Key elements of a Market Research Online Community
What is a Market Research Online Community (MROC)?
Online communities – sometimes also called ‘insight communities’ are a form of qualitative research and refers to all forms of qualitative research conducted online or on a mobile platform.
These communities can include techniques such as on-line diaries, blogs, shopper missions and ethnography. They function by using a social media style platform for consumers to ‘chat’ and interact. The purpose of an insight community is to secure actionable insights from customer feedback and ideas to drive business decisions.
The community is usually conducted with a specific group of consumers or customers who provide a longer form of insight outcome than can be achieved with focus groups or in depth interviews. This allows for a deeper exploration and discovery of key drivers of behaviour and attitudes with respondents over the course of a week, a fortnight, or even months long engagements. It can involve quick real time responses or longer in- depth research and can be short or long term (hours to weeks or months). Online or insight communities can be used as a sole method or part of a multi-method data gathering approach.
How do they work?
The online community is conducted on a specific purpose-built platform and is a form of closed community or private online environment. Participants must be invited, and they are incentivised to engage and participate in a brand’s research-related activities on an ongoing basis.
Key elements include:
- A targeted group — Communities can include a group of 30 respondents but there are much larger branded communities out there. For qualitative research purposes we suggest maximum segments of 30 customers.
- Platform — There are loads of online platforms available many have similar functions and some have more unique offerings from quite basic to highly sophisticated capabilities. These environments are private and secure which allows products and campaigns to be evaluated within the community prior to revealing them to the public.
- Research related activities — Communities can now handle a variety of qualitative and quantitative use such as general voice of customer (VOC) work, customer journey, concept testing, new product development, ethnographic, UX and in home placement testing.
- Business decision making — Because communities are now so agile, clients can get to decisions faster or with deeper insight and empathy in much more efficient manner.
When to consider Online Communities
- You need to give respondents time to consider and/or reflect on their experiences.
- You want to include shopper missions or some form of consumer mission or experience
- You have a geographically spread sample that can’t commit to being physically available all at the same time.
- You want to capture pictures and videos in-the-moment.
- You need to track shifting attitudes and behaviours over time.
- You need to give respondents time and space to reflect, look at the issues from another angle, discuss it and come up with answers/ solutions.
- You need a balance between the individual’s story and group reactions.
- The topic is extremely personal and / or complex – in which case respondents might struggle to express themselves well without feeling under pressure in a face-to-face environment.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
If you have questions about using a market research online community for your company, or if you have general questions about market research online communities and how they can help your company deliver more value to your customers, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org , visit our website at www.rubychacha.com.au or call us on 80946800.