The New (yet Old) Face of Market Research
How about a couple riddles? Riddle 1) What is one of the oldest forms of discourse on the Internet that has remained essentially unchanged in over a decade? And riddle 2) What form of Internet social media has arguably the most power to change any given industry?
The answer to both, of course, is the online forum.
Through every innovation and “next big thing”, forums have remained constant, unwavering, and true to their roots. While forums software has advanced and evolved over the years, amazingly (and unlike many contemporary Internet fads) it has never lost sight of its ultimate purpose… to allow a space for people to discuss, argue, compare, and commiserate about whatever passion they share. Lamenting the latest movie franchise restart? There is a forum for that. Just wild about the latest tablet release? Hop on and join the discussion.
In fact, the simplicity and earnestness of free discussion forums have finally caught the attention of the industries they discuss. Companies are discovering that a wealth of passionate, informed, and inspired conversations about their products have been going on for years, right under their noses. Consumers, by the very act of consuming, are performing market research, and posting their findings on discussion forums free to the public at large.
By listening to the latest discussions on gamer forums software developers can discover glitches or bugs that might never have come up in testing, and read suggestions and concerns that might never have occurred to them. A local supermarket chain can search a relevant forum directory to find what people are saying about the level of customer service in their stores. And any company suffering from bad PR can see what people are really saying about them, as well as perhaps gain insight on what it might take to make it right.
Your passion has always mattered to you, and forums software has always provided you with the means to express it. But now, your voice is more important than ever. Throw in your two cents and see what happens.
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