Online Research Communities (ORCs) or Market Research Online Communities (MROCs) are closed platforms where selected users meet to discuss topics and take part in various research-related tasks. The activities are moderated by researchers and the platform enables these researchers to use a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods to uncover insights from users. These users are recruited to fit certain target criteria. If you’ve ever wished that you could go back to a participant and ask more of them a few days later, ORCs are the right tool for you.
Throughout your online research community project, you will learn plenty about your customers needs and wants. Therefore, this is the perfect playground to explore innovation opportunities by identifying consumer insights, needs, wishes and concerns.
Do you have a new idea, a groundbreaking concepts or maybe already a prototype of your innovation, that you want to test with users? Than an Online Research Community is just the right tool for you.
You have worked with personas already in the past? With online research communities you can enrich the information about your persona and get a holistic overview about their habits, patterns, needs, wishes and wants.
Online Research Communities are the right tool to gather customer input on an international scale and with a larger sample than offline research methods. With a variation of Online Research Tools it is easy to manage a big sample size and keep the participants engaged – even over a long time period.
Benefits of an Online Research Community
24/7 access to participants and their comments
Users can log in day and night, from different time zones and geographies
Activities are left open for several days
Observer accounts allow clients to access the community 24/7
Larger number of participants than in-person methods
Number of active participants per community range from 30 to 150
Enable one-to-one, one-to-many and many-to-many interactions
Direct feedback channel for innovation projects
Explore needs at the start of your project
Gather ideas from participants
Test concepts & prototypes with online users
Ideal in a HYVE Lab context
Reflected feedback over longer periods of time
Daily, weekly, monthly contact with users
Content shared by users include personal stories & anecdotes, impressions on trying out new products & services, and reflections on images and thoughts they have previously shared with us
How does an Online Research Community work?
~ 3 weeks
- Deriving research questions from your brief
- Developing an activity plan and discussion guidelines, including stimulus design and translation (if required)
- Setting a vision for your community
~ 3 weeks
- Finding motivated, creative consumers who meet your selection criteria
- Selecting and inviting participants to join
- Creating an incentive strategy to reward their participation
~ 1 week
- Conceptualizing and developing the look and feel of your community
- Selecting and implementing research and co-creation modules
- Setting up and testing the site before launch
Minimum 1 week
- Activating and building relationships with participants
- Expertly moderating the online activities
- Encouraging consumers’ continuous feedback and documentation of their experiences
~ 2 weeks
- Qualitative and quantitative analysis of multiple sources of data
- Aggregation and interpretation of findings
- Combination of insights to derive actionable recommendations
Choose from different formats of Online Research Communities
Best for short ideation, concept testing, backing up assumptions
Short time frame best suited to busy target groups
But mostly quick reads, scratching the surface, checking assumptions
Project-based Research Community
Best for one specific part of your project (e.g. exploration, concept testing, idea refinement)
Medium time frame best suited to diary tasks, tracking journeys
But no continuity throughout the innovation process or your firm’s project
Multi-topic Research Community
Best for online innovation projects (from start to finish), taking the pulse of consumers on various topics, quick checks, and deeper dives
Longer time frame best suited to ongoing research, brand tracking, or advisory boards
But requires longer-term commitment from your team
We are an innovation agency so we can use your online research community to fuel or support larger innovation projects within your company, or a HYVE Innovation Lab.
We have a wide range of research methods that can complement your community (and again, we do them all in-house). Our experienced and multi-lingual moderators take care of research design, moderation & analysis.
We can adapt the look & feel of the community to your company CI, design unique stimulus to engage participants, and create impactful outputs to share within your organisation & get internal buy-in.
We are platform-agnostic: we host your community on the platform that best suits your needs. Each platform comes with a wide range of activity types and new modules can be developed upon request. Tech support is provided.