What is Real Time Customer Feedback?


For decades, the process of gathering consumer feedback or conducting market research has been long, slow and laborious, often taking months to complete. Research and insights were often gleaned through expensive focus groups and in-person surveys. Before digital marketing, and even when new media channels were still nascent, these outdated methods might have been acceptable. However, the current pace of change demands research capabilities that are adaptive, immediate and precisely in tune with current consumer sentiments. The process for soliciting and analyzing consumer feedback needs to be more real time and less reflective (i.e., post hoc questions to gauge consumer reaction and perspective). 

What is Real Time Consumer Feedback?

Real time consumer feedback refers to a highly valuable method of market research that asks participants to answer specific questions instantly and at a single point in time. The purpose of eliciting consumer feedback in this manner is to gauge the immediate reaction of customers or potential customers toward a key research question or series of questions. These questions comprise a variety of formats (e.g., rankings, multiple choice, open-ended) and can cover essentially any topic of relevance to the organization conducting research. 

How is Real Time Consumer Feedback Used?

While long-term, large-scale research methods have merit and can provide value, many organizations need immediate feedback on a limited number of questions to help make critical decisions that determine their investments, strategies and tactics.

Businesses use real time consumer feedback for a variety of purposes, including the following:

  • Concept testing for marketing strategies
  • Feedback on specific advertising campaign elements like imagery, copy, design, etc.
  • Reactions to branding changes, new packaging designs, etc.
  • Brand preferences between competing organizations
  • Total market awareness of a product or brand
  • Shopping habits, including by demographic profile information
  • Public sentiment around sensitive cultural or political issues
  • The effectiveness of promotional offers or coupons

All brands would love the opportunity to predict customer reactions to marketing campaigns, and real time consumer feedback is the best way to gather both objective and subjective data for this type of predictive analysis. By extrapolating data from a small set of consumers that share unique demographic traits, businesses can focus on bringing the right messaging to the right audience at a larger scale. 

The benefits of being able to access this type of research in real time are enormous and hard to overstate. In fact, here at 1Q we’ve helped brands test multiple versions of a commercial that eventually aired during the superbowl, informing the critical business decision of which version to invest in.

What are the Benefits of Real Time Consumer Feedback?

The primary benefits of real time consumer feedback are that it is immediately available, focused on only the questions asked, and more affordable than broad research studies. Real time feedback processes also make it easier to adjust research practices progressively instead of making assumptions at the start and being unable to make changes as the research is conducted. 

Real-time consumer feedback is often considered to be more authentic, honest, unfiltered and truly representative of the respondents genuine opinion (with subjective questions) or situation (with objective questions). In addition to being much slower to complete, reflective market research practices based on focus groups can also lead to over analysis of questions or the injection of bias as participants influence each other or mis-remember their actual experiences.

Picking the Right Real Time Consumer Feedback Solution

The best platforms make it easy to conduct large or small-scale consumer feedback and research efforts. Solutions  from 1Q provide additional essential features that augment the capabilities of real time research tools, including the ability to ask follow-up questions of participants at any time or follow-up with a segment of respondents that have been identified based on their answers or demographic profiles. 

The ability to conduct geo-targeting on a precise location has become a key aspect of effective consumer feedback tools. After all, the value of real time feedback is only realized when consumers can be surveyed as their experience is occurring – especially if they are in the process of visiting a store.

Here are some basic questions to help you evaluate the right solution for your marketing research needs, and if a platform like 1Q has the right capabilities to meet your needs:

  • Do you use consumer feedback to inform key marketing, advertising and product decisions?
  • Do you need consumer feedback delivered quickly?
  • Do you want the ability to follow-up with specific respondents?
  • Do you want to identify your competitor’s customers and ask them questions about their buying preferences and behavior?
  • Is traditional research outside your budget range?
  • Are you looking for feedback and insights on a few specific markets?

If any of the questions listed above resonate with your research challenges, consider trying 1Q’s industry-leading research capabilities today to experience the power of immediate, actionable, and affordable real-time consumer feedback.