When it comes to online communities, they’ve
been around for a while in the world of market research. They are a valuable, agile
tool in the research space – allowing us to engage with consumers at times and
environments that suit them. Naturally, this has led to the development of
on-going long-term communities, in which consumers sign up to input on specific
topics or brands for an extended period. These long-term communities have
provided brand owners with amazingly powerful insight into the lives of their
consumers, bringing them to the very heart of strategic business decisions.
When developing our own long-term community
offer at MMR, we wanted to create something a bit different for our clients. By
partnering with best in class platform providers, we’re able to blend the power
of technology with our unrivalled sensory branding expertise - all under one
roof and managed by our expert team of researchers who know CPG inside and out.
I’m proud to be the Communities Expert at
MMR and introduce our long-term innovation community offer – immrvators; Consumer
driven co-creation & guidance throughout the entire innovation process, designed
to minimise risk and maximise success. We like to call it the ultimate approach
to flexible, agile and ‘always-on’ consumer research.
The biggest, most flexible asset of a
long-term community is the seamless blend between qualitative and quantitative
approaches, making it totally agile to the needs of your brand. Anything you
can do with ad-hoc research you can do with a community – discussions, surveys,
groups, videos, shopper diaries, product trial - the world is your oyster. With
a planned research program to keep your community engaged, all managed by your
dedicated community leader, the community offers total flexibility - allowing you
to save time and money, as well as ask all those questions you never get the
chance to ask during the normal research process. I’m sure we can all remember a
time when we’ve needed a consumer answer for the 10am board meeting the next
day – with a community, you can have qualitative and quantitative feedback in
your inbox for 9.15am!
Crucially, a community is so much more than
a panel of consumers to call on as and when you need to; it’s about getting
under the skin of consumers, bringing them right to the heart of your business
and getting a head start in any research projects. Working with your community
in-depth, be that creating a specific innovation of a new brand / product, or
on-going to fuel an ever-changing innovation pipe line, a long-term community
is the ideal way to transform the process by creating a true test-and-learn
environment. An online community can provide essential consumer-driven
reassurance, ideal for passing key stage-gates – powerful stuff given the
pressures on cost and time in the current research landscape.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing
more about long-term communities from MMR and how they can help your business,
so if we’ve piqued your interest look out for our next blog from Caroline, our Global
Sensory Solutions Director, on how we put our money where our mouth is and used
a long-term community for our internal MMR Design Thinking Challenge last year.
Want to know more? Get in touch and I’d be
delighted to discuss how MMR can partner with you on your next immrvators adventure!