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Vidlet Goes Live

Wired reported on the launch of Vidlet, a mobile video app and service for businesses conducting ethnographic research.

Market research is tired and has become an elite sport. Getting customer insights is difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. Vidlet co-founder, Doreen Lorenzo, acknowledged the importance companies place on market research programs and said that “fewer and fewer companies have budgets to take a team and send its members around the world.” As budgets shrink, brands are looking for a more accessible and effective way to reach their customers.  Vidlet helps companies democratize ethnographic research by outsourcing it to the phone of its research subjects. Vidlet uses a smartphone’s camera to document a respondent’s life, rather than sending teams of researchers around the world.

When respondents open the app, they receive a list of questions they have to answer while videotaping themselves. The videos are saved on a backend portal, and the company that commissioned Vidlet can tag the videos and organize them into mini-docs.

While many would question outsourcing ethnographic research into an app, Doreen Lorenzo explains that the purpose of Vidlet is not to replace current forms of market research but to augment them. Vidlet has been able to tap into a modern trend: people’s increasing comfort in front of their phones.  Responding behind a screen rather than face-to-face with a researcher has become not only natural but often preferred.  



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