Ryan breaks down how tech is transforming market research. While technology has removed some of what market research held at the center of it’s offerings, Ryan shows how tech also presents fertile new grounds for opportunities. With a focus on bringing the industry into the offensive, to take advantage of these new opportunities, Ryan shares a bit about how Zappi is implementing new tech and business models now. He also shares with us a bit about his background and some of the lessons he’s learned through his career.
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Hi. I’m Jamin, and you’re listening to the Happy Market Research podcast. Today I’m joined by Ryan Barry, chief revenue officer of Zappi. Founded in 2013, Zappi partners with leading research companies like Kantar, MMR, and BuzzBack to turn their methodologies into insight products. These products are used by the likes of McDonald’s, Amazon, and Verizon. Prior to joining Zappi, Ryan worked at Lightspeed and has founded a nonprofit that engaged millennials in charity work. Ryan, thank you very much for joining us today.
Thank you so much, Jamin and Alexandra, for having me. It’s my pleasure.
Well, we’re really excited. I have been following your company closely, you know, since your launch in 2013, really since you joined in two-thousand and-I think it was fourteen. But before we get into ZappiStore and the work that’s happening there, I’d love to start with your roots, you know, background in marketing, of course, and then later you graduated with a marketing research degree, your MBA, I think, from the University of Georgia. Why did you choose marketing research?
It’s a good question. So I was a bit of a-I guess you’d call me a late bloomer. So I was raised by two beautiful parents who hustled to make ends meet, so, you know, that’s how I sort of came up. And early in grade school, in middle school, whatever, I was always selling something, I was always marketing something. And I didn’t know that at the time. And I also spent too much time in high school probably having fun, so when I got to college I was a bit of a-you know, what am I going to do. And I started taking these business classes. So I just loved marketing. And, you know, the plan was Madison Avenue, and I’m speaking metaphorically. I thought I was going to go work at a big ad agency and be a planner. And, anyways, right before I graduated university I got an opportunity to design a program for the Market Research Association. So this is a long time ago before the merger, all that fun stuff. And I went to the MRA New England conference, which oddly I was the president of like ten years later, and I fell in love with it. And I met some, you know, early days fairly senior employees at a company called GMI, which was founded in ’98 by Rob Monster, which eventually became Lightspeed. And I decided to join and haven’t looked back since. And I decided to join frankly, Jamin, not because of market research, but because I was able to join this sort of not-quite startup but business that was still figuring it out and at an early age I just got access to do a lot. And then the economy crashed about three weeks after I joined. So then, you know, I was right out of school doing a ton of different work that I had no business or experience doing, but the amount of learning I got in those early years was just unbelievable. And then as I started to grow I realized I work with people and I study people-what a cool place to earn a living. And so now I do consider myself part of the community. I mean, I don’t think I’d ever leave this industry. It’s-I mean, the amount of friends and people who I respect that I’ve learned-that I’ve got to know along the way are-I mean, there’s just so many of them. So, yeah, probably like most others, Jamin, by accident.
So you were part of GMI. Was that when Rob Monster was CEO?
It was just around the time he was leaving. It was at the time when the company, they were going to bring in sort of private equity leadership to hedge the losses, kind of focus on growth, understand core competency, and so when I got there the company was a software platform, a panel company, had some full-service capabilities. There was quite a few product offers, and within that first year it was, “Oh, wow, we have this thing called a panel asset. It’s very profitable, and maybe we should just do that.” And so I was kind of part of- Well, I was a consumer of that pivot, if that makes sense.
What’s really interesting about that, Rob Monster’s vision was this-He even coined the term data ecosystem, Microsoft being one of his largest contributors. In fact, I even think there was C-level executive of Microsoft that was sitting on GMI’s board in those days. And the vision, this is early, right? I mean, this is early 2000s when it started taking shape. The vision that Rob had was to bring about a holistic approach to research where a company like Microsoft would be able to create almost an insights product similar to, in a lot of ways, what ZappiStore is doing today. Did that-Did those early days help inform your decision on joining ZappiStore?
