IIeX North America 2019 Podcast Series

IIeX NA 2019 Conference Series – Patricia Houston – MMR Live

Welcome to the 2019 IIEX North America Conference Series. Recorded live in Austin, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Patricia Houston, Founder and Chief Operating Officer at MMR Live.

Contact Patricia Online:

LinkedIn

MMR Live


[00:00]

Patricia Houston.  We were live at IIeX.  MMR Live is the name of the company.  She is the founder and Chief Operating Officer.  Enjoy the episode.

[00:12]    

My guest today on the Happy Market Research Podcast is Patricia Houston; MMR.Live is where you find them online.  Tell me a little bit about what you guys are doing.

[00:24]

Sure.  So, MMR Live is only about ten months old now.  We’re a startup within an established market research company that’s 20 years old, MMR Research, the ones in Atlanta, not the UK.  But our focus is on experience. So we’re on a mission to improve every experience, be that retail, digital, physical events. That’s my world, and that’s where we love to live.     

[00:42]

Perfect.  Like an older company…  And now, is it a rebrand or a division?  

[00:49]

Division, a new team.  And partly why I did it…  It’s not just my passion ‘cause my background is in experiential marketing.  That’s how I started as bringing my two careers together. But it’s also about future-proofing.  So, if we think about all the consolidation we’ve seen in the panel space, you know panel is changing; it’s always going to continue to change.  So how long until panel is no more? And getting somebody to answer one direct feedback question is too much?     

[01:16]   

Perfect.

[01:17]

That’s what we’re trying to solve for.

[01:18]     

That’s a really interesting point right now.  I don’t know if you heard the Greyhound presentation.

[01:25]

No…

[01:25]

So, they were talking about when they were going through the activation stage of their research, they wound up moving from a 20-minute longitudinal study to a 2-minute survey.  And – this is what’s interesting – they saw no degradation of insights that they were able to get out of between the two. So, there was like no negative tradeoff, except that it was a much better experience and the data that they pulled out of the 2-minute survey was so accessible to the larger organization they improved their net promoter score by 20 points. 

[02:02] 

Oh, that’s incredible.

[02:03]

It just speaks to the importance of thinking about a respondent’s point of view and the better that we do, I think, servicing them, then the better their information is that they’re going to provide us to do stuff. 

[02:14]

And that’s right, and it’s all part of your brand, right?  So every interaction you have with the consumer, even if it’s a research survey, that’s part of your marketing.  It’s part of your brand-building.  

[02:24]

It’s so funny that you bring this up.  So, actually my first brand plant was a company called Intuit, is a company called Intuit, which, of course, you’ve heard of (QuickBooks, Quicken), largest S&B company, I believe.  So, they started their research-based organization. If you know anything about the up-and-comings of that company, market research is a core tenet; consumer insights is a core tenet.  One of the things that I found that was real interesting as I was working with them as they were installing online surveys in the early 2000s as the main way of doing consumer insights:  we were touching about each customer 1 to 2 times a year, and some customers as many as 16 times in a year. Now, we were touching those customers almost as much as marketing was touching the customer.   

[03:16]  

That’s right, and if you add those marketing touch points on top of your touch points…

[03:21]  

Huge win.

[03:21]

Yeah, I mean what is that?  Picking the right context…  We’re actually doing some work now pro bono with the Zoo–Atlanta.  We’re based out of Atlanta, so Zoo–Atlanta.  They are in a big period of construction. So they engaged us, knowing that their member base is a group of people they really need to retain.  So, we’ve come in. They did have an ongoing survey, and it was similar to what you talked about: the 20-minute, have to ask all these strategic questions after every visit.  Our advisement to them was, “Hey, guys, we can really shorten this. Let’s pull some of this stuff out. We’ll do a strategic study once a year. We don’t have to ask those questions all the time,” and helped them really focus to understand how to protect that member base.        

