Market research is nothing new, but the technology behind a few innovative vendors could be considered “revolutionary”. Strategies and methodologies have had to take unchartered routes to enable accurate feedback in enhanced user friendly ways on multiple platforms. Crowdsourcing research platforms have taken the next step in branching out systematically to guarantee a wider basin of invaluable insights.
To highlight a few research companies that have been taking a groundbreaking stance to combat the traditional problems of market research, we will explore the methodologies of Pondering Panda and Money for Jam. These two entities have envisioned the simplicity of consumer feedback, come up with unique crowdsourcing models and have in essence “fathered” a new and exciting age in market research.
In addition to these websites, we’ll be looking at mobile research apps readily available on any smartphone OS for download. How are they engaging to the consumer? How do they gather data from the perceived markets? Ultimately, what places them into the category of innovative crowdsourcing research platforms?
CROWDSOURCING RESEARCH PLATFORMS - PONDERING PANDA
Self proclaimed Stellenbosch based market research company Pondering Panda has renovated the entire idea of user experience. Traditionally, market research can sometimes be seen as stagnant and trivial to the consumer. This dead end of business strategy has been repaved by Pondering Panda, whose CI, interface and advances in the multi platform research landscape have given the industry a much needed makeover, and as such has become one of the most popular crowdsourcing research platforms.
Being “channel agnostic” says it all - why cement your model with the reliance of one or two channels? Pondering Panda specialises in the acquisition of both qualitative and quantitative data via: PC/laptop, smartphones, feature phones and tablets; essentially covering all digital bases and touching every possible medium of two-way communication.
Their niché? The survey interview. Boasting over 7 million so far, the company’s reach into 20 African countries is nothing short of an impressive market growth - and indicates the transparency and flawlessness of their strategy. The companies service offering boasts an impressive array of marketing centric services such as concept testing, brand image mapping, online focus/chat groups, brand health/commitment analysis and everything in between. The innovation, however, lies in the application of mobile market research.
Mobile research is an industry phenomenon and is an underlying methodology for many research firms keeping a weather eye on the horizon of technological research advances. However, a restriction occurs when tapping into African markets which are of lower LSMs and without monetary access to the latest in communication technology. Feature phones are all the rage in much of Pondering Panda’s markets.
There is a way to leap over this brick wall - by integrating the ancient (yet innovative in context) method of USSD (unstructured supplementary services) data and IVR (Interactive Voice Response). Popularised in the 90’s when the advent of cell phones first came out, using this easily accessible format is ensuring that Pondering Panda is facilitating the limitations of their African research participants and ultimately positioning the company as one of South Africa’s most innovative crowdsourcing research platforms.
CROWDSOURCING RESEARCH PLATFORMS - M4JAM
M4Jam has “owned” the incentive department and broadcasted a proposition that few could ignore - complete quickfire brand centric tasks and get some cash in return!
The process? Brands come forth to M4Jam with priority, industry relevant and complex projects. M4Jam chisels the monolithic project into smaller, more measurable tasks. M4Jam’s community of “Jobbers” as they are called, use their phones and at their own convenience go about solving these problems in an industry relevant manner, consistent to the outlines and considerations of the brief at hand.
Another breakthrough for mobile research, the USP being that M4Jam works independently through mobile platforms. A smart move, as simplifying the technology for their jobbers means that they M4Jam can specifically target a niche segment to fill this role. In addition, their return projects can be retrofitted to one format, which cuts human hours working spent on administration.
An ideal model of crowdsourcing, M4Jam helps to spread the networking distribution between their clients and jobbers, creating a community of relationships which benefits both ends of the the scale.
All anyone needs, to be part of this revolutionary company and it’s unique proposition is to download WeChat, follow M4Jam then follow the easy instructions to go forward. M4Jam was featured in an SABC interview with the company’s CEO Andre Hugo.
Crowdsourcing Research Platforms - Curious Analytics
Mobile apps have made waves in enhancing user experience, entertaining consumer markets, helping to organise and restructure personal tasks and as of recently, aid in the worldwide research industry. As mobile phones have become more of a constant attachment than a functioning object, it seems only natural for brands to take advantage of this and climb into the pockets of their markets.
Curious Analytics prides its strategy in going undercover, gaining insights into consumer behaviour of Android and iOS users. The app stages an in depth analysis of the experience of the mobile user by tracking the movements, in-system applications used, and which programs are most engaged with. The system is based on passive data collection.
Panels, which include the demographics and archetypes of a brand’s market is organised and each participant is asked to install the Curious Analytics software on their smartphones. After a short period of time, the data is automatically collected and is then available for Curious Analytics to share with their client.
Utilising this platform specifically for primary research data, the core facets of mobile strategy and mobile project management can be highlighted and discussed for further strategy implementation.
Crowdsourcing Research Platforms - IdeaStream™
IdeaStream™ Mobile is an app based program developed by Dub, a research community software company. Available for both iPhone and Android devices, participants of brand’s external research community are encouraged to sign up and follow the instructions on the communal pin up board on the app.
IdeaStream specialised in sourcing information from a number of different topics, which can trend on the branding and consumer lifestyle landscape and benefit clients and the scope of their industry.
To explain the fundamental experience of IdeaStream™ further, take a look at the video below:
Mobile activity is the key element in unlocking the future of innovative crowdsourcing research platforms.
As smartphones become more technologically advanced in their user experience and capabilities, we might see a complete overhaul in traditional marketing methodologies.
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