Communities & Discussion Forums

A private online community offers a great opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your customers. It entails topic-driven discussions that can last days, weeks and/or months. Online discussions can be moderated or created as a free-form dialogue, where panelists create their own discussion threads.

Communities are best limited to no more than 500 people who match a target profile, depending on your research need. You control who to invite to participate in your online community.
With a moderated community, the moderator posts questions, can probe for more detail, delete posts and reorganize discussion threads. You can engage participants in dialogues by using different methods of communicating, including forums, blogs, interactive surveys, quick polls, photo sharing and file publishing.

If your need is not ongoing or your need is to identify new markets or test a segementation, an access community or ad hoc discussion forum may be a better solution. Access communities already have an established audience…….targeting a specific group of people. You can “access” the community to present a question or topic and receive feedback to use in more depth quantitative research.

Discussion forums can either stand alone or used in conjunction with your proprietary online survey tool to add a qualitative component to enhance the quantitative portion. Discussion forums are not ongoing and provide flexibility in using them on an ad hoc basis. If, for example, you want to drill down into a specific survey topic or response, you can invite the participants to join a discussion forum where they can provide you with more qualitative and detailed information.

A community or discussion forum is best used for:

  • Quick or directional feedback
  • Ideation and innovation
  • Reading emerging trends
  • Concept refinement
  • Question or issue formation
  • Identifying consumer unmet needs
  • Gaining consumer insights