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Forrester's Take on Customer Engagement

Posted by Bill Lee on October 20, 2009 at 01:12 PM

Greetings from the first day of the 2009 Summit on Customer Engagement. Right now Forrester's Laura Ramos is talking about engaging B2B customers, in order to build brand and grow business.

Some takeaways:

- Most of the things B2B firms do to build brands don't work, and we know they don't work: Direct mail, blogs, social media, webinars, virtual trade shows.

- Same goes for demand generation: radio, customer communities, sponsorships, PR . . .they don't work very well. 

- What's missing from such efforts is customer engagement: "The deep connection a company or brand creates with customers that drives purchase decisions, interaction, and participation over time." You can't build these with any single approach or isolated tactics.

- Customers want to get engaged - with vendors and with each other. For what? # 1 reason: TO provide input and influence in strategic direction and offerings. #2. To network with industry peers.

#- What does this require from you? Involvement, interaction, intimacy, and influence.

- What causes decision makers to engage in online, work-related communities. #1. Discussion quality and relevance. #2. Demonstrated experience and thought leadership.

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