The ROI of B2B Customer Engagement: Takeaways from the 2009 Summit
The 2009 Summit on Customer Engagement was the most intense 2 days I’ve seen yet at one of our events.
There’s no way to provide a list of takeaways and do the content flowing from the Summit justice. So over the next few weeks I’ll post a series of takeaways as we continue to compile information from the presentations, Executive Forum, peer exchange, panel and fireside chat.
First up is the ROI from Customer Engagement Efforts. There’s a growing body of evidence – evidence that’s persuasive to CFOs – that customer engagement efforts drive growth. Customer engagement includes customer reference programs, advisory boards, communities and customer social network efforts.
Here’s a few examples from last week’s Summit.
From co-keynoter and thought leader Sean Geehan:
- Customer programs that engage decision-making customers create measurable ROI vs. those that have little or no engagement with decision makers. In particular, such customer engagement efforts triple account growth rates (from 4% to 12%), more than triple referenceability (94% vs. 28%), and increase retention by 25% (90% vs. 72%).
- Such results impress finance executives. “Our executive customer programs have proven to be the most effective way to positively impact top and bottom line results.” Jeff Garrity, CFO, Services, NCR.
- Oracle, which has substantially outperformed its industry - as measured by the Dow Jones Software index as well as the overall DJIA - gives great credit to its executive customer programs. “Our executive customer programs have driven the Oracle transformation. The pay-off has been tremendous.” Charles Phillips, COO, Oracle.
From co-keynoter Tim Thorsteinson, retiring President, Harris Broadcast, on the superior performance of Harris relative to its market and competitors.
- Harris has excelled by rapidly revamping its product line: 50% of its current line was developed in the last 24 months. This wouldn’t have been possible without engagement with key executives at its most important customers through its Executive Advisory Board – who drove 16% of the firm’s revenue last year.
At Harris, customer engagement efforts drive:
- Improved margins, predictability, sustainability (increase in sales)
- Confidence in the business trajectory and forecasts
- Market alignment, higher stakeholder returns
From Intel's Rhett Livengood, the firm's social media efforts – which are now well advanced in integrating customer reference and customer advisory board programs at Intel - are driving lead generation and branding. Here’s how Intel measures social media, and the current numbers showing its impact:
- Lead Generation (% of new customers coming from social media efforts)
Goal: 10% Current: 3%
- Brand Impact (measured by comment ratio on blog)
Goal: 1:1 Current: 1:.87
- Community Driven (conversations driven by community members vs. Intel)
Goal: 90/10 Current: 70/30
More to come . . . .