Transcript: How To Connect Your Online Community and Advocacy Programs with Kendra Walsh

On this episode, I was joined by Kendra Walsh, Director, Community and Customer Advocacy at Juniper Networks. Kendra started her career in customer programs back in the early 2000s and has really seen the role evolve over time. We talk about the value of hiring an operations person early for your team, how she connects her community and advocacy programs, all of the mini communities that live within their Elevate community and all of the care and feeding involved. Without further ado, here’s my conversation with Kendra. 

Margot Leong: Hey, Kendra. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast. I’m really excited to talk to you today. 

Kendra Walsh: Thanks Margot. I’m excited to be here. 

Margot Leong: Awesome. Would love to learn a bit more about your background and journey to customer marketing and where you are today. So if you could give us that high level, 30,000 foot overview, that’d be great.

Kendra Walsh: Sure. The majority of my career has been in high-tech marketing. It’s a bit surprising to see how long my career actually has been at this point, but I always had some level of marketing programs expertise, whether it was doing events or user groups or vertical marketing or demand generation.

And I really began in this area of what we called at that time global customer programs back in the early 2000s. Back before this was really acknowledged as a career path in marketing. Back then it was case studies, but it also then evolved to customer reference programs. I did satisfaction and loyalty research even before NPS had kind of taken over, sat in loyalty work. We’ve built out customer reward programs and featuring customers and a lot of things even like brand advertising. 

So I’ve been in this space for quite some time. A brief segue where I did some work with alliance marketing and system integrator marketing, which was great because it got me really close to sales and a different perspective.

But I always seem to come back into a customer role, whether we called it customer programs or customer marketing, or now customer advocacy. And along the way, I’ve done everything from adding in communities, an EBC program, I’ve done corporate sponsorships. It’s been a really interesting career, but very focused in working with customers all the way through.

Margot Leong: I’m curious, why do you think that you’ve always come back to the customer? Is it something about being customer focused that you have a knack or an interest in? 

Kendra Walsh: I think that there’s definitely a comfort there, because I’ve been doing it for so long, but it’s also because it’s invigorating to talk to a customer that is happy and doing interesting things with technology. I used to like to go to trade shows when I worked at Citrix, because people would come up to our booth and go, I don’t have any questions. I just wanted to say I’m a customer. We had fans, we really had fans.

 To have that kind of connection with a customer where they’re talking about their success and I’m not saying, Hey, Juniper is great. Or, this product is great. It’s really letting the customer say that in their own words. I think it’s a great position to be in within the company. 

Margot Leong: I totally agree. Super lucky to be in a position where you are on average, talking to mostly happy customers all the time, versus if you were in a different, let’s say like a support position the ratio is totally flipped where you’re talking to mostly unhappy customers. 

Kendra Walsh: Yeah. And no customer is going to be a hundred percent happy, a hundred percent of the time. And so the interesting thing with doing these kinds of programs and building out these relationships with customers is when they do have an issue. And obviously they have an account team, they have support teams.

But it’s where we’ve been able to really leverage those relationships to help get the customers to a right executive or really just advocate on behalf of our customers within the company. It’s really interesting when we see that relationship come full circle. 

So they’ve done great things for us. They need some connection. They need some help. We can, work on that internally to the company. And in the end, they even have a deeper relationship and a deeper engagement with us. 

Margot Leong: I think that’s one of the definitions of creating a win-win relationship with your customers. You know, I’ve had that happen in real time in customer advisory boards where someone is experiencing an issue and by the way, we just happen to have our CTO here. He can make sure that something happens much more quickly. And that’s a pretty amazing feeling to know that you and your team helped to orchestrate that interaction right there.

Can you also share just a little bit about what Juniper does and also who’s the core audience that you’re trying to target and how that aligns with who you’re going after from an advocacy perspective. 

