to their audience and participate in conversations
    87. 87. Results from the Toolbox.com/PJA Social Media Index Survey of 3,000+ IT pros in each of the four waves</li></ul>Which of the following statements best reflects your attitude about vendor participation in online communities? <br />Source: Toolbox.com/PJA IT Social Media Index, Wave 4, June 2009<br />
    88. 88. The Evolution of Online Marketing<br />Relationship<br />Direct Results<br /><ul><li>Value: Web as a relationship management platform
    89. 89. Primary Goals: Engaging prospects and customers outside of their Web site
    90. 90. Secondary Goals: Lead generation, drive traffic, thought leadership and branding
    91. 91. Measurements: Cost of sales, customer retention, brand penetration and measurements from direct results stage
    92. 92. Marketing Tactics:
    93. 93. Vendor communities
    94. 94. Two-way ads
    95. 95. Messaging connections using trigger marketing
    96. 96. Successful tactics from direct results stage</li></ul>Experimentation<br /><ul><li>Value: Web as a direct results platform
    97. 97. Primary Goals: Drive traffic and lead generation
    98. 98. Secondary Goals: Thought leadership and branding
    99. 99. Measurements: CPL, CPC, brand measurements confirmed through surveys
    100. 100. Marketing Tactics:
    101. 101. Search ads
    102. 102. Lead generation – white papers, webcasts
    103. 103. Branding - IMUs, larger units, microsites
    104. 104. E-mail – list rentals
    105. 105. Value: Web as a promotional vehicle
    106. 106. Primary Goals: Trial a new media concept, gain eyeballs, build brand and drive awareness
    107. 107. Measurements: Cost per impression
    108. 108. Marketing Tactics:
    109. 109. Branding – buttons, banners
    110. 110. E-mail – newsletters, list rentals</li></ul>2004-2009<br /> 2010-2015<br />1996-2003<br />
    111. 111. Impact = Site visits/leads<br />Effort = Funding<br />Marketing ROI – Traditional Campaigns<br />Traditional Campaigns<br />With traditional campaigns there is a direct relationship between funding and results – once a campaign is over, that activity usually ceases (landing page visits, etc.).<br />VALUE<br />TIME<br />Source: Pauline Ores, IBM<br />
    112. 112. Impact = Relevance and engagement<br />Effort = Funding<br />Marketing ROI – Online Community Campaigns<br />Social Media Impact<br />Social media marketing requires continuous, steady investment to build and manage the network, with eventual value created as the network grows and becomes self-sustaining.<br />VALUE<br />Marketing through an online community allows advertisers to quickly engage and make an impact with their target audiences.<br />TIME<br />Source: Pauline Ores, IBM<br />
    113. 113. Creating a Beachhead Within Active Communities<br />About Section: <br />Provides an overview of the vendor, as well as links to allow community members to quickly connect with or contact the vendor.<br />Connections:<br />Lists the community members who have expressed their interest in engaging and staying current by creating a connection with the vendor.<br />Vendor Assets: <br />Prominently displays the vendor’s information assets, including white papers, webcasts, product demos, news, PR, and more. <br />Participation:<br />Shows related postings by the vendor within the Toolbox.com community.<br />
    114. 114. To Start, Devise a SMART Strategy<br /><ul><li>Do not start without a basic strategy, execution should come second
    115. 115. Test, listen, engage, and learn
    116. 116. Like personal brands, in communities your company’s brand is being formed with or without your participation — actively shape it</li></li></ul><li>Section 6:<br />Q&A<br />
    117. 117. Contact Information <br />George Krautzel<br />Toolbox.com Co-Founder and President<br /><ul><li>My profile on Toolbox.com: http://it.toolbox.com/people/george_krautzel
    118. 118. My profile on Twitter: </li></ul>http://twitter.com/georgekrautzel<br />

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