You know what? I wasn’t there early enough. But I’ll tell you something with my experience at Lightspeed did. So I was-I used to manage the southeast business. And then I started looking after a lot of-this is now still pre-merger-a lot of the enterprise accounts, and we were trying to figure out how does a company who programs surveys and provides access to sample add value in the enterprise. And I partnered with Marketing and Planning Systems, which is now part of Kantar, and we had this really cool program, which you probably know about because it ran on the Decipher platform, where we basically built this ecosystem of tracking quick-hit surveys, ad hoc surveys, for Walmart. And it was this awesome program, and we ran it for-I mean, it was-It’s no longer a thing, which is why I’m now publicly talking about it. It’s a really cool ecosystem, and it was the beginning of-We sort of thought of this way to do research on demand before it was really a thing. And so it was that thinking. I said, oh, there’s-you know, there was a very high-performing program for us when I was there, and I said, oh, there’s something to this. That eventually I looked back at and laughed, and I said, “Oh, that’s-that was sort of some type of Zappi thinking before Zappi was a thing.” The reason I decided to join Zappi was I was doing a couple of projects at night. I had a dog business with my wife, a nonprofit. But I felt like I had learned everything I was going to learn doing what I was doing. But I didn’t want to go work on a widget or a toy, and I think there’s a lot of-I was listening to your and Merrill’s [ph] interview earlier this morning, and I think the conversation you guys were having about the eight-year-old kids chasing the soccer ball left and right, I mean, there’s a lot of that that goes on. And so I wanted to make sure my next step was something that could make impact. And the idea of what Steve was trying to do with Zappi, while raw, you could see it. You could see where this could go and the potential. And so then what really made me decide to join Zappi was Steve. I met him; we hit it off right away and realized the two of us have extremely complementary skillsets. And so, you know, Steve is now one of my really close friends and we work so well together because of that complementary nature. So it was, you know, the ability to build a business the right way with somebody who I believed in working with that was really what got me here. But I just saw the opportunity, if we execute it, of what this business could be.
That’s really interesting. Did you work with the Hummingbird product for project management inside of GMI?
I did. That was a-I mean, that could have been its own company.
Yeah, just for a little bit of inside baseball, I was selling into-selling Decipher into then GMI. As GMI went through its re-org, one of the assets that emerged that was very interesting was this Hummingbird product, which is this very sophisticated CRM that supposedly-and I didn’t interact with it directly-but had broad-reaching application even outside of market research.
Yeah, it was pretty clever. Tom-If Tom Ottersburg[ph] is a subscriber of yours, I’d shout out to Tom, because he was one of the architects behind it. But you could run the whole life cycle through it. So I came up as a project manager. And so you could like-you could see every element of the project in this system, and it was-I think it was one of the things that when Kantar eventually acquired GMI it was one of the main assets besides obviously the panel base. So when I came to Zappi and, you know, like most startups you start running your CRM out of Excel files for a couple years and then, of course, like most other companies, we then get it to run in Salesforce. There was definitely a few days where I was, like, “I wish I still had Hummingbird.”
That’s great. So, in those early days at Lightspeed, were you predominantly focused on sales?
No, I got into sales because I always wanted to run a business. And Dan Fitzgerald [ph]-I have a lot of mentors in my life. Dan Fitzgerald was running their commercial business at the time, and I always had a good relationship with him. And I had spent the first couple years just doing project management, account management, and I wanted to learn. You know, I think work is mostly about learning, you know, so I’m trying to learn every day. And I felt as though I wasn’t going to learn much else executing work, and I wanted to get another lens on the business. And if I was eventually going to try to run a PNL, I thought having a number, having a quota, being responsible for the commercial side of the business was something I needed to get some more exposure to. So that’s what got me into sales at that time. So that was probably two years in. And then the rest of the time I was in some sort of commercial role from there.
One of the things I attribute GMI and later Lightspeed’s success or now Lightspeed’s success to on a growth basis was its ability to apply outside marketing and sales techniques. That was largely brought in by Dan Fitzgerald. That was under his leadership that, you know, whether it’s direct-or actually improved direct sales took effect. So did you have exposure in terms of the pre- and post-Dan Fitzgerald?
