Philips Lighting is successfully building their community in lighting, leveraging the power of social media in B2B. In 2011 DutchmarQ was commissioned by Philips Lighting’s global marketing communications to execute the role of programme management. Here’s the story in brief.
Background: boosting Net Promoter Score
The NPS or Net Promoter Score is key to Philips Lighting as a gauge in assessing their brand perception and fanbase amongst customers and influencers overtime. Lighting designers and architects around the world constitute a significant, global group of stakeholders to Philips Lighting. Philips Lighting took their NPS as starting point to start boosting the way the company and brand are being perceived by this audience. Rather than merely large and content-driven, Philips Lighting started out on a journey to becoming more accessible, social and open.

Innovations in Light: 40,000+ members (& counting!)
In order to gather members around engaging content in lighting, Innovations in Light was forged. This group – one of the most successful LinkedIn groups –  brings together well over 40,000 members in lighting from around the world in a wide array of topics pertaining to lighting and lighting design. Philips Lighting has adopted an open-t0-all-lighting-professionals policy, regardless of professionals’ employer, i.e. competitors are accepted as well. This has sparked a vibrant community of lighting peers that welcomes a whole host of discussion topics and is open to new members both junior and senior.

Engaging the lighting community in contest
During the Spring of 2011 Light World Tour came to live. This  initiative was designed to share visual inspiration in the professional lighting design community.  Individuals who work on or are touched by lighting design were invited to win a three-month tour to search for and visit the most inspiring and innovative lighting sights on earth. The winner was stimulated to share the journey through daily blogging, photo and video uploads and tweets, developing a social media following of fellow lighting design professionals and enthusiasts.

Light World Tour: social voting  
Participation started by uploading examples of which lighting designs inspire the entrants most, from natural wonders to professional installations and events such as the Guangzhou tower or the Australian Light in Winter festival. They could use the site’s social media features to drum up support for their entries.  Site visitors and entrants’ supporters were invited to vote for their favorite entries via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn that resulted into a list of ten finalists.

Supporters and anyone who shares a passion for lighting can also use the site to recommend specific destinations for the winner’s travel itinerary.  By uploading photos and videos of their favorite lighting sights, they will help Light World Tour create a permanent, shared online “sketchbook” of stimulating views and ideas for the global lighting professionals community.

Programme Management
Programme management consisted of running both the IT, Content and Communications / Deployment streams and was undertaken by DutchmarQ’s Paul Hassels Mönning, reporting to Philips Lighting global marcom director Emmie Steeghs. Development of the IT solution was subcontracted to a 3rd party after a careful vendor selection. Online management reporting was done using Adobe Omniture, the Philips standard.

Journey-of-a-lifetime
The winner (Paula Raina) enjoyed a trip of a lifetime around the world to visit the most compelling lighting sites, installations, and events. As the chosen traveler she also had the opportunity to conduct interviews with leading designers, architects, technology experts and artists in the field.  The traveler used the Light World Tour website to make daily reports of the experience in writing, photo and video.

Preliminary results
Light World Tour not only resulted in increased level of engagement on the LinkedIn Innovations in Light group, other involvement grew as well. Many thousands of social votes were cast for the key contestants, tens of thousands of page views were recorded on numerous occasions resulting in improved awareness of the Philips Lighting community and brand. Future assessments of Net Promoter Score are to confirm this has also converted into a higher preference of Philips Lighting.

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