Members typically join an insights community because of their interest in the brand or the product category (for blind communities). This interest is the hook that drives initial signup.
Once recruited, community members are typically treated to a passive, reactive experience. They are asked to participate in research projects without the courtesy of explaining how their opinions will be used. For the average member, this one-way conversation quickly becomes tiresome. Eventually, only the members who thrive on incentives remain.
This lack of social reciprocity is inconsistent with the expectations of Millennials & Gen Z. The community experience falls short of expectations when the member sees no value in their continuing participation.
This leads to the community version of Quiet Quitting. For an insights community, Quiet Quitting is when you notice participation levels are dropping and decide it’s time for a refresh. Twice yearly refreshes are only a short-term fix. And since the need for member refreshes is ongoing, you really haven’t fixed anything.
A long-term, let’s consider it a radical fix, is to offer members a proactive community experience. In this scenario, membership in the community is sufficient reward itself. The incentive is largely intrinsic, the member feels his/her opinions are making a difference.
Here’s a prime example:
Netflix Preview Club – it’s been a challenging financial year for Netflix. That’s exactly why they are expanding their insight community from 2,000 US members to tens of thousands of members around the world.
Why the expansion? As always, follow the money. The Netflix Preview Club is empowering members to shape the direction of movies & series. Netflix also relies on their community to create a compelling marketing pitch. The media refers to The Netflix Preview Club as Netflix’s “Secret Club”. Seriously, who wouldn’t want to join a secret club!
The question becomes, how excited are folks to join your insights community? And what could make it the exclusive club you want it to be?
If you want to keep your community members active, my recommendation is to:
- Spend more time on your value proposition to members
- What is your quid pro quo?
- What would make a typical customer join and stay?
- Articulate a compelling branding message for your community
- Community branding will give members a reason to stay
- Enhance the value of your community to your internal clients
If you focus on compelling reasons to stay, your community will become sustainable and not predicated on continual refreshing.