Market Research Online Communities and Longitudinal Learnings

Filed Under: Market Research, Communities & Panels


Will Judd

Community Health Manager, Communities & Panels

In response to the digital shift caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve found that the demand for market research communities and panels has been thriving. In fact, for many of our clients, communities have become a staple in their insights toolbox.  Communities offer quick and cost-effective studies for clients, and C+R Research has been at the forefront of this trend, building and managing communities for various clients over the years – even before we created a dedicated division in 2018.

Not only does this division meet clients’ needs, but we continue to stay at the forefront by employing new and innovative techniques.

Research communities offer more than just agile market research solutions. They also provide longitudinal learning, allowing in-depth studies over several months. Even in shorter-term projects, the community or panel itself becomes a long-term initiative, fostering relationships and collaboration between clients, participants, and the C+R team. This extended engagement strengthens the development of brands and products.

We’ve identified six benefits of research communities:

  1. Participant Commitment: Members of pre-existing communities are well-suited for longer studies, as they are dedicated and committed to participating over an extended period. Their membership in the online community motivates them to maintain high energy and engagement throughout the study.
  2. Familiarity with the Platform: Participants in a long-term community are comfortable with the research platform. They are already familiar with the site, making it easier to complete their studies and participate actively.
  3. Enhanced Social Engagement: Community membership enhances social engagement in studies, as participants feel at ease opening up and providing transparent responses. Over time, participants get to know each other, sharing perspectives and personal stories that can generate valuable insights and ideas for clients.
  4. Time and Cost Efficiencies: Like quick-turn projects, longer studies benefit from the efficiencies gained by eliminating traditional recruitment methods from the timeline.
  5. Richer Insights and Deeper Understanding: Long-term studies allow for identifying behavioral and emotional patterns over an extended period. This leads to richer and more accurate insights, creating a clearer story. Furthermore, communities and panels provide a space for iterative learnings, building on past research findings and fostering an ongoing process.
  6. Building Opportunities: Longitudinal learning serves as a foundational guide for future needs, and community participants can be easily re-engaged for follow-up questions or further related studies. This accessibility to participants’ lives and perspectives is unique to online communities.

In summary, online communities offer time- and cost-efficient options for market research. They can be effectively utilized for in-depth explorations of consumer behaviors and patterns over the long term. If you are considering the benefits of a community, C+R offers flexible, customized options to meet your specific needs, whether short- or long-term.

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