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Thursday, 17 April 2014

Consensus Point intros prediction market software for research

US— Consensus Point is willing to bet that its new prediction market platform can cut research costs while improving respondent engagement.

The Huunu platform invites research participants to take part in a game where they wager points against the product concepts or campaigns they think are most likely to succeed, with the winner decided by who makes the best return.

“We’re asking people to make judgements, not offer their opinions,” says business development VP Brian Evans.

About 200–300 people take part in each prediction market. They are asked to consider each concept and commit points, usually between 500 to 2,000 each time, depending on how confident they are a product will either succeed or fail.

Before placing their bet they can see the aggregate confidence score for each concept, based on the betting patterns of other participants. Movements in the confidence score up or down determine how much of a return the respondent makes.

After each trade, participants are invited to submit and open-ended response to explain why they bet the way they did.

Once the market closes, Consensus Point analyses the data in a number of ways. It can rank concepts by general consensus, say, but it can also deliver a spread analysis that will show the range of feelings towards a concept. It might be that a concept that has a middling consensus score actually had the greatest weight of positive reaction.

Huunu comparative results

Courtesy of Communispace, from their 2012 white paper, Invested, available at www.communispace.com

In pilots with Communispace, which builds and manages research communities for brands, Evans said the results of a Huunu market where shown to match those of a traditional survey (as shown above). But there’s also a cost advantage too. Unlike surveys, Evans says Huunu does not require target market representation in the sample, nor does it require as big a sample.

Respondent engagement and satisfaction scores are also positive. “95% of our community members would happily participate in the research again,” reports Communispace SVP Julie Wittes Schlack.

Similarly, as others using prediction markets have found – including BrainJuicer – the approach has shown itself to be more discriminating between ‘good’ product concepts and those that are merely ‘average’.

Aside from Communispace, Huunu also has projects under way with five other research organisations, though it declined to name them at this time.

Research agencies can provide their own respondents to take part in prediction markets or Consensus Point is able to do so itself through a partnership with Survey Sampling International.

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Readers' comments (5)

  • While I accept that there is only a limited amount of information they can give about a new concept this product is typical of the new drivel that contaminates good research.
    This unprovable concept (unproveable because not enough time will elapse to test the accuracy) might work amongst the more gullible clients but really........
    It really is about time the silent majority had their say but I bet even the authors will not reply to my view.

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  • Just skimming over, but it appears to be another way of getting at exactly the same results of traditional surveys, just with a gamified front end. What is its advantage apart from cost? It seems to tell the what, but not the why, which is what clients really need from research - in fact most good clients can pretty much guess winners and losers from their concepts - what they really need is access to that unseen insight.

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  • Col, it does seem to give respondents the chance to give an open ended response to explain their reasoning behind any decisions, but given the general approach, I'm not sure how accurate that would be for researchers.

    I think researchers are always glad of any new methodologies that may help 'spice up' their research with customers, especially those in MROCs which may be exposed to the same old techniques over and over. But I don't think many will be getting carried away with the Huunu platform, more so just another tool to throw into the research mix.

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  • What might not be understood is that respondents are able to weight their answers which provides an intensity of feeling that is unique versus traditional forms of research.

    The article mentions that 95% of respondents enjoyed their participation, which from my experience is unheard of in research. It would be interested in seeing how they do that.

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  • Forrester is convinced (like me) about use PM as MR tool
    ..."Market insights professionals are repeatedly tasked with delivering quick insights that will accurately predict what consumers will do or buy in the future. Traditional research methods do not always help market insights professionals meet those demands. Prediction markets reduce the level of uncertainty surrounding predictions of future consumer behavior and provide quick, cost-effective results. Therefore, Forrester recommends the use of prediction markets and believes they will serve a niche but critical role during the innovation process..." (Forrester Research website)

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