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How Community Can Help Your Enterprise

Market research (MR) is the process of gathering consumer feedback on a company’s products or services. This can be accomplished quantitatively via surveys and polls or qualitatively through interviews and focus groups. Collecting customer data is critical for businesses of all sizes to better understand their target market, their behaviors, motivations, and pain points. Research communities streamline the research process by creating a pool of carefully selected customers that are eager and willing to participate in various MR activities. 

Market research should grow with a company and continue to be a priority at the enterprise level. Here’s a breakdown of what enterprise market research is as well as the benefits of research communities by industry. 

What Is Enterprise Market Research? 

Enterprise market research provides critical information to enterprise leaders about their business landscape. It can tell executives how customers perceive their company, how to best connect with them, and how their company stacks up against its competitors. 

Market research also plays a vital role in new product and service development, launches, and marketing. For many enterprises, market research is a critical component in estimating the sales and profitability of a new product/service. Ultimately, MR can be the difference between making wise decisions that drive a business forward and poor decisions that can damage a business.

While every industry and company will face unique challenges, there are several key areas where major industries can utilize market research to get ahead. Let’s dive in. 

Benefits Of Research Communities By Industry 

Media & Entertainment

The Media and Entertainment industry is continually evolving, becoming faster, more accessible, more customized, and more addicting than ever before. In 2022, people have access to thousands of movies and tv shows through major streaming platforms like Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, Paramount+, and Prime Video, to name a few.

While media/entertainment customer behaviors have been shifting dramatically for decades now thanks to new technology, the pandemic highlighted the need for continuous customer tracking. During COVID, what viewers watched and how they watched it changed almost weekly. Brands had to determine if their customers wanted pandemic-themed movies one week or romantic comedies the next, with precision and accuracy to stay above the fray.

Even as we move past the pandemic, the need for real-time data isn’t gone; if anything, it’s heightened. The Media and Entertainment brands that scale their research and aggregate a consistent stream of customer feedback into an actionable decision-making process will have a leg up. This can be accomplished through online communities, panels, and custom research solutions catered to fit the needs of the Media and Entertainment industry.

CPG & Retail

Consumer packaged goods (CPG) and retail brands have struggled to compete with the corporate giants monopolizing the market on price and distribution channels. As CPG and retail companies try to recover from a decade of stagnant growth combined with a pandemic, a consumer-centric approach has never been more critical. In-store shoppers convert about ten times more than online shoppers, proving that, in the post-COVID era, brick-and-mortar retail is a diamond in the rough. With the proper market research, businesses can discover how to captivate their customers in-store, away from the allure of online shopping.

Virtual customer interviews via online communities bridge the gap between brands and potential customers. Virtual interviews are a qualitative market research method that offers companies the unique opportunity to collect accurate data from their target market using open-ended, discovery-oriented data collection methods. With online interviews, a researcher can explore a respondent’s feedback and thought processes more deeply without the restraints of in-person interviews.

Healthcare/Insurance

As healthcare is essential to society, not much effort has been put into the patient experience on a holistic level. However, the world is changing, and experts predict that patients will continue to have greater choices in their healthcare options, putting pressure on health organizations to adjust to a patient-centric model.

Basic satisfaction surveys only go so far; providers need to ask patients what they think, why they believe it, and act on that knowledge. The gap between patient expectations and their experience must be understood and addressed. Using patient communities, healthcare providers can connect with patients to understand their attitudes, motivations, and experiences. Businesses that give their patients a voice customize their experiences, and optimize their journeys, will be the leaders of the healthcare revolution.

Financial Services

The financial services sector is incredibly competitive because services like taking out a loan, opening investment accounts, and refinancing are now offered by various online lending institutions, not just large banking institutions. Many online-only organizations provide better terms than brick-and-mortar banking conglomerates. So how do financial services firms keep their customers locked in when the internet offers a wide array of options? 

Market research online communities (MROC) are carefully selected groups of customers who agree to participate in online activities and discussions for market research. With this powerful tool, market researchers can conduct quantitative and qualitative methodologies on one platform with discussion boards, diary studies, live chats, focus groups, and observer views. Members of online communities also benefit from having a two-way relationship with a financial services brand; they get to hear from the brand while having their voices heard in return which boosts engagement. Additionally, researchers have an audience they can tap into on-demand and real-time. 

Technology

Tech is advancing rapidly, and new players pop up every day to take further market share. $1.8 trillion is the estimated directed economic output of the U.S. tech industry, representing 9% of the national economy. Constant innovation is critical to success in this sector as customers have an insatiable appetite for new, better, faster, and more convenient products. However, not all technology is suitable for all customers. Each brand must determine where and when to innovate to delight its customers. 

MR via online research communities can produce the insights necessary to drive product growth and manage the customer experience. In-home usage testing, focus groups, and in-depth interviews are vital to innovating the right way. 

Check out our ebook, Driving Customer Centricity with Online Communities to discover the strategies used by insights experts at top brands to deliver on customer-centricity.