A community-based research approach for Activa
Activa is a Chilean market research company with a vast experience in research and marketing and with a strong focus on customer service. Activa delivers services of continuous information solutions and ad-hoc solutions, integrated in the dimensions of brand equity, consumer satisfaction and advertising.
Activa organized its first online community to perform research that complements service experience and innovation projects for one of Chile’s leading banks. Anabril Cerda, consumer insights manager at Activa, guides us through their successful community on CMNTY Platform.
The main research goal was to have a critical mass of the bank’s clients to be able to research specific issues quickly and with the opportunity to combine qualitative and quantitative approaches in an agile manner. Activa covered the bank’s experience issues, tested functionalities for their digital platforms, and investigated people’s vision regarding different areas of interest, following through on the premise of putting clients at the heart of things.
The research project
Activa started using an insights community because they shared the client’s intuition that online communities were the response to the research needs arising from innovation processes. This initial experience allowed Anabril and her team to identify and inform other clients of the benefits of using online tooling.
A community-based research approach
The time periods for recruitment, implementation of qualitative fieldwork, and subsequent quantitative analysis of key results tend to be too long for innovation projects, which need permanent user feedback. This community-based research approach also set out to strengthen the link between our clients and their customers, which is the secondary objective for these projects.
Anabril and her team used a wide range of service providers before they started working with CMNTY. While other software resulted in excellent results in brief, ad hoc projects and quantitative platforms yielded excellent results for quick polls and surveys. They chose CMNTY to address both research approaches in an efficient and integrated manner.
“Working with CMNTY has brought improvements in a wide range of areas. The user experience is better than other quantitative platforms offer; it’s friendlier, with a better look and feel, and excellent responsiveness on smartphones. We have confirmed that with platform satisfaction studies that we run within the communities. On top of that, the service level from the team has been excellent. That has let us get more benefit from the tool every day, which has been great news for me and my team”, states Anabril
Activa has built communities to test and improve new ideas and prototypes, to understand and identify shortcomings and areas for improvement in CX/UX. The ability to have an online community also helped Activa to understand consumer habits and product use. In addition, it made it possible to test communication pieces that used to go untested because of a lack of budget.
According to Anabril, online communities add a lot of enrichment for testing ideas or prototypes, surveying the insights necessary for developments or improvements, which go into production and are well-received by users once they are launched. Participants also like to see the products and services that they helped improve when they “come into reality”.
CMNTY’s platform and its features
In general, Activa works with a mix of methodologies and techniques for their clients; they use the approaches that get clients the best answers to business questions. We normally combine surveys with forums and challenges, and when necessary we add focus groups or interviews.
“The platform is fairly intuitive and clear, but I also want to draw attention to the excellent service provided by CMNTY’s customer success manager, helping us out whenever we need anything, at any phase in a project. That lets us learn more and react in time when problems arise, which translates into more satisfaction for our clients.”
The future of online market research
“In modern-day market research, the most important thing is to get people’s perceptions in real time, as up-to-date as possible – tastes change very quickly – and online panels are very useful for that”
Activa states that online communities are unique because of their continuity over time, which offers the chance to identify interesting insights during fieldwork, adjusting subsequent activities and thus getting details on gathered insights, within the same group of people, as soon as the results are coming out. Additionally, it’s also a very ad hoc tool for today’s world and it creates a closeness between panel members and the brand.
“I think market research benefits from this kind of broader, streamlined, and maybe unorthodox research approaches, which can be used to identify insights at different phases in research projects, in settings where time and cost considerations normally rule out getting feedback from users and customers, limiting teams to making decisions “from the gut”, says Anabril.
How could other potential clients in similar roles benefit from the CMNTY platform?
“I think that any brand that wants to be close to its consumers. Particularly companies in the fields of services, retail, food and beverages, even technology; apart from merely declarative information, this tool lets them “accompany” their clients in daily activities, inside and outside their home, allowing a number of ethnographic or observational approaches, using a digital platform.”