The Ultimate Guide to Insight Communities The Ultimate Guide to Insight Communities

Vision Critical

Insights-Driven Customer Experience

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What Is an Insight Community?

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An insight community is a customer engagement platform companies use to uncover agile, actionable, first-party data from the right people at the right time—at scale. Deeply profiled customers are highly engaged in both the activities and the outcome of their feedback.

Ongoing, real-time customer feedback informs strategic decision making, validates brand and marketing plans, and accelerates the development of new services and products your customers want.

Customers opt-in to engage with your brand because they want to have a positive impact on the products and services that matter to them. And, because customers engage repeatedly over time, you can build rich, relevant customer profiles that complement and enhance the data stored in your CRM or system of record. These profiles align stakeholders across the business around a unified understanding of the customer.

What Exactly Can You Do with an Insight Community?

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.

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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.

Insight-Driven Decision Making

How to Recruit Members to Your Insight Community

When we invite people to join an insight community, they are volunteers, opting in to participate in online activities that will in turn help you make decisions to evolve your business. First impressions are critical in ensuring these members will stay with you over time and continue to participate.

10 Insight Community Member Recruitment Tips:

1. Create a Member Experience Statement

Generate a statement internally of what the member experience will be to keep the community member-centric.

2. Develop Member Personas

Establish short personas for each target group of customers. This helps with developing recruit messaging, sources, and ongoing engagement programs.

3. Define Profile Variables

Determine key information used for identifying members, targeting activities, and analyzing responses.

4. Identify What Is Already Known

Import valuable pre-existing information from CRM or customer database. 

5. Create Recruitment Survey

Keep to 5–7 questions. Capture profile variables while providing an engaging join experience for members.

6. Brainstorm Sources

Expand on member personas to identify what recruit sources are best for each, looking at all available sources within the company where there is a relationship with potential members. Using a variety of sources will always result in a more successful recruit.

7. Tailor Messaging

Craft recruitment invitations for each persona that are in line with your corporate tone. Share the value of joining to the member by providing a sample of what they can expect once they join.

8. Soft Launch to Email Lists

Send the initial invitation to a small group of potential members. This will help predict join rates and uncover any areas of the recruitment workflow that members might get stuck on. 

9. Welcome Members

Reinforce the member experience and engage new members right away by sending a welcome newsletter.

10. Ongoing Recruitment

Invite new members as an ongoing practice to ensure higher engagement, stable community size, and a steady stream of new opinions and feedback.

Your Step-by-Step Recruitment Guide

The Insight Community Recruitment Process

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Create a Member Experience Statement

Define the ideal member experience based on your other channels, messaging, and tone with your customers. Write a one line member experience statement which will  become the value proposition and purpose of the community from the members’ perspective. 

Be sure to address one (or more) of the following in your statement:

Membership: feeling a sense of belonging 

Influence: having a say in what happens and being heard

Fulfillment of Needs: getting something rewarding out of the experience 

Shared Emotional Connection: connecting with other members

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Develop Member Personas

People want and expect a personalized experience with brands. Personas are fictional, generalized representations that help you relate to your customer groups as humans and can help you tailor recruitment approaches to each group. 

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Define Profile Variables

Profile Variables are the foundation for having full and complete member profiling. They provide key information used for identifying members, targeting activities, and analyzing responses. Here are five tips when thinking about how to define your Profile Variables.

Define "must have" data

Define who you want in the community and what "must have" information you will need to know about them to be able to target activities and analyze results.

Flag your PVs 

PVs can be flagged as you’re building your Recruitment Survey or “promoted” to Profile Variables after members have answered a question from an activity. 

Don’t create too many

There’s no  limit to the number of Profile Variables you can have but realistically, you’ll only use some questions as a key lens to look at your community insight through. Remember that data from non-Profile Variables can still be referenced.

Avoid duplicating

Avoid duplicating Profile Variables that already exist to keep a clean list of meaningful variables.

Be aware of types of PVs

Be aware of the different types of Profile Variables in Sparq (single, multi, open, etc.) and the correct usage of each. Refer to our WebHelp.

Build off what you know

Continue to build off the recruitment survey Profiling Variables to gain a deeper understanding of your members. You’ll likely end up identifying Profile Variables you never thought of.

 

Learn more about building deeper member profiles.

Identify What’s Already Known

When you’re thinking about what information you need to collect about your community members during recruitment, start by identifying what’s already known about your customers in your existing CRM or department databases and pull key information into Sparq to avoid re-asking members for that information.

  1. Identify what information you already know about your customers within your organization.
  2. Import or integrate key pre-existing information from your CRM or customer database into Sparq.
  3. Use a unique ID that exists in an external system such as customer ID or loyalty card number so that you can map member records between systems.

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For more information about integrating data with Sparq: https://www.visioncritical.com/blog/how-canadian-tire-and-salomon-achieve-cx-success-through-data-integration

Create Recruitment Survey

A key element to a successful recruitment is the recruitment survey. A template survey which follows our recommended best practices is available to use, or you can create your own. Here are some considerations when creating your recruitment survey.

Survey Introduction Page

If you’ve introduced the community to members in an email invite, you don’t need to repeat that message here. Instead, include a short welcome message before the first question of your survey. 

Engaging Questions

Start off with one or two industry- or company-specific questions to get members’ attention. We strongly recommend not starting with open-end questions.

Tone of Voice

Think about the language and tone of voice you use in the recruitment survey. Make sure it will resonate with your customers so that they feel part of the community.

Messaging

Be clear about the expectations and value of being part of the community. Let people know the purpose of the community, why they should join, what’s expected of them, and what value they will get from it. 

Profile Variables

Start with the bare minimum amount of data you need and identify what you already have on your customers that can pulled into Sparq. Think "need to know" rather than "nice to know." The total survey should be no longer than 5–7 questions.

Disqualifying Questions

Consider accepting nearly all engaged respondents and target activities to specific subgroups later. If you must disqualify, place disqualifying questions near the beginning, prescreen your list to ensure you’re not inviting customers that won’t qualify, and be sensitive with disqualifying language.

Completion Page

Thank people for their time and remind them to add the community email address to their safe sender lists. Also let them know to expect to receive the confirmation email to confirm their membership.

Learn about the anatomy of an excellent recruitment survey.

Brainstorm Recruitment Sources

Use your member personas to identify which recruit sources are best for each group of customer. Identify all available sources within the company where there is a relationship with potential members. Using a variety of sources will always result in a more successful recruit.

Internal Sources

Members recruited from internal sources tend to have higher brand affinity and engagement than people recruited from external sources. Internal recruit sources tend to have higher response rates and don’t turnover as often.

