The Innovation Forum: How we built a relationship with 436 marketable leads in 4 months
Scientists: they’re calculating, rational and reserved, right? We thought so too until we built a community for them.
“Hello Everyone! Great to be part of this special group. It looks like I’ll be ‘effervescing’ with many other curious minds! I’m a poetic heart & soul, breathing passion into each and every thing I do. Would love to bond with others in the group! Thanks to the community manager for finding and allowing me to be here :)”
Not the kind of comment you would expect to come out of an elite, high-tier group of R&D thinkers on LinkedIn? It’s not that unusual. In that comment is the single most important thing we’ve learnt while running B2B communities for our clients – above all else, the customer is human. And it is through human interactions that we build trust and interest.
How do you become a sincere Marketer?
For The Innovation Forum, our client’s product served the needs of a very specific group of professionals. The community gathered the decision makers and executives of global R&D programmes at multinational corporations. As we all know, these executives are very busy individuals – and so our greatest challenge was in capturing the attention of the humans behind the titles. The last thing any Director, VP or CXO wants is to be approached by marketers in their spare time. So, from the very beginning of our recruitment and growth cycles, we focussed on building meaningful relationships by adding value to our prospects’ lives, without asking for anything in return. In short: give, give, give.
Nurturing the flame of a healthy community
As every stage of our private interactions with these members was built on genuine mutual interest, we tried to mirror that sincerity with our group’s internal dynamics. On a public level, we delivered content through the group’s posting functionality – these were research pieces of interest, built for the group by our subject matter experts and tailored to our members via thorough social research using Content Intelligence Software. Some of our best content has been seen in the conversations provoked – debates and idea scrums amongst our members have shown to be an excellent way to improve a sense of identity and belonging.
The benefits of our approach
The result of all of this is a buzzing community with a 12.6% monthly engagement rate, on top of a membership count which has grown by 1384 members over 4 months. The most important measurable here is the percentage of positive reactions from our call to action – a KPI which has been primarily influenced by the great care taken to ensure that members have grown to know and trust our client’s offering. Now, when we prompt members for a discussion about the product, we receive consistently positive reactions such as these:
“Hi Julie, many thanks for remembering me! I would be very happy to learn more if you or Gerald want to send more details. Best wishes.” – Andy Nicholson, Head of R&D and Open Innovation at Thales
At the time of writing this, we achieved a 28% success rate on our CTA to our Tier 1 prospects– a percentage which represents the amount of warm leads choosing to spend their personal time in discussion with our client’s sales team.
Every community is its own beast, and we love the challenge of taking our client’s needs and discovering a community which will solve them. If you’d like to know what your buzzing group of leads would look like, contact us below.