Industry Forum

Gather and examine user discussions to understand experiences and opinions related to specific products, services, or industry trends.

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Industry Forum

An industry forum, often referred to as a forum comment analysis, is a qualitative research method used to gather insights from discussions within online platforms dedicated to specific topics. This method involves identifying and analysing conversations in forums such as Reddit, Quora, or niche community sites where users discuss their experiences, frustrations, and interests related to products, services, or broader industry trends. Engaging with industry forums helps businesses understand the underlying motivations of their target audience and validate the desirability of their products or services by tapping into unfiltered user feedback.

Detailed Discussion

Difficulty/Ease: 7/10
Industry forums requires a strategic approach to identify relevant conversations and extract meaningful data. The challenge lies in sifting through vast amounts of unstructured information and distinguishing valuable insights from general commentary.

Time Taken: 5/10
The time commitment for engaging with industry forums can vary significantly. It involves an ongoing process of monitoring and analysing discussions, which can be time-intensive but is important for keeping up-to-date with consumer sentiments and industry trends.

Evidence Level: 5/10
The strength of evidence gathered from industry forums is moderately high as it provides direct user opinions and experiences. However, the whilst buyers may indicate they might buy a potential service or product they have not made a commitment.

Metrics for the Industry Forum

Evidence Metrics:

  • Jobs to be Done Ranking: This evaluates how well a product or service meets users’ needs as expressed in their discussions.
  • Needs, Wants, Desires, Pains Ranking: This tool identifies and ranks the most frequently mentioned user needs and pain points.
  • Quotes & Stories: Collects direct quotes and anecdotal evidence that illustrate user experiences and attitudes.


Desirability Industry forums are excellent for validating a product or service’s desirability. They reveal products’ real-world applications and shortcomings as discussed by actual users, providing insights into what features are most appreciated or what gaps need filling.


  • Identify Relevant Forums: Research and select forums that align closely with your industry or product niche.
  • Develop Search Parameters: Create a list of keywords and phrases related to your product to help navigate discussions.
  • Set Monitoring Intervals: Decide how frequently you will check the forums for new posts and discussions to keep the information current.
  • Analyse and Document Insights: Plan how you will record and analyse the information gathered from the forums.
  • Engage When Appropriate: Prepare to interact with the forum if clarification or further information is needed from the participants.

What Should I Use Industry Forum for?

Industry forums should be used when you need ongoing, real-time insights into how your target market perceives and interacts with products in your industry. They are handy for tracking evolving trends and consumer sentiments that might not be captured through traditional market research methods.


  • Trend Analysis: Identify emerging trends or shifts in consumer attitudes and preferences.
  • Consumer Sentiment Analysis: Gauge overall sentiment towards a product, brand, or service.
  • Innovation Opportunities: Spot unmet needs and potential areas for innovation based on user discussions.

Tools That Can Be Used

  • Social Listening Tools: Tools like Brandwatch or Hootsuite are used to monitor and analyse online conversations.
  • Content Aggregation Tools: Use Feedly or Google Alerts to keep track of new posts across multiple forums.
  • Data Analysis Software: Utilise qualitative data analysis tools like NVivo to manage and analyse large datasets from forums.

Examples of Companies That Use This Method

Logitech: Used forum insights to understand user feedback on device compatibility issues, leading to product adjustments and enhanced customer support strategies.

Adobe: Monitors professional and consumer art forums to gather feedback on software usability, which helps inform their product development and update cycles.

Industry forums offer user-generated content that can significantly inform and influence product development, marketing strategies, and customer engagement practices. By engaging with these digital communities, companies can stay aligned with their target audience’s needs and expectations, fostering better product-market fit and customer satisfaction.