What is a research community?
Communities are groups of highly targeted people who can provide data and insights over time. Communities are particularly useful as tracking tools for quantitative data (such as prices, capabilities, budget, risk, growth, forecasting, etc), innovation trends, and voice of the customer. Because the community can be accessed at different points in time, controlling for mitigating variables is easier than in, say, a typical consumer survey, where the group of people responding might change significantly over time.
Communities differ from typical surveys in that respondents commit to intermittent participation for a period of time. For instance, if you wanted to track growth in a particular area of the SaaS space, you could configure a community of users and potential users, and do a monthly survey on budget, forecasting, pain points, and spend to these users. The respondents won’t change over time, but their spend and budget will. A community will reflect only this change, ensuring that historical data is accurate and controlled.
Communities applied: Identify the right people, then collect insights over time
Communities require an upfront investment in finding the ideal respondents over time. Unlike consumer surveys, ensuring that your respondents will remain engaged and are also a perfect fit for your respondent criteria is paramount. The data you get will only be as good as the people who give it to you.
Because of this, many enterprises turn to providers who aren’t restricted to a panel. Instead they have an open network. NewtonX uses its AI-powered knowledge graph to find extremely precise matches for your needs. Professionals are then screened to ensure their responses will be valuable and accurate — both now and over time. When done correctly, this can become an extremely powerful resource. You have the exact group you’re targeting, often a very niche population (e.g. the top 200 buyers of media in the US), and with everything staying equal, you can measure only changes that occur over time.
How to use a community: the 3 most compelling use cases
There are three common use cases for communities. In each, watching how a single group evolves is crucial to gaining the necessary insights.
Customer data – Voice of Customer
Tracking the voice of the customer over time is a powerful resource for forecasting and product development. By tracking customer budget, spend, trust in partners (scale of 1-10), and forecasting for the space, you can get ahead of your customers and reduce churn.
This is an increasingly popular and important use case for expert panels. Influencers can consist of, for instance, policymakers and Think Tanks around consumer data privacy. If you’re a tech company, staying ahead of trends and influential decisions is a crucial competitive advantage.
Staying ahead of innovation trends can make or break a company’s relevance. For instance, if you’re a retailer you may want to know what the future of retail over the next 5 years is likely to look like. Will the most relevant technologies be VR, e-commerce personalization, or brick and mortar tech-enabled enhancements? The answers to these questions change over time, so checking in with a consistent group of people on the state of the market is a powerful way to stay abreast of market intelligence.
How to build a community today: Go straight to the source
Whether you want to assess risk, growth, pricing, forecasting, or voice of the customer, and whether you want this assessment to be daily, monthly, quarterly or annually, NewtonX can identify the most precise matches for your needs, and execute surveys on your timeline. Additionally, NewtonX clients can conduct one-on-one consultations with select respondents who give outlier or striking answers. This enables quantitative data collection with qualitative deep-dives into the reasons for the data.
To learn more about how NewtonX helps enterprise clients gain insights and data over time through communities, go to newtonx.com/get-in-touch/ or fill out the form below.