Team TMN caught up with Nadia Mankani, Director of Marketing & Communications at Task Spotting, to discuss the launch of the Task Spotting app and its aim to revolutionise market research in the form of crowdsourcing…
Tell us a bit about the Task Spotting app…
Task Spotting is the first app in the Middle East that leverages the concept of crowdsourcing to help businesses gather valuable market insights. Our network of app users are financially incentivised to complete simple ‘missions’, ranging from retail audits to mystery shopping on their smartphones, at the places they visit everyday such as malls, restaurants and retailers.
The information submitted allows businesses to see what’s actually happening on the ground, and for the first time, to experience their product or service through the eyes and ears of their customers. Businesses can reach out to thousands of consumers on their phones, ask them for the market intelligence they require, and receive it back in real time. Customers on the other hand, get rewarded in cash for providing the information, so it’s a win-win situation for both!
How did the concept for Task Spotting come about?
Task Spotting is the brainchild of one of our founders, Karim Aly. He had experienced first-hand the challenges of getting quick, reliable data and felt this was a widespread problem with many companies across the region. He came up with the idea of combining crowdsourcing with a smartphone app to help businesses get real-time visibility and market insights, solving a real business problem.
Has this concept been successful in other regions around the world?
There are a couple of US-based companies that are leveraging crowdsourcing in an attempt to help businesses capture information and they have been a source of inspiration for us. However, we have yet to identify any player that is offering Task Spotting’s breadth of data, level of accuracy, or robust analytics.
From a marketing perspective, why would businesses want to get involved with Task Spotting?
Task Spotting enables businesses to gain valuable information, such as competitive and product intelligence, market and customer understanding at any stage of the customer lifecycle, which creates serious competitive advantages from a marketing perspective. If this information is gathered from the outset, a marketing strategy can be based on genuine insight and reliable knowledge of market trends and competitive information, the benefits of which are endless. Companies can better target their products, choose their channels wisely, and allocate their marketing budgets effectively.
Our dashboard is also a marketer’s dream, with some very rich analytical tools built in, including the ability to filter and segment data across multiple dimensions such as gender, age, location, responses etc, as well as trending capabilities; all of which offer a very deep level of customer understanding which can feed into the marketing strategy.
What kind of campaigns does Task Spotting offer for businesses?
The most common applications of the app are mystery shopping, retail execution audits and competitive intelligence surveys. However, the potential applications vary greatly, as essentially it is a platform that connects businesses in need of information with a crowd that is willing and able to provide it, so businesses can use the platform to their benefit depending on what information they are looking for and where their main points exist.
What does the average campaign cost?
Every campaign is different but the pricing model is linear and very simple. It is based on the number of the tasks involved in each mission, and the number of responses that the business requires. Spotters (app users) are paid between AED 10- 75 per mission, so the more complex the mission, the greater the incentive will have to be for Spotters to be willing to provide the information. Having said that, Task Spotting is a far more financially viable method of gathering market intelligence as compared to traditional market research.
Why is Task Spotting more effective than traditional data research methods?
First of all, most traditional market research houses offer syndicated data released on a scheduled basis. Due to the lag in data collection and use, the results are retrospective and often much less relevant, especially in fast-paced environments such as retail. Task Spotting delivers verified, real-time data from actual customers at precise locations, so that businesses are able to make decisions in days rather than weeks or months. Basically, we allow businesses to spend less time trying to find problems and more time fixing them.
How do you ensure that the data collected by the app is accurate?
All information collected through Task Spotting is geo tagged and time-stamped to ensure accuracy and reliability. We have also built in dozens of verification mechanisms to ensure that the data is genuine. As the information is gathered through smartphones, businesses can also augment their data with rich media such as photos, videos and audio to complement text-based responses and offer a deeper level of insight.
How can businesses ensure that a Task Spotting campaign is a reputable source of data when implementing it into the marketing strategy?
Businesses don’t need to go through any additional verification processes, as they are able to see on their Task Spotting dashboard when and where each of the missions was completed, so they know that a customer was actually in store at a certain time when they took a picture of a promotional display. In addition, the app only allows location-based missions to be started and completed while users are at the exact location, so they cannot complete a customer service audit while they are at home – it would have to be at the restaurant, where the experience is fresh in their minds and the information provided is accurate.
How can businesses get involved with Task Spotting?
A company needs to simply request an account which they can do through our website – www.taskspotting.com – or they can contact us directly. We help them activate their account and they can immediately start creating missions through their cloud dashboard. All missions need to go through an approval process, but this is usually very quick so most missions will go live in a matter of hours.
You’ve recently launched in the UAE. Does Task Spotting have any plans for expansion in the MENA region?
Sure we do, this is just the start of our journey! Having said that, we’re currently in the process of learning and fine-tuning through feedback that we receive from our clients and Spotters before we embark on our ambitious expansion plans.