The Impetus InSite Platform® is our proprietary portal, and where your customers will go to contribute their ideas to the advisory board.
The portal gives you four ways to engage your audience: questionnaires, discussion forums, annotation exercises and web meetings, and each has its place over the lifecycle of an advisory board.
In this blog, we’ll look at the benefits and some ideas for each.
The best reason to use a questionnaire is to benchmark your customers’ knowledge. It will allow you to gain the granular details that generalized conversations may not provide. It will also ensure you hear everyone’s opinion.
As for what to include, the goal should be expediency. Your questions should ask for a very specific response so you can compare them accurately. Consider the following:
Yes: What’s one thing people with cancer should know about treatment options but don’t.
No: What do you know about the way cancer patients are treated?
The first is asking for a specific opinion on a specific issue. I know what you want and I know how many you want. The second is open to all kinds of interpretation. When you say “treated,” do you mean by doctors or by medication? And are you looking for my opinion as a clinician or a humanitarian? And do you want to know everything about what I know? It’s a lot.
2. Discussion forums
Pose a question to the group and see what happens. The keeners on your board will respond right away. If they’re really keen, they’ll respond to each other’s responses, and before you know it, you will have an online dialogue or debate.
But remember to keep yourself or a customer moderator in the conversation so your advisors know you considered their opinions. Respond to everyone who chimes in, even with a “thanks for your feedback.” It will go a long way to keeping them engaged.
After a while, you’ll see who engages and who doesn’t, and you shouldn’t be afraid to invite them into the discussion, but do it respectfully:
Yes: Dr. Thomas, you did your training in Brussels. What do you think of the European approach to regulatory issues?
No: Dr. Thomas, we haven’t heard from you yet on the issue of Europe’s approach to regulatory issues. Any thoughts?
The first one demonstrates that you took the time to get to know the person’s credentials and that their opinion on this issue adds extra value. The second just calls him out for not participating.
3. Annotation exercises
Rather than having to summarize a paper, study or presentation, you can post the piece directly to the Impetus InSite Platform® and invite your members to mark it up. Like with the discussion forum, your customers can comment on their peers’ comments, and they can even post content themselves for the rest of your customers to consider.
Now, you can post anything you want, but you should always err on the side of giving them more direction than less. If you’re going to post a 20,000-word report, you’d be wise to preface it with the sections of importance. If you’re going to post a logo for them to consider, let them know what it’s for and where it’s going to be used.
And remember that the more you post for them to consider, the less time they’ll have to consider their opinions and responses, so don’t go overboard. We can help you plan all this out. Another consideration is to splice your large documents into multiple drafts or sections so the annotations can be done in “digestible” pieces.
4. Web meetings
At key intervals during the Campaign of Interactions®, it can be valuable to pull everyone together for a web meeting. For example, you may wish to call a Kick-Off Web Meeting when starting a project — to give a personal touch and ensure everyone is on the same page before the work begins. Or, if you have some unreleased data you want feedback on, you may wish to have your global team member share the highlights in a web meeting. But don’t expect to collect their insights there — let them ruminate a little first, and follow up with a touchpoint.
Don’t think of a web meeting as a place to “get the work done” — an asynchronous platform is far more effective for this — but sometimes there is a time and place for a “live” conversation.
Impetus is the Online Customer Advisory Board expert, offering the most comprehensive B2B Online Customer Advisory Board solutions. We increase customer intimacy, engagement and retention by creating a shared future direction with customer executives and key opinion leaders.