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Reference Point
a newsletter for customer reference professionals
July 2009
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In this Issue:

THIS MONTHS ISSUE:
- The Joys of Integration
- New Vendor Services Site is Ready.
- Summit on Customer Engagement in Boston
- New Research: How Effective is Your Customer Engagement?
- Local meetings of reference professionals
- Jobs: Who's seeking a position?
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THE JOYS OF INTEGRATION

How well do your clients' reference programs integrate with other key-customer engagement programs? And why should they care? (I know of firms where the reference, customer communities and advisory board programs hardly speak to each other -- and in some cases, deliberately withhold information from each other.)
 
Here's why it matters. It will make your clients' lives easier. And their programs perform better. That's because integration is key to presenting a great value proposition to the customers they're recruiting, engaging with and trying to build relationships with. On the other hand, separating references from other customer engagement programs - to say nothing of  withholding information and customers from each other -  is self-defeating. It places the needs of these individual programs above those of the customer.
 
As former Motorola and GE Industrial Systems CIO Patty Morrison put it at our February Customer Reference Forum, "Don't just ask me to be a reference. Offer me the full range of engagement opportunities. Give me the chance to improve your service to me, partner with you, and interact with my peers." Other needs that key customers may have include professional development, rewarding their staffs appropriately such as with conference tickets, and developing best practice documentation based on their firms' solutions.
 
How integrated are your clients' reference programs? Here's a quick diagnostic you'll find on my blog. And please do feel free to forward this to your clients and prospects.

All the best,
Bill

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ANNOUNCEMENTS
- New Vendor Services Site is Ready.
- Summit on Customer Engagement in Boston
- New Research: How Effective is Your Customer Engagement?
- Local meetings of reference professionals
- Jobs: Who's seeking a position?
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NEW VENDOR SERVICES SITE IS LIVE
There is still time to get your listing up before we begin promotion of this service next week. You'll be able to:
  • Gain instant visibility - right on the Customer Reference Forum website - with our community of 1,000+ reference professionals who run many of the world's organized customer reference programs. Gain independent, 3rd party validation - similar to that which a technology solution receives from a tech analyst firm.
  • Help Customer Reference Forum help you. We'll be able to provide more current and in-depth guidance about your firm to reference managers who contact us looking for vendor solutions.
Vendor Site
Register for your listing

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2009 SUMMIT ON CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT
October 20-21 (opening reception, October 19, 7pm)
Boston, MA, USA

Join Customer Reference and other Customer Engagement professionals - along with senior marketing executives - from Intel, EMC, SAS, Wells Fargo, AT&T, AmerisourceBergen, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi Data Systems, National Instruments, Citrix Systems, Infor, Kronos and dozens of other top firms. Learn how senior executives value your reference program and, in detailed case studies, how other reference programs are achieving that value. If you are interested in participating as a sponsor or vendor, please reply to this newsletter with "interested in participating" in the subject line.

Featured presenters
Agenda
Early registration is now open

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NEW RESEARCH: HOW EFFECTIVE IS YOUR "CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT"?
Our new research group, Customer Strategy Group, is partnering with ITSMA (The IT Services Marketing Association) on this new research project. It will provide badly needed information on how to leverage key-customer relationships - including references, advisory boards and forums, customer communities & social media, and so forth. Specific deliverables will include how to organize these programs strategically; how to integrate them in ways that maximizes value to customers and benefits to the business; how to budget for new social media technologies; how to measure these programs; and how to leverage their impact on revenues. If your firm is interested in participating in this project and you'd like more information, please do let me know at your earliest convenience. Sponsorships of the research will be limited.

LOCAL MEETINGS OF REFERENCE PROFESSIONALS
The Boston Area Reference Professionals Group  The next Boston area reference meeting is scheduled at 9:30-12:30 on August 14th from 9:30-12:30. Elizabeth McCann from Intuit has offered to host the next meeting in Waltham, MA. Dan Raun from DS will be joining the meeting to discuss the online community he is in the process of developing in partnership with Beeline Labs, targeting the aerospace and defense industry. Beeline Labs will be joining Dan in the discussion. We are also hoping to have a representative from SAP join our discussions of how they are using online community with their reference customers. . If you are interested in attending this meeting please please e-mail Kara Manfredi at karamanfredi@deltek.com or at 617-528-2601. Also, if you are not located in the MA area, but would still like to join the Boston user group please contact Kara. Kara's group has members that dial in that are located in NY, RI, CT, and SC.JOBS
Who's Seeking a Position?Chris Jennings, formerly of i2 Technologies,  is seeking a new position. Chris has been the Customer Reference Manager at i2 for seven years and has facilitated over 1,500 references during this time and has helped close nearly $75M in new business. Chris is based in Connecticut and can be reached on his mobile phone at 203-895-2026 or chris_jennings22@yahoo.com. To view his resume, please click on his name.
Mary Olian, who formerly managed the client reference  program worldwide for IBM's InfoSphere brand, is seeking a full-time or consulting position. Mary is an accomplished marketing professional with expertise  in developing and executing marketing programs aligned with corporate  objectives across multiple organizations and distribution channels worldwide. She is known for leveraging persuasive communications with customers to secure their participation in reference activities, to help drive sales growth, demand generation, and brand awareness. Mary can be reached at maryolian@gmail.com. To view her resume, please click on her name above.Carol Blumberg has 20+ years of Customer Programs and Marketing experience, including developing and implementing Customer Reference programs, Customer Satisfaction programs, Customer Outreach and Loyalty programs. In addition, her skill set includes database management, corporate communications, lead generation and training/corporate events. To view her resume, please click on her name.
Adobe's Mary Lachapelle, an experienced enterprise-level Customer Reference Manager. She  recently achieved success in launching and managing the Plantronics Customer Reference Program and is now seeking a full time or consulting position. Mary's creative and resourceful approach has led to her award-winning customer reference programs that have measured success in the support of strong revenue 
growth, product launches, and happy customers! To view Mary's resume, please click on her name.
HP's Carole Flad a well experienced reference pro - is seeking a position. Carole is a highly motivated, results-driven Marketing Manager seeking a position with a rapid growth organization to help them attain success in bringing their products, service and solutions profitably to the market. To see her resume, please click on her name.
Laurene Price is seeking a part-time consulting or permanent position in the Customer Reference Management field. Laurene's experience includes working with customers and sales teams to develop and maintain references, creating systems requirements for reference reporting systems, and acting as a point of contact within the company for reference data and policies. To see her resume, please click on her name.

We can let our community of more than 1000+ reference pros know about your position opening. To post a job (for now, this service is free), please click here.

Contact Information
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