Research Director Lies Vandaele and Research Executive Sofie Vromant together are in charge of online community management for Ipsos in Belgium. In this article they explain how Ipsos uses pop-up communities to find insights quicker than when using traditional methods.
As a leading market research firm, Ipsos Belgium had been steeped in online research using bulletin-board discussions. They saw early on that doing online research was a quick and cost-effective way to gather information from groups of people. But, in a technological landscape that keeps evolving it remains important to stay forward focused.
Going Beyond Bulletin-boards
So, Ipsos wanted to go beyond bulletin-boards and offer research methods that allow for deeper engagement. For example: ideation challenges, private journal activities and gamification.
“We wanted a comprehensive, full-featured solution with many options. This provides longer-term projects with the necessary flexibility to be used across a diverse, European landscape. And we thought pop-up communities are the solution.” says Lies Vandaele.
Advantage Of Online Pop-Up Communities
Communities have many advantages over traditional, qualitative research methods:
- Greater levels of engagement;
- More thinking time for participants, researchers and clients;
- Flexibility to amend discussions throughout fieldwork period;
- Ability to easily add rich media, like videos and photos;
- Provides a more considered and open response, especially around sensitive issues;
- Combines discussion and debate (like groups) with the ability to drill down to understand the individual (like depths);
- Broader geographical coverage.
When Ipsos was comparing different vendors, one of the major benefits was that CMNTY Platform is available in Dutch. The platform is able to support multiple languages in one community. “This was very important for us because, here in Belgium, we speak both Dutch and French.” Sofie explains.
The Partner plan
She continues: “What we like most about doing community research with CMNTY’s Partner plan is the fact that we can easily set up our projects. Now we can start a pop-up communities for just a couple of days. For example, to quickly gather answers on a certain topic.”
When Ipsos is ready for the next phase, they know they can always open the community again to discuss the next topic. This is nice for the members because they know exactly what is expected. They can be efficient about the time that they spend contributing. Of course, this is also beneficial for us and for our clients, since they have a means to gather answers quickly.
Ipsos has continued success with their pop-up communities. It continues to be a strong offering in their services. Sofie explains they recently did a project about hair removal (in intimate places) and got very comprehensive responses:
“The responses were more comprehensive than we could have ever gotten with more traditional face-to-face interviews. We found that the online nature of pop-up communities helps to remove a little bit of the inhibitions you might see in-person. While also creating a safe space for members to feel comfortable sharing and connecting.”