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A customer advisory board (also known as a customer advisory council) can provide an abundance of key industry knowledge and insight to the host organization. Collected during in-person meetings, all-hands member calls, and offline discussions with individual members, this intelligence has the potential to significantly alter the way your company does business moving forward.

A customer advisory board can help guide your company and product development road map, as well as its entrance into new markets, partnering strategies, merger and acquisition targets, marketing initiatives, branding and messaging, service and support feedback, and much more.

The outcome of your advisory program is to capture these actionable business recommendations, prioritize them and act on those that make the most sense for the business.

1. Business strategy

You sometimes hear of companies taking their senior executive team off-site for some sort of secret strategy session to devise the company's overall direction moving forward. A properly run client advisory board can significantly augment these sessions—or even make them unnecessary. Your strategic customers should be able to better advise you on the products and services they desire, what they would pay for them, and how they want them delivered.

After all, everything you do is designed to appeal to their needs, so there really is no one more qualified to council you on how to best target, approach, and serve your client base.

Your council can provide invaluable direction regarding which markets to pursue, what big customer pain points to address, which companies to partner with or acquire, how to best capitalize on competitors' weak points, and how to position your company for optimal competitive advantage.

2. Product road map

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image of Eyal Danon

Eyal Danon is president and founder of Ignite Advisory Group, a consultancy that helps B2B companies manage their customer and partner advisory board programs.

LinkedIn: Eyal Danon 

Twitter: @eyaldanon