Market Research Online Communities: How Many Should I Run?

Online insight communities are demonstrating clear success as shown by their market penetration. More than half of researchers sampled in GreenBook’s GRIT report using insight communities with an additional 21% considering their use in the future. The prevalence of online communities as a research method stems from their benefits including: speed, depth integration, flexibility, and value.

Reasons You Might Need More Than One Community

Organizations choose to add additional communities for a multitude of reasons. Some of the top reasons include:

1. Separate Brands or Products

For companies with multiple brands or product lines, multiple communities allow them to reach the target market for each of their brands or product lines and cultivate specific content for each

2. Branded and Unbranded

Some companies benefit from having a branded community to engage with consumers transparently on new products or marketing concepts as well as an unbranded community to learn about consumers in the broader market.

3. Specific Market Segments

If more information is necessary on a specific or niche group developing a separate community would provide the most discerning data.

4. Specific Geographic Markets

If diverse marketing tactics or even products are distributed to different geographic markets based on the culture, or language of the given area creating different online communities would be beneficial. 

Important Factors to Consider

Sometimes the decision to add an additional community is very straightforward, other times the decision is less clear. Working together with a trusted community supplier to understand the tradeoffs can help you reach the best decision for your situation.  Some of the important factors to consider include:

Content Relevancy

Having multiple online communities can bring increased customer engagement because each community maintains focus on the consumers involved. Additionally, market research efforts can benefit from the most focused data, and a substantial amount would be ensured on the specific area. While segmenting and filtering information is possible, if there is little overlap in relevant content for the given audiences it might be beneficial to create separate communities.


One option to consider is to simply add more consumers within a given group to a pre-existing online community when more research is required. This can be a solution when online communities are not already extremely large, however, if there are too many people in an online community it risks becoming less engaging. This would result in less attention for each individual consumer and could cause consumers to feel as though they aren't being heard.  


There are also scenarios where the risk is too great if visibility were to be accidentally given to the wrong audience. For example, if end consumers were able to see the content meant for retailers. It would also be strategically important for parent companies that have multiple brands not linked from the perspective of the consumer to have different online communities. 


While online communities have proven valuable, when adding additional communities it is important to consider how many make sense within your organization’s overall budget. 

Benefits of Running Insight Communities with My-Take

My-Take is a greater Boston based insight technology and analysis company that can successfully run your online insight communities. We use online communities to help your company make smarter decisions and market more effectively. The My-Take team’s dedication ensures effective customer communication true to your company's goals as well as key insights from professional researchers. There are also a variety of flexible service options to fit your company’s needs. Contact usto find out how we can help your organization through customer-informed decision making.

Posted by Anna Hoskins

Anna is an associate member of our Marketing team. She has skills in content creation, data analysis, and research.