Let’s face it – we all knew this was coming. If you were a company that possessed massive content, an awesome analytics machine and access to billions of people, wouldn’t you be looking at ways of monetising all of that? If, in the process, you became a classic example of disruptive technology to entire industries, wouldn’t that be cool? So, why are we acting so surprised?
Google Consumer Surveys (GCS) is just one little brick in the wall of Google’s march towards becoming the world’s go-to company for all things analytic and intelligence. At present, GCS looks pretty basic: two questions per “survey” (but you can string “surveys” together), $0.10 to $0.50 a response and a limited range of question types that you can utilise. Certainly not professional grade, so they must be targeting SurveyMonkey, right? Wrong. Just go through that pricing structure again. If you want to do a 4-question, general population survey with 1,000 people, it’s going to cost you $400. On SurveyMonkey, all you need is a $25 a month account to do the same thing. No, it’s the data collection companies they are after. Get a quote for the same thing from Toluna, uSamp or SSI (and we did) and the price will be four times as high.
So who is the target market? Quite clearly, it is the professional DIY research user – the brand manager, the marketer, the guy in IT or, quite possibly, the researcher who is attempting to achieve more with less. And the pitch to them is fairly compelling – sample that delivers more accurate results than that from any panel (so Google says) at a price that cannot be matched, and ‘now’.
The professional research community may well look upon this and conclude that it isn’t ‘real’ research; after all, it can’t handle complex innovation projects or brand trackers, can it? Yes, well that was what DEC said about personal computers and what Polaroid said about digital photography. A disruptive technology will always enter a market with a supposedly inferior product at a ridiculously low price. The establishment writes it off and then it’s ‘boil the frog’ time. Established companies do not realize that the interloper is slowly boiling them until it overtakes them and they are out of business.
Don’t be a frog.