Masters of Community with David Spinks
The Benefits of Developing A Community Strategy with Marius Ciortea
October 11, 2021
In this episode of Masters of Community, we speak with Marius Ciortea, Chief Community Officer at IBM. Marius leads the community strategy of forming an engaging brand presence to interact with their community of existing customers. He will be discussing how to share best practices and use common terminology to expand the experience beyond the company brand and fuel the fireside chat. Who is this episode for? B2B, Successful Brands, Mature Organizations, Scaling, Revitalizing Three key takeaways: 1. IBM’s Community Strategy: Companies should value customers above everything else. IBM's community shift aims to keep the customers satisfied, engaged, and loyal to the brand 2. Developing a Cohesive Community Experience: 1. Companies need to focus more on the end-users that influence the buying decision. 2. Create various points of communication to bring the community closer and to interact directly with individuals. 3. Focus on clearly defining the purpose and the strategy of the organization 3. Showing the Scale and Investing in a Community Brand: Community managers should feel good about the tools available to drive scale and take a more nurturing stance in their role. Companies from the same community influence each other. If different organizations create positive experiences for the users, they will become engaged and active within the community. Notable Quotes: 1. “I never fully understood why communities were relegated to a community manager role in the world of social media. I don't want to knock social media, but you are talking to everyone, and you don't know the impact that you're having. When you're talking in a community, especially a community of customers, you're talking to your customers. I believe smart companies should value the customers above everything else. Therefore, you should not let that conversation live with a junior intern.” 2. “I feel like the real influencers are the guys that actually use your software in and day out. If you get those internal users to be your advocates, signing the check will be a no-brainer for the decision-makers. The true influencers are inside the company that is already using the product. So that is why I think companies need to focus on the users more because they are ultimately making the buying decision.” 3. “The purpose that I have is to create a place where customers can share their thoughts and learn from each other. Ultimately, if they share their experiences and learn from each other, they will do more with the products. And that is right, regardless of technology, language, product, or whatever it is that unifies all together.” Answers to rapid-fire questions: 1. If you could only have one kind of food for the rest of your life, what would that food be? Spaghetti Carbonara. 2. What's your favorite book to give or to recommend to people? Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff. 3. What's a go-to community engagement, tactic, or conversation starter that you like to use in your communities? T-shirts and beer. Anytime people get together, get them a t-shirt, and if you can give them a beer, they will love you forever. 4. What's the weirdest community you've ever been a part of? My kid, who is 15, told me that he is sort of a community manager on a Minecraft community on this court. 5. What advice do you have for community professionals who want to become chief community officers one day? Be clear in what you're trying to achieve for your company. 6. How to break the silos? Interview your customers, ask them questions on how they feel being siloed. 7. How do you evaluate a platform to choose for your community? Be clear on your purpose and then match your or your community's capabilities to that purpose.
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