Tamara Barber of Forrester Research recently posted an interesting blog on “Research Panels vs. Research Communities – What’s the difference?” that highlights something we’ve mentioned on the MROC Talk blog before, namely that there is a distinct difference between research panels and market research online communities.
It’s great to hear that other vendors and analysts covering the space are also onboard with the differences, as I think it will mean there is finally some clarification around the terms and ways these two methods are used in the industry…
What I particularly like about Tamara’s post is her mention of the iterative nature of online research communities, and how that makes for a key difference between a research community and a research panel. Research communities allow you to really explore a topic in-depth through numerous iterations around a similar theme. This is one of the biggest benefits of an ongoing research community approach.
If you get a chance, definitely check out the post and comments (particularly Diane Hessan’s insightful comment about focusing on engagement over size). A special “thank you” to Katie Harris for her mention of our blog in the comments.
If you’re interested, you can also check out some of our previous posts on this topic below:
- When does a market research community become a research panel?
- Research communities vs. research panels
- Rethinking qualitative research methods
- Qualitative versus quantitative feedback in online research communities