Techlightenment has launched a new market research tool called the Social Research Platform that lets brands distribute surveys and collect info about Facebook users and their friends who opt-in via extended permissions. Clients can either license the survey technology for placement on their Facebook Page or website, or pay per respondent. Techlightenment can guarantee up to 10,000 respondents in single day through its partnership with Adknowledge, which offers social gamers virtual currency for answering, and can acquire specific audiences via its Ads API tool Alchemy.
By using Social Research Platform brands can attain demographic, interest, and opinion data cheaper and faster than through other mediums. The research could be used to help brands decide what products to release, to determine preferences on ad creative or copy, or to market test games, film trailers, commercials or other types of media.
Mailing out paper surveys can take a long time, focus groups can be expensive, and attaining respondents to online questionnaires can be difficult. Users don’t always accurately represent themselves in manually completed surveys, either because they forget things, purposefully answer incorrectly, or only provide the minimum required info. Facebook’s interactive nature and the way its users can grant third-parties permission to access their data about their identity and behavior means the site holds enormous potential for improving quality of market research.
Social Research Platform clients can create highly customized, rich media surveys that allow users to register their opinions through various answer formats on text questions, photos, videos, audio, or even game play. When users finish, they can opt-in to giving the tool access to pull their Facebook profile information in a Facebook-compliant way. Profile info is then layered over a user’s answers, and clients can track all the data in real-time through the Social Research Platform dashboard.
This allows clients to breakdown responses to see, for example, how certain genders, age groups, people who Like a certain Page, or people with more than 500 friends answered. Learning that women over 40 who live in the Midwest have the most positive impression of a product could help a company structure its marketing plan, or seeing that none of the five prototypes for its new product are preferred to its old model by users from New York could help it avoid a failed launch.
Ankur Shah, co-founder of Techlightenment, which was recently acquired by credit and marketing services giant Experian, tells us that in many cases clients want to attain the most responses as quickly as possible. Clients with millions of Likes or a large email list can attain this volume on their own by licensing the survey product and adding it to their Pages as a tab application and embedding it on their websites. To offer high volume to less established clients, Techlightenment partner Adknowledge places the survey in the offer walls of popular social games. Respondents receive proprietary in-game currency, though not Facebook Credits, in exchange for their data.
If clients only want data about a specific demographic, such as users who went to a certain college, who live in a certain city, or who Like a certain Page, Techlightenment can target Facebook ads promoting the survey to that audience.
Shah tells us that Social Research Platform is just phase one of his company’s plans to do with its social customer relationship management technology. The tool could be repurposed to give aggregate profiles of the audiences of fan Pages, similar to what the recently released LikeAudience by the Cambridge University Psychometrics Centre offers. Brands looking for granular market insight at one tenth of the cost and many times the speed of traditional research methods should inquire with Techlightenment.