Alumni Leadership Series: Leveraging Alumni To Promote & Protect Your Brandby Community Admin in Video | Last Edited: 20th June 2019
For someone to want to be an advocate for your organization they have to have and the market has to have a good reflection of the brand.
For someone to want to join your network in the first place there has to be value.
And in all cases there has to be genuine honesty and empathy for your end users and as we repeat so often an Alumni First mentality.
Very often in Alumni discussions, the conversation of “RoR” comes up (The Return On Relationship) which in summary is an abstract way to implicitly measure the value of a nurtured relationship. The use case in Alumni is creating a positive and valuable relationship with your Alumni will create positive sentiment and that fairy dust will go out into the world and hopefully come back in the form of an actual KPI you can measure. Return on Relationship is a critical metric and measured via engagement, sentiment (NPS), social interactions or other network-based (growth) statistics such as referrals or extending your reach.
However, the concept of RoR is fundamentally misplaced for Alumni Leaders and tracking it or trying to track it using the NPS score or a social report or similar is a vanity data point that ultimately hurts the program. The reason is that the very concept of RoR for Alumni means you as an organization have already failed at one of the core pillars of a successful Alumni program. By tracking RoR you are tracking value back to you, which means you are putting the organization first and not the Alumni. By tracking RoR you are tracking the obvious, the sheep, the standard, the normal – the 78% of respondents said they would refer our company to a friend or colleague. What about the 1000 people that got the email asking them to take the survey but ignored it.
If you want to track the value, the metric to track is Reciprocal Return On Investment (RORR) – because to track value back to the organization without also tracking value back to the Alumni is not a community. (RORR) aims to calculate the joint and separate gains from a relationship. Both parties (the company and the alumni) make an investment to the Alumni community, just by signing up, they have invested time in the same way that your organization has invested money in its creation. Ultimately, this (RORR) will still need to track back into a measurable KPI that can deliver value to the business – and for many just starting their Alumni journey, this KPI might just be a “happy community”
It is critical to understand that running a successful Alumni program is a dyadic relationship, even the largest Alumni Network Leaders will tell you that the best interactions and opportunities and value come from the 1-1 relationships. Given each Alumni has a different set of needs and a different set of values, the (RORR) should be measured on an individual basis or for larger organizations on a persona basis.
How P&G and HSBC Drive Brand Value Through Alumni Engagement
Transcript available shortly