Community Based Marketing (CBM)

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Community BasedMarketing (CBM)The new play in B2B marketinghttps://guild.coGuild – the messaging app forprofessional groups, networks andcommunities. November 20201Community Based Marketing (CBM)

Table of contents1. Executive Summary .42. What is community based marketing (CBM) in B2B? . 73. Why now is the time for community based marketing. 83.1 The rise of the “passion economy” and digital transformation in B2B . 103.2 The impact of Coronavirus . 103.3 Saturation and waning effectiveness in other B2B marketing channels . 114. Where CBM fits into the B2B marketing funnel . 135. The business case for community based marketing . 185.1 Engagement to improve retention / reduce churn .185.2 Thought leadership to drive inbound leads .185.3 Premium customer service for top customers.195.4 Market / customer insight.196. Success factors in community based marketing . 216.1 Your community needs a clear purpose . 216.2 Objective and metric setting . 226.3 Small can be good! .246.4 The importance of a community leader/manager/builder .266.5 Curate, not dictate .296.6 Choose the right technology platform .296.7 Trust . 306.8 Consistency and persistency . 316.9 Community at the core, not peripheral . 316.10 Community building is an (undervalued) skill . 327. Case studies of CBM in B2B marketing . 332Community Based Marketing (CBM)

7.1 Salesforce - Trailblazer . 337.2 Arizent - Leaders. 357.3 Addictive – Fix Ad Tech / Perfect Storm community . 377.4 B2B Marketing – Marketing Leaders .387.5 Sage City .397.6 Enterprise Sales Forum .417.7 EFM events - IT Pack .427.8 Spendesk - CFO Connect .437.9 Commsor – Community Club . 447.10 Guild – CREO . 468. Conclusion. 483Community Based Marketing (CBM)

1. Executive SummaryWith almost every B2B marketer following the sameplaybook, it's time to develop a new play.Community Based Marketing (CBM) can be that play.In 2020, against the backdrop of remote working, rapid digital transformation,oversaturated B2B digital marketing channels and a rise in experts looking tomonetise their professional knowledge, ‘Community’ is back in fashion.In this ‘Community Based Marketing – the new play in B2B marketing’ guide,we look closely at community and make recommendations on how to use iteffectively and successfully as part of your B2B marketing strategy.We provide a clear definition of “Community Based Marketing (CBM)” and wealso look at why 2020 has created ‘Perfect Storm’ conditions for B2Bcommunities to flourish.Our report features recognised expert contributors from vendor, agency andclient side, all providing their own unique take on Community BasedMarketing and the criteria for success.‘Community Based Marketing – the new play in B2B marketing’ helpsorganisations understand the drivers behind the growth of community andthe resulting opportunities and challenges. This report: Defines Community Based Marketing (CBM) Shows where CBM sits in the marketing funnel Makes the business case for CBM Gives you the success factors for CBM Provides case studies of successful CBM in B2B marketing4Community Based Marketing (CBM)

About the authorsAshley Friedlein, CEO & Founder, GuildAshley has been working in professional communitiesand B2B marketing for over 20 years. His first business,Econsultancy, which he founded in 1999, is acommunity for marketers learning about digitalmarketing and ecommerce. Econsultancy has over600,000 members globally.His second business, Guild, launched in 2018, is amessaging app for professional groups, networks andcommunities. Guild is used by B2B marketers in professional servicebusinesses, membership and media organisations, to engage prospects andcustomers in a private, branded, trusted space.Ashley has authored two books and speaks internationally about digital andmarketing trends.Michelle Goodall, Head of Marketing, GuildMichelle has more than 23 years’ B2C and B2Bexperience client, agency side and vendor side,providing digital, marketing, communications,content, community and social media strategyadvice and support.She has worked with a wide range of clients,including the V&A, London 2012, BBC, Direct LineGroup, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Barclays, TheCoca-Cola Company, Unilever, UPS, US Embassy and many others.Michelle was a visiting lecturer at MMU and taught Community and SocialMedia Strategy modules in the MSc in Digital Marketing Communications.5Community Based Marketing (CBM)

