Bootstrapping and building your research panel – Via IdeaScale

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.One of the random side-effects to creating our own IdeaScale portal for new ideas and feedback has been that we’ve actually created a online panel of what we call “Core” users — users who care enough about us to give us feedback.

Lets think about this for a minute. Users who give you feedback, are taking the time to help you — The least you can do is to acknowledge the feedback. The best you can do is turn around and do something real about the feedback. The greatest side-effect to this is that you have, within your reach all the power users and core users of your system. There is absolutely no reason this cannot be your research panel. OK – I must say this — Dan Keldsen from AIIM Market Intellgence actually planted the seed in my head. AIIM has been thinking of creating a panel, and we were pitching them IdeaScale — I think all the smart folks in the conference call put two and two together and came to a conclusion that conceptually IdeaScale can be thought of as a panel.

Once you have critical mass with your ideascale portal you can then use the same users to solicit feedback via surveys, polls and even have them vote on ideas and topics (even if they did not come up with the idea) — they can contribute to the brainstorming.

The obvious question is that – how will all this work? The short answer here is that, it’s part of our vision and roadmap for IdeaScale portals to be integrated with QuestionPro surveys as well as MicroPoll polls. We obviously own all three systems and should be able to integrate the systems together — if we know what we are doing. As IdeaScale comes out of beta early next month, we’ll be launching a set of survey integration tools for IdeaScale next month. That will allow customers to send surveys and polls to their IdeaScale portal users, track rewards, redeem points etc.

I’ve had this theory of setting up an advisory board for QuestionPro about 4 years now — I think it might finally happen now. Except, my original vision was to actually recruit 4-8 advisors, but now I’ll just use our own system to have a panel of advisors. We already have about 100 users in the QuestionPro IdeaScale — and we’ve only really promoted it via the blog. We can start here with all the users in IdeaScale and start having a meaningful conversation with them.

Another side effect to this survey integration is that the point system we use currently in IdeaScale can be integrated with a point system for surveys also. So we can easily sort and find users who’ve participated the most and reward them.

I think this is a good experiment in bootstrapping a research panel. Although we did not originally intend to create a panel, but once we had our success with IdeaScale, it makes obvious sense to continue down this path. We’ll be sending out a short survey via our ideascale portal next month as our first research project — We want to find out what the single most important update we can do to QuestionPro for you to absolutely LOVE QP for the rest of your life! In market research terms, what we need to find out is how can we increase “value extraction” for our customers. Fun!

If you’d like to have your say, all you need to do is be a part of the QuestionPro IdeaScale portal. You’ll get an invitation to the survey next month when we are ready.

We are also going to try another experiment — We’ll make the results of the survey (including open-ended responses etc.) everything – public to all the users who take the survey. Yeah – we could give out a AMZN gift certificate, but I doubt all you market research hot shots out there really care for a gift certificate. I think access to the data is a better incentive – Do you?