For those that aren't well-versed in the world of market research, this is how it tends to go: "You would decide what you want to do, write a brief for the likes of Nielsen or Kantar, Ipsos Mori, TNS who respond to that brief. They would say this costs £15,000 and takes two months and you get back a lovely branded report so sit tight until then."
This is according to founder and CEO of market research startup Attest, Jeremy King. A geneticist by training, King has always worked with big data in some form, but it was only once he started working for McKinsey that he became "constantly shocked with how businesses use data."
"While I was at McKinsey I saw every business, no matter which sector they were in, which vertical, which function or seniority, everyone wanted to know more about customers. They wanted to test ads, get feedback, trial prototypes, iterate ideas faster, test copy they were using in online stores, pre-release products in the market and A/B test them. If you want to test something it took far too long, it was too expensive, you couldn't do it."
What Attest aims to do is bring a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) approach to market research, giving businesses live access to a pool of respondents to conduct market research in real-time.
"Every company wants to be more data driven, more customer centric, more fact based, more insight driven. But this process, because it is so expensive, is so long, that by the time you get the results back it is out of date. More than a day is sort of inexcusable," says King.
The Attest platform is extremely simple, with results coming back in bar charts, with either the number of respondents or a percentage. The results can be parsed by demographics. At the top you are shown the date range and number of completed responses.
I built a question during my visit at their shared WeWork office space in Old Street using the step-by-step tool. You ask a question and customise it by selecting if it is multiple choice, yes/no, detailed response etcetera. You then set who you want to target out of 1.3 million possible active users. This number drops as you customise your target audience. It took me roughly thirty seconds to ask a simple question but you can build more complex, multiple question surveys.
One nice feature is the ability to review and follow up your research. If you want to revisit a question or survey you can ask another question to the same sample that responded before for deeper insight, or "find lookalikes" for a new sample.
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