Posted on 12/05/19 by Danielle Garan
Market research online communities or MROCs have been among the most commonly used research methodologies because of its numerous benefits for researchers and participants alike. This tool is an efficient way of obtaining qualitative market research insights from pre-determined participants engaging and taking part in different tasks and structured discussions using an online community platform.
This is typically used by companies or individuals that need the feedback collected from a particular group of people but without the hassle of doing it manually. It enables researchers to facilitate activities that yield more in-depth insights than you can get from typical social media platforms. And best of all, MROCs are not inhibited by geographical limitations most traditional methodologies worry about.
However, just like any other research methodology, there are still potential challenges that come with utilizing online communities for market research studies.
Five Common Challenges Encountered in MROCs and How to Overcome Each:
Looking for the right respondents and preventing dropouts
Recruiting for participants based on a specific segment or a certain quota can really be challenging. You can either go through your existing in-house contact list or seek help from a third-party service providing online respondents. The next challenge is keeping these respondents. You need to thoroughly explain the topic, the possible activities, and your expectations of them. How long would you need them daily and for a project duration of how long – these kinds of things.
It is also recommended to have an over-recruit of 20 to 30% should sudden dropouts happen. Keep in mind all the vital elements in fostering a great market research online community to prevent any sort of dropout.
Overcoming technology issues
Before anything else, it’s essential that you get your hands on the solution or platform where you can build this online community. You need to ask yourself or discuss with your colleagues what you’ll need from this community so you can tailor your platform accordingly. It would also help to look for a service provider with a solid customer support feature to assist you and your future respondents as they go along completing tasks after tasks. If you can, do a demo with your respondents via screen sharing so they’d know exactly how the platform works.
Ensuring a smooth on-boarding process for participants
Even after conducting a demo with your respondents, it would be helpful to still send them a sheet or a document outlining guidelines on creating profiles, checking and completing tasks, and how to contact customer support should anything go amiss. You have to make sure that each and every participant will undergo a smooth on-boarding process and a seamless experience navigating through the platform.
Increasing engagement through a variety of tasks
Creating a variety of tasks and activities instead of sticking with the same ones over and over again will keep your respondents engaged and interested. Look for a solution with a range of activity options from open-ended text responses to stimuli mark-ups, sort and rank tools, grids, and polls. A number of flexible activities can help ensure your respondents are keen to be involved and share their opinions with you more.
Encouraging respondent participation
In order to encourage your respondents to participate and participate well, they must feel like they are being valued and that every completed activity is significant to moving the study forward. You can do so by using market research incentives. It can be in the form of monetary rewards, gift cards or coupons, points for a competition, and even badges and achievement levels. A market research online bulletin board platform solution like Civicom’s Chatterbox can effectively tailor the integration of incentives and rewards tracking to reward your respondents accordingly.
If you’re still thinking about whether an online community would be a research methodology to use, just remember that it takes quality recruiting and a reliable solution to make it work to make sure you achieve the discovery of actionable, quality insights for your clients.