In above scenario, we have two options of connecting people:
a. Individually to a specific user
b. Connect to a group related to their interest.
Now, as a PM, I would like to prioritize my case because the above two scenarios would require different features on the application.
When I think about my target customers, they are people that are interested in connecting with strangers over social media that have similar interest. If I put myself in their shoes, I am less likely to actually engage in an outdoor activity when I am a part of a group of unknown people for mainly below reasons:
a. No proper communication between two individuals that creates less of a personal communication.
b. I might not be comfortable with meeting 10 new faces at a time compared to engaging with 1 or 2 individual.
c. There are chances of miscommunication when many people are involved. Also it might be difficult to get so many people together to agree on a time and date.
So, for above reasons, I am going to prioritize my application development based on people connecting with individual users with similar interests.
Now, I will provide my recommendations around the scope of potential solutions:
1) When a user is on our application, the key thing for us is to identify their area of interests. There are multiple ways to do this:
a. Ask our users to manually input this data on our application when creating their profile. This might be overhead work for them and could result in abandonment of the process.
b. Enable users to link their other social media accounts such as Facebook or Twitter. We can then gather data about their interest in the following manner:
i. From the users profile
ii. Use AI to scan through users posts, pictures and activities to identify interests.
2) When a user is scrolling through a profile, we would want to show pictures of the other person engaging in that particular activity. This can again be done in multiple ways:
a. User creates different albums for different interests with pictures of them doing that activity. We can then use the pictures from these albums. For example, if I am interested in bowling and reading books, I have two separate albums. Now the person looking at my profile is interest in bowling, so the application picks up pictures from my bowling album and displays it.
b. Develop an AI that can extract pictures from other linked social media accounts of the user based on the interest.
3) Once the individual users are connected on the application, we can provide following to increase engagement:
a. links of things to do based on their mutual interests, guide them to the website. Provide feedback and comments from other users who have done this activity.
b. Provide discounts and coupons if they go ahead with the booking.
c. Share pictures and experience of other users who tried out that activity using out application.
d. a points program where they earn loyalty /engagement points for doing the activities. This could lead up to users getting into an elite category. Once a customer in elite category, they are likely to get more requests from people.
Now, for me all the above recommendations are significant in terms of increasing user engagement, but in order to build a MVP, I would like to make tradeoffs based on customer impact and cost of implementation.
a. Manually enter data – customer impact – low, cost of implementation – low. This could be a problem for us as many people nowdays do not prefer to spend time on adding data to their profiles. Could lead to losing users at this point in the journey.
b. Link account to facebook, twitter- customer impact – high, cost of implementation – low. It is not uncommon for applications nowdays to connect to various social media platforms. For example, we can use facebook connect. This would not only make it easier for our customers but would also enable us to leverage facebook’s world class collection of data. One of the problems could be that facebook does not agree to do provide any data on the customer.
a. Different albums for different interests – customer impact – med, cost of implementation – low. The only downside to this is that customers might not like spending time on manually uploading pictures.
b. AI tool – customer impact – high, cost of implementation – high. Our customer would just love the fact that we pick their best pictures from across platforms and display it for them. Downside is that many social media platforms might not agree to provide access to their data. Creating an AI tool would be very expensive.
3) Customer impact – high, cost of implementation – low. We provide customer with more incentives by providing discount coupons/ loyalty points. We can also charge third party websites for providing links to their websites. I do not see any downside to this as long as we provide trusted partners links.
So as a PM for this product, my MVP would be an application that enables quick registration using facebook connect and allows for different albums based on interests. We provide our users with incentives to engage in activities using our platform.