With agile market research on the rise, and a significant trend towards research methodologies that can be used remotely, interest in Online Bulletin Boards (OBBs) has soared in 2020. Read our post about how you can use OBBs to obtain rich insights from your participants and how FieldworkHub can help you integrate them into your market research practice today.
Online bulletin board (OBB) research is a qualitative approach that gathers a virtual assembly of participants and a moderator to gather insights on topics of interest through interactive discussion.
Unlike a focus group, an OBB will typically last for several days, during which time participants are dipping in and out as their schedule permits. It’s a place for participants and moderators to interact and delve deep into various topics of interest over an extended period. Participants are encouraged to elaborate on ideas, comment and express opinions as best they can, and are often invited to include supporting material in the form of media uploads to help illustrate their thoughts; this helps fuel further discussion with the moderator, and within the group if the material is shared. The OBB may start as a group discussion but later split off into more personal one-one-one interactions as it progresses and research evolves.
Activities and participation typically involve:
Bulletin boards are conducted via an online platform and typically include 10-20 participants, though in theory there’s no upper limit. Groups can be composed of those who meet a broad set of demographics, such as consumers aged 18-65 who live in the UK, or can be more specific, such as B2B decision makers aged 25-65 in the financial services sector who use a specific enterprise software application, or parents with children aged 12-15 who purchase teen trousers at least once every three months.
Some clients recruit their participants from existing customer or prospect lists. Alternatively recruitment can be outsourced to a specialist agency such as FieldworkHub which has access to a broader range of potential participants and can screen them to find people who meet the client’s precise requirements.
OBBs empower researchers, executives, developers and brands to make decisions regarding strategy or next phases of research in a rapid and cost-effective manner. Within a few days, clients can obtain initial insights on topics of interest, allowing them to make decisions and tailor their next steps much more quickly than with traditional research methods. There is also more anonymity with participants in an OBB, making it especially useful when discussing more sensitive topics.
Benefits to OBBs:
The last five years have seen a rise in the number of OBB software platforms, which can make the process of choosing which platform to use or license more difficult. Here are some of the most important things to consider when making your selection:
FieldworkHub can support a number of your OBB needs and has the capability to run a qualitative study from start to finish, including:
Get in touch with us today to understand how we can help you with your OBB research needs.