Oh, yeah. I mean, so Dan was just coming in when I joined the company, and within a year that place was tight-I mean, systematic process, I mean, the place was just run like a machine. And, I mean, those high growth years that GMI had, I mean, it was consistent 35-40% growth, and the business was already fairly big at that time. Yeah, I mean, so Dan’s still a mentor of mine, and now I can-I’m pleased I can say he’s a friend of mine. I still call him for advice today. I mean, and that business was humming for a good few years. And obviously Lightspeed is a very big business now, so they’re doing different things to continue their growth and evolution. But, yeah, Dan’s the best. I know we both have a good relationship with Dan. So I still feel like I’ve got a lot to learn from him.
Yeah, that makes two of us. So while you were at Lightspeed you started a nonprofit, Doing It for the Kids. You talked a little bit before about your desire to have your own business. Was-Maybe talk to us about what the Doing It for the Kids was. And then I think you ran it for about 12 months. What ultimately happened with it?
Yeah, for sure. So one of my best friends and I, we were up-So I lived in a post-college frat house for a couple years too long, like probably many people do, many people who live in cities like I do. So I lived in a big old ugly house in Boston with a few friends, and my college roommate and I have always had a very competitive business type of friendship. So we both went to business school together, and so, you know, we would-Anyways, we’re sitting there talking. We’re, like, all these brands are trying to get access to Millennials. Millennials are trying to do the right thing for people in the world and society. They don’t want to write checks to bureaucrats, but they like having fun. I mean, you see all of these like social Boston sports or social New York sports or whatever they might be. And so we just had this idea where like if we could throw amazing competitive events, volleyball tournaments, golf tournaments, 5Ks, whatever, have brands offset a lot of the opex, they’d get access to a very high demand group of people, millennials. Millennials would come and have fun. And because the events themselves wouldn’t cost much because of the fact that the sponsorship would offset it, we could just make the money go directly to kids. And so we partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of Boston. And I vividly remember that the CEO of Boys and Girls Club of Boston, Josh Kraft-his dad you probably know is Bob Kraft, who is a CEO of the Patriots-I remember sitting there. We just had this random idea with two PowerPoint slides, and, anyways, he let us help him. So we built a brand. We built a Web site. We held a bunch of events. We raised some money. And then my partner Tyler was going to pitch to find more partners, and he met Bert Jacobs, who is the CEO and cofounder of the Life Is Good company, which is a business that stands for optimism. And you probably know them as an apparel company with really cool outfit-you know, for T-shirts that have inspirational optimistic phrases on them. And he had had a nonprofit, as well as an apparel brand, and there was a pretty significant gap between the two businesses that he was trying to bridge. And so we sort of said, you know, why don’t you come in and do this for our business, so Tyler, my partner, went and did that. And I was at the same time going through some evolution with my wife, who was a CPA and hated her job, and she wanted to do something entrepreneurial. And so I decided to sort of stay at Lightspeed. Tyler went and did that at Life Is Good and, you know, has gone on to have an amazing career so far since then. And my wife was basically a CPA, and she would come home from work every day just like miserable. We had this really crazy hound dog named Wallace, and he needed to get exercise. But we didn’t want to pay to have it walked around the block, and we said what if we just had a business where we took other people’s dogs to do what we do on the weekends, which is bring them in the woods, let them get off the leash and have some fun. And so that ended up being my new side hustle, my new project. And we-that was real fun. I mean, we-I remember sitting by the phone waiting for the first customers to call. And we built a nice little business. By the end of it, we had 12 employees. And frankly, Jamin, I was at a crossroads: Am I doing this full-time or am I going to go do Zappi? And so obviously we’re sitting here talking about Zappi, so you know what I ended up doing. But, yeah, those were the two kind of things that were happening at different points in time, both of which I learned a lot from.
It’s interesting that you-a side hustle sounds like it’s been either a consistent desire or a part of your life. And it’s no wonder that you started with a-with ZappiStore and then moved into the chief revenue officer role. What was your-Where was your competence placed in ZappiStore? What was the real big aspect that attracted you to it?
