As a 63-year-old storage and information management services company, Iron Mountain wanted to drive innovation and engage its customers. David Coates, the brand’s Customer Marketing Manager, decided to create a Customer Advisory Board comprised of 15 top-tier financial services companies to secure Iron Mountain’s position as a thought-leader and inspire more customer loyalty. Watch David’s Advocamp presentation to learn how the company engaged and leveraged their Board members to build better customer relationshipsand expand their business in the process.

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1. Provide relevant content

Iron Mountain uses the Board to identify some of the biggest macro issues companies are facing across heavily-regulated verticals, like financial services and healthcare.

For example, they found that many companies are focused on trying to effectively manage data across the globe. Iron Mountain devised a number of materials to help, including the Guide to Information Governance. The best practices guide, says David, has been downloaded more than 2,500 times.

“It’s not just about dialogue,” he says, “but it’s also about building something that they feel they can be invested in as well.”

2. Make your advocates your thought leaders

The Advisory Board members use webinars, conferences and local roundtables to discuss what they’re doing, their future plans and how they are leveraging technology. Viewed as thought leaders in the market, these large institutions can help Iron Mountain reach other potential customers through these means.

“Customers don’t want to hear from the vendor,” says David, “they want to hear from other customers, especially thought leaders.”

3. Solicit customer feedback

As thought leaders, and representatives of the larger customer base, the Advisory Board members tell Iron Mountain what solutions they want, and provide feedback on those solutions, so that the company can take steps to address those needs.

“These 15 customers are impacting the way we look at our larger customer base,” says David.


By giving customers valuable networking opportunities and resources through the program, Iron Mountain has seen tremendous success from its Advisory Board. As a direct result of Board members advocating for the company, the brand was able to snag two new Fortune 1000 business opportunities. “[Our advocates] said ‘if you’re not talking to Iron Mountain, you’re not going for the best service in the marketplace,” says David.

David stresses that building relationships with customers needs to be every brand’s first priority—not revenue. “Establishing a relationship with the right customers in the right place with the right content…can then have this massive impact on your organization,” he says. “If we can build greater engagement and get closer to these customers and understand what drives them, that’s good enough for us.”

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