DEMO

DEMO: GutCheck makes focus groups more affordable

GutCheck is one of 53 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Spring 2011 event taking place this week. These companies do pay a fee to present, but our coverage of them remains objective.Any individual who’s thought they had the next big idea, campaign or product probably wished they had some kind of focus group to get unbiased feedback. GutCheck, a do-it-yourself research tool, launched at DEMO today with the hopes of making focus groups more accessible and affordable to marketers, agencies and startups.

According to GutCheck, focus groups can cost upwards of  $500 per person, making it expensive to get any kind of consumer feedback a company might need. The web-based service is looking to change all that and allow users to find qualified consumers for interviews at $40 per person.

Once an account is set up, the user enters in the target market they wish to interview. For example, you may only want to interview females, aged 24-54, living in the Southeast, with a household income of $45k plus. Through a partnership with uSamp and Opinionology, known as “panel companies,” GutCheck scans databases of consumers and finds a list of individuals matching the criteria.

The final stage is the interview process, which is done 100 percent online via one-on-one chat rooms. The user asks the questions and the participant responds. Upon completion, a transcript of the interview is saved and can be sent via email.

While the company told VentureBeat it faces no direct competition, I found a couple of companies that seem very similar, including Qualvu and Group Quality. Both of these companies allow for a user to set up focus groups online and are much less expensive than a traditional focus group.

The Denver, Colorado-based company, founded in 2009, secured a first round of funding of $2 million led by Highway 12 Ventures with Village Ventures.

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