GutCheckIt: Market Research Made Easy

A new Web service offers an easy way to do market research.
Forbes Contributor: Makers, Inventors, Small Business, Forbes
July 05, 2012

If you have ever sat around the office conference table and said, “Let’s gut-check it” as a way to do market research, then you’ll like a new service with that exact name.

GutCheckIt ($40 per chat) is an affordable new service that lets you do one-on-one chats with your prospective consumer via an instant messaging/online chat platform. If you need more than a handful of responses, you can form an “instant research community,” which is the equivalent of an online research panel. You can test product concepts, advertising messages, consumer attitudes and more with this small-business-friendly process.

How It Works

After setting up an account, you immediately start screening the site's list of 6 million consumer panelists. (You can also search for other small business owners in that mix.) You can segment based on standard demographic filters, such as age, income and gender, or you can screen with behavioral questions. GutCheckIt has a long list of questions that panelists have answered, such as: "Do you have a pet in your home?" or "How many times have you rented a car in the past 12 months?"

The company claims they have just about any consumer segment in their audience database. Looking for Southeast Asian–Americans with high blood pressure or highly educated women age 25 to 54 who use dish soap at least five or more times per week? The site has such individuals in its panelist pool. GutCheckIt screens its respondent pool twice to help you get valid results.

In the next step, you set up questions for the online chat session. The dashboard takes you step-by-step through creating interview questions that you’ll use during the 30-minute online chat interview. Keep in mind that research participants remain anonymous. You are simply getting an opportunity to select people that have “opted in” to the research panel and agree to answer questions and provide real feedback.

You Create the Questions

This is self-service qualitative research, more or less. You are doing the work, writing out the questions you want to ask, and defining what you want to learn and designing the flow of how you want to ask the participant those questions. But the company offers lots of resources to help you be successful in that process.

In reality, this is far from a gut check, in my book. You are arranging a conversation with someone who fits your exact customer profile (or as close as is truly possible). This new service offers a profoundly useful way to talk with someone who might buy your product or service or click on your ad. For $40, GutCheckIt offers a practical and useful technology that can help improve your sales.

What technology tools do you use for market research?

Photo credit: Courtesy of GutCheckIt

Forbes Contributor: Makers, Inventors, Small Business, Forbes