Posts Tagged ‘Engagement’
I’m starting to notice a major difference between B2B and B2C communities and when asked the other day to sit down and think about Gamification elements for a B2B community I spent a lot of time staring in to space. The biggest hurdle for me to overcome was the one that goes “is it worth it?”. Gamification for me is about enhancing the experience of users, setting challenges to encourage participation, risk and reward along with gaining the ability to brag about how much better you are.
But what about B2B? If your community only connects on a [user - brand] level and not [user-user] because it’s all business focused then some elements of Gamification become null and void. Bragging rights don’t really work but leaderboard might, ranks and levels for contributions aren’t as fulfilling if users aren’t going to engage with each other, rewards have to be geared towards B2B like discounts on account renewals and overall it becomes a shadow of a former glory.
Don’t get me wrong it can still work, and I’ll be working to try and prove that but when compared with some of the cool stuff you can do in B2C communities, it just isn’t quite the same, at least from where I’m sitting. If anyone has had success with Gamification in a B2B environment then I’m all ears but from this side of the table, I’m not sure the effort involved would generate enough of a return for the business.
Having finished my stint at Disney and taking a much needed break away in the sunshine today I’ve started a new role. The company I’m now working for operates in the B2B space and focuses on digital media and already a few questions have sprung up with regards to what I’m about to dive in to.
The biggest of these is the one I’ve included in the title. My experience over the past few years has largely focused on B2C online communities where you are building relationships with end-consumers, enabling and supporting them in building relationships with each other and acting as the face of the brand in a public space. So what’s different with B2B?
Whilst I don’t know the answer yet to me it seems like a lot of it should be the same; you’ve still got people to build relationships with, some of the metrics will remain the same, you can look for influencers and power users etc etc. There are however I believe some inherent differences (and challenges). The biggest one I can see straight off – how to foster relationships between “clients” if they are competing in the same field. More to the point, does this even matter in a B2B environment? Should the focus purely be on the “Client <> You” Relationship rather than aiming to build engagement through lasting relationships between users / clients?
On top of that, does content automatically become King by default if relationships only exist between clients and you, the brand? Is there some alternative in making a B2B community offer compelling outside of content?
Lots of questions floating around in my head right now but I’m looking forward to the challenge and it will certainly extend and change my perception of community management for the better!