It was another successful conference held by CustomerAdvisoryBoard.org on March 28. As always, an impressive lineup of speakers conveyed real-world examples of their own customer advisory board (CAB) and partner advisory board (PAB) programs. How they launched their CAB and PAB programs. The hurdles they had to overcome. Their CAB and PAB program successes and advice for those starting CABs of their own.
The videos of each session leader are a posted here. Each presenter included several insights I found interesting:
- CITRIX: Melanie Gomez-Diaz spoke about the value and benefits of her Citrix CAB, and emphasized the importance of creating strong relationships and connections with customers. It was great that Melanie communicates the program value (and associated budget) to each internal Citrix department that is participating in the program. She also surveys members before each meeting to gauge their top current challenges, to ensure their meeting agendas are prioritized for their interest and create the best meeting experience possible. Cool social activities included winery tours, baseball game suites and dinner at the London Tower bridge.
- ADOBE: Lauren Johnson talked about the structure of Adobe’s global advisory board program. Their program includes CABs, executive advisory boards and product-focused user advisory boards. She shared her program KPIs. Results include seven actionable items gained in 2022, and eleven so far in 2023 alone. She shared the progress and impact of one of the action items, which delivered 10 new deals closed in 3 weeks. Other KPIs they measure: actionable ideas and CAB member retention (which is 100%). And their overall program satisfaction.
- GOOGLE CLOUD: Sara Kuethe talked about Google Cloud’s CAB program priorities and objectives, which were providing actional insights, building brand champions and delivering a world-class customer experience. She too employs a strong post-meeting process, prioritizing action items and holding those leading these changes accountable for completing them. Sara also demonstrated how customers are promoting their positive experience and value of their CAB participation through articles posted to various industry publications.
- VMWARE: Mary Sears gave an overview of the VMware partner ecosystem and their Partner Advisory Board. She shared how it “takes a village” of internal folks to run and manage the PAB. Their PAB is made up of 24 members from around the world, and meet both virtually and in-person. Two-thirds of their members have remained on the board since its inception in 2021. Her program KPIs include the value of partner feedback, their participation levels and overall satisfaction.
- IGNITE ADVISORY GROUP: Eyal Danon spoke about common CAB meeting engagement challenges. And what you need to ensure CAB meeting member participation. He described 5 innovative sessions. They include strategic loop, roadmap tradeoffs, breaking news, shark tank, and moonshot. The roadmap session included numerous ways to have members prioritize their feature desires. Like sticky dot voting, betting with chips and colored pyramid voting. He also reminded CAB hosts to include ample time to explore desired features not included on the existing product roadmap. The breaking news session sounds stimulating for CAB members. In the session, they make decisions in real-time, such as via fictional cyber-attacks or natural disasters. And the parameters change throughout the session, adding to the excitement!
- SLAPFIVE: Jeff Ernst talked about why customers hold the key to growth. He spoke about how traditional sales and marketing methods are less impactful these days. And how CABs are the perfect program to overcome the prevailing “trust gap.” Jeff described one company’s customer engagement initiative. It led to new solutions offerings in which the advising customers very significantly invested.
Want to see how experienced pros are succeeding with their own CAB programs? Then, I encourage you to view the videos of the session replays. And do check out the additional resources offered at cab.org. If you are looking for help to create, launch, facilitate or manage your advisory board program, don’t hesitate to schedule a free call with an Ignite CAB expert.
Ignite Advisory Group is the leading global authority on Customer Advisory Boards. Ignite’s proven methodology for managing and evolving Customer Advisory Boards includes a 4-stage process, encompassing 48 deliverables and measured by 20 metrics to deliver a clear ROI. To learn more about how your company can benefit from Ignite’s CAB methodology and process, contact us today.