Join the research – participant-led open-ended questions

Annelies Verhaeghe and Tom De Ruyck
InSites Consulting

Niels Schillewaert
Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School, InSites Consulting


The latest internet developments have introduced new dynamics among consumers as they allow participation, information sharing, social networking, and user collaboration and creation (Dearstyne 2007; Huang & Behara 2007). Shirky (2008) has stated that new and social media allow people and groups to self-assemble and organise information without the need for much supervised effort. Due to their expressive capabilities and self-synchronisation, informal networks are capable of doing things that formal systems cannot. Similarly, our society relies more than ever on 'we-think', or the power of shared intelligence and peer judgements, to decide what is good (Leadbeater 2008). Due to the collaborative nature of digital technology, enhanced creativity results from how we think together as groups. In this line of thinking, and based on the concepts of the wisdom of crowds (Surowiecki 2004), Kearon (2005, 2008) applies this trend to market research (e.g. concept testing). Based on the technique of predictive markets, he provides evidence for the fact that a diverse crowd outperforms a classic more rigorous sampling approach. Hence, that shared intelligence is useful for market research.