According to Voxpopme’s founder and CEO, Dave Carruthers, if you’re a brand today, consumers need to be your best friend and it starts with listening. Voxpopme is a service that provides top brands with video feedback from their customers, as the next evolution of marketing research – putting a face to anonymous data reports of the past.
To understand this model, and the impact of this type of digital technology on businesses, Digital Journal spoke with Dave Carruthers.
Digital Journal: How has the world of branding changed in the past five years?
Dave Carruthers: When it comes to branding, authenticity is key. The modern consumer is far savvier when it comes to seeing through marketing BS. If you are not authentic or your claims are not backed up, in a world where there is unfortunately increasing distrust and skepticism of the media, consumers will be quick to dismiss you. Brands need to connect in the most honest authentic ways possible, and on a consistent basis.
Personalization is also growing in importance. Consumers want product and services on their terms to fit their needs when they need it, and I think this is driven, in large part, by the rise of the on-demand and sharing economy.
DJ: Do brands need to take more notice of consumers?
Carruthers: 100% yes! Brands that listen to the demands of rapidly changing consumer preferences will win the battle for share of mind and share of wallet. The ever-increasing competition and availability of products and services has given consumers an abundance of choice when it comes to purchasing decisions. As a result, brands must differentiate themselves by building an emotional connection with consumers. Actively listening to and acting upon their wants and needs ensures they become invested in your brand, creating a brand-consumer bond that is difficult to break.
DJ: Why are Facebook and Instagram’s tools for a different social shopping experience valuable when it comes to customer feedback?
Carruthers:Social shopping is inevitably having a significant impact on e-commerce and, in-turn, the way in which customers are able to provide feedback on those purchases. Shopping in social channels such as Facebook and Instagram enables customers to share their thoughts with their network pre and post-purchase, in an instant. The immediacy of conversations in social enables consumers to quickly validate one another’s decisions and even build a community of advocates or detractors for brands – effectively amplifying shopper feedback and disseminating it with their peers.
DJ:L How does this align with Voxpopme’s perspective?
Carruthers:Similarly, Voxpopme has championed the amplification of customers’ voices since launching back in 2013. Our approach has coincided with the explosion of video on social, and it’s fascinating to now see video reviews of products and services shared so willingly on these channels. Video also serves to validate consumer feedback. Think about how many times you’ve read a review on Yelp or Tripadvisor and think “who wrote this?”. Video makes feedback instantly more credible and relatable.
DJ: How do these types of developments impact on brands?
Carruthers:For brands, there is now even greater pressure to engage with consumers in these very public channels that can make or break customer relationships. However, it can be difficult to harvest customer feedback from social platforms given the unstructured format of conversations, which becomes even more difficult if your brand is mentioned in a video without tags. For Voxpopme, that’s where structured video feedback and automated analytics can be used to get closer to customers and truly understand both positive and negative brand perceptions.
DJ: What is the aim of the Voxpopme platform?
Carruthers:We aim to deepen the connection between brands and consumers and help brands understand their crucial target groups at a much deeper level through video. We believe video is the best way to encourage customers to share feedback that is deep in meaning, rich in context and emotionally engaging. As a result, we’re continually creating and optimizing industry leading video feedback solutions to improve research methods for brands to collect, analyze and share consumer insights.
DJ: How was the Voxpopme technology developed?
Carruthers:Voxpopme was specifically designed to offer new methods of capturing consumer views and opinions through video responses, which are recorded straight from respondent’s digital devices.
Initially, the business strategy centered around the idea of a mobile app, with a panel of users that could be canvassed for video opinions by brands. Quickly though, this evolved into the development of a platform which allows researchers to seamlessly add video capture to any new or existing online surveys, communities, mobile apps, websites or social feeds.
At the same time, our engineering team replaced the time-consuming video analysis process with an advanced AI powered automated analytics engine that categorizes hundreds of videos into searchable key themes in an instant. The addition of an inbuilt showreel generator also replaced the need for specialist video editing skills, meaning any user of Voxpopme can easily use our platform to amplify the consumer story, creating authentic connections between brands and consumers. We’re also working on the development of AI driven capabilities to fully automate showreel production.
DJ: How do consumers interact with Voxpopme’s technology?
Carruthers:From the consumer’s perspective, there are many ways to interact with Voxpopme’s technology and use it to tell their own stories – where, when and how they want.
Many consumers will come across our open-ended video questions in the surveys they receive from the brands they love. Or they’ll be invited to take part in more qualitative style studies that could involve tasks like shop-alongs or in-home product testing. Our OnDemand video communities (which can be joined by downloading the Voxpopme app) also provide an opportunity for consumers in the US, UK and Australia to regularly engage in these types of video-first research.
Either way, the experience for the consumer is straightforward. They access your question(s), along with any further instructions, and are asked to record their response. Once ready, they simply hit record on the digital device they are using and begin to express their thoughts and feelings. Self-recorded videos enable responses to be collected simultaneously, anywhere in the world – delivering video insights at scale, across multiple markets.