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Gabrielle Wathen

Gabrielle is a Content Specialist at Higher Logic with a background in journalism, film, and marketing. When she's not writing about online communities or marketing automation, you can find her cuddling her cats Harvey and Wilbur, traveling the world, or storytelling in any way she can. Favorite food: All things cheese. Favorite place: Black Rock City, NV.
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Recent Posts

Build a Sustainable Brand with Purpose-Driven Marketing

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on April 18, 2019 at 1:48 PM | 5 minute read

Purpose – what is it? If you’re thinking “the name of Justin Bieber’s fourth album”... that would be correct, but this word carries more weight than his millions of fans.

In the 14th annual Global Consumer Pulse Research, titled ‘From Me to We: The Rise of the Purpose-Led Brand,’ Accenture Strategy defines purpose in the following way:

“pur·pose /ˈ pərpəs / Noun: The reason why something exists. For companies, it is the foundation of every experience. It is the underlying essence that makes a brand relevant and necessary.”

In an increasingly competitive landscape, purpose-driven marketing is about more than building your brand or boosting your revenue. It’s about building a better world, long-term, alongside the people who share your brand’s passion to drive positive change and make a real impact.

To build a sustainable brand, equipped with valuable brand advocates and stakeholders, make an effort to strengthen it by delivering something beyond price and quality.

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Topics: Engagement, Customer Communities, Customer Engagement, Member Experience, Member Engagement, Collaboration Tools, Customer Success, Customer Advocacy, Marketing Automation, Online Community

Talkin’ SaaS Stats: Customer Success is Having a Moment

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on April 11, 2019 at 1:47 PM | 6 minute read

Which begs the question…what took so long? It’s simple. Without customers, you don’t have a business. Without happy customers, you don’t have a successful, profitable, sustainable business. For B2B Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies, investing in customer success isn’t optional – or, at least it shouldn’t be, at this stage in the game.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Customer Success, Marketing Automation, Online Community

3 Lessons from a Unicorn: How to Harness Customer Feedback to Drive Brand Growth & Success

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on March 28, 2019 at 8:49 AM | 5 minute read

Facts: The Unicorn is Scotland’s national animal; you are reading this right now; and Glossier, a direct-to-consumer beauty brand, recently joined the ranks of other female-founded “unicorns” (privately held startup companies valued at over $1 billion). How? Customer listening.

Emily Weiss, Glossier founder and CEO, managed to transform what started in 2010 as her beauty blog Into the Gloss... into a beauty brand valued at $1.2 billion, and they recently launched Glossier Play, their colorful spin-off brand. On what she did differently, Emily says:

“Many of the beauty brands I grew up with were expert-led. They told me what products were in style and how to use them. From the start, I wanted to take a different approach with Glossier by co-creating the brand and products with customers.”

If you haven’t harnessed the power of customer feedback, you’re missing a serious opportunity to grow your brand into a community of advocates with customer success and satisfaction in mind. 

You don’t need to have the same business structure as Glossier to heed lessons from their approach - B2B brands can benefit from using engagement tools like online community and marketing automation to tap into their customer base on a more personal level for product collaboration, customer feedback, and brand growth. 

So, let’s talk about the power of people, since all companies are really “people to people” at their core, you know?

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Topics: Marketing, Customer Communities, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Customer Retention, Collaboration Tools, Customer Success, Customer Advocacy, Online Community

The Importance of Creating an Online Customer Portal with a Sense of Community

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on March 14, 2019 at 11:30 AM | 8 minute read

Have you ever spent time with a toddler who is discovering their independence? The moment a growing tyke learns how to do something new, they feel the need to try and do it themselves. There is a certain level of excitability that comes with their newfound independence and fierce determination – not to mention, a common distaste for being told ‘no.’ Sound relatable?

As grown adults in the modern age of tech booms, DIY-everything, and continuously rising customer service expectations, I don’t think we’re that far removed from the demands of a toddler who wants to be in the driver’s seat of their own experiences (and I’m not surprised).

Did you know that 89 percent of U.S. consumers expect brands or organizations to have an online self-service support portal?

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Topics: Customer Communities, Online Community Software, Customer Support, Online Community

How Engagement Tools Improve Association Event Management

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on February 28, 2019 at 12:20 PM | 5 minute read

Interested in filling more chairs at your next event? Achieving this goal is easier said than done without effective tools, but it’s a common core objective among associations (for good reason).

It is incredibly gratifying for associations to see a spike in event attendance, as participation plays a valuable role in their impact, but poor event management can cause your members to disengage.

