Web sites fostering this type of community have enjoyed the benefits of organic growth through word-of-mouth referrals. They have seen increases in the quantity and quality of user interaction. These are just the sort of tactics that the market research industry needs to embrace and leverage.
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New York, NY (PRWEB) July 25, 2007
Vindale Research (http://www.vindale.com ) recently launched an updated version of its website designed to better engage its members with new features, offers and market research opportunities.
As the landscape of the Internet continues to undergo rapid change, many businesses continue to find they must continuously adapt to stay ahead of the competition. The first phase of the world wide web has already begun to collect dust as the rules change to define a second version, commonly referred to as 'Web 2.0'. Services launched during the first iteration focused particularly on translating existing offline capabilities to online ones; ad agencies, photo printers, and retailers of all varieties scrambled to make their offerings available and relevant to the online world.
Eventually, business owners started to realize the full potential of the powerful new medium, and their offerings changed accordingly. For example, Britannica Online was edged out by Wikipedia, 'yellow page' directories began to harness user-generated tagging, and personal websites became interactive blogs.
All of these transformations have one thing in common: the formation of community. The users themselves have become assets to their fellow members; they have given one another a reason to remain involved. For example, blogs and message boards have kept members up-to-date with relevant news in a casual fashion that draws readership because it opens the dialog between the author and its many readers. Vindale Research Director John Hrzic stresses "Web sites fostering this type of community have enjoyed the benefits of organic growth through word-of-mouth referrals. They have seen increases in the quantity and quality of user interaction. These are just the sort of tactics that the market research industry needs to embrace and leverage."
Market research is one sector in particular that has failed to leverage these new tools of the web. Users are inadequately involved; they lose interest more quickly than in the past. Though many of these companies operate on the fundamental premise of rewarding their members with cash or prizes for their involvement, that alone is no longer enough to keep users engaged in market research panels for the long-term.
The problem is exacerbated by sparse survey deliveries; panelists lose patience and bounce from one survey web site to the next. The end result is excessive duplication and reduced data quality among market researcher panels. Therefore, it is not surprising that the marketing costs associated with recruiting new panel members are rising as the practices of these businesses continue to lag behind the rest of the online world.
In response, Vindale Research has recently launched a redesigned web site, enhanced with several new features designed specifically to address these concerns. The new service will provide its members with interactive community tools including a blog, interactive member polls, and a refer-a-friend rewards program. Additionally, a steady stream of varied paid surveys, offers, samples, and product evaluations promises to continuously engage members and meet their expectations.
As the inclusion of 'Web 2.0' tactics becomes more widespread, it becomes increasingly important to consider the potential benefits associated with their incorporation. Already, rumblings about 'Web 3.0' -- which is predicted to lean heavily on integration with mobile and global positioning technologies -- are beginning to gather momentum. Businesses that fail to adapt will face greater competition from competitors that engage their members by facilitating their involvement.
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