AcknowledgementsGuild would like to thank the following people for their contributions and helpin producing this report: Simon Andrews – Founder - Addictive Brienne Berte – Director of Marketing – EFM Events Mark Birch – Founder – DEVBIZOPS and author of ‘Community-In-aBox: How to Build Event-Driven Professional Communities’ James Farmer – Co-founder – B2B Marketing Dominique Farrar – Community & Communications Lead – Spendesk CFO Connect Nicola Fine – Head of Marketing – Zapnito Randy Giusto - VP & Analyst Lead, Media and Marketing Intelligenceand Strategies – Outsell Inc. Blaise Grimes-Viort – BGV Consulting Katy Howell – CEO and Founder – Immediate Future Susanna Kempe – Founder – Flying Trumpets Mac Reddin – Co-founder and CEO - Commsor Anthea Stratigos – Co-Founder and CEO – Outsell Inc. Laura Templer – Head of Customer Success – Zapnito Charles Thiede – CEO – Zapnito6Community Based Marketing (CBM)

2. What is community based marketing (CBM)in B2B?Account Based Marketing or “ABM” is a widely understooddiscipline in B2B marketing.But what about Community Based Marketing or “CBM”?First, we need to define “community” in a B2B context:B2B Community: definitionA B2B community is a group of professionals drawn together by a sharedinterest and held together over time by mutual support or benefit.The word ‘community’ suggests connectedness, togetherness, people joiningin and becoming something bigger than the sum of their parts.In the case of B2B marketing these communities are a) professionally-focusedand b) serve a marketing purpose.So, CBM for B2B marketing is defined as follows:Community Based Marketing (CBM): definition for B2BCommunity-Based Marketing (CBM) brings professionals togetheraround a shared practice or area of expertise to create closer, and morevaluable, relationships with prospects and customers.7Community Based Marketing (CBM)

3. Why now is the time for community basedmarketingThere are signs that traditional B2B marketing tactics are getting ‘stale’ andneed a rethink:“I firmly believe that Community Based Marketing is the only future growthchannel for B2B companies in the next few years. Traditional marketing hasgrown stale and buyers are simply tuning out. The ability to successfullyacquire customers is growing more expensive but resulting in diminishingreturns.“A community based approach flips traditional marketing on its head thoughbecause instead of pushing out messages, you are drawing in people based ontheir genuine interests.“Successful B2B companies going forward will be those where marketers canengage with communities in authentic and value-creating ways aligned withthe interests and values of these communities.”Mark Birch, Founder – DEVBIZOPS and author of “Community-In-a-Box:How to Build Event-Driven Professional Communities”.Online communities are nothing new of course. On the Guild blog wepublished a timeline of digital communities stretching back to the 1970s:8Community Based Marketing (CBM)

Figure 1: The evolution of online communities – a timelineSource: Guild1The name of our own platform, Guild, deliberately refers back to professionalcommunities from the medieval times.So why have communities made such a comeback?Why are VCs getting all excited about ‘community’ as a hot area to invest in?There are three main unity/9Community Based Marketing (CBM)

3.1 The rise of the “passion economy” and digital transformation in B2BThe ‘gig economy’ is well known. But there is a variation on this which appliesmuch more to B2B, professional services and the knowledge economy. Thisarticle from Andreessen Horowitz explains The Passion Economy and theFuture of Work. 2Platforms like Patreon and Substack are allowing professionals to monetisetheir individual expertise and, as a result, a huge number of micro-businessesare springing up. These are all centred around niche professional, or semiprofessional, communities.Larger organisations, undergoing digital transformation, are getting used toways of working that are less hierarchical and monolithic and more networked,more part of an ecosystem, more ‘hub and spoke’, more agile. Traditionalcommand and control approaches are breaking up to be replaced by fluidcommunities of interest.Whether it is micro-businesses or large corporations, then, the future of workis going to be more about professional networks and communities that cutacross traditional business hierarchies.3.2 The impact of CoronavirusCOVID-19 has forced us to distance ourselves from one another. We havebeen alienated and hidden behind masks. We have been shut inside andunable to take part fully in social activities like sport, music, eating out andtravel.The result is a big increase in the desire for a sense of belonging, ofconnection, of a sense of self as part of a group. Much of this is played outthrough family bonds, or a rediscovery of local community, and digital ways tostay in touch with friends and loved 10Community Based Marketing (CBM)

