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Getting the most out of Online Bulletin Boards

08 Jun 2023
Five enthusiastic young OBB participants standing against an orange brick wall laughting

Online bulletin boards have changed the game for market researchers, providing a convenient platform to gather insights from a diverse range of participants. Over recent months, FieldworkHub has seen a huge increase in the number of OBB requests from our clients. We have recently worked on OBB projects related to social media usage, luxury lifestyle products and support for charities. In this blog post, we will be exploring some of our key learnings for conducting market research using online bulletin boards, to ensure successful and impactful outcomes. 

1. Select the appropriate platform for hosting your research 

Maintaining participant engagement and motivation throughout the course of an OBB is pivotal to attaining the most valuable insights and we believe that this is intrinsically linked to selecting the right platform to host a study. At FieldworkHub, we have experience collaborating with all major online bulletin board platforms such as Recollective, VisionsLive and Qualzy, to name but a few. We invest considerable time in understanding our clients' research objectives, allowing us to provide informed and impartial guidance on the optimal platform for achieving the desired outcomes. 

2. Carefully consider participant recruitment and screening

To get high-quality data on online bulletin boards, it’s essential to recruit respondents whose profiles accurately match the needs of the research project. Leveraging our extensive knowledge and expertise, we assist our clients in precisely defining their target audience and establishing rigorous screening criteria. Participant safety is very important to us so we take time to explain to everyone how their data will be used as part of the recruitment process, and we always obtain their informed consent. We go the extra mile to select the most appropriate participants, which means the quality of the research findings is enhanced, rendering them more relevant and reliable. 

3. Take advantage of the flexibility offered by OBBs

One of the unique selling points of OBBs is that participants can complete activities when it is convenient for them. When working across multiple time zones, it is vital to make sure the platforms are ‘opened’ and ‘closed’ at the right local times so that respondents have the agreed number of days to complete the study. At FieldworkHub, we ensure that during the recruitment process, the respondents have clear information on the expected time commitment., We find that setting this out clearly in advance leads to more dedicated and insightful contributions. We also recommend ‘buffer’ days, usually over the weekend so that respondents who may have fallen behind during the week can catch-up with any outstanding activities. 

4. Choose the right support mechanism for gaining insights

Some OBBs involve active moderation to probe respondents and seek clarifications but others only require an assistant to ensure that all tasks are completed. At FieldworkHub, we offer both services and can advise on the approach best suited to your project and budget. Our excellent team of local assistants promotes engagement by proactively chasing respondents to make sure that tasks are completed. Our experienced moderators know how to strike the right balance between leading the conversation and letting the participants take the lead. Their expertise creates the ideal setting for productive discussions. 

By incorporating these considerations into online bulletin board research projects, FieldworkHub helps to ensure active participation, encourages open sharing of experiences, and ultimately leads our clients to obtain impactful market research outcomes. 

Get in touch for more information about how FieldworkHub can help you make a success of your next OBB market research project!

FieldworkHub is an agile, knowledgeable market research fieldwork agency providing high-quality focus group recruitment as part of our full range of qualitative and quantitative fieldwork services.
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