What exactly can you do with an insight community?
When we meet potential clients, this is one of the questions we get asked most about. It's a fair question as ensuring you have a pipeline of information needs is important to keep the community engaged.
At the most basic level, an insight community can be used to explore, develop, test and validate aspects of the marketing mix. But our clients span every industry vertical and are all over the world, and they do a wide variety of projects that answer many different business questions - including those outside of marketing.
An insight community lets you do more than you've done before, in less time and for less money. So typically our clients end up asking a lot of questions they wouldn't have had the time or budget to do before. In addition, they learn more about the life context of the consumer beyond the relationship they have with the brand or category.
Here's a list of projects that are well suited for an insight community:
- Ideation and co-creation (the process of generating and developing ideas with your customers)
- Concept, communication, and promotion development and testing
- Customer experience evaluation
- Website design and usability
- Policy assessment
- Issues management
- Customer satisfaction and loyalty
- Consumer context and understanding
- Path to purchase
- Brand extension
- Whitespace identification
- Sponsorship evaluation
- Big data context
- Category management
- Brand perceptions (when done with care)
The list above is not comprehensive, but it's also important to remember that not all projects are appropriate to run on a branded insight community. Some projects require random samples of new respondents for each evaluation and usually the community composition in an insight community is not representative of the general population.
For projects, such as the three below, listening to the voice of the market and accessing random sample from Vision Critical's Springboard Network is usually appropriate:
- Brand awareness
- Traditional tracking studies
- Market projections/sizing studies
From municipal governments to well-established global brands, more organizations are using insight communities to improve how they do business and engage with their audiences.
The key question you need to ask is the following: can my brand benefit from an online community of thousands who will be willing to participate in long-term quantitative and qualitative research? If the answer is yes, then there's a good chance that you, too, can benefit from an insight community.
Feel free to post a comment. Did we miss anything from the list? Is there anything on the list you disagree with?