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For Application Development & Delivery Professionals

Case Study: NetApp Marketing Takes Ownership Of Its Community Initiative To Ensure Success

Best Practices In Customer Service Social Media

September 28, 2009


  • By Chip Gliedman,
  • Natalie L. Petouhoff, Ph.D.
  • with William Band,
  • Andrew Magarie

Why Read This Report

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 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.

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