Kendra Walsh: Juniper is known for being an infrastructure company. Our history is very much in switches and routers, very hardware centric, very kind of legacy infrastructure. But over time, as many companies, we’ve been evolving. And so we have gotten into some really interesting spaces with different acquisitions.

So we have a product line that’s called Mist, which is more on the wireless side, but the differentiator is that we’ve got this AI cloud-based dashboard ability to manage products and customers absolutely love it. Us moving into more software cloud-based aI automation, really making it more about the user experience than just the speeds and feeds of the hardware is really where the company has been moving. And so we see that we get a lot of customers. It’s across any industry, but we see a lot of recent uptake in retail, in education, both higher education and K through 12, financial services, you know, government, those usual ones.

But they’re customers that are trying to improve the experience that either their network operators are having, so doing more things that are automated and software based and easier to manage a network so that the operators themselves have a better experience, but also ultimately, so that the end users have a better experience.

That’s the space we play in. We are evolving and changing as a company very rapidly, so even just companies that we compete with and all of that seem like they’re constantly changing. We’ve made a lot of great acquisitions in recent years, even since I’ve been here, which is less than two years, so it’s kind of exciting to see where the company is going. 

Margot Leong: What are the specific titles that you’re seeing most often that you guys are working with?

Kendra Walsh: It’s still very much on the infrastructure and networking side. Ideally we’re getting, CIOs, CTOs, but we also have people that are directors in infrastructure. Because we do a lot as a company with service providers, even the really big service providers or more tier two, tier three service providers, we get into a whole different discussion and audience there.

So I recently talked to somebody who’s a chief revenue officer at a service provider who’s talking about how this is expanding their ability to serve more customers and do more things with their business. So it does run the gamut. We have a huge amount of our business focused in that service provider space, as well as in the enterprise.

Margot Leong: Tell us a little bit about what your role at Juniper entails and maybe more about what your day to day looks like at this time. 

Kendra Walsh: I joined Juniper Networks just at the tail end of 2020, so mid pandemic, which was a really interesting time to be moving companies. And here I lead community and customer advocacy. The customer advocacy side’s somewhat self-evident. So our reference program, working on all the great customer evidence, like success stories and videos and speaking opportunities. We do have a customer awards program here. We do leverage customers in some of our digital brand advertising. 

But the community side is also the other flip side of what I do, and that is our online customer community. We call it Elevate and it’s made up of customers, of partners and employees, probably some prospects and some students in there. It’s really open to anybody.

And these folks are much more, I would say at the practitioner level. These are technical folks that are administering Juniper products every day. It’s a bit of a different level than maybe the Director or the CIO type of customers that we try to talk to on the advocacy side. 

 On a day-to-day basis, it’s lots of meetings. I don’t know how else to say it. Right now we’re in the middle of finalizing our nominations for our awards program, the Juniper Elevate Awards. So we have just been heads down on working with account teams to get the nominations in, writing them up so that our judges panel can review them, lots of customer interviews.

 It’s an exciting time and it culminates in November. I think people don’t realize that something like that is pretty much taking up about half of the year. So that’s taken a lot of our time right now, but it ebbs and flows just like any other role. 

Margot Leong: And how big is your team currently?

Kendra Walsh: So I would say not that big and historically I’ve always liked to say that I end up with small but mighty teams. You know, I sit more in corporate marketing, so I’ve got three full time and a contractor. So kind of four people that report directly to me and then we’ve got a matrixed approach here.

So I’ve got other teams that work in Europe and Asia Pacific that do customer advocacy for part of their remit. They actually sit in PR and probably spend about 25 to 30% of their time doing customer advocacy. So there’s an additional four or five people who all have a little bit of their time in advocacy that make up our European and our Asia Pacific.

Margot Leong: For your team, how are you currently structuring it? Basically who is focused on what and how do you think about that?

