Don't ask. Listen.

Date of publication: October 24, 2008

Catalogue: Panel Research 2008

Author: Matthew Rhodes


Communities are hot property: they offer tantalising opportunities both to do new things and also to do old things in new ways. For the research industry the possibilities they open up are huge. You can build a community of respondents who interact with each other. In addition to their individual responses to questions or stimuli you can get them to work together or to peer review findings. And all of this available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Sounds great, but if they are used to most effect online research communities are going to fundamentally change the way we do business. Agencies and clients alike need to prepare for a different way of working. The relationship between respondent, agency and client (or brand!) will shift and a new way of working is needed. Not enough people recognise this across the industry at the moment and this presentation will explain both the what and the why of this change. Moreover we need to understand how online research communities work alongside panels. The two approaches have different characteristics and add value in different circumstances. It is not as simple as: panels are dead, long live communities. Whilst online research communities are perhaps better suited to some research tasks than panels, there are also cases when the two work together. To keep ahead in the industry we need to understand when each of these situations applies and have the appropriate solution.

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