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Learn Benefits of Market Research Online Community Platforms


Planning out your next marketing strategy to hopefully capture the attention of your target customers? Perhaps you’re just curious as to what all the fuss has been about Market Research Online Community Platforms (aka MROCs). Whatever your situation, in this post we’ll discuss how market research works online. We’ll also discuss the importance of a MROC platform in today’s ever-changing data-driven society.

What is a Market Research Online Community?

A Market Research Online Community, or MROC, is a relatively new research method. It combines qualitative research with other forms of online data gathering. A Market Research Community is often called a Market Research Online Community, or MROC, one of the research methods supported in our platform. Market research online community software often combines qualitative research with other forms of online data gathering. A Market Research Community is often called an insights community.

In 2008, Forrester Research was amongst the first to form a definition for MROC:

A Market Research Online Community is a group of captive interactive people joined online together by a common interest, systematically harvested for qualitative market research purposes.

Market research online community platforms can be ad hoc, but can also run for longer periods of time. Most importantly they are specifically custom designed for research purposes. By making research participants online community members you can gather insights from the market through spontaneous contributions.

You can do your research in real time and even gather rich responses by encouraging the cool stuff like video journals. It’s like market-research enabled social networking.

Related post: CMNTY Is A Powerful Quantitative data analysis software. Here’s Why.

What Is the Objective of an MROC?

An MROC is usually used by professionals or companies that need data and/or feedback collected from a certain group of people without the hassle of doing it manually. Qualitative data is collected and used to sell or improve products for commercial businesses. For example for testing theories and conducting studies for research purposes. The objective is to collect personal information from many different people from all over the world. To distribute them to companies that require a specific quality or characteristic for research purposes. Organizing market research online is a great way to conduct qualitative research.

Greenbook Directory gives this definition:

A market research online community is a targeted group of people who are recruited into a private online venue to participate in research-related activities over an extended period of time.

The 3 Types Of MROC

Every research project is different. Once you’ve decided which online research community platform you want to work with, it’s time to determine which type of community fits your project best.

1. Short-Term Communities

Short-term communities are pretty self-explanatory. They are marketing research online communities that are put together for a short-term project. There are studies in which it only takes the researchers 3-7 days to 3 months to collect data from a group of people. Typically a short-term community consists of 50 people or less. Short-term communities are often used to receive fast insights and information on a certain community.

2. Pop-up / On-Off Communities

The purpose of a “pop-up” or an on-off community is for ongoing research on a dedicated market research community platform. This means that people are given notices and assignments when they are needed. This is usually caused by not having enough budget to run a continuous online community. Or the lack of research questions that you have to be answered by the community. Usually, there are 50-250 on-call participants that are sent invoices if they are needed. Think of this as a part-time job, you only need to show up for work when you are called to do so.

3.Continuous Online Communities

A continuous marketing research online community typically is for larger projects and longer research. This requires a team of people. Usually around 200 to 5000 participants are involved in a continuous online community platform.

Building a continuous market research online community requires plenty of investment and energy. Budget is typically higher than a short-term and an on-off community because of the number of participants you are paying and the duration in which they are involved in your community. Now it’s time to ask yourself…

MROC explanation

Source: NUSA research

What’s The Best MROC for You?

There are a lot of things to consider when creating market research online community platforms and here are some things to take into consideration when deciding what kind of community will best fit your needs.

  • Budget: How much are you willing to spend for the information that you need? Obviously, the longer you conduct the data mining, the longer you have to pay the people involved. And the larger population of people you hire, the more pockets you will have to pay.
  • Time: How long do you need to conduct the gathering of information before you get accomplish your objective of using a marketing research online community? Not all research studies take only a week to conduct. Some need months and few need years of the test subject to gather a verifiable result.
  • Quality: There is a possibility of compromising the quality of information you receive from short-term communities. This is due to the lower amount of days and people. Thus an added pressure that may affect the quality of work done.

Related Post: 5 Helpful Tips for Successful Insights Gathering Communities

Common MROC Challenges (and How to Overcome Them)

While the use of Marketing research online community is beneficial to researchers, there are still some road bumps along the way. Here are some of the challenges that researchers face:

Related Post: Focus Group Software

1. Finding Respondents and Keeping Them

If you’ve got a quote to meet or certain segments you need to focus on, finding enough people can be a real challenge. Then there’s the additional challenge of keeping them once you’ve found them! The key to keeping quality respondents is setting expectations upfront in terms of how often you’ll need them. And what you expect of them. Greenbook recommends over-recruiting by 20 to 30% to ensure that you’ve got enough participants in the event of dropouts. CMNTY Platform partners with Dynata to offer recruitment services for our clients and an integrated panel recruitment dashboard within our solution.

2. Overcoming Technology Issues

Choosing out of the many market research online community platforms is only the first tech issue you’re going to have to face. Beyond selecting your platform, you’ll then need to ensure you have adequate post-sales support in the event that things go wrong. When it comes to tech, things can often go wrong. That’s why you should prepare a backup plan.

3. Ensuring a Smooth On-boarding Process for Participants

Imagine you’ve just committed to sign up to participate in an MROC, and then during the registration process you struggle to create a profile and log onto the platform. What would be your first thought? Chances are, not a positive one! You might decide to scrap it and find something else to do, and not ever come back. Whilst this might sound overly-dramatic, it has happened before. That’s why you must ensure that you test your onboarding process, at least a couple of days before your research period goes live. Iron out any kinks in the on-boarding.

Related Post: Online Marketing Tools

4. Increasing Engagement and Participation

By adding a variety of tasks, including focus groups, and having a gamification strategy you can increase the participation of respondents. Building a successful online insights platform can be tough, but the great news is that there are several examples of companies that have done it well. In addition, there are proven MROC platforms to make the process simpler.

MROC: A Better Way to Collect Data and Insights

You may not recognize it, but the ads we see around us are all because of the data collected by research about their target market. Almost every product you use is formulated by studying the population extracting information to hopefully better fit the needs of a customer group.

Whilst market research online community software may still be relatively new, it’s definitely proven to be useful for many companies. In other words, instead of a company painstakingly asking individuals one at a time to answer surveys for them to improve their product, they now have an easier and efficient way of collecting the data that is needed. Moreover with the help of a computer aided qualitative data analysis software, you can derive meaningful insights from online communities data.

Which of the 3 types of MROC listed above is most appropriate for your company at this time?

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