Kendra Walsh: I’ve got somebody who’s a senior person who is my customer advocacy manager. She’s focused in the Americas because as I mentioned before, EMEA and APAC are handled in region. I’ve got a one person who’s dedicated now to the Elevate community, so she’s our community engagement manager. A third person actually runs what I call customer advocacy programs and operations, so making sure that our templates and our processes and you know, everybody’s consistent in the way that we are doing things and measuring things, especially when we have that global reach and to reach out to other organizations in APAC and EMEA. It really kind of helps us be cohesive, helps with our metrics than the way that we’re tracking everything.

And the contractor that I have, I would say is more of a utility player. She does a lot of communications. She works with customers. She does internal sales win write-ups and does work in the community as far as communications and promotions in the community.

So in a perfect world, you always want to have good, solid customer advocacy managers who are engaging with customers, building those relationships, working with them through the whole process of getting whatever asset you might be working on, whether it’s a speaking opportunity or a video, or what have you. 

The one area that I’m looking to grow into is people that are more dedicated on the fulfillment side of references. So we get a lot of requests coming our way from marketing, from sales to help fulfill something. And we all share that load right now. But as our sales people get more and more kind of ingrained with coming out and reaching out to us for good reference accounts to help close deals, I’m looking to bring in additional resources there to be able to help with that fulfillment. 

Margot Leong: Something that was interesting that caught my ear was that you said that you have someone who focused on programs and operations. Is this operations person someone that you’ve always had as a part of your teams or was this a learning over time? Was there like an insight or something that got you to realize that?

Kendra Walsh: I would say this has been a learning over time. Everybody all kind of had a piece of it. You always have your pipeline that you’re chasing, but I would say I’ve never had the kind of visibility into what everybody’s working on globally like I do now because of having this role, but even the ownership of the reference database, usually there’s somebody who’s a super user. But it’s working with our IT team, working with the Salesforce team internally, working with the vendor, there’s so much that goes into that. Even the maintenance and the rollout and the training salespeople. 

And so that’s really, when I came in here and realized some of the things we needed to do, it just made sense to put this role together that was more about the overarching program so that everybody, whatever geo they’re in, we’re all writing to the same template. We’re all telling our story telling is as consistently as possible, but we all are using the tools. We are all measuring the same way and we’re getting more efficiencies. 

Margot Leong: I can a hundred percent see how this would be valuable. What were the attributes that you were looking for? What kind of backgrounds or experiences were you looking for? Was it more of the marketing ops type person or what kind of characteristics were important to you? 

Kendra Walsh: Program management was really crucial. Actually I found somebody who had training as a scrum master in doing agile methodology which is interesting because that person now is our interface with the entire web team. And they are doing agile methodology and stand-ups and that whole process and sprints. 

She is well-versed in working with them and doing that. Smartsheets, it’s amazing how much we rely on Smartsheets now. But it’s more of that program management, the being able to look at a bunch of things that are maybe disparate things that are happening to say, you know what, if we’ve really consolidated this into one tool, or if we really did this differently, we’d save ourselves a lot of time and effort.

She had experienced in customer advocacy, but had never been a customer advocacy manager. But had done a lot in operations programs, she has sales background. I mean, it, turned out to be, you know, the role that I was looking for. Yeah, I think I found a great person for it, but it was hard. There weren’t a lot of people out there that had done this before. 

Margot Leong: I’m starting to see a little bit of teams adopting that, bringing in an ops person earlier, regardless of the type of marketing, because having that discipline and efficiency and just someone coming in and being able to take on some of those pieces earlier sets you up for a lot more success longterm. Versus everyone owns some of those operations pieces, but there’s no one to fully own it and it kind of always is on the back burner. And so you’re accumulating more and more debt over time until you sort of hit a wall. So I liked this idea of integrating this in earlier is basically what I’m saying.

Tell me a little bit about what you define as the charter for the programs that you own over at Juniper. 

Kendra Walsh: People tend to say, oh, it’s the reference team. Or it’s the customer success team. You hear that too. And I’m like, no, that’s something different now. 

