It’s a question of…using ‘gutfeel’ to launch a company designed to offer the advertising and marketing industries a real time online market opinion platform, at a reasonable cost. TheMediaOnline caught up with managing director, Josephine Buys, to find out more.
In a nutshell, says Buys, gutfeel.co.za offers a financial incentive to consumers to participate in online surveys and interact with brands openly and honestly, providing the consumer with an interactive experience, a chance to voice their opinion and money in the bank. At the same time, it offers brands a highly cost effective way of getting market opinions. It’s quick, easy, measurable, and accurate and truly engages the consumer community.
From a brand perspective, marketers have the ability to pre-determine who they want to speak to i.e. age/gender/region, and have a real time engagement with consumers that provides them an honest and unedited response to their research.
What sparked this idea and how did you go about making it happen?
In discussion with a colleague, we realised there was a gap in South Africa for this kind of online platform. From there we conceptualised GutFeel, found a willing investor and briefed a web development company. Though the product is GutFeel, we registered a company called RhinoRed as the three shareholders feel strongly about the scourge of rhino poaching in South Africa and we recognise that most South African also have strong opinions on this topic so we have committed to donating a percentage of our profits from GutFeel and future commercial ventures towards making a difference to the future for our rhino, changing the outcome and providing a sustainable solution to this South African crisis.
We are currently evaluating the various existing organisations that reflect these principles and once we have decided who to partner with we will make an announcement through all our online platforms and through the media to create much needed awareness.
How many people are involved in the service and what are the various skills you have?
At this stage it’s me, Josephine Buys, the MD with media, marketing and brand experience. Dustine Tobler is a marketing strategist and research analyst and our software developers in the support function to assist as we evolve and create new surveys and focus groups.
We intend to create an online community of GutFeelers /opinionistas who will ultimately become the backbone of our company as well as accidental brand ambassadors and the results so far show that the respondents are from wide ranging sectors of South African commerce and industry.
How do you fund the R100 for people who take part?
We include the GutFeelers payment in the rates we charge our clients and we pay the GutFeeler directly.
How do you get brands involved? What has the response been?
Phase one was to create the platform and attract respondents before approaching the market as we felt it was important to have a live product that worked seamlessly and would be appealing to marketers and brand managers. We are now in Phase two, which is populating the platform with surveys.
How many clients do you have signed up?
As above, we are approaching the market now for inaugural surveys with an introductory package for the month of May.
What kind of businesses has responded so far?
Electronics, mobile and media companies have shown significant interest and we are presently engaging with the liquor, fashion, FMCG, retail and motor sectors. We believe there is no sector that would not benefit from this type of real time market intelligence.
Who designs the surveys?
We will design the surveys in consultation with the client.
How are you marketing this service?
A pre-launch campaign “Launching Soon” which consisted of a website and a Facebook page yielded almost 1 000 fans and respondents who are migrating to GutFeel and have been signing up since we went live on 9 May. Our social media platforms are creating a buzz and we are seeing a steady flow or respondents signing up.
Going forward we will use our extensive network of SA’s top bloggers, student bodies, websites and companies to expand our database, making it robust, and segmental according to client needs. The shareholders are presenting the concept to brands and advertisers in both their private and professional capacity; this is all being done in conjunction with an extensive PR campaign covering both the media/marketing/business and consumer/lifestyle sectors through both traditional and the new social media platforms.
Who designed your interface?
We did and then we outsourced the development.
How did you get FNB e-wallet involved and what do they get out of it?
We pay for this service – it is the most suitable and simple payment system for this type of online/digital/virtual platform.
How do you evaluate the information received?
As the essence of the product is snapshot, quick turnaround, cost effective critical information to assist businesses in getting opinions on products, services, advertising, communications etc… we offer a choice of evaluation methods – from snippets of information to correlating and compiling detailed analyses and crystallising key insights from a statistically correct sample.
The evaluation is extremely dependent on the brief; whether clients require raw data to analyse themselves, classical reporting with demographics and bar charts, interpretation of anything from emotional to technical opinions, the evaluations will be tailor made to their individual requirements.
What inspired the name?
We all have gut feelings about many things in our day-to-day environment. It’s something we all have in common; the name itself is often used in media and politics and can easily evolve into a trending topic!
Would this service be useful to media planners and buyers in terms of where they put their spend?
Yes. GutFeel gives clients the perfect opportunity to segment and target specific and exact demographic profiles – digital focus groups that offer immediate intelligence at fraction of the cost of traditional market research.
What is your vision for this company?
To create and give voice to the biggest online community of opinionistas in South Africa and become the go-to brand for companies, services and advertisers looking for immediate, inexpensive market intelligence.