Hitting PMF - How Community-led initiatives supercharged Intract’s Growth
Community-Led Growth is the perfect GTM strategy for Web3 projects looking to iterate fast, and realize their product-market fit
Community is the elementary driver of any Web3 initiative. Be it through a common purpose, a curiosity, or a pet peeve. Without community activation & engagement as your north star, you might as well ship HTML with no goal.
- Apurv Kaushal, Co-founder, Intract
Powerful communities tend to create a flywheel of growth that drives insights, iterations, and adoption for a product in a very organic fashion.
This community-led growth is something that enables startups to skip the initial hoops of MVPs.
Coming to Web3, this Community-led growth is indispensable - considering its sheer impact & the ability of a community to inspire mass appeal & buy-in.
That should work as a forethought in establishing the need for a community.
Now let’s explore - what in the heck is Intract?
What is Intract?
Currently, a go-to growth marketing product suite coupled with a powerful growth community, Intract had humble beginnings.
Intract started off as a guild of 3 builders who entered Web3 during the vacations of the crazy NFT summer of 2021.
Along their way to discover blue-chip glory & many close trysts with scams, the team uncovered their passion for building communities supercharged by Web3 incentives.
While helping out projects, this team soon realized how the current growth loops were not sustainable & bound to fail. Mercenary capital, airdrop farmers, Twitter bots - all were good for the initial impetus but really bad for actual platform usage.
This led to a fork and a second generation was born.
The builders started collaborating with Web3 marketers & data nerds to create a growth marketing community, with a simple mission -
Build the most comprehensive growth tooling suite minus the evils of un-permissioned data collection & privacy violations.
100+ project collaborations & 2 Million+ impressions later, the community is on its way to becoming a growth think tank - blazing new inroads in Web3 Marketing - and is backed by experienced builders from Axie Infinity, Unstoppable Domains, 1inch & the likes.
All of this was achieved by focusing on the very primary facet of Web3 - *
a vibrant, active community 🚀🫂
So, the question:
How did Intract achieve the elusive Web3 Product Market Fit with the help of this growth community?
Let’s start with the basics, first.
What does Product-Market fit (PMF) mean in Web3?
In conventional terms, Product-Market fit is the degree to which a product satisfies market demand.
Meaning: You have to have an audience or a set of people, who give a damn about your product and what it is offering, and are able to derive adequate value from it.
Now, when it comes to Web3, the exact definition of PMF is still hazy.
Save for a few key attempts: Jeff Moris Jr., CoinTelegraph, Nishad).
For Intract though, the fundamentals of hitting product-market fit remained somewhat similar to the ones in Web2 (Y Combinator).
Are users consuming the product as fast as you build it?
Are users returning periodically with $$$ or crypto payments for the product (or service)?
Have you found a way to grow the user base repeatedly?
Asking these questions helped us shed some light.
But as a lot of entrepreneurs put it, PMF is hard to miss.
So if you are questioning if you’ve reached it, you probably haven’t.
How is the Intract Growth Community structured?
To quote Nick, the community Sherpa at Intract “Building this B2B community of marketers has been all about the personal touch & keeping it organic. You don’t need to necessarily overcomplicate this with bounties & tokenomics, especially at an early stage.”
Quinn (VP of Marketing at Sky Mavis, Axie Infinity ) agrees.
Here is the list of a few inside alpha into how the Intract Community manifests.
The selection process is invite-only - with Nick thoroughly reviewing members for relevance before inclusion.
Clear expectation alignment with joining members on their contributions (overall vibe though is pretty LAID BACK)
Easy to get started with limited discord channels (9) around introductions, self-promotions & announcements
Nick acts as a matchmaker fostering relevant networking b/w community members as and when needed
Once in a while, the community co-authors blogs or host a fireside chat to discuss hot topics & their relevance to Web3 growth marketing.
How the community supercharges Intract’s road to PMF?
To build products that truly alleviate the pain points of marketers, it is crucial to listen to them talking about their life, challenges, and requirements. Let the product find its groove through conversations & data-backed experiments.
