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January 2011 Archives

2011 Summit: Siemens and F5 to Present

Posted by Bill Lee on January 27, 2011 at 11:55 AM

Just a heads up (we haven't even posted it to the Presenters Page yet)--that we've added two new presenters at the 2011 Summit on Customer Engagement, one for our Customer Reference Programs track, and one to our Customer Communities and Social Media track.

Creating Product Leadership Through Industry Customer Councils, by Leif E. Pedersen, Vice President, Marketing, Siemens Industry Automation.

Leif will show how any company $250 million in revenue and up can form powerful industry councils composed of senior executives that can put your firm in a position of industry leadership. At Siemens he’s helped form influential industry councils for automotive (which include customers and non-customers from all 19 auto companies in the world earning more than $1b), aerospace and defense, high tech and electronics, industrial manufacturing and consumer products. Also, while working at a much smaller software firm he helped form equally powerful industry customer councils there as well. You’ll learn a key strategy for becoming a “fabric of industry” partner for your customers.

Beyond the Case Study: How F5 Gets References Involved in the Total Business
by Heidi Schreifels, Customer Testimonial Program Manager, F5

Heidi will show how F5 creates high-value impact from its customer references across the business in the following ways:

  • Uses Web-based tools to automate creation of validated reference content as well as provide new sources for more customer references,
  • Leverages customer content to feed thought leadership efforts on the Web,
  • Integrates its Net Promoter Score program to generate increased referrals—a powerful and often overlooked source of lead generation,
  • Leverages references beyond sales and PR to educate F5 employees throughout the firm on what the firm does,
  • Develops holistic relationships with references, getting them actively involved in non-traditional activities like found tables and customer event

2011 Summit: Early Registration is About To Expire

Posted by Bill Lee on January 24, 2011 at 07:24 AM


Earky registration discount is about to expire for the 2011 Summit on Customer Engagement. If you plan to attend and haven't already registered, you can do so here.

Join your peers from many of the world's great customer engagement programs--including, Research in Motion, Cisco Systems, Blackboard, Microsoft, IBM, AmerisourceBergen, Siemens, SAP, Intel, Hitachi Data Systems, Info, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, CA Technologies, Xerox, Ariba, VMware, NetApp, First Data and dozens of others.

Learn from intensive tracks on Customer Reference programs as well as Communities and Social Media. Keynote by Tom Wong of Game Changing Customer Engagement in the Age of Facebook.

Hope to see you in San Mateo!


Tom Wong of to Keynote the 2011 Summit

Posted by Bill Lee on January 18, 2011 at 10:27 AM

I'm thrilled to announce that Tom Wong, one of the most creative as well as accomplished marketing executives I've encountered--and mastermind of Dreamforce, SFDC's hugely successful customer conference--will be keynoting the 2011 Summit on Customer Engagement. This is breaking news--we don't yet have his abstract up on the Website yet, so here's a sneak peek:


Game Changing Customer Engagement in the Age of Facebook

 by Tom Wong, Vice President, Dreamforce, Customer Marketing Programs (aka Customer Mojo),

Tom will show how has built one of the most successful companies in Silicon Valley in the last ten years with a game-changing focus on customer engagement. The firm was built from the ground up on the concept of developing passionate customer evangelists and letting them do a major part of the marketing for SFDC in everything from its famed live City Tour events, robust customer reference program, online user groups, and its yearly conference Dreamforce. Tom will share leading-edge social media insights, such as how his team has deployed a Facebook-like customer interface that SFDC credits for exponential growth of  the firm’s annual conference Dreamforce even through the last two years of recession.


Breaking News on Keynote for 2011 Summit on Customer Engagement

Posted by Bill Lee on January 12, 2011 at 09:55 AM

Stay tuned on this. The 2011 Summit on Customer Engagement is going to have an increadible keynote from arguably the most successful technology firm over the last ten years, whose CEO directly credits customer evangelists as a--if not the--critical component for this firm's success, Indeed the firm has been built from the first on developing customer advocates and bringing them in to the heart of its marketing, communities, customer reference and social media efforts.

And our keynote speaker is right in the middle of this. Stay tuned, more information coming in the next few days.

Four Reasons Why 2011 Is The Year of the Marketer

Posted by Bill Lee on January 10, 2011 at 12:34 PM

From the January 2011 issue of Reference Point.

1. Marketing can now start demonstrating direct impact on business performance.
In 2010, direct and compelling links from the value generated by customers (called "Customer Equity" or "CE") to a firm's overall value were established in a study published by V. Kumar and Denish Shah. This means that marketing can start creating direct impact on firm performance in ways that will matter--a lot--to any CFO and CEO. Prof. Kumar keynoted at one of our events a few years ago, btw.

2. An important part of that impact comes from customer engagement.
And customer engagement includes activities beyond purchasing, like influencing people to buy, giving referrals, sharing and building knowledge that helps provide services to other customers as well as input into product improvements and innovation. In other words, it includes the things you do in your reference, advisory board, customer communities and social media programs.

3. The C-suite is ready--no, eager--for this.
Back in 2007 The Economist Intelligence Unit reported that companies increasingly see customer engagement as defined above as "a more strategic way of looking at customer and stakeholder relationships" in order to create a "deeper, more meaningful connection" with the customer" as well as "customer interaction and participation."  That was echoed last year, as reported here and on my blog, in IBM's global survey of 1500 CEOs. It showed that one of their top three priorities is "reinventing customer relationships," which to them  includes bringing customers into the processes of the business--and that is, of course, precisely what your customer engagement program is helping to do.

4. CMOs are ready--no, desperate--for this.
The 2000s were not a good decade for CMOs. One study found that CMOs are the most frequently fired executives. In another by ANA & Booz Allen Hamilton, more than half of all companies surveyed said that the agendas of marketing and the CEO are not aligned. In yet another, a large majority of CEOs said that CMOs do not demonstrate adequate return on investment. Which is because they haven't had access to measures that resonate with CEOs or their CFOs. Now in 2011, they do.

I'll flesh out some more on this for you at the 2011 Summit on Customer Engagement, but for now, as you enter 2011, keep in mind that your work is a critical part of a very important trend in business right now.