Brooke talks with Projectline’s own Tena (that’s “Tena Fabulous” to us) and gets schooled on the ins and outs of customer communities and their use in marketing.
In preparing for the Summit on Customer Engagement next week, I’ve learned that some of our clients are unable to attend due to budget restrictions or lack of executive sponsorship. It seems that some companies are still spending the majority of their critical marketing dollars on traditional marketing, but making only tiny toe-dip expenditures into Customer Engagement (reference programs, customer advisory boards, online customer communities, etc.). It’s a little heartbreaking to hear innovative marketers share that their companies aren’t willing to spend training budget on these types of knowledge sharing events or (even worse) that tight budgets are causing them to cut customer engagement marketing programs all together. Eeek.
The good news is that some companies are willing to make the investment into these critical and effective programs—and many of them will be at the Summit on Customer Engagement (like Cisco, ECM, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Open Text, and Research in Motion).
The way I see it, these organizations have looked into the eyes of our tough economic times and continued to march forward, unwavering in their belief that customer programs are vital to their success. Hopefully they, like me, are ready to absorb ideas from talks like “How Communities Foster Innovation at Citrix” and “Understanding the Value of Customer Engagement” and take those ideas and innovations home to their own programs. (If you like to follow events on Twitter, you can catch some snippets of insight following #SCE2009.)
Question for you: if you’re in the trenches working on marketing programs, are you having more success getting budget for customer engagement programs, or for traditional marketing activities such as direct mail and events? Is your company investing in your expertise and knowledge in the customer engagement area?