Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Increasing sales velocity though Enterprise Social Networks: FICO

At the interface of main street and Wall Street, FICO (previously known as Fair Isaac) caters both to consumers and businesses and delivers a wide range of predictive analytic solutions. The company generates more than half of its B2B leads from digital marketing through a very deliberate use of social networks both, private and public.

The main reason social networking is so important to FICO is that it enables both prospects and customers to educate and inform themselves by communicating with other similarly minded people in a safe and semi-structured environment, in their own language, 24/7. My strategy was to build FICO’s own private enterprise social network, decisions.fico.com, and to use public social networks like YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/user/FICOTechTalk#p/u, LinkedIn and Twitter to attract potential participants. This strategy, coupled with a user interface focused on maximizing positive user experience, has been very successful. In a very short period of time, we’ve managed to attract thousands and thousands of professionals to join FICO’s online-community the world over.

This project is a real-life example of how to put cloud computing to work to enable and facilitate customer engagement: By inviting our customers to become our most valuable collaborators with regard to defining new product requirements and other enhancements to our services.

FICO’s private enterprise social network, decisions.fico.com, was launched in a matter of weeks. It uses Salesforce Ideas and Lithium Customer Community applications. It integrates with Six Apart’s Typepad, Amazon EC2 and Sharepoint. The vision that lead to this strategy sprang from the marketing team working in very close collaboration with the CIO. The bulk of the implementation for this cloud-based composite application was outsourced to Salesforce’s partner, Reside.

The community is open to everybody using or evaluating FICO technology and services such as Chief Risk Officers, business analysts, developers and many others. Demos, free trials, and best practices are all a click away. Expanding he FICO community from the physical world to the digital world has been a very worthwhile investment! And, let’s not forget that for the customer‘s experience to be successful, the interaction must be multi-channel and consistent both on-line and in-person.

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