How to Leverage an Insight Community to Deal with Unpredictability

October 9, 2020

Over six months into a global pandemic and the ensuing global recession, corporate budgets have taken a hit. COVID-19 has put many projects on hold, pushing potential research to 2021. There are a lot of unknowns that exist. News about the economy is changing constantly and what is taking place now may be different next week. This poses challenges when starting new research, both in terms of timing and interpreting results.

But firms still need good data to make good decisions. While it may be easy to push research off to save budget, pulling the plug on data to help navigate out of this current environment (and plan for what’s next) could end up costing firms even more in the long run.

An Escalent Insight Community is a private, online platform that establishes a two-way dialogue between brands and customers. It enables fast, continuous insight into a particular business issue and allows members to feel like “part of the team” as they provide their input. With all of the unpredictability right now, Insight Communities give firms the flexibility to pivot research when they need to. Here are just a few examples of how Insight Communities have alleviated some pandemic-related concerns:

  1. Limited Budget: Insight Communities save brands 30% over traditional ad-hoc research approaches. By having a community in place, firms save time throughout the entire research process. What’s more, the financial expenses reduce every time an additional activity is conducted.
  2. Unpredictability of Outside Forces: With community members readily available, we can conduct research in a matter of days as opposed to months. If news breaks and there are major implications that may impact your brand or your customers, we can capture members’ thoughts and reactions immediately and use those findings to improve your business.
  3. Respect for Customer Time: In an Insight Community, recruited members want to provide their opinion. They feel like “advisors” who want to partner with brands and create a two-way dialogue to navigate changing environments. This increased collaboration results in better insights, increased loyalty, and the faster creation of new products and services while mitigating risk.

The key to a successful Insight Community is managing members’ experience and building a relationship with them. With the ability to conduct both quantitative and qualitative research, an Insight Community can be a key asset for any organization across a wide range of research methodologies and schedules. In fact, one client shared with us the following:

“This community is so valuable to us and, with COVID-19, it has demonstrated its worth tenfold.”

So, if you have concerns about how things will play out for the rest of 2020 and into 2021, send us a note to ask us how an Insight Community can help cut through the noise and put your research plan back on schedule.

 

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Steve Welling
Senior Project Director, Financial Services

With over 11 years in market research, Steve is a Senior Project Director overseeing client relationships and the day-to-day management of market research studies within the financial services team of Escalent. He has led research in a variety of areas that include brand awareness, customer experience, segmentation, discrete choice modeling, and concept testing. Steve also has experience with Net Promoter Score, manages online dashboards and oversees multiple online communities. Previously, Steve has worked at PNC Bank and Allstate working on a variety of projects both at a branch and corporate level. He holds a master’s degree in economics from Central Michigan University and a bachelor’s degree in both economics and information technology from Central Michigan University.