Market research enables companies with data-centric solutions that help them stay focused and utilize their resources judiciously. The business risk of not gathering a feasibility report based on the research community can lead to adverse losses that can have a long-term impact.
How online research helps companies improve business decisions?
Opinions of end-users matter, and should not be undermined by companies. The online research community is a useful tool for both categories of companies. Companies that are looking to be a pioneer in new technology and those that would like to improve their existing products or existing technology, to design better and more functional goods or services.
With online research that surveys the opinions and answers of a target audience, companies can evolve and come up with better designs that meet customers’ requirements. Inadvertently, an online research community helps companies access the perspective of the target market and audience. Thereby, a company can understand the needs and requirements of consumers from the industry as a whole and the company in specific.
Certain strategies help one create an effective online research community that can integrate with insight platforms to gather the information a company is looking for from its focused groups or customers. They are:
⦁ The right technology
Companies can build an in-house research community platform from scratch. However, this will involve resources of the company that can be channelized for other important tasks that cannot be outsourced. It is advisable for companies that have economies of scope and scale to justify the costs involved in building one.
With the rise in third-party API integration that enables merging with any app or technology, it is wiser and easier for companies to invest in partnering with existing platforms that can be customized to suit your business requirements. By investing in an enterprise version of an online research platform, an entity can focus on the data-centric results and decision-making process that is core for developing outstanding products that will be embraced by consumers.
⦁ Appropriate teams
After investing in the right format of technology, it is important to select the right team to focus on qualitative data analysis. Adequate training needs to be provided to all the members and collaborators of the team to avoid discrepancies in the workflow.
There should be appropriate positions like a strategic director, content manager, community coordinator, IT person, and project lead.
Content management and creation is ongoing work and keeping afloat in social media-based projects that involve engaging the target audience is important. Only qualified people will understand if their outreach is extending to their intended customer base or not. Hence it is important to fill in the team with people who can accomplish the task.
⦁ Engagement with users
Once the target audience is decided, continuously engaging through various touchpoints, online surveys, advertising, and campaigning are necessary to build the online research community. As long as the tone is neutral, community members are treated fairly, spamming is under control and people find the group useful, the chances of existing members inviting their contacts are high.
Most people don’t like pushy posts or emails that keep nudging them to participate in surveys or give their opinion. So the relevant communication needs to carry subtle intonation, has to attract and hold the interest of the community members, and should be easy to understand, concise, and to the point reflective of the intended message.
⦁ Decide the target people
Knowing what category of people fit your target audience and inviting the right kind are two different aspects. After deciding that you want the exclusive opinions of certain demographic people, then reaching out to exact ones makes more sense and is a win-win for both.
Intelligent advertising enables advertising to the right kind of internet users who have been perhaps searching for information related to your project. For instance, if your company is looking to launch a medium-end hair straightener that is lightweight, then it is required to add the necessary feature for women and men with long hair who travel frequently. They are always on the lookout for a perfect and handy straightener as none have all the right features in one.
⦁ Be open to new techniques
Online research communities are not limited to surveys or questionnaires. There are abundant ways and means to extract information. The key is to be consistent to maintain relevance and visibility in the online world.
You can carry out quirky and funky features to gain the interest of the passersby who may turn into potential community members later on. Always try to post on all the platforms where you seek an active presence and a suitable audience for your community.
If the community is doing good work, there are chances it will be featured in collaboration with others. It is also a good idea to consider paid features through existing mediums that have better outreach. Like any advertising campaign, a feature cover will enhance the visibility of the community and gain a newer audience to make the community bigger and stronger.
⦁ Motivation is an ongoing process
After initial exhilaration, often communities start getting laid back and boring for the members. This is because the discussions are off-topic, and can sometimes be too out of place to make sense to the general public.
There is also the issue with the kind of language that is used in communication; if too much technical jargon is used, audiences are set to lose interest. Every form of write-up needs to be in easy-to-understand language and reflect simple vocabulary.
An online research community is a great tool to exercise for companies for all their innovations, feedback, consumer insight requirements, and ideation. The research is meant to be the end goal and will let the team know if they are on track or need to work more on the task before rolling it out in the public domain. It has limitations that should be regarded in full faith before making strategic decisions about product development. Companies should start investing more resources in their insight tools to fare well in the industry.