Group Tools Revealed

I finished crunching all the survey data. What it all boils down to is two major findings…

1. What features people believe would be most useful to them.
2. What tools people now use, or have used in the past, for their own groups.

Features

Item 1, the prioritization of the list of features, is interesting but not very exciting. We generally found that most people didn’t care much about personal blogs, circles of friends, external calendar entries, anyone can join type groups, and carpool support. So all of these items have been removed from the 1.0 feature list.

There were a couple of other features that fell just above the line, so we have added those to a “Possible Descoping List” to consult if the project starts to run over and we need to reduce effort.

Tools

Item 2, the tools people use, was quite an eye opener! For the past few months we had been planning on gearing our marketing materials on comparing our features to our major competitors’ features. We did a competitive analysis a while back and found a handful of web apps that support clubs, teams, families, and other groups. Most of these sites are ones we had heard of but didn’t have much personal experience with. The list included sites such as Wild Apricot, eTeamz, Active.com, ClubExpress, etc. These are the big players for the most part.

After extracting and analyzing the complete list of tools people used, it occurred to me (it actually hit me over the head like a brick), that we have been focusing our competitive marketing efforts in the WRONG PLACE! Here are the top ten mentions from our survey:

Email – 50%
Group web site – 25%
Yahoo Groups – 19%
Facebook – 19%
Meetup – 13%
eVite – 13%
US Mail – 13%
Telephone – 6%
Outlook – 6%
Forums – 6%

Facebook? REALLY?!?! Ok, yeah I’m dramatizing but I was truly astounded. Now, email makes a lot of sense, and can actually be an integrated part of another tool, so I have no intention of trying to compete with email. People love email and it won’t go away any time soon. Email will be a big part of the grouvia solution.

I think the biggest WOW here is more relief than anything. Not one single “big player” web site was mentioned. Which means… I think… that we don’t have to compete with them – at least not at first. They are not in this space. I also believe that Yahoo groups, Facebook, group web sites, Outlook, and Forums will be relatively easy competition to beat. Meetup could be a little harder. Mail and telephone I won’t even try.

Can you tell I’m excited?

Next week, a new topic! I’m sure you’re as tired of survey results as I am, so I’m happy to get on to something new.

Happy Independence Day!

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