Today we are pleased to have our first guest blog. Ryan is the founder of the RedTie Users Group which he launched in 2011 and in this blog he puts across some of the reasons for doing so. Readers can contact Ryan directly through his email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit the users group at www.redtieusers.com.
Emerging and even established technology companies consistently face the issue of user adoption as well as developing a loyal fan base. It doesn’t matter whether you are a hardware company, SAAS provider, or even a company that re-sells the technology for value-added solutions. The fact is that consumers of technology are always looking for the next best thing and seeking ways to increase profitability. There is a lot of hype in the marketplace – placed mainly on features and benefits. In reality, while features and benefits help the product perform, it ultimately comes down to how the product is sold and what it’s sold for. So the question remains: how do you enhance knowledge of a product, build a community of product evangelists as well as insure that your product meets the needs and trends of the market place? Simple answer – users group.
Recently, The Incresol Group had the opportunity to develop and manage a users group for RedTie Ltd, a UK-based software company specializing in print e-commerce. Their biggest objective was developing an un-biased tool for pre-sale and post-sale information that enabled members to share and collaborate on innovative and practical uses of the system. The RedTie Users Group (RTUG - www.redtieusers.com) launched in 2011 and has experienced a 23% month-to-month growth in user registration spanning 5 countries. To support the growth of the group, RTUG will be developing several resources including
· Webinars and Podcasts
· Business development and technical toolkits
· Local workshops
· Annual Users Conference
The advantage of a users group is that it is an independent organization that creates unbiased resources for your customers. Many companies think “Why un-biased – I want everything to be about my company”. Inspiration and innovation come from the outside and by having access to un-biased information your customers can achieve that and apply it to your product. When user group members apply the unbiased information to their applications, it naturally leads to innovative ideas for your product development team and overall product enhancement.
The opportunities are endless with users groups, especially the one just launched for RedTie Ltd.