In July of 2010, David Armano wrote a guest blog for the Harvard Business Review advising companies to fire their marketing manager and hire a community manager. Fortunately, we value Marshall too much to let him go. We did feel, however, that we needed someone around to help our growing client base ask better questions, get better results, and engage in the kind of information sharing necessary to make GutCheck work for them. So we sat down for lunch with Elizabeth Taddonio, who was working as a QC with our partner, iModerate, and she explained all of the tasks she saw herself performing as a community manager – chief among them customer support, education and social media integration. Now, she’s sitting in our offices hard at work, acting as your point of communication and your new best friend (in qualitative research and in real life, Elizabeth will never turn down a new friend or a slice of pizza. Never.).
Formally Elizabeth holds an MA and a BA in communication studies, with a focus on visual rhetoric and new media studies. Informally, she likes to tell people that she’s a licensed “encouragologist”. According to Elizabeth, encouragology is the science of understanding a person’s objectives and getting them from start to finish with as much ease, efficiency, and enjoyment as possible. As community manager, Elizabeth will act as the bridge between GutCheck and our users – bringing them together and translating user needs and wants into new offerings with the GutCheck product.
Though GutCheck is currently working hard to make DIY qualitative research accessible to all types of researchers, from advertising executives to academics, we also feel that the site should offer opportunities for users to continue to hone their focus group and one-on-one interviewing skills. As a qualitative research coach, Elizabeth will be there to help you decide which guide is right for you, which questions you need to be asking, and which audience will give you the optimum insight into your project. Think of Elizabeth as your partner, giving you freedom to work on your own project while working as your advocate and constantly sharing new skills and techniques to make that project run at its best.
Lastly, as Chris Brogan wrote in his Essential Skills of a Community Manager post, Elizabeth will act as “good party host mixed with a fine restaurant host.” That is, it’s her goal to help make connections between GutCheck users as researchers, allowing them to share their knowledge and help make qualitative research do-able. Along with Marshall, she’ll merge social media with user experience and insight, welcoming an internal community of like-minded researchers while maintaining the product’s performance.
About the Author
Matt is cofounder and CEO of GutCheck. He has been a mainstay in the entrepreneurial community over the past 15 years co-founding 2 companies and funding dozens of others as a venture capitalist. When not working on GutCheck, Matt also enjoys biking, running, and swimming — sometimes all three of those together.