"Head of Synovate, Adrian Chedore, has described communities as the fastest growing aspect of market research, and the reason for his deal with Vision Critical. However, unlike online data collection, online communities are a true category destroyer. Communities compete for quantitative research budgets, but deliver qualitative research benefits."
"The cry in online research for the last five years or so has been “simpler! quicker! easier!”. Most online communities are none of these."
- Fast and Flexible: Collect insights quickly, a community is "always on" and directly accessible.
- Better: Given the longitudinal nature of research communities, it is possible to go much deeper on a given topic than in an ad-hoc research project. Respondent will be much more engaged and should therefore result better quality of data, more reliable if you will: less straight lining, more thoughtful answers, higher response rates (we see an average of just under 50%)
- More for Less: Supplemental research becomes available at little extra cost. Research communities are fundamentally changing the cost structure of research from a variable-cost, per-project basis to a fixed-cost “all you can eat” basis.
But it is true: with communities comes the need for reducing our dependence on evaluative research data and learn to trust listening to these new sources of consumer insights. I believe that anything our clients do to get more in touch with consumers is a positive.
Or as per Adrian Chedore:
“We don’t see how the connection through social media as any more “risky” than relying on traditional qualitative research approaches. Social media are a great way to gauge consumer reactions to trends and often provide a fast return on research investment. It is the joint task of researcher and client to come up with solutions, not that of the respondent.”