Have you ever wondered how organizations can unravel actionable insights from their customers in a way and manner that makes a product a ready fit for the market as soon as it is launched or released?

An insight community is the latest evolution in market research. It has eliminated the need for marketing decisions based on emotions and replaced it with something more tangible and reliable insight communities.

Here is the ultimate guide to insight communities, from ways to recruit, engage, and operate your insight communities, and much more.

What Is an Insight Community?

An insight community is a custom-made private research group used to research an array of products and make data-driven decisions over time.

Insight communities can be large or small and last for a few weeks or days and continue indefinitely.  

Insight communities employ advanced technology to gather a wide variety of feedback from members of your target audience, which equips you with data to make intelligent business decisions.

Insight communities are usually made up of a mix of people,  from your loyal customers to your competitor’s clients or a specific group of people within a profession, all in a bid to gather first-hand quality feedback.

Insight communities are also referred to as customer engagement platforms, similar to a WhatsApp group of all your customers or your target audience. These community members or customers interact with your brand and want to directly influence the products or services that are important to them. Their feedback is then used to make strategic decisions that promote the brand positively.

How to Recruit Members to Your Insight Community

Now that we know what an insight community is and its purpose,  the next question that comes to mind is how to recruit members to your insight community effectively.

Here are nine steps to guide your community recruitment process:

Step 1. Craft a Member Experience Statement

This is more like the objective of the community as well as a summary of what being a member of the community entails, the value proposition, and what the customer experience journey would look like.  This would evoke general anticipation and make members eager to do their best.

Step 2. Develop Member Personas

Create member personas targeting the customers you want your products to appeal to. Personas are a prototype of the customer groups you want to reach, and this would help guide your recruitment process and selection.

Step 3. Outline Profile Variables

Outline vital information that would be used to identify your target audience and analyze their responses. This can be achieved by defining the kind of people you want in the insight community, the non-negotiable qualities they must have, and any pre-existing information you might have gathered about them from your customer database.

Step 4. Design A Recruitment Survey

Create a recruitment survey with a maximum of 7 questions based on the profile variables you already defined and focus on providing an engaging onboarding experience for your members. A template survey that can be tweaked to fit your recommendations can be found on Formplus.

When creating your survey recruitment form, here are some steps that would be helpful:

  • A survey introduction page with a summary of your objective and a welcome message. This will be followed by engaging questions, with particular attention to the tone of your brand voice, to get the member’s attention.
  • The recruitment survey should also have to disqualify questions to help you weed out the wrong fit for your group. Clarity on what the community offers and the benefits should also be considered. 
  • You can now finish the recruitment survey with a thank you note, appreciating members’ input.

Step 5. Brainstorm Sources

Explore a variety of sources – from team members to potential community members, to achieve more successful recruitment.

Step 6. Personalize Messaging

Tailor your recruitment invitations to each persona in line with your corporate brand tone. The more personal the message is, the better your chances of evoking your target member’s interest in participating in the community.

Step 7. Soft Launch to Email Lists

Test the waters by emailing a small group of potential recruits to know if they would be willing to come on board, the dates they will join, etc., based on their responses. With this, you can quickly spot recruitment workflow hitches and resolve them efficiently within a minor group, preparing you for the larger target audience. 

Step 8. Acknowledge and Welcome Members

A newsletter acknowledgment and warmly welcoming members is an effective ways to kickstart engagement immediately.

Step 9. Keep the Recruitment Open

Continuous recruitment would ensure consistent engagement with the influx of new members, and a steady stream of new members would help maintain a stable community size.

How to Engage Your Insight Community Members

Consistent engagement is vital to building a motivated and successful insight community. You can sustain a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship with members.

Here are some critical tips for facilitating insight community member engagement:

  • Give members a sense of belonging to a unique purpose that would be amplified by their input. Foster a sense of community by motivating them to participate in sharpening the brands that they love.
  • Create a member hub where members can share insights: Foster conversations and access activities, results, and the latest happenings.
  • Share newsletters with content that can start conversations and engagement.
  • Keep them updated by sharing their opinions’ impact on decisions and results.
  • Encourage members and make them feel like a part of the team by providing insider information they would never get outside the community.
  • Have a members spotlight page where you share information about the community
  • Evaluate members periodically to see if their expectations are being met.
  • Express your gratitude for their time and participation.


