Market Research Online Communities (MROCs): Receive real-time insights straight from your customers

Market Research Online Communities (MROCs) and Advisory Boards help you to stay continuously engaged with customers and prospects. Take advantage of spontaneous, real-time insights from your target audience to inform rapid product, marketing and operational decisions.

By bridging the gap between highly focused qualitative studies, and larger, more structured quantitative studies, communities and advisory boards can explore complex topics over a period of time, answer “last minute” questions before going to market and provide a space for co-creation and innovation exercises.


Our approach: Using projective techniques to elicit “beneath the surface” insights

We employ a variety of qualitative exercises and projective techniques when conducting research via Market Research Online Communities or Advisory Boards. These platforms are excellent sources of detailed insight, but participants must be sufficiently engaged and the groups effectively moderated.

market research online communities - laddering technique

    • Examples of such techniques include laddering, ZMET (Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique) and mind mapping.


    • We use laddering – a technique well-established from psychology – to get to the heart of buyer motivations, decisions and behaviors.


    • We go beyond traditional questioning (“why did you choose/do this?”) to explore the consequences of a product, service or behavior (“why is it good/bad that…?”).


  • The final step is establishing the values which ultimately drive any decision: “Why is that important / what is the impact?”

Activation services: Helping you get the most out of your research investment

Online Focus Groups / MROCs / Advisory Boards
Gather real-time, qualitative market research insights from like-minded respondents taking part in conversations and exercises around a given topic.
social media monitoring
Social Media Monitoring
Actively listening to your target audience across multiple channels to identify what they want, how they behave and what they think of you.
B2B Spotlight
VoxPops / B2B Spotlight
Our video platform offering instant video capture and powerful analytics to understand respondents on a much deeper level and bring results to life.
mobile surveys
Mobile Surveys
Smartphones offer exciting, new possibilities for collecting market research data, particularly in b2b where respondents can be difficult to reach.

What are Market Research Online Communities (MROCs)?

Market Research Online Communities (MROCs) are a relatively new technique for gathering real-time, qualitative market research insights.

They typically consist of a closed network of like-minded respondents taking part in a series of conversations and structured exercises around a given topic.

marketing research online communities - MROCs


How do MROCs work?

Taking inspiration from the success of social networking websites and topic portals, MROCs are founded upon an online community platform that has been custom-designed for research purposes. The community is centred on a series of discussion topics that follow much the same format as any other discussion thread that takes place online.

Online research communities such as MROCs are, however, different from bulletin board or online focus group discussions in that they:

  • Tend to take place over a much longer period of time (usually measured in months and years, rather than days and weeks)
  • Allow respondents to spontaneously contribute their own content on the community topic, whether in the form of discussions, blog entries, video journals or other multimedia. In fact, community members are actively encouraged to interact with other participants as much as possible through sharing custom profiles, status updates and commenting on the submissions of others
  • Are well-suited to gathering ad-hoc ‘quick dip’ insights from the market at relatively short notice. Straw polls and discussion topics can be swiftly asked of the community. This approach is particularly important for clients in fast-moving and technical industry sectors or for any initiative where rapid prototyping and feedback is necessary.
  • Gather more in-depth and reflective insight compared to shorter-term qualitative research techniques. Since conversations take place over the course of many weeks or months, cohorts of business respondents can be gradually guided through complex topics or decision-making dynamics.
Get in touch to find out how you can benefit from Market Research Online Communities (MROCs)
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