Gathering data for marketing research has traditionally been costly and impractical for small businesses. Your company may need intel on a competitor or even someone to check on in-store displays of your product. But now a smartphone app, Field Agent App, puts a potential army of freelancers at your command.
Data Collection for Literally a Few Bucks
Fivver recently passed two million gigs crowdsourcing everything from website design to advertising services starting for as little as $5 per job.
The Field Agent App does something similar with data gathering. Anyone who downloads the app can conduct retail audits, secret shopping, even conduct polls or online research on your behalf for only dollars per gig. Participants are paid via PayPal as soon as they’ve completed the task requested.
Gigs pay at least $5 if travel is required and at least $4 if it can be done anywhere or at home. There are a few extra dollars cost if additional photos need to be taken or additional information gathered.
A video below shows one user taking a photo of a ketchup display and filling out some simple information then taking a picture of an outside sign listing gas prices. Payment for gigs has already been increased somewhat since the video was made.
A Few Things to Know About Field Agent
There are some things to consider about the service:
- Field Agent is certainly not a business model for those providing the services. Users can sometimes make enough extra money to at least cover a cell phone or other bill.
- The app is currently only available for iPhones. This cuts down the number of people who can gather information for Field Agent’s clients.
- The surveys and simple research are clearly not being done by professionals. But if you need very simple information collected the company claims to have a proprietary algorithm to guarantee accuracy.
- The company claimed to have about 260,000 users as of April according to a Reuters report. This includes participants in the U.S. and a few other countries. So the reach of the service may still be somewhat limited.
It’s a nice idea. Sometimes, there are those things that you just cannot get people to do. Now, you can do that for a few dollars. But I think $1 for a camera shot is too much. If this is the case, then I’m better off going on MTurk or Mechanical Workers.
Interesting. Just knew about the app, so thanks for the tip, Joshua!
I remember that conducting a market research for a business center I started (and failed) about 5-6 years ago is really a pain. Hiring people to do it didn’t come cheap. Hiring a company is off my list due to the costs.
With this app, things are much simpler and less costly – fantastic!
I agree that this is a good idea but you need to be sure of what you’re looking for before it turns into a fishing expedition. It needs to be available beyond the iPhone audience, too.