Community thinking drives 21st century B2B relationships
20 years of bringing people together in various ways for various purposes has shown that relationships deliver real results in a world based on the increasing need for permission, dialog, and networks. More and more companies are recognising that those outcomes drive commercial growth.
If marketers and commercial teams have learnt anything since the rise of the Internet, it’s that word of mouth and relationships are becoming ever more important foundations for good communication. Content marketing, account based marketing, personalisation are all themes based on this core understanding.
Underwriting all this thinking is the need to understand and use the professional and personal networks that exist in a sector. Those networks continually deliver knowledge, commerce, and competitive advantage. Together they ARE the community of the sector.
It’s important to understand how and why a community based approach can help individuals and businesses achieve their objectives. The community approach is an excellent way to develop intra-B2B relationships.
In a B2B community individuals have two key sets of drivers: those that inspire them for personal reasons i.e. individual needs, and those that inspire them to make them better at their job i.e. role based needs.
It is a key to Nuu thinking that these needs are recognised in the community user groups and, so far as possible, are satisfied. To harness the community resource, marketers and commercial teams need to understand and exploit community drivers:
Insight: use audiences to generate insight for audiences
Engagement: create and share value for all participants
Reputation: reveal which ideas, people and products are worth amplifying
Relationships: use the sharing of value to intelligently drive relationships
Value comes from these drivers and from that value comes business advantage. The approach is based on a core philosophy that content, outreach, and intelligent conversations together produce great outcomes. This effectiveness accelerates over time. The foundations of the thinking are:
Superlative data capture and the creation of actionable insight from that data
Continual assessment/identification of audience needs (as a group and as individuals) and putting in place the mechanisms that proactively push solutions/value to those needs
Producing many highly focused ‘small’ actions (as opposed to a few broader initiatives)
Creating messaging and communication activities guaranteed to drive key audience members up the engagement chain
The outcomes for us and our partners are clear:
Deep understanding of the market place(s) in which we all work
A fine-tuned recognition of what is needed and what works
The creation of relevant and incisive content (in a huge number of different formats including print, events and video)
The ability to create compelling and engaging conversations with decision makers around the world