  • Email lists (e.g. loyalty programs, CRM, newsletters)
    • Easy to schedule multiple pushes
    • Ability to target based on stored customer data 
  • Digital properties (e.g. websites, blog)
  • Native social media posts
  • In-store activity (e.g. posters, sales receipts)
  • Events
  • Direct mail

External Sources

Members recruited from external sources often have higher expectations for getting paid to participate. They typically have lower engagement, and their response rates are sometimes only half that of members recruited from internal sources. The turnover is higher in this type of community and you’ll need to recruit more often.

  • Purchased recruitment
  • External lists (e.g. retail partners)
  • Paid social media posts

Recruitment Sources: Where do members come from?: https://www.visioncritical.com/blog/recruitment-sources-where-do-members-come-from

Find out how to recruit diverse respondents in your insight community: https://www.visioncritical.com/blog/how-recruit-diverse-respondents-your-insight-community

Welcome New Members

It’s important to engage with new members within the first week to help them feel valued and connected to the community. If you wait too long, it can lead to people feeling dissatisfied, marking invitations as spam and higher attrition rates.

If you don’t want to send out your first research project when you only have a portion of your target profile, you can engage new members in the following ways:

  • A short but insightful welcome survey which could include the following:
    • Additional "nice-to-have" profiling questions.
    • Fun questions that can be used in sharebacks to the entire community in your first newsletter.
    • Questions about their motivations for joining your community (so that you can better understand how to engage them).
    • Questions about the types of activities they’d like to participate in (which can help make future activities more targeted and relevant).
  • Use a hub invite survey to introduce new members to the hub and where to find the activities they’ve been invited to complete.
  • Create a welcome forum for new members to participate in and  make them feel part of the community.

Welcoming new members: https://www.visioncritical.com/blog/welcoming-new-community-panel-members

Ongoing Recruitment

Recruitment isn't a one time event when you first set up your community; it should be an ongoing activity to maintain your desired size and response rates, and to keep your community fresh.

Inviting new members as an ongoing practice ensures higher engagement, stable community size, and a steady stream of new opinions and feedback. 

Mitigating Bogus Signups

Any time you publish something requiring feedback online, it's possible that you could receive some inaccurate information from pranksters, spambots, or people who are just in a hurry. Here are some recommendations that will help protect you from bogus signups.

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Considerations When Using Email Lists

Initial invitations to the community should come from your regular email channels. Here are five tips when using email lists for recruitment:

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New Member Recruitment Experience

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The "Join Now" Button

Control organic recruitment by enabling/disabling the "Join Now" button. This button allows non-members to join your community from the member hub welcome page.

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CRM Recruitment Email 

Create a recruitment invitation that will stand out to your customers and encourage them to click and participate. Everyone gets multiple emails every day, so you may have to invite people more than once, but following these best practices in invitation design will help you reach your customers with the right message.

  • Introduce your company and the community. A clever community name is a great hook. 
  • Lead with what’s in it for them. Clearly describe why they should join and what they’ll get out of it.  
  • Tailor the message to each persona. Use language  that will suit your brand and your audience. Remember that different personas will respond to different messages. 
  • Communicate the community purpose. Tell people what the community is for so your customers can get on board. Think of a purpose that will appeal to your customers and communicate it from their viewpoint. 
  • Set expectations. Explain what being a community member will mean to your customers. Give them an idea of what you will be asking them to do.
  • Include a clear and compelling CTA. Choose an email subject line that will stand out and keep it short and engaging. Think about what makes your customers tick and remember to tailor for each persona. 
  • Get them excited about what’s next. Joining your community is the first step in creating a long-term customer relationship based on transparency and trust. Let them know when they’ll be contacted next and what they can expect. 

Invitation Email Best Practices: https://www.visioncritical.com/blog/inviting-members-to-your-insight-community-invitation-email-best-practices

Leverage a Press Release

Partner with Vision Critical and launch a press release to recruit directly from your website.

  • Using a press release on your website about joining the community allows the members to learn more about the community, as well as feel confident that the community is endorsed by the brand.
  • Build off and reference this press release on website pages and pop ups, social media posts, etc.

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Recruiting with Social Media

Remember to think mobile first when designing invitations and activities: 

  • Be concise. Write less.
  • Always test on a mobile device.
  • 3–5 minutes max.
  • Use shorter scales. Great, Ok, Not Great is a lot easier to interpret for people participating and in your analysis. Minimize the need to scroll.
  • For single or multi-choice, split larger answer lists across multiple questions.
  • Avoid tedious grids whenever possible. Instead of agree/disagree statements, just ask which do you agree with? Second question is: and which do you disagree with (excluding the agreed answers).
  • Avoid rank order questions.
  • Limit open ends.
  • Use images only when necessary and size for small screen.
  • If you wouldn't do the survey, then don't launch it.

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Recruiting through Facebook

  1. Recruit through Facebook posts using hook questions.
  2. Include a link to your insight community sign-up page in your Facebook profile’s “About” section.
  3. Know your audience to gauge best times for highest engagement.
  4. Leveraging your teams’/colleagues’ Facebook accounts for recruitment posts or have them repost/comment.
  5. Consider Facebook Ads.

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Recruiting through Twitter

  • Encourage sharing.
  • Use hashtags and images/videos—but be sure to avoid hashtags like #giveaway, #prizes, etc. as spam bots might be searching for them.
  • Tag members/direct message fans.
  • Recruit through your brand’s Twitter page or via celebrities’/stars’ tweets.
  • Get a celebrity/star to retweet recruitment post.
  • @-mention influencers in your industry space when you can.

PRO TIP: Start collecting photo or video submissions of members who love being a part of the insight community. Tag your members if you have their handles.

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Best Practices for Twitter and Facebook:

  • Release quizzes on Facebook and Twitter feeds with the purpose to become viral. 
  • Consider creating a brand themed video. Posting videos on Twitter is a great way to make your Tweets stand out and drive engagement. 
  • Capture and share footage from an event through Twitter video and Facebook Live. Those not in attendance feel included (or jealous that they missed out) and direct followers to the community link to call-out exclusive sneak peeks and access through your social media pages.
  • Tell community member stories: Humans love seeing other humans. Use Facebook and Twitter video to spotlight a member that includes attention-grabbing testimonials.

Ideas for Twitter and Facebook:

  • Consider quiz questions on: trend predictions, favorite beauty brand, which celebrity are you, brand facts, personality quizzes, etc. At the end, use a pitch to join the insight community and a link to the sign up study.
  • Share reader generated content and re-post to call out your brand’s communities as a place to exchange content and ideas.
  • Encourage sharing. Use Facebook and Twitter pages to post about events, product launches, brand launches, etc. or forums open on the community.
  • Show Quick Poll or Survey Results and include a link to ask what members would choose and redirect to community.
  • Create a contest to share the insight community experience with a friend (tag, use #hashtag) and feature members with the most shares.