Exploring new ways to keep your members engaged and informed about your events can increase overall member satisfaction and translate to a boost in event attendance.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Member Experience, Member Engagement, Marketing Automation, Online Community

Measure What Matters: KPIs For Online Community Success

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on February 21, 2019 at 1:34 PM | 5 minute read

Trying to figure out how to measure the success of your online community? There's no one size fits all approach for picking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). That shouldn't come as a surprise – all communities are different, so how you measure the success of an internal community within an organization may differ from that of an external association or customer support community. At any rate, there are some key principles to guide all KPI development.

Your approach to measuring the success of your online community needs to grow from how you measure success for your organization as a whole. What is the shared purpose and value of your online community for the organization and the community members?

Your approach should also reflect community maturity because as it grows and evolves, the way you define success should change and adapt as well.

Let’s boil it down to five quick tips.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Online Community

Does Your Community Throw Love at the World? (Time to Start)

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on February 14, 2019 at 2:58 PM | 8 minute read

So, I’m sitting here amid three monitors reveling at my flourishing desk plants, surrounded by my fellow marketers and community builders, as the sound coming through my earbuds drowns out their faint keyboard clicks and nearby sneezes, when it hits me: some of y’all aren’t showing your community enough love... and it shows.

I’m listening to the ever-so-delightful Jonathan Van Ness, of Netflix’s Emmy-winning show Queer Eye, chat with Reese Witherspoon about lady entrepreneurship on his podcast Getting Curious. As if their charming and gracious voices streaming into my ears wasn’t enough, their conversation is topical and genuine… and Reese just said something low-key amazing:

“I think the most profound thing you can do if you are an artist or a community builder is just throw love at the world, in any capacity you can.”

-Reese Witherspoon

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Topics: Engagement, Member Retention, Customer Experience, Member Experience, Customer Retention, Marketing Automation, Online Community

5 Marketing Pain Points & Solutions (From Our In-House Experts)

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on February 7, 2019 at 1:32 PM | 11 minute read

Can we talk about how glamorous the life of a marketer is for a moment? …I didn’t think so. While the role of a marketer can be incredibly interesting and rewarding, it doesn’t come without challenges. The good news? You’re not alone, you hardworking marketer, you! 

The scope of those challenges can differ across industries, so in an effort to understand these pain points we turned to Higher Logic’s trusted marketing experts for insight and solutions.

Regardless of which type of industry marketer you are – association, corporate, B2B, you name it – you might identify with these challenges. Thankfully, we include some resources to help you put your best 2019 marketing strategy into action (with minimal headaches, of course). Bonus: Relatable GIFs 👇

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Topics: Marketing, Email Marketing, Marketing Automation, Online Community

Improve Intergenerational Communication: 3 Tips to Attract & Retain Younger Members

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on January 31, 2019 at 2:33 PM | 7 minute read

“Generational hazing has always been a part of our cultural narrative. We need to unite generations to focus on moving forward together.”  –Kim Lear, Keynote Speaker, #HLSF18

When Kim Lear spoke at our most recent Super Forum, she reminded us that improving intergenerational communication has never been more pertinent than now. Tech is still booming with a competitive edge, people are living longer, and younger emerging generations like Millennials and Gen Z’ers will continue to shake up the workplace (and your member base).

Your future success is dependent upon building effective relationships across generational lines, so if you want to know how to attract and retain younger members (or employees), ask yourself:

Am I doing what younger generations actually want, or just what I think they want?

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Topics: Millennials, Member Retention, Member Experience, Marketing Automation, Online Community

2019 Marketing Strategy: Food for Thought From Seth Godin

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on January 16, 2019 at 2:24 PM | 6 minute read

The start of a new year is a great time to reevaluate your current marketing strategy and decide which tools and changes you can implement to drive maximum success in the months ahead. Now, I know strategizing is no easy feat, but approaching this task doesn’t have to be daunting when you’ve got guidance from the pros.

Seth Godin, a best-selling American author and entrepreneur, recently shared a multitude of thought-provoking perspectives while promoting his newest book This is Marketing on the podcast Self Made Man. The episode focuses on how marketing is changing, and when the host asks about how people should measure the effectiveness of their marketing today, Seth said:

“It begins with the feeling of knowing who would miss you if you didn't show up tomorrow. If your brand were to disappear tomorrow, who would truly miss you? If your podcast didn't go live on its scheduled day, how many people would you hear from? If you shut down your restaurant on Thursday, how many people on Friday would feel bereft?”

You can get a better idea of where you are today, and where you want to go, by considering your answer to this question and contemplating some more of Seth’s marketing points.

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Topics: Marketing, Customer Engagement, Customer Advocacy, Marketing Automation, Online Community

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