How Can Online Communities Be Utilized for Market Research?

When customer demands are changing with every passing day, every business needs to know what they need, why they need it, and when they need it. There is no secret sauce to reading the minds of the customers and the only way to know what your customers need is to be a part of their discussion by building an online community.

Online communities have grown tremendously as compared to offline communities. It is interesting to note that 38% of organizations operate online-only communities, while 58% of organizations operate online-and-offline communities, while only 4% operate exclusively offline.

Regardless of the size of the business, market research online communities are an integral part of the business strategy. Despite the need, only 74% of large companies are likely to have online communities while only 40% of small companies have an online community.

But building an online community isn’t enough. To know the right answers, you have to ask the right question to the right group of people. The businesses should have systematically curated a set of questions to be able to understand the ‘why’ behind the customers. They need to have feedback from the customers to know whether the product or the service will be accepted in the market or not.

MROC can give you all that and much more. Further in the blog, we will discuss how building an online community platform can be used to market research and what are the benefits of it.

Let’s first start by understanding:

What are Market Research Online Communities?

Built by businesses, Market Research Online Communities (MROC) are groups or closed virtual platforms where companies can gather data from a targeted group of respondents regarding their opinions, preferences, and behaviors related to a product or service.

The MROCs are made up of a selected group of individuals who agree to participate in the community and provide feedback regularly. The participants take part in a series of questions, conversations, and structured exercises around a given topic.

MROCs provide companies with a cost-effective and efficient way to conduct qualitative market research, as they allow researchers to engage with participants in real time and over an extended period of time. In a survey conducted, 75% of the respondents agreed that managing an online community requires less budget and is affordable.

Companies can use MROCs to gain insights into the customer psyche and their preferences, test new products and services, and refine marketing strategies based on the choices made by customers. By analyzing the data collected through online communities, in the form of online forums, surveys, polls, and focus groups, companies can make data-driven decisions and stay ahead of the game.

Difference Between the Panel and Market Research Online Communities

Online market research communities and market research panels are two popular methods for gathering data and insights from a targeted group of individuals. The main difference between the two is that market research panels are typically short-term and involve one-way communication, while online communities are long-term and encourage two-way communication. They can be run for months or even years and can gather insights from the communities over a changing period of time.

Market research panels are generally used for quantitative research methods and are a quick and efficient way to gather data. Online communities, on the other hand, allow for more in-depth discussions and exploration of consumer attitudes, motivations, and behaviors giving qualitative research data. With the help of an online community research company, you can see what’s the best choice for your business. Insights Opinion, as a trusted online community platform builder, can help you build a community that engages with your target audience and offers honest reviews about your product and services.

How Can Building An Online Community Platform be Used for Market Research?

Without the use of an exhaustive market research plan in place, the businesses will not be able to comprehend what goes on in the mind of the customers leading to a lack of a good market strategy. Building a market research online community will help you engage with the customers and the target audience to get real-time insights about their products. Since 27.3% of customers use online communities before making product purchase decisions, it is the best place to start with building your product marketing strategy and understanding what the customer needs.

Here are some of the major benefits of using the online community for market research,

Gives You Real-time Insights

One of the biggest benefits of researching through online communities is the ability to gather insights in real-time from the respondents who engage with each other and with the researchers. This gives you quick feedback and responses to emerging trends or issues. This can help you make informed decisions based on current market trends and consumer preferences.

Provides More in-depth Data

Since all the activity these days is online, online communities provide a platform for ongoing discussions and exploration of consumer attitudes, motivations, and behaviors, leading to more in-depth data. Participants can share their experiences and perspectives on a variety of topics, leading to a better understanding of their preferences, pain points, and motivations.

Gives Room for Targeted Sampling

Since online communities give you opinions and feedback from every customer from every niche, you can filter the reviews and only take in consideration the data from the targeted group of participants, ensuring that the data collected is relevant and representative of the target audience.

MROCs are Cost-effective

If you are looking for market research for your business but do not want to invest heavily then online communities are the most cost-effective market research methods. These online communities can eliminate the need for expensive solutions and can be scaled to different sizes, making them ideal for small and medium-sized businesses.


Online communities can be adapted to different research objectives and can be used for both qualitative and quantitative research methods. This means that businesses can use online communities to gather a variety of data, including consumer feedback on new products, testing of advertising campaigns, and identifying emerging trends in the industry.

Enhances Participant Engagement

Online communities allow everyone to become a respondent with a unified platform to engage with each other and with researchers, leading to increased participation and retention leading to a high response rate.

Offers Long-term Engagement

Since there is no run time for the online communities, they can be established for long-term engagement, providing researchers with ongoing insights and the ability to track changes in consumer behavior over time. Businesses looking forward to understanding the impact of changes in the industry can track consumer behavior and preferences over time.

Online research communities offer numerous benefits to every business, regardless of the size, looking to conduct market research. By leveraging the power of online communities, businesses can gather real-time insights, increase participation rates, and foster engagement with their customers.

how can building an online community platform be used for market research


By engaging with customers online, businesses can reduce the costs associated with conducting research.

Real-time insights

MROCs provide real-time insights from customers regularly to let businesses stay up-to-date on changing trends and preferences.

Enhanced engagement

Businesses can foster a sense of belonging and loyalty among their customers which enhances engagement and participation.

Increased participation

MROCs can increase participation rates compared to traditional market research methods by offering incentives and creating a convenient online platform, businesses can encourage customers to participate in research studies.

We have effectively executed numerous recruitment projects for MROCs. Get in touch with us today to know more about the MROC and build a community for your business.

The Future of Market Research Online Communities

According to the research, the majority of online communities focus on scaling. In nearly three out of five cases, meaning almost 59%, community professionals have the goal of scaling up their existing communities. This clearly means that online communities are here to stay for a long, long time and you should start implementing this into your business with the help of an online community research company.

The future of MROCs is promising, with several trends shaping the industry.

Firstly, everyone loves to keep their world at their fingertips, and businesses will have to ensure that MROC’s are mobile-friendly and responsive so that the participants can engage with the platform on the go.

Secondly, since AI and automation are affecting every aspect of market research, they will also find a way into MROCs. These technologies can automate many of the tasks involved in running a successful MROC, such as survey design, data analysis, and participant selection which in turn can help in reducing costs and increasing efficiency, making MROCs an ideal option for businesses.

Thirdly, data privacy and security will be a top priority for businesses thus, the MROCs will need to ensure data compliance and implement security measures to protect participant data.

Stay on Top of the Customer Market with MROCs

Building an online community platform and having access to a Market Research Online Community (MROC) can make conducting online qualitative or quantitative research much easier. Insights Opinion offers the service of creating an online research community to assist with decision-making. The platforms are designed to leverage the power of communities and integrate them into the research process.

These platforms provide a dynamic member website with various communication methods, allowing for meaningful interaction between organizations and participants. This creates an “end-to-end” community experience. With our vast knowledge and experience, we have effectively executed numerous recruitment projects for MROCs. Get in touch with us today to know more about the MROC.


1. How do online communities benefit market research?

Online communities can provide real-time insights into customer preferences, needs, and behavior. They offer a cost-effective alternative to traditional market research methods and can help businesses stay up-to-date on changing trends and preferences.

2. How are online communities recruited for market research?

Online communities can be recruited through various channels, such as social media, email, or advertising. Businesses can offer incentives, such as rewards or discounts, to encourage participation.

3. What are some best practices for utilizing online communities for market research?

Some best practices for utilizing online communities for market research include engaging with community members regularly, offering incentives for participation, and using a variety of research methods like surveys, focus groups, and interviews.

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Team Insights

January 24, 2023
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