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Best Practices for Instagram:

  • Post engaging content to Instagram stories about the insight community and have a swipe up link to Join Now.
  • Hashtags Rule: More hashtags are acceptable on Instagram. Identify tags that categorize community-themed posts and be consistent—but be sure to avoid hashtags like #giveaway, #prizes, etc. as spam bots might be searching for them.
  • Customize bio and add unique formatting by inserting text to word and copy and paste it into your bio.
  • Tell stories.
  • Leverage celebrities.
  • Piggy back off trends and share opinions from your members—or quiz followers on relevant trends.
  • Use compelling language to bring them in! Make sure that the image has the leading language on it: "There's more where that came from! Join our community”

Ideas for Instagram:

  • Follow those who consistently comment and like your content—interact/respond to them with a call out to your bio as an exclusive invite, or DM them. 
  • Share fan-generated content and re-post to call out the insight community as a place to exchange content and ideas.
  • Caption contest: Voting through link in bio, redirect to community.
  • Create a customized video introducing the new exclusive community.
  • Release never-before-seen content and entice followers to join the insight community to get sneak peeks and first look at content.
  • Create a contest to share the insight community experience with a friend (tag, use #hashtag) and feature members with most shares.

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Best Practices and Ideas for YouTube:

  • Call to action within videos to join community – callouts or links in description.
  • Consider creating an ad that captures viewers' attention in 8 seconds.
  • Make sure your frequency cap is at an adequate level. The frequency cap allows you to "cap" how many times your video shows to a unique user over a defined period of time.
  • Create different targeting groups and test campaign/verbiage to see what works best.

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Your Step-by-Step Recruitment Guide

How to Engage Your Insight Community Members

To be successful at building an insight community, we believe in creating an ongoing feedback experience that fosters trust, transparency, and authenticity. With this in mind, sharing back ensures members understand the why behind your questions, what you are doing with the insights you are gathering, and how it influences decisions being made in the business. This creates a two-way relationship that deepens over time and promotes long-term relationships, positive brand experiences, and a healthier, more engaged community.

Top Tips for Insight Community Member Engagement

1. Sense of Community

Give members a feeling of belonging to something unique with a strategic purpose where their voices will be heard and will make a difference. Motivate them to participate in improving the brands they love, while feeling a connection to the other members in the community.

2. Member Hub

Share insight and start conversations where members can access their latest activities, results, and updates.

3. Newsletters

Highlight and summarize content by theme or importance to engage with members and draw them in to conversations on the hub.

4. Results & Updates

Share back what members said with verbatim comments or simple charts from results. Better yet, share what decisions have been made with their input.

5. Behind the Scenes

Encourage members to feel they are part of the team with insider information that isn’t available anywhere else.

6. Member Spotlights

Build a connection amongst members by sharing stories and general information about the community.

7. Meet the Team

Personalize the experience by sharing information about the insight community management team, photos, and signing off emails and activities with a real name.

8. Fun Facts

Keep members engaged with your brand and topics relevant to them. Consider what brought them to the community or even ask them.

9. Show Gratitude

Respect the time and effort it takes for members to participate through surprise and delight rewards, saying thank you, or giving VIP access to information.

10. Member Evaluation

Regularly ask members about the experience to ensure expectations are being met.

Insight Community Engagement Plan

When building an ongoing insight community engagement plan, consider what kind of relationship your brand wants to have with your customers, and what kinds of things will be interesting, relevant, and fun for them.

insight-community-engagement-plan

Member Engagement Plan Examples: https://www.visioncritical.com/blog/member-engagement-plans-examples

Sense of Community

Give members a feeling of belonging to something unique with a strategic purpose where their voices will be heard and will make a difference. This will motivate them to participate in improving the brands they love, while feeling a connection to the other members in the community.

insight-community-sense-of-community

For more tips and suggestions check out our blog on How Community Management Can Build Member Satisfaction.

Use Your Member Hub

Share insight and start authentic conversations where members can access their latest activities, results, and updates. 

  • One-click sharing of interesting content in any format, from anywhere on the web
  • Intuitive social media tools like commenting and likes drive stronger engagement
  • Measure and optimize engagement through built-in analytics
  • Use simple drag-and-drop features to design and deploy beautiful newsletters in a matter of minutes

member hub

For more tips and suggestions check out our blog on How to Keep Members Engaged & Excited About Your Member Hub.

Engage with Your Members on the Hub

Regularly interact with members to strengthen their ties to your community and brand. You can drive and shape conversations in ways that give you additional insight.

Respond to comments: Join the conversation, answer questions, and interact with your members to let them know someone is listening and their thoughts are valued.

Acknowledge super users: Use the @ symbol to mention people by name, or @everyone to include the entire community. The members you’ve mentioned will receive an email notification when you do this.

Send regular newsletters: You can highlight 3–5 pieces of content the community has been engaging with to draw other members back to the member hub. For more information, see Newsletters.

Leverage Calls to Action: With a Call to Action, you can embed your company’s Twitter feed to ensure there’s always new content on the hub. You can also link to active campaigns or events. Calls to action can also be used to integrate with third-party platforms (if you are interested in an integration, get in touch with your Customer Success Manager). For more information, see Calls to Action.

Keep Hub Content Fresh

The volume of new posts should align with the amount of activity in your community. If there is a lot of activity in your community, you should post often to encourage member engagement with the activities in the field. When there are fewer activities in the field, you can post less; however, members will be less inclined to visit the hub on their own if they see the same content over and over again.

When developing your content strategy, keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • When community activity is high, we recommend creating one new post for each activity in the field.
  • When community activity is low, the optimal number of new posts is one original post (either a shareback or blog post) per week, and up to three curated pieces per month.

On a monthly and quarterly basis:

  • Review your metrics: What topics, formats, and frequency work best for your audience?
  • Remove old and irrelevant content.
  • Have content strategy meetings with your team.

Allow 3–4 months of posting to determine which content and themes resonate with members. The more authentic and interactive the post, the better the content tends to perform.

FYI: Videos and listicles are the most viewed pieces of content in a hub.

Types of Member Hub Content 

Think about what types of content your members will be most engaged with as well as what you can realistic maintain from a resourcing perspective. Different types of content provide unique opportunities to add value to your member experience. 

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Member Hub Content Curation

Content curation is vital for maintaining an engaged community. Fresh content and discussions bring members back to the hub over time and cement their bond with your community and brand. Members can see how their feedback is being used by your brand, which makes them want to continue providing more, and better insight over time.

Source Quality Content: 

Content is why people come to the member hub so try to give members what they want, but also surprise them!

  • Boost your credibility: Use content from reputable sources and influencers.
  • Write original posts, or add context to a share back from a study, to show members how they are driving positive change in your organization.
  • Use a variety of content formats: Readers crave variety, so diversify your content formats such as videos, infographics, slide decks in addition to text and images. 
  • Make sure you link back to the original source when you share content and give credit to the author.

