Vision Critical Introduction for Universal UK - December 2016


Thank you

Thank you again for taking the time to learn more our offering here at Vision Critical! This document contains a brief overview of how we currently support your colleagues at NBC Universal and provides a broader introduction into our business.

We hope you enjoy the content enclosed, here you will discover visual examples of our platform, industry case studies and an overview of the strategic services we offer.

Please do feel free to share this with your colleagues at Universal UK and please let us know if you have any questions?

Best Wishes, Vision Critical Team, London

People Matter: Introducing THE Vision Critical Team, supportING your business

Introducing your Vision Critical Team

People Matter - Our Waterloo Office has a wealth of Research and Technology experience, supporting over 60 clients in the UK alone. With a strong team of 45 staff in we work closely with our clients on an ongoing basis to ensure they gain the maximum benefit from their community investment.

Universal UK Support Team - Introducing your team, managing the Community from planning, through to launch, and beyond:

Kirsty joined Vision Critical 18 months ago as a Client Service Manager with vast experience in community-driven insight. Today Kirsty closely supports our sales function to ensure that we are creating tailored community solutions that fully meet the needs of our clients. Her involvement creates a bridge between Sales and Services, to ensure the scoped solution is implemented effectively by client services team through to delivery.
Katie joined Vision Critical in 2008 and has worked with a number of key media, retail and consumer packaged goods clients in the UK, and as Client Service Director, leads the UK Client Success Team. Katie has a diverse background in both software and the creative arts, recently completing a certificate in Product Management, and having previously worked as a Curator for arts organizations in Canada and Australia. She holds a BA in Cultural Studies and an MA in Art History (Curatorial Studies) from the University of British Columbia.
Eric has 8 years of experience in Market Research, focusing on project and community management. Eric today works across our retail, financial, media and entertainment sectors, to help brands engage with their customers and expand their communities. Eric would be Universal UK's day to day contact.

SECTION 1 - MUTUAL MILESTONES TO launching an insight community

Mutual Milestones

In order to get a Universal UK community operational, there are several areas that we will need to review, from building & branding through to recruitment and engagement. During the next steps of your review, we would welcome the opportunity to run a 'mini workshop' with your team to further scope in depth the steps below.

Step 1 - The Vision Critical Design team will create a branded Universal UK Community Portal, this portal will be hosted by Vision Critical on our infrastructure. Here community members will be able to log in and conduct various visual surveys, or join moderated discussions as outlined in this proposal.

Step 2 - Vision Critical will recruit into the community, our suggested primary resource for recruitment is via Universal Music's proprietary CRM. As a further option, Vision Critical can look to work with a data partner, should any third-party 'Voice of Market' data be required (costs available upon request). Developing an ongoing recruitment plan is fundamental to ensuring the community remains both representative and thriving. Naturally over time you will experience churn in the community, we do however see an average of 40% response rates in communities where the engagement is varied and recruitment is well managed.

Step 3 - Vision Critical will send an email invite to select Universal customers asking them to conduct a short profiling questionnaire. We recommend not overburdening members during this initial recruitment phases, this process will help segment and distribute members within the community. As part of our Community Management program we will monitor this distribution on an ongoing basis.

Step 4 - Your Vision Critical team will manage the ongoing recruitment process working closely with the local Universal team. We will monitor closely participation rates across your various segments and ensure that the community remains fully representative by developing a number of ongoing recruitment strategies. Further details of how this is generally achieved can be found in Section 3.

Step 5 - Community Roadmap: The Vision Critical team will work closely with Universal Music to create a Community Roadmap that outlines the first 3, 6, 9 & 12 months of our partnership. It is important to plan strategic insight activities prior to launching, so that your community gets off to a flying start and continues to grow and thrive. Ensuring our team are closely aligned to your business and customer insight objectives during 2017 is vital.

Step 6 - Within our Sparq platform the Universal team will be able to conduct unlimited qualitative & quantitative research via a number of visually engaging tools such as Surveys, Discussions & Mobile Video capabilities found in Section 4. Should resource be an issue, your Vision Critical team can provide a full service engagement managing the entire research process from brief through to reporting.

Step 7 - Stakeholder Reporting:- As part of our Community Management Program we will work with the Universal Music team to create tailored stakeholder reports, including Community Stories, as outlined in Section 5. Our Sparq platform provides real-time reporting and can overlay data from any data source (such as the Universal CRM). One key USP is our 'Relationship Memory' capabilities, which can personalise questions based on a member's previous responses.


