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FGI Research Announces Updates to Online Research Community


CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina (July 15, 2010) - Full-service market research firm, FGI Research, has launched updates to its online research community, the FGI SmartPanelTM Community, as part of an overall update to its online community offering. In addition to the qualitative, forum-based discussion and quantitative “quick polls” that form the centerpiece of the original solution, FGI’s online community features a live feed from Twitter to monitor conversations on social media. The updated solution combines social media monitoring with the controlled, customer-driven discussion that has always been the driving force of FGI’s online research community.

Online Communities Drive Deeper Insight
The benefits of online research communities, or market research online communities (MROC), are well-documented. An increasing number of companies use the communities to fill a need that focus groups once did, aided by the comparatively greater flexibility and cost-efficiency of the Internet. Moderators oversee discussion to ensure that topics of interest are addressed. However, the chance for community members to speak freely enables original insights to emerge from the discussion. Online research communities often bring to light ideas that other research methods miss. The result is that businesses capture richer data from the qualitative research they conduct on market research communities.

Social Media Monitoring Captures Unscripted Feedback
Social media monitoring also collects qualitative data but in a different format than the online community. Social media monitoring captures spontaneous online interactions that are not moderated, and hence it harnesses thoughts that consumers might not express as freely under controlled conditions. The social-media approach gives businesses new ways to understand and respond to consumer behavior. Researchers found recently that Twitter is an accurate predictor of box-office profits. The popular micro-blogging site sheds light on other subjects, too –which is why FGI Research chose to include data from Twitter in its market research community solution.

What the Updates Include
The SmartPanelTM community invites consumers to take surveys and participate in forum discussion in exchange for material incentives. The community portal features an online forum, quick surveys, and secure client- and user- access, among other features. The new solution offers the choice of whether to include, on the landing page, a module tracking forum discussion or a feed tracking buzz on popular social media sites. The qualitative data that FGI’s online research community captures enables businesses to refine quantitative studies, contextualize quantitative results, and define fresh business initiatives to better serve customers’ interests.

About FGI Research
FGI Research specializes in providing online panels, online research communities, and full-service market research. For more information about this release, or about the company and its offerings, visit the website ( or contact a representative.

About SmartPanelTM and SmartPanelTM Community
The FGI SmartPanelTM is an interactive online platform that enables users to take surveys, exchange ideas, and connect with other panelists in exchange for cash and prizes. Cash and prizes are delivered via PayPal. SmartPanelTM members are, furthermore, eligible to join the SmartPanelTM Community. To join SmartPanelTM, visit the SmartPanel Gateway.


 market research
 online panel
 online research community
 FGI Research

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