Microsoft released a new version of its do-it-yourself audience engagement platform Bing Pulse earlier this week, one that is aimed at ad agencies and market researchers.
Similar to its predecessor, which launched in 2014, Pulse for Market Research allows the survey giver to see results from respondents in real time. But it also offers more advanced functions, like live streaming and moderated response groups.
Survey takers can respond by using their smartphone, computer or tablet by selecting answers -- which usually range from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree" -- during a live or prerecorded event. The platform is open to anyone and results are seen in real time. And unlike many of the mobile polling services available today, Microsoft's service is free -- even if you're polling, say, 10,000 people.
Microsoft's Chief Strategy Officer Mark Penn said the demand for mobile survey tools is increasing and is the favored medium to collect survey data. "I think you are going to see this platform more in corporate meetings and with ad agencies," Mr. Penn said. "This allows anyone to use the tech and gauge what the audience is thinking in real time."
Mr. Penn said Pulse for Market Research will be a dynamic tool when it comes to feedback for ad tests or audience responses. "You can now do ad testing on an unlimited scale very inexpensively," he said. "You no longer need sophisticated equipment. This is a platform in the cloud that can provide insight and detail in a second-by-second basis."
Pulse is especially used in politics, television and sporting events. The platform is already a staple in MSNBC's The Great Debate. "Many platforms offer DIY polling, but they do not provide real-time insights," Mr. Penn added. "Our tech is unique."