Customer Advisory Board Impact & Member Engagement Quadrant
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We created a quadrant that actually shows our thinking on advisory boards. Many times, when we do advisory board engagements, we are called in to do benchmarking. We might go into a client, and that client is going to ask us, "How do we compare with other advisory boards? You guys have done more than 120 advisory board engagements. How do we compare, either within a vertical, within an industry, or within the entire universe of advisory boards?" We created a quadrant, and again, thanks for the mutual work with David Coates from Iron Mountain, that is similar to Gartner's Magic Quadrant. There are two axes here. One is CAB Impact: what is the impact of the advisory board on your business; and the other axis is the level of member engagement.
Looking at the upper left hand quadrant, the Relationship-Based, these are advisory boards that are focused on relationship building. You might have an event once a year where you host the advisory board members, but in-between, companies that are really doing relationship-based advisory boards are taking the members to NBA games, PGA Tours, fancy dinners, anything you can think of that requires a lot of money and has some exclusivity attached to it. The relationship aspect actually is a high-touch, high-cost type of an activity. It has limited peer exchange, because the focus really is on individual relationship, and the value to the host company is not that great.
The second quadrant on the bottom left hand side is the Event-Based quadrant. The Event-Based quadrant companies are using the word "event". We don't like to use the word "event". In our vocabulary, it's only a meeting. It's only one discrete part of a continuous program, but they're doing an event. An event once a year, they're getting all their customers together. Quite a limited value, when it comes to advisory boards.
Moving to the other side of the quadrant, the Sub-Optimized. Over here, the impact of the CAB is increasing, but the members are not fully engaged. The ROI is not consistent. There is delay in incorporating member input into strategic or product or solutions. In most cases, it provides better value. It's a better deal to the company than to the members.
If you move all the way to the top right hand quadrant, the Leaders quadrant, the High Performance advisory boards. These are advisory boards that are generating significant value to your company, and are able to engage the members in a significant way. They influence business strategy. They are able to create a shared future, or shared vision, with your customers. Obviously, there's a continuous feedback and communication loop.
If we take this model and actually map it out with some of our customers... obviously we can't have any specific names here, but you can see different categories. You can see that on the relationship side, the engagement is pretty high. We have one client that runs global advisory boards. They've been running them for years. The impact of the advisory board is pretty low. They're not really doing a lot of things with it. They use it for a relationship perspective. There is a waiting list to get to these advisory boards. These advisory boards are always done in locations such as Monaco, Tuscany, London, Paris, there was one in Bora Bora. There's a waiting list. There is a very high engagement from the members. You call them to attend a meeting in Bora Bora, guess what? Everybody's coming.