Prediction markets research

This white paper describes prediction markets, an innovative way to improve the speed and accuracy of online concept tests. You will learn why prediction markets deliver accurate concept tests more quickly than traditional methods, how prediction markets work, why they are more cost effective, and when you should utilize a prediction market.

What if there were a better way to do concept tests?

Approximately $24.6 billion is spent on market research annually(8) – much of it on new product, packaging, and advertising concept testing. Accurate concept tests make smart market researchers seem like time travelers, pulling the future forward and revealing which new products, creative designs, and product development ideas will pay off.

But as you know, predictive accuracy comes with an investment—often a substantial one. Fortunately, we’re at a turning point regarding best practices in concept testing. Both academic and empirical evidence mount in favor of harnessing what bestselling author James Surowiecki has named “the wisdom of crowds” through the intelligent use of prediction markets.

This paper is your guide to the latest research, evidence, and methods regarding more effective and efficient concept tests. We reveal how and why prediction markets are becoming a preferred research method for accurate concept testing and why forward thinking corporations like Google, Hewlett Packard, and Eli Lily rely on it for strategy and direction. We look at iCE, the on-demand prediction market from Infosurv, and discuss how it frees companies to engage in faster, more effective concept testing.

Of course, new methods in market research, just as in all scientific endeavors, have to be rigorously tested and validiated before they become mainstream. Once you read this paper, we think you’ll agree that the balance is tipping in favor of prediction markets and you should consider a prediction market for your next concept test. Let’s take a look at why.

The development of prediction markets

So just what is a prediction market?

Prediction markets are speculative markets created for the purpose of making predictions. Assets are created whose final cash value is tied to a particular event or parameter. The current market prices can then be interpreted as predictions of the probability of the event or the expected value of the parameter. (2)

A well-known example of a prediction market is the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), where investors trade equity shares in public corporations. The share price of a corporation may be interpreted as a predicted value of their future earnings – an extremely accurate prediction in fact.

When celebrated New Yorker financial columnist James Surowiecki wrote the book, The Wisdom of Crowds, he shattered the conventional wisdom that a small group of experts is smarter than the masses. He pulled from a wide variety of sources to deliver the idea that the aggregate wisdom of a crowd is better than a poll of a trusted few or even the deliberation of an expert elite.

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