You already know that market research online communities are becoming increasingly popular in the world of research. It’s pretty easy to see why - they’re fast, cost-efficient and deliver in-depth insights easily by enabling groups of people to voice their opinions in a safe and secure setting. We’ve got a feeling that it’s only a matter of time before the same happens in the healthcare sector.
The key to delivering in-depth insights in market research online communities lies in the tasks your respondents are set. Each task is created to gather insights, opinions and information – and in order to ensure your community is successful, you need to choose your tasks carefully. From using a variety of different formats to keep your participants engaged and encouraging them to think creatively to ensuring they meet the research objectives, read on for our five favourite tasks for healthcare market research online communities...
Blogs are one of the most popular market research online community tasks. They allow participants to create digital diaries of their everyday life including pictures, videos, text and website links, as well as letting them post multiple times. The content gathered can then be outputted into a variety of different formats which means the results can be easily exported to be analysed in-depth.
One of the biggest benefits of using blogs in healthcare market research is that they can provide a real insight into the lives of both patients and HCPs alike. For example, patients can blog about their day-to-day life, in an individual setting or a private online community. When living with their condition, newly diagnosed patients can blog about their experiences leading up to their diagnosis or patients can even blog after an appointment with their consultant to report any improvements they might suggest. Likewise, HCPs can also blog about their day to day experiences and what they need to facilitate the improvement of patient care. HCPs are also able to give researchers an insight into their working lives to help you see things from their perspective.
2) Discussion Forums
Discussion forums are another fantastic task because they enable interactive private discussion among participants/patients, encouraging and enabling them to share their views on a number of topics within a closed community. As with blogging, discussion tasks can be outputted into a number of different formats, helping to ease the headache of analysis.
There are a number of ways discussion forums are beneficial for healthcare market research. Firstly, they enable researchers to get answers to questions that HCPs or patients might not be comfortable discussing in a face-to-face setting. By asking questions that are designed to encourage participants to open up, you can generate an interactive discussion and uncover true thoughts and feelings. Utilising a closed community (accessible just to participants) they may also be encouraged to share more as they understand their opinion will not be published online. As MROCs bring people with shared experiences together, participants often treat discussion forums as a support group and willingly share insights they wouldn’t normally discuss. The same applies for HCPs; in face-to-face settings they are likely to withhold information regarding their hospital or surgery, but if others are talking about similar things, they are much more likely to open up.
3) Idea Generation
Idea generation is used to generate creative ideas and capture feedback from participants to improve existing concepts. It usually consists of two parts: firstly, participants are challenged to submit ideas or concepts around a given theme before being asked to rate the ideas of other participants, resulting in a dynamic leaderboard. By encouraging participants to think in a new way, you can generate new insights and ideas that can then improve existing concepts.
A big benefit of idea generation in healthcare market research is that it allows researchers to see things from the perspective of the patient or HCP who are likely to have a number of ideas and insights that market researchers wouldn’t necessarily think of. It’s also a really handy technique when it comes to testing materials or ad concepts where the opinions of the patients and HCPs are key. For example, you could ask a patient to think back to their diagnosis and think of ways that their journey could have been improved and also get carers involved to generate ideas on how to improve home care.
4) Picture Book
Picture book tasks are a type of task that allow participants to upload a gallery of photos to the MROC to which they can add captions and comments. It’s a great task for when lots of images need to be captured quickly to create rich, image only galleries and can be particularly useful for semiotic studies, scrapbook or collage activities. Not only that, but picture books tasks also support both group and private individual activities in a closed-group environment.
There are a number of different ways to use picture book tasks in healthcare market research online communities. For example you could ask patients to upload photos based on how their condition makes them feel, ask HCPs to upload photos based on how they feel about a certain area they treat in, or even upload photos of communication at GP surgeries or in hospitals about certain areas and topics such as vaccines.
5) Mark up
Mark up tasks are primarily designed for ad and concept testing, allowing the community manager to share images and videos with participants to gain their feedback, thoughts and opinions on different things as well as gauging how certain stimuli make participants feel. During a mark up task, participants are encouraged to drop pins in areas of interest when prompted and provide both emoticon and text-based response explaining their choices. Usually the output of a mark up task is in the form of a heat map or transcripts of text-based answers, with the task being a great way for testing feedback on pharmaceutical ad concepts as well as medical information materials and flyers.
If you have been asked to carry out a market research online community and would like to find out more about the different tasks available and how they can work for you, why not download our Mobile Community Guide today.