A critical factor to consider when starting an Insight Community is the size and amount of participants you desire. Size has a big impact on the recruitment process, incentives offered and ultimate goals of the community. Let’s discuss the positives and negatives of both small and large Insight Communities. 

Benefits of a small Insight Community 

The first and most obvious factor in determining the size of your community is the size of your target group. Where 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 smaller 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.  

Negatives of a small Insight Community 

Smaller sized 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.  

The size of your online Insight Community has to reflect not just a total number of participants, but those that are actively participating on a regular basis. 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.  

Benefits of a large Insight Community 

Larger Insight Communities can produce more robust analysis which lead to strategic decisions. It is important to remember that there is no such thing as ‘bad answers’, even where data/opinions may be mixed, the ability to have multiple segments and breakout sessions allows brands to dig into deeper insight more flexibly. 

Negatives of a small Insight Community 

The most obvious downside of larger sized communities is that by their nature they demand more resources, more moderation, more incentives and often more data analysis. All of which has a cost associated with it.  

An Insight Community which will only be utilised over a short period of time with a large amount of intended respondents is typically not cost effective when compared to other market research methods. 

The size of your Insight Community is not just how many members it has but how many are active members. 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.  

No matter what size or type of Insight Community you are thinking about starting, why not get in touch with the friendly team at STRAT7 ResearchBods we can guide you in the right direction as to how best to achieve your objectives and put customers at the heart of everything your organisation does.

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