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How to Build an Enterprise Online Community


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How to build an Enterprise Community was the discussion I lead at PodCamp Boston 2009 conference. This presentation exposes the 12 stage model for enterprise community building strategy.

Published in: Business, Technology

How to Build an Enterprise Online Community

  1. 1. L E A D E R NETWORKS How Can You Build Community For The Enterprise? Vanessa DiMauro CEO, Leader Networks & SNCR Fellow Podcamp Boston August, 2009
  2. 2. L E A D E R NETWORKS Framing Questions • What is different about enterprise communities (vs. consumer communities)? • How do you build a community for the enterprise? • What are the models? • What does the building process look like? • What are critical success factors? • What can go wrong? • What do you want to add?..... Copyright © 2009 Leader Networks 2
  3. 3. L E A D E R NETWORKS Three General Community Models B2B B2C Hybrid Select, narrow target Open call, all interested audience Tiered membership Member directed Acceptance criteria Consensus/Trend driven Public forum Protected dialog Public forum w/ private area Big bang Facilitated discussion Thought leadership Moderated discussion (responsive) Managed topical agenda Ad generated support Hybrid Revenues Sponsor supported and sometimes member fees 3 Copyright © 2009 Leader Networks
  4. 4. L E A D E R NETWORKS 12 Step Process Overview  Create Vision  Target & Segment Audience  Query Potential Members  Build Value Proposition  Architect Business Value Justification & Measurements  Benchmark Competition & Best of Breed  Determine Brand Positioning  Design Features & Functionality  Engage a Beta Group  Launch with Finesse  Manage Risk  Evolve Copyright © 2009 Leader Networks 4
  5. 5. L E A D E R NETWORKS Good Enterprise Community Strategic Planning: Create Vision What does the What do community business need for members need the community to from the community be successful? to get value? Begin with the end in mind Find the overlap & build for relevance to both audiences Copyright © 2009 Leader Networks 5
  6. 6. L E A D E R NETWORKS Target and Segment Your Audience Understanding who you serve and in what ways provides the driving business rationale for an enterprise community program. This leads to members who engage with each other and the enterprise and sustains their interest. The who dictates the where, when, why and how. Who are the key constituencies for your community? Copyright © 2009 Leader Networks 6
  7. 7. L E A D E R NETWORKS Query Potential Audiences Survey or interview your target audience to find out what they are missing in their current experience with your company – Create a structured interview guide with semi-formal interview program – Follow up with quantitative study • Don’t ask about features – inquire about needs! – Also, Talk to marketing, sales, product development to learn what they are doing for clients and prospects that could be leveraged online Copyright © 2009 Leader Networks 7
  8. 8. L E A D E R NETWORKS Build Value Proposition If-then arguments and causal relationships are key to building value propositions that are rooted in need and reality For example: – If we create a customer support forum then we can support more customers online and reduce human support costs – If we use a WIKI for a collaborative product manual then we will catch product errors quicker Copyright © 2009 Leader Networks 8
  9. 9. L E A D E R NETWORKS Architect Business Justification • You become what you measure so select your measurements carefully – Interactivity ratios – Number or nature of deliverables to product marketing, management, clients – Cost/ ROI – Client retention statistics – tied to use of product features and services – New client data - impact analysis – Press and goodwill – Case studies, client testimonials etc. • Once launched, use the tools available to you to impact change – Log analysis, market segmentation, individualized messaging & outreach, knowledge gifts Copyright © 2009 Leader Networks 9
  10. 10. L E A D E R NETWORKS Benchmark Competition & Best of Breed • Who is doing what with whom? – Look at direct and indirect competes – Analyze their web 2.0 strategies and initiatives • Help-wanted ads are a good way to predict competitors future efforts • Who is talking about your company and in what way? – Monitor the Blogosphere – Actively manage your reputation online Copyright © 2009 Leader Networks 10
  11. 11. L E A D E R NETWORKS Determine Brand Positioning • Develop Market Plans – New users often means new markets – understand and target the members that matter most – Execute with the precision of any well-planned market strategy • Community is not a project it is a new line of business Copyright © 2009 Leader Networks 11
  12. 12. L E A D E R NETWORKS Design Features and Functions • Use business goals and user needs as told through the user research to identify key feature sets – Don’t search for a vendor until you know the critical feature sets and how they should behave – Understand and map the business process that the community endeavors to support Copyright © 2009 Leader Networks 12
  13. 13. L E A D E R NETWORKS Engage a Beta Group • Involve users in the social design of the community • Ask their opinion • Gather UGC from them such a member feature articles and interviews • Pre-populate the community before formal launch with their participation Copyright © 2009 Leader Networks 13
  14. 14. L E A D E R NETWORKS Launch With Finesse • Design and create appropriate member acquisition materials & marketing assets – Keep company core messaging and brand extension ever-present The enterprise community is an extension of your brand – Remember that different messages can motivate different constituents of the same community – Project into the future and strike the right tone.. (Reasonable) Early success claims can motivate participation – Plan for a steady member acquisition drum-beat: the hard work *start* once the community is live! Copyright © 2009 Leader Networks 14
  15. 15. L E A D E R NETWORKS Integrate Plans And Outcomes Into The Organization • Use your knowledge assets widely • Leveraging what you learn • Sales • Marketing • Customer Service • Product Development • Research & Development • Competitive Intelligence Copyright © 2009 Leader Networks 15
