Synergizing Natural & Research Communities


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InSites builds over 100 private online research communities a year for global clients like Heinz, Unilever, Danone, Philips, Vodafone, Heineken, Red Bull and many more.

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  • This is the second day of the conference and probably a lot of you are still a bit tired of yesterday evening. Therefore I thought that it would be a good idea to begin with the conclusions from this study.At the end of this presentation, you will have learnt 3 thingsResearch is about conversationsCreating synergies is the futureAnd participants do not careNow it is clear what we need to remember, let’s have a look at the details...------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------We have There are three things I would like you to remember from thThe world has changed: research is no longer about asking questionIt is about having a conversation:Two methods have helped us with reaching this goalSocial media netnography: observing online conversation: listening approachResearch communities:create conversation: do not only ask your question but also get answers on question you did not askThe other side of the coin: er zijn aan beide methodes ook nadelen Netno: spontaneous onluy, representativity, confidentiality Communities: panel pressureBovendien mogen we een belangrijk aspect niet vergeten: Bij combineren van methods kun je nadelen in voordelen draaien. GDoor netno: geen panel pressure en listeningDoor communities: topic, confidential & representativeSynergieên creëren brengt duidelijk voordelen.Die voordelen moeten echter wel voor alle partijen goed zijn: de klant, de researcher maar ook de participantWat kunnen we voor de respondent doen?Langs ene kant bij netnography hebben we issue van willen ze wel mee doenTen tweede kunnen we misschien ook meer teruggeven. Feedback resultAanpassen van consumer languageHoe kunnen we dit waar maken:Feedback geven van resultaten kan niet in natural community maar je kunt wel mensen recruiteren en dan feedback gevenTen tweede je kunt ook de consumer language studeren en die toepassenDe synergie hebben we getest met danone. Onderzoeksvraag is infant feedingEerst netno: giving answers on questions you did not askTweede community: connection: vertellen hoe het gegaan iHoe was ervaring voor danone: super?Wat vond de onderzoeker ervan?Recruitment via bestaande community: goed voor research – respondent is neutraalGiving back: weingin effect, wel voor de onderzoekerVocabulary: we moeten ons niet echt aanpassensatisfactionIn totaal een goed onderzoek: synergieën werken welResearcher was tevreden met recruitment & input recyclingKlant was tevredenParticipant was tevreden over onderzoek maar onze manipulaties hebben niet gewerktLijkt er op dat alles wat we van plannen om het te verbeteren voor hen niet helptDat brengt ons tot de vraag: what is in it for them? Zijn er nog zaken die we kunnen doen voor respondenten binnen natural & research communitiesDaarom survey eens bij social mediaresearch: they don’t careOther: social crmWe are not talking about observing anymore, not about facilitating maar over joining...En hier natuurlijk zitten we met een aantal zaken
  • I am now working for 5 years in the market research industry. When I started off as a research consultant, it was all about asking questions. Typically the client had a question. This questions was briefed to a research agency. At his turn, the research consulted several consumer or research participatns and based on that information on answer on the question was formulated that was passed back to the client. In the old world, the researcher was a middle man operating between client and consumer. The voice of the customer was heard, but he or she only got the chance to answer on the questions we asked. It was very much a one way relationship where consumers were respondents rather than participants...
  • Research has changed!! We realized that we should engage more in a two way relationship! We should not only involve consumers to answer our questions. We should give them the opportunity to give feedback to us about topics that they find important. A more equal relationship needs to be estabilished. Instead of asking questions...we need to have a conversation.
  • Over the last couple of years, we have developed new methods of having that conversation with our consumer. A first thing we have engaged in is social media netnography. Thanks to the rise of social media, it has never been so easy for consumers to give their opinion on a brand or product. In social media netnography, we observe this user-generated-content. Social Oedia netnography can be compared a little bit with a wild garden. People are free to talk online about whatever they want and we listen to the voice of the customer. As such, we get answers without asking question. But at the same time it can often also means that you get answers on questions you did not askA second methodology are research communities. Research communities can be compared as a garden. In a research communities, a group of consumers can also have online conversationss. However, the discussions are guided by a moderator who posts topics. Those topics do not strictly need to be followed by the participants. They serve more as inspiration to stimulate the discussion. The conversation is different from natural communites because it taking place behind closed walls.
