Community Smartees @ Rotterdam

On 23 June, InSites Consulting organized a Smartees workshop on research communities.
Tom De Ruyck, Senior R&D Manager introduced the wonderful world of research communities. The results of the Meet the Joneses are clear: 2 out of 3 marketers claim to know what their customers want, but only 33% actually knows their customers when confronted with the test. Research communities are a good way to sense the life of your customers and get really connected with them.

After the introduction on the InSites philosophy, we let our customer talk. Because who can tell you better how it feels to be connected than our clients, who are actually running a research community with InSites Consulting. Therefore, Martijn van Kesteren (Ben & Jerry’s – Unilever) and Barbera van der Wal (ING) shared their experiences on how they’ve gained insights into their target group by means of a research community.


Engagement is important. Not only engagement from the community participant, but also from the internal project team. Running a research community is an ongoing project, the community is 24/7 accessible and you must have an open mind. Once the moderator signals posts that need a reply from your side, you must be willing to do so in an open and honest way. The key is to give something back to the participants. They provide you with a lot of (personal) information and are willing to cooperate, but you have to give them something in return. Let them know what you’ve learned, which new ideas the community brought you and which actions you will take.
A research community is a very effective way for gaining insights because it gives you answers to questions you didn’t ask!

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