[04:01]  

Oh, I love that.  So, you were part of the company before the MMR.Live or were you brought in when that division was started?

[04:12]

No, I’m part of it.  So, I’ve actually been with MMR Research for almost nine years now.

[04:17]

Got it.

[04:19]   

So, yeah, this is just my newest project.

[04:22]

Got it. Totally.  How’s it going?

[04:23]  

It’s going well.  We feel like we did a little pivot a couple of months ago and realized that the work that we thought we were going to be doing, which was more live events, probably not the right space to start.  We’ve been working a lot with service designers, innovation teams, R&D teams. That’s kind of a sweet spot for us. But seems like things are starting to click, and we’re going to put a rebrand out soon or refresh, excuse me.  (Not changing the name or anything) So we’re excited for what the summer can hold.    

[04:47]

That’s very exciting.  What does your ideal customer look like?

[04:50]

That’s a great question.  In terms of where we’re heading for now, there’s two.  So, most of the time, it’s not a researcher. So, we bring the research expertise to the table.  Frankly, we might work through the research department, but it’s in-store environment teams, innovation teams, R&D, probably more in the service side, less the product side.  Either them or we’re also working with experiential agencies, experiential brand owners.

[05:16]

Interesting.  How was the show for you guys?

[05:19]

The show’s been good.  This is my fifth year here at IIeX, the North America show.  And it’s always a tech partnership hunt for us because…

[05:28]

What are you looking for?

[05:29]  

It’s a little bit different this year than it has been in the past.  We don’t have any of our own tech. So we need folks, and it’s hard to find that are going to enable us to do in-person research in the moment with technology.  I’d love more offline options. And I can find some ‘cause we do no panel work; parent company does. Most of our work is not online; we’re in-person; we’re actually talking to folks.  So more human technologies. Like this year there’s always the proliferation of like the automated sample or the automated stuff, which I think is very important work in the MR space.   

[06:07]

Totally.  

[06:08]

But from our standpoint, it’s more about bringing the human back in.  

[06:12]

Got it.  I like that a lot.  If you think about what market research has historically been, it’s just a conversation at scale, and it’s largely just a logistics exercise, especially when you start moving in the survey world.  What I’m seeing and have been for the last three, four years is a rise of quantitative. I reduce it down to the A-B testing and this versus that. And the problem that is we don’t understand the “why.”  And so, through that human connection, you can start getting… And there’s something that’s different with like you and I, sitting across from each other like we are right now versus me sending you a set of questions and you responding to them in an email, right?  This is such a different experience. You and I both are going to be able to, and even the audience is going to be able to pull some real interesting stuff out of this conversation. So, you wouldn’t otherwise if I just provided some transcripts of your answers.  

[07:05]

That’s right, and the scale thing is interesting ‘cause the DraftKings presentation (I’m not sure if you caught that on Day 1)…  She was actually talking about (Annie was her name) talking about how they have integrated with R&D and product teams and the data’s messy; there’s a lot of observation, small sample size.  And guys, that’s OK.

[07:22]

Totally.

[07:23]

It’s still questions.  All this UX, IX, CX, MRX – we’re all just asking questions.  

[07:29]

Totally.  I love that.  That’s a great one to go out on.  If somebody wants to get in contact with you, how would they do that?

[07:33]

Sure.  You’ve mentioned they can reach us on the web at MMR.Live.  If they’d like to shoot me an email, PHouston (like the city) @MMR.Live as well.   

[07:43]

Patricia Houston, MMR Live, thanks so much for being on the show.

[07:46]

Appreciate it.  Thanks so much.

[07:47]

All you Happy Market Researchers, do me a favor and “Like” this episode.  Go on the platform of your choice. Also, screen shot, share it on social media.  It’s how other people like you are able to find it. I really appreciated it. This is Jamin Brazil signing off for what, I think, is the last episode I’m going to be doing for IIeX in Austin.  Have a great rest of your day. 

