Why are research communities so hot today?

We all know social media has gained considerable human relevance. User-created content, citizen journalism and online social interactions are embedded into the daily lives of consumers. And it goes without saying that these evolutions have and are still changing the entire market research process and industry. Market research has changed from asking questions to having conversations with consumers. And Online Research Communities have proven to be a viable environment to engage with consumers as well as marketing executives in a connected and participatory way. But what makes research communities so unique?
Research communities bring true consumer connect between marketers and their target groups as they use interactive tools to tap into social interactions between people, and allow a more equal relationship between researchers, brands and participants.

The three key benefits of running Online Research Communities

  • Communities allow quickly tapping into a sample of consumers on a specific topic that presents itself, which makes getting the answer to a specific question more efficient.
  • They offer better quality of consumer understanding. Consumer input is multimedia, embedded in people’s life context as well more reflected and reasoned.
  • They allow to perform tasks which were previously not possible without the asynchronous technology and engagement over time. Examples are in combining research communities with mobile technologies as well as integration in social networks.

And still there is a friction between the ability and desire to conduct research communities in our industry. The status of online research communities today is comparable to teenagers and their first sexual experience. Everyone says they are doing it, everyone wants to do it… but in the end no-one really knows how to do it well. This situation is reflected in the Greenbook Research Industry Trends 2013. 45% of researchers indicate they have plans to use online communities in the future (ranking 1st out of 17 emerging technologies), while 40% of clients claim the lack of knowledge is still a limitation for them. (GRIT 2013)
Hence, there is a need for an overview and some concrete tips on how to run online research communities. And that’s what we did, you can read the full story in our Always on Research: Running engaging Market Research Online Communities paper!

And feel free to get in touch if you’re looking for more information on running Online Research Communities.

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