What is an Online Community?

Online research communities are the method of grouping consumers or businesses online whilst they carry out market research activities. Clients can then access each community, showing different perceptions, insights, and feelings throughout a short or long period.

With mobile accessibility and no need for an app, they can be easily accessible to users and can be accessed at any point.

What are the benefits?

Online Communities bring together groups of people allowing for a big variety of tasks and insights to keep all panellists engaged; these can include:

  • Online Surveys on a wide variety of subjects
  • Vox pops to introduce one another
  • Pre tasks can be issued such as a diary study to be submitted before a particular topic
  • An Online Discussion forum – allowing for reflection on issues, sharing and discussing findings from other research, and the ability to follow up questions from the client. These online forums also allow participants to review imagery, videos or audio files – allowing areas to be marked along the way with positive and negative emotions.

How does it work?

Within an Online Community, different features can be set for set-piece tasks alongside an open discussion forum where questions are posted. Clients can receive a login if they choose to use it, giving access to see what is being said in real-time. We find that some lighter aspects of questioning can be done as a quick poll without posing an incentive to complete. Outside of the features of quick polls, the majority of answers will be formatted with written words or video replies. Some more popular techniques are fill-in-the-blanks, screen recording, prompts and journal activity.

A community can also be classed as a branded online community, focusing more on the professional networking aspect – to have a centralised and shared experience or purpose of growing whilst collaborating. The goal is to break down and analyse the exchanges of information and increase the value of a brand through communication. Pre-planning activities and topics for discussion allows for a journey to be planned out in theory but allows room for manoeuvring and altering if areas of interest appear. Routines and behaviours can be tracked in detail through diaries to understand exact feelings during different stages of the community. After an exercise has been completed, there is the ability to post in real-time chat rooms to help evaluate feelings and behaviours.

Latest News

Keep up to date with the latest news from Vision One.

Shopping Journey

A measurement of a consumer’s movement through a particular space using GPS technology. 

System 1 Thinking

System 1, developed by Kahneman (2011), refers to the brain’s processing of information quickly, instinctually and emotionally, and this is usually done unconsciously. The opposite to System 1 is System 2 which is responsible for slow, conscious, logical and deliberative thinking. ​​​​