Include Different Types of Content:

  • Exclusive content: Members feel like insiders and incentivizes higher engagement
  • Early designs/product concepts 
  • Blog posts and video links from the web: Short-form content that’s easy to produce on a regular basis
  • Infographics: Visual content, better way to convey research findings
  • Share back from activities: Emphasizes the importance of members to the community and they enjoy seeing the results
  • Newsletters: Keeps members engaged regularly

Create Context:

Creating context relieves some of the burden of creating original content. When you add context to third-party content, you add an original perspective while using others’ articles or videos. Context allows you to bridge gaps in ideas, make connections among relevant content, and showcase what is important in the context of your community. The context that appears before the actual post is your reader’s first encounter with the content. It is a great opportunity for you to express your voice and perspective, to draw members in and engage them.

Add ALT Text to Images:

Use alternative text (ALT) in post images and documents for members who use a screen reader. Screen readers cannot read text embedded in an image, such as text in a logo. If your image contains text, you can repeat the text in the alternative text field.

Amplify the Effects of Curation: 

Having a healthy and consistent connection is what builds communities and buzz.

Try setting up a content calendar so you have something to post every day. To save time, schedule your posts in advance.

Retweet, like, and engage with other content.

Use newsletters to highlight content and drive traffic and engagement back to your member hub. Bringing relevant information to their inbox on a regular basis will put you in a positive light.

Recycle and Reuse Content: 

Don’t be afraid to bring back top-performing content or to bundle your “best of” content. It’s a great way to let your audience catch-up on something they may have missed, or refresh an old favorite.

Use your post analytics to find your top-performing content, then think about what you can repurpose or package new content around. If a blog post did particularly well, you could create a series around it, or give an update if a lot has changed since you posted it. You could also use the content in a new format: a video can become a blog post, or a blog post could turn into an infographic.

Avoid recycling internal news, press releases, or product marketing content, which tend to age quickly and lose their relevance for your community.

Google Alerts: 

Google Alerts is a content notification system that Google offers free of charge. It can help with content curation.

  • Content repository: You'll have an unlimited supply of fresh content delivered to your hub which you can then curate.
  • Staying informed: Get all the relevant industry news delivered directly to you.
  • Thought leadership: Use your subject-matter expertise to round-up the best content from that week. Be sure to provide your insights or counterpoints when you share the article.
  • Reputation management: Alerts are a cheap and easy way to monitor your company's online reputation. You'll also want to setup social media monitoring to get the full picture.
  • Competitor analysis: Getting an alert every time your competitor is mentioned is a great way to see what they are doing.

Share Survey Results Directly To Your Hub

Hubs make it easy to distribute sharebacks and add value to the experience by providing space for you to include curated or created content.

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Sharebacks close the feedback loop for members participating in studies. By acknowledging your members' effort and showing them how their input impacted your decision-making you are strengthening your relationship with your customers.

Share results directly from Sparq to your member hub immediately after a study has closed. The study will still be fresh in members’ minds and the feedback will resonate a lot more.

Tip: Add an image or video that compliments the results to make the post more engaging.

Prerequisite: You must be an admin user in order to do this.

Newsletter Tips

Regular newsletters are a great way to highlight popular content as a way to bring less active members back to the community and hub. They are also a good tool for summarizing the most important content over a period of time. Keep the following considerations in mind.

Less Is More 

A clean and simple newsletter is best. Limit the amount of text and include no more than five tiles of content. Too much content can be overwhelming; you want to whet members' appetites and encourage them to click through to the member hub for more.

Test on Different Devices 

Send a test to view your newsletter on a few different screens. While newsletter format is mobile-optimized, a text box that looks great on a desktop may be too long on a mobile device.

A/B Test

Experiment with the content, the subject line, and the time your newsletters are sent, so that you can optimize them.

Personalize

Tailor each newsletter to the various customer personas in your community. You can deploy newsletters to different member groups provided they exist in Sparq.

NOTE: The easiest and quickest way to create newsletters is through your member hub but you can also create html newsletter templates through Sparq as an alternative approach.

Top 10 Insight Community Engagement Ideas

  1. Sharebacks

    Share back what members said or what decisions have been made with member input.

  2. Behind the Scenes

    Encourage members to feel they are part of the team with insider information that isn’t available anywhere else.

  3. Member Spotlights

     Build a connection amongst members by sharing stories and general information about the community.

  4. Winner Update

    If you’re using material incentives on your community, make sure members know who the winners are.

  5. Meet the Team

    Personalize the experience by sharing information about the insight community team, photos, and signing off emails and activities.

  6. Fun Facts

    Keep members engaged with not only the brand but the topics of interest that brought them to the community.

  7. Monthly Question

    Try asking a thought provoking question each month. 

  8. Product Updates

    Another great way to generate interaction and feedback is to share product or service updates that will impact your customers' experience.

  9. In the News

    When you have something newsworthy happening, it’s great to give your members a heads up.

  10. In-Person Events

    Make your members feel valued by giving them VIP access and inviting them to in-person events.

Twitter shares their tips and tricks on how they keep their Twitter Insiders community engaged: https://www.visioncritical.com/blog/twitters-top-10-tips-for-member-engagement

Regular Member Evaluation

Regularly monitor and ask members about the experience to ensure expectations are being met. This can be done  in the following ways.

Member Experience Evaluation

The Member Experience Evaluation activity is sent from the community to get feedback on how members feel about the insight community experience. A Member Experience Evaluation should happen roughly six to eight months after launching the community, and on an annual basis thereafter. This study can help boost your awareness of what motivates members to participate.

Member Support Mailbox

The support mailbox is a place for members to send in questions and offer feedback. Insight community managers will be notified if a particular member question requires additional assistance or involvement outside of Vision Critical’s support team. If a particular study generated a higher-than-normal volume of support tickets, investigate and find out what can be learned from this.

Open-Ended Feedback

There will also likely be comments from time to time in activity open-ends. This feedback should be taken into consideration when analyzing member value and satisfaction.

Learn more about measuring member satisfaction here: https://www.visioncritical.com/blog/how-community-management-can-build-member-satisfaction

Proven Best Practices for Insight Community Activities

Insight community activities, by their very nature, are part of the customer experience. From the customer’s perspective, the surveys and discussions they receive from your company aren’t separate from their brand experience when they visit your store or when they interact with a customer service rep. When people opt-in to participate in your surveys, discussions, and other online community activities, they’re agreeing to share their time, feedback, and opinions with you.

It’s critical to show that you respect your customers’ time by considering their experience and thinking about how they might feel after engaging with you.

Top 10 Tips for Insight Community Activities

1. Be Authentic

Write in a conversational tone, introduce the insight community manager to make it more personal, and don’t re-ask questions to which the answers are already known.

