What are communities?

Communities are private online spaces created to bring people together for a specific research purpose, through both qualitative and quantitative engagement. Communities enable brands and companies to access on-tap audiences and interact with consumers in real-time, to help build insights and drive innovation.

What can it deliver?

  • Quick feedback on specific queries from targeted segments of your audience using structured questions and engaging, quantitative surveys
  • Qualitative forums optimised for organic conversation and discovery, where community members can ideate and discuss with the moderator, and with each other
  • In-depth, multi-faceted and iterative feedback, either in a single study or over time
  • Solutions to various business needs: foundational understanding; unmet needs; co-creation and ideation;
  • Path-to-Purchase; online behavioural tracking; product testing; concept analysis and iteration; trend detection and analysis, etc.
  • Adaptable and flexible research – studies of short and long-term effects, ‘quick check’ research, standard size research, deep dives.

Who do I contact?

Josh Keith – UK Public Affairs
Trevor Taylor – UK Loyalty
Elliot Whitehead, Neil Stevenson, Stephen Johnson, Ross Williams – UK Connect
Amy Thomson, Reena Sangar – UK Marketing
Alina Emelyanenko – Ipsos Global

More about communities

Online communities vary in length, number of participants, and range of activities, but they can be classified broadly as follows:

  • Instant – 1-2 weeks, with 15+ participants – looking at a ’point-in-time’
  • Pop-up – 3 weeks – 6 months, 50+ participants – short-term, in-depth exploration
  • Ongoing – 6+ months, 500+ participants, used to inform multiple research objectives over time

Authentic, consumer-led panels, which harness the latest science and technology, as well as human empathy and interaction, can provide a more rounded understanding of consumers.

By creating communities that are interactive and engaging, participants are encouraged to talk with each other, not just the moderator. The resulting collaboration leads to more opportunities for organic discovery, higher response rates and deeper insights.

The addition of behavioural science expertise can optimise both the design of the communities and analysis of the data, for example, by framing survey questions, priming participants with a warm-up to provoke honesty, structuring activities to avoid anchoring effects, mimicking the way our memory stores information to study consumer journeys (asking about meaning first to help consumers remember the context and detail), and many others.

Case studies

Using instant communities to get to the heart of online behaviour for a global pet-food manufacturer

Bringing the consumer voice into a mobile app, quick service restaurant

Targeting participants by layering behavioural modelling on top of community

Testing a new version of mobile app in an innovative way – skincare manufacturer, USA

Creating communications that resonate with physicians – UK pharmaceutical company




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