Inclusive Marketing strives to create a visual culture that is more representative. Inclusion is different than diversity. Diversity has become an empty term in most organizations, often denoting little more than the checking of boxes and meeting of quotas. It depends on making one group—say men, or white people—the default and everyone else the other. Conversely, inclusion speaks to the quality of experience, where multiple perspectives are sought out and treated equitably.
In every corner of an organization, the idea of having an online community is brought up. But often, the idea remains just that – an idea – because starting the journey seems daunting. How should we begin to build the business case for it? What are the steps to get started? How can we translate the hard-to-explain-and-grasp benefits of community into a comprehensive and convincing plan? What lessons can be learned from others who have succeeded? To answer these questions and more, we are sharing a detailed roadmap to set you firmly on course!
At the Social Shakeup conference in Atlanta (hosted by Social Media Today) I was delighted to participate in a keynote panel with Jeff Dachis and Renee Ducre to talk about the future of social business. A video of the session was just posted online so I am sharing it here as I think we covered some interesting ground.
The Social Business era has arrived, and with it, individual customers now have a voice. “Listen to me,“ they shout from digital rooftops. “Meet my needs and exceed my expectations,” they demand – online and offline. They’re not passive recipients of products, services and one-way messaging any more. Since the dawn of commerce, businesses have tried to get closer to their customers. That day is here.
Designing online communities for business is a subtle blend of creating the right business model, a clear understanding and service of member needs and a usable interface that enables professionals to focus on engagement. Too often, however, the design of professional communities draw inspiration from consumer communities and try to mirror the user experience they experience on non-work based social applications. Frequently, there are far too many bells and whistles – gratuitous features – built into the design of B2B communities that can get in the way of successful use of the community of practice. While sexy widgets are neat playthings for users who are browsing communities for social or fun reasons, in a workplace setting, they just serve as distractions to getting the job done, the information shared or found, or the connection accomplished to solve a business problem. One of the main reasons why online communities for business often fail to provide a meaningful user experience is a lack of understanding about best practice design for professionals.
With this in mind, I have invited my colleague, Tania Schlatter, to be a guest blogger and share her thoughts on building online communities for business from a design perspective. Tania is co-founder of Nimble Partners, and an award-winning designer who focuses on human-centered websites and applications.