Well, what attracted me to it was something has been wrong with this industry for a while and I could see the end coming of-you know, there’s always this reputation in our industry that, you know, how many years did we both go to conferences and you hear this is the year of mobile and then nothing sort of happened. And, I mean, it was a good few ARF conferences where you’d see keynotes-and not to pick on ARF-I mean, it was all the conferences, but-and, you know-But I also saw the rest of the world starting to be exponential in change and evolution, and I want to be part of it. And so I was looking-Frankly, I was looking at a bunch of businesses, you know, to try to see what was next for me. And as I was in a role where I was trying to evangelize what Lightspeed did in the enterprise, I said, “OK, so there’s a gap in service there. What could be the thing?” And then I met Steve, and it was this-it was an idea. You know, it was an idea with a prototype and it sort of worked, and I said, “You know what? There’s something there, you know.” So it was-I knew there was something wrong. The way research companies make money has been broken for a while. The way brands get access to and use insights when they need them, and it’s also longitudinally it’s been broken for a while. And so I just thought if we could pull this off there’d be-we could add a lot of value. And frankly I thought the other part of it is how many startups don’t get to do viable, tangible market research. Could we eventually not help those businesses instead of just helping Coke, Pepsi do more research? So that was part of it. The other part honestly was culture. It was abundantly clear to me, as I said a few minutes ago, Steve and I had-you know, we had a synergy between the two of us, and I wanted to do something where I could build culture and build it in a way where people wouldn’t have the Sunday scaries, where they’d be fired up to come to work. And so that was the other reason. I just figured we’re going to-if we’re going to, you know, have a blank canvas and both he and I are both aligned kind of on a principle basis about, you know, the importance of people, I was all in. So I remember kind of I was going back and forth pros and cons with my wife for like a month, and eventually my wife said, “You just need to make a decision.” So I’ll never forget we went to a reggae concert. The next morning I woke up. The first thing that popped into my head was Zappi. I called Steve, and, you know, I’ve been running ever since.
So let’s dive in a little bit in the subject of culture. Two things stand out. One is your enthusiasm and joy and desire to have fun. The other thing, of course, is this constant learning or growing, developing. What are the core beliefs or the DNA of ZappiStore today?
It’s a good question, and I think culture is something that evolves. And it evolves sometimes for the better and sometimes, you know, a business evolves for the worse. I mean, so there’s a couple of things about Zappi’s culture. I believe people should bring their entire existence to work, good, bad, and ugly. So you see me as I am every day. I talked-I was just on the phone before this with one of our biggest clients. I talked to him the same way I would our office manager, the same way-I mean, everybody-I’m just me and that’s it. And I think everybody is empowered to do that. We run a very flat company, which means we value candor, honesty. You know, you’ll very rarely go to a meeting at Zappi where there’s not a fairly intense discussion happening, and it’s important-There’s a great book, right, Kim Scott [ph], who has worked at I think all the big companies, all the famed companies, about radical candor. And that’s something we really subscribe to in that if you really care about people you can be really honest about things. And so that honesty is important. We’ve also been really fortunate to have a company where 23 countries are represented on our staff. And naturally being a software company you have a diversity of personality types. You have type As like me, but you also have logicians. So our CTO and I literally could not be more different people. We approach problem-solving completely differently. But the byproduct of the two of us sitting together is a much better decision than one of us would make in isolation. So that level of inclusive listening and courageous honesty are key things that we strive for. And because we’re flat we also give people the autonomy to make decisions and work on stuff, which I think is important because if everybody is just following one of us then we have to wait in line and, you know, the amount of time spent putting stuff up the flagpole, down the flagpole, it’s just not productive. And so we follow a pretty simple rule here or anybody can make any decision as long as they take the advice of people who are affected by it and listen to it. And so that’s been a key part. And as we’ve grown, we now, we’re no longer six of us sitting around a table. There’s 220 of us. So it’s, there’s different evolutions. Some people you hire aren’t necessarily gonna fit in that environment, or sometimes the environment needs to adapt to fit in other people. And so you’re kinda constantly going through that change. But I just this morning was on a call with a new employee. I try to talk to everybody as frequently as I can. And I won’t say where he worked before, but he worked for one of the big companies in this industry, and he said it’s the first time in ten years he hasn’t had the Sunday Scaries. And I was just like, it was really cool to hear that as we’ve continued to grow. So that’s a little bit about our culture. We just think if everybody can lead and own what they do, and ideas and innovation can come from everywhere, then we can continuously grow and get in front of where the world’s going, not get stagnant.
