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  • Andrew Kordek 5:19 am on November 19, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , online communities, , , socialmediatoday.com,   

    Social Media Today 

    I just joined a new site for social media junkies like myself.  Its called Social Media Today.

    Its a conglomerate of some of the best thinkers in the industry.

    Check it out.

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  • Andrew Kordek 9:06 am on November 9, 2007 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , community, , evangelist, , John Jantsch, , online communities, podcast, , , , wiki,   

    Branding For a Software Company 

    John at Duct Tape Marketing has a great definition of branding that I would like to share:

    Branding is the art of becoming knowable, likable and trustable”

    So with this definition in mind, how can something like this statement above apply to any software company of any size? Does Microsoft or Oracle need to brand their software anymore than they already have? Some people trust and like Microsoft and Oracle and some people don’t. I think more where this applies to is company’s who have a multitude of products or services and are well known in the marketplace for some piece of software.

    Branding takes alot of patience, time, money and creativity. You cant just buy a Super Bowl Commercial and expect that it will instantly brand you. (ok..maybe GoDaddy is a bit of an exception) Buying the back cover of trade magazine is a good start but for some is expensive. I feel that in todays transparent world, a great way to brand yourself is to open up the doors, knock down the walls and show the IT community that you are all about collaborating and solving the pains of their world as well as being a thought leader in your respective marketplace. You can have the best products in the world, but if you play the secracy game with the public, branding will be difficult.

    Here are a few (yes a few) ways to build a good brand in software

    1. Start a blog. A good blog..not a chest pounding advertisement, but one which adds value to your expertise

    2. Hire an evangelist.

    3. Build a wiki or a community centered around pain and have that evangelist dedicated to fostering both

    4. Educate educate educate through as many new mediums as you can (podcasts, video, white boarding sessions etc….)

    5. Do a super bowl commercial (kidding)

    6. Do things that are fun for your audience…show them that you are real

    7. Monitor your reputation online and comment and acknowledge people that talk about you and your industry.

    This is just a start, but if you manage to do the above you are well on your way to branding your organization

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  • Andrew Kordek 6:41 am on November 2, 2007 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , community2.0, , online communities, , , ,   

    Online Communities – IT or Marketing? 

    I was speaking with a close colleague yesterday and she is faced with an interesting situation in her organization. Her organization is a medium sized software company with about 5 online communities. There is a raging debate within her organization about who should own the online communities: IT/R&D or Marketing. Marketing has a clear path for growth of the communities in that they want to make them more issue based as well less branded (yea…go figure..a marketing person who wants to brand what they do less). She would not disclose with me what the goal/future plans are of the IT organization.

    There have been numerous meetings with management of both sides and no decision has come as a result. I have done some preliminary research on this subject and have my own opinion, but curious as to what you have to say. Let me know what you think.

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    • itmarketeers 9:57 am on November 3, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      In my view marketing should own management and facilitation of (online) communities. It takes greater dedication, resource and commitment to manage 5 online communities then most parts of the organizations are willing to commit to. Marketing also needs to be responsible for keeping a tab on messaging and branding to the members. Communities are part of the marketing mix and potentially take a big share in a company’s go to market strategy.
      Other parts of the organization like IT/R&D should participate in the communities providing content, collaboration with members, and taking feedback (etc.). They should be able to do this without being constrained by the logistics of running a community.
      My two cents….

    • thescrappysoftwaremarketer 9:13 am on November 5, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for stopping by my blog and for your insight.

  • Andrew Kordek 7:44 am on October 26, 2007 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , online communities, , , ,   

    Building an online community for software companies – Step 2 

    Once you answer the tough questions that I laid out in Step 1, then you are like 10% of the way there. Step 2 is easy….not. You will need to select a platform from which to build your community on. Some questions to ask your organization are.

    What are your hardware needs?

    What sort of software do you need to run it on? (sharepoint, jive, windows community) and do you have room of systematic growth?

    In regards to the software being chosen you will need to ask a few things such as ease of use? Compatibility with existing systems in house? Development and integration time. Scalability? Long term commitment? ROI? Real vs. virtual costs.

    Alot of things need to be considered on the technical end of the house before you proceed. While I am not the most technical person around, I can tell you that depending on your needs, there are several fine open source software solutions as well some commercial products as well.

    All in all, the technical end might seem like a big hurdle for some, especially in certain organizations where resources are scarce. Part 3 coming soon.

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  • Andrew Kordek 7:28 pm on October 24, 2007 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , online communities, , , ,   

    Building an online community for software companies – Step 1 

    Want to build an online community in your organization? Great….do you have a plan?

    Many companies jump into building an online community but have no idea what they hope to accomplish with it. Some companies are so product focused that they feel that building a community centered around talking about their products will draw tens of thousands of people to it. Others want to build a community on the assumption that its what the customer wants. Others want to build a community cause its the “in” or “latest buzzword” and they must have one.

    Step 1 – Define what you want with clear cut goals and expectations. Organizations need to answer some tough questions when building out a community

    1. How will an online community further our companies mission?

    2. Will there be an evangelist for this community? In other words, will there be one person or a team of people with the same goal in mind and that is to be nothing more than figure head for this thing?

    3. How do you envision the community growing over a 10-18 month period? How will you keep the community vibrat and full of energy?

    4. How will you empower the users of the community to feel they are the owners and not you the organization?

    5. Are you wanting to start big and have a promotional strategy around it or are you wanting to start small and gradually build your base?

    Once some of these questions are answered, companies then need to move into Step 2. (Step 2 tomorrow)

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