2. Use Conversational Scales

Craft questions the way you would ask if you were talking to someone. Limit to five or fewer scale points, and label points so they are clear to everyone.

3. Ask Simple Questions

Break big ideas into multiple questions, include “other specify” or “don’t know” options, incorporate a variety of question types, and ask at least one open-ended question—but not the first question!

4. Practice Transparency

Share back the business impact and decisions being made from what has been learned in the community, recognizing members for their participation, quoting member comments, and giving them access to exclusive information. 

5. Keep It Short

Design for 2–5 minute surveys and split up a concept if it doesn’t fit within that time frame. Mobile First: Write less, minimize scrolling, remove tedious grids and overly complex questions.

6. Relevant Topics

Make sure activities stay relevant to the member expectations that have been set.

7. Leverage Longitudinal Learning

Engaged members are a captive audience willing to engage over a long period of time. Plan periodic activities that track opinions to tap into the consumer pulse, identify pain points and wins, and provide opportunities to dig deeper with a subset of customers.

8. Diversify

Vary your activity topics to keep members engaged, and pay attention to which topics resonate. Try different technologies and methods outside of surveys (video, photos, forums, IHUT, etc.).

Bonus! Engaging more stakeholder groups in your organization will help diversify topics and demonstrate more impact of your investment.  

9. Listen & Learn

Build relationships with every interaction as members share attitudes, behaviors, and information about themselves.

10. Ensure Consistency

Establish naming conventions for activities and questions to ensure they are easily searchable. That way you’ll avoid asking members repetitive questions.

Community vs. Access Panel 

When thinking about what activities to run on an insight community, it’s important to remember the difference between having an insight community versus an access panel and how this will impact the type and design of activities you invite members to participate in.

Community-vs-Access-Panel

Community Insight Opportunities

An insight community delivers a wide range of insight opportunities allowing you to dive deeper into various topics using a breadth of research capabilities.

community-insight-opportunities

Diversify Your Activities

Vary your activities to keep members engaged, and pay attention to which topics resonate. Try different technologies and methods outside of surveys (video, photos, forums, IHUT, etc.). Engaging more stakeholder groups in your organization will help diversify topics and demonstrate more impact of your investment. Try using a 3-level approach:

Level 1: Engagement

  • Promotions or announcements from the marketing and PR teams. They have a plan for the year; make sure you tap into what they are doing. Is there something that can be leveraged and provided to the community? Just package it up in a slightly different way.
  • Include information that members want. Look at the comments from the Member Experience Evaluation survey, or what members like and read on the member hub.

Level 2: Strategic Activities

  • What are the objectives of the business this year? Ensure these activities are scheduled in the calendar accordingly to get answers in time to make decisions.
  • Look for ways to feed customer insights into marketing plans, sales presentations, board documents, etc. 

Level 3: Unplanned Activities

  • There are always going to be activities that come in because sales are low, marketing needs testing, or the product team has a new idea. Knowing that the Strategic Studies timelines can often be shifted slightly provides the opportunity to still fire-fight all the unplanned activities.

Leverage Longitudinal Learning

A community of customers gives you a captive audience who are willing to engage with you over a long period of time. To deliver maximum ROI, you should think long term and leverage the relationship you are building with every touch point. Here are some thought starters when it comes to tapping into the unique benefits of monitoring the same people over long periods of time. 

longitudinal-learning

Activity Design Tips

Here are some guidelines that may help you out when designing an activity from scratch, particularly if it is your first time.

Have a vision and a plan: 

It's critical to have a clear understanding of what your objective is, and what exactly you are trying to accomplish. With quantitative research it is much harder to go back and adjust once you are out of field if you've somehow missed the mark.

Envision survey as a funnel: 

When designing the flow, imagine an inverted pyramid; start out broad, then narrow as needed. This is a logical way for the member to think, making it easier for them to answer the questions.

Avoid order bias: 

Sounds like a no-brainer, but it's critical not to give away the answer to a question before asking it (e.g. sharing brand names before asking unaided brand awareness). 

Ensure earlier questions do not influence responses to later questions as well (e.g. don't reveal new and exciting information about a brand and then ask about how much the member likes a brand, or finds it innovative).

Use clear language and the right tone: 

If your terminology or the language used isn't clear to you, it won't be clear to your audience. And if there's any ambiguity, it will likely end up creeping into your results. 

Don't forget to ensure that the tone of the wording is reflective of the target audience; you may word questions differently when speaking to men aged 18–24 who are into video games versus lawyers.

Keep length in mind: 

Looks can be deceiving, so always time your activities to ensure you are within the specified parameters you set out. If possible, have someone else review your activities for length.

Five helpful principles for questionnaire design: https://www.visioncritical.com/blog/five-helpful-principles-questionnaire-design

Be Authentic

Running activities on an insight community requires a transition in thinking from traditional and ad hoc research design. Since one of the goals is to develop an ongoing relationship with community members, engagement is critical.

It’s a conversation not a science experiment. Craft questions the way you would ask if you were talking to someone. Read the survey out loud to catch any strange or awkward wording.

Introduce the insight community manager to make it more personal. Sign off email and intros from a specific team member/stakeholder.

Start fresh. Think about asking questions in new ways; don’t just go back to the standard questions you always ask.

Build on what you know. Leverage what you already know and don’t ask questions to which you already have answers.

Ask for feedback. Monitoring your community’s response rates is important, but it’s just as crucial to give people an opportunity to share their input about their experience when they participate in your research activities.

Keep Activities Short, Relevant, and Easy

short-activities

Activity Design Best Practices: https://www.visioncritical.com/blog/activity-design-best-practices

Practice Transparency

Share back the business impact and decisions being made from what has been learned in the community, recognizing members for their participation, quoting member comments, and giving them access to exclusive information. 

  • Be open and upfront. Be direct and tell people why you're asking. 
  • Shareback what you learn, decisions you're making, and business impact in email invites, intro pages, end pages, and your member hub.
  • Recognize members. Share quotes, special contributions, member of the month, etc.
  • Give exclusive access like sneak peeks and behind the scenes content. "Ask the expert" or "letter to the CEO" activities make people feel special.

practice-transparency

Think Mobile First

Mobile is a must when designing your insight community activities.

  • Your community experience is part of your brand experience so maximize every touchpoint, including mobile.
  • Most emails are opened on a mobile and emails are almost never saved and reopened. How many people are you losing when they cannot go straight to your study and have a good experience?
  • Millennials, Gen Z, Spanish-speaking Americas, and business decision makers— these four important and hard-to-reach groups are heavy mobile users. 
  • Data quality suffers if the member’s mobile experience is a poor one. 

