Vancouver’s Rival Technologies and sister company Reach3 Insights have launched a mobile messaging-based platform that enables brands to have access to “focus groups on demand” at scale.

Rival’s mobile community solution makes it possible to quickly engage – and re-engage – large numbers of key consumer groups to capture predictive quantitative and contextual qualitative feedback in one seamless experience.

Rather than relying on email, a mobile community reaches participants through popular messaging and social media apps, allowing companies to use the smartphone’s chat, voice and video technologies to unlock deep and rich insights.

“It’s surprising that insight communities today still rely on stodgy, email-based methods that fail to get to the authentic thoughts and feelings of customers,” says Andrew Reid, CEO and Founder of Rival Technologies.

Reid continued in a blog post, “When I left Vision Critical and started Rival Technologies just over two years ago, it was with the goal of bridging the gap between how people live their digital lives and how market research is conducted. Working with early adopters of our platform, we’ve heard time and time again about major concerns on insight communities. While companies still get a lot of business value out of insight communities, many forward-looking market researchers are realizing that this is a tool that can use a major overhaul”.

Among the early adopters of the platform are the Vancouver Canucks, who are using mobile communities to understand evolving consumer mindsets, attitudes and behaviors, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A mobile community can be set up in days, with recruitment conducted through social media and other methods to enable inclusion of community groups numbering in the thousands. Community members are kept engaged through chats—mobile-first surveys that use a mix of conversational language, photos, animated GIFs and videos in a messaging-like user interface.

Rival raised a $8.5 million seed round one year ago and was named “Outstanding Disruptive Startup” at the 2019 Next Gen Market Research Disruptive Innovation Awards.