Mark Yolton - Nurturing and Growing Global Communities: the SAP Example


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SAP is one of the world's largest companies, and their user community is enormous, spanning a diverse range of industries in nearly every country. Perhaps surprisingly, SAP's community has been at the forefront of embracing gamification, using it to drive extraordinary customer loyalty and engagement. Join this fast-paced session by SAP global head of Digital, Social, and Community Marketing Mark Yolton as he discusses the unique opportunities and challenges in creating and sustaining customer engagement around the world.

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  • Based in Germany with a worldwide presence 40 years ERP  Mobile, Cloud, Analytics, Big Data
  • SCN is a 10-year old, mature community:ExternalDiverseOrganic growthWe have a dedicated “Collaboration team” that works w/ members to encourage quality contributions
  • We’ve used game mechanics for years before the term “gamification” became mainstream Our reputation management system is an important way to maintain quality content on SCN and sustain a vibrant community. We are constantly evaluating and updating our incentive system to incorporate best practices
  • Prior to 2013, we used a number of game mechanics to influence behavior in the community, including:Badges and Certificatesfor levels of contribution to SCNMember of the Month recognitionParticipation and recognition at events (SAP Mentors, SCN Topic Leaders)Quality content featured prominently on SCN – “Popular Content” widget based on # of views, ratings, likes, bookmarks.While all of this is good, we saw opportunities to improve SCN and stay Best-in-Class…
  • Like many online communities, we are constantly working to encourage the right behaviors while maintaining a high quality of content and interactions.(Click for 1st build)With 2 million monthly visitors, we experience the same challenges that many of you likely do in your communities. This includes:Declining visitor engagementAvg monthly visitors has grown to 2 million, but the % of visitors who log in and engage in the community has been decreasing. Decline can be attributed in part to our improved SEO – ie, people search on Google, get what they need and leave without logging in. Members overly focused on points, and “cheating” to get points We’ve seen an over-emphasis by some members on simply “going for points” volumeSome orgs were measuring employees’ performance based on volume of SCN points. This led to 2 negative behaviors:Poor quality contributions just to get points; andPoints cheating (eg, setting up a duplicate account just for “liking” and giving reputation to yourself).(Click for 2nd build)Opportunity We wanted to turn these challenges into an opportunity to re-invigorate our members to contribute – even those who are usually “standby observers”. To shift the focus from “getting points” to positive contributions, we are introducing Missions which represent a variety of activities and contributions – eg, providing feedback on content, writing blog posts, being considered an influencer. These new Missions are intended to encourage feedback as to the quality and value of someone’s contributions.Our Missions are designed to highlight engagement and provide badges to indicate the types of contributions and topics of interest…not just total points.(Click for 3rd build) We hope these new elements will result in:An even more dynamic, engaged communityIncrease in quality as well as quantity of contributions – including those who are typically “observers”Improved reputation information, which will make it easier to identify and connect to topic experts
  • Our new program uses badges, status levels, and reputation as a motivator to grow the engagement of our community members. Badges will be based on a variety of Missions – not just on creating content, but exploring the community, engaging with others, and having a positive influence on other membersThe new system will also recommend the Next Mission to encourage users to reach the next levelIn that same spirit, we will also have more status Levelsto incent users to progress upwards and build their reputationAll this new activity will be reflected in the Reputation Tab in each member’s profile for other users to seeYou will also be able to compare how you rank vs. your followers, the people you are following, and the community as a whole
  • Here are some exampleMissions we’ve just launched on SCN We wanted to have a range of activities to represent different levels of engagement These are categorized into 4 areas: Explore, Engage, Create, and Influence You can see it’s not all about just creating content like blogs or discussions. We’re encouraging all types of activity, eg:First Steps = Baby-step activities to get folks engagedReady, Set, Go! = Meant to help members discover the Jive platform and learn to make easy contributions and give feedbackStoryteller = Writing quality blogsInfluencer = Earning reputation from others (eg, they follow your content, share it, etc)As I mentioned, there will also be self-challenges to reach the next level in progressive missions (via recommended “Next Mission”) We had over 20 different missions at launch, with more coming
  • Through gamification we can give users a self-guided path to “enlightenment” (Click for 1st build) This progression is analagous to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (Click for 2nd build) Another analogy is the “evolution of humans” – evolving into a sophisticated being(Click for 3rd build) Here is how we can step members up from initial registration through to being a community leader:Once a new member registers, they can participate in onboardingmissions to understand how to engage in the community. After they have been onboarded, they can begin to interact and collaborate with others. As they start to become known, they gain recognition and followers, earning higher levels of badges, and badges for specific areas of interest. They can see where they stand in leaderboards, and what they need to do to surpass other’s levels. They are challenged to share their knowledge through answering questions, writing blogs, and sharing personal experiences. Once they’ve achieved all of this, they are encouraged to “pay it forward”, giving to others who are just beginning their journey in the community.
  • Know your audience and what they valueMust always be customer-centric for gamification to succeed, since it impacts the heart of your community interactions Tie your vision to business goalsHaving a “true north” will keep you on track and help to make the tough decisions Involve community members in the processWe give project updates on SCN and other formal/informal channels to keep people informed of our plans. This allows us to get feedback and test the community’s reaction so we can adapt as necessaryInclude community members in the processWe’ve incorporated our members throughout, including testing, go-live and post-launchRemember that launch is just the beginning – we will continue to make updates based on member feedback and behaviorsGive the project team time and “space”Our project team consisted of both internal (SCN and SAP IT) and external (Bunchballand Jive) stakeholders in multiple countriesThe whole team had a week-long meeting in person which was very helpful in building relationships and making the rest of the project run smoothlyLeverage Design ThinkingWe are big believers in Design Thinking (Hasso’sd.School at Stanford) and applied those techniques to this project, eg:Brainstorming requirements with customers & vendorsDocumenting everything and make easily accessibleSeeking constant feedback from team to check validityTracking behavior post-launch for continuous improvementHave an open mindIt’s natural to resist certain ideas because “that’s not how we used to do it” - especially if you’ve been successful with a certain approachKeeping an open mind will create new opportunities your team may not have thought aboutInject PlayfulnessBoth in your team, and how it’s reflected in the Community
  • Mark Yolton - Nurturing and Growing Global Communities: the SAP Example

