What are Market Research Online Communities? (MROC 101)

market research online communities

The term for this type of research hasn’t always been ‘market research online communities’. The name has evolved over time and many descriptors are still used interchangeably. Market research online communities (or MROCs) have also been referred to as insight communities, or simply online communities in the research industry.

What are Market Research Online Communities?

Market research online communities typically consists of a targeted group of stakeholders, for example a brand’s customers, who are recruited into a private online community environment to participate in an organization’s research-related activities on an ongoing basis. Organizations use communities to secure actionable insights from customer feedback and ideas in order to drive daily decision making to best enhance the customer experience. (CX)

Components of Market Research Online Communities

A Targeted Group of Customers

Communities typically consist of a group of 500 to 600 customers , although it could be in the thousands. It is incredibly critical for organizations to carefully consider the purpose of the insight community and then screen in the corresponding members.

Private Digital Environment 

These environments have become powerful insight suites with varied and sophisticated capabilities. Market research online communities are private and secure which allows research such as, new product testing, to be conducted within the platform before the information is made publicly available.

Research Focused Activities

In many organizations, market research online communities are the go-to method for online based research. Communities are robust and can handle a wide variety of qualitative and quantitative uses such as general voice of customer (VOC) work, customer journey mapping, optimizing the customer experience, and more. More advanced community tools allow for mobile and video focused research as well.

Ongoing Nature

Communities are conducted on an ongoing basis compared to other research methods such as a one-off focus group. Being able to directly tap into VoC on an ongoing basis can be invaluable to organizations looking to connect more with customers. Actionable insights generate quickly, and follow-up in communities is made simple with the ability to reach back out on an iterative schedule.

Actionable Insights

The fundamental purpose of most research is to provide actionable insights. Insights that cause action provide far more value than ones that simply answer a research query - for example the insights that require reimagining things and cause a change in direction. Actionable insights go beyond a restating of the results toward information that can be acted upon by decision makers by providing further context and implications. Communities provide a vast set of tools to allow researchers to dig deeper into the “why” behind insights with reporting capabilities.

Daily Decision Making

The fundamental purpose of most research is to provide actionable insights. Insights that cause action provide far more value than ones that simply answer a research query - for example the insights that require reimagining things and cause a change in direction. Actionable insights go beyond a restating of the results toward information that can be acted upon by decision makers by providing further context and implications. Communities provide a vast set of tools to allow researchers to dig deeper into the “why” behind insights with reporting capabilities.

My-Take has helped organizations make smarter decisions and market more effectively through powerful market research online communities and panels for 10 years now! Contact our team today to learn more about how our market research online community platform can connect your brand with your consumers.

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Kait Hanerfeld
Marketing Specialist

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. 

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