Welcome to the CRC 2021 Highlights Series. Recorded live in Dallas, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors, speakers and attendees at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Ben Kappes, Account Executive at Focus Groups of America.
More about CRC 2021: https://www.insightsassociation.org/conference/crc-2021
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Jamin Brazil: Hey everybody. I’m Jamin. You’re listening to the Happy Market Research Podcast live at CRC in Dallas, Texas. Ben Kappes – nailed it – account executive, Focus Groups of America is the name of the company. Ben, thank you so much for joining me on the Happy Market Research Podcast.
Ben Kappes: Thank you for having me on.
Jamin Brazil: All right, so here we are live in person. Tell me a little bit about your business.
Ben Kappes: Well I guess in short FGA is a full-service research supplier and we partner with market research teams and consultants by providing them with a turnkey solution or ala carte services to support their research.
Jamin Brazil: Got it. Give me an example.
Ben Kappes: Our main services are things like recruiting and videography, but we do a lot of facilitation services as well, whether it’s online or in person at a facility.
Jamin Brazil: Well given that you guys were predominately it sounds like in-person business pre-pandemic, the pandemic would have impacted you pretty dramatically. What do you think about getting back in person? How is that impacting you?
Ben Kappes: It’s pretty great to be back to in person. I mean the pandemic was certainly interesting. We took a pretty dramatic shift. I guess pre-pandemic the majority of our work, I’d say like 90 percent was in person. But throughout the pandemic we’ve been seeing nothing but online research, which I’m sure most people in the industry have been as well. But it’s certainly interesting getting back into in person but really I’m kind of indifferent one way or the other.
Jamin Brazil: Almost agnostic in terms of online, digital, just methodologies now.
Ben Kappes: Yeah, I mean in person is certainly fun. It’s nice to get out of the office. But I mean online research certainly has its benefits as a lot of people have found over the last years.
Jamin Brazil: What do you see as a trend coming out of the pandemic that’ll carry us into 2022?
Ben Kappes: I really – I’ve seen a lot of people that are planning on continuing to go with online methodologies. They find it to be cheaper, more convenient both for them and their clients. And really it just works better for them. So they’re more than happy to tune into a Zoom call and you know gather their insights in that way.
Jamin Brazil: Yeah, so you’re seeing Zoom as like one of the platforms that people are turning to for online qual?
Ben Kappes: Yeah, a lot of people are using Zoom. I know there’s a few different you know platforms available. We actually offer our own. But ours is actually built off of Zoom. We found it to be the most robust platform and really the platform that let us tailor it for market research the best.
Jamin Brazil: Yeah, for sure. Zoom’s – we use Zoom as well and it’s been – it is just like amazing, the quality, the consistency, not to disparage any other platforms but like Zoom’s definitely industrial strength.
Ben Kappes: Yeah, it’s a great product and we’re happy to be a part of it.
Jamin Brazil: It does lack the back room experience, doesn’t it?
Ben Kappes: It does but it’s funny you mention that. We’ve actually found a work-around for that entirely. We’ve managed to create a virtual observation room within our Zoom calls and that’s really what separates our platform from a standard Zoom package.
Jamin Brazil: That’s super-cool. Are you leveraging its go live functionality or YouTube?
Ben Kappes: We’re not using a native broadcasting channel but we are using an integrated broadcast channel to securely stream that out.
Jamin Brazil: Got it. And then clients would – your customers would have access through some sort of like private key or password-protected.
Ben Kappes: Yeah. Typically for our platform we send them like – it’s essentially another Zoom call and then we broadcast the Zoom call into that Zoom call through a third-party integration.
Jamin Brazil: My guest today has been Ben Kappes, account executive, Focus Groups of America. Ben, it has been an honor having you on the podcast.
Ben Kappes: Thank you so much for having me. It’s been an honor to be on.
Jamin Brazil: Everybody, have a good rest of your day.