Market Research Online Communities: Pouring Gasoline on a Fire
I’m often asked the following questions, ‘What are online research communities?’ or ‘What makes a research community a good tool to use for my research?’ Well, I would like to address both of these questions in this blog post. It’s time I bring out the loudspeaker and let everyone know the great things a market research online communities can do for one’s research and in the end positively impact the business.
I like to think of a research community as a way to ignite research. Yes, that’s right, the proverbial gasoline on a fire. The gasoline is your community and the fire is your research. By pouring some gasoline on your research a spark will turn into a full on fire. The speed and quality of the insights and feedback you’ll get will be unmatched.
Here is an example of the pouring some gasoline on the fire. Many QuestionPro clients have come to me with some version of the following: “With a community, I’m able to get my research done 3 times cheaper, and 10 times faster while receiving better overall insights.” You really can’t ask for better results. It’s cheaper because you’re using your own group of respondents. You’ve nurtured the relationships and kept folks engaged. In addition, you know who they are and if they can be trusted to participate in your research. It’s faster because you have the sample at your call ready to take part and you know they are willing to participate in helping you uncover insights.
You’re collecting better insights overall through the different tools that are available – These tools also help to build an engaged community and keep them that way. and give them a sense that they are part of a real community. You’ve shown them that you are committed to getting their feedback. You’ve provided them an outlet that they can trust, an outlet where their feelings and opinions can and will be heard.
An online research community works for the same reasons that a real life community works – the ones that you’re involved in your day to day life from your neighborhood, city where you live, to any clubs that you belong to inside or outside of work. Let’s analyze this a bit more and take a look at the definition of a community found on dictionary.com – A social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage. This is very similar to the makeup of a research community.
Let’s take a closer look at each of the points:
- Members reside in a specific locality. Yes, even in a market research online communities, the members ‘reside’ in a shared space called an online member portal. Here the members can take surveys, interact with other members via discussions, update their profile, etc. They share a common meeting place and an area where they can give feedback.
- Share government. All members of market research online communities are under the same ‘government’ that of the community administrator. The government provides them with an infrastructure to get their feedback and thoughts collected, provides them a means to get rewarded for their feedback via gift cards rewards, and provide them with an outlet to talk with other members share ideas.
- Have a common cultural or historical heritage. Most of the market research online communities are made of like individuals that all use a certain product or service and they have a common interest it. This is what binds them together as members of the same community. They have a connection or a common thread that bring them together as a group.
Just as communities play an integral part in everyday life, research communities should play a key role in your research. Having a research community in place will allow your research to spread like wildfire. You’ll get the wide-spread and quality feedback and data that you’ve been looking for in your research while building customer engagement. So what are you waiting for? Pour some gasoline on your research today!