Few organisations realise that the length of your time you intend to run an Insight Community is probably the most fundamental decision, as it will affect everything that follows. In this article we will discuss the pros and cons of both short-term and long-term options.

Benefits of a Short-Term Insight Community  

In terms of duration, a short-term Insight Community could last anywhere between a few days to a few months. They are tactical in nature and are often designed with a specific business problem in mind. Although in theory a short-term Insight Community could host any number of participants, they typically encompass smaller groups of around 50 people. A short-term community will often ask for a higher intensity of tasks from its participants and may be a great way of collecting a high volume of qualitative data quickly. 

Many would question why you would choose a short-term insight community over more traditional market research methods. In some cases this is purely the ease of use. Insight Communities allow for the easy mix of several different types of research including; surveys, discussion rooms, video focus groups, polls, diaries etc Having all of this in one platform may save time and money when compared to using alternative research methods.  

Downsides of a short-term Insight Community 

One of the main drivers for organisations to adopt Insight Communities it the ability to build on knowledge, dig deeper into prior answers or connect insights together over time. Although a short-term community may solve tactical problems, it is less likely to be effective as a strategic asset to your organisation. 

Benefits of a long-term Insight Community  

Long-term or ongoing Insight Communities allow you to explore topics in more depth, get to know your respondents well and can be used to form both long-term strategy as well as more tactical information. Long-term communities typically involve larger numbers of respondents grouped into several smaller segments in order to ensure a threshold for analysis. Long-term or ongoing communities are perfect for exploring a wide range of objectives within one environment and can even be an agile screening tool for more targeted, in-depth research initiatives. 

Long-term Insight Communities create one platform for ongoing research and in doing so represent a cost-saving from many traditional market research methods.  

Downsides of a long-term Insight Community 

A long-term community will need more resources in terms of recruitment, moderation, running and to handle churn. Incentive structures may well be different for longer-term communities and will often have their own redeemable currencies based on participation.  

While long-term Insight Communities are often started with business strategy in mind, it is not uncommon for their purpose to become muddied with time. Long-term communities require ongoing commitment from senior stakeholders and there should be a clear plan as to how it will be utilised and how best to keep engagement high over time. 

If you are looking to unlock strategic advantage by leveraging the voice of your customers, get in touch with STRAT7 ResearchBods today. We’ve worked with hundreds of international brands to set up and run successful Insight Communities. 

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