    1. 1. Mark Yolton | SVP of Digital, Social, and Communities at SAPGSummit San Francisco 2013Nurturing and Growing Global Communities:The SAP Example
    2. 2. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 2About SAPThe world’s leading provider of enterprise application software232,000customers180+countries65,667employees€16 Billionrevenue
    3. 3. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 3Digital, Social, and Communities at SAPDigital Social Communities
    4. 4. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 42 millionunique visitors each month57 milliontotal visits in 20129,200active bloggers5,000+discussion threads per day400+discussion topics160 millionpage views in 201246net promoter score (NPS)SAP Community Network (SCN)700+community moderators
    5. 5. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 5Evolution of Gamification on SCN2003 2005 2009 2011CommunityModeration100KMembers2007TopContributorsAnnualContest Badges forLevels2013LaunchGamification ModuleCelebrate SCN 10thAnniversary!Member of theMonthU.N.World FoodProgramGamifiedSAP TechEd2011:• JaneMcGonigalKeynote• KnowledgeQuestAsk theExpertsPointsIntroducedSAPMentorProgram12 MonthRollingPointsNew SCNPlatform
    6. 6. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 6Why Gamification on SCN?Knowledge, Reputationand RecognitionPointsBadgesSAP MentorsActivitiesLeaderboardsOriginal intent:• Facilitate technical/platform success throughcollaborative problem solving• Empower the community to help each other vs. SAPproviding all the expertise• Enable learning through knowledge sharingPrimary Outcome:• Use points system and other game techniques toencourage knowledge sharing by rewardingmembers“Bonus” Outcomes:• Members build their professional reputations• Experts & thought leaders are easily identifiedBehaviors
    7. 7. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 7Rewards and Recognition on SCN in 2012Member of the MonthQuality ContentFeatured on SCNRecognition at Live EventsBadges for Contribution
    8. 8. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 8Why Implement a Modern Gamification Module?ChallengeDeclining visitorengagementMembers overly focusedon points - quantity overqualitySome members cheatingto get pointsOpportunityEncourage participation bymaking it easier, fun andvaluable to connect withothersIntroduce missions that focuson community behaviors andrecognize quality and valueDesign missions that highlightengagement and providevisual badges (vs. just totalpoints)Desired OutcomesA more fun, exciting,dynamic communityIncreased quality andquantity of contributionsfrom both activemembers and “standbyobservers”Improved reputationinformation; Easieridentification of topicexperts
    9. 9. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 9New and Improved Gamification to Increase Engagement(1 of 2)Badges• Based on Missions• 20+ Badges at launch• System recommends“Next Mission” to reachnext level• More status levels todemonstrate attainableprogress• Detailed “Reputation Tab” ineach member’s profile• How you rank vs. yourconnections*Screenshots subject to change
    10. 10. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 10Example MissionsExplore Engage Create Influence*Screenshots subject to change
    11. 11. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 11New and Improved Gamification to Increase Engagement(2 of 2)OnboardingCollaborationRecognitionHealthyCompetitionSelfExpressionAltruismMaslow’s Hierarchy of NeedsMaslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
    12. 12. © 2013 SAP AG. All rights reserved. 12Key Learnings Know your audience and what they value…focus there Tie your vision to business goals Involve community members in the process Give your project team time and “space” to experiment and evolve together Leverage Design Thinking approaches (“audience-in”) Have an open mind to changing the status quo Inject playfulness!
    13. 13. Game On!
    14. 14. Thank youMark YoltonSVP, Digital, Social, and CommunitiesSAP