  16. 16. L E A D E R NETWORKS Manage Risk Risk Factors Risk Mitigation Strategies Failure to launch The power of a Beta group Failure to vet Rules of engagement (who’s in who’s out?) Wacko factor and disaster scenario Lack of transparency planning Public criticism Governance policy Failure to thrive “Plan B” Successful community that doesn’t support Go / no-go decision point based on active business goals measures on quarterly basis Copyright © 2009 Leader Networks 16
  17. 17. L E A D E R NETWORKS Sample Metrics for an Enterprise Community Financial Metrics: Revenue generated (direct and indirect i.e. client retention or pass through revenue gained through bundled services) – Minus operational costs Operational Metrics: Fully burdened costs of community operations including technology, development, content acquisition, staffing. Business Metrics: Click-throughs/logins, industries serviced, # of members who are clients, title portfolio of membership, Marketing Metrics: New member acquisition costs, Cost per Member (CPM) against Revenue per Member (RPM), Event or campaign outcomes Editorial Metrics: Cost of content creation, % of UGC, content ratings/rank Member Metrics: # of members login/time, % of profiles complete, return rate, premium conversion rate, revenue generated per member, number of posts per member, average page views per member or group, member engagement ratios Copyright © 2009 Leader Networks 17
  18. 18. L E A D E R NETWORKS The Role of Governance in Achieving Results The role of Governance is how to manage the community day to day behavior to achieve the goals…. Key tactics • Define roles and responsibilities, including cross functional involvement within the organization • Establish continuous improvement programs, success metrics and budgeting and planning cycles Copyright © 2009 Leader Networks 18
  19. 19. L E A D E R NETWORKS Governance Structure Time < 6 Time > 6 months months (post (now to launch if Organizational Role/Function Ownership launch) different) Impact (+ or - ) Technology Content Member services (Community Manager) Strategy & measurement Sales/Partnerships Executive sponsor Marketing & audience acquisition 19
  20. 20. L E A D E R NETWORKS Best Practice Methodology for Effective Community Community Company, Branding & Technology Content & Community Continuous Framework Engagement & Marketing Communication Evolution Improvement Governance Execution Strategy & Goals, models, Identity, Strategic Editorial plan, Profile, target Leading metrics, revenue, competitive feature sourcing, calendar audience program Plan investment, positioning, mapping, definition, management milestones, target audience Identify staffing plan ownership research & challenges & validation, acquisition marketing plan needs Launch Revise milestones, Campaign Select, acquire, Develop “initial” Member & Revise metrics, set performance management, implement content, acquire sponsor establish reporting Execution metrics, establish press/PR, design and/or assign acquisition, process & tools reporting & elements editorial, load moderation advisory structure process, hiring Evolve & Review/revise Refresh design, Maintain, Monitor trends, react Member Revise leading & revenue model, monitor digital revise, upgrade, to activity, hot topics, retention, new lagging metrics, Improve investment & impact, secure, repurpose, provide segment respond to staffing competitive business analytical value acquisition, issues/problems, assessment, continuity customer process refine message satisfaction improvements Copyright © 2009 Leader Networks 20
  21. 21. L E A D E R NETWORKS SAMPLE Work Plan ACTIVITY GOAL TIMEFRAME Strategic planning Build consensus and create draft straw model Workshop User Experience profiles Interview audience segments to develop profiles of 4-6 weeks users Benchmark Competition & Best of SWOT analysis of competitors and best of breed 5-6 weeks Breed out of industry models Design Features & Functionality Create BRD (business requirements document) 4-8 weeks Select technology architecture and Define technology platform; RFI and/or RFP for 6 to 24 weeks software vendor & deploy vendor platform; contract, design, test, deploy Content planning Content strategy 4-5 weeks Inventory assets and content gap analysis Editorial planning, content generation and loading Marketing/member acquisition Segment audience, audience acquisition tactics, 4-6 weeks planning short and mid-term Beta group Formulate beta group and launch involvement plan 6-8 weeks Engagement plan Keeping users involved 3-4 weeks Launch Strategic and tactical planning for launch event 2-4 weeks Copyright © 2009 Leader Networks 21
  22. 22. L E A D E R NETWORKS Twitter Questions @Stuart616What characteristics maurocardarelli@vdimauro what are does a business have to have to best practices to get commitment benefit from developing an online (visits and contributions) from community? the community? 1) Community must accelerate a 1) Communities can not be bought – business process or solve a problem they are earned through trust and 2) Must directly reflect the needs and commitment goals of the members 2) Engage a beta group in the 3) Must offer thought leadership or a community design and early POV, guidance 4) Have an active customer base of a 3) Foster co-ownership of ideas and sizable nature – its, to some degree outcome a numbers game, 4) Outreach is key 5) Openness 2 dialogue and 5) Reciprocity commitment to action 22 Copyright © 2009 Leader Networks
  23. 23. L E A D E R NETWORKS Critical Success Factors • Demonstrate high integrity and transparency at all times • Fix the rules of engagement and do not change them • Create rich member care programs • Trust and support UGC • Solve their professional needs and even the busiest exec will use the network Copyright © 2009 Leader Networks 23
  24. 24. L E A D E R NETWORKS The Sum Of The Parts The combination of strong feature sets and a comprehensive membership support program can create a trusted, vibrant community engaging in deep professional collaboration world-wide. – The members will solve problems together, share information with each other and make plans to connect in person using the network. – The members will trust the network and view it as a true membership organization of great strategic value. Copyright © 2009 Leader Networks 24
  25. 25. L E A D E R NETWORKS Get Involved In The Question Participate in the Research: Http:// Copyright © 2009 Leader Networks 25
  26. 26. L E A D E R NETWORKS Thank you! Vanessa DiMauro About Leader Networks CEO Leader Networks is a strategic Leader Networks research and consulting firm that 617 484 078 specializes in helping clients harness the power of new digital rules and tools to drive measurable business benefits from social media and social @vdimauro leadership. 26