Strategy Before Technology
We’re working with a client to launch a new community in a competitive space.
A review of competitor communities noted a growing trend in people sharing the lessons learned from achieving their specific goal.
This trend could be the basis of a powerful community concept. Instead of creating another generic forum about the topic, similar to competitors, we could laser focus on the part people really love. It would be a completely unique community concept.
Instead of posting a question, we can let members publish their achievements and lessons learned using a pre-designed template to showcase them properly.
We can ensure the profiles reflect the date they achieved their success and the key lessons learned below. We can let them set their next target to achieve. We can have a field to highlight their top successes.
We can create eBooks of successes in different varieties etc..etc..
There is scope to use our research to create a really unique, powerful, community we know members will love.
But this all depends upon the strategy guiding the technology. Not the technology guiding the strategy.
Far too often, however, the community platform is decided before the strategy has been decided. I’d guess in 50% or more of our projects, clients have already agreed terms with the platform vendor before the strategy process has even begun.
Now the strategy isn’t enhanced by technology, it’s constrained by it. The community is less powerful and less effective. Everything and everyone suffers as a result.
Word of advice, always be really clear about your community strategy before you decide the technology.