Valued Existing Partnership

Vision Critical are incredibly proud to work with NBC Universal & Fandango Inc. To join this community and test the member experience we can offer, please visit:

Our team work with the Market Research & Marketing departments at XXXX and our primary contact is XXXX. The community is currently xxxx

Project Examples to go here.


Vision Critical - Community Management Program

Community Management

Universal's dedicated Customer Success team will manage the health of the community, follow best practices, and provide you with regular visibility into the relative health of your community. Your Customer Success team will also ensure that the community is well maintained and properly reflects the Universal brand promise to its subscribers. We will also work to reinforce best practices when it comes to member engagement. Your Customer Success team will hold monthly status meetings with you and provide monthly health snapshots, giving a high level view of participation rates, study completion rates, and best practice suggestions observed from the past month’s studies.

Some of the elements that we look at are the following. Each review sets clear goals for the upcoming period;

• Response rates – Our goal is to maintain 40-50% response rates.

• Community distribution – Does the current distribution of the Universal community meet the activity needs? Do we need to re-recruit members?

• Community size – Is the current size appropriate or is it leading to ineffective use of community members?

• Member expectations – Are members getting what they were promised?

• Profiling data – Does any profile data need updating?

The engagement strategy, community health, and day-to-day management of this key will be the sole responsibility of your dedicated Customer Success Team – a VP, Director and Manager. This dedicated team will develop a strategy during set-up and will ensure that best practices are followed, and keep the community healthy and engaged.

Vision Critical is in the business of understanding what motivators are necessary for ongoing community participation. We typically see overall engagement rates of 70-80% in our communities, with response rates to surveys averaging around 40-50% globally. This is clear proof that our philosophies and best practices work.

So how do we engage members? And how will this strengthen each member’s relationship with the Universal brand?

There are universal elements of engagement we recognize within our philosophy to ensure intimacy, regardless of the size of a community. But beyond that it’s about Universal customers having a voice within the organization. From the members' perspective, we invite them to be a SPECIAL ADVISOR to the brand.

Important elements of the engagement strategy:

  • Building transparent and authentic connections
  • Setting expectations for participation and amount of contact
  • Branding to heighten engagement
  • Rewarding members both extrinsically and intrinsically
  • Inviting members to relevant conversations
  • Share back and give members access to Universal UK decision making process and challenges, in ways typically not shared in traditional Market Research;
  • Communicate in an open, straightforward and authentic way with members about the purpose of the community as well as individual projects
  • Introduce Universal UK team members and Vision Critical moderators as real people;
  • Interact directly when we run exploratory activities
  • Answer member’s questions directly as they arise
  • Profile and recognize members by posting quotes, photos and interesting ideas
  • Offer behind the scenes access and sneak peeks that are relevant to members

Engagement exercises we will utilize:

  • Branded Member Experience and Portal Hub: we will help to develop a specific, Universal UK-branded member experience including a personalized member facing dashboard and experience. The portal will be updated regularly with relevant and up-to-date information.
  • E-Newsletters: we will assist Universal in publishing and deploying monthly or quarterly newsletters as a mechanism of feeding back information to members and closing the feedback loop. The content of the newsletter will be tailored and provided by Audible. We suggest you share high-level research findings, decisions that have been made based on the members insights, exclusive information or announcements.
  • Member of the Month: invite a specific member to answer a short list of specific questions that would be shared in the portal or newsletter.
  • Quarterly Persona Builder Studies: on a quarterly basis we will suggest that we deploy a survey activity to all members of the community on a specific lifestyle/behavioral topic such as media consumption, social media, shopping, family. This will be positioned to members as a “getting to know you better” type of activity and will give you the opportunity to more deeply understand members. You will receive an infographic that summarizes the findings to share with stakeholders.
  • Mini Monthlies: Surveys that have nothing to do with research and everything to do with fostering a sense of community and membership. We invite members to conduct studies that may be topical or seasonal in nature. As an example, summer festivals and vacations. These serve as great input for those newsletters where you may not have feedback that can be shared on some of the market research that was done in that time period. Your CS team will deploy these on your behalf, with your permission.
  • Member Satisfaction Study: on a bi-annual basis we will encourage a satisfaction study be sent to members to get their feedback on their experience of being a member, what they like, don’t like, and what can be improved. We will provide a templated study as we benchmark the scores against our 750+ other programs. We will then discuss feedback and make improvements where necessary.


