How can market research be made easy with customer communities?

MROCs are an emerging trend to get inside the minds of consumers. What are they and how do they help companies?

Market researchers rely greatly upon questionnaires to gain insight and support decision making. World Wide Web and mobile internet have eased this process for them. However, the surveying scope goes beyond questionnaires and that is where market research online communities (MROCs) come into picture. Companies are now pre-disposed towards customer communities because there are some facts about customers that have compelled them to consider community interaction.

Facts such as –

/ Two out of every three purchase decisions are made on emotional factors.
/ Engaged customers have a 23% share in wallet, revenue, profitability and relationship growth over average customers.
/ 80% of the customers have said that content is a major influencing factor in whether or not they would like/buy a brand.
/ As many as 90% of customers now expect brands to have a self-service portal.
/ 60% of consumers would go to self-service portals more often if they were mobile-responsive.
[Sources: Parature, Crezeo, Gallup]

Apart from connecting users and enabling them to share information, these customer communities channel the user traffic toward obtaining customer feedback in a free flowing way, even without the conventional way of asking questions.

Benefits of Online Research Community Platform by Vinfotech

Are all online communities the same?

Not really. A number of online communities exist merely for facilitating connections and sharing information. They run irrespective of market research purposes. But there are other online research communities which direct marketing communications and support services unlike unofficial customer communities that are created and run by consumers without any supervision from the brand.

The ultimate purpose of a market research online community is to serve as a market research tool. These communities aren’t meant for seeking support or announcing about latest up-sell. However, they are used for getting market research-based results from the various ongoing activities while the members share the roles of being market research participants and mystery shoppers.

Provided that the online research community is designed and managed well, you might develop a group of dedicated consumers who willingly contribute to your products and services and help you improve your bottom line.

How to start an online community that works effectively?

All the potential uses of an MROC are conditional to having a well-thought foundation of its creation. The following considerations can help you understand how your MROC should look like-

Difference Between Unbranded MROC and Branded MROC by Vinfotech

As you can see in the above table, the choices in all the above considerations are major contributions in deciding the overall design of your MROC, doing which, you need to understand how you should manage your MROC.

Here’s what you can do to manage your online research community platform well and make your market research a lot easier-

/ Keep your community members engaged and active.
/ Don’t let inactivity take over. If your team can’t do it themselves or spare anybody else to do it for at least 1-2 hours a day, consider outsourcing the task. Create memorable content, start fresh conversations, respond to messages, track user trends and attitudes.
/ Make sure all your market research is designed, facilitated, and guided by trained researchers. Doing this will maximize your insight opportunity. Poor research standards decrease the value of your data.
/ Conduct wider and deeper analysis by Community Manager or data scientist of the information provided by your MROC.

Now that you thoroughly know about online research community platforms and their functioning, considerations, usefulness etc., decide for your organization.

Vinfotech understands how to leverage insights from online communities in order to help clients looking for deeper engagement. We have developed several social networks and customer communities for proactive brands around the world. One such customer community is the Road Trippers Club that was developed for a renowned motor company. Contact us and we’ll help you know how building a customer community for your organization in particular can strengthen your market research.

  • As many as 90% of customers now expect brands to have a self-service portal
  • The ultimate purpose of a market research online community is to serve as a market research too
  • All the potential uses of an MROC are conditional to having a well-thought foundation of its creation

About Vinfotech

Vinfotech creates world's best social networks for employees, brands, interest groups and sports fans. We promise initial set of real engaged users to put turbo in your social network growth. Our award winning software vSocial™ allows us to build stellar customized communities faster and better. Our customers include Aston Martin, Burberry, Arabian Gulf League and Snapdeal.

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