  • Both social media netnography as research communities have proven to be excellent methods for conversation research. They have however also their drawbacks. Because social media netnography only makes use of spontaneous feedback from consuemrs is can not answer all research questions. You are always dependent on the information that is available online. Social media netnography is NOT representative. Only in a small amount of online conversation, we get some profile information. In most cases, we do not know who those people are. Related to this is that we cannot ask them informed consent like in other research methodology. Finally an important notion in research is giving feedback. For example in surveys, we always try to share results with the research participants. When conducting social media netnography, we do not have this best practice to share results. Also ersearch communities have some drawbacks. First of all we need to recruit people who are willing to participate. One of the key conditions for the success of a community is that the participants are engaged in the topic of the reszarch. Finding those people is not always easy. As such we often need to put a lot of panel pressureBecause the participants are involved in the topic, they are often much more knowledgable on the topic of the research than the moderator. As such the community does not always start at the same level. Finally, it is not because you bring a group of people online that they will start interacting. one of the biggest challenges is building the community feeling. When thinking about the shortcomings of both methods, we discovered that the shortcomings from one method, could probably be solved with the other method and visa versa...By combining the two methods, we saw opportunities for synergies!
  • So how would the synergy work. Well in a first step we conduct social media netnography. This phase is followed by a research community. The synergies can be created on different levels- In the netnography, we are listening to what people are spontaneously saying about the topic. The results of the netnography is used as input for the research community. It allows the research to be up to speed at the topic. Researchers and consumers often speak also a different language. By studying natural communities, you can also learn a lot on the consumer vocabulary and use this language in your research community-Moreover we can use the social media netnography for the recruitment of people for the research community. We know that people that talk on the topic on social media are interested in the topic. Moreover they have already been connecting so the social glue is already present. Finally, you can during the recruitment also ask screen on profile information so you know who you are taling toThe synergy also allows us to give feedback from the netnography. The ideal would of course be to give feedback on the social media that you used for the netnography themselves. This is however hard because mostly the results are confidential. If you however recruit people from natural communities into a research community, you can give this feedback behind closed walls.Finally, synergies can be created in finding the answer on the research questions. You first recycle information that is already there in the netnography and after that you fill in the gaps with your research community where also more confidential topics can be discussed. The idea with the synergies was tested in cooperation with Danone. I will give the floor now to carel from danone who will explain what we have done.
  • objectives
  • objectives
  • MethodListening to consumerSomethings unexpected
  • In-depth questioning
  • learning
  • So how did the synergy worked for us?The first thing we wanted to check is if we can use social media for the recruitment of our participants in the research community. Based on the netnography, we had a list of online sources where we knew that mothers were talking about infant feeding. 1 source where there was a lot of buzz was The community owner of was approached and with their help we recruited 80 mothers for our research community. We ensured (via screening) that all mothers sufficiently visited so they were able to have some kind of social bond and a common interest. So how did it go?Well the recruitment through a natural community was much faster than the recruitment via traditional access panels. The speed of recruiting very specific profiles, such as young mums with children of maximum 12 months old, is much faster if one can identify the exact platform where the action is. It took us hardly 10 days to recruit 80 mums while other recruitment channels would at least demand double the time, not even taking into account panel pressure. On top of that, working together with a party like who is very well connected with members of that specific target group enhances participation rates once recruited. People recruited on natural communities are much more engaged in the social corner in comparison with previous communities we ran. They clearly feel easier at home in the communitesOur experiment with showed that natural communities might be a new type of research panels with some specific advantages.
  • How did the participants experienced this process? At the end of the project, we asked them to rate their satisfaction. With a general score of 7,8 out of 10, our synergy got a good rapport. Participating to the research community was satisfying for the mothers. The mothers were also aware that we first observed their posts on for the social media netnography. Not a single community member reacted on the fact that we observed them. While we expected we might get one or the other strong reaction it seemed they were neither critical nor enthusiastic.
