The use of video in market research is of course far from a new development - actually, it has long been a staple for many marketeers. In the past, though, video was principally employed in qualitative research, such as for filming focus groups, allowing researchers to probe deeper into the responses being given after the sessions had been completed.

However, the rapid spread of high-quality mobile video technology, combined with significant developments in automation and analytic software, means that video can now also serve as a valuable online web survey tool in quantitative research. Footage can be uploaded by individuals at a time and place that suits them, with just a few taps on the screen. The results can be captured with equal speed and ease by researchers on the other side.

Automation allows for important keywords and phrases to be identified and traced, while facial recognition software enables highly accurate sentiment analysis, to understand what is really being said.

In short, with video, market researchers can now glean deep insights on a large scale, and what’s more, they can do so within a far shorter period of time and at a reduced cost.

Here we look at some of the ways in which video and mobile technology are shaking up market research…

Real-Time Research

The growth of mobile technology allows for greater and more immediate reach in survey participants, while at the same time causing less of a burden for those involved in terms of time and effort required. This ties in nicely with the fact that there is a notable shift for brands towards conducting real-time market research.

Naturally, speed and flexibility in research can deliver a substantial advantage not just against competition but also in reputation management, such as by allowing brands to identify problems in campaigns early on and make adjustments. So instead of rolling out large-scale annual research projects, many marketers are now looking towards smaller but more regular projects, aimed at capturing consumer data at set points of time. These might include periods before, during and after new campaigns are launched to ascertain market sentiment or brand perception and how they have been affected by a campaign.

At Plotto we believe that the number of people carrying mobile devices with them at all times, with the capacity to create and upload video quickly, has a raft of very interesting potential ramifications for time and location-specific research that can help drill down into narrow market segments.

Emotional Responses

We know that many decisions are strongly influenced by emotion. We only need to look at how emotional responses have caused political earthquakes on both sides of the Atlantic recently for evidence of that. Emotion is, of course, a major driver when it comes to making purchases, and thanks to technology such as that used by Plotto, which can help decipher the various emotions behind what someone is saying, brands can better understand how they can activate and play on certain impulses. This not only allows for higher rates of conversion but can also improve overall brand perception.


Brands that seek to build an authentic connection with their customers are often advised to tell their story cohesively across multiple marketing channels. Testimonial video software like Plotto can be of use in at least one element of storytelling, by bringing together genuine customer opinion in an easily followed format. Footage captured by Plotto can be easily edited into a professional-looking showreel within minutes, and this can then be embedded onto a website or shared across social media.

Return on Investment

Marketers can sometimes struggle to tangibly demonstrate ROI to senior management. But video of actual customers openly discussing a product or a campaign, and giving their thoughts on it, can bring data to life in ways that a dry spreadsheet cannot hope to match.

Big Data

Plotto’s own research has indicated that effective optimisation for individual campaigns can result in exceptional levels of engagement, as well as produce a wealth of valuable data. Even for brands which have to-date not fully engaged with video research, it is becoming clear that to gain a holistic picture of their market and stay competitive, they need to look at multiple data channels. We see that video is quickly proving itself as one of the most important online survey tools to understand consumer behaviour and delve deeper into the data to mine greater knowledge and insights.

We believe that take-up of online video research software such as Plotto will develop rapidly in the next few years. More and more companies are seeing the immediate benefits in accruing useful Voice of Customer information through software that is scalable, easy to use and highly effective. All the information that brands want is already out there, the only question is how committed they are to capturing it effectively.