10 Tips for Mobile Survey Design

  1. Be concise. Write less.
  2. Always test on a mobile device.
  3. 3–5 minutes max.
  4. Use shorter scales. Great, Ok, Not Great is a lot easier to interpret for people participating and in your analysis. Minimize the need to scroll.
  5. For single or multi-choice, split larger answer lists across multiple questions.
  6. Avoid tedious grids whenever possible. Instead of agree/disagree statements, just ask which do you agree with? Second question is: and which do you disagree with (excluding the agreed answers).
  7. Avoid rank order questions.
  8. Limit open ends.
  9. Use images only when necessary and size for small screen.
  10. If you wouldn't do the survey, then don't launch it.

Think "Mobile First" for Survey Design: https://www.visioncritical.com/blog/think-mobile-first-for-survey-design

Ensure Consistency

Establish naming conventions for activities and questions to ensure they are easily searchable. That way you’ll avoid asking members repetitive questions.

Activities and Reports: 

Have a consistent internal naming convention for all activities and reports. This should incorporate the communities, departments, and activity itself. For example, if you have communities for Brand A and Brand B, accessed by sales and marketing, in the US, UK and China, the naming convention could be:

  • BrandB001 - SA020 - UK - Ladies Swimwear Study
  • (Brand – Department – Region – Topic)

Question Names: 

A consistent method for question names should be implemented. For example, screener questions could be denoted with the letter S, with the main questions of the activity questions denoted with the letter Q. This enables a faster and more efficient search capability to identify questions that have been used before.

Example: S4_Employment, Q1_Agreement_Scale.

Profile Variables: 

A consistent manner should be used to avoid confusion and for ease of reporting and analysis. For example, add _US, _UK, or _CN to the end of your profile variables to denote the region, or if the same PV is used by all, add _GLOBAL.

Examples:

  • S4_Employment _US
  • Q9_Age_GLOBAL

 

How to Engage Insight Community Stakeholders

When you activate stakeholders, establish process and workflow, become a shepherd and advocate of the customer’s voice, and deliver an exceptional experience to customers during the insight gathering process, you will continue to have engaged people giving you ongoing feedback. And with a direct connection to the people you care about for actionable insight, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a more customer-centric organization. 

Top 10 Stakeholder Engagement Tips

1. Engage Early 

Involve every colleague needed to launch your insight community from the very first kick-off call. Doing so ensures you have the right resources available to make decisions about marketing, creative, and contacting members.

2. Get Executive Buy-In

Engage with key-decision makers and encourage them to consult with insight community members before making any major decisions. 

3. Establish Measures of Success 

Involve stakeholders to identify how you will know the community has impacted your organization. Communicate your progress against these measures. 

4. Share Quick Wins

Share success stories with stakeholder groups to spread the word of what’s possible and its impact. Quick, digestible formats are best.

5. Centralize Insights

Use your stakeholder hub to break down data silos and increase access. Collaborate with stakeholders to make the hub dynamic, visible, and valuable. Include measures of success.

6. Create a Shared Calendar

Keep track of research and engagement projects to maintain a healthy cadence of activities with diverse topics coming from multiple business areas.   

7. Develop an Intake Process

Streamline the project request process with an intake form or brief template. Make it easy for stakeholders to provide  the required information to generate insight.

8. Request a Seat at the Table

Be present when stakeholders discuss needs and project plans. You’ll garner more visibility and better understanding of business needs. Doing so enriches customer empathy and understanding, and speeds innovation. Questions get answered right away so there’s no broken telephone.

9. Identify Internal Champions

Let your early advocates build more engagement. They can advocate for the customer and encourage the business to engage with customers before making decisions.

10. Share Broadly

Make customer insight available across the organization. Leverage the tools and programs already operating in your business such as your Intranet, lunch and learns, champions, newsletters, etc.

How to Engage Stakeholders Early On

Rallying your organization around the true value and impact of an insight community will ensure you have the internal support you need to launch your new insight community.

Involve Stakeholders in Community Planning

Involve every colleague needed to launch the community from the very first kick-off call. Doing so ensures you have the right resources available to make decisions about marketing, creative, and contacting members.

Get Executive Buy-In

From the very start, engage with executive decision makers and encourage them to consult with community members before making any major decisions. Some companies even develop a brand stamp so that everyone in the business knows that a decision was given the green light after consulting their insight community members.

Share the Community Plan

Host sharing sessions/roadshows to present your plan for the insight community with the wider business. Explain how it will support the strategic priorities of the business and share information about the following:

  • Intended profile of members
  • Recruitment plan 
  • Creative design
  • Contributing to the research/engagement calendar
  • Expectations of ongoing stakeholder involvement
  • Timelines for analysis and reporting

How to Establish and Measure Success

measure-success

How to Develop an ROI Tracking Program

It’s important to track the success and value of your insight community over time to help prove the ROI and secure future budgets. Here are four ways to help you track and document the value of your insight community.

Develop an ROI focused activity briefing process to ensure all activity requests will lead to decisions.

Send stakeholders a follow-up survey after you’ve completed an activity for them to capture key insights and track any outcomes or decisions made as a result.

Create tracking documentation (or use your insight roadmap) to capture activities, insights, customers reached, and functional and business ROI.  

Facilitate quarterly stakeholder review sessions to keep track of what is working and what is not.

How to Centralize Insights

Use your stakeholder hub to break down data silos and increase access. Collaborate with stakeholders to make the hub dynamic, visible, and valuable. Include measures of success.

Make the hub the epicenter of company communication

  • In addition to sharing insights, post different types of dynamic and engaging content.
  • Collaborate with your stakeholders by encouraging them to develop their personal profile and submit their own ideas and content.

Understand what your stakeholders want to see on the hub

  • Reach out to your stakeholders and ask what would be valuable to them. You might consider sending them a survey—or simply create a post and ask them to leave comments.
  • Monitor engagement levels to adjust your engagement strategy.

Comment, tag, and engage your stakeholders

  • If you’re running a research project for a particular team, consider tagging them to ask for their feedback on the hub.
  • Facilitate conversations by asking prompting questions.

Keep the hub at top of mind across the organization

  • Socialize the hub and make it top of mind by integrating it into existing workflows.
  • Include as part of onboarding new employees to their organization.
  • Post new content on a consistent basis based on the information that your stakeholders want to see.

Stakeholder Hubs: https://www.visioncritical.com/stakeholder-hubs

Stakeholder Hubs: The Best Way to Share Insights with Stakeholders: https://www.visioncritical.com/blog/stakeholder-hubs-the-best-way-to-share-insights-with-stakeholders

Stakeholder Hubs: 4 Best Practices to Hit the Ground Running: https://www.visioncritical.com/blog/stakeholder-hubs-four-best-practices-to-hit-the-ground-running

10 Ways to Promote Stakeholder Hub Content: https://www.visioncritical.com/blog/10-ways-to-promote-stakeholder-hub-content

How to Establish Process and Workflow

It’s critical to figure out a process and workflow that will work for you, support your stakeholders' need for fast insight, and provide a pipeline of activities to keep members engaged. Creating structure around your program will not only help keep the community organized, but also help streamline processes and allow you to scale your research needs. 

