Working with market research online communities, and experience management platforms has brought forth a wide array of customers, from large corporations to smaller startup style companies. What becomes abundantly clear is that the smaller companies who need to run the most amount of research projects are the ones who often run the least. Market research at its core is about time. It takes time to test your hypotheses and understand and evaluate the market and your customers. It also takes time to document the research and formulate it into one cohesive report. The challenge especially with startups is that they don’t have enough time due to budget constraints and research gets sacrificed as a result. This is usually at a time when research is most crucial.
The key becomes how to balance being fast and agile with enough research to make informed data backed decisions. While the traditional way of fielding surveys, and running in-person focus groups is shifting towards online discussions, and online surveys, and in-store experience evaluations, the question regarding research is also changing. Before the question used to be, “do we completely understand this market and our customer?” to a more adaptive in progress approach, such as “do we know enough now to make a good decision?”
One of the most important recommendations we suggest to small companies where time and money is stretched thin, is to create some short online surveys and then follow up with some short qualitative online discussions. Speaking to customers is one of the most important aspects of research. By listening and understanding their problems you are better able to develop key solutions for your customer’s.
Online research community software allows you to create multiple surveys, and send them to different segments of your customer base. The online discussions allow follow up from the answers you gained in your surveys so that you can get a deeper understanding and bring clarity to key topics.
If you would like to find out more about our community software please do not hesitate to contact us.