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RaaS: Capturing Customer Insights in the Digital Age

Getting relevant customer feedback—and getting it quickly—is more essential than ever to business success. Sure, do-it-yourself recruiting is hard, research interviewees are never as promised, and the timelines for getting customer insights feel too long to make a difference for the business. But, there is a better way to get the much-needed customer insights that validate your product and business direction.  

A combination of modern technology has come together to create better, faster, cheaper customer insights. The best new customer insights solutions leverage the smartphone. The new category of products are called Research-as-a-Service (RaaS) solutions, and the best RaaS products focus on eliminating the logistical frustrations inherent in traditional methods of creating qualitative research. RaaS solutions empower researchers, entrepreneurs, product managers, designers and marketers to refocus on what matters most; listening to customers and prospects, and integrating human insights into the UX and product roadmaps.

Where Qualitative Research is Broken

As Marc Andreessen famously pointed out, software is eating the world. And, there is no greater example than the process, tools and timeline for building product. The Lean-Agile era created an explosion of data-driven product development across all industries, and the tools for coding, designing, testing, analyzing and shipping products — the production pipeline changed entirely, except for creating human insights. Big Data and Artificial Intelligence promised to render qualitative research obsolete, but all those promises have gone unfulfilled and the need for human insights is still great, and the timelines and tools are out-of-step with modern product development. Until recently, qualitative research was derived the same way it was twenty years ago, and here’s why that’s not practical anymore: 

  • Traditional methods of executing customer research are expensive
  • Logistics make gaining research insights time-intensive and limited
  • Seeking customer insights at various stages of R&D disrupts velocity, speed to market
  • Companies need access to their target customers, close enough does not count

Evolving Qualitative Research

Using cutting-edge technology to overcome the logistical challenges historically inherent in qualitative research, RaaS solutions are empowering researchers to refocus on what matters most: performing their research and generating insights that can make a real difference.  

The good news is that adopting new qualitative research technologies is not a new, trendy decision. Industry-leading companies are adopting new technologies to help create and inject qualitative research into product and marketing development faster and more frequently. And, here’s the big secret: Marketers and business leaders at high-profile companies worldwide, from Samsung, LG, Verizon, Machine Zone, and Hyundai – are in their second full year of using RaaS tools to transform their businesses, meet and exceed customer expectations. RaaS solutions are now a part of the product management and R&D best practices, another box in the Growth Stack diagrams that map out the necessary tools and processes for making great products.

methinks Delivers Research-as-a-Service

Silicon Valley-based company methinks is the qualitative research solution of the future. Leveraging a mobile-first approach and an aggressive profiling system that connects you with verified consumers and experts, you can get immediate insights for a fraction — one-seventh, to be exact — of the cost.

methinks makes a big impact on the multi-trillion-dollar R&D industry by making customer validation a timely, efficient and cost-effective sub-process in bringing virtually any product or service to market. Costs, time and logistics are no longer hurdles in gaining consumer perspectives. As a result, the frequency of conducting and applying qualitative research should increase and change best practices across numerous industries, worldwide. 

The methinks Difference

methinks helps any company target, find and interview customers and prospects via face-to-face video calls. This captured qualitative research helps businesses learn from their customers through efficient, cost-effective, face-to-face conversations that are moderated, recorded, transcribed, annotated and easily edited and shared for rapid, organizational learning. The RaaS-based platform allows researchers to conduct live interviews, qualitative surveys and longitudinal studies, enabling insights ranging from basic product usability to a nuanced understanding of personal product usage only discoverable through longer-term research efforts. 

methinks found early success servicing global business conglomerates, bringing US consumers to international giants in consumer electronics, auto, games, software and media.  More recently, methinks has been repeatedly engaged by US-focused businesses, particularly those in early stages of R&D. methinks wants to change the way market research is conducted by empowering entrepreneurs, professional researchers, product managers, designers, or any R&D leader to quickly and cost-effectively inject customer insights into their business. Any methinks user can schedule and record interviews instantly, take notes, bookmark consumer insights, and more. All the videos are time-stamped and stored in the cloud for easy access, editing and sharing.

The Thinker Marketplace

A major difference methinks offers is the pool of prescreened focus-group participants.  With nearly 400,000 pre-screened Thinkers primarily in the United States, customer insights are available on-demand, ready to provide valuable opinions and reactions. methinks provides filters to help researchers identify their target demographic, triggering instant responses from a pool of appropriate candidates sharing availability for interviews.

From brand-new start-ups to hundred-year-old enterprises, understanding what customers want and need is paramount to success. methinks dramatically changes the timelines and cost structure of research. Our goal is to connect you with your target customers so you can ask important questions and learn. We have created a very simple, and elegant solution to a very challenging problem of creating a robust platform, an easy-to-use application and a vibrant marketplace of Thinkers.

Philip Yun, methinks Co-founder and Chief Product Officer

methinks Availability and Pricing

methinks offers a pay-as-you-go model, so researchers have the ability to pivot or expand as their research needs may shift.  Researchers can provide their own Thinkers and further reduce their associated costs by paying a low platform fee. Customers in large enterprises – or customers who need project-based research — can tap into methink’s suite of research capabilities including professional moderation, analysis and presentation development.

Visit methinks for more information

Aaron Burcell

Aaron Burcell, CEO of methinks Technologies, has more than twenty years' experience in growing video start-ups, and was both methinks' first advisor and first customer. He previously held senior marketing, operations and growth leadership positions at Grockit (acquired by Kaplan), music video leader Vevo and Marcus by Goldman Sachs. Recently, Burcell served as the COO and CMO of Loop Media, which earlier this year merged with FogChain, a publicly-traded software company based in the Silicon Valley.

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