Here at Adlib, we are spending a substantial amount of time on deep research as part of our ongoing pursuit to be innovators in the online business-to-business software space. We understand that in today’s web-savvy world, consumers rule – and that includes business consumers.
As we waded into competitive intelligence, I expected a fair level of conventional marketing communication (white papers, data sheets, newsletters) but frankly, I wasn’t sure to what extent Web 2.0 best practices would be present in the B2B software landscape.
Aside from the ubiquitous support portal – downloadable media, forums, a members-only knowledge base and the like – many software companies lack a general adoption of social media and other interactive online communications. While there is a decent amount of traction in external social media, such as on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook, there seems to be an overall deficit of internal social media (hosted by the company) such as shared user-generated content, member profiles, blog aggregation, RSS feeds, video and podcasting streaming.
However, there are some (outstanding) exceptions, such as:
- The expansive EMC Community Network with labs, galleries, forums, user groups, polls, and a exemplary Partner community (see image, below)
- Nintex Connect : forums, tag clouds, downloadable files, and two SharePoint community blogs
- SwordCTSpace’s YouTube channel with 24 videos in all – including customer testimonials, reports from industry shows, and product presentations (see below)
The end game in all of this “social web” activity is customer retention and attraction, as well as a means to garner user feedback for continuous improvement to one’s products and services. And when it comes to those objectives, we Adlibbers are all over it!
The YouTube channel of Sword CTSpace contains two dozen videos including testimonials, show floor interviews, and product demos.
The Partner Community , part of the EMC Community Network, features videos, forums (discussion threads), member-submitted content, and RSS feeds.