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What is this Marketing Person Doing in My Community?

Let me introduce myself and the next BPX marketing event: “The Best Model to Collaborate on a Wiki Book: Evolution or Intelligent Design?



After seven months at SAP, as the marketing person for the Business Process Expert community, I think I have earned my stripes to write my first blog.


If I had to highlight one thing that I have learned during this period, it is that the community is the fastest and most honest feedback mechanism I have ever witnessed.  Sometimes it might almost appear “relentless” in its candor, but I am saying that with the uttermost respect, as – in my discipline – there is traditionally often no direct feedback. Web 2.0 closes the loop.


I have become aware that marketing has a negative connotation for many community members, or even some of the folks on the SAP community team. I believe the fear is that I will try and market – or worse – sell something to the community that they don’t want; somehow pollute it and destroy its honest and factual character.


Well, I hate bad marketing just as much as the next person, including spam or having people try to sell stuff to me that I am not interested in. Good news, I intend to do neither of those things.


To get to my point, I hope you would agree that a community is only as good as its members. Building on this premise, my mission (in a nutshell) is:

1) To create awareness and help attract the right people to join the Business Process Expert community, subsequently enriching it further. 2) To bring new content into the community that is educational or otherwise stimulating, including webinars, podcasts and articles.


At the moment, I am working on a webinar with Dan Woods and Mark Finnern, who many of you know through their frequent blogs, the Community Book and the mentor program.


As Dan wrote in his blog “Can a Community Create a BPX Book?, he and Mark had a heated discussion at SAPPHIRE about the right way to encourage “community generated content”.  You might have noticed or even contributed to the “BPX Community Wiki Book“, which started this interesting discussion.


Dan believes that someone must go first when creating great content, then the community can help. Mark argues that the community must be at the center of the effort and content will flow from their interests.

Join Dan and Mark for a public discussion of this topic on Thursday, June 26th in the webinar: The Best Model to Collaborate on a Wiki Book: Evolution or Intelligent Design? and participate in the subsequent Q&A session. (Registration URL:

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  • One thing that’s struck me about the evolution of these communities is that many of the contributions are made in the wee hours, times when thinkers and contributors are able to find time to wax lyrical, creatively describing new processes and expanding the boundaries of existing concepts.

    It begs the question: Are these communities replacing pubs? And will future BPX communities be able to dispense whiskey and provide some inspirational, light jazz music?

    Seriously though Natascha, you’ve put your finger on it when you say “..a community is only as good as its members.” The two terms communication and community are intrinsically bound. Whether or not the destination is glory, depends of course on the members and therefore the content.

    And your role has been crucial, in creating the awareness of these different communities to facilitate engagement and communication between business process experts around the globe.

    Keep up the good work!


  • Hi Natascha – Welcome! We’re glad you’re “outed” in your first blog after months of behind-the-scenes toil on behalf, and to the benefit of, our SDN and BPX communities.  Since good marketing consists, largely, of facilitating *multi-way* communication (versus talking “at” people), we’re glad you’re part of the active conversation.

    Mark Yolton