IIeX North America 2019 Podcast Series

IIeX NA 2019 Conference Series – Vignesh Krishnan – SampleChain

Welcome to the 2019 IIEX North America Conference Series. Recorded live in Austin, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Vignesh Krishnan, CEO of SampleChain.

Contact Vignesh Online:

LinkedIn

SampleChain


[00:00]

Vignesh Krishnan, SampleChain.  This is a young startup. This guy is bringing a breath of relevant expertise to the market research space.  He’s an early employee of Lucid. After leaving that, he started this DMP, which is a Data Management Platform that is intent on connecting sample and tools to improve overall source transparency and, ultimately, quality, which I know is a really important issue based on the interviews I’ve done.  Enjoy the episode and the conversation with him.

[00:32]  

So, my guest today is Vignesh Krishnan, SampleChain.  We are live today at IIeX in Austin. What do you think about the show?

[00:40]  

So far, so good.  I went to one of the conferences.  Again, it’s all about meeting the people and listening in.  So, it was pretty enjoyable, yeah.

[00:47]

Yeah, I think in business you really only have a single piece of IP, and that is your connections.  

[00:56]

Yes, I would agree.  Absolutely.

[00:57]   

And there’s probably not a better venue from my vantage point than events like IIeX.

[01:03]

Yeah, for sure, yeah.  Well, Andrew got me on the podcast.  So, there you go. That’s a connection, right?  

[01:08]  

You know that’s true actually.  That’s funny. Andrew with Lucid.  So, in a year, how many of these events or events like this do you wind up going to?

[01:17]

Yeah, so I just started SampleChain; it’s been about six to eight months since I started it.  I’ve been to SampleCon, and IIeX as well; so, this is the second one. I would say I’m probably going to Insights Association too.         

[01:28]

Alright, cool.  Yeah, Insights Association has a great…  Of course, a different organization (GreenBook, apologies) but they also have some really good, unique shows.           

[01:37]

Absolutely.  And it is in the backyard in New Orleans; so, I’m just going to walk across the street and go to that one as well.

[01:42]

So, you’re based out of New Orleans.

[01:43]

Yes, I’m in New Orleans.

[01:44]  

OK, perfect.  Well, tell me about SampleChain.

[01:46]

So, my background, you know…  Starting with the New Orleans story, I graduated from Tulane about ten years ago, the local university there.  And I got into Lucid pretty early joining it at the company; had and saw amazing growth. And then, after a while, decided that, “You know what?  I just want to try something new.” I did see there was a lot of analogies that we made as an industry to the ad tech industry. So in a way, the idea is to introduce a DMP to the space.  Just like ad tech has DMP’s, so that’s kind of…

[02:20]

Maybe, you can expand on what that is for our audience.

[02:22]

Yeah, absolutely.  So, a DMP is a Data Management Platform, and what it does is that it is… It has tentacles into different parts of the industry like the exchanges, and the suppliers, and the buyers, and so on and so forth.  And specifically, I’m talking about the ad tech advertising industry. And the idea here is to help all of these participants understand their traffic sources better. Are they all getting attacked by bots, for example?  Are they having issues with conversion that could do better with some piece of information? So the idea is to create that entity and provide that information to these clients.

[03:01]

That’s beautiful.  So, you’ve been at it just under a year.

[03:04]

Yep, exactly.  Something like that.

[03:06]   

Did you guys come out the gate with funding or…?

[03:09]

So, we got some funding:  local funding, Angel Funding from New Orleans.  So, I did that for about the first few months is where I was focusing on.  Most of that, like I said, is from the Angel Network. So, pretty recent happenings, all of this.   

[03:23]      

Got it.  I mean I’ve got to ask…  Lucid – you were there early.  Growing gang busters. They’re just crushing it.  They’re defining a space, right? I mean it’s a really unique point of view.  Why is the world would you jump ship to start your own? Is it just like entrepreneurship is in your blood?  

