How advisory boards are guiding executives to the marketing high ground

The customer advisory board (CAB) is quickly becoming a popular tool for aligning a company’s vision and product direction with the needs and priorities of its best customers. If your company is thinking about sponsoring a CAB, or if you want to compare how companies are using theirs to achieve competitive advantage, check out my new two-volume set of guidebooks about CABs.

A CAB is a strategy-level focus group — a sounding board for your leadership team to learn from and better understand your most important customers. This representative group of a dozen or so customers meets in person once or twice a year to offer advice and perspective on your company direction, value proposition, and product services suite.

The most visionary leaders are the ones who not only hear the words spoken by their customers but also read the unspoken needs that lay just below the surface. These books show you how to do this.

The Flipchart Guide™ to Customer Advisory Boards, Volume 1: Is your company ready? is written for executive leaders. Volume 1 defines the purpose and role such an advisory group. Because advisory groups are not appropriate for all businesses, this guidebook helps leaders assess their company’s organizational, operational, and cultural readiness for embracing a CAB.

The Flipchart Guide™ to Customer Advisory Boards, Volume 2: How to execute a world-class CAB meeting is written for first-time CAB managers and those who want to hone their advisory board skills. Volume 2 offers an operations manual for success, covering details such as the master timeline for producing a CAB meeting, the criteria for determining the best customers to invite and how to invite them, and practical ways for designing the most effective agenda, presentations, and discussion modules.

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