Solid as a MROC: How text analytics helps to get solid results out of research communities

Istvan Hajnal, Jo Steyaert
iVOX, Belgium
Steven Deketelaere


Companies are increasingly using Online Research Communities (ORCs) to create added value for the company and their customers. ORCs add value in several ways: building brand awareness and image, providing access to the voice of loyal and potential customers, collecting valuable information to organize sales and generating revenue from new and existing customers. With iCOMMUNITY, iVOXTOOLS has already a powerful tool available to allow our clients to setup ORCs very quickly.

Often there is some confusion with other types of online communities. In the literature on this topic, we found the following definition. "An Online Research Community can be defined as a group of people (members) who participate in an online environment to interact with each other and a market researcher for market research purposes. The online environments in which ORCs exist, are based on technology platforms that allow discussions, polls, content uploading (e.g. photos and videos), live chats, email and other functionalities in order to facilitate member-to-researcher and member-to-member interaction" (adapted from Cierpicki, Alexander-Head and Poynter, 2009). Forrester Research has coined the name Market Research Online Communities (MROC) for this type of community (Kennedy and Verard, 2009). An online research community is also known as an Insight Community (IC) (Poynter, 2010).