Are you struggling to get insights from your consumer insights community that are really valuable and actionable? Read our tips on how to improve your research.
Gathering consumer insights is a useful exercise, but what’s the point of conducting research if you can’t use the insights gained from strategic advantage? The 5 key issues community managers and clients have come across are the following:
- The research is unbalanced.
- The subjects isn’t approaching in the right way.
- Participants’ lack of initiative to contribute.
- Irregular diversity across people segments and devices.
- Ill timing of analysis.
So what can you do to remedy this? Here are 5 ideas make sure you get the most out of your consumer insights community.
1. Building a Balanced Consumer Insights Community
It is a common mistake throughout the business community that insights are gathered without customer diversity in mind. What does that mean? Customer diversity is a broad term, but in the context of a consumer insights community, it means all the various differences between customers. These can include age, ethnicity, interests, income, etc., but also:
- How well they think of your enterprise?
- How active they are in your community?
- Which product groups do they use?
It all depends on how you categorize them. Let’s take a look at an example. Say you ask your audience a question like this: “What do you like (most / least) about our product? A: Customer support B: Ease of Use C: Quality of Service D: Features”. When you evenly divide your questions across user segments, you’ll have a precise insight on desires of each category of the customers. A diverse mix of respondents will give you a better all-around picture.
2. Know What to Ask, and How to Ask It
Once you’ve spotted the diversity of your customers, your next step should be to find out what you should ask them.
Here are multiple ways you could work out the best, and most timely, questions to ask:
- Skim through the forums, observe group discussions.
- Ask a small sample size of customers and potential customers questions about what they would change, do, and keep.
- Discover what actions they would initiate for their own benefit, or;
- How would they improve your community/product/service in general?
Ideally, your consumer insights community comes equipped with features that will enable you to gather these insights quickly. I.e customizable modules, diary studies, ideation contests, forum discussions, or something similar to provoke engagement on the debate. All relevant research comes based on something already familiar or conducted.
Use such proved intelligence as a base for further inquiries into the matter you plan to delve into. Try to find out what people expect as the answer/result. In that way, you can either confirm or reject those beliefs. After your analysis, you can compare the expected results with the actual answers and draw a parallel between any topic or subject that you seek information about.
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3. Incentive Your Consumer Insights Community
Gamification is an already familiar term in the fields of applied economics. In the context of community insights, gamification practically means to introduce incentives into inquiry in order to attract more participants. There are three key methods of incentivizing your community: points, rewards, and badges.
Points represent the basic level of community management incentives. Not only do they serve to rank up engagement, but to keep the participants “in the game” for a longer period of time. Participants are attracted to points as they represent a direct and immediate response to their contribution to the community. Points should be awarded for every positive contribution, and they should be made redeemable for some concrete rewards.
Rewards are tangible and usable “gifts” which can be “exchanged” for a certain amount of points. The most common form of rewards are gift cards (~ $20 – $100+), but they can actually be anything that could be appealing to customers, from the actual products to symbolic tokens of gratitude.
Badges are purely intrinsic rewards with no concrete benefits outside the community they’re awarded in. They discern between “ranks” of users, and as such motivate users to reach a more “prestigious” rank, or badge, as they contribute. Each of these “layers of incentivization” acts as a boost to the overall engagement of the community. And we know that engagement is the life juice of any thriving community.
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4) Use Automation in your Insights Community
Changes are you already have a CRM in place, like Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics. It makes sense to configure your CRM to “flag” customers who regularly submit support tickets or haven’t been active for a while. Using automation, you can automatically invite these consumers to your insights community. This will not only increase changes you can insights from these customers. It will also make sure your community will see fresh participants and keep your findings sharp.
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5) Go Cross-Device
According to Statista, 64.5% of the population owned a mobile phone in 2017, with estimates that by 2019 that number will reach 67%. That’s two-thirds of the entire world. Tracking the patterns of behavior of desktop users is already present and well developed today. Analyzing the mobile consumer, on the other hand, in their preferred mode of on-the-go, cross-device behavior is gradually becoming a major factor and a crucial marketing tool. Especially when using a consumer insights community.
For example, conversion rates on desktop and mobile are quite different, and mobile market follows different rules of thumb that you can’t master if you don’t conduct proper cross-device research. So, in order to get a complete picture, you have to get to mobile device users in their “natural habitat”. Whether you do it through apps, mobile activities, or both, you have to include it in your branding business.
As an understanding of cross-device behavior proves to be a benefit to the adaptation of your digital behavior. You’ll gain insight into daily life and routine of a mobile consumer, and the habits it repeats which you could put to use or build upon. In this way, you’ll be able to talk to the person behind the little screen, instead of the electronic device he or she owns.
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