 Proven Best Practices for Insight Community Activities

With every organization, there are best practices, and the same applies to insight communities. Here is a guide that would help you maintain the best practices in managing the activities of your insight communities:

Value Authenticity

While a copy-and-paste approach may seem ideal, it is essential to identify what works for your community based on the brand requirement. Avoid a one size fits all approach and tailor your activities to align with your brand.

Adopt Conversational Scales

Design questions like you would use them in a conversation. Use fewer scale points and label them clearly, so everyone understands.

Keep it Simple

Ask simple questions, and diffuse complex ideas into simple, easy-to-understand questions. You can also use open questions as long as it’s not the first on the list.

Be Transparent

Practice transparency by sharing the impact of their decision with the community. Discuss the decisions made based on what has been learned in the community. Acknowledge members’ participation and share exclusive information.

Go Straight To The Point

Keep things short and straightforward. Design your surveys to last for a maximum of 5minutes. Remove gridlocks and complex questions.

Stick to Relevant Topics

Try to stay on track by sticking to activities relevant to the primed expectations of your members.

Use Longitudinal Learning

The better engaged your members are, the more attentive they will be. Plan activities that can span over time focused on pain points, opinion tracking, and a general view of the consumer pulse, and create opportunities for in-depth insight.

Be Creative

Vary your activity schedule to foster members’ engagement with particular attention to topics that resonate with them. This can be done by adopting different methods like videos, photos, forums, etc.

Be Consistent

Tag activities appropriately and make them easily accessible, sharable, and searchable. Listen consistently and learn. Use every interaction to build a relationship with your members.

How to Engage Insight Community Stakeholders

Your stakeholders are essential components of your insight community. Keeping them engaged and connected to your community is vital to the success of your community. Their engagement or active participation means direct and continuous feedback.

Let’s review eight fail-proof steps to facilitate stakeholder engagement:

1. Start Early 

The earlier you involve your stakeholders at the onset of your insight community, the easiest it is to get their input in decision-making, marketing, and every aspect of your community.

2. Ensure Executive Buy-In

Ensure you get their approval before any decision is taken, and encourage them to engage with community members before the final steps are concluded.

3. Set Measures of Success 

Have stakeholders involved in indicators that depict success and share progress reports against the agreed benchmarks?

4. Celebrate and Share your Small Wins

Sharing your wins as they come with your stakeholders would encourage further participation as they can begin to see the impact of their inputs.

5. Access to Insights

Make your hub visible and accessible to stakeholders. Break down data into easily digestible formats and ensure 100% transparency.

6. Have Shared Calendar.

This helps to sync your joint activities and engagement projects. That way, you are all on the same page in real-time, and no one is left behind.   

7. Design an Intake Process

A simple intake form created for free with Formplus would provide an easy way for stakeholders to submit the necessary information to generate insight.

8. Be Available

When your stakeholders meet and discuss project plans and requirements, your availability would help you gain more visibility and enhance innovations speeding up creativity; you have direct access to them to gain their approval quickly.

How to Operationalize and Resource Your Insight Community

Here are some tips for having a seamless operations process for your insight community:

Create a Community Brand Personality

This would increase your member visibility, build credibility, help you attract the right kind of people, and enhance the influence of your community.

Hire a Community Manager

An insight community cannot run on autopilot. Hire a skilled and competent community manager with a growth mindset and proven verifiable track record of managing an insight community successfully.


It is vital to align your message to appeal to your stakeholders. Making actionable data accessible to your team members would increase team participation and collaboration.

Define Roles

Clearly defined roles outline who is responsible or who does what is vital. This way, everyone knows their roles and plays them, and the result is a smooth running of the community.

Create Clear Systems

Various departments power insight communities, sometimes in different locations. A standard system guiding your processes will keep your community fluid and organized.

Develop a Roadmap with Smart Goals

Create an insight road map showing your destination and the intelligent steps you want to adopt to achieve your goals. This also creates a viable tool that your community manager can use as a guideline in achieving business goals.

Celebrate Your Wins

Obvious as this seems, celebrating successes increases the morale of your members and entrenches faith in their work, breeds positivity and continued success.

Increase Your Knowledge

Educational opportunities that can help you broaden your knowledge and increase your effectiveness is the way to go.


 An insight community is the next big step thing in the evolution of market research. The reliance on unverifiable data to make business decisions is now a thing of the past. With insight communities, brands can now rely on a more powerful, testable market research tool called insight communities. 

  • Angela Kayode-Sanni
  • on 9 min read


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