Source: Nathan Dumlao3But it applies professionally too. We have learned new virtual ways tocommunicate and collaborate with our colleagues and customers but we alsowant to be connected to our professional peers – to learn and share, to giveand receive support and encouragement, to help each other out. On Guild wesaw a 120% increase in messaging activity during lockdown.4As we go into a period of great economic uncertainty, with higher levels ofredundancy and unemployment, we know that professional networking andtapping into our professional communities is more important than ever.53.3 Saturation and waning effectiveness in other B2B marketing channelsThe final factor in the rise of CBM is that it is just getting much harder to cutthrough in existing marketing channels. There’s so much noise. So manywebinars, ebooks, white papers, email newsletters, InMails, events, podcasts,blogs, social media Tomasz Tungaz, VC at Redpoint, wrote about the rising costs of customeracquisition as follows:“The costs of customer acquisition have risen. Whether it’s Facebook ads,LinkedIn ads, Google search engine marketing and retargeting, emailmarketing, or outbound calling, all of these channels bear some hallmarks ofsaturation.3Photo by Nathan Dumlao on sonal-brand-building/411Community Based Marketing (CBM)

“Response rates are declining, depressing conversion rates, and raising thecost of customer acquisition. The surge of venture capital in the last five yearsworsens this predicament.”If you can create a more emotional bond and some reciprocity with yourprospects and customers through effective CBM, then you have a muchbetter chance of getting their attention, their action, and their loyalty.Which countries or sectors are forging ahead with Community BasedMarketing?A few companies have been successful in recent years building thrivingcommunities, and that has spurred other companies into exploring how touse community in the context of B2B marketing.Many technology companies in the open source space were earlyadopters of the community model of marketing. Then bigger companiessuch as Salesforce got into the arena by building out Trailhead.It is not a country by country growth curve then, but rather the techindustry globally taking the lead, and other industries will begin to dabbleinto community-based marketing.Mark Birch – Founder – DEVBIZOPS and author of ‘Community-In-aBox: How to Build Event-Driven Professional Communities’It is a movement that is breaking beyond the confines of the few industryassociations and specialty B2B media and events companies who drovethis model in the past.There are a few emerging with a community-centric view of themselves,such as Arizent, Questex, Wellesley Information Services/SAPInsider etc.Anthea Stratigos Co-founder & CEO of OutsellNow is the time, where almost every B2B marketer is following the sameplaybook, to develop a new play. And CBM can be that play.12Community Based Marketing (CBM)

4. Where CBM fits into the B2B marketingfunnelThe diagram below shows a classic marketing and sales funnel moving fromawareness through interest and desire to the point of action, or sale, and intocustomer loyalty and advocacy post-conversion.Figure 3: Community Based Marketing in the marketing funnel– where community plays hardestCommunities in B2C marketing can be very successful when they are broadand shallow. They might have tens, even hundreds, of thousands of individualsin a community which is broadly defined and has only light engagement. Forexample, these Facebook branded communities from Adidas and Red Bull:13Community Based Marketing (CBM)

Figure 4: Examples of B2C marketing communities on Facebook Groups andPagesSource: Adidas and Red Bull Facebook Group and Facebook Page B2C communitiesIn B2B marketing, however, relationships are typically significantly lower involume but much higher in value. This means that most B2B communities arenarrower and deeper.At the ‘Awareness’ top end of the marketing funnel you will typically havepublicly accessible content, albeit aimed at a particular B2B audience,supported and augmented with various forms of paid media and marketing.You want this awareness-building to turn into interest from potentialcustomers who you can then qualify (e.g. using lead scoring) into prospects ofvarying potential value and influence.14Community Based Marketing (CBM)

Figure 5: B2B marketing communities are typically much narrower and deeper,although this successful B2B community for engineers has 1million membersSource: RS Components Design Spark CommunityInterest, Consideration and DesireThe Interest/Consideration/Desire stages are perfectly suited to CommunityBased Marketing.You might have groups that are 10s, 100s, possibly 1000s, in size at this stagebroken up by topic, interest area, geography, job function, seniority etc. It’simportant that groups are big enough to have natural momentum, but not sobig as to become too noisy or anonymous in feel.You now have the chance to further engage with prospects who have shownan interest in what you offer – enough to join your community – and build theirown conviction that you have the expertise, authority, credibility andreputation in the market to be selected as a supplier when the time is right.15Community Based Marketing (CBM)