And you have to give examples, right? Just like I said, when we do our customer advocacy, it includes reference programs. And what I like to say is customer evidence, success stories, or press opportunities, that sort of thing. If I’m really setting the tone and doing my vision, my charter for what this function is, it’s really that these programs are essential to the company. It helps to elevate the brand. It helps to build deeper engagement with our customers. It helps increase the credibility in the market and ultimately drives growth for the company. I want others to see the fact that this touches so many different parts of a customer’s journey.

 We want to help establish Juniper as that trusted advisor to our customers. And it’s not so much that our products or Juniper is doing all these great things for our customers. It’s that our solutions are enabling the customers to be able to deliver those real results whether it’s for their business or for their customers or for their employees.

 I think it’s very integral and essential, like I said. But it’s putting the customer also as the hero. And there are a lot of times where we get Juniper this and Juniper that, and we want to switch that to say, no, it’s the customer who is getting all those great benefits because they happen to be using these solutions. 

 When I look at the programs or the projects that we lead, day to day, ultimately they also fall under three main engagement pillars. There’s the advocacy pillar, which is our references and our awards. There’s community with our Elevate community. And then the third part that we haven’t talked about is advisory.

On our Elevate platform, we have private circles that can be seen as private advisory circles, but we are also involved in advisory councils, whether you call them CABs or advisory boards, councils and advisory really for me fall under the charter of what we do. 

Margot Leong: I’m really excited to spend a little bit of time on how you think about community and advocacy over at Juniper. So, what does community look like at Juniper currently? 

Kendra Walsh: Our community, which is called Elevate, is really a community platform. It houses a number of communities on it, probably upwards of about 25 or more. That includes topical answers forums, whether it’s on switching or routing or wifi, that sort of thing. And some of those might have sub-communities in them. 

But we also do have private circle communities. There’s training and certification communities. And we have something also called the Innovators Circle, which I liken to a bit of a research panel or research forum. 

There’s this platform of many different communities and customers can be part of any number of them. When I think about how this ties to advocacy, cause it’s not always an obvious fit, a big part of that is the advisory aspect. Our community engagement manager is also engaged with our advisory councils and with our private advisory circles. And to me, community and the forums really can be and should be leveraged to look for trends and insights and how to bring the voice of the customer into the company.

 It’s customers who are helping other customers with their issues, often really technical, right. But with their issues, with best practices, with advice. And so when I think about the definition of advocacy, and going from being a customer reference person to being really a customer advocacy person, the difference is you want customers who are advocating for your company, whether you’re asking them to or not, right. 

And so really the definition of advocacy and community is perfect. These customers are out there advocating in their own way on behalf of Juniper without us asking them to.

There’s a group that we call our Juniper Ambassadors. It’s a small number of people that aren’t Juniper employees, but they are experts in Juniper. They might work for a customer or they might work for a partner or they might be a independent contractor. They are super technical and probably some of our most credentialed Juniper users out there.

And the Juniper ambassador program isn’t managed by my team. It actually sits under our analyst relations team, but these ambassadors, they act as moderators in our community. There our super users, they’re in there answering questions and really play a big part in the community as well.

I mentioned the Innovator Circle. The program itself isn’t managed by me. The team that does our NPS surveys owns it, but it sits on the Elevate community and that is made up of customers who’ve agreed to provide ongoing feedback to Juniper by doing different surveys. So I liken that to a research panel, so different groups within the company will come to the innovators circle team to say, we’d like to get some input on something in the data center or a topic that’s top of mind. And they’re able to go out to this group of customers to be able to get surveys answered.

I think, going forward how better can we use the community to continue to bring in the voice of the customer into our content? Can we see how our customers are connecting to what we think the big pain points are, can we use it for that kind of validation?

And one thing I started, but it’s one of those things that kind of falling down on the list and this reminded me to get it going again, we started working with our data scientists here to see if we can find the overlap between a customer who may be a member of the community, as well as somebody who might be an advocate and looking at that information around that company’s propensity to buy or their NPS score or their lifetime value.

