You know what you want to get out of an advisory board. But if your advisors don’t know, it’s virtually impossible to get where you need to go. That’s why before you start, it’s critical that you set the stage for you and for your members, and that you make the advisory board objectives clear for everyone involved.
Benchmark Your Advisors
The first thing you’ll want to do is gauge the knowledge and position of your advisors relative to your objectives. Some will have an intimate understanding of what you’ve brought them all together to discuss and some won’t. They will likely have varying experience and impressions related to your brand or portfolio. By benchmarking this, you’ll know where you stand right off the bat, and you’ll be better able to plan your next move. You’ll also have some important metrics at the end of your project and be able to demonstrate how far you’ve moved the needle.
State Your Goal Clearly
We’ve spoken about this before and we can’t stress it enough. In one sentence, you should be able to clearly articulate what you want the net takeaway of your advisory board to be. “We want to make a go/no-go recommendation to the marketing department.” “We want to make the case for extra dollars to go towards research.” Whatever it is, it should be undeniably simple so everyone knows why they’re there.
Establish a Clear Path for Your Customer Advisory Board
Your advisors should know what they’re in for, what’s expected of them and why. Impetus Digital‘s Longitudinal Expert Engagement Plan™ tool makes this very easy to do. Before anything begins, you can show your advisors the schedule of activities and engagement for the next 12 months so they can plan accordingly. This also demonstrates your commitment to them – and lets them know they’ve been selected as a key partner, not simply invited to yet another meeting. As a result, they feel more invested in the process.