Create Shared Calendar

Create a shared working calendar to keep track of research and engagement projects to maintain a healthy cadence of activities with diverse topics coming from multiple business areas.  

Develop Intake Process

Make it easy for stakeholders to submit requests by using an intake form that stakeholders fill in before a project is initiated. Be sure to include key project details, objectives and identify any opportunities to share back (an outcome or specific survey question).

Close the Loop 

Deliver on what you promise by establishing turnaround times from when the activity is launched to members to when you deliver results to stakeholders.

Track the outcome of each project so that you can measure the impact of the community on your business.

How to Show the Impact of Your Insight Community... and Scale It: https://www.visioncritical.com/blog/how-to-show-the-impact-of-your-insight-community-and-scale-it

How to Maintain Stakeholder Engagement

Maintaining-Stakeholder-Engagement

How to Earn the Right to Ask for Ongoing Customer Feedback: https://www.visioncritical.com/blog/how-to-earn-the-right-to-ask-for-ongoing-customer-feedback

 

How to Operationalize and Resource Your Insight Community

As our most successful customers will tell you, the best insight communities are founded on partnerships—with cross-functional departments and stakeholders in your own business and with the Vision Critical team of experts.

Top 10 Tips for Operationalizing Your Insight Community

1. Compelling Community Brand

A strong and distinct community brand will help to boost your teams’ visibility and help increase your influence within your company.

2. Insight Community Manager Skills

Running an insight community is as much about attitude as it is aptitude. To succeed, an insight community manager needs to have a progressive mindset and be constantly looking for ways to innovate and evolve the insight community program. 

3. Interdepartmental Collaboration

Focus on what your stakeholders need and speak their language. The more actionable the materials for your colleagues, the more value you’re providing and the more likely other departments will come to you for high-impact, collaborative projects.

4. Team Roles Structure

Define clear roles within the team so that everyone knows exactly what they are responsible for so the insight community can be run smoothly and efficiently.

5. Develop Clear Systems

Insight communities run by several different departments and/or in multiple geographic regions require careful planning and consistent communication between project managers. Creating a clearly defined system will keep your communities organized and efficient.

6. Insight Roadmap

Developing an insight roadmap will help to keep your organization focused on customer centricity and give the insight community manager a path forward to inform the business.

7. Celebrate Success

Don’t be shy about celebrating success and don’t forget to share insight community successes with the rest of the organization.

8. Customer Success Manager

Vision Critical’s Customer Success team is here to ensure the overall success and growth of your insights program. Leverage their experience and expertise to help you get the most value out of your insight community.

9. Extend Capabilities & Resources

Our professional services team can help you extend capabilities and resources if need be.

10. Education Opportunities

Vision Critical Academy provides a highly flexible curriculum designed to help you become proficient at using Sparq to achieve your business goals.

Who Manages an Insight Community?

An insight community manager uses Sparq to program surveys and moderate online discussions and uses their analytic skills to identify the insights from their community or communities. Those with a slant to creativity and storytelling will find those skills helpful in assembling reports used by management to make data-based decisions. While a background in research and/or data analytics is beneficial, it is not mandatory. To succeed, a community manager should be able to:

  • Navigate their organization and confidently speak with and present to stakeholders 

  • Showcase community findings in a way that resonates by effectively telling a story  

  • Project manage various aspects of the community such as research calendar planning through engagement strategy

Most insight community managers have very similar overall responsibilities to ensure the success of their insight communities. However, these responsibilities do not always belong to one person. Many community managers also work with junior project managers or other staff to accomplish the body of work, rather than the entire scope sitting with one person. Because each insight community is unique to a business, there is flexibility in determining the best way to resource.

How to Operationalize and Resource Your Insight Community

Insight Community Manager Skills

Insight community management takes the research process and pipeline, member engagement, and stakeholder engagement into consideration in order to make the community a success.

A knack for understanding people: Having a good grasp of people's motivations is vital to creating the right balance of incentives, engagement activities, and communications. Community managers need to convince their target audience to join their communities and motivate members to continue to participate.

Excellent creative, communication skills: Community managers need to craft the right recruit message, create interesting content, and keep engagement activities fresh. 

Project management: Project management is critical when running an insight community. All the steps in the research process are the same (from briefing through to design and reporting) but it all happens in hours or days, instead of weeks and months.

Organizational skills: Scheduling and conducting the small regular operational tasks and developing processes requires an organizational mindset. As an insight community manager, you are constantly juggling various projects and coordinating with different people, usually more than with traditional research.

Data analysis skills: To get insight into the health of your insight community, you need to be able to generate and interpret key metrics, as well as interpret both qualitative and quantitative data from projects.

Negotiation skills: Diplomacy, public relations, and business development skills round out a great community manager in their role as ambassador and sales person for the community. These skills are necessary for stakeholder activation and ongoing engagement. Engaged stakeholders means budget renewal and a full pipeline for the research calendar.

Community Management Skills: https://www.visioncritical.com/blog/community-management-skills

 

Insight Community Roles and Team Structure:

insight-community-roles

Roles Involved in Running an Insight Community: https://www.visioncritical.com/blog/roles-involved-in-running-an-insight-community

A Day in the Life of an Insight Community Manager

The typical responsibilities of an insight community manager can be thought of in three primary buckets:

Generating Insight 

  • Manage insight strategy and roadmap 
  • Research, design, and analysis 
  • Identify impactful integrations across applications 

Engaging Community Members 

  • Develop and execute engagement strategy, manage member personas, recruiting new members, and design member experience 
  • Build healthy member relationships 
  • Share insights and related content back to the community 
  • Manage incentives program (if applicable) 

 Impacting the Business 

  • Engage with stakeholders by regularly liaising on their objectives and sharing research to inform decision making 
  • Share insights across the business 
  • Use preference and experience data to create stories to share with stakeholders

insight-community-manager

A Day in the Life of an Insight Community Manager: https://www.visioncritical.com/blog/a-day-in-the-life-of-an-insight-community-manager

Build an Insight Roadmap

An insight roadmap is a plan to keep your organization focused on customer centricity. It brings together stakeholders to agree on key objectives that your insight community will inform. It will help operationalize your community and give the community manager a path forward to inform the business. Some benefits of having an insight roadmap are:

Identifies Common Ground

Having a roadmap will help identify common themes from the pool of project requests from across the business. These can then be consolidated into broader projects.

Builds Empathy

Seeing the breadth of needs from across the organization may help stakeholders be more patient waiting for their project to come up in the queue.

Manages Member Experience

Having an insight roadmap helps avoid having too many activities that overburden members, and/or long lags between activities where members lose interest.

