Confirmit is releasing version 17.5 of its Horizons SaaS multichannel market research solution. Features such as reporting, feedback/data collection and survey design have been enhanced.
One interesting new feature of Horizons Version 17.5 is an enhanced ability to integrate unstructured text analytics with surveys and other data sources. Unstructured text and other content is a major component of Big Data, and extracting the hidden value within unstructured data, which is difficult to sort and analyze with traditional data management tools, has become a highly sought-after capability among digital marketers. Confirmit is promoting the easy integration of unstructured text as a means of obtaining a "single view of the customer."
In addition, Horizons v17.5 includes upgrades and new features such as enhanced creation, automation and management of complex workflows and processes that enable "Voice of the Customer" research and survey programs, customizable multichannel surveys, enriched reporting capabilities and experience, and upgraded panel management functionality.
Taking the Inclusive Approach
Confirmit takes an inclusive approach with the Horizons platform, meaning the tool is designed to bring as many customers from as many touchpoints as possible into a user's market research sphere. This helps marketers ensure their messaging is consistent across multiple channels and takes as much customer sentiment as possible into account.
In April 2012, Confirmit released Version 17 of Horizons. In addition to enhanced multichannel feedback capabilities, Horizons v17 offered extended integration of mobile data into the Confirmit platform and the ability to view media captured on mobile devices, such as photos and video clips, from within Confirmit's reporting suite. It also offered improved collection and processing of unstructured data, but it seems that now all major customer engagement platforms are integrated into Horizons, Confirmit is going to focus more on capturing as much customer data as possible, structured or otherwise.
The Cross-Channel Revolution
Confirmit's efforts are to be as inclusive as possible, with the multichannel market research capabilities of Horizons lining up with the prediction of a coming "cross-channel revolution" made by CRM Magazine in December 2010. "Consumers who research, browse, and buy through multiple channels are among a business's most valuable," stated a column. "Studies of retail buyers have shown these consumers buy more, and more frequently, than their single-channel counterparts."
The magazine cited the rapidly increasing popularity of mobile technology as a key driver of the cross-channel revolution. To show how quickly the market is evolving, the article stated, smartphones "are not yet ubiquitous." Not quite two years later, feature phones are still used, but clearly smartphones have taken a dominant position that will evolve to ubiquity in the not-too-distant future.