Generating insights from a research community is unlike any other market research methodology. It requires special skills that are quite different to a social media community manager. At MWM2 we have Europe’s best research consultant community managers. In this article we will explain how our consultants work and how they discover the insights that can make a difference to your business.
It starts with understanding your objectives
Before the research community manager can even start an online discussion, they really need to understand their client’s objectives. With this information they can recommend the best methodology to get valuable insights. They need to ensure the questions they ask are crystal clear and straightforward for community members to answer so that contributions are genuinely useful. And they need to communicate with members in a way that is enthusiastic and authentic to encourage as many participants as they can to be involved. It’s a delicate balance of technical research skills and empathy.
From start to lively discussion
Once the online discussion is on its way, the research community manager guides the conversation to ensure it stays focused on the objectives and delivers valuable insights. Sometimes this requires follow up questions and probes, which are typically considered even before the discussion is launched.
So MWM2’s community managers have to be agile without ever losing sight of the client’s objectives. Ultimately, every response or probe is tailored to ensure the individual community member is providing information relevant to the client’s objectives.
Keeping the community members enthusiastic
Community members want to know that their opinion matters, otherwise they lose interest and participation falls. So MWM2 regularly askes a large selection of community members about their motivation and community-experience. Time and again they tell us that they appreciate it being listened to. So, first and foremost our MWM2 community managers are expert and enthusiastic listeners. Alongside this, they are also expert in the creative questions that keep members motivated and generate interesting new perspectives.
From discussion to report with recommendations
Writing reports with actionable recommendations is a one of the important tasks that distinguishes a research community manager from a social media community manager. From the start of the project, the community manager considers their final report. With each member contribution they build a picture of how they might help the client; they look for emerging themes and explore these with members as the discussion progresses. For more complex projects, they will collaborate with other colleagues on analysis to unpack ideas and refine recommendations. And no matter what the project, the client will receive a well-designed report with clear insights and recommendations.
Sharing results with members
The final task of the research community member is often underestimated but is vitally important to maintaining community enthusiasm. That is sharing the results with members – it’s the proof members enjoy, so they know that their time is well spent, and they are making a difference to the client’s business. And even if the findings don’t result in action, we encourage clients to still share the reasons with the members, who are normally fascinated by how businesses make decisions, which in turn keeps them engaged and ready for the next project.