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How Blauw is Gathering Better Customer Insights Using Communities


Blauw Research, a mid-sized market research agency, was at the forefront when insights communities were first being used for market research. In this article we take a closer look at how this changed their way of working. And how it generates more revenue for them and their clients.

The Challenge

At Blauw Research they do all kinds of market research. Some of projects are heavier on the qualitative and others are heavier on the quantitative side. The downside of choosing one of either approach is that you may miss out on valuable insights. A survey doesn’t always help you get to the bottom of things, while a focus group misses validations principles. Because gaining the best possible customer insights is always the goal, Blauw is on a mission to explore new methods.

The Solution

“At Blauw Research we’ve seen an increase in the uptake of community research. We’ve been working with communities for the past 10 years and seen the technology just keeps getting more and more sophisticated.” says Femke Hendriks a seasons community research specialist at Blauw.

“When we first came across CMNTY, we were looking for software that could help us, as researchers, ask questions in different ways and that could handle multi-media (picture/video uploading).”

With her team, Femke takes care of the community platforms from beginning to end. She works with clients to create a strategy, set up the look and feel of our communities, recruit members and make sure member questions are all answered. She is particularly devoted to trying to make it fun for people to participate. And that’s essential for gaining better customer insights.

People Feel Invested in Their Contributions

Blauw wants to give community members tasks that can be both challenging and engaging so that people could feel invested in their contributions. At the same time, they want a platform that was intuitive enough for our community members to feel comfortable and at ease. “The fact that CMNTY Platform had all of these was a big reason why we went with them.”, Femke explains.

Building Close Ties

What Femke likes most about working with communities is that she gets to build close ties with community members. When doing survey-only studies for example, you never really get to know the people who are providing responses. “When I’m running community projects, I personally know each and every member – what they value and how they live – so I can place their opinions in the right context. This is key when advising clients on what to do with customer insights findings”, Femke concludes.

The Results

Better Client Relationship

Communities helps Blauw build better relationships with their clients. In particular through the use of ongoing communities. Blauw uses one community for several projects with the same client. By doing this, learn to really understand the community members and are able to advise the client better. This because they know how customer needs will fit into the context of a community. This reflects on how Blauw gains customer insights. And as a result, many of the client relationships they have feel more like partnerships.

Members Love Communities

Many of the people participating in community research participate in other research as well. “We always hear that they particularly like to be part of the communities because, often, the results are visible pretty quickly. For example when they do a commercial test, they will see the commercial that they have tested on TV pretty quickly after they have just given feedback. That kind of thing encourages members to be more involved with both the community and the brand.”

Better Customer Insights

Community research is now a proven method for the team at Blauw Research. And the most creative way possible to gain better, actionable customer insights.


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