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Andy’s Answers: How Texas Instruments built a engineer-to-engineer community

Despite all the evidence to the contrary from great brands such as SAP, Clorox, and CME Group, people still question if social media and word of mouth can really work for B2B marketing.

Add Texas Instruments to that growing list. Its E2E (engineer-to-engineer) community is connecting internal experts with external engineers. It’s increasing collaboration, driving productivity, and it’s having a real impact on the bottom line.

At GasPedal’s recent Word of Mouth Supergenius, Texas Instruments’ Devashish Saxena and Telligent’s George Dearing shared a few of the strategies and early results from the community. A few of their big points:

  • Help people solve problems. The E2E Community isn’t designed to strictly talk about TI products; it’s designed to help engineers find solutions to complex challenges.
  • Start small and be data-hungry. Launching a project like this at a major enterprise can always be tough. Devashish and his team did it by focusing on their internal evangelists who believed in the project, creating a beta site within two to three months, and using that data to create a business case for leadership.
  • The results blew them away. Devashish says they found that community members were requesting six times more samples across three times more product areas. As marketers, it made them step back and question some of their more traditional approaches, which usually resulted in one sample request from one product area.

If you like this presentation, check out our upcoming Word of Mouth Supergenius event in New York on July 20.

Disclosure: SAP, Clorox, CME Group, and Texas Instruments are all Social Media Business Council members (of which I am the CEO). Learn more about it and our members: http://www.socialmedia.org