GutCheck Launches Instant Research Communities


GutCheck is now out of beta with its latest product, Instant Research Communities, which offers brands and marketers quick access to consumer communities on their websites, Facebook fan pages, Twitter, and Google+.

GutCheck’s automated recruitment engine instantly qualifies respondents from these pools for private platform discussion and review of proposed business decisions.

We first covered GutCheck last year and spoke with Matt Warta, GutCheck CEO when the Denver start-up had just won the People’s Choice award (and $1 million in free advertising) at the DEMO Spring 2011 conference. “We’ve lowered the economic barrier to this kind of research,” Warta told us then.

Now it’s even lower, and the research is more refined. We caught up with Warta, in New York for the launch of GutCheck Instant Research Communities at The Advertising Research Foundation 2012 Re:think conference, and asked about reaction to their disintermediation of traditional Market Research Online Communities (MROCs).[more]

“I think most of the industry feels great about what we are doing. Our clients—who are brands and agencies—are able to get qualitative answers and feedback in real time, which is where the industry is headed. They also receive this information at an affordable rate,” he stated. “For obvious reasons, I think the folks who would be most threatened are traditional recruitment firms and focus group facilities — and it may not be a direct threat from GutCheck so much as a threat from the macro trend of research moving more toward a real-time model.”

The economics include a $599 fee to participate which “covers the use of our software to create one Instant Research Community that lasts up to 5 days. In this scenario, our clients come to us with a proprietary source of respondents — like a Facebook Fan page, Twitter followers, or even an online panel they maintain — and use those corporate resources to recruit respondents.”

GutCheck also offers an alternative panel of 6 million consumers, “largely a domestic B2C panel, and is a representative sample of the United States. We will be moving into other specialty panels over the course of the year including B2B and international,” Warta added. “When clients source respondents from our panel, the use of our software is free, and we charge just for recruitment and incentives. Typically, we charge around $60 per respondent, depending on how many days their project runs. Respondents are paid for their time. The rates vary.”

Real-time in-depth interviews have been provided via GutCheck to a list of clients that includes General Mills, Quaker, Hallmark, Intel, Borden, Pfizer and LivingSocial, as can be seen below:

As for the next iteration of the GutCheck model, “Our roadmap for this product is extensive and it is becoming more robust as we get the product into customers’ hands. We will be threading other capabilities throughout the application such as “respondent homework” – where respondents might share images or videos from their lives with the brand, perhaps a product they saw on the shelf at the grocery store, or a display or packaging that caught their attention.

We’ll also be adding more mobile and video capabilities, like instant polling, deeper qualitative reactions…that is the great thing about being customer focused: Your clients drive what to build into the product.”

According to comScore, “Nearly 1 in every 5 minutes spent online around the world is now spent on social networking sites, making Social Networking the most popular content category in engagement worldwide.”

The GutCheck model is well-positioned to leverage the largest focus group on the planet.