Femke Hendriks is a Community Manager at Blauw Research. She oversees all community research projects and also does a fair amount of community management herself.
Blauw Research does all kinds of online and offline market research. Some projects are heavier on the qualitative and others are heavier on the quantitative.
When talking to clients and assessing their needs, Blauw usually tells them that community research is somewhat of a hybrid quant/qual methodology, or
qualitative research with a quantitative twist. That calls for tools that allow methods to be mixed, and that is where CMNTY comes in.
Femke explains: "Recently, we’ve been seeing an increase in the uptake of community research or MROC requests. We’ve been working with communities for the past 10 years and we’ve gotten to see that the technology just keeps getting more and more sophisticated. This increased the need for a hybrid software solution"
From day one CMNTY has been a tool to collect visually rich data, but after a couple of years we decided to add a survey tool to allow combining stories with solid data. "When we first came across CMNTY, we were looking for software that could help us, as researchers, ask questions in different ways and that could handle multi-media (picture/video uploading). We wanted tasks that could be both challenging and engaging so that people could feel invested in their contributions. At the same time, we wanted a platform that was intuitive enough for our community members to feel comfortable and at ease. The fact that CMNTY Platform had all of these was a big reason why we went with them."
Working with communities allows you to build relationships with your members. Something that is not always possible when using more traditional research methods.
Femke explains: "When we do survey-only studies, for example, you never really get to know the people who are providing responses. When I’m running community projects, I personally know each and every member – what they value and how they live – so I can place their opinions in the right context. Communities also help us build relationships with our clients."
A recent successful example of a community by Blauw is Denk Mee met de ANWB - a community of customers of the biggest motorist and travellers organisation of The Netherlands, ANWB.