  • One of the advantages of the synergy was also that we could share feedback from the netnography. Upon arrival on the reseach communities, we provided the participants with a full overview of the main results from phase 1. The idea was that we would not only use their posts on social media but also give them something back. So what did the mothers think of our approach?Again we found back the same indifferent attitude. Providing a useful summary of the results of our study on a subject of their natural interest was not applauded. It helped as a trigger for the discussion as participants picked in on the content of the topics but the mere act of sharing information itself was not talked about at all. Having the results from the netnography was however beneficial for the researcher. The nethnography helped them also to increase their understanding of infant feeding and increased moderators’ self-confidence. First of all, they were able to write a more complete and comprehensive topic guide. As researchers, one is biased by his own perspective and knowledge when setting up question. The increased knowledge on infant feeding also allowed the moderator to talk on a more equal level with the mothers. In the topic guide, we could address what we already knew and ask for the missing information. As such, the combination of the two methodologies allowed us to collect more in-depth information.
  • A second action we took to make the community a joyful experience for research participants is adapting our communication style to their natural language. The rationale was that we wanted to make consumers feel more at ease in the research community. In order to see if it helped to adapt to adapt to their language, we created two subgroups within the community. For the first group, we used our normal conversations guide. In the second group, we used a conversation guide that was adapted to the language they normally use when speaking about the topic online. You can see an example of a post overhere of an adapted posts where we make use of terms like BF, breast feecdign, ff, formula milk an LO, little oneSo what was the effect?Neither in general satisfaction with the research project, nor in what has been said by the participants, we observed striking differences between our two test cells. We also checked if the adapted communication style was reflected in behavioral measures. We did not find any major differences in the number of posts and the length of the posts, between the two groups within the Danone community.The conclusion is that we can just be ourselves as a researcher/community moderator as either participants do not expect us to connect at their level and/or we have achieved good moderation styles. Of course, one needs to make sure as a moderator that the language is understandable by all the research members but it is not necessary to take over their language.
  • So how would we evaluate our experiment in general.Overall, we were satisfied. Combining nethnography with a research community was clearly beneficial.The researcher was able to create synergies by recruiting research participants from the natural communities. – The client got answers on his (branded and confidential) questions and on questions he did not have to ask. Moreover, the design allowed marketers and researchers to better connect with their consumer, to really ‘feel’ them. With a score of 7,8, it seemed that the participant was satisfied as well!
  • In order to find out we set up a second study. Through a quantitative survey we hoped to learn more baout the consumer perspective.We wanted to find out what consumers expect from companies in terms of social media and user-generated content in general. The study was set up in the UK where we recruited over 500 people through an online access panel. We made sure that our sample existed both out of passive and active contributors on a different set of social media sources like blogs, micro blogs, forums, social networks, video and picture commenting websites and review sites.
