Century Marketing is a member of NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) and we recently had a meeting with some of those on the marketing committee. Members are looking for a way to quickly and effectively interact with other members. Some of the ideas inlcuded:
- ask other members a question
- send out info that may be beneficial to all members
- have something for sale that others in the industry may want
- need to hire some part time help, who can help
- where can I find XYZ
Questions and comments like that.
First, we discussed why message boards (forums) are bad. Need for moderation, account signups, define rules of what is ok and what isn’t, slow response time if people aren’t hanging out on the forum, how to know when to remove old employees/non-members from the group, etc.
The next idea was a Facebook group or LinkedIn group but both have limitations like the need for an account, response times, and so on.
So what web technology would fit this need? Google Groups.
With Google Groups, it would be as simple as adding an email address for any member that wants to be a part of the group. Members would send a single email to the Google Group and all members would receive that email. Members are much more likely to be checking their emails throughout the day, nights, and weekends and can quickly and efficiently answer questions and carry on a discussion without having to login to another portal, remember another login/password, to respond. The maintenance is easy, just keeping track of who is still a member and who isn’t…but the rest fit the mold. Members can also change their accounts so they only receive 1 email a day instead of as they come in, or they can choose to not receive email and would have to login to Google Groups instead to view the discussions.
Nothing was decided in the meeting but that is what Google Groups is meant for. To make communication quick and easy amongst a group.
These days, who doesn’t rely on and use email all the time? It’s the best way to communicate quickly without being intrusive and is a service we believe will be very helpful to the organization.