The generation of powerful ideas via user-generated content is one major benefit that brands can experience by using online communities. The reason being that your product’s super-users are always brainstorming to find ways for your product to be in sync with their use cases.
However, managing the entire process of idea generation can be tricky. Your product management team might receive umpteen suggestions, feedback, queries, and more from your community users. The key consideration in such a scenario is to select the most appropriate ideas.
Challenging, isn’t it?
Idea generation can be defined as the process of gathering feedback, knowledge, questions, and suggestions to provide shape to ideas.
Let’s understand how product managers can make the most of online communities and generate new ideas for product development and enhancement.
The Role of Communities in Product Development
Online communities are a hub of idea generation. With people collaborating in the community, they exchange ideas, share their opinions about a product or service, and what should be done to solve complex challenges that come their way.
This is where product managers can benefit. Online communities provide access to tons of data that product managers can use to understand user psychology, challenges, and ideas to innovate.
Online communities are an excellent medium for product managers to make customers a part of a product’s journey and boost engagement. Also, for brands, it is an opportunity to connect with their customers on a deeper level and generate product advocates.
5 Ways Product Managers Can Use Communities for Ideas Generation
Online communities play an integral role from the initial germination of ideas to a product’s development. Communities also enable brands to highlight a customer’s point of view. As a result, brands can create products that keep the customer’s needs in the center, all while improving conversions and surpassing the competition.
Here are 5 ways product managers can use to boost ideas generation:
1. Create a Hub of Ideas by Collaborating: Product managers can collaborate with community managers to create a separate hub for idea generation. This makes it easier to discover ideas and for members to post ideas.
2. Reward Valuable Ideas: Once you come across an idea that will actually improve the product, product managers must ensure that the idea gets highlighted in the community and community members give their input. Also, give the owner of that idea recognition for their contribution. This further boosts engagement and keeps other users motivated to brainstorm and come up with unique ideas.
3. Be Part of Community Discussions: Product managers should jump in whenever they scroll past a valuable idea in the community. They can work on the idea further by discussing it with the community manager and their teammates. Product managers can also add questions and allow members to start conversations around those questions. The community can become a think tank for product managers.
4. Allocate Resources Based on Idea Volume: With multiple ideas coming in, it is important to assign the right resources and invest the right amount of time so that the true value of the idea is realized. To decide how to assign resources, evaluate your community size, the current level of engagement you witness, and the volume of suggestions. The trick is to strike a balance between the available resources and the number of valid ideas that you can source.
5. Measure Idea Success: Ensure that you measure the success of your ideation community. You can keep a track of:
- New features implemented in the product from community ideas
- Improvements made in the products/services based on the ideas
- Number of questions, bugs, and issues resolved
- Improvement in customer experience and engagement
It only takes a single idea to create winning products and services. But discovering these gems is not a cakewalk. The users of your product are the ones who have the largest incentive to take your product/service up a notch.
Communities backed by a robust ideation process empower product managers to access the wisdom that the members share, thus enabling them to harvest ideas that convert.
Wish to build dynamic online communities and boost business value? Let’s talk!
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