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Is this crowd sourcing market research tool going to change how we research what customers want?


Launched in Melbourne last December, Australia’s first crowd-sourced brand research platform AnswerCrowd has taken crowd sourcing to the next level by connecting people with questions.

This allows decision makers to step outside the boardroom and brainstorm with everyday people by asking the ‘crowd’ for their opinions and ideas… and receiving an immediate response!

“This is simple and effective market research on demand,” AnswerCrowd founder and CEO Daniel Martin said. “Businesses can ask a single, open-ended question to the ‘crowd’, targeting any demographic they choose, and receive a response within minutes, unlike traditional market research, which can take weeks.”

How exactly does AnswerCrowd work?

Businesses can use AnswerCrowd to source new ideas for new products or services, to test the viability of ideas they already have, or seek feedback on existing products or services.

The questions are sent to a tailored sample of respondents from the AnswerCrowd database, who have to respond within a specified period of time depending on the business’ needs. Keep in mind that all the respondents are based in Australia.

Pricing is based on the number of answers wanted: $5 per crowd member per answer for over 50 answers and $10 per crowd member per answer for under 50 answers. And once answered, you can also ask follow-on questions. You only pay for what you use.

Plus, no one respondent knows what the other has said, so it’s truly black box.

Martin said the model is a win-win for both businesses – which get valuable feedback from the crowd almost immediately – and consumers, who sign up on the website and are rewarded for their answers with either dollar-for-dollar gift cards or pre-paid debit cards.

“This is a really contemporary way for businesses to get to know consumer thinking,” he remarked. “Businesses now realise that the ‘crowd’ is powerful, intelligent, useful and immediate and that it can help them to predict market trends, create more effective advertising and improve their decision making.”

A case study of market research success with AnswerCrowd

Melbourne-based Gânache Chocolate which deals in fine hand-made European-inspired chocolate found out about AnswerCrowd through social media and decided to give it a try.

They reached out to AnswerCrowd when they weren’t sure what type of Easter chocolates would sell best this season, and what price their customers were willing to pay.

“We didn’t want to invest in a product that didn’t appeal to our customers or was priced incorrectly. We simply couldn’t decide whether traditional gifts were still popular and if there were any new trends worth exploring. We didn’t want to go by gut feel,” Arno Backes, owner and Master Chocolatier revealed.

They asked 300 crowd members, “If you were purchasing the perfect chocolate Easter gift for loved ones, how much would you spend on it and what would it be?”

All 300 answers came in within half an hour!

Backes was not only happy with the answers but was also glad to have them so soon.

“We needed results fast in order to begin our preparation for Easter. We couldn’t wait days or weeks for research to come back yet we simply didn’t have the tools to access this many people and ask them what they thought,” he disclosed.

“Our assumption was that people still preferred traditional gifts such as Easter bunnies. The crowd confirmed this but also added some amazing ideas which we would have never thought of. For example, it seems personalising gifts is very important to the crowd members. There were many suggestions of personalised gift wraps, ribbons and/or cards.”

“Some parents buying gifts for their children mentioned having the chocolate accompanied by a soft toy for the younger demographic. This too hadn’t crossed our minds,” he added.

This question cost Gânache Chocolate a grand total of $1,500 to ask.

Backes remarked that at $5 an answer, it was good value. “Especially when you can save thousands of dollars, putting a small amount of our marketing budget towards this question was definitely money well spent. We are definitely going to use AnswerCrowd again.”