Webinar Q&A: How to Plan and Build a Research Community

We would like to again thank everyone who signed up for our webinar that aired on Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014 at 1PM Eastern titled "How to Plan and Build a Research Community." Close to 450 marketers and market research professionals signed up and over 125 joined us for the live broadcast. There were many questions from our audience that we did not have the opportunity to answer in the end when we ran out of time. Survey Analytics VP of Client Services Esther LaVielle and Product Director/Chief Growth Officer John Johnson took a moment to answer questions we did not have the opportunity to get to. Thanks again to everyone that joined us! If you missed out on this presentation, you can access the replay here.

Q1: How often do you recommend communicating with your community to keep them engaged? 

Esther: This really depends on the type of community you plan to build and the type of community members you have, as well as the type of incentives you want to offer. Generally speaking interacting at least 1/month to 1/quarter is good for any kind of panel, but if you have an enthusiastic panel there may be opportunities to do some quick pulse research projects that can offer huge insights for quick decision-making.

Q2: Quick question is this software I would lease or subscribe to?  Does Survey Analytics have staff to train and run the community board for clients?

Esther: If you purchase a license from Survey Analytics there is no need to download any software to run any research projects. Essentially it is kind of like a subscription and will be tailored to what your research needs are at the time. There is room for flexibility and growth as well. If you are not able to run a DIY community, we do have community development experts who are available to train, build, and maintain a panel on your behalf. This is especially helpful to those who do not have a person in-house who can take responsibility for building and maintaining a panel. The cost of community development experts will be build into your licensing agreement.

Q3: Is output mostly quantitative or are there qualitative output?

Esther: We work with clients who run both qualitative and quantitative studies on the Survey Analytics platform.

Q4: What about panels and length of surveys, time answering of surveys, complexity of surveys (conjoint)? 

Esther: Length, complexity, and over 50 question types for surveys are fully supported in your community management solution. We offer all of the standard tools, security, and setting options commonly seen in this industry to ensure you are able to build, deploy, and analyze your research projects with confidence.

Q5: Do you have customers using system in Canada? The info I have says that all data must be maintained in Canada due to our privacy laws.

Esther: Yes, we do have clients in Canada that use Survey Analytics without any issues with data cloud storage and security. We pride ourselves with the highest security and auditing system to service our list of worldwide clients. Jim Peterson:

Q6: How large are the communities your platform can handle? i.e., how many people?

Esther: 1 to 1 million+. The sky is the limit and up to you to decide how many people you wish to have in your community on our platform.

Q7:  I have used the terms "panel" and "online market research community" to describe research different methodologies. You're using the terms interchangeably. Do you think they are the same or different? What would be the differences if you see any?

Esther: In our presentation we did use the two words interchangeably, however in 2014, we are moving more towards using the word “community” because of what the word stands for. We must note how well it triggers an understanding of building and maintaining more than just stats and respondent IDs. These communities are made up of real people who are willing to give their time to share their opinions with you, and they are very much a needed part of your research. By building and cultivating a fun and interactive community that respondents are happy to be a part of will yield terrific research results.

Q8: I assume you are able to test software products as well. Is that correct? 

Yes, We offer a free evaluation license to test and discover how easy it is to get started on Survey Analytics. For your very own evaluation license please contact our sales department at [email protected] or online at https://surveyanalytics.com/a/showEntry.do?mode=surveyanalytics. Mention that you attended this webinar and you can receive discounts and specials exclusive to attendees if you wish to purchase.

Q9: If i need to do 24 b2b surveys a year--how many panels should I have?  What are your typical response rates for projects? 

Esther: I would gauge the size of your desired panel based on the number of responses and the number of times you talk to the same respondents each year.

Q10: How do you know how big your panel should be? 

Esther: I believe the first thing would be is to gauge how many people do you know right now would be willing to join your community, and determine a good roll-out plan to grow and maintain the community. It’s ok to start out small and grow in phases. Companies that have over 1 million members did not start out with 1 million people. It takes time to properly grow and maintain the community. Growth and maintenance is a continual process while building a successful research community or panel.

Q11: If you could find out how they address privacy requirment/expectations (especially in British Columbia) it would be greatly appreciated. Do you have an example of any Privacy Impact Assessment submitted by an organization? 

Esther: Privacy policies are different among different industries, however, you will be able to publish and share privacy requirements to all members directly in the community site. Survey Analytics will also provide you the details of our security and privacy policy to ensure that your interests and profiling information of your members are kept at the highest security level.

Q12: The majority of community panels seem to be consumer focused - can you give any insight on the differences of managing a B2B community? 

Esther: Yes, we do have B2B communities ran by several clients of ours. We find that these communities are just as active, engaged and vocal about brands and vendor relation. The tone of the interaction may be a little different, but the results of these studies yielded very good response rates vs. buying sample of small business owners. The other major difference I do see is the type of incentives that are offered as well as more personalized follow up from business to business.


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