NEWS25 July 2012

Self-service pollster Usurv hopes to gain ground on Google

Technology UK

UK— Technology startup Usurv has launched a self-service online survey tool which it claims is similar to Google Consumer Surveys, but does not use cookies to infer demographic information about respondents.

Usurv, which was launched by internet entrepreneur Martin Bysh and market researcher Guy Potter, works in much the same way as Google’s service by asking questions of web surfers as they enter partner sites. The founders said that they hope to “steal a march” on the Google service, which is yet to launch outside of the US.

Surveys typically take under 30 seconds and Usurv claims that typical response rates are 30% – compared to the industry average of 10%. Pricing starts at £10, with larger projects of up to 1,000 respondents costing £200. Users can pick up to five questions to ask respondents, who will be presented with the questions alongside a message to encourage participation, such as “Please help keep this site free by answering these questions”.

The service does not use demographic information about respondents through their online behaviour, but instead uses anonymous subscription data from partner sites. Respondents are digitally fingerprinted by the Usurv technology, which means that only respondents with an appropriate profile will be asked questions if they visit a partner site, and those that do take part in a survey will be “quarantined” for a while after taking part.

Guy Potter (pictured) said: “Building up a demographic profile from online behaviour in the way GCS does can sometimes be hit and miss. By contrast, we’re very sure of our data – which comes directly from the respondents, and with their permission. Our partners have also generated a strong level of trust from their subscribers which means visitors are more willing to look at our surveys.”

Bysh added: “There’s a big market opportunity in the sector, signalled by the effort and publicity that Google’s already put behind GCS and we’re perfectly placed to target this.”