[03:44]

Yeah, well, part of it is that, but a more honest reason is that the longer I stayed there, I had more people joining my team who were 13, 14, 15 years younger than me.  I was like, “Oh, my God, I’ve been here too long.” So, some of them had actually been in middle school when I joined Lucid. And I was like, “Oh, my God, how are you even here?”  So I was like, “You know what? It’s time to start a new adventure.” Obviously, I was there for a long time. Really enjoyed my experience there. Still in touch with all of them, of course.  But decided, that from a life perspective, probably wanted to take a second step here. So…

[04:20]

So, congratulations, by the way.  From my vantage point as a life-long entrepreneur, there’s nothing scarier than the first two years.  I mean it is freaking terrifying. And the nice part about age is we know that there’s cycles, and if we can just suck it up long enough, the weather changes.  

[04:40]

Yep, you see the other side.  Absolutely.

[04:42]

Exactly, exactly right.  So I think that’s definitely a leg-up.  At least, in my thesis.

[04:47]

Well, I’ll take it.

[04:49]

So, tell me who is your ideal customer.

[04:52]  

So, you can segment the marketplace into multiple different ways.  Using ad tech as an analogy, I would say you have the publisher’s side, and we make the analogy here to suppliers.  You have the exchanges and then, of course, you have the buyers, and then you have the buyer’s buyer (the end brands and so on and so forth).  So, obviously, depending on how well this thing goes, our long-term plan would be to work with all of these aspects, for now, just focusing on the supply side, focusing on the exchanges.  Of course, these would be the suppliers that we all know and love (panel companies and then, of course, the exchanges as well).

[05:31]  

So, the value that you’re adding to that particular piece of the chain is increased transparency.

[05:40]

Yes, helping increase transparency, helping these suppliers have a better handle on quality, helping these suppliers have a better handle on availability and knowledge of their respondents is where we’re going.  That’ll be the first step, yeah.

[05:57]  

Got it.  Yeah, that’s kind of interesting.  So, what does your pitch look like when you’re sitting in front of those people?  I usually start with the story arc of like, “Here’s the pain point.” Right and then, “Here’s the solution.”

[06:12]

At the end of the day, I think that we all want more completes; we want more transactions to be successful.    

[06:18]

100%.

[06:18]   

And I would say that right now, I don’t know what that number is, but I can tell you that it’s probably between 10%, 15%, 20% at max.  There’s 80 times a person tries to finish a survey; they do not. And our goal is to help those companies get those numbers up, right? And, hopefully, push the ball significantly higher.  If you can get to 30%, 40%, 50%, right? And the goal here is to push up these conversions and, of course, that turns in money and then that can be reinvested into the business as well. So that would be my pitch to these companies, “Hey, you know what?  If only 15% to 20% of your supply’s completing, that is a problem. How do you push this number up?”

[06:55]

Are you guys at this stage in the business building out the technology or are you actually selling?  

[07:00]  

No, we’re selling it.  Got a head start. Pretty much started quoted with this on

Day 1.  Some of the guys that we all worked with before.  So, that also has an advantage as you know.

[07:14]

Any names you could drop?

[07:16]

Miguel and Jimson are two of the developers on the board.  They were colleagues from back in the day. So, I’ve been working with them.  I’ve been getting a lot of help from Chuck Miller, who is, obviously, part of our industry, and he’s very passionate about quality and these kinds of things.  So, I’ve been working with him too.

[07:33]

That’s fantastic.  If someone wants to get in contact with you, how would they do that?

[07:39]

So, either email or phone.  So, first name Vignesh, so first letter first name, so VKrishanan@samplechain.co.  And the number is a New Orleans number:  so,

504-289-8156.

[07:53]

You have to wear a party hat if you dial that number.

[07:55]  

Exactly, absolutely.  

[07:57]

So, my guest today has been Vignesh, SampleChain.  Check him out. Information is in the show notes. Thank you so much for joining me today on the Happy Market Research Podcast.  

