Recurring challenges are an incredible way to encourage engagement, build content, and promote member retention, says Senior Vice President of New Products at Commsor Brian Oblinger. “They also help you scale as you’re crowdsourcing, knowledge sharing, and learning among the community,” he adds.
It’s a tactic Brian and the team at Alteryx used back in 2016. The challenges have been so successful that more than 300 have been executed since. The Alteryx community is made up of analysts and data scientists who use Alteryx’s analytics software to solve the complicated challenges thrown their way every week.
“This was a massive driver of value for our community and the company as thousands of people contributed along the way,” Brian says. “Furthermore, we received piles of feedback that prospects were using the challenges to learn the software prior to buying, and existing customers were discovering new use cases, honing their skills, and training their teams. “It’s a low-pressure way for people to try new things and get immediate feedback on a regular cadence. Also, people love to compete!”
Here’s a sample of one of their most recent challenges.
Fortunately, you don’t need a data science degree to run a similar project in your community. If you manage a product community, Brian suggests talking to your Support and Success teams to get a sense of the most common questions, challenges, and learnings that customers have with your products and build those out into a list of challenges. “Your goal should be to get your community members to share their deep knowledge so that others can benefit,” he says.
If that’s not the right fit for your community, experiment with other challenges, quizzes, puzzles, or brainteasers. “The sky’s the limit. It’s a great opportunity to get creative and try new things,” Brian says. “You can start with one-off challenges to see how they work before committing to recurring. Of course, it helps to have tangible incentives for those that participate or win. Ultimately, it should be about celebrating each other.”