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October 2, 2008


National Instruments Supports the Groundswell

by deirdrewalsh

The folks at National Instruments know that I’m a firm believer in the book, Groundswell.  In fact, I recently presented my 2009 Community & Social Media marketing plans centered around the philosophies outlined in this publication, authored by two analysts at Forrester Research.

Overall, Groundswell demonstrates how people are getting their information from each other rather than traditional institutions, like big corporations.  Thanks to advancements in Web 2.0 technology, this is easier than ever.  We have seen that this trend is impacting all areas of the business – support, marketing, research, development, and sales.

Over the next few days, I thought it would be cool to show you how utilizing the P.O.S.T. methodology outlined in the book, National Instruments built a successful online support community for engineers and scientists at more than 25,000 companies globally.

National Instruments transforms the way engineers and scientists around the world design, prototype, and deploy systems. Often deemed the “Home Depot for Engineers,” NI offers a wide-variety of hardware and software products to empower technology leaders working on applications ranging from LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT software to hardware for the CERN supercollider.
Using the NI LabVIEW graphical programming software and modular hardware, customers at more than 25,000 companies simplify development, increase productivity, and dramatically reduce time to market. Since no one industry represents more than 10 percent of NI’s revenue, it is essential for us to connect engineers working on similar applications in order for them to obtain domain-specific support. It would be impossible for us to create all of the support and marketing content needed to address every engineering application, ranging from medical device creation to solutions for the global climate crisis. Therefore, it’s imperative that we connect like-minded users so they can support each other.

Starting in Feb 2007, the NI community team, comprised of members of the marketing, product, support, Web and IT departments, created the mission to ensure and highlight customer success by incentivizing and enhancing user connectivity, contribution and collaboration online and offline. This objective ensured that we were properly tapping into the groundswell to reduce support costs, improve products, and energize brand evangelists.

Stay tuned for the rest of the posts in this series.


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