According to a recent report by Gartner, worldwide IT spending is predicted to grow to a total of $3.7 trillion in 2018 — an increase of six percent over 2017. This is the biggest growth rate since 2007. And for enterprise software spending, 2018 is supposed to be the highest growth rate of all at a rate of 11 percent.
Unfortunately, according to a PointSource survey of 679 executives, the value of the technology this money is being spent on is questionable at best for most organizations. Many enterprise leaders have very little idea of what their technology priorities are, especially with concern to driving growth. They know they need to spend money on digital, and their companies are giving them the money to do so, but they’re not sure what to spend it on, or why.
According to PointSource: “It’s not uncommon for organizations to end up with technologies that don’t work, are difficult to use or butt heads with other systems. Sometimes, decision makers aren’t taking the proper steps to support new technology investments. Worse, they may be purchasing flashy solutions simply because they’ve bought into hype or a competitor’s move.”
There are several solutions to avoid buying into hype rather than what’s best for the business, according to Forbes. Enterprise executives need to develop a growth strategy, be prepared for change, and learn and understand the implications of digital transformation.
At the same time, the digital world is changing the way businesses interact with customers. Organizations of all sizes are increasingly finding that they have less and less say over what the brand means as customers take over the conversation through peer-to-peer communication.
According to Bill Lee, President of the Customer Reference Forum, customer communities are the key to build brand value among your cherished public. In Lee’s Harvard Business Review article, he asserts that brands that leverage the emotional connection to their customers through customer communities succeed at using the power of their customers to better build their brands and increase buyership.
Customer communities do this in several ways:
- By helping customers build their reputations through reviews or user-led discussions
- By allowing customers to build affiliation networks through advisory boards that help direct brand vision
- By giving customers an opportunity to build status in a community
- By letting customers have a say in products or updates
These methods allow the members of the communities to exert positive peer influence across various markets, and bring value to the brand by allowing users to build social capital.
A customer community is, like any technology initiative, a big investment. At Paladin Group, we have built hundreds of communities on the world’s leading platforms for enterprise businesses. Our expertise is vital in helping executives make decisions on what community will be most valuable for their specific organization.
For more information on how Paladin Group can help you decide on moving forward with a customer community, please visit www.paladingroup.com.