Association for Survey Computing conference: ‘Collaboration: It’s more fun together’

Imperial College, London, Friday, 19 April

Anouk Willems and Tom De Ruyck

InSites Consulting

Collaboration with co-researchers in communities

There will always be a gap between what a consumer is sharing and how a researcher understands it. This disparity is created by a culture gap, a generation gap and/or an objective knowledge gap. These different gaps make it difficult for a researcher to put things in the right perspective. However, consumers can help us out. By becoming our co-researchers, they complement the researcher’s tasks, and help find more and new insights that would otherwise not have been captured.

Triangulation with co-researchers

The new buzzword in the research industry is collaboration. These days, many consumers are willing to collaborate with brands in Market Research Online Communities (MROCs) or Consumer Consulting Boards. In order for collaborations to be really successful, there must be an equal relationship between all parties and they must consider each other as true partners. In MROCs, we empower members to start their own discussions and enable them to share (un)solicited feedback. However, the roles are still separate: we are the researchers, they are the participants. If we wish to reach any successful level of collaboration, we need to challenge these traditional, distinct roles and examine the convergence of the roles of researcher and participant.