An overview of Market Research Online Communities (MROCs) by PluggedIN Co. (www.pluggedinco.com), a specialist in online communities for market research and consumer insights.
1. Market Research Online Communities
2. The Evolution of Market Research Web 2.0 Now Communities 2000 Panels 1990s Online 1970 Telephone 1950 Face-to-face
3. Market Research Communities Private online communities where a targeted group of participants gather to discuss research-related topics on a weekly basis. The topics are facilitated, with periodic reports and recommendations provided to the sponsoring company.
4. Social Networking Online Qualitative Market Research & Community Tools Capabilities Online Communities + = Research communities draw These Web 2.0 tools are The combination of these on the latest social combined with focus group tools creates an environment networking and community capabilities that researchers where participants can tools, including forums, need, including member connect and collaborate, blogs, photo sharing, prole management and database while sharing their feedback pages, friends/connections, ltering, points and incentive through ongoing discussions etc..., combining them in a management capabilities, and surveys. way that allows research transcript downloads, etc... participants to connect and share their thoughts.
5. Market research online communities (MROCs) will shock the qualitative market research world. They provide cheaper, faster and newer types of insights that todays traditional qualitative research modes, such as focus groups, dont currently provide. Forrester Research April, 2008
6. Faster... Cheaper... Better... Communities can cut the By tapping into a targeted Communities help research cycle time from group of participants on researchers get a unique 3-4 weeks to 1 week (or an ongoing basis, perspective into the less), helping companies companies can save lives of participants, make timely decisions thousands in recruiting, truly understand their and speed the product incentives, facility rental needs, and collaborate development cycle. and travel costs. with them in ways that are not possible through other point-in-time methodologies.
7. Applications for Research Communities Venue for members to Identify and track trends among Qualitative tracking of brand express themselves (via blogs a targeted audience over an perceptions alongside and photos, user generated extended period of time competitive brands conversations) Place to launch exploratory Formative and to additional Generate ideas for new products interactive/collaborative and services alongside research around new markets, options (e.g. invoke, iMarkit) prospective customers audiences or topics Rene product concepts and Evaluate customer experiences continually collaborate on through product diaries, blogs, iterations of concepts discussions and surveys (Among many other applications... Communities are a very exible research methodology.)
8. Community Variations Project Communities Shared Communities Ongoing Communities Communities can be very Research and consulting rms Ongoing communities that last for effective when used on a small- that have an expertise in specic many months or years can be scale and short-term basis. For segments or industries may nd a useful in an advisory capacity, example, a community of 50-100 multi-client shared community where companies are tapping into participants over 3 months can be to be an effective way of using the community for their feedback effective as a replacement for communities. For example, a on a wide range of topics. These multi-city focus group studies. company may setup a single communities tend to be larger These project-based communities ongoing community and run (200+ members) and designed can be valuable for deep-dives smaller ad-hoc or syndicated around a particular brand, on a targeted set of objectives. studies inside of the community product or service. for multiple clients.
9. Methodology Comparisons While point-in-time in-person methodologies like focus groups and in-depth interviews allow you to see participants facial reactions as they discuss a topic in real- time, they lack the ability to continually collaborate with and learn about participants after the session is over. The extended approach of an online community allows for a Traditional Focus much deeper understanding of an audience and their needs over time. Groups Online bulletin board and chat-style focus groups are a quick and efcient way of conducting qualitative market research. However, they too are a point-in-time methodology, and lack the ability to explore a research topic from multiple angles, while really getting to collaborate with and learn about participants. Online Focus Groups Communities are primarily a qualitative methodology and should not be considered as a replacement for online survey research. However, they can serve as a venue to launch online surveys to a targeted group. They are also effective in understanding Surveys the why behind the what of an online survey.
10. Community Details & Recommendations Research community sizes vary, although most are between 50-300 people. We Size typically recommend around 150 participants to keep the feedback manageable while encouraging connection among members. The duration also varies by the objectives. Communities are typically at least one Duration month, although they can last years. Weve found great results with research communities that last between 3-6 months. Market research communities are primarily a qualitative methodology, although it Mode is possible to obtain hybrid qualitative and quantitative feedback through a larger community size. Communities can be built around a targeted set of objectives (e.g., new product Focus development, ad testing, website redesign, etc...), or address a wider set of objectives (e.g., general audience understanding). The output is similar to other online qualitative studies. Transcripts from all Output research activities are available immediately, with ongoing reports delivered in presentation or newsletter-style formats.