10 Replies Latest reply on Feb 3, 2017 9:59 AM by bengarves

    Marketing Space

    dennismsmith

      Hi all,

       

      I was wondering if there were any examples of external communities that have a dedicated space for marketing? I know, it's kind of weird....marketing should stay far away . But just wondering.

        • Re: Marketing Space
          socketz

          This isn't an odd question, but it needs a little context....

           

          What would you envision in the space?  Internal marketing like Competitive matrices, New Product Introductions (NPIs), Product Marketing Plans, etc?

           

          or

           

          Would this be external facing and more conducive to things like features and benefits, partners, public facing roadmaps, etc?

           

          The former makes sense to reside on an Intranet while the latter should be incorporated into your public website.

           

          To be honest, it makes alot of sense to involve your marketing team in your community strategy as that group should want to know what your users are saying about the product and leverage that knowledge to make improvements, learn more about competitors, build partnerships into vertical markets and such. The Ideas module within Jive seems to be built around this concept.

          1 person found this helpful
            • Re: Marketing Space
              dennismsmith

              Thanks for the reply.

               

              I am looking mainly for examples of external facing content like you mentioned. I want to give the marketing team a little representation on the community, just not sure of the best way to do so.

                • Re: Marketing Space
                  Jill Ross

                  Hi dennismsmith,

                   

                  Marketing content can be woven into your external community without the need for a dedicated "Marketing" space or group. Blogs are a great example. In the HDS Community, our blogs are scattered throughout our various solution and product forums, so we're meeting people with product marketing messaging in the places where they gather to learn about our offerings. It's important to get the messaging right, however -- a blatant sales pitch will turn off your customers who have been there a while, so the content needs to meet the needs of the audience.

                   

                  Using the News feature, I've been able to consolidate the blogs so that if anyone is looking for that type of content specifically, there's a dedicated stream for it. You can see that in action here. You'll also notice that on the "home" view of our News page, there are 3 featured blog posts: News | HDS Community.

                   

                  PDF's and other marketing collateral are also linked within our solution & product forums using the "Helpful Links" tile (rather than posting a duplicate across the website and the community). It's a subtle placement so that we don't take away from our main use case, which is technical Q&A.

                   

                  I think events are also a fantastic use case for marketing within an external community. We don't currently have the Events module, but we create documents for them that look more like landing pages and post them in our "News & Events" space.  We also cross-promote them within our solution and product forums when they are relevant. For example, we promoted our presence at VMworld in both the News & Events space and our VMware space: Visit Hitachi Data Systems at VMworld 2016 in B... | HDS Community. This was coupled with a blog series from our key SME's attending the event and giving demos. If/when videos were recorded, they were posted in the community as well. Using tags, all event-related content could be consolidated and posted wherever it was relevant.

                   

                  My session at JiveWorld16 was all about integrated marketing for external communities - you can view it here for more in-depth examples of marketing use cases: Moving Beyond Forums – Integrated Marketing for External Jive Communities

                   

                  Hope this helps!

                  Jill

                  5 people found this helpful
                  • Re: Marketing Space
                    Adam Arrowsmith

                    Hi Dennis,

                     

                    I manage a technical software product community. I was facing a similar situation where my marketing team was asking to promote some company-level industry recognition and the like. [For now] I decided to address with a separate space, spinning it as "Boomi [Company] Buzz" which can include technical and non-technical blogs, community and corporate events, and links to certain marketing assets. It's notable that our community is mostly public so it plays a "soft-sell" role to prospective customers researching our products and the post-sales resources available to them.

                     

                    Boomi Buzz | Dell Boomi Community

                • Re: Marketing Space
                  mnevill

                  When I was running a strictly support based external community we kept marketing material content (white papers, flyers, etc) out as it wasn't helpful to users that already owned a product and wanted specific help with it. However, we did allow controlled advertising through side widgets on the home page, in other areas of the community where relevant, and entertained leasing out a spot on a carousel slider. The trick is to be subtle and not over do it.  We also allowed our Training dept to make an occasional plug for paid-for training classes, but the trade off is they were active in participating by helping answer customer questions.

                  • Re: Marketing Space
                    Toby Metcalf

                    Good day Dennis,

                    I do not have a dedicated spot for marketers within my community, but do use community content for marketing.

                    Via Twitter and LinkedIn, I share links to community discussions and other content - this not only shares knowledge outside of my community, but introduces the community to people as a knowledge base.

                    In addition, my members like to know when I share their content and deliver them views.

                    Hope that is helpful.

                    Best,

                    Toby

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • Re: Marketing Space
                      bengarves

                      Our community actually fits underneath the marketing umbrella and we have a really good relationship with other subgroups of the marketing department. We partner all the time on cool missions and events talking about our products. The danger zone, I've found, is when you let the SALES TEAM get involved. Because of that, we haven't integrated with our CMS platform and don't treat a new user account as a new lead. We drew a line in the sand and we stick to it. Because of this, we have about 130,000 user accounts and only about 30% of them are registered customers. They often use their personal emails to register with the community and their work emails when purchasing products. I think it's a good sign of trust that they know we won't spam their inboxes. Feel free to reach out to me directly if you're curious about more.

                      1 person found this helpful
                      • Re: Marketing Space
                        bengarves

                        Our entire community is actually run by a subset of our marketing department. If you put enough checks and balances in place, it can be a really successful model. I'd be happy to hop on a call and share how we manage it and partner with our more standard marketing teams. The community is https://thwack.solarwinds.com/