Research

3 ways to research while waiting for your online community

3 ways to research while waiting for your online community

We‰’ve all been there: we get a new toy (say a brand new car), play with it for a while and slowly lose excitement over it. It is natural to be excited about shiny new things.

We are always thrilled when new clients come on board with our technology. Understandably, these clients are keen to get started right away. Insight communities are like toys that way: researchers eagerly want to use them ASAP so they can start extracting business data and insights.

Depending on your situation, however, it could take months to recruit individuals as members of your community. Not all organizations have readily-available internal recruitment sources. When done right, recruiting community members from external sources such as email lists and social media can take a few months.

During this waiting period, the ‰’new toy syndrome‰’ sometimes kicks in and some researchers lose excitement. We usually advise clients to use the recruitment phase to start taking advantage of Vision Critical‰’s technology. Here are three ideas on getting started:

  1. Engage your community.

    It is never too early to start engaging your community. In fact, if you wait too long to start talking to new members, they might feel unappreciated and forget they signed up. Not engaging your community right away can result to higher attrition and an increased numbers of non-responders.

    Instead of waiting for your recruit to finish, you should send out activities at the same frequency you plan to send in the future. These activities can be just for engagement or could answer information needs that aren‰’t time sensitive. For more ideas, read our previous blog post on welcoming new members.

  2. Run a study outside your insight community.

    Getting the most out of your insight communities takes expertise, something you can only gain by doing research. To start collecting data and getting used to the research process, consider running studies that do not require your own community.

    If you are a Vision Critical client, you can run two projects‰ – Omnibus and Custom Xpress‰ – that do not require your own private online community. For both of these studies, Vision Critical can deliver the data in SPSS or Excel, or you can request a topline report, a comprehensive report or an infographic. VC Insight Communities clients can also work with our team to take advantage of Mosaic Profiling, a Voice of Market feature that provides customer demographics and trend behavior for that demo.

  3. Use a purchased sample to run a study.

    There may be ways for you to start getting data even before your private insight community is ready. Although these studies usually require extra fees, gathering the data earlier is a good investment.

    Vision Critical clients, for instance, can work with our team to get data using the Springboard Network, a high-quality network of local market panel partners available as a Voice of Market product. Once the study is done, the survey data becomes available in your insight community. Our team can bridge all the information over to your insight community once it is set up, allowing you to use your data library and reporting module earlier.

    To address the new toy syndrome, our team has introduced a few initiatives to encourage clients to take advantage of the Springboard Network even before a client‰’s insight community is ready to go. With these onboarding offers, we hope to bridge the gap for clients between signing onboard with us and waiting for the completion of the recruitment period. Please contact our team at launchmysurvey@visioncritical.com for more information.

Recruitment is critical to the research process, and we don‰’t recommend rushing through this phase. We recommend using this timeframe to get familiar with the platform, start engaging your members, and become experts before the community is ready.



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