Unlocking Creativity Within Insight and Co-creation Communities
The most successful insight and co-creation communities are those that are led by skilled Community Managers - a new breed of research moderators.
We've built and facilitated over a hundred online communities purposed with delivering fresh insight, eureka moments and relationships, and we're constantly impressed by the energy, enthusiasm and creativity extolled by consumers. Not only does the convenience of these methods facilitate better results (than traditional research techniques), it brings out the creative best in people since the rewards and value is a combination of the emotional, social, physical and financial.
We talk to our clients about the merits of 'narrative journeys'; the creation of a beginning, a middle and an end to the story that results in co-created value. Give consumers room to manoeuvre and a multitude of ways in which they can express themselves, and combine this with the ability to continually iterate the exercises and you've got a melting pot of insight and ideas.
The most successful insight and co-creation communities are those that are led by skilled Community Managers - a new breed of research moderators. Community Managers are story tellers, conversationalists and relationship brokers, and they display bags of passion in order to inject enthusiasm and energy into the community. It's a fun and interesting role that many researchers new to the discipline and quickly falling in love with as they really get to 'know' their community as people they are and not just as 'respondents'.
One strategic intent of your insight and co-creation community should be to fish out the top 1%. These can be your leading advocates, the most creative, the most digitally connected etc. Finding them is critical, and this is where we move from research into co-creation. We must drop the argument about bias and representation and look further forward. As researchers we need to be part of the creation process as well as helping clients understand what went before.
Create the right environment within your community and the ideas and insights will flow, rapidly! Build relationships and your community will be engaged and motivated to co-develop new ideas without the need to financially motivate them. Listen carefully, talk clearly and remain open, honest and transparent and you'll do well. Goodbye focus groups, hello future. It's a brave new world we are entering into as researchers, but the future looks bright. Our skills and craft are not lost, they are developing and increasing in relevance.