[08:06]

Thank you, Jamin.

IIeX North America 2019 Podcast Series

IIeX NA 2019 Conference Series – Tom Anderson – OdinAnswers

Welcome to the 2019 IIEX North America Conference Series. Recorded live in Austin, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Tom Anderson, Founder, Executive Chairman & CRO at OdinAnswers.

Contact Tom Online:

LinkedIn

OdinAnswers


[00:00]

Tom Anderson, OdinAnswers is the name of his company; OdinTexts was prior to the IIeX event.  Huge fan of this guy. He and I co-presented at a few different events: the CEO Summit a few years ago is probably the most recent.  Tell you what: I consider him to be the father of text analytics in this space. He has this interesting point of view about how we should be triangulating truth based on multiple data sources, including KPIs and customer voice.  Enjoy the episode.

[00:30]  

Here with Tom Anderson, OdinAnswers is the new name of your company, sir.  We’re live at IIeX in Austin. How are you?

[00:39]  

Great.  Thanks for having me.

[00:41]

Yeah, of course.  It’s an honor to have you.  You’ve been the pioneer, I think, in this space.  I can’t think of another company anyway as it relates with text analytics.  Talk to me a little bit about OdinTexts, now OdinAnswers, and that journey.

[00:53]

Well, from the get-go, we were very much about realizing that good text, interesting text data never lives in isolation.  There’s always important structured data accompanying it. Twitter might be a little bit of an exception, but pretty much all other interesting data has very valuable structured components.  So, that was our thinking from the get-go in the patents and so forth that I filed. But now we’re taking that to the next level. We’ve been working with a lot of cutting-edge, digital-first clients and really looking at more and more data, so connecting different data types and variables to really get to what an answer is.  And that’s what’s reflected in the company: really trying to combine and think about the topics that people talk about in their own voice, unaided, what’s most important to them (thoughts and feelings) together with who it is, all the segmentation-type variables. And then the third part is the KPI. And so, some of our clients, for that, it’s return behavior, clicks on a link, or revenue is the holy grail.  But, for others, it might be MPS or customer sat. And then, there’s always, of course, emotions and sentiment to fall back on in the events where there aren’t important KPIs.

[02:17]   

We’ve evolved as an industry, right, because you were around before AWS, well before.

[02:21]

Yeah.   

[02:22]  

So, I mean you’ve seen a lot of new tech that’s been entering this space here, specifically in the way of text analytics.  And you guys have rebranded, which I think was a brilliant… I love OdinAnswers; I think that’s such an action-oriented framework versus OdinTexts now.  Not to say that there’s anything wrong with that. I think it’s just modernization and change of what the customer really needs right now. How are you helping customers like…  Let’s pick on NPS ‘cause it’s a super common use case, right? So, how are you interacting with that data to add that value to the customer.

[02:58]

So, NPS, a lot of clients can add a lot of data from other sources.  So, what they have internally first and foremost might be CRM or data on how much these customers have purchased, how frequently they purchase, what they purchase, that type of thing.  And then, of course, you can go beyond that to other data as well. But that is one of the things we’ve been working hard on and continuing to move in that direction.

[03:28]

Got it.          

[03:29]

And in terms of the industry overall, yeah, I mean there’s been…  I think there’s a new (definitely don’t want to call it a bubble because I believe it’s absolutely…  it’s sort of finally the time of text analytics, in fact.) So, there’s a lot of new companies coming in this space.  Text analytics has become a feature in products as I predicted, in fact, it would many years ago. But it’s, obviously, a nice companion to AI machine learning, and that’s partly what we’re seeing here is applying richer data.  And data can’t be thought of just as structured or unstructured; it’s really what I had been calling mixed data before. But we’re thinking about it more as intersectionality of an answer. And that’s why we rebranded.

