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Utilizing Communities + Panels in Uncertain Times

Alex Knepler, Community Health Manager, Communities and Panels

As the entire globe grapples with the unprecedented situation that we currently find ourselves in, we recognize that we are all in this together. During this era of uncertainty, we at C+R Research have been engaged in steadfast efforts to remain the reliable research partner that our clients know. We’ve been busy sharing out methods that we have in our toolbox as our clients begin to realize the need to make shifts in order to adapt to their current reality. 

Online CommunitiesDuring this time, many traditional research methodologies have faced limitations or have been put on hold altogether until much of the country and economy are able to open back up in a safe and sustained manner.  Fortunately, C+R offers a very effective alternative to some of the more traditional research methodologies—online communities and panels.  Through our years of building and maintaining these online research hubs, we have found there are numerous benefits to conducting research using communities and panels.

Not only do online communities and panels allow clients the opportunity to instantly connect with consumers to understand changes in behaviors and perceptions, they also provide reassurance to community and panel members during periods of unease through participation in discussion sessions (both formal and informal) in a familiar, trusted, virtual environment

Here are some of the key benefits of Communities + Panels, making them a great cost-effective approach to research in general, but even more so during periods of uncertainty, such as the environment that has been created by COVID-19:

  • Trust from our community members + panelists – During times like these, people want stability. The trust and familiarity provided by their role in communities and panels, as well as the camaraderie with fellow members, cannot be overstated. We provide a platform to stay connected – even when everything else is disconnected – where members can share their thoughts and start their own topics with both moderators and each other in real time
  • AdaptabilityAs our methodologies adapt, so do our communications with members – assuring them that we are there for them during this difficult time, that we welcome their continued participation, but also understand if their availability changes in the short-term. Their community or panel will be there for them as they need. 
  • Pre-recruited sample, available 24/7 – For existing communities and panels, our dedicated panel members are readily available – and we can easily stay in touch and communicate with members regarding new studies as client needs pivot and evolve, particularly when it comes to urgently needed results. Additionally, for even further insight opportunities, we have the capability to quickly set up shorter-term, pop-up, or agile communities dedicated to specific subjects which can include (but is not limited to) the current climate. 
  • Tracking + analysis of behavioral changes – Communities and panels offer a unique opportunity for longitudinal learnings from the same people, over time - whether it be over a period of weeks, months, or even years.

    Our communities and panels allow us to almost instantly capture and study adaptations in purchase behaviors from typical routines as a result of COVID-19, as well as track how behaviors may continue to change over the coming days and weeks.

    We can uniquely capture and track consumer purchase changes over time, through brief engagement surveys, or longer deep dive studies, which can include a wide range of methodologies such as journaling, video blogs, online shop-a-longs, webcam IDIs, in-depth surveys, and more.

Commitment to our Clients, Community + Panel Members

At C+R, we are deeply committed to serving the needs of both our clients and our valued community/panel members – ensuring thoughtful, helpful client insights, as well as stability and a communal platform for members as all of us work through these current challenges together. 

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