*Disclaimer – This post will be heavily weighted toward the EMC Elect program which I help manage at EMC. Although this is my perspective on this program in particular, it would also be my opinion toward any other such program. Also EMC Elect nominations are open until December 31st. 🙂 Enjoy!
Since joining EMC in June, I have had numerous conversations with people on EMC’s influencer program EMCElect. Generally the conversations all start the same, “What are the EMC Elect and what do they get out of the program?” So I thought I would take this time to write about what I think the program is and to clear up some misconceptions.
Now I wish that we could take the word marketing out of it, but alas that is the industry term that everyone knows. To put the program in its most basic form, it is a group of people who are passionate about EMC solutions and write about their experiences with said solutions. One thing I want to make clear is that this not a program where we utilize “influencers” with a following as a bullhorn to amplify corporate marketing messaging. No program should be ran that way. It also not a program where you can only talk about EMC solutions. In fact, I think the more vendors you work with the better! At its heart, this is still a community program and the purpose of the community is to help one another. Therefore if your datacenter has EMC storage, Cisco switches, and HP/Dell/Cisco servers, VMware/Microsoft OS, etc…whatever it may be. If you can provide content on how to make all these things work together then that is great for the community. In that same manner we want that content to be in your voice. I know I don’t want to read a bunch of marketing slides or a press release telling me how much better product X is over product Y, and I have a feeling that you don’t either. I want to read about your real world experiences with both products…what worked, what didn’t work, etc.
That is where the EMC Elect, or any other influencer program, comes into play. I want to give you everything you need to make that content. There are many ways we can do that:
- Private technical demos – pre and post launch
- vLabs – On demand access to an extensive range of EMC products
- Blogger briefings – Technical overview providing talking points on upcoming products
- In person briefings with product managers at industry events (again technical)
- Demo units
- Access to private forums on the EMC community network
If you can see the theme, we try to give you everything technically that you would need to write an informative piece of content around any solution. One thing you see that I left out was “product messaging”, I want to reiterate this point….I will never tell you want I want you say!
There have also been questions of who can be EMC Elect? In short, anyone. If you are a customer, partner, reseller, competitor (sure why not?). Of course if you are a competitor you would not get access to the NDA content, but if you are putting out positive content around your product and EMC and it helps the community, then why not? There are also other questions from people who think they are not an influencer. To me that term is relative. I don’t care if you have a following of 10 or 100,000. I am more interested in helping you spread your knowledge to the community and connect with others in the community! In turn if that helps you grow your following or helps bring EMC in front of new customers, then even better.
My goal is for you to be recognized and hopefully help you advance your career. This program gives me the access to the tools that will allow you do to this. To me the point of any influencer program should be to help you not me! What are your thoughts?