Believing quick, micro-surveys are less annoying than online ads, Google has quietly launched a new Google Consumer Surveys tool that it believes both monetizes online content and creates a "fast, accurate, and affordable" tool for gaining market research.
Under the four-step formula:
Brands come up with questions for consumers: Examples that Google offers: "Which version of my new logo will people like better? How much are dog owners willing to pay for an organic cotton leash?"
Google states, "We all have nagging questions about our own products, companies, and industries. Now it's easy get answers and make major decisions with your consumers' behavior and preferences in mind."
Brands can write their own survey questions or customize existing templates.
Consumers answer questions: People complete questions in order to access premium content (text, video, or apps). Google writes, "Opinions are valuable, so answering the question gives them near instant access to the page they want for free. They don't have to pull out a wallet or sign in and you gain insight into what people think."
Google said using one-question surveys results in higher response rates and more accurate answers. Multi-question surveys can be completed by asking people one question at a time.
Publishers (and Google) get paid as visitors answer: Brands can target survey questions toward the general U.S. population for $0.10 per response or opt for demographic targeting at $0.50 per response.
Brands attain data: For the paying brands, the payback is aggregated and analyzed data from a quality, random sample of the U.S. internet population with results coming back "as they come in, not days or weeks later within." Charts summarize responses and insights highlight differences in detail. Said Google, "Using the DoubleClick cookie and the respondent's IP address, Google Consumer Surveys infers demographic and geographic information for each response so you can easily segment by age, gender, location and more."
At launch, publisher partners include Pandora, The Christian Science Monitor, and the New York Daily News. Initial brand testers include Lucky Brand Jeans, Tumbk2, and King Arthur (baking products).
Some reviewers cited potential privacy concerns although Google insisted that the responses are anonymous and wouldn't be tied a person's Google account. A few seemed worried about the possible explosion of surveys hitting the market and their value coming from outside the more-expensive professional survey takers. But the majority of reviews were highly positive.
"Few consumers have a problem filling out short, anonymous surveys," wrote Adario Strange on PC Magazine. "And large companies absolutely live and die on the vital data that market research provides regarding emerging trends and current consumers tastes."
What do you think of the potential of Google Consumers Surveys as a marketing research tool?