[04:24]

Do you think there’s a like…  As you look forward to your future, do you feel like you’re more of an API-driven enabler like plugging in to a Qualtrics or a…  you know what I’m saying, like some of these mega-platforms and enabling that particular sentiment analysis to be done?

[04:41]

Yeah, absolutely.  We’ve always been impartial to data.  There’s other players out there like in social listening and so forth that really only work with the data stream from Twitter or something like that.  Whereas, we have clients now who are typing in all kinds of information, yes, some social certainly and NPS and survey data, customer experience, but also call center (we’ve got people analyzing their sales) and internal (we’re analyzing emails coming in and out between different departments and between customers).      

[05:25]  

I mean that’s really interesting the whole email analytics side of things.  I know you probably can’t share specifics, but what are some broad findings going through that?  Do you remember?

[05:38]

They are using it for various types of…  understanding, first of all, what kinds of issues that are being discussed and what questions people have, not just customers but also employees to streamline things.  And then there’s, of course, looking ahead as well. So, it’s something that’s quite… We’ve been doing that for actually a couple of years now, two years, two-and-a-half years.  And now we’re starting with integrating voice as well, you know, call centers and so forth, voice-to-text.

[06:18]

That so interesting.  We don’t hear very much in this space about voice-to-text, but I think that’s funny.  I feel like voice-to-text should be something we’re frickin talking about all the time.  Honestly, that is such as important… The amount of information that’s being… What are they predicting?  It’s stupid; it’s like 80 billion dollars in 2023 will be spent through Alexa and GoogleHome, you know, through the smart speakers.  Siri, what was it? Samsung just announced their own automated voice platform. You’ve got all the voices playing such a big role right now in our lives.  And it’s growing, and yet we’re as a market research industry aren’t really talking that. In fact, I’m sure it exists here, but I haven’t run into one company that specializes in voice-based research here at IIeX.   

[07:13]

Yeah, so I mean, it used to be different disciplines before.  And we didn’t set out to solve the voice-to-text. In the application I’m think about, we’re also doing machine translation at the same time also.  Now, those two components are coming from another company, but we’ve built the harness that then brings it from them, from their call center, gets both transcribed and translated, and then into our program for them.  So, it’s pretty exciting. But we didn’t invent the other two disciplines though, obviously, they’re very complementary.   

[07:48]

Awesome, super awesome.  So, your team has been evolving in the last twelve months.  Talk to me a little bit about… You’ve got some board changes, I think, additions; you’ve got maybe some new hires.  How’s that been evolving?

[08:02]

Most notably, of course, our new CEO last year, Andy Greenawalt, who had a lot of experience from starting SAS companies in a couple of different industries and has some really outside-the-box thinking.  So it’s really helping us evolve and, of course, more recently, Steve August of Revelation formerly, joined our board. And he’s a great… You’ve worked with him, of course, yourself.

[08:30]   

I’m one of his biggest fans.

[08:32]

Yeah, he’s great.  So, the team is growing; we have a really good team.  A lot of the people have been with me for a while, and they’re super.  And we’re adding more people as well.

[08:45]      

That’s great.  Tom, if somebody wants to get in contact with you, how would they do that?

[08:48]

The website is now OdinAnswers.com.  So, you can fill out the form there. We have a white paper:  OdinAnswers.com/mission.

[09:01]

That was just released at IIeX – the white paper.

[09:04]

Yeah, we’ve had a tremendous amount of downloads, I noticed, just in the first day.  Interesting. We’re actually running two round table discussions about what is an answer.  I’m not talking about from the perspective of the respondent again; we’re talking about for us as market researchers.  What is a great answer that makes you a hero? What needs to be in there? We’re looking to, of course, share our thoughts on that but also looking to understand what market researchers think about that.

[09:34]

Perfect.  Thank you so much for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast, Tom.

[09:37]

Thank you so much.

