The untold story behind the hottest market research tool
August 9, 2021
Perhaps you have heard, there is a new kid on the block. Boomerang Ideas. This company is shaking things up – introducing the next-generation tool in the market research industry.
Boomerang Ideas is a simple-to-use tool that allows you to survey your desired target group to get answers to your burning questions. It offers very distinctive sociodemographic filters to micro-target one’s go-to-market to get representative and highly accurate results. A dream come true for any market researcher.
Founded in 2018 by Raphael Ueberwasser and Mauro Bieg. Together with help of Alison Light, Gianmarco Marinello, and Manuel Eppert the product was refined to the Boomerang technology we know today. The small team created never seen before technology that is sure to shape the future of the industry. This revolutionary product is the first of its kind, utilizing marketing automation to post on all major social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Snapchat. Their enhanced intelligent algorithms help to ensure that they get feedback from the right people. Once all the data has been consolidated, it is sorted into a detailed report. This includes a full breakdown by location, age group, or gender to see which demographics are likely to be interested in your idea or see what opinion they have.
Today I had the pleasure of speaking with the founder, Raphael Ueberwasser, to discuss his entrepreneurial journey. He shares his story, how the company came to be, what inspired this venture, and what he wants to do next. Without further ado, let’s dive in.
How did the idea and concept for the start-up come about?
“Before becoming an entrepreneur, I was working in C-level management consulting for several years. During this time, I started to recognize some patterns. I saw that we were solving problems, however, we were not focusing on the right ones. Consultants face the most pressing challenges: digitalization, internal restructuring, VUCA-related topics and so much more. Therefore, they don't have the time to look at the bigger picture and ensure a societal benefit. Businesses struggle with finding the right product or business idea, often enough, validation is done on the wrong channels resulting in strong biases.
I had the same problem when switching from being an employee to self-employed. Trying to figure out if my business idea was any good.
For many years, I’m fascinated by the power of crowd intelligence. For those who do not know, it is the world’s first Enterprise Collaboration Platform. I told myself, there must be a way to leverage crowd intelligence to validate a business idea instantly by using the power of technology and the connection of people. This led to the first version of Boomerang Ideas: a business idea validation engine built with the power of crowd intelligence.
Once I had the idea, I jumped into action, brainstorming ideas, designing a prototype, and building the company from scratch. Eventually, I came to the point where I needed to decide if I should quit my consulting job and start Boomerang Ideas full-time.
Fast-forward to now, Boomerang Ideas has transformed into the product it is today. Now it is a useful tool for market researchers and a strong leader in the industry. It is easy to use, extremely accurate, and affordable. Marketresearch is an expensive luxury that most companies cannot afford. I wanted to create something that bridges the gap between traditional market research companies and make this service more accessible to all."
What were the biggest hurdles during your entrepreneurial journey?
"I had many hurdles to overcome, but two stick out the most for me: regulatory hurdles and understanding behavior science.
When I started, I never expected to become bigger than a GmbH. I never considered the implications of choosing an ill-fitting legal entity. Well, I found out rather quickly afterward. It turns out, that it is nearly impossible to change from a GmbH to an AG. My team and I learned the hard way, but thankfully we managed it like any other obstacle that start-ups face.
Another regulatory challenge we had to overcome was setting up a recognizable pricing system that our customers are accustomed to and know. Online social media platforms use a budget-orientated pricing system through the use of ads. Whereas, market research companies have a fixed price per respondent. I’ve built a threshold-based algorithm that allows us to have a pricing strategy that is on par with the standards of market research and simple for our customers to understand.
Finally, the biggest challenge we encountered was figuring out how to motivate poll participation without rewarding the participants on a monetary level.
To start, we ran a study to get a better understanding of the population. In the first year, we were only working with Facebook. However, Facebook itself does not accurately represent public opinion. Though members can join at the age of thirteen, the average member is in their early forties. Facebook appeals to a very specific age and demographic, thus the results are less representative.
To truly get accurate results, we needed to ask the people on their favourite social media networks. The key is relevancy. The channel needs to be relevant so that the right person participates. We wanted to rely solely on the participants' curiosity as an incentive to guarantee that the results are non-bias and highly accurate. Once we discovered this key insight, it was a matter of finding the right people and sparking intrinsic motivation to encourage continual participation. We’ve established this quite well, might I add. Of course, it’s a journey to keep improving the experience and this process."
Why Boomerang, what is so unique about Boomerang Technology?
"I love this question because it highlights the uniqueness of Boomerang Ideas.
When you look at Market research, it’s very old school. You go to your market research company, ask your questions, they assemble a list of panelists paartaking in the surveys, and then you get your results. Unfortunately, it is very expensive, and panelists tend to have a short life span, thus it can be difficult to ensure that their results are representative. All participants come to the point in which they are only answering for the (often monetary) incentive. This is just the design of conventional market research.
What makes Boomerang special is that it is relevant. Surveys of traditional quantitative market research tend to be too long, and long surveys have a high drop-off rate. Making shorter polls not only more fun, more relevant, and in the end more accurate. We are limiting the number of questions to 3 per survey, which has proven to be excellent for social media.
Boomerang is an all-in-one tool that is completely atomized. Our algorithm allows us to post on all major social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Snapchat. Micro-targeting filters paired with our intelligent algorithms help to make sure we get feedback from the right people. Our business intelligence consolidates all the data to help you quickly grasp the answers, including individual comments. The results are compiled into a neat and tidy report in as little as 5 days. Our technology is unprecedented and next-generation, we are simply unique in the market research industry."
What are your future plans for the company? What’s next?
"Social media is super-dynamic, thus the social media sampling we use today will look very different in a few years – the next TikTok or Instagram is surely coming soon. We need to ensure our product stays relevant by constantly adapting and evolving. To achieve this, machine learning/AI will play a bigger role in the next few years. A pre-study conducted at the University of Zurich provided valuable insights, continual studies to help us validate and develop our methodology further.
Our technology has the highest possible data privacy and ethical standards, therefore our intelligent automation may be of use for other business models as well. So we’re exploring further opportunities to expand and evolve as a company.
Now that is just scratching the surface, let’s not forget the bigger picture.
The future of media is infinite and full of endless possibilities. Which, yes, can be very exciting, however, amidst the flowers and rainbows lurk grave danger. The existing problem I see today is that media is consumed for its images and catchy titles, but the content gets lost in the noise. Newspapers and media need a new communication format that focuses too much on grabbing the reader's attention, then fails to inform the reader and deliver on the message. Studies show that most people only read the titles of news articles and think they have read the whole article, when in fact they only have obtained 5% of the information.
I want to inform readers with cold hard facts in a format that is more appealing to online newspaper readers. Boomerang Ideas has the information people want to know, such as what 18-24-year-old’s think about the Corona vaccination. Boomerang data combined with auto-generated (by the AI) infographics allow us to decrease clickbait fake news and title readers. I want to combine data science and data visualization (from our survey platform) to provide a new source of informative media for consumers.
By giving everyone the same chances to voice their opinion and enabling fair-priced surveys, I believe we are not only shaping the industry but also democratizing market research!"
So there you have it. Wise words from the founder himself 😊