And being able to show that connection to say we know if a customer is more engaged, they should be buying more. They should be more loyal. They should be harder to to leave being a customer. Can we prove that? Can we show that kind of connection between people that are advocates or people that are community members and what that means to their health as a customer? How do we take that and say, okay, how do we go find more people like that and get those people involved. 

Margot Leong: What are some of the top level metrics that you’re reporting on to the executive team or the larger marketing team? 

Kendra Walsh: Metrics is always an interesting one, right? Because you end up counting a lot of stuff. So we still report on the number of net new customers that we can use publicly each quarter. Everybody wants to know how many customers can we talk about? And so whether it’s a press release or a success story, or they spoke at an event, we definitely still report on that. 

But that’s not the primary one that’s going up to leadership. What we’ve done is we’ve moved in the direction of measuring the consumption of our references for sales and marketing purposes. So how many customers are being leveraged in any given quarter to help in sales and marketing activities? Once you get a great customer, we’ve counted them once as a net new customer, but we’re going to go back to that customer potentially again and again over time to leverage them in different ways.

And so that’s a way to really show usage and to show how we’re maximizing the references that we have, as opposed to just throwing new ones in the boat and forgetting about the other ones. Where we really need to get to and I got this on my list and this is also something that my operations and programs personal will be helping with is tying our reference activity to the influence that it’s having on our pipeline and our revenue. That’s the holy grail. We want to be able to say that our reference activities are influencing X amount of revenue for the company. 

From a metrics perspective, obviously brand names are always desirable, but we also make sure that we’re aligning to the overarching goals of the company. We have these cross business teams as business units, if you will. So we’re making sure that we are aligning them to those as well as to key sales plays and what’s really top of mind for sellers. So often when we’re tracking them, we’re tracking what industries are we hitting? Obviously, what geos are we hitting? What XBTs? What are those key things that we’re doing in the area of security or green networking or basic AI and Wifi, and so that’s another way that we are tracking. 

Margot Leong: It’s pretty amazing what you’re saying about the community, that it has all these other mini communities on it as well. Are the types of roles are typically participating in the community? Are they also CIO, VP, Director level, or are they more of the sort of day to day administrative level? 

Kendra Walsh: Yeah, they are definitely more at that practitioner level, that day-to-day somebody is working on a switch or a router, and they’re having these configuration challenges. It’s not meant to be a tech support community by any means, but it is more of those people who are living in day to day. And they’re coming to the community to find other people like them who also can help them or can share their advice and knowledge.

You know, a lot of times the customers that are being certified in all these different things for Juniper and really building out their career and their resume as an expert in Juniper. I’d like to think that this is the place where they can go and connect. I feel like there’s a type of user who is just more geared towards community and they’ve often come up through more of the technical ranks. They learned a lot from other people as they were growing and learning and they feel kinship or, a bit of a responsibility to give back to others. 

 That’s what brings people like our ambassadors. That’s why they’re in the community every day. And they’re answering questions because they’re kind of community minded. 

Margot Leong: And you have someone on your team who’s dedicated to this this entire community. Tell me a little bit about what their focus is. What is your community person currently focused on in order to have this community be successful? 

Kendra Walsh: Yeah, sure. She’ll probably laugh cause I’m going to say some things that come out of her mouth on a regular basis. And by the way, she’s a new hire.

We have a community vendor who does a lot of services for us and acts as the day-to-day community management but as I got here and the community had recently been replatformed and relaunched as the Elevate Community. And we’ve realized that we do need somebody who is more internal to Juniper who’s really focused on the engagement of the community as opposed to the operational running of it. 

So thankfully we found somebody who’s got a lot of experience in communities and in particular, the platform that we use but even she will tell you every community is different. So coming into this, she’s looking at everything from the structure and the navigation of the community, do we have ones that are less engaged? Do we have 10 new sub-communities in an area where it doesn’t make sense? Should we be simplifying the experience that our customers are having, so that’s been a big focus area. 