I think one of the brilliant things, the ZappiStore did democratization of insights. And you touched on this earlier. You took what was a $50 or a $100,000 price point product and through automation created a still profitable solution for large research companies, like Millward Brown. And, but then it was sold at a price point that was-I think your Web site says you have products that are under $2,000. So very, very cheap, and yet still very valuable in the context of the sponsors and the insight companies that this is coming from. In those early days, was there tension with, should we just build competitive products versus Millward Brown and bringing those to market? Kinda like Confirmit did in a lot of ways or Qualtrics. Or was the idea, let’s start a channel strategy with those large research companies?
It’s a really good question. And I think in any business where you’re disrupting the way things are, there’s gonna be tension throughout. So we have some amazing partnerships with Mark Research and Acacia Avenue and Kantar and MMR and some other organizations where they’ve got truly great thinking, truly great methods, databases that are really valuable. And those partnerships have been fruitful, and they’ve evolved over time. Some of our partnerships, like you know yourself with the businesses you’ve been a part of. Some partnerships work better than others. And also, our business has been evolving from a product market fit and go-to market perspective because, at the end of the day, we’ve really been cranking for four and a half years. And so there’s been that. So there’s one cost. Our platform is expert led, so everything on the platform has to be really grounded in proven, valid measurement methods. So we actually do have products that are our own. But, and we’ve always had products that are our own, but we don’t, we put them in a place where they’re appropriately positioned in our portfolio of what they can and can’t do. The other thing is we’ve always had a channel partnership strategy. But there’s-I mean you know yourself from Decipher, there’s a different level of desire to blow things up when you’re talking to the enterprise relative to the service providers that support them. And so we’ve kept that pressure on so that what we can do technologically isn’t stifled by anything else other than what the market demands versus some politics or agendas or what have you. And so we’ve continued to innovate, and that’s evolved the way channel works at Zappi, but we still have so many amazing partnerships. And the ones that I mentioned are still thriving and growing. But they’ll be times where there’s just a discrete choice model doesn’t have a lot of unique thinking in it, but where there’s value is consulting on top of it. And so you can see ways where that continuously evolves as our, frankly, as our capability continues to grow. But I view what we do as a way to allow agencies, consultancies to make money when they have really tangible, credible, valuable, intellectual property, but also to make money to put their brains to work instead of having to do a lot of the nuts and bolts work in between. My opinion is that helps the clients with, it helps them sell more stuff.
Develop their brands, etc.
The interview, which is not yet public but on, that we did with Adam Sykes from LinkedIn, Rougier, he actually said they’ve moved more and more away from ConJoin into using Facebook ads as a way to test the concepts. So they don’t care about exactly- it’s not about the ad. It’s about the, which one of the sales is winning. And so it’s just another example of where outside technology is displacing what has traditionally been the realm, solidly in the realm of market research. And why this subject is so important to us as researchers, and so when you dig into these conversations with customers, as you’ve so succinctly said, getting to the why, this versus that, is critical for the brands to be able to understand. It isn’t that 46% prefer. It’s why that is the case. And then the application of that to real life.
Well, it’s true, Jamin. I mean think of the opportunity we have. If the whole marketing industry is becoming programmatic, and there’s about a million ad tech toys that are getting Silicon Valley money chucked at them-
All this programmatic data lacks why data. And we’re-I mean it’s not-that’s what we have. We have this ability to bring that to the party, and technology gives us the ability to scale it. Some of the stuff we’re working on is being able to codify and scale expertise of people so that you don’t always have to do research first. You can first look back at what you know. But if we can give why data in this programmatic world, we’re not talking about an industry under duress. We’re talking about an industry that should be thriving. And that’s what, I mean if you were, I think you’ve probably heard me speak at one conference or another. Sometimes I’m pissed off about it because I just think we should be the industry that’s growing the fastest. I go to too many enterprises where research is still the department that goes to cover someone’s ass. And it’s like, oh God, if we just played offense, we could change all this. And we should because we have the skills to do it.
I think, I don’t think we played offense in a long time. I mean-
I know. It kills me.
