Advocate marketing company Influitive has launched a new platform to help business to business (B2B) marketers create customer communities and boost member engagement.

Influitive Communities is an extension of the company’s AdvocateHub platform, and helps B2B marketers create communities can give potential customers social validation from their peers that can help drive the buying decision.

B2B buyers say they want to engage in authentic conversations with their peers to help them make better business decisions, and businesses want to facilitate these conversations, but research from Demand Metric­ shows that while 2/3s of organizations have branded communities, just six per cent of B2B marketers say their communities are meeting all their expectations.

“Despite significant investment and effort, most B2B communities created on traditional platforms fail because they lack a scalable, sustainable way to encourage member interaction and content creation, and keep members coming back for more,” said Mark Robins, vice-president of product for Influitive, in a statement. “Influitive is the only B2B platform that marries advocacy and community to ignite engagement through recognition, rewards and social capital.”

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With Influitive Communities, the company hopes to make it easier for marketers to run a successful community that drives the engagement and return on investment they’re looking for. One element of the platform is the use of recognition, rewards, social capital and competition to spur conversation and participation. It provides a forum for content creation and peer-to-peer interaction, allows members to demonstrate their expertise, and gives marketers an opportunity to identify and nurture advocates in the community and steer them toward higher-value activities such as referrals and references.

“We have heard from community managers and advocates alike that they want a more holistic, valuable experience connecting the branded communities and external websites they participate in, such as LinkedIn, Quora and Stack Overflow,” said Mark Organ, CEO of Influitive, in a statement. “We are excited to deliver this experience with Influitive Communities.”

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras is a technology journalist with IT World Canada and a member of the IT Business team. He began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada and the channel for Computer Dealer News. His writing has also appeared in the Vancouver Sun & the Ottawa Citizen.