January 12, 2024

The Need for Custom Communities in 2024

From routine checkups to emergency surgeries, a day in the life of a healthcare professional (HCP) is as busy as one can imagine, even without the substantial amount of time-consuming administrative work. As a result, HCPs often struggle to find time to participate in online surveys, especially when they are studies which demand a heavy time commitment.

To mitigate against this well-known challenge in the industry, we are expert in building custom communities, also called market research online communities (MROCs), to serve as an invaluable tool for engaging respondents and increasing their investment in market research through longitudinal studies.

How do Custom Communities Work?

A custom community is an increasingly popular qualitative research approach which draws inspiration from online discussion threads commonly found on networking websites but specifically customised for research purposes. Moderated by industry experts, these platforms enable asynchronous participation, empowering HCPs to contribute at their convenience, unbound by the constraints of conventional research methods.

Benefits

By creating a dedicated space that accommodates their schedules, custom communities provide a convenient platform for engagement. Through flexible participation and asynchronous interactions, HCPs can contribute insights, share experiences, and offer feedback at their convenience, sidestepping the need for lengthy and rigid tracking studies. Also, this approach fosters genuine and organic responses, steering clear of repetitive or forced reactions. Other benefits include:
Ongoing Research: Maximise the benefits of a pre-qualified panel of HCPs, and experience fast fieldwork launches and speedy results.
Quick Insights: Gather spontaneous and real-time insights from members taking part in conversations and exercises around a given topic.
Expert Monitoring: By partnering with a fieldwork expert, such as m360 Research, you’ll have vigilant moderators with expertise in encouraging your community members to actively share their valuable opinions and expertise.
Personalisation: Benefit from custom website development with branding colours, legal terms and policies, and content features such as daily news, newsletters, announcements, and more.

Custom Communities Versus Traditional Market Research

While custom communities drive high levels of engagement, offering heightened flexibility in research, traditional market research has an advantage in being better able to address complex questions, with the option for more hand-holding. Understanding these distinctions is crucial when choosing the most effective approach for you and your client. The comparative table below compares the two approaches:
Custom Communities
HCP Engagement
Medium – High
Research Flexibility
High
Time Taken for Output
Quick Bursts of Research
Leverage Across Multiple Brands
Very High
Sampling Costs
Medium
Analysis Cost
Low-medium
Ability to Answer Complex Questions
Medium
Traditional Market Research
HCP Engagement
Medium
Research Flexibility
Low
Time Taken for Output
One Long Research Period
Leverage Across Multiple Brands
Low
Sampling Costs
Medium
Analysis Cost
Medium
Ability to Answer Complex Questions
High

Overall Community Process

Step 1: Strategy and Planning
Define your audience and the purpose of your custom community.
Step 2: Configuration
Develop your website, including branding, and legal terms and policies.
Step 3: Launch and Recruitment
Recruitment of HCPs, translation, profiling, and performance tracking.
Step 4: Research Events
Launch online research events throughout the year, and rely on m360 Research’s expertise in project management, scripting, sampling, scheduling, data management, and translations.
Step 5: Reporting
Research events reporting with quarterly community health reporting, replenishment, and recommendations.

Conclusion

Continuously interacting with the same community of dedicated HCPs increases their engagement and commitment to the research. They are more driven to express their opinions, thoughts, and emotions, and provide more honest feedback, which empowers you to make well-informed decisions with confidence. Expertly curated and facilitated, custom communities enable market researchers to delve deeper into your audience’s behaviours, gaining real-time insights, and nurturing meaningful relationships that drive informed decision-making while respecting the demanding schedules of these professionals.

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