The New Members Blog Series is a collection of blogs for new members to help them better understand the element14 roadtest program.
How do suppliers use RoadTest Reviews? How does element14 use the reviews our roadtesters produce?
Two great questions.
Let me start with suppliers.
Since many of the products we roadtest are new product introductions, the suppliers want to get feedback on their product. Since our roadtesters check the documentation and the overall first experience with the product, they are bound to check the basic things. So the suppliers look at your reviews to ensure things are running smoothly with their new product.
Suppliers also want to see if you have a new angle or approach to their product that they had not thought of. They know engineering communities like element14 have a lot of bright, ingenious people, so they invest in the roadtest program to tap into these people's knowledge, skills and abilities.
Finally, suppliers want to spread the word (i.e., that's marketing) about their new product. Since element14 promotes the roadtest and reviews on social media, press releases (sometimes), newsletters, etc. the review is a means to get the word out.
Next, how does element14 use the reviews?
I mentioned marketing in a previous paragraph. We use the roadtest and the reviews by creating social media posts to make interested-people aware of the work you've done. Our members produce high quality content and we want people to read what you have written.
As for myself, I use the reviews to gain insights into the market. A couple of years ago there was a lot of interest of wireless connectivity. These days it is about sensors. New semiconductor technology for electric vehicles is gaining a lot of interest as well. These insights help drive other element14 content that I am tasked to create, as part of my job. (Note: I may not create the content myself, but I have a team of writers who will create content that I assign them to write.)
I think our roadtesters produce excellent content. I think just by reading the reviews, you will learn a lot. If you are a roadtester, you will learn even more. If you have the time, I encourage everyone to try to be a roadtester.
RoadTest Program Manager