NetApp is an industry-leading provider of storage and data management solutions. It has a presence in more than 100 countries– thousands of customers and a network of more than 2,200 partners– and a culture of innovation, technology leadership, and customer success. The company was seeking to build higher brand awareness and deeper engagement with employees, customers, and partners and decided to deploy both customer and employee communities. To ensure success, the marketing function took the leadership role in designing and implementing the communities — with broad participation from other stakeholders.

Centralizing accountability helped to align community goals, strategies, and tactics. The work done to launch the employee community allowed NetApp to launch its customer-facing community. More than 9,000 users from 100 countries registered in the first eight months, with 78% of the community users external to the company (customers, partners, technology experts).

The membership year to date has grown to more than 26,000. There are currently around 900 active participants, and the current repeat visits to the community is about 50% of the members. The internal community, NetApp Live, has grown faster than projected to include almost all employees as registered users.

Discussions in the community tapped into a much richer pool of ideas that help drive company and product priorities. The community established a forum for customers and partners to continually provide feedback to NetApp. NetApp mines these discussions to enhance its products and services to meet the most pressing needs of its customer base.

The community implementation sped delivery of the company’s new branding initiative, reduced support costs, improved customer transparency, and delivered a new channel for product ideation and feedback.

For more details, here’s the case study: NetApp Marketing Takes Ownership Of Its Community Initiative To Ensure Success

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Other documents in this series…The first part of each listing is the link is to the Forrester Case Study or document and the second part of each title has a link to the story on my blog– that way if you are not a Forrester client (yet 😉 ) you can see some of the results and start taking action!

Case Study 1: ACT! By Sage Uses Social Media To Transform The Customer Experience

Case Study #2: Lenovo Takes Ownership Of Social Media To Reduce Customer Service Costs

Case Study #3:InfusionSoft Improves The Customer Experience With Social Media

Case Study #4: Achieves Customer Service Scalability Goals Using Social Media

Case Study #5: Intel Uses Social Media to Transform the Customer Experience

Case Study #6: Cisco Consumer Business Groups Builds Business Case for Social Media

Best Practices in Social Media:Five Strategies Customer Service Professionals

The ROI of Social Media:How to Calculate the Return on Investment for Customer Service