Have you ever wished you could test out an ad and get feedback before launching a marketing program? Or how about testing a new product concept?
If so, the Ramius Corporation may have just the thing for you. The company has just launched a free version of its Recollective research software called Recollective Baseline. Think of it as software that lets you conduct a focus group online.
The new version is free for up to 50 participants and is designed specifically for small and medium sized businesses to use.
The company says the product is a simplified version of its Recollective Professional version used by top research firms. It consists of a private online area where you can go to gain insights from the survey participants. The participants can respond in the form of text, images, videos, or files.
However, administrators can decide not to conduct their survey in such a public manner, and instead have one-to-one discussions with participants instead.
People can participate in these surveys in one of two ways. You as the administrator can either invite them via email, or you can receive a unique link to hand out on, say, your Facebook company page, or your Twitter feed.
In an interview to Small Business Trends, Alfred Jay, CEO of Ramius, explained:
“Think of it as a system that organizes information collection from a group by combining the structure of surveys, an interactive activity stream similar to the Facebook Newsfeed, and a powerful suite of research tools to help the administrator to analyze and interpret the data to identify valuable insights.”
If you are more of a visual type of person, here’s a tutorial video from Vimeo:
Though the video shows a professional version of the software at work, Jay says it is still an excellent way to get an idea of the software’s general functions. Both versions have a lot in common.
There are other specialized activities in addition to the questions and polls. For example, there is an image markup activity in which people can be asked to place markers and commentary over an image to indicate their impressions. And there is a sort and rank exercise as well. Jay explains:
“Quantitative surveys help understand the who, what, when, and where. Recollective Baseline is a qualitative research tool to help understand why and how, as well as understand motivations and behaviors. It really helps to discern what a business doesn’t know by being able to engage those who are important in dialogue and activities.”
An administrator can have up to 10 open studies simultaneously. This means that a business could have one study for customers of product A, another for customers of product B, and so on. Up to ten active studies can be run at once. What’s more, if the people aren’t the same in each study, the total number of unique people that can be supported is 50 x 10 – 500 people.
There are obviously many examples of why it would be good to have your own focus group on tap. Jay has one for you to think about.
“Whereas Recollective can be used to run a one-time limited duration study similar to a traditional survey, many of the most forward thinking organizations look at ongoing implementations of the system where people are constantly available to be engaged as strategic assets. These ‘insight communities’ allow companies to study customers over time or test concepts with customers on-the-fly and at anytime – all with the objective of ultimately making better decisions in shorter time.”
Anyone interested in the free software can simply visit the Recollective Baseline website and signing in. There is no cost. What’s more, international visitors outside the US can also take part as Baseline is available in French, Spanish, German, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, and Dutch.