A Customer Advisory Board or Partner Advisory Board can be one of the most impactful and effective marketing programs when done right…with proper planning, execution, management and follow up. Without strong metrics for your Customer Advisory Board (CAB), it will fail. Justifying an advisory board to executives of a sponsoring company requires metrics and results.

Year one success metrics: establish the foundation of your Customer Advisory Board.

Here are some examples of metrics we have used with Ignite Advisory Group customers to measure the success of the first year of their Customer Advisory Boards.  Setting up a foundation for future success of the CAB is what’s necessary in its first year in operation.

  • Effective charter and operating platform
  • Effective recruitment strategies (top host company customers recruited)
  • Members are engaged (based on participation)
  • Access to CAB member top-of-mind topics, issues, concerns, opportunities
  • Key themes identified following face-to-face meeting
  • Effective communication and engagement plan

Think through the Customer Advisory Board metrics in advance and put it in writing.

chart up

After a successful first year of a Customer Advisory Board, consider additional metrics to measure. Below are some ideas of metrics for your own CAB scorecard. Start with major functional areas like marketing, sales and customer satisfaction, and develop specific, measureable results that are time bound for each area.  Present metrics and results to your executive team to gain their buy-in for continuing advisory board budget and resources.

Marketing

  • Press releases – Develop joint press releases with X number of CAB members
  • Event participation – CAB members attend X number of industry events
  • Speaking engagements– Gain agreement from X number of CAB members to speak at conferences, internal events or webinars
  • Testimonials  – Receive X number of testimonials from CAB members or their companies per year
  • Success stories – Produce X number of written or video success stories from CAB members per quarter
  • Thought leadership pieces – Develop X number of thought leadership pieces per quarter (blogs, articles, whitepapers, etc.)

Sales

  • Customer referrals – get X number of referrals per CAB member
  • New prospects – Increase sales prospects by X% by identifying new opportunities and target markets
  • Customer spend – Increase average spend by CAB members by X%

Customer Satisfaction

  • Customer retention – renew all annual contracts of CAB members; increase in customer retention by X%
  • Overall satisfaction scores – Increase satisfaction score by X% among CAB members

Other benefit areas you can consider to further flesh out your CAB scorecard like each area above could be: strategy (validation, M&A feedback), products and solutions (product introductions, beta customers), market intelligence and innovation. Also include overall member feedback and engagement in Customer Advisory Board meetings and conference calls.

Watch the video above in our series on why Customer Advisory Boards fail, focusing on a lack of strong metrics for a Customer Advisory Board.

Check out the other videos in the series on Why Customer Advisory Boards fail:

Part 1 of 10: It’s too much work
Part 2 of 10: Short term thinking
Part 3 of 10: CAB confusion
Part 4 of 10: No peer exchange
Part 5 of 10: Unrealistic timing and expectations
Part 6 of 10: Lack of creativity and vision
Part 7 of 10: No executive ownership
Part 8 of 10: Poor CAB member management policies
Part 9 of 10: Poor Meeting Execution and Follow Up

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