Why do people join B2B communities?

I have spent the last couple of weeks in Australia as part of my role in Vision Critical University visiting a number of clients, and several of them have, or are in the process of, creating B2B insight communities. One of the great things about this sort of concentrated activity is that it encourages examination of the key issues, and this time that has included the question ‘why do people join online insight communities?’. I think the key point that companies need to remember, when designing, creating and managing insight communities, is that most people only join a B2B community because they think there is something in it for them and/or their organization. Further, they only stay engaged if they believe they are actually gaining a benefit. The benefits from being a member of a B2B community can be summarised as: Special access, including networking with others in the field. Growing the business through learning more Growing the business by shaping the future Reducing costs through learning more Reducing costs by shaping the future A successful community does not need to offer all of these, but it needs to offer something. At the stage the community is created the prospective […]

Think inside out, not outside in

One of the things that marketers, researchers, and administrators are often encouraged to do is to try to see things from the point of view of the insider, for example the customer, the respondent, or the user. Last week I came across a really clear example of the difference of between the insider and outsider view, and the consequences of using the wrong view. On this occasion the example came, perhaps surprisingly, from the world of lingerie. My daughter owns and runs a multi-channel lingerie business and needs to ensure that she addresses search engine optimisation for her website, MishOnline. Whilst we were discussing SEO strategies, she showed me the difference between bras and bra. Evidently, many retailers optimise for the word bras, but optimising for bra attracts many more hits. The Google Trend chart, below, shows these two terms, for the UK, for the 12 months to April 2013, and makes the point very clearly. The difference is outside-in thinking and inside-out thinking. Retailers sell bras, so they think ‘bras’ when they are looking at the web. However, most shoppers are looking to buy or research a bra. This difference between outside in, and inside out, thinking applies in […]

How many ways is mobile being used in Qual?

As mentioned before (here and here), Navin William, Reg Baker, and I are producing a mobile marketing research module for the University of Georgia’s Principles of Marketing Research course. I have bounced some ideas off the readers of this blog, and here is another topic where I’d love to hear your views. Some of the most interesting work, to date, in terms of MMR (mobile market research) has been in the area of qualitative research and this is a key point for students of MMR to be aware of. The key areas of qualitative MMR: My feeling is that the key uses of mobile in qualitative research are: Smartphone Ethnography, recruiting participants to capture slices of the own lives and the lives of people around them to produce ethnographic data and in some cases to engage citizens in mass or auto ethnography. Mobile blogging, where participants use their mobile device (which can be as basic as SMS) to record or comment on some aspect of their lives. This can also include asking the participants to record their own vox pops. Mobile focus groups, where participants can use a mobile device to take part in focus groups. At one extreme this […]

Behavioural Economics is mostly a quant thing

Something strange seems to have happened in the world of market research since the publication of Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow and Daniel Ariely’s Predictably Irrational. Market researchers have recognised that the issues raised by Behavioural Economics (often referred to as BE) are highly relevant to market research and raise questions about some of the ways we have been doing business. However, there seem to be a remarkable number of market researchers who seem to asserting that BE is mostly a qual thing, or that the main implications of BE for market research will be a focusing on qual. Whilst I am a fan of qual for all sorts of purposes, I am of the firm belief that BE is mostly a quant thing. BE is based on controlled experiments, the use of very good quant to highlight what people do and interestingly to contrast that with both classical theories (such as the rational consumer) and with what people say they do. Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational is a good place to look at why BE is mostly quant, as it makes its broader cases by reporting a large number of experiments. For example, Ariely takes two samples of young men, […]