Learning from your Customers - is there any better place to learn in business? | DMA

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Learning from your Customers - is there any better place to learn in business?


At Solimar, we think of the month of May a little differently than most. Our focus is very much on our clients and partners—and if you were to dig into it a little the users of Solimar solutions within those organisations. The Solimar User Conference came out of a desire to make sure we were communicating with our users and their decision makers. And it has proven to be a valuable experience for those who attend every year. Our User Conference is just one lens though, which is why in the last couple of years we have put a focus on building a Customer Advisory Council, or CAC for short. Who joins the CAC and what is the value for those who are a part of it? I’m so glad you asked.

The idea of an advisory council is not new; however, they do take attention in order to make them fruitful for both the participants and the host. In the business world, advisory councils (also referred to as boards in other industries) have been leveraged in business-to-business (B2B) more in the last decade due to books like The B2B Executive Playbook from author Sean Geehan. The idea is simple, your best clients should be an integral part of your insight and feedback loop for the strategic direction of your company.

As you might imagine, being able to invite a top client from your client base requires a good relationship and understanding of their business. At Solimar, we believe relationships with our clients is King. Without them, we are not able to accurately understand the challenges our clients face in their unique digital and print output environments. But, there was a missing connection that a relationship with just one client couldn’t solve…the innovation of peer-to-peer insight.

We wanted to harness the opinions of our clients and really fuel the future of Solimar innovation. To do this, generally, there are identifiable clients in your client-base that make up a large part of your success in the marketplace. They are the early adopters, the forward-looking and risk-taking organisations that blaze a trail for improved operational efficiencies, differentiation among their competitors and an improved experience for their customers. And these are the people we want to gather several times a year to get feedback from.

This is beneficial for the client as well. When you invest in a software solution, you want to know that the company you are partnering with is headed in the same direction you are. Moreover, you want to see what is new, have a chance to give your perspective and see the development evolve based on real market needs—ones that you would see in your organisation every day. Just as important, hearing what others are challenged with, how they are looking to solve it and why they think one approach is more valid than another brings perspective to the day-to-day whirlwind of your own organisation’s environment.

The Solimar Customer Advisory Council is networking in its most powerful form, with the outcome of driving the right solutions, in the right form, for the markets Solimar solutions serves. Including more than 20 members in a variety of industry verticals, we believe our CAC and the Solimar team are positioned to keep a finger on the ever-changing pulse of digital and print communications. And the best part is, all of our clients benefit from it too.

In the last year, the CAC has made a huge difference in our perspective on the market and where organisations could use help removing barriers. I invite you to reach out to us and request an update on the state of our solutions, the innovations we have coming down the road and perhaps even start on the important foundation of workflow assessment—something we have seen evangelised by analysts in the industry as critical for success.

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