If implemented effectively, this program will create an internal community of power users and advocates of the "eating your own dogfood" mindset.
The solution I'm proposing is centered on using Web 2.0 concepts such as crowdsourcing, community, and social rewards to make the whole dogfooding experience work on most businesses.
- Development of an opt-in program that will recognize and reward dogfooders. This can be in the form of a leaderboard and badges (on the company intranet or in email signatures). Think Foursquare badges for folks who be
- iPhone and email notifications when major dogfooding milestones happen in the organization ("There are now 500 users of Product X in our company!") This aims to create a viral effect especially when notable people in the company (The CEO, the company heartthrob, etc.) will allow themselves to be featured.
- A scoring and incentive system for those who will be the top users of the new service. These incentives need not be material-- it can be in the form of being part of a "beta tester group" for future products.
- An inter-group competition where team members must share tips and tactics on how to best use the product or service. The winning group will be the ones that provide the tips that get the most "Likes."
The benefits are:
- Internet marketing goes beyond copy and emails-- employees will use the products in real situations
- Potential quality iprovement as more employees with stake in the company will speak out when there are problems
- Word of mouth effect when employees recommend the products to their family and friends
- Internal rewards system that can motivate employees and recognize power users
- Building confidence on the company's products
Next is evaluating what elements of the program can be done, especially with the tools. The leaderboard can look something like this: