Members & Motives

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The Language of the Heart: Introducing Emotive Elicitation

Communispace: Julie Wittes Schlack and Ed Chao

Emotive Elicitation is an advanced methodology that uniquely uses a set of body language images, which serve as neutral and universal stimuli, to elicit emotions. More importantly, the body language images serve as exceptional “ink blots” on which members project their subconscious values and perceptions. In this paper, we share the results of several studies to demonstrate the breadth and depth of insights uncovered through this new methodology. 

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The Uneasy Courtship: How Consumers' Trust in Financial Institutions Is Evolving

Communispace: Manila Austin, Patricia Hankin, Peggy Wyllie, and Michael Jennings

Market indicators, opinion polls, daily firsthand experience, and the research with nearly 3,000 members of 22 financial services online market research communities that we report on in this paper, all confirm that the shifts in Americans’ mindset, priorities, and values that have occurred since the collapse of the U.S. stock market in 2008 are here to stay. Consumers—buffeted and burned by events of the past four years—have settled into a more realistic and sustainable stance of self-reliance, obligation, and ownership. Painful as it’s been, recent history has trained them to abandon the giddy fantasies or, at best, complacency, that helped drive the meltdown, and adopt a more reasoned view of reality.

Years of research results and the hands-on knowledge of financial services community managers corroborate the economic indicators. All the data point to the fact that consumers’ current reality is more modest than it was before the Great Recession, and that they are adjusting their financial behavior to adapt to the “new normal.”

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Character Counts: A Comparison of Mobile and Online Open-Ended Survey Responses

Communispace: Julie Wittes Schlack and Rebecca Mackenzie

In this study, we compared the character counts of members’ responses to ten open-ended questions asked via mobile survey, and ten comparable questions presented via online survey within eight private, online, branded Communispace communities. Additionally, we analyzed the quality of responses from both mobile and online survey methods with respect to how corresponding survey questions were presented.

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Generating Customer Insights from the Global Village

Communispace: Manila Austin, Michael Jennings, Katrina Lerman, and Julie Wittes Schlack

In the past year, social media use grew 25% year over year worldwide. There is a Babel of voices online, and a more pressing need than ever to make meaning out of the noise. And while technology may be the great unifier or the great democratizer, it is not the great homogenizer–at least not yet. It may be that “the world is flat,” but cultural differences remain. In this brief paper, we will share some of what we have learned from a study of 8,416 members of 16 non-U.S. and multinational communities, as well as what we are partnering with our clients to learn through our ongoing research and exploration.

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Hispanic and Latino Participation in Private Online Communities

Communispace: Katrina Lerman and Julie Wittes Schlack

The Hispanic market is one of the most diverse and complex of all consumer demographic groups. At the end of 2007, the Hispanic population in the U.S. was approximately 15% of the total U.S. population. And Hispanic buying power is expected to grow to $1 trillion by 2010. As a result, it is critical that marketers learn more about this diverse and increasingly powerful segment and how best to engage them, both off and online. Read the surprising findings and learn about companies engaging with Hispanics in online environments; what factors affect participation (e.g., primary language, generation, time in U.S.); and how Hispanic participation compares to that of similar English-speaking communities.

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Influence: Exploring Perspective in Private Customer Communities

Communispace: Julie Wittes Schlack and Michael Jennings

As consumers continue to become harder to reach through traditional marketing strategies, debate is brewing about how the influence process really works and what types of individuals can truly impact the behavior of others. In this original research, we expanded the scope of traditional influence theory and looked at influence from both the recipient and source perspectives, and emerged with insights about influence as a process rooted in relationships. Companies seeking to create or leverage word-of-mouth influence among consumers may not be best-served by viral marketing stunts or reliance on bloggers who are deemed to be influential. Rather, they will likely benefit more by creating their own relationships with consumers, and by visibly and selflessly fostering consumers' relationships with one another. 

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The Creative Problem-Solvers: Including the Right Customers in the New Product Development Process

Communispace: Michael Jennings and Julie Wittes Schlack

More and more companies are realizing the benefits of including their customers in the innovation process in order to decrease the staggering failure rate of new products and reduce time to market. To help our clients with this, Communispace offers New Product Development (NPD) communities in which members typical of a client’s customer base are recruited for their creativity/problem-solving skills and once in a community, participate in a structured ideation methodology, uncover unmet needs, enhance existing products and ultimately develop new ones. They are an elite bunch…we call them The Creative Problem-Solvers

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The Price of Indifference: Re-examining the Role of Incentives in Online Communities

Communispace: Katrina Lerman and Julie Wittes Schlack

When thought leaders like Robert Kozinets question the quality and authenticity of insights derived from intentional, incentivized communities, it’s a positive sign that online communities have come of age. When the dust finally settles, practitioners in the field will likely reach the same conclusions articulated by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff in Groundswell, which is that there is no one “true” form of community, but rather various forms of social networks to serve various purposes. Meanwhile, these are healthy and productive discussions to have in both the business and academic communities. 

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Who Are These People?

Communispace: Julie Wittes Schlack and Michael Jennings

Many companies are now integrating the voice of their customer into everything from product and service development to marketing and advertising via online communities. While these communities are generally recruited to be representative of a company’s customer base, the question sometimes remains: Are the people in these communities truly “normal” and representative of our customers? 

This report outlines the methodologies and findings for administration of a short Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI) to 3,223 members of 23 Communispace communities. The research revealed that members across communities do indeed mirror the general population as a whole, with one important difference: Communispace communities attract a disproportionately high representation of individuals who are visionaries, creative thinkers, collaborators, and problem solvers—helping to explain why a properly-recruited private online community can be such a powerful vehicle for facilitating co-innovation.

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What Companies Gain From Listening: The Effect of Community Membership on Members' Attitudes and Behavior in Relation to the Sponsoring Company

Communispace: Katrina Lerman and Manila Austin

Businesses have started to respond to monumental shifts in consumer behavior by focusing efforts on understanding how to treat customers more as partners in dialogues; how to listen to, and engage with, customers. Current research suggests engaged customers are loyal, natural advocates, emotionally attached and committed to a brand/company, and are reciprocally connected to fellow consumers. In this paper, Communispace leverages proprietary data to explore how community membership affects trust and respect of the sponsoring company, willingness to recommend, and intent to purchase. 

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