  • We presented concept boards on how research agencies may use social media. Each concept stressed different “reasons why” such research is conducted. After seeing these reason why concepts participants rated the attractiveness of each.Again the neutral and thus indifferent attitude was striking. About half of the respondents were neutral on the concepts. 1 third of the participants found the idea attractive. Only 15% thought it was not interesting. The results is in line with what we found in the experiment with the synergies. Hence, our results seem to indicate that consumers do not care. The resistance against combining research and social media is not huge and consistently lower than the appeal
  • As researchers, we only use user-generated-content for observation. We should however look further than pure research. Other departments in companies use social media for other purposes than insights and learningMarketers can join the conversations for branding for example. Online buzz is becoming increasingly more important as a KPI in advertising and communication. CRM departments deal with the unsolicited feedback on social media – social CRM. In so called ‘Social Sales’, sales representatives try to identify potential customers and influence them in their decision making process. We wanted to find out what consumers expect from companies in terms of social media and user-generated content in general. From the 5 ways of joining, we found out that there was 1 thing that consuemrs really found appealing; The number 1 winner in terms of joining the conversation was ‘Social CRM’ or even ‘socially responsible’ CRM.45% of the social media users claimed that if they would express a problem on social media with a product or brand, it would be appealing to them that companies help them out, join their conversation and target them individually. O
  • Consumers want social CRMAs researcher we cannot give them this Taking action in the field of social CRM leads to a paradox and tension for market researchers. On the one hand, ethical guidelines determine researchers cannot engage in marketing related activities. Results should always be reported on an aggregated level and we cannot contact research participants after the research for other purposes unless they gave their consent upfrontSo there are other departments who are in control. Those departements are have to react on the conversations....but it is clear that the consumer does not want them to react on everything...they just want them to join if they solve their problems..They need to join in the rigth way. They can make the consumer happy but they can also join in the wrong way for example by trying to pursuit them to buy something or advertise too much... And if they do so...well the chances are there that consuemrs will start staying away from social media and we will not be able to listen t those conversations. So here comes my question:I seems that we have been to much focused on ourselves. We are creating guidelines for conversation research within our research. However, I think to we should focus more on other industries because what they do on social media can affect consumers and ourselves in a positive and negative way. Therefore, should we not create synergies with them?- We moeten onderscheid behoudentussen research &CRM. Voor research is
  • Synergizing Natural & Research Communities

    1. 1. 3 Conclusions<br />1<br />Research is about conversations <br />2<br />Creating synergies is the future<br />3<br />No need to worry<br />
    2. 2. The world as it used to be<br />Asking question<br />
    3. 3. Research has changed<br />From asking questions...<br /> having a conversation<br />
    4. 4. Conversation research<br />Social media netnography<br />Research community<br />
    5. 5. Creating synergies<br />Research communities<br />Social media netnography<br />Only spontaneous feedback<br />Representativeness<br />Informed consent<br />Giving back<br />Panel pressure<br />Building a community<br />
    6. 6. Social media netnography<br />Research community<br />Recycle and ask<br />Recruitment<br />Giving back<br />Knowledge<br />
    7. 7.
    8. 8. Study 1: exploring<br /> the synergy<br />Talkingabout baby milk<br />
    9. 9. 1<br />Social media netnography<br />English - websites<br />> 100.000 conversations<br />2009-2010<br />
    10. 10. Research community<br />Answer specific questions<br />2<br />
    11. 11. Experience for Danone?<br />New angles<br />Butalso the details<br />Inspiring<br />A l l o w s t e a m i n v o l v e m e n t <br />Consumer vocabulary<br />
    12. 12. Are natural communities the new research panels?<br /> Faster recruitment<br /> Social glue<br />
    13. 13. Participant satisfaction?<br />7,8/10<br />
    14. 14. Giving back<br /><ul><li>Participant does not mind</li></li></ul><li>Speak their language<br />Dear mums,<br />Lots of online chats are about the amount of milk. Some mums share tips and tricks about bf and ff.<br />While some are convinced it’s better to feed on fixed times, other mums are firm believers of feeding<br />on demand (when your LO ‘asks’ for it by for example start crying).<br />What is your opinion on feeding time and duration?<br />Which approach is better for your LO?<br />Thank you,<br />Moderator Anouk<br /> Participant does not mind<br />
    15. 15. WIN<br />WIN<br />WIN<br />
    16. 16. Study 2: WIIIFT?<br />A consumer perspective on how companies should use social media<br />UK - N = 518<br />Social media users (passive & active)<br />Concept test<br />
    17. 17. Using online conversations for research?<br />32%<br />53%<br />15%<br />No need to worry<br />
    18. 18. Social Sales<br />Social CRM<br />Marketing<br />
    19. 19. You express your dissatisfactionwith a product or service on social media. This conversation is picked up by an employee of the company that provides the product or service. This person contacts you to solve your problem.<br />Joining online conversations?<br />45%<br />34%<br />21%<br />
    20. 20. 1 question<br />No need to worry<br />(for us)<br />Others are in control<br />Creating synergies?<br />