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    Using Communities to Positively Impact the Bottom Line (Part 1 of 2)

    Mark Hallums

    With resources being squeezed, whether it’s time, money, or human capital, companies are seeking more effective and targeted means to assess and improve upon their return on investment (ROI). Buying judiciously, utilising continuous process improvement, applying efficient allocation techniques, minimising product, brand, and marketing mistakes, and simply doing more with less is what’s driving businesses today.

    Market research is not always top of mind when considering ROI. However, market research can be used to not only enhance a company’s return but also, if done smartly, deliver its own ROI.

    Smart Automation

    Automation plays a significant role in reducing the people, time and expense parameters of market research. Taking something from manual to automated, however, isn’t enough anymore. The industry has moved beyond the notion of researching online as its own means to an end. Today, automation means:

    • Reducing the workload on repetitive tasks as in the populating and sending of survey invitations.
    • Eliminating unnecessary expenses such as running and printing data tables.
    • Speeding up the design and launch process by utilising templates.
    • Accessing qualified respondents on an as-needed basis by forming communities.
    • Reaching those respondents on a variety of platforms, including mobile, ensuring higher participation rates.
    • Empowering non-researchers by giving them the tools to conduct studies, so they are less dependent upon internal MR functions or external MR suppliers.

    Automation is only half the story, however. Making research easier and more accessible must be coupled with effective, efficient, and dynamic DIY tools that adhere to market research standards. Whether qualitative or quantitative, our tools deliver market research, which means almost anyone can create, launch, and analyse a study. And when needed, Toluna staff can step in to assist.

    Respondent Communities

    Respondent communities reduce the time it takes to find the right sample for any given research study, whether qualitative or quantitative. Communities can be comprised of whoever is needed based on the company’s objectives as in:

    • Users
    • Non-users
    • Competitive Users
    • Internal Employees
    • Clients
    • B2C
    • B2B, etc.

    Communities are powerful tools useful for achieving short- and long-term objectives. Almost no limit to the types of studies in which a community can participate exists. From simple screening studies to daily diaries, Toluna communities are up for the task.

    Creating communities might not seem to be a new idea, and it’s not. What has been a game changer in the MR industry is the technology driving those communities. Our connection to the world and each other is unprecedented. It is easier to reach people than ever before. Toluna’s enhanced engagement platforms are designed specifically to encourage frequent participation and connection. We tap into people’s desire to give feedback and opinions and provide them with the opportunity to share their thoughts.

    Part 2 of this two-part series will examine how clever clients have utilised communities in novel ways to achieve ROI and enhance the bottom line.