It does me too. And this is so, so getting under this banner of why, which is honestly part of the, and I hear this in every single conversation, every single interview that I do, whether it’s in the, what Alexander’s producing at MRX News. Every single day it’s all about the why. And that’s where I think qualitative is emerging as this kind of, we’ve deprioritized that, honestly, from if you look at how Google’s treating ad testing and whatever. It’s all about data-driven insights. But we’re, they’re not taking the time to understand the why. And actually, that’s one of the reasons that we’re, that there’s been material misses, I believe, in political races. It’s very interesting from an opportunity perspective how we could punch through if we can, as researchers, inverse the model, where before we would spend 90% of our time in just the logistics of gathering insights and maybe 10% on the insights and packaging of those insights. And change that so that we’re spending more time with the brain matter, as you said, as opposed to the autopilot.
Have you followed any of Diane Hessan’s work that she’s been doing with politics using Communispace?
I’ve heard her speak a few times but not actively following it.
You should probably have her on at some point. She basically has been using market research communities to talk to Americans about how they feel about policy. And the level of insight that she’s getting is insane. And you’re not gonna see it in poll data that is on Nate Silver’s blog, which is also valuable. But two hours before the election, Hillary was gonna win. Two hours before the end of the election, Hillary was still gonna win. And so there is also value in that why data. I think the other thing too is we’re, we’re on this, we’re talking a lot about why data in a programmatic world. But machines, technology also allow us to get to a place where why, why something happens can quickly result in the what to do about it next. Because you can see a world starting to-I can see a world because I’m part of the technology organization where social media Web, social media analytics platforms, platforms like Zappi, Market Mix Model, Sales Data, these ecosystems can start to create and have handshakes of data where I could start to see-I’m already starting to see this happen with some of our bigger users where they do a concept test. And because they’ve come back and taught what happened, they’re like, “Hey, do this. Talk to this retailer at this price point. And if you do sales from-” You’re starting to get to action as a result of it because there’s a lot of knowledge in this industry that, unfortunately, just still lives in a PowerPoint. So it’s something that, it’s kinda one of the things we’re pushing forward is how do you get people not only to why something happens but what to do about it.
So one of the things that I noticed is we’ve evolved thinking about the fulcrum platform, what Patrick Homer’s doing, specifically, how, moving into more and more of an automated procurement process of respondence. It does seem to be the case that CPIs, or cost per interviews, are continuing to go down. That could be good news and it could be bad news. Good news in that research is cheaper. Bad news is in that some people might be questioning the validity of a 20-minute survey when you’re paying a respondent a quarter. How is Zappi wrestling with, or dealing, ensuring the overall data quality of sample through an automated work flow?
That’s a good question. It is. And I have a lot of opinions about this because it’s a world I came from. So it’s obviously, it’s baked into what we do here. So a couple things. We are an expert-led product company versus a survey platform, and so everything’s kinda pre-built. And so what that means is before we put something on production or we try to sell it to our customers, we will validate it. And what I mean by that is we’ll align source composition by country, and we’ll run a bunch of sample through the product to make sure that the answers are gonna be consistent and reliable. And as an example, when we put the version of link on Zappi, which is Millward Brown’s ad test, we ran a ton of side by sides to make sure that a user would make the same business decision using Zappi with a one-day turnaround versus using Millward Brown with, say, a 10-day turnaround. And so at the product upfront level, we marry source composition, and that’s standardized. So, and then at the customer level, same thing. We’ve built a sample platform on Zappi where-we’re not a sample company. We never will be. But we’ve built a sample platform that allows us to understand the composition of respondents using some, using our data science team but also this platform so that we can have a consistent framework for screening to our surveys for all of our quick-service restaurant customers, for all of our telecommunication customers that allows us to have a very consistent sample frame but gives the customer the ability to drill into people who eat ten Big Macs at McDonald’s on a Friday night. You can drill down on the data if you want without screening at two-percent incidents. The other thing is because we were a startup, we didn’t have Legacy 45-minute trackers to deal with. So nothing we do is above 12 minutes. I think our average global interview length is eight minutes right now. So if you build the mobile friendly surveys that are short, you naturally can start to do this. Now what we’ve been doing a