CoolTool operates a marketplace through which market research buyers, freelancers,research agencies and online panel providers sell and buy a wide range of research-related services. The company also provides a comprehensive cloud-based platform to run entire projects online, from start to finish. This platform features a wide array of survey technologies (online, mobile, tablets, virtual interviewer, etc.), various analysis and report tools, as well as a wealth of third party applications (e.g. emotions measurement, eye-tracking).
To find out a bit more about this new CASRO member company, we posed several questions. Here’s how they responded:
From left to right: Dmitry Gaiduk (CEO), Elena Gaiduk (Vice Director, Customer Experience), Max Mednikov (CTO), Yan Bergeron (COO), and Alicja Kasjan
(PR & Communication Manager).
Please tell us about the formation and growth of your company to date. Did it begin in Europe and are you moving more into other global markets?
We did start our product development in Europe. It has become somewhat of a test-run for us. However, we do not limit ourselves geographically. One of the main advantages of digital technologies is that it has a worldwide coverage. Our users conduct international projects, yet hire local suppliers, who have a better understanding of the region. In terms of business development, we did experience a geographical shift since the launch of CoolTool. Currently our key market is the USA, as most of the clients come from that region. About 30% of our clients are located in Europe, which makes it our second largest market. The remaining 20-25% come from different countries all over the world. Interestingly enough, our first user (after we opened public access to the platform) came from Uruguay.
What kinds of companies are using your research production webtool?
We don’t consider our system DIY, as that usually implies a simplistic, basic solution. CoolTool is a self-service platform, where you can hire research freelancers, consultants, designers, translators – all those who make research easier for you. Our users vary from small and mid-sized business, to large companies such as Mastercard, Anadolu Efes, MTS, and HP. As for the end user, it is important to remember that our tool is made for market research professionals. We are not saying you can’t run a simple survey with our tool like SurveyMonkey users do, because you can. However, the range of features is so wide that using CoolTool for a simple survey would be like using an industrial cutter to slice a piece of bread.
Which of your services are growing fastest/generating increased interest from customers during the past year?
Marketplace, no doubt. The number of companies in our Marketplace increased by 200% since its launch in 2012. Currently, these are mostly big players, panel owners and research agencies. We are planning to attract more freelancers and consultants to widen the choice of suppliers for research buyers and to provide more job opportunities for freelancers.
CoolTool's Marketplace has experienced a rapid growth in users during the past year. The company is working to attract more freelancers and consultants into the system, thereby expanding the breadth of services and choice options.
What do you consider the biggest challenges in your business/business model? How are you addressing them?
CoolTool is a disruptive innovation within its industry. Being part of a digital movement provides many opportunities and at the same time presents us with a challenge. As every ahead-of-its-time product, we have to teach and demonstrate that digital research can be done professionally. The fact that such research is faster and cheaper does not call for a compromise on the quality of the research. However, the conservative market research industry finds it hard to believe and our challenge is to prove that it is possible. Our solution is increased global and regional coverage. We are creating a network of CoolTool representatives in different regions. These are mostly our partners and users who share our vision of the market research future and want to be a part of it. They help us to present a new way of doing market research – an online platform with simple, fast, yet professional solutions.
What are some of the steps you are taking as a company to ensure you remain ahead of key market shifts/trends?
A comprehensive cloud-based market research platform, which our product is, stands to be an innovation itself. To remain such, we closely monitor not just market research trends, but innovations and changes in other industries. A part of our product development policy is to search for, integrate and test new digital solutions and new technologies on a regular basis. This remains possible thanks to our team of inspired professionals, who stay true to our corporate beliefs and understand the value of the product.
How many people work at your company? Do you have several offices?
Our team is relatively small - less than 20 people. We have two physical offices – our HQ in San Francisco and developers’ office in Europe (Kyiv (Kiev), Ukraine). However, our team is scattered all around the world – UAE, USA, Poland, Russia, etc.
Approximately how many companies are using your hub marketplace?
We have more than 300 corporate and individual clients worldwide.
What sorts of companies can best benefit from such a system?
Since CoolTool is a platform that connects professionals from different areas of market research, it brings benefits for different groups of users.
1) Companies that buy services at our Marketplace benefit by saving their money and time. First, moneywise, they spend 35-60% less on each study, depending on the project. Second, timewise, they spend as little as a few days or even a few hours to complete a project. This is possible due to the self-service approach we offer together with a set of professional web tools available at the platform.
2) The main benefit for research agencies is a competitive advantage they gain and a bigger operational area they cover through our platform. By using CoolTool, research agencies save time and resources on the integration of new technologies. They lower the production cost of the research studies. Finally, certain agencies, such as panel providers, use our Marketplace as an additional sales channel.
3) For consultants and freelancers, CoolTool is a comprehensive platform for conducting projects online, from start to finish. Within one platform they find clients, launch and complete projects, present results and get paid for their work. The web tools we provide allow one professional to carry out a research project that usually requires a work of an entire team or an agency.
Do you manage your own panel or online community or do you partner with sample providers?
Are any of your research services proprietary or is it a system of partnerships? Our approach is to create a comfortable, transparent and easy-to-use environment that connects various professionals. Therefore, we do not offer our own panels, online communities or research services. We are assisting market research players to collaborate, build new or maintain established partnerships.
Broadly, what are the immediate (1-2 years) and long-term (5+ years) plans/goals for the company?
New digital technologies create great opportunities for growth and development of our industry. Just think of Amazon or Expedia– wouldn’t it be great if we could buy research as quickly and easily as we buy a toy or to book a flight? That is what we are aiming for–to make research more available and make it faster. We plan to accomplish this through combining new technologies and fresh solutions with traditional wisdom and decades of experience; through connecting research professionals and creating a global network for clients and suppliers of market research. Our short-term goal is to introduce our product in new regions, such as Asia, Asia Pacific and Latin America, and to increase our presence in North America and Europe. Therefore, we are always open to collaboration with new partners, who share our vision and quality standards.
Tell us why you decided to join CASRO.
Although our company strives for innovation and is open to new ideas, we have a strong respect for tradition and high quality. CASRO is one of the most respected and trustworthy organizations among market research professionals and we are proud to be a part of it. Moreover, the philosophy and high standards CASRO sets are in line with our values and objectives. CoolTool aims for transparent, reliable and trustworthy research and being a member of CASRO helps us to affirm that. We also highly value the opinions of fellow professionals and always welcome the chance to join those who share our passion for innovation, technology and sustainment of high quality standards.