Now that we’ve had the community for well over a year, we can see what the patterns are and what people are gravitating towards. And so perhaps there’s some private communities that just never really got off the ground. What can we do with those? Should we sunset them? Should we try to turn it into something public and broad? Those kinds of questions are on her mind. And then, getting that in order, then it becomes, how do we grow the community that we have? How do we bring new people in? 

 So we like to joke that you gotta clean the house before you invite everybody over for the party. Which is what we’re doing right now. But yeah, day-to-day there’s moderation of content, making sure that new posters and new content is appropriate before it goes live.

There’s really building out the relationship with other people in the company to be in there helping to answer questions. It can’t be one person. One person isn’t going to know everything about our technology, especially since these people are technical practitioners and our community manager is not. It’s making sure who you can reach out to whether it’s the ambassadors or somebody in the product marketing or product management side to try to pull people in to engage.

People like to say we’ll just build it and suddenly people will show up, but it takes care and feeding. It’s a living thing. And if it doesn’t have the ongoing care and feeding, then you’re going to end up with things that are stagnant. In an ideal community, Juniper sits back and watches. They watch customers interact with each other and answer questions and only get involved when we might need to, because we don’t want them to see this as, oh, I come here and Juniper answers all my questions. They’ve got support contracts for that.

But sometimes you’ve got to seed those questions. You gotta put in those new ideas. You gotta put a poll out there, you try wacky things to get people to engage and grow it from there.

Margot Leong: Whenever people talk about let’s start a community, why not do that? I’m always like, okay, we can do a community, but just know that it takes a lot more work than you may have ever considered. Like before you decided to launch it, you have to be very intentional about what the goals should be. If you’re not very careful about setting those right goals for the community there’s just so many forms and shapes that it can take that with it being a very living, breathing thing with people in and out of it all the time, in a way that can affect brand perception, you want to be clear that this is not a tech support community.

This is really a community for people to help each other out and maybe learn more about what are the possibilities with Juniper, right. I totally resonate with you’re saying is the very intentional care and feeding of communities. Communities do not spring up overnight, even if you have people willing to participate in them. It can take a long time for all of that to just run on its own where you get to sit back and be like, oh, okay, like what’s the community doing today? A lot of that has all been very thoughtfully put into place with many foundations and a lot of behind the scenes involvement and tweaking to make it look like a healthy community. 

Kendra Walsh: Yeah. If you think you’re going to launch and you say, oh, I’ve got a post that I can launch with. No, you need to make sure that you’ve got three posts for each week. The idea of seed content, isn’t literally, I did a welcome. Now they can go. It’s really doing things like, we have something as simple as a Tip Tuesday, or whatever you want to call it, where somebody is coming in on a regular basis.

Whether it’s even bringing in things that are hot topics in support or in the knowledge base, and kind of bringing to the community to get them to say, Hey, this is what we’re seeing as top topics in our knowledge base. Do you agree? What do you think? It’s not just enough to say, Hey, this is happening. You don’t wanna be marketing to them or just trying to point them to new things. You want to be able to say, does this resonate with you? Is this useful to you? What have you done differently and really get it to become an engaging experience. 

Margot Leong: How does the advocacy side of the team utilize the community. Basically I think about community as a way to also identify customers for advocacy opportunities to build those connections. So talk to me about how you guys are thinking about that. 

Kendra Walsh: Yeah, there is an advocacy module that we have the ability to leverage in our community platform that we haven’t fully leveraged yet, to be honest.

But it is. It’s finding those people who are passionate. We do look at the community to find, are there new people that we should maybe nominate as ambassadors? Because again, they’re technical. They’re not going to be the CIO who’s speaking at a major event.

But we had something recently and this was great. Our community manager brought this up and brought it to the ambassadors and some other people. Somebody had come into the community and said, Hey, I’m thinking of making a switch from the other big competitor to Juniper and I’m trying this out, this is what I’m finding. Can anybody help me? 