The proof is in the pudding! Our team have put together a couple of brief tailored videos to give you a good feel of both the member and user experience of our Sparq platform.

Vision Critical's Developed Enterprise Technology


Our approach is designed to help companies get to know the people behind the data. And the stories behind those people. To provide the insight you need to feel confident in making major decisions. And to do it on a platform that can scale. That is secure. That is engaging for you and your customers.
Private Customer Communities: With Sparq, you can engage your customers in a private, secure online community to test and share ideas and the progressive profiling capabilities of the platform allow you to get to know your customers.
Our Member Engagement capabilities and experiences enable administrators and members to interact in exciting new ways, regardless of the device they’re using. With our new mobile app, Engage by Vision Critical, you can quickly engage with your community when it matters most. The app supports iBeacon and geolocation technology, allowing you to connect with community members based on their location and unlocks opportunities to get in-the-moment feedback from your customers when the activity is most relevant to them.
Drawing on our 15 years of proven experience in marketing research, the tools and templates in the Sparq platform are now infused with industry-leading best practices designed to help you get a fuller, deeper understanding of your customers. The new capabilities help to streamline processes and make it easier for you to search, analyze, create, and share comprehensive stories about the insights you generate with your community.
We know that keeping proprietary data safe and maintaining customer privacy is important to you. Vision Critical completes annual independent audits receiving SOC2 reports and implement comprehensive security mechanisms, so you can feel confident in knowing that your organization’s data and your customers’ personal information are always protected with our industry standard, enterprise-grade software. Our cloud based software gives you the scale and flexibility required to support ongoing, global insight and delivers automatic updates that ensure the platform is always up to date. Compliant and secure: You can feel confident knowing that your organization’s data and your customers’ personal information are always protected with our industry standard, enterprise-grade software.


Activity Creation –Intuitive authoring experience designed for easier and faster community engagement, easy to use interface that makes creating studies fast and effective.
Quickly add question text with question routing and weighting capabilities. Vision Critical offers a number of visual question types, you are able to adapt and change the layout of your questions and the format of your survey with ease.


During the setup process Vision Critical will create a number of survey skins that match the overall look and feel of your community environment. Our clients are able to make changes and adapt the look and feel of superficial design aspects of the survey directly. As a next step during a live demonstration we would be happy to walk you through this process.


Vision Critical providing powerful segmentation tools that allow you to quickly select members to participate in various research activities. Selection of members can be based on profile data or historical responses.



Example of a Text Based Discussion Forum

The community will also support discussion forums for more qualitative, exploratory exercises. These can be targeted at members with a particular profile, or at those who responded to a survey in a particular way. Structured forums normally run for a short period of time (typically one week; focused on answering a specific business need); and involve between 25 and 50 unique posters. Tasks can include communications / product feedback, storytelling, uploading photos or responding to streamed media such as advertising.

  • Members can either talk directly to the moderator marking the post as private or can talk to each other
  • Members are able to create there own threads/posts or Universal can replace a restriction on allowing members to do so.
  • Members can 'agree' or 'disagree' (you can remove disagree to keep harmony :))
  • Video and Images can be directly uploaded into the Discussion forum by either the moderator or the members at any time.



Sparq features an array of tools and templates designed by leading industry experts and infused with the science of market research. All survey modes and question types are driven by fundamental interaction design principles. The interactive and engaging nature of the activities capitalize on one of the fundamental advantages of being online— a user-friendly experience that doesn’t interrupt, but can engage the consumer. The platform features a wide range of visual question types that make surveys more enjoyable and interactive for members. The survey experience is entirely mobile optimized for smart phones and tablets.

Just a few further examples of Visual Question Activities created directly in Sparq.
Just a few further examples of Visual Question Activities created directly in Sparq.
Just a few further examples of Visual Question Activities created directly in Sparq.


Single question quick polls are available in our platform and a fun and quick way to engage with members in your community portal. Often our clients will create a new fun topic each week, such as favorite film genre, of preferred way to consume media. Results are instantly displayed online and included as feedback ('did you know' messages) in email invitations to research activities.



Detects the screen size of device (iPad, iPhone, Android)

All surveys and qualitative discussions can be automatically optimised for smartphone or tablet completion. The platform automatically detects the user’s device and serves an optimised version of the survey or forum experience. Members are not required to download an app – everything is browser-based - so the experience is entirely seamless


Our Mobile App Icon

Member facing mobile app that allows members to respond to any Sparq survey they are invited to. Push notifications will alert member to new surveys, if they are deployed using the new mobile communication type. Surveys that are deployed using the email communication type will show up in the app, but the user won’t receive a notification on their device.