lot of, because we’re not a service company. Our, we, our partners will either configure Zappi products or consult off the back of them, but the majority of our user base is configuring a project, launching it, and getting a report emailed to them. And so we’re not naturally going in and cleaning open ends and all that other fun stuff. So we’ve been doing a lot to detect gibberish, engagement using some data science techniques to remove it from surveys. As you move into the programmatic world, you obviously have to be more mindful of things like bots. And so we’ve been building capabilities to make sure that we can detect and remove bots and gibberish from surveys. We do all the duplication speed check, all that sort of quality rigor in place. But I think the big thing is we get a, before we decided to advance down the programmatic path, which I’ll tell you we’re-I’ll say this probably for the first time in the open. We’re leaning in to programmatic sample hard. And I’ll tell you why. We did side by sides with all the panel companies, and I saw a negligible difference in quality. And in some cases I saw a higher level of engagement using the sense and lucids of the world versus kind of just purely relying on traditional sample. And so that’s given us great confidence to kinda continuously move in this direction. And part of it is because you’re not just talking to people who are on panels. You’re able to get access to people who are not gonna be in panels but really wanna read about whether or not Tom Brady’s gonna retire. And they’re willing to take a six-minute survey to get access to that premium content. And so there is definitely, I’m seeing real immense value in it. And I’m less concerned about the incentive, because the way those companies incent is different than two dollars to take a survey, which is the world I was in many years ago. So it’s gonna be an interesting space to watch, and then you look at companies like Survata who aren’t even programmatic. I mean it’s just publisher-based sample, and that’s a really interesting data layer to consider. And that’s another one of our partners that we have a great relationship with. So I think we’re gonna actually push pretty hard on this front because, well, we’re finding it’s a more scalable way to do things.
Love it. So last question. This is the opportunity for you to tell the listeners what you want them to know about ZappiStore. As you know, our listeners are insights professionals, both buyers and users of insights. So what is Zappi working on today that you’d love the audience to know about?
Well, thanks. Thanks for the bounce pass, Jamin. I appreciate it. So we just, we’ve spent the last year and a half working with our top 20 customers, really understanding how we can give them value. And we’ve built capabilities around that. As a result, we decided to rebrand the company. We’ve moved on from being the app store of quick and dirty research tools. We’ve merged with a company called Intellection Software, which has really advanced capabilities in data management. And so we’ve dropped “Store.” We’re now just Zappi. We’re focusing on building a set of expert-led capabilities, specifically today to answer questions around product development and advertisement, and then giving customers a place where the data that they collect that gets more value from them. So instead of the first things one of our clients does is doing another concept test, first thing they’re starting to do is actually go in and look at what they already know. And that’s by enabling advanced statistics and on-demand kinda meta-analytic capabilities. So that’s what we’re doing now. We’re working on a ton of stuff to continuously land the ability to bring people right to the answer. That’s vision stuff that we’re aspiring to. But right now we’re end-to-end platform for testing and learning throughout the ad and concept development process with a whole host of analytics capabilities on the back end. So that’s what I would say. I would also say the thing that our clients like about us is our people. We do sell software. The guy who runs my America’s business was a former Head of Insights. The gentleman who runs our Canada business used to be on the client’s side. Our Head of Partnerships used to be a senior executive at GFK. So we’ve really focused on making sure that we bring a lot empathy to what we’re doing so that we understand not just that our software toy is cool but how our users get value out of it. I just recently welcomed one of our clients to our teams. This was a Global Insights Director from Coca Cola. And now she’s, Patricia’s working with a lot of our clients to actually help them transform insights around what Zappi does because, frankly, Jamin, I think too often innovation is like a Zappi or a Remesh or a Voxpopme or a KnowledgeHound or a lot of these really cool players that are emerging in our space. We suffer because our clients apply our technology to broken policies and ecosystems. So, and frankly, I spend a lot of time consulting brands on how to make something like Zappi actually work, because if you just apply Zappi to a broken process, it’s just another thing. That’s been where we spend a lot of energy.
More of the insights of Frankenstein. My guest today has been Ryan Barry, Chief Revenue Officer at Zappi. Ryan, thank you very much for joining me today.
Thank you, Jamin. It was an absolute pleasure.
Thank you everyone for listening, and have a great-