Which membership should your Insight Community have?

Members make magic. They can help to steer you in the right direction, avoid costly mistakes and present you with new ideas and opportunities. Which members you’ll need to recruit will depend very much on the business problems you are trying to solve. Each audience has its own pros and cons…

PROS: Current Customers

Current customers will be aware of your brand and may already be self–described fans. For these people, the thought of contributing to a brand they love and having their voice heard is a key driver to being part on an Insight Community. As such your current customers may be easier to recruit, may need less incentives and may already have some ideas.


CONS: Current Customers

By their nature, people already familiar with your brands (and especially those who love it) may fail to give you the critical insight that you are after or may come ‘preloaded’ with strong opinions on what you should do. They may also have higher expectations around how often the brand will communicate with them and feel that they may be entitled to early access/insider information.

PROS: Lapsed Customers 

Unpicking why customers have left is fantastic for future strategy.  A lapsed customer can help shed light on faults with your service/product or customer service discrepancies. Most importantly they are the best people to help you understand the steps needed to win them back.


CONS: Lapsed Customers

It will be more difficult to recruit lapsed customers and is quite likely that a negative experience with your brand may bias any research you conduct. It may be better in some situations to use an unbranded Insight Community and larger incentives when attracting this type of member.

"You probably want a mix of different types of members for your community. It can be difficult to find the right balance but one community can easily house several distinct groups."

PROS: Prospective Customers

Insight Communities can be used for deep profiling of your segments over a prolonged period of time. This means you can establish white space and refine your sales and marketing approach. Prospective customers are more impartial and so may offer better insight into your brand and where you might improve.


CONS: Prospective Customers

As you might imagine it can be difficult to get engagement from a group of people who potentially don’t use your service and therefore may not care about it. Respondents may worry that in participating in an Insight Community they will be proactively targeted for sales.

PROS: Employees

Many brands use an Insight Community for employee feedback programmes, including employee satisfaction tracking and moderated forums. It can also be used for training and employee development exercises. The major advantage of using an Insight Community is that you can combine a lot of different feedback measures that you may not be able to do on other HR platforms.


CONS: Employees

Yes, you want regular feedback from employees but is the frequency high enough that you can justify the costs of setting up an Insight Community? Employees often worry that research will be shared with their managers and so may not give honest answers. Insight Communities aimed at Employees really need to consider engagement and outputs at the strategic stage and where there isn’t a clear return on investment, it may be better to carry out more traditional forms of employee feedback/research.

This is just a brief overview of the different types of people you might want to recruit. If you want more advice on recruiting members, onboarding them and engaging them…why not drop us a line? We’re a friendly bunch and always happy to give you some pointers.

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