FINTECH - Open community vs private community?

Hi there!
I am pretty happy to have this space to discuss technical topics with knowledgeable people that are usually out of my reach. Thank you for your help: I really appreciate that!

So, here is the situation on which I’d love to have your opinion.

I was doing a competitor research and I noticed that one of the competitor (fintech app that manages company expenses) was keeping its community closed, allowing access only to seasoned financial executive (which actually are the decisions maker who allow the adoption of the product, but who do not actually use it, I suppose).

I am wondering what are the Pros and Cons of this strategy and what would you decide in this case

I’d open it :grinning:

My view:

PROS:

  • Super vertical, maximum potential conversion
  • good if you do not have a big team of Community Managers
  • low volume of data to manage (platform)

CONS:

  • No SEO positive effect
  • No opportunity to engage with possible “advisors” of the decision makers: less opportunity to sell the app?
  • actual users are cut out of the Community (the FCO won’t manage the company expenses) so no UX feedbacks about the product
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Hi @francy888

This sounds like a rather particular use case compared with most brand communities.

I think the biggest pro of this strategy is it creates a sense of exclusivity and enables members to have discussions they would be unable to have anywhere else. It provides the competitor with strong relationships and access to senior people in their field. It becomes more of a ‘success’ based community. It also probably keeps the costs low.

The downside as you know is it’s self-limiting in who the community is for and what the community can become.

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It might be good to consider a hybrid approach, with parts of the community publicly accessible, and parts of it VIP-only. That way you get the SEO benefit, but also have safe space for the deeper conversations among the experts.

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I was going to say the same thing. If you want to show prospective customers the value of a customer community, you can share some content that’s open to everyone, and then have parts of your community that are only open to customers/VIPs/whoever as an incentive to get more deeply engaged and/or become a customer.

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