The Anatomy of a Great Market Research Online Community

Dani Garan
Aug 30, 2019

Conducting market research online community studies (MROCs) is among the most successful market research methods because it helps you determine the pulse of the community towards a service or a product. You can gather valuable insight from an MROC study using an asynchronous platform online where you can use various activities and gamification methods for better engagement with respondents while providing rich insights to your clients for data-driven decision-making.

However, it doesn’t just end after gathering x number of respondents or creating questionnaires. You have to factor in crucial elements that will make your MROC studies more productive and efficient.

Five Essential Elements to Help You Foster a Great Market Research Online Community: 


Right Platform

You won’t be able to start an online community without a platform. Look for a reliable market research online community platform that will best cater to your project needs. List down all the possible features that you’d like to utilize in your MROC and cross-reference it to available platforms. Some dynamic features include the ability to track and manage the progress of your participants, various activity options and gamification capabilities, respondent segmentation, and accessibility on all devices.

Features are crucial but user-experience plays an important role too. You might want to look for something that has a cohesive format, an appealing color palette, relevant images, and striking font selection to entice your future respondents.

There are plenty of available choices so we suggest you dedicate an ample amount of time researching for the right match rather than trying to build an entire in-house platform. Not only does it cost more, but it will also take up a lot of your time and exhaust your human resources.

Smooth onboarding process

Put yourself in the shoes of the respondent. Can you imagine yourself struggling so much just to log in and create a profile just to participate for an online community? If participants are experiencing difficulties this early on, that is not a good sign. Test the platform first to make sure that you smooth out all the possible issues before your project goes live.

Straightforward and engaging activities

You must provide clear instructions for every task to avoid confusion. Respondents should be able to understand each activity with ease. Otherwise, their responses won’t generate the appropriate data you’re hoping to gather.

Aside from increasing the participation of respondents, adding a variety of tasks also make it more interesting for them. This can generate more spontaneous contributions such as discussion between participants, unsolicited conversations, etc.


You can also increase participation by gamification. Participants will gain points every time they finish an activity. You can then assign levels depending on the sum of points they have collected from all the accomplished tasks. This way, you encourage them to finish more activities and they get something back in return. It doesn’t necessarily need to be of monetary value because coupons, gift cards, and vouchers are all well-received as incentives.

MROC Manager

While it pays to gather quality respondents, have the right platform, create worthwhile activities, and include enticing rewards, if there’s no one to oversee all these vital elements, valuable data may go to waste. You can’t just create a community and leave it on its own.

If you don’t have anyone available from your team to check and manage the community for at least an hour or two every day, seek assistance from a third party service. The community manager or moderator is going to be responsible for creating content, starting discussions, continuing conversations, tracking trends, and replying to questions and messages from members.

Apart from the manager, it is also wise to get a data scientist on board who will conduct a more in-depth analysis of all the gathered data from the MROC. If your provider happens to offer built-in analytics and reporting, then this task becomes easy enough for the community manager to handle.

Utilize all these elements properly and you will soon reap all the significant data for your market research.

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