“The world today is ephemeral”. The statement resonates with our ever-decreasing attention span, our over-reliance on the digital world, and the continuous need for something different. As an individual, we are constantly bombarded with information from all sides propelled by our openness to digital channels. Thus our interests and responsiveness are very short-lived.

Hence, innovation and change have become ever important for businesses. The customer communications need to be periodically updated with new themes and ideas. Food companies need to constantly add new flavors and revamp packaging. Fast Moving Consumer Good (FMCG) firms need to constantly bring new additions to their personal care item verticals. Consumer electronics need to be updated with an increasing number of features and options.

So how do you go about constantly innovating? The answer is obvious you ask and listen to your customers. However, here comes the dilemma. To do so via a traditional market research process becomes expensive and time-consuming. To start you have initiated research with a consulting or market research firm. It takes about a week to get the questionnaire, sampling and methodology fixed. Then comes the fieldwork – where representatives reach out to households and consumers (often on the road or from public places like shopping malls) and the tire-some process of filling up a black-and-white paper-based survey begins.

By the time you get the results and take a decision you may well have lost the market to your competition.

Post the survey completion which takes about two to three weeks – the data has to be cleaned and then entered into a digital system which after check backs and authentication finally becomes ready for analysis. In the best case scenario, the whole process takes between one to one-and-half months and by the time you get the results and make a decision, you may well have lost the market to your competition.

So is in today’s cyber age of the technology-intensive world is there a better way? Given that we as consumers spend a large portion of our time on a second screen (social media, digital space) – there is an opportunity for the intersection between Market Research and Technology (Market Tech) – bringing Real-Time Market Research to your fingertips.

This is where our latest market research product – LightCastle Data (www.lightcastledata.com) – an online self-serving survey platform that allows companies to conduct consumer research in real-time- comes in.

Lightcastle Data is a self-serving survey platform that allows companies to conduct consumer research in real time- comes in.

The platform is based on a mobile-optimized web-ware where organizations can create a personalized account and develop or liaison with the market analyst team of LightCastle to develop survey questionnaires. The questionnaire development platform besides offering basic question types like multiple choice, checkboxes, or open-ended answers allows advanced queries like grid and ranking. Additionally, the digital questionnaire allows the embed of colorful pictures to make the survey experience optimum, gamified, and lively.

The organization can choose survey templates from the rich repository of questionnaire templates and edit as required or develop one with the help of the LightCastle team. Once the survey template is fixed the organization can fix the number of responses required and the timeline within which the responses should be collected.

Data Capture immediately translates into Data Reporting in Real Time Dashboard with no time lag.

LightCastle then makes the questionnaire live and the organization can view the results in a real-time dashboard as the responses come in thus enabling fast decisions. To simply put with LightCastle Data: Data Capture immediately translates into Data Reporting in Real-Time Dashboard with no time lag.

The respondents, who are registered and authenticated via pictures and social media accounts, get rewarded either via mobile top-ups or reward vouchers so that they are incentivized to continuously take surveys. Thus there is a face to the person who takes the survey and can be reached for time series data analysis.

The whole process just takes between 4 to 5 days and as a business, you are equipped to get consumer insights in real-time to stay data competitive and design products that keep you ahead of the game.

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This article was primarily published at LightCastle Blog by Bijon Islam.

Bijon Islam is a co-founder and the CEO of LightCastle Partners (LCP). Over the last two years, playing one of the most central roles in the formation, he has led LCP as one of the top-performing Startups in Bangladesh. LCP has to date worked with global clientele like Telenor, Care Inc., Habitat for Humanity, Hivos, WSUP, Gazi, and many more.