The holy grail of marketing is delivering the right message, to the right people at the right time. Without relevance marketing initiatives go to waste.
Market research, at its best, talks with consumers about things that are going on in their lives at that point in time. This is advantageous for two reasons. Firstly, for example, exploring consumer confidence the week an interest rate cut is announced leads to more accurate feedback, rather than rely solely on participant recall. Secondly, talking about topical issues or events actually increases engagement level with the research.
Insights communities are ideal for keeping research relevant to participants. The longitudinal nature of communities means that foreseeable events (e.g. Christmas) can be planned for. Furthermore, the flexible nature of communities allows researchers to respond to unexpected, topical issues that arise (think the announcement of the carbon tax).
When planning an online community, think about the timing of your topics, and how to maximise their relevance.