Demonstrates ROI

An insights roadmap ensures strong ROI on your community investment. It’s easier to demonstrate value when stakeholders across your organization have participated and understand how the business has been informed.

For more tips and suggestions read our blog on How to Build an Insight Roadmap for Customer Centricity

Develop Clear Systems

Insight communities run by several different departments and/or in multiple geographic regions require careful planning and consistent communication between project managers. Here we will outline how to create a clearly defined system that will keep your communities organized and efficient.

Organizational Tools

Planning Tools: A central place to document activities and sharebacks is essential to ensure members are being engaged in a thoughtful and cohesive manner. A shared document or calendar will help others understand what’s being planned and when communications will be deployed.

Hierarchy: We recommended assigning a single point of contact for each community (or in each region) responsible for ensuring that all platform users are logging their community activities into the shared document/calendar. He/she is also responsible for prioritizing activities.

Team Updates: Regular meetings between community managers is highly recommended to inform the team of upcoming activities and sharebacks, the community members who will be communicated with, and the priority of the projects.  

Technical Details

Activities and Reports: Have a consistent internal naming convention for all activities and reports. This should incorporate the communities, departments, and activity itself. For example, if you have communities for Brand A and Brand B, accessed by sales and marketing, in the US, UK, and China, the naming convention could be:

  • BrandB001 - SA020 - UK - Ladies Swimwear Study
  • (Brand – Department – Region – Topic)

Question Names: A consistent method for question names should be implemented. For example, screener questions could be denoted with the letter S, with the main questions of the activity questions denoted with the letter Q. This enables a faster and more efficient search capability to identify questions that have been used before.

Example: S4_Employment, Q1_Agreement_Scale.

Profile Variables: A consistent manner should be used to avoid confusion and for ease of reporting and analysis. For example, add _US, _UK, or _CN to the end of your profile variables to denote the region, or if the same PV is used by all, add _GLOBAL.

Examples:

  • S4_Employment _US
  • Q9_Age_GLOBAL

Multiple Administrator Best Practices: https://www.visioncritical.com/blog/multiple-administrator-best-practices

Raise the Profile of Your Insight Team

Create a compelling brand

A strong and distinct brand helps amplify the value you bring to the organization. Consider the look and feel of your materials and make them easily recognizable to colleagues.

Boost your teams’ visibility to help increase your influence within your company: 

  • Speak at conferences to position your team as thought leaders.
  • Write articles for websites like GreenBook to expand your reach to a wider audience. 
  • Enter award competitions, including Vision Critical’s Visionary Awards, to give your work extra credibility from a third-party.

Embrace interdepartmental collaboration

Insight teams need to be included in interdisciplinary teams to represent the customer. Outputs from the insight team need to to be timely, clear, and action-oriented in order to be impactful.

Focus on what your stakeholders need. The more actionable the materials for your colleagues, the more value you’re providing and the more likely other departments will come to you for high-impact, collaborative projects.

Speak the language of your stakeholders

Speaking the language of the business is an essential step to ensuring that your contributions are recognized. Instead of using research jargon, use the language of your decision-makers and stakeholders.

Keep a record of your contributions to the organization. If your company uses Salesforce, for instance, set up a field that records the involvement of your team in all contracts won. 

If customer feedback from an insight community leads to a successful product development, capture that through presentations to decision-makers, newsletters, and other internal communications.

Celebrate success loudly

Take a cue from your colleagues in sales, and don’t be shy about celebrating success. When sales teams win a new deal, they usually have a tradition, whether it’s ringing a bell, going for drinks, or throwing a big party. Instill similar rituals that you can adopt to recognize your team’s wins, and don’t forget to share your achievements within the company.

How to Raise the Profile of Your Insight Team: https://www.visioncritical.com/blog/raise-profile-of-insight-team

Leverage Our Customer Success Team

Your customer success team is here to ensure the overall success and growth of your insights program. Through the following touchpoints of the Customer Success Program, they will provide advice, best practices, and content to help you optimize the value of your insight community.

Success Planning

Develop a plan to support you in achieving your business goals and maximizing the value of your investment.

Regular Touch-Base & Monthly Snapshot

Have regular informal check-ins and get a monthly snapshot to support you in keeping up to date about product changes and keeping your insight community healthy.

Quarterly Review

These are deep-dives about how you can maximize the value of your insight community and what we can collectively do to keep you focused on achieving your business goals.

Annual Review

We will capture the impact your insight community has made on your business and refine your success plan.

Build Your Knowledge & Expertise

build-your-expertise

Education Opportunities

To help our customers quickly become proficient at using Sparq to achieve their business goals we have an enhanced core education program, Vision Critical Academy, that is available with your Sparq subscription at no extra cost. The curriculum is highly flexible and utilizes short classes to fit your schedule and pace. 

Vision-Critical-Academy

You can even get certified as a Vision Critical Administrator, in your own time frame, at your own pace. By attending classes and then taking accreditation exams, you’ll quickly progress the development of necessary skills to uncover actionable insights and fuel business decisions. Our website provides additional information on our education offerings.

Professional Services Catalogue

Vision Critical stands at the ready to support your team. Our Professional Services Catalogue provides an overview of some of the ways in which Vision Critical can extend your capabilities and resources.

Consultation

Solicit advice from Vision Critical’s community research experts.

Insight Roadmap

Get targeted expertise to build an effective community research and engagement program. Vision Critical will assist you in developing an effective plan to execute community activities that answer strategic objectives and keep members engaged. You will receive a six-month plan for you to execute.

Insight Streams

Vision Critical will design and build a program that combines reactive and proactive insight to inform decisions that matter to your business. You will receive a six-month plan and six programmed activities to get it started. If you choose, Vision Critical can also assist you in executing the program for the first three months. 

Bridging Services

Maintain your momentum following setup or through organizational change. Still hiring or onboarding staff to support your community? Vision Critical can assist with additional support and implementation for three months to ensure organizational success of the platform.

Jump Start: Accelerating Time to Value

Community Jump Start is specifically aimed at accelerating your time to value. Community Jump Start enables our customers to accelerate time to value and quickly receive powerful customer insights. We have a full team dedicated to ensuring you have a seamless onboarding experience with Vision Critical and through it all, your community manager will receive coaching from your customer success team. 

Our customers accelerate time-to-value by dedicating one week with a community consultant who will work with you to complete core elements of community configuration. You will learn about community theory, planning, design, and execution best practices alongside your internal team.

  1. Complete over 15 hours of personalized hands-on Sparq training.

  2. Learn how to build an insight roadmap in collaboration with your stakeholders.

  3. Develop a recruitment plan and a recruitment survey.

  4. Learn how to complete theming of your community.

  5. Author your first hub post. 

How to Operationalize and Resource Your Insight Community

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