Building a holistic community of early adopters
The first step to PMF is identifying the right pain point from an almost unbounded universe of options. For founders, this could be as challenging as a child picking candy from a smorgasbord of candies.
The team at Intract wanted to build a holistic perspective for growth marketing in Web3 & not be stuck in localized optima of pain points. Thus, they selectively onboarded folks with diverse backgrounds in terms of roles (growth, community, partnerships), company stage (seed to a unicorn), etc.
This provides us with a bird’s eye take on the challenges that our product can address without being pigeonholed into a specific vertical.
💡 Pro Tip: Maintain an up-to-date database of your community members & their latest adventures.
1 on 1 conversation - open-ended but regularly scheduled
When onboarding members, align with them on the frequency of 1 on 1 cadence they can do. Schedule recurring calls if possible as well.
The team at Intract spends 30 to 45 minutes a month chatting with some of their active members. The conversations are a mixture of
Open-ended chat about day-to-day happenings - great to build empathy, uncover insights & use case inspirations
Laser sharp hypothesis validation - helpful to get early validation of broad product directions (read Mom’s test to avoid interviewer bias)
Divergent brainstorming - a magical way to open up product roadblocks (iterations) around solving specific pain points, inspiring bold experiments
Event-inspired organic conversations
The growth leaders in the Intract community are busy implementing growth strategies regularly & talking about them. Following them on socials & engaging with them is a great way to stay updated on their latest ideas & build long-term relationships.
This also often acts as a trigger for an unscheduled 1 on 1 chat about their topic of interest, developments around a specific event, and the ramifications on the industry.
For Intract, it has sparked so many interesting conversations around airdrop farming, smart tokenomics, KOL quality assessment, etc., and thus has enabled us to explore the creation of product USPs, redefine or repurpose product proposition, scope out blue-ocean opportunities to scale & sell.
💡 Pro Tip: Calls are overrated. Have a small question/comment, just ping directly on TG, discord, or Twitter & chat with your community member
Community Level Conversations
1 on 1 chat should also be completed with broader community-level conversations. Such multi-membered conversations are a great method to add nuance/depth to even the topics already discussed 1 on 1 with members.
Intract hosts AMAs, fireside chats & champions co-authored publications quite regularly with a planned schedule. The founding team also engages regularly on the #general channel with members to get multiple perspectives
The collaterals that are created from these ‘co-marketing/co-hosted’ activities tend to create value for the larger web3 community - unlocking GTM, growth hacks, verticalized reports & insights, etc.
In the short run, this results in product discovery as well as exploration.
Whereas in the long run, this DEFINES your brand prominence & product value, and inspires trust & market leadership.
💡 Pro Tip: Post co-authored publications on multiple mediums (Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.). Also, have an SEO-optimized version to boost your website traffic.
Community-led sprint prioritization
Researching your users can be done without the creation of a community. What a community fosters is a deeper long-term immersion into phases beyond initial research - something that cannot be gleaned from interviews & product analytics.
Knowing the day-in & day-out of your target vertical (or ICP) & the intricacies behind their need for your product can enable you to hyper-focus & deliver.
The product sprint plans (what features will be made this month?) at Intract go through an informal community review before getting executed. This way, you get the community buy-in before the product is even delivered.
How does it work?
A few members are pinged in advance & a prioritization template is shared for feedback directly on Telegram. This is less commitment heavy than the community-sourced Build In Public models (popular in other communities).
Behavioral data-backed feedback
To answer Q1 & 2 of the PMF definition, founders should track the product launch for not just the sign-ups, but subsequent usage & user retention. Getting user feedback is key to driving repeated product adoption.
The community at Intract engages actively in trying out various products (that’s one of our core value props when onboarding ) & giving feedback. Adding a layer of product analytics (via tools such as Mix Panel) can further solidify insights & define product iterations unambiguously.
Q3 of the PMF definition asks teams to figure out a repeatable GTM motion - how to grow the user flywheel regularly? What better way than setting up product evangelism via your close-knit community, especially in Web3?
The Intract team has recently launched a closed alpha program to onboard early adapters for its latest version of the Growth & KOL CRM. The referral program follows soon.