Posted on 12/06/18
The beauty of market research online communities is that they’re designed for on-going or longitudinal studies. Long-term or continuous online communities for market research are composed of hundreds to thousands of participants involved in lengthy market research projects where insights about interlinked topics and situations are harvested from an online community platform or an online bulletin board. This type of MROC usually lasts several months up to years.
Like short-term market research communities, using the same group of participants throughout the whole study is highly recommended in long-term MROCs in order to decipher rich information on how opinions change under different circumstances. This opens opportunities to conduct situational experiments for “behavior” observation and data mining. The large number of participants generates a wealth of insights instantly. The researchers can then manage and choose the most useful and valuable information to incorporate in their report. This can also be used as an MR tool for exploring a wider range of interconnected topics in greater detail, as receiving continuous feedback on products or services is an invaluable asset for any business. Utilizing long-term market research online communities also allows researchers to get to know participants and align their personalities, characteristics, culture, and beliefs to their research findings in general.
Continuous MROCs tend to be length-intensive. Participants are not obliged to return to the community platform or online bulletin board to contribute insights as frequently as short-term MROCs do. On the other hand, longitudinal market research studies tend to require participants to get involved on a considerably extended term. They have longer intervals as scheduled by the researcher to avoid ineffectual insights cluttering the platform.
The dropout rate is high in these lengthy online communities. Keeping participants engaged and motivated to take part in a year-long study (or more) is tough as many participants end up discontinuing their involvement basically because they have found better things to do. One way of maintaining or increasing the engagement of a long-term community is through Gamification where users engage in various activity options that can be customized as necessary to the study. Using incentives in market research online communities also becomes handy in heavy participant attrition. Offer them a variety of incentives worth spending their time on to keep their interest going until the end of the study.
Low interest rates and poor outputs also result from involving people with almost irrelevant backgrounds. Recruiting the right people for market research is a crucial process, yet it’s still overlooked at times. It is important to handpick the most qualified participants to be able to collect superior data and steer clear of uninterested people dropping out in the middle of the study.
The market research online community is a new world of combined quantitative and qualitative market research that international researchers welcome with warm and open arms. If you’re curious about online communities for market research, you can download our ultimate guide to learn more.