Friday, November 07, 2008

Excellent Social Marketing: Knights of NI

"Ah, these are dark times when passing ruffians can go around saying 'NI' to an old woman."  - Roger the Shrubber from Monty Python's "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."

Yesterday I had chance to hear Deirdre Walsh speak about her role in National Instruments' social marketing on on-line community. Their's is a great case study about how to well use an on-line community not only for the benefit of the company but, more importantly, for the benefit of the community members who are customers of the company.

National Instruments (NI) is based in Austin, Texas and makes hardware and software for testing. It's a company whose customers are pretty much into all things engineering. Deirdre illustrated how they built their on-line community to allow not only NI's employees to help customers, but also to help the customers help each other. It is quite a success story.

There are a select few among those who belong to on-line communities who go above and beyond sharing their knowledge, and the NI community is no exception. There is a handful of people who posted over 16,000 entries in seven months. The folks at NI wanted to reward those people with some kind of special status in the community. They turned to the community to ask what this status sould be called and the community responded the name should be the "Knights of NI." (Read the postings on the subject.)

Now, for a web geek like me, I thought this was not only very funny, but a great play on the name of the company bounced off a movie done by a group of folks who are well-loved by techies and geeks. This certainly goes on my list of way cool things.

Aside: I have to give kudos to Jive Software for putting on the workshop where Deirdre spoke. It was high with good content and very low with sales pitch. Hats off to Jive for putting together a very informative event.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the presentation, especially the great Monty Python story. Amazing things happen when companies actually listen and work with their communities.