How big should your Insight Community be?

Size has a big impact on the recruitment process, incentives offered and ultimate goals of your community. Let’s discuss the pros and cons of both small and large Insight Communities.

PROS: small communities

Who are you targeting? That’s the first step towards understanding how big your Insight Community will need to be. If you are targeting a niche market, it will naturally become more challenging to find and recruit participants. In this case a smaller sized community with a strong emphasis on engagement and incentives will encourage more responses from your group.

A smaller community will lend itself to more qualitative research or intensive innovation work. With a smaller group, moderation will be much easier and you can get to know your group and what drives them. A smaller group typically means lower costs as well.


CONS: small communities

Smaller communities have a perception of being more tactical than strategic. This is because it can be a lot easier to justify action based on the insight of 5000 people rather than 50. Remember that just because you have 50 members, doesn’t mean they are all active. Although a smaller community may be perceived as being easier to control, that doesn’t mean any less time or effort will be needed in engaging that community, driving activity and gathering insight.

PROS: large communities

Larger Insight Communities can produce more robust analysis which lead to strategic decisions. More voices can sometimes mean that data is mixed but, there’s no such thing as ‘bad answers’. One community can house several segments and with the ability to have breakout sessions you can dig deeper.


CONS: large communities

The bigger your community, the more resources, moderation, incentives and data analysis you’ll need and yes…that all has a cost associated with it. If you’re only planning on using your community for a short period of time, with a large amount of members, this may not be cost effective.

Larger communities will always experience some level of churn and it cannot be understated that ongoing engagement of your community is critical to achieving a return on investment.

If you are setting out on your journey toward an Insight Community and looking for an experienced guide, why not contact Researchbods. We’re a warm and approachable bunch and always happy to offer an opinion or answer a question.

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