IIeX North America 2019 Podcast Series

IIeX NA 2019 Conference Series – Tim Lawton – SightX

Welcome to the 2019 IIEX North America Conference Series. Recorded live in Austin, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Tim Lawton, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of SightX.

Contact Tim Online:

LinkedIn

SightX


[00:00]

Tim Lawton, SightX, solid company.  This firm has been… has the best actually UX for analytics that I have seen.  It is absolutely beautiful, and they have created a lot of shortcuts in statistics that let you get to key insights.  It’s almost like Big Data for Dummies, and I don’t want to take away from the power behind the tool. I spent a lot of time with Tim and his co-founder, talking about the statistical side.  I’m not a statistician – nor am I claiming to be – but, having said that, having worked in this space for so long, you get inundated with these types of requests. And they have created some really cool technology.  If you’re in the insights space, you absolutely should check out because it is impressive tech. Enjoy.

[00:56]  

My guest today on the Happy Market Research Podcast is Tim Lawton, founder, I think.

[01:02]  

Yes, co-founder of SightX.

[01:03]

I got to spend a lot of time with your counterpart last night before dinner.  Very intrigued with the story. You guys had spent almost two years in stealth mode right before you came up.  So, maybe, you could talk to us a little bit about why you guys started SightX, what you saw as the market opportunity, the white space, and the pain point.  And then walk us through that sort of journey of going dormant for the R&D phase.

[01:31]

Sure.  So, the intriguing part of the story is certainly on Naira’s side.  A lot of what we’re doing is her background in research. But when we started initially the onset was solving for a broader problem in the general research process of everything from the data collection to analyzing the data.  At the end of the day, the idea was to automate a lot of those processes for (1) for researchers but, more importantly and equally important, is for non-technical people. So that there’s a level of analysis that’s possible, especially when you talk about market research or any sort of end-user engagement.  So much information nowadays can and is collected that a lot of times what’s valuable and insightful there (to use a key word that everybody is familiar with) is not always easy to do because it takes a lot of time and the level of expertise. So we set out to democratize that expertise, for lack of a better description, for users and researchers of all types and skill levels, everyone to get to that end state of the data that’s been cleaned, coded, organized, and analyzed so that our clients and users can do what they were presumably hired to do:  which is to think creatively, strategically about their brand, their company, their organization but a lot of that time spent as we see as inefficient in that process. So SightX was designed to add efficiencies and augment teams and help teams get to that end state faster by bringing them from the data collection to the analysis and reporting all in one platform.

[03:03]   

It’s like from my vantage point…  I have a weak background in statistics…

[03:11]

Myself included.

[03:11]  

…more of a practitioner, actor versus like a…  but you know I understand and all that kind of stuff.  So, I’ve done a fair amount of regression modeling and whatever in my early career.  What I really like about the value prop is statistics can be hard and daunting, but what you guys do is take all that out.  But what you leave behind is the actual connection to the data.

[03:36]

Right.

[03:37]

So, it’s like: “These are the five things that are driving customer behavior or purchase intent.”  And you don’t care about the necessarily. Well, you might care about it, but you guys are processing all that data and then displaying it in a way that is accessible to somebody who is a non-statistician.

[03:58]

Right, and that’s, I think, the valuable and important point is that whether you’re a statistician or not, I think the value prop still remains the same because if you understand it, you have a background in statistics, that’s great.  You can do the work, which is great and good for you and your team, but it still takes time. And it still takes that process of setting up the data, organizing the data in such a way so that you can run all that analysis on it. And again, if you’re still doing it yourself, it is a time-consuming process.  Equally on the other side, if you’re not trained and have a strong background in statistics, it’s going to take you even more time if you even are able to get to that step. So to be able to get everybody, whether you’re a trained statistician or not through that process seamlessly to give you that, as you said, the end state of that processing and analysis is, that’s the important side.               

[04:48]

So, you hired a good friend of mine, Daryl McCall.    

[04:50]

Yes.

[04:51]

Congratulations on that smart move.  

