Four Questions Answered about Communities

The global pandemic boosted online connectivity in so many ways, and online market research has risen quickly in importance as consumer behavior shifts and changes rapidly. One good example of an effective way to do research online is through online market research communities. In our recent webinar, “Insightful Ways to Incorporate Online Communities into Research Strategies,” we dug into the top four questions about communities.

What is an online market research community?

An online community gathers a group of willingly opted-in consumers together in an accessible environment to engage in market research activities, so researchers and their clients can gain insights quickly and effectively. These communities—which allow a direct relationship with a brand’s key consumer—can be used for quantitative, qualitative and hybrid research to get the answers you need.

When should you use an online community?

Communities can be used in a variety of ways, but are very helpful when you want to stay continuously engaged with your consumer group. It also provides a consumer feedback group from which you can get quick, almost spontaneous, reactions and responses. Some of the ways to mine insights from the community include discussions​, surveys​, polling​, in-home product testing, chatting, diaries, guided activities or contextual research​. And these consumer behavioral insights can give you the data you need to make business decisions, innovate or develop products, or hone marketing messaging to best resonate with your target audience.

How can you establish a market research community online?

To set up an online marketing research community, having a dedicated researcher to start up and establish the new group is essential. A community manager not only can get the participants set-up and oriented, they can provide technical support, training and navigation for both participants and stakeholders—and make sure things keep moving forward.

What are the considerations for maintaining your online community?

A community manager is very important for success, but you must also make sure to keep participants happy and engaged. Stay creative! A main goal with community research is to keep everyone engaged, and creative activities help spur active participation. Incentivize! Two primary drivers for being a member of a community exist: an actual incentive in the form of money, donations, or product; or leveraging participant passion. You must also have a strategy for replenishing your community, and for managing data in the most useful way for the insights needed.

Ready to start leveraging an online market research community for your next research project? Check out our webinar, and reach out to us!