Online communities

What are online communities

The growth of online communities has revolutionised qualitative research. A market research online community (also known as an MROC) is an online portal for moderated discussion. They normally include themed discussion “threads” aligned to project objectives, but can also include features such as polls, mini-surveys, tasks and activities (including gamification), diaries, blogs & vlogs, mood boards, heat maps and member generated discussions. They are fast, flexible and very cost effective. Our communities can run from a few weeks through to several months – even years.

Our approach is grounded in our commitment to maximising the “insight value” of each participant / contributor. We do this by:

  • Making it fun: the more our participants enjoy taking part, the better quality insight we receive back. We engage with all contributors (unlike some agencies that have policies to moderate every Xth comment).
  • Keeping it familiar: our platform encourages interaction between community members – it feels similar to Facebook, so people feel comfortable and confident about jumping in, opening up and telling us more.
  • Rewarding: we use creative incentives to reward the volume, quality and creativity of responses (e.g. showcasing “comment of the week”).
  • Getting clients involved: our platform allows our clients to log in and view – and to drop in comments to the discussion thread that the moderators can see (but participants cannot).

Not only do clients benefit from richer feedback, but it also helps build brand affinity too. Testaments to this are the petitions posted by members upset when an online community comes to an end!

online comms experience

We have delivered online communities in most sectors – including b2b and consumer, and both public and private sectors. These have included high profile communities for Pets at Home and Money Advice Service.

How an online community helped Pets at Home

We delivered two extended online communities for Pets at Home. Cat Chat and Paws for Thought provided ongoing insight that catered for the insight requirements across the business – especially product sourcing / buying functions.

Discover how online communities can make a difference to your business

How Online Communities helped the GTR Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership

We ran an online forum with respondents from all 10 the Greater Manchester localities to provide localised insight on stop smoking campaigns.

Our Thinking

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Our people

Our people are our business. The Mustard team is an eclectic mix of skilled, passionate researchers and strategists. We’re all in the job to make a difference, and love nothing more than seeing our clients win.