This year Adobe graciously hosted the annual CustomerAdvisoryBoard.org conference at their award winning offices in Lehi, Utah. Over 40 marketing professionals gathered in Utah on October 8, 2015 from Ryder, Adobe, Dell, Wells Fargo, Intel, Iron Mountain and more.

Requirement for starting a CAB: Getting buy-in

Samuel Johnson, VP Global Marketing, Ryder kicked off the conference talking about the critical first year of a customer advisory board.  Initiating a customer advisory board (CAB) starts with making the case for the CAB.  At Ryder, getting buy-in for the first CAB was a multi-year effort. Success of the first Ryder CAB led to the addition of a second CAB.

Driving value from your CAB fuels its growth

Iron Mountain’s David Coates, Senior Manager, Customer Marketing, spoke about the new ROI, the Return on Influence of advisory boards and how to drive tangible business value.  Driving value is key and Iron Mountain’s CAB has impacted the company via demand generation, thought leadership and content development and product development.  

Building a successful CAB across verticals and geos

How do you build an advisory board for various industries and geographies? Vicki Griffith, Global Director, Customer Programs for Infor spoke about how their CAB has successfully incorporated a variety of verticals. Their CAB has produced results impacting new products, new integrations, new features, new partners and acquisitons,and more.

Managing a 300+ member global CAB program well is possible!

Big thanks to Alison Lutjemeier, Sr. Manager, Customer Advisory Board, Adobe Systems for hosting the conference. Alison gave everyone key insights into managing scale and overseeing a 300+ member global CAB program. The Adobe CAB program has evolved over time with the strategic customer touchpoints in place (CAB engagements, customer support, Adobe Summit, etc) across the organization supporting the CAB’s ongoing growth.  

Create a CAB center of excellence to measure impact and ROI

Michelle Radlowski, Program Manager, Dell Software, spoke about the top 8.5 (not 10, ha!) key considerations in planning a world class strategic advisory board experience.  Key items include creating a sub-group within your CAB and avoid having too many host company employees at meetings. Also, create a CAB center of excellence to measure the impact of your CAB and share best practices across your organization.

At the end of the conference, participants discussed CAB scorecard elements and top challenges and solutions in small groups per verticals (software, technology, finance, manufacturing and healthcare). Here are some other comments about #CABorgConf15 from attendees via twitter…and we’ll see you next year at the conference:   

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