Infomart Revolutionizes B2B Engagement Through a Dynamic Online Community Powered by Commune

Takashi Ueno

Customer Success Department,
Department Manager

“Commune's platform turned Infomart's online community into a B2B powerhouse, redefining engagement and self-onboarding for our users.”

“Commune's platform turned Infomart's online community into a B2B powerhouse, redefining engagement and self-onboarding for our users.”

Background

Infomart Corporation, a prominent figure in the digitization landscape, operates the robust ‘BtoB Platform,’ a cloud service that caters to a user base exceeding 1,011,176 companies as of December 2023. The company’s central mission revolves around the digitization of documents, encompassing a spectrum of eight critical systems—from sales negotiation to invoicing. One of their offerings, the ‘BtoB Platform for Invoicing’ is meticulously designed to streamline and digitize invoicing processes between businesses.

Background

Calbee Inc. is a well-established snack and food manufacturer with a rich history dating back to 1949. The company introduced iconic brands like ‘Kappa Arare’ and ‘Kappa Ebisen,’ which later evolved into a series of snacks. Despite having successful long-standing products, the company recognized the need to enhance the preference – the competitive advantages against their competitors – along with its brand recognition and distribution. Given that, in 2020, the company launched a new brand, Zeppin Kappa Ebisen, particularly with a specific focus on mature men who enjoy alcohol.

Shortly after the new brand’s launch, the company discovered a significant fan base, leading to instances where stores carrying Zeppin Kappa Ebisen ran out of stock due to high demand. As part of consumer research for the brand, customers enthusiastically shared pictures of themselves enjoying the snacks with a beer in hand, images that were later leveraged in the company’s marketing campaigns.

Challenges

Despite their success, Infomart faced significant challenges. With a surge in user numbers, the company encountered difficulties in allocating sufficient resources within the customer success team to serve existing customers.

Furthermore, as new users were coming in,  the practice of hosting offline events in metropolitan areas inadvertently made it challenging for users from other regions to attend. These challenges highlighted the imperative for a more scalable and inclusive customer engagement approach, extending beyond direct high-touch support. While the concept of a community emerged as a solution to these challenges, there were concerns about managing the community without ample support to navigate this new project.

Process

In response to these challenges, Infomart adopted a strategic approach by introducing an online community tailored for subscribed users of the ‘BtoB Platform for Invoicing’. Commune was selected as the platform provider for its excellent support and responsive consultation, standing out as a reliable partner for the project. Originally conceptualized as a post-onboarding support mechanism, the community evolved under Commune’s guidance, extending its support to newly joined users.

Operationally, the company embraces a holistic approach, involving three pivotal departments: Marketing, Customer Success, and Onboarding. This cohesive team, comprising 10 dedicated members, collaboratively manages the community’s initiatives. Each department plays a distinct role, with Marketing focusing on user acquisition and retention, Customer Success driving product utilization, and the Onboarding department ensuring a seamless product adoption process.

Commune’s frequent product updates also contribute to the continuous improvement of their communication with users, ensuring the community remains dynamic and aligned with evolving needs.

Solution & results

The results have been remarkable, with the community playing a pivotal role in enhancing user engagement and experience. Various talk rooms, including the ‘Discussion Room,’ provide users with a dedicated space to address concerns related to accounting tasks and the ‘BtoB Platform for Invoicing’. Going beyond initial objectives, the community has excelled in fostering diverse discussions.

As Infomart refined content and introduced innovative initiatives, user engagement has been sustained, making the community an indispensable asset for self-onboarding. Impressively, there has been nearly 100% participation from new subscribers since 2023.

Looking ahead, one of the company’s future prospects is to host both online and offline user events, capitalizing on the high engagement among users. Additionally, the vision includes establishing a comprehensive hub for all users, whether free or subscribed, who are professionals in the accounting and finance divisions.

The success story stands as a testament to the effectiveness of managing a thriving online community within the B2B landscape, showcasing the transformative power of strategic community management.

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