The South African Market Research Online Community (MROC) pioneers, Columinate, are still the only company in South Africa to offer the MROC. Their one-of-a-kind expertise in this methodology has been developing steadily for almost five years after running numerous communities across diverse industries. Two recent innovations in this space are Advertising Testing and the Emotional Elicitation Technique.

The MROC is an exciting avenue for qualitative research. It is a private online site with social network features that is designed specifically for research purposes that runs anything from two weeks to several months, with anything from 50 to 1000 respondents. Respondents are invited to take part in discussions and mini-polls, whilst moderators interact with them and moderate respondent feedback.

Columinate ran their first MROC in 2008 for thirteen months with over 1000 respondents. Today, Columinate moves from strength to strength within the MROC space by focusing on making MROC’s more creative and further developing and advancing the methodology: conducting research into this methodology and tracking their clients’ and respondents’ experiences of the MROC’s. MROC’s are perfect for any industry, from financial to pharmaceutical, and even automotive. Columinate have conducted various kinds of research methodologies in the MROC space including employee research, co-creation, concept testing and brand testing, to name but a few.

As part of Columinate’s constant aim to innovate and develop their offerings, they have developed the Advertising Testing methodology as part of the MROC capability and offering. Adverts in the form of storyboards or videos are uploaded into the MROC and respondents are able to view them. After the respondents view the adverts, they take part in the relevant discussions and are able to view the adverts again whenever they need to. In addition, the brand’s image is tracked as part of the Advert Testing, by identifying what perceived qualities the brand has before the advert is viewed and then how the advert changes the perceived qualities of the brand once viewed. The MROC Advert Testing methodology allows for an advertising campaign to be tested at any stage of the creative development of the advert, whether it is in the storyboard phase or after the advert has been launched.

In addition, the MROC Advert Testing methodology also allows for the co-creation of advertising ideas: respondents design marketing and advertising campaigns by giving their thoughts and opinions in terms of what they would like to see a brand is doing.

The Emotion Elicitation technique has been developed to unearth respondents’ emotional states in reaction to stimulus such as a concept or an advert. Understanding and analysing emotions has become a thorny issue in research as it is widely understood that emotional drivers are hard to access and understand in the research space. However, with this new technique, Columinate aim to make consumer emotions more accessible and understandable to both researcher and Client.

Columinate will remain industry leaders in this highly expert methodology because they are the only South African Market Research Company with MROC expertise- the only company that continues to develop methodologies with the client in mind, without any signs of slowing down.