Market researchers work with certain online communities either to conduct studies on a wide range of issues, or as a sample for research on a particular topic. Such groups are usually categorized according to specific parameters or topics, or they may consist of customers who volunteer to work with a company. Working with these communities allows customers to directly provide constructive feedback to companies, helps organizations improve on their services or products according to customers’ comments, ensures savings both on time and costs, and essentially allows efficient, qualitative research

We, at SurveyTabs, enable our clients to access such groups in order to gain extensive insight on the required issues, but it is essential to understand some relevant aspects as follows:

Types of MROCs

Online research communities may be differentiated on the basis of their

Creating an online research forum

One of the key issues researchers should consider while designing a community is deciding on the kind of community it will be. The design can vary on factors such as the time period or validity, invitation criteria, and number of members. The other aspect is that of the overall appearance of the community, which can vary from being extremely company centric to having only certain elements relating to the company such as the branding. Further, researchers have the option of adopting a number of methods to invite participants. They may use customer databases, or place advertisements on different social networking sites, websites or traditional mediums such as newspapers or television channels.

Ethics concerning Online Research Forums

It is imperative that an ethical code of conduct and specific quality control guidelines are adhered to when creating or managing an online research community. One of the most essential issues to deal with is that of privacy and security of the community members, as there is a possibility of compromising on both within this method of research. A way of avoiding the same would be to disable any form of communication between the members, as well as the option of assigning profile pictures.