And so it wasn’t so much, can somebody go help the configuration issues that he has, although people did, but it’s like, we’ve got somebody who’s considering making a switch here. Like how do we make sure that that person walks away with a good overall experience, even in the community because of what they’re doing. Getting our ambassadors to maybe chime in on it or other people from the company, just looking after those little things. 

We don’t bring a lot of reference requests to the community at this point. We haven’t said, Hey, does anybody here, you know, have they tried it? And, you know, have they been using this and this, we’re looking for somebody. We haven’t done that. I think that there are certain ways we can do that, but the community isn’t conditioned to be given challenges or those sorts of things just yet.

But I do think we can find those stars, those people that are at the top of the leaderboards, those people that are being super helpful to others and see, okay, let’s look at the company that they’re at. Oh, look, they’re talking about using these technologies. Hey, we know that company, is a big promoter of ours, and we can make those connections. 

I will say that we do allow our community members to be in the community and post anonymously or post where they’re not necessarily attached to their company email address and people prefer it that way, because sometimes they’re in the community and they don’t want to be seen as a representative of the company. So that can complicate things a bit when you’re trying to link them to things. But it’s also a privacy issue too. 

I would say there’s certainly more we can do there. There’s a lot of opportunity and now that I’ve got people in place to make sure we’re just humming on and being a well-oiled machine, then we can start to drill into those areas.

Margot Leong: It’s pretty amazing, you’re like, okay, I have these relationships with all these customers and you jump in the community and you’re like, oh my gosh, there’s hundreds more people that could all also be advocates, you know? And they didn’t know about the program. Like I didn’t know about them. So it always reminds me that if you think about your customer base, there’s of course the relationships that you already know and that you’ve built, but there’s so many more customers out there that you don’t know about, that would probably be willing to advocate on your behalf. It’s just a matter of finding out where they live or creating opportunities for them to sort of raise their hands in a way that you can then take that signal and run with it essentially. 

Kendra Walsh: Yeah, we did an interesting activity awhile back. And it was around work that we’re doing in the customer experience side and ensuring that we’re improving our customer experience touch points for our customers. We had a tool which is more of a self service video tool, so very easy to use. We knew that we couldn’t necessarily just ask a random community of, Hey, give us a video and we’re going to publish it live. But we went to them and said, we’re doing this research internally.

Our employees want to understand how your experiences with Juniper are. We’ve got this opportunity for you to create a short video and it will only be used internally to Juniper. We had some success. It wasn’t like we had hundreds of people that did this and not every video was the same kind of quality.

But we did get the people to raise their hand and say, sure, I’ll record something a couple of minutes that Juniper can use to inform other employees or improve their knowledge. Those kinds of steps too are low risk for the customer if they know that isn’t going to be used publicly. And it gives them an opportunity to step forward and volunteer. 

Margot Leong: Sounds like you guys have some really exciting things coming up. The last question I have before we finish up is if people want to learn more about what you’re doing over at Juniper or just sort of exchange notes on customer marketing, what’s the best way for them to get connected with you?

Kendra Walsh: Oh, sure. I’ve got LinkedIn, I’ve got Twitter. I don’t do Instagram like others do. My Twitter handle is @kendraawalsh. I’ll put stuff out on Twitter, but I probably have more personal connections and colleagues on LinkedIn, especially in the customer advocacy area. 

Margot Leong: Kendra, this was a great conversation. Thank you for giving us this inside peek into your team structure and how you’re thinking about community. 

Kendra Walsh: Thank you for the opportunity. It’s been great to look back and also look forward to what we should be doing next. 

Thanks for tuning into this episode of Beating The Drum. For more interviews with advocacy leaders and tips on creating customers that will sing your praises, head on over to our website, If you enjoyed today’s show, please subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts and don’t forget to rate and review us. If you know someone that would be a great fit for the show, I would love to hear about it. You can reach out at Take care, everybody. 



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