Market research online communities (MROC) can be utilized for a wide variety of different research initiatives. Adding them to your strategic plan can accelerate many processes as well as offer you deeper insight into the “why”. Communities also form a direct connection with your most valued asset, your audience. Having an ongoing community will lead to more research being conducted, and at a much faster pace. In this article we will go through some of the different uses of a market research online community. Here are the different ways that an MROC can help you connect with consumers.
1. Customer and User Experience (CX/UX)
Measuring the customer experience is essential when working on any consumer product or service. An online community offers tools to provide ongoing feedback on their experience in everything from product usage to interaction on a website. Journaling and focused discussion boards offer great tools to understand the customer experience. User experience is very broad so one of most helpful aspects is to having standing community to tap into customers on a moment’s notice.
2. Tracking Usage
Communities unlock and explore the different rituals and usage habits with consumers. In addition, they provide visual documentation of the research process through photo and video upload.
3. Concept Testing and Exploration
Online insight communities can answer many questions that arise during concept testing for a product. Again, the ongoing nature of communities allows for interaction throughout the entire product development process.
4. Ideas – Co-Creation:
Communities are able to utilize co-creation so that consumers can help craft the products to be the specifications they desire and need. This insight is invaluable during the product development process. This is also helpful for creating entirely new products as well as understanding pain points a consumer currently has.
5. Pricing Evaluation:
Utilizing different activity types, online insight communities have the ability to help establish pricing. Knowing this information before hitting the market will help optimize profits.
6. Product/Service Need:
Understanding consumer needs, problems and preferences are first steps in the market research process when planning a product or service launch
7. Home Use Testing:
Home use tests give organizations the opportunity to test out products in their native home environment. Online communities have ready to go participants and a platform to efficiently execute the entire study.
8. Key Influences:
Understanding the key influences for individuals in their purchase process is instrumental in planning and executing effective marketing.
9. Social Media Habits:
Social media also plays a key role in the buyer’s journey. Online communities allow researchers to better understand consumers’ social media habits.
10. Competitor Assessment:
Online communities allow for better understanding of and direct comparison with competitors. Customer’s views of competitors are often quite different than that of the organization trying to position itself successfully in the marketplace.
11. Purchase Process Deep Dive:
Engaging with consumers during the purchasing process leads to more meaningful insights and takeaways. The actual purchase process may be much more nuanced than imagined by the organization. By understanding the key milestones, organizations can better serve their customers and layer in marketing in the right places and in the right context.
12. In-Store Evaluation:
Capturing customers behaviors and perceptions in-store can be very useful and eye opening. Mobile applications enable this type of research in a way that is seamless to the customer/community member.
When planning a go-to-market strategy, positioning is an essential component to guide product development and marketing efforts. Knowing how to best position a brand compared to competition can be a make or break factor in its market success. Communities can help develop positioning through hot-spot, heat-map and highlighting tools.
14. Messaging Refinement:
A brand’s voice plays a major role in consumer’s perception of its products and services. Refining messaging in a marketing strategy is possible through multiple tools within an online community.
15. Advertising evaluation:
Being able to test ads prior to launching can help optimize campaigns and budget spend. It is important to make sure your online community supplier has sophisticated tools to not only manage all mediums such as video but also execute higher end functions like dial testing.
16. Website & App evaluation:
Creating user-friendly technology is a priority in today’s digital age. Communities give organizations the opportunity to test their website, landing pages, and mobile applications for usability, appeal, and many more factors.
17. Promotion evaluation:
Testing different promotion strategies can help strengthen marketing initiatives by creating campaigns that attract consumers’ interest. Communities offer an effective means to test promotional ideas early in the process.
My-Take has helped organizations make smarter decisions and market more effectively through powerful online communities and panels for 10 years now! Contact our team today to learn more about how our online community platform can connect your brand with your consumers.
Kait is a Marketing Specialist at My-Take with half a decade of industry experience. Her specialties include content creation, growth hacking, and social media marketing.