3 Replies Latest reply: Jan 27, 2012 7:22 AM by Emilie Kopp RSS

    What is your relationship with Database Marketing?

    Emilie Kopp

      Community managers, I need your help.

       

      We are currently in discussions with our Database Marketing (DM) group about communication preferences. I have been repeatedly told that our customers (mainly engineers and scientists) are confused and do not understand the difference between emails in their inbox coming from National Instruments direct marketing and our external community. Thus, we are trying to better coordinate when we push announcements and updates from our external community with the communication strategy we've defined for our marketable contact databases.

       

      But I get the impression that our DM team still doesn't "get" community/social. I don't think they understand that mostly everything emailed from NI Community is determined by communication settings made by the customer (e.g. updates when documents/discussions are updated). The fundamental difference between emails that they get from NI Community and NI DM is that the customer CHOOSES how and when he/she will get emails. So for us (the community team) to submit/conform to communication messages and scheduling defined by the DM team seems counterintuitive to me. If anything, they should be coordinating around email activity from the community platform (e.g. if a customer has received 3 updates in 2 days that someone has commented on their document AND assuming our customers confuse these emails with what comes from our marketing house, we probably should not send a scheduled email featuring our latest marketing message in that same week).

       

      I'm still not convinced that our customers are "confused" about the difference in the first place. But ultimately, I suppose we could do a better job of educating them about the difference.

       

      So I suppose I'd really like to hear from you, community managers. What is your relationship like with your direct marketing teams? Have you had similar discussions? How integrated are you? Do you modify communication schedules based on community behaviors? I've heard Eloqua has a Jive App on the market. Does anyone use this tool and has it helped them link community behaviors with their marketable customer databases?

       

      Have you had to educate your customers on the distinction between emails from your external community platform and your corporate marketing departments?

       

      Any thoughts are appreciated, thanks!

        • Re: What is your relationship with Database Marketing?
          daniel.marotta

          Emilie,

           

          I think you'll need to spend time educating your in-house marketing teams as well as your community members.

           

          In-house: The easy argument is that notifications stemming from community is not an outbound marketing effort and therefore does not conform to fatiguing rules your DM team are trying to hold you to. Indicate that these are "service-oriented" emails that are user-driven and user-controlled via community settings set forth within each community members' profiles.

           

          Customers: Create training material letting members know how they can control these notifications. Configure your community email templates, specifically the footers, that link to these training materials in the context of how they can manage the notifications they are receiving. I suspect (and correct me if I'm wrong in assuming) your DM team is receiving requests to "unsubscribe" from community email notifications and is why you're having this conversation with them in the first place. Suggest they make one last ditch effort to retain these members by stating the purpose of the community email notifications and point them to training material you created above.

           

          To answer your questions: I work very closely with my direct marketing team and have had similar discussions you are having. We do not modify our communications schedules since we've made the distinction between "outbound marketing" versus "service" emails. We are ramping up with Eloqua and should be live within 3 months. I can let you know down the road how we're tracking when we've built up some decent data points. And finally yes, I've spent much time educating customers  on that distinction.

           

          Good luck and let me know if this has been helpful or if I need to clarify anything.

           

          -Dan

          • Re: What is your relationship with Database Marketing?
            Shane Rogers

            We don't do that much direct marketing to our customers and our Community team isn't that tied into what we are doing in the way of direct email marketing.

             

            But some of the decisions we made that may help a customer/community member distinguish Community related emails from other emails they may receive from our company are:

             

            1. We modified the Jive email template to include the logos and branding from our Community - so the top of the email shows our logos and community name.

            2. The from address is a community related address (it's still a 'no reply' address but it clearly indicates it's from our Community).

            3. The subject line of the emails indicate Community as well. The summary emails have "McKesson Connect Community Updates, XXX DD" and the detailed emails sent due to following a space or topic, reply to a community member's item, etc have the space name as the prefix to the subject.