Putting the “Peer” in Client Engagement

In this era of social connectedness, the opinions and input from peers are of paramount importance to driving buying decisions and adoption of new products and services for customers of all types.  For those marketers trying to sell to executives, the power of peer connections is critical to help to define the value of engaging with your company.  If you want to reach this audience effectively, make sure you are systematically putting your clients’ peers into your engagement programs.

The Peer Imperative
Executives rely even more heavily than others on the advice and perspective of their peers, and seek opportunities to learn from, share and engage with those they perceive to sit in that role.  At the same time, it is not always easy for executives to access peers in safe, innovative, sales-free ways.  Your clients will place high value on the chance to participate in programs that allow them to share and that help to advance their own business agendas.

Creating a Peer Experience
As you build and revamp your approach to client engagement, focus on those activities that support and enhance your executive clients’ connections to their peers.  Consider the peer lens when you assess the best vehicles for engaging your clients.  Here are a few programs that provide a lot of value when considered from this lens:

  • Thought leadership as a vehicle for peer insights
    Involving your clients to create insightful, inspiring stories that showcase and extract ideas, solutions and best practices is a potent way to integrate peer insights into your conversations with clients. (See Your Clients are Your Content Engine for more on why this works.)
  • Advisory Boards as a setting for peer engagement
    Client Advisory Boards and Councils are one of the most effective tools for engaging clients with their peers – and your executives – through a shared strategic agenda in a safe and encouraging setting.  (See our earlier blog post, where we discuss in more detail the power of the peer connection at Client Advisory Boards to bring value to your executive clients.)
  • Client eminence programs to elevate clients as peer leaders
    Client eminence programs, designed to highlight and showcase your clients as personal and industry leaders through speaking, writing, and other vehicles inside your company and beyond, provide a powerful opportunity for influence and insight that executives do not always have access to, even from their own marketing departments.  This broadens the platform for your clients to share and get value, while helping to establish them as leaders among their peers.

The Power of Peers for You
The power to convene the right peers is highly regarded by executive clients, and represents a differentiator among the sea of vendors vying for attention.  Your ability to connect your clients to peers and their ideas and insights reflects on your company’s ability to provide high end business value and provides a brand lift that is often underestimated by marketers and companies alike.  And your own executives are part of this network, bringing them new ideas and opportunities at the same time.  This is not a one way street, but a mutual avenue for innovative engagement.  Don’t miss the opportunity.

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