Whenever we chat with Atlanta entrepreneurs, the conversation inevitably leans towards the potential the city has to become one of the biggest startup hubs in the country.
Our conversation last week with 1Q’s CEO Keith Rinzler was no different. For Rinzler, Atlanta is just waiting for a big consumer-facing business success story.
“We need a company that is on the tip of every consumer’s tongue around the country,” Rinzler told Hypepotamus. And he thinks 1Q, which takes a unique look at how brands and users interact in market research, just might be that company.
1Q, a mobile market research and customer engagement platform, already has over a million users and several of the largest national brands using it to connect with customers.
1Q is different from legacy market research firms in both how it works with brands and individuals. As Rinzler puts it, “we give direct access to real live human beings’ brains.”
Companies and startups can ask questions to a predefined target audiences and get back real-time responses. Because customers use the DIY platform and a pay-per-response model, businesses of any size are able to conduct public opinion research, test new product ideas, or track brand reputation on their own.
The platform is easy to navigate, so companies don’t have to invest time in learning a new system in order to start seeing results. Perhaps the most unique feature is how anonymous responses are immediately pinpointed on a map, making it easier for brands to see where their potential customers are most engaged.
For respondents, Rinzler says that 1Q puts the focus on “consumer empowerment.” Users are presented with quick questions throughout the day on the 1Q app, and immediately receive funds into their PayPal account. For Rinzler, instantaneous payments and the shorter question format goes a long way in ensuring people answer questions honestly.
This, in turn, helps companies move away from cold calling, professional survey takers, and bots that have become a ubiquitous part of market research.
Rinzler, a 5th generation Atlantan and serial entrepreneur, recognized that market research was often time consuming and expensive, making it harder for small businesses to get the important consumer insights they need to grow.
“Why can’t somebody put companies directly in touch with the consumer they want to reach, without a middle man, and give them an instant response that the message, question, offer or link, coupon, survey was received?” Rinzler told Hypepotamus.
1Q has already received funding, but for the most part their growth has been grassroots and through word-of-mouth referrals. When Rinzler talked with Hypepotamus, he also recognized that 1Q could play a much bigger role in the Atlanta technology ecosystem.
“We want to help the underdogs,” said Rinzler. And as 1Q helps Atlanta startups connect with their audience, 1Q might just become the consuming-facing company the city’s ecosystem is looking for.