Figure 6: B2B marketing communities, like this one on Guild for a professionalservices business, work well at the consideration stagesSource: Fix / AdTech Perfect Storm B2B community on Guild6Loyalty and AdvocacySales and marketing can be too focused on customer acquisition when muchof the value, and profit, particularly in B2B and professional services, comesfrom loyal customers that stick with you over longer periods of time. Customeradvocacy leads to referrals: a very effective and low-cost form of awarenessand new customer acquisition.Community based marketing can be used to increase loyalty and customeradvocacy by super-serving key accounts. They might exist only within a community-case-study/16Community Based Marketing (CBM)

key account that is valuable enough to you to justify providing ‘concierge’levels of service and support.Another option is to create broader customer communities where membersget value from each other and you gain insight into their issues andchallenges: this is fantastic market insight to improve and prioritise thedevelopment of your product, services or customer experience.17Community Based Marketing (CBM)

5. The business case for community basedmarketingSuccessful community building brings many benefits – see the Case Studiessection for examples. Often ROI is assessed in relation to the following:5.1 Engagement to improve retention / reduce churnFor any B2B business which has subscribers, members, learners, attendees, orregular users, it is clearly important to increase retention and yield anddecrease churn or downgrades.Professional membership organisations, B2B media and events business, SaaStechnology companies, professional training and education establishments allhave this in common.If you can create a community which your customers engage in, get valuefrom, and want to stay part of, then you should be able to measure the impacton retention, or churn, rates. Even if that is simply by asking members of yourcommunity if/how their belonging to the group has impacted theircommercial relationship with you.5.2 Thought leadership to drive inbound leadsB2B marketers are very accustomed to thought leadership as a marketingapproach. Businesses that are rich in expertise, knowledge and intellectualproperty – where what is ultimately being sold is often an intangible IP assetlike advice – are well suited to thought leadership.By showcasing your expertise, you hope to gain awareness with your targetmarket and use content to further persuade prospects that you know yoursubject area better than others and are the obvious choice to turn to when theneed arises.A community of expertise, centred around your thought leadership, andhosted by your organisation, puts you at the centre of your sector and18Community Based Marketing (CBM)

influential players in it. You should be able to track new leads that come fromthis community, or existing leads that have been successfully nurtured, oraccelerated, because of the community.5.3 Premium customer service for top customersSome customers, or even prospects, are more valuable than others. Not justfinancially but perhaps because of their influence or the prestige of theirbrand and how that helps you sell to other prospects. These customers areworth ‘super-serving’ – looking after in a concierge, or ‘velvet glove’, mannerthat shows them just how much you care and impresses them with yourprogressive use of community to add value to your relationship with them.It might be a single large customer, like a key account, or it might be a clusterof customers who have a lot in common and would benefit from access toeach other, facilitated by you. These groups are likely to be smaller, and moreintimate, than communities of thought leadership as above.You can measure the ROI of this form of community based marketing throughcustomer satisfaction (e.g. Net Promoter Score), the resulting advocacy orrecommendations you get, and growth in the account size e.g. if you get newbriefs or projects that you find out about because of the group(s) you arerunning.These ‘high touch’ customer communities also help you defend and justifypremium pricing for your product or services and support a prestige brandpositioning if you have one.5.4 Market / customer insightThere are all sorts of ways, both qualitative and quantitative, for B2Bmarketers to understand their prospects and customers. This is important torefine your marketing and messaging as well as to inform and prioritise thedevelopment of your product or service.19Community Based Marketing (CBM)

Marketers rightly spend a lot of time, and money, on really trying to get underthe skin of what their customers want, what they’ll want in the future, and howto articulate the ways in which your product/service meets those needs.What better way to get this insight than to hear it direct from your customers’mouths? Particularly when it is natural, unprompted, honest conversations,questions and answers, that reveal the real needs and wants of yourcustomers using the language that they best understand and will thereforemost likely resonate in any marketing you do.Communities based around conversations that focus on a professional area ofpractice or interest are goldmines for such market and customer insight. TheROI will come from you doing better marketing, making the best decisionsabout your product/service development, and even just surfacing unmetneeds that you can easily convert to business. As one Guild customer noted,“We just won a 80k consulting deal from a question asked in our Guildgroup.”20Community Based Marketing (CBM)

6. Success factors in community basedmarketingWhat are the criteria for successful CBM in B2B marketing?6.1 Your community needs a clear purposeProspective members of your community need to know exactly why theyshould join. A professionals’ time and attention is precious. They will want toinvest in things that are worthwhile to them.Equally you only want members in your community who are relevant,interested and engaged to ensure focused and valuable discussions. So, youmust be very clear about what the community is for and why it exists.Communicate this to members and stick to your purpose.This is why every Guild group must have a stated purpose.The importance of a community purposeIt's important to have a single clear purpose – too often every objective youcan think of is stuffed into the reason for having a community. Sometimesyou cannot squash lead gen and loyalty and a need for research in one weegroup of people. Also, beware of changing objectives as the new CMOcomes in and direction is changed leaving the community itself a bit adrift.Katy Howell, CEO, Immediate FutureAgainst a background of data overload, communities that are just talkingshops are going to struggle in the future. Groups need a purpose beyondchat.James Farmer – Co-Founder – B2B Marketing21Community Based Marketing (CBM)