  • An engaging member experience across all screens
  • Increased mobile response rates
  • Anywhere, anytime access to members
  • Access to app based capabilities that aren’t available via traditional mobile surveys
  • Ability for administrators to target members while an experience is fresh in their minds



Enterprise Reporting Tools

Our real-time reporting and analytics tools will help Universal inspire, empower and activate stakeholders with the insight they need to make better decisions faster. From seamless data integration to one-click data export, analysis tools and more, our platform delivers shareable insight and ideas that will resonate with colleagues and business leaders across your company.

Sparq features a robust reporting interface that makes it easy to handle your reporting needs:

  • Build datasets from multiple studies and create an unlimited number of reports quickly and easily
  • Instantly build topline reports
  • Rename questions and re-label row and column headers without touching the original study
  • Create crosstabs and merge and append rows and columns inline
  • Apply Significance Tests
  • Add weighting for statistical relevance
  • Create heatmaps
  • Quickly publish reports to the web
  • Export to Excel, CSV or SPSS


Longitudinal and Progressive Learnings: The “stories” feature enables you to get maximum value from the insights and intelligence you’ve captured from members over time by tapping into past data your community has collected to answer a targeted business question. You are able to create an intelligent and cohesive research report, annotated with your collective understandings in order to present your findings back to your stakeholders.

An example of the first process of creating a story, setting a title and outlining the story objectives.

The Stories feature enables you to get maximum value from the collective wisdom of your customer. It enables you to answer targeted business questions using all of the Insight your community has collected and any integrated data sources . This enables you to not only create a comprehensive data view of your problem, it also ensures that you do not ask the same questions that you have already asked members! This level of intelligence and engagement we call Relationship Memory

Screenshot of our Stories Reporting application and the ability to annotate stories.

Stories allows you to tap into current and past insights from across the enterprise, and bring in the relevant data points from these studies in order to create an intelligent and cohesive research report, annotated with your collective understandings in order to present your findings back to your Universal UK stakeholders. Searching your community database for past intelligence you can quickly find historical data points and add them to your story through the click of a mouse. Include quantitative reports in visual or table format, add heat maps to visualize your findings, annotate directly in the report to create a compelling higher-level narrative including your challenges and recommendations, share the Story with your colleagues to collaborate on the findings, allowing them to add their thoughts. Finally, share the completed story with your end stakeholders through a secure link.


Integration with other partners

Providing publicly accessible API endpoints for adding and updating Profile Variable’s and related Member Data in Sparq. As we aim to make Vision Critical the connective tissue for customer intelligence across the enterprise, we have built a platform that is rooted in an API architecture. This allows us to provide our clients direct access to data, and lets us be built us in as a core integration for their ecosystems and workflows.

  • Read (Get)/Write (Post) to Member Panelist Data
  • Supports workflows to read new member and updates to member data
  • Post new members and update member data from an external system
  • Read (Get)/Write (Post) to Profile Variables definitions
  • Supports mapping changes to your profile definitions from external systems (and vice versa)

Our first release of APIs focuses on Member and Profile data, our API library will continue to grow and made available as our team builds and documents them.

Vision Critical offers a number of integration methods and can trigger various interactions/actions from and to our platform.



Vision Critical are proud to support SoundCloud who have developed the 'Open Mic' Community; a community dedicated to SoundCloud users and music & audio lovers, helping to make the SoundCloud platform even better.

Powered by Vision Critical

As a member of the Spotify Soundwave Community, members can take part in co-creation, surveys, discussions and feedback sessions that will help change the way Spotify are going, helping shape the future of Spotify.

Powered by Vision Critical
Proud to support a business that changing the world through digital experiences.
An overview of how Adobe utilize their Vision Critical Insight Community can be found above. A further case study can also be found on our website.
Video available on the Vision Critical website.
Warner Music Community
Supporting Microsoft across a number of different business units.
Demonstrating how the Community has provided significant cost saving around research.
Through ongoing Co-Creation with members Microsoft was able to ensure the Windows 10 launch was going to be a huge success.

thank you, we hope you enjoyed the introduction.

Created By
Mark Dunster


Created with images by annca - "popcorn cinema ticket" • Magnascan - "mother board electronics computer"

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