Fuel Cycle expands its audience research platform with launch of exchange for third-party tools
Described as the first of its kind, the Exchange integrates analytical and other third-party tools within the platform.
Since 2006, Fuel Cycle has made its living as an online audience research platform, helping brands get opinions from actual or would-be customers.
Now it is heading in a new direction, having launched a Fuel Cycle Exchange (FCX) that integrates third-party analytical and other tools via an API.
The Los Angeles, California-based company compares this effort, which it describes as the first of its kind, to Salesforce’s AppExchange, where outside applications are integrated into the CRM platform. Except, of course, Fuel Cycle is here playing the role of Salesforce.
Fuel Cycle obtains a panel of users who will provide their feedback to brands. Previously, it only offered online communities, discussion boards, focus groups, rewards and other solutions for conducting audience research. Here’s a screen from that research community:
But it didn’t have any formal integration with outside tools, or any ability to share data between tools. If a brand wanted to share survey data with a segmentation tool, for instance, it would have to export the data from one tool and import it into another.
Now, a user can control SurveyGizmo within the FCX platform, for instance, and transfer data to marketing automation platform Marketo, bilaterally. The current list of 13 integrated tools also includes emotion analyzer Affectiva, product and pricing research tool Conjoint.ly, prediction market tool Consensus Point and behavioral economics research tool Protobrand. Here’s a screen showing some of the available tools:
The data can only be exchanged between two tools at a time, and there is no data cleaning, translation or other massaging during the transition, except that Fuel Cycle replaces usernames with anonymized IDs when identified users are shared between tools.
Senior Vice President Rick Kelly gave me the example of a brand that might want to conduct a survey with current customers who have made three or more purchases in the last year.
It can pull that segment of customers through Marketo, then share those anonymized profiles with SurveyGizmo in order to run coordinated surveys. The brand then knows the purchase history of each surveyed customer and can analyze that info in other tools.
Kelly told me that other audience research platforms don’t generally integrate with outside tools, although they allow data exporting and occasionally offer their own tools. But, he added, he now expects those platforms to begin offering integrations similar to the FCX.