Figure 7: B2B marketing communities, like this one on Guild, clearly articulatetheir purpose and provide value for membersSource: Fix / AdTech Perfect Storm B2B community on Guild76.2 Objective and metric settingYou need to be clear on the business objectives behind your investment incommunity and the metrics you’ll use to measure whether your community isdelivering value.The most common metrics for communities are member growth andengagement. Whilst helpful indicators of community health, they lack anydirect connection to business rm-community-case-study/22Community Based Marketing (CBM)

There are many specific, tactical, metrics around community but broaderbusiness objectives often include: Improved conversion rates to sale – through a closer customerexperience and deeper relationship with a brand and business whichimproves perceptions, credibility, trust, purchase intent, brandfavourability etc. Improved product / service development – through the conversations ina community, businesses can more accurately identify and addresscustomer ‘pain and passion points’ as well as their needs. Improved marketing effectiveness – not just higher response andengagement rates from those in your community, but also betterinsights into marketing messaging and positioning by listening to whatyour community is saying (and how they are saying it). Reduced churn higher yield – customers are more likely to stay ascustomers, and spend more, if they are engaged in your community andgetting value from it. Reduced costs to serve - reducing customer service costs by moving toa one-to-many and self-service model. Capture knowledge and supportinformation via your community and make it available to others.The importance of bridging metrics in community based marketingA better way to measure the value of a community is to work backwardsfrom desired business outcomes and use bridging metrics to tie businessmetrics to direct usage and engagement in community.For example, a community might be built for the purposes of sharing andamplifying internal technical knowledge. If the business outcome is fasterproduct releases, a bridge metric might be support tickets raised whichties back to number of answered posts on the knowledge forum.Mark Birch – Founder – DEVBIZOPS and author of ‘Community-In-a-Box:How to Build Event-Driven Professional Communities’23Community Based Marketing (CBM)

6.3 Small can be good!Do you really need to chase big community numbers to show success?It could be a dangerous route, particularly in B2B where it is more about valuethan volume, where quality usually counts more than quantity.In fact, communities can weaken, fragment or drift if they get too large.Professor Robin Dunbar, who sits on the Guild Advisory Board, is famous forthe ‘Dunbar number’, of 150, showing we cannot truly know more peoplethan that.Communities for B2B marketing are likely to be 10s, 100s, possibly 1,000s, butvery few are larger.Guild’s model for professional networking in the digital age8 suggests groupsizes between 15-1,500 are likely to be optimal. Too many LinkedIn Groups orSlack communities are overwhelmingly large, impersonal, or noisy so don’tadd real value or create meaningful y Based Marketing (CBM)

How big is too big in B2B communities?A community would not be considered too big if mutual benefits andfocused norms are occurring. This might be by its active participants orbystanders benefitting from the interactions. However, the larger themass of people becomes, the more likely frictions between beliefs and setpositions occur. This leads naturally to sub-communities as like-mindedor otherwise similar people group together.Blaise Grimes-Viort – Blaise GV ConsultingSize doesn’t matter – it depends on the community you want. Largecommunities like Salesforce: Trailblazer or Atlassian work because itanswers a need. It is focused on members being able to dip in and out withcore editorial support, elite volunteers and a network of mechanisms tosupport growth and engagement. However, for more senior or topic ledcommunities you want depth. A place in which to share meaningfulcontent, discuss challenges and build relationships with peers. These areoften more successful in small groups of 50 – 100 in my view.Katy Howell – CEO – Immediate FutureSome communities are quite small and some are larger (Sermo,GlobalSpec, CEB (now Gartner) or Procurement Leaders (now World50)– it’s about the relevance and philosophy of the grou

In the case of B2B marketing these communities are a) professionally-focused and b) serve a marketing purpose. So, CBM for B2B marketing is defined as follows: B2B Community: definition A B2B community is a group of professionals drawn together by a shared interest and held together over time by mutual support or benefit.