Online Communities and Panels: Keeping Heritage in All That's New

Filed Under: Communities & Panels


Emily Prozeller

Vice President, Communities & Panels

Before the last decade, the word “community” meant very little when it came to market research. At that time, online capabilities, in general, were still burgeoning. C+R was at the forefront of the online communities, and we considered ourselves pioneers.  

In the last few years, Communities have quickly  been solidified as a market research technique– one that has carved itself a useful spot for companies across verticals and categories. With the question of communities providing “value” answered and now ingrained, the industry is able to step back and think about what makes a good community a great one. 

Stakes have been put in the ground regarding community best practices. And, providers have claimed to know what is best in blanket approaches – this size for rapport or this set-up for optimal research, etc.

Truth is, your company’s research needs are unique and are not a one-size-fits-all. So, shouldn’t your approach to a community follow suit or be the same? 

A provider offering communities in which no two are alike? Each endeavor being new and different? This sounds risky, right? That is what we do at C+R Research, and here are three tried and true ways we make each community work:

One. Our Heritage.

At C+R, we are market researchers first. And, as such, everything else comes only to support us as researchers. We hand-pick technologies to fit the need, rather than being constrained to one. We hand-pick the method to suit the objective, rather than only offering one discipline…as it goes, if you’re just a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail.
With training and years of experience – 60 years to be exact – we have the thorough heritage to back all our initiatives. This comes into play both with how we set up unique communities, and also how we conduct them differently when they are live. Two examples would be our custom solution for one client’s need for broad sample across a myriad of specifications. Another would be leveraging our B2B experience to create a stand-alone approach to engaging elusive professionals in an ongoing manner. 

Two. Our Lewis-and-Clark Spirit.

Custom is in our DNA – one of our principles is not putting parameters around how we tackle our clients’ needs. We do limit ourselves to what we know is “great” research, but we are not scared to try techniques and approaches that are new to us when our clients’ needs call for it.

We do not chase every trend or new market research happening – we choose wisely by what suits our skills and our clients. When the opportunity presents itself, we are ready. We continue to evolve.  In fact, in recent years, C+R has added to our disciplines and offerings with two newly created departments dedicated to online qualitative and communities and panels. This includes creating processes and best practices around both online qualitative research and online communities.  

Three. Our Expert Team.

And finally, the team that makes it all happen…Our community offerings include experts – not just in communities, but in all the research we have to offer therein. Those who conduct quantitative and/or qualitative research are dedicated and more traditionally trained in those disciplines at C+R – not just within the confines of communities.

Our operation and health management team is further backed with experience across offerings at C+R – all of which are distilled into community operations. This combination of experts working closely together brings the most comprehensive lens to what we offer and how we do it.

So, what? At C+R, we will think differently for you and your community needs. We are not hesitant to break out from what has been done before to ensure it fits the objective. We have our proven heritage, our spirit and experts to lead the way, successfully.

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