Will Web 2.0 Transform Market Research?

Yes — But High Cost Will Mean That Firms With Big Budgets Lead

by Brad Bortner with Ellen Daley, Heidi Lo, Madiha Ashour

Market research online communities (MROCs) will shock the qualitative market research world. They provide cheaper, faster, and newer types of insights that today's traditional qualitative research modes, such as focus groups, don't currently provide. Today, many still confuse MROCs — dedicated online communities for qualitative market research purposes — with other online communities used for social networking or online panels used for quantitative research. Despite the confusion, MROCs are fundamentally changing the cost structure of qualitative research from a variable-cost, per-project basis to a fixed-cost "all you can eat" basis — while supporting research approaches that range from using focus groups, harvesting unmoderated conversations, and conducting ethnographic research. Use the tools that we provide in this document to assess your firm's readiness, and use our quick-start guide to kick off your MROC.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Market Research Online Communities Will Turbocharge Qualitative Research
- When To Use — Or Not Use — An Online Community
- Clients' Success Stories Highlight The Power Of These Communities
- Who Are The Providers/Vendors, And How Do They Differ?

NOTES & RESOURCES
Forrester interviewed 31 vendor and user companies, including BMC Software, Blockbuster, Cisco Systems, Communispace, Cox Enterprises, Critical Mass, David's Bridal, Del Monte, DoubleClick, Fidelity, Global Services, Hilton Hotels, IBM, IHG, JCPenney, Kellogg, KL Communications, Lithium Technologies, LiveWorld, MarketTools, McAffee, Networked Insights, Passenger, Peanut Labs, PluggedIN, Prospero Technologies (prior to acquisition by Mzinga), Southern Company, Sylvan Learning, Time, Upromise, the United States Postal Service (USPS), and VisionCritical.

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