I don’t think there’s any question that digital is upending the way brands design, gather, and interpret consumer research. As a discipline that long relied on panels and M&M eaters willing to spend two hours on a Tuesday in a room with a two way mirror, research has long had a set of methodologies that were widely accepted, if admittedly imperfect and time consuming.
A fascinating start-up called Gut Check wants to bring the richness and power of traditional qualitative “focus groups” and “one on ones” into the digital age with a digital methodology that dramatically improves the speed and costs.
Online qualitative is not new. What IS new with Gut Check is the speed, pricing model, and DIY nature of this remarkable new service. No more waiting weeks to get a group pulled together. No more traveling to Sacramento and Athens, GA and Cedar Falls, IA to sit behind a mirror and choose between Plain and Peanut.
Get your insights right now from your desk.
Theirs is a self-serve platform that works like this.
- You join and purchase a number of online one on one interviews. The base price is $40 an interview, with volume discounts when you buy 10 or more.
- You screen potential participants with online tools that enable you to define a demographic, a geography (or a geographically diverse group) as well as behavioral factors to zero in on the folks you need to hear from. The people are in a pre-recruited population, available right now.
- You forward your questions one at a time to a respondent who is ready – right now – to discuss your brand, product, campaign, or whatever.
- They respond to your Qs, and then you forward another question until your interview is done.
- The interview closes and you can download a transcript of the discussion for verbatims, etc. Then it’s off to the next interview.
Here’s the 1-2-3 show me:
I want to go back to one detail for a moment. $40 per. The cost of qualitative has soared over the past decade or so. Paying $500 or $600 or even $700 per respondent isn’t at all unheard of. It’s the norm. Don’t believe me? Take the price of the last set of groups you did, and divide it by the number of people you heard from. Let’s say it was $21,000 for the moderator and the room and the recruitment, and the M&Ms. Divide by, say, 32 people (4 groups of 8.) $656.25 per.
Hey, there are times when you are going to want a professional moderator, and to see your respondents. But imagine how helpful it could be to have a quick and dirty read from consumers on pitch creative, or a new product idea, or whatever. I’m not saying you can make all decisions with the aid of this methodology. But I do think that this will enable far MORE consumer feedback at points along the development path, so that ideas and products can be better.
Gut Check was the People’s Choice Award winner at the recent Demo show. And for good reason. Got an idea you want some quick feedback on? Surf on over to GutCheckIt.com and plunk down your company Visa card. And get the input you need in hours rather than weeks.
And if you miss the M&Ms, make a trip to Walgreen’s before you fire up the service. 55 cents, 2 for $0.99 the last time I checked.
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