The Internet is awash in data, so much data in fact that one can find numbers on just about any subject. Yet primary research can be very expensive and cumbersome. There are inexpensive polling tools such as Zoomerang or Survey Monkey, which offer a cost-effective way to survey users. But the methodology doesn’t produce statistically significant results. Then there are a range of firms that will do online surveys/focus groups. Those can yield results with more statistical “integrity,” but they cost more too.
Now comes an interesting twist on the “Answers” social media phenomenon: Vizu, a San Francisco company that says it wants to “democratize” market research.
It offers an interesting model, creating financial incentives for publishers to show Vizu polls on their sites and a relatively inexpensive way for marketers to get quick user data. In other words it’s a kind of alternative (or supplement) to advertising for publishers, and a way for marketers to get access to audiences that might be difficult to reach unless you’re willing to pay more for professionally conducted surveys.
Having not used Vizu, I have no perspective on its effectiveness vs. traditional approaches to market research. And it’s unlikely to put Forrester, JupiterKagan or Nielsen out of business. But it might be an effective way to obtain quick, empirical information on a custom topic.
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