[04:53]

Yes, every day it’s become more and more apparent how smart it was.  So, it’s just great.

[04:57]  

It’s so neat to have him in charge.  And I don’t know actually exactly where he fits in the organizationalbut to have somebody who’s been through the startup phase to successful exit, to successful entry into a larger organization, understands high-performance culture:  those are rare people. And the other thing that’s congratulations on is having a not just competent but highly engaging co-founder. Really interested in how you guys came together and then…  I mean that’s… So, one of the things… I coach a number of different startups. And one of the things that’s always a pain point for early stage is that co-founder relationship. Can you talk about how you guys met?  

[05:38]

We… I know it’s true, and I have a lot of friends who have started companies.  And I’ve seen from the outside different dynamics in companies and their founding stories.  So I count myself one of the lucky ones. So, Naira and I, long story short, met through friends of friends at a fund raising in New York City.  Actually, realized that we’re both mountain climbers at the time; so struck up a friendship around those kinds of common, shared interests; had actually climbed together before starting SightX or Frontier 7, formerly known as Frontier 7, when we first started.  And then through those activities and kind of just shared interests and friendships, started talking about, like most people do, problems or ideas they had, things they wanted to solve for, and then that led to, “Maybe, we should put this on paper. We should start thinking about this a little more deeply.”  And started looking at the market opportunity. And that’s how we continued to evolve. But I think why we work well together is because we’re so different. One: we don’t come for market research backgrounds, either of us. And two: we come from completely different backgrounds ourselves. She in more of an academic setting and working part-time in consulting; myself in the military and then finance.  So, approaching a problem from two completely different angles from a clean slate, I’ll say, I think has served us well. So, those two years you mentioned where we were operating mostly in stealth mode was a lot of conversations, interactions with potential clients within market research but also in other industries and fields. We had an early platform; we had non-profits using it; we had a big company for HR purposes, so really evaluating a lot a different applications for it, which is one of the great things to realize that there’s a lot of applications for what we’re doing but targeting it towards a use case that was (1) more appealing to us.  But a bigger commercial opportunity, more diverse set of use cases for us was more appealing. By taking those different backgrounds and different skill sets I think has served us well ‘cause we both enjoy doing different things, which is nice.

And then Daryl was really a serendipitous introduction, but I think, to your point, was one of the biggest value-adds in that he understands early stage culture in this phase of what we’re going through, which is…  I don’t know how you can say enough about how important that is. To have gone through and understand this phase, to help us get through these next… kind of the future where we’re trying to go. And not only that, with his many years of experience in the space and knowledge about the industry and clients and what’s important, what’s needed and the values that we’re trying to add on and bring has been a huge benefit to us.       

[08:14]

That’s awesome.  So, if somebody wants to get in contact with you, how would they do that?

[08:17]

I’m at Tim@SightX.io and we’re www.SightX.io as well, and there’s a contact form there.  Or, otherwise, come see our booth at IIeX today if you’re still around on Thursday. We’re still here.    

[08:32]

Well, this will air probably a couple of weeks later, but there’ll be another show.  So, Tim, thank you so much. SightX is the name of the company. He told you how to get in contact with him.  Of course, his information will be in show notes. So, feel free to check that out as well as the transcripts of our conversation.  As always, I greatly appreciate you taking the time to screenshot this, share it on social media. If you would please take 60 seconds and rate this show on the podcast platform of your choice, it would help a million people like you – well, at least five.

[09:08]

Six.  No, I’m six.

[09:10]   

Six, that’s right.  Find this content and increase our overall value.  Really appreciate it. Have a great rest of your day.

[09:16]

Thanks so much.  Appreciate it.

IIeX North America 2019 Podcast Series

IIeX NA 2019 Conference Series – Steve Mast – Methodify

Welcome to the 2019 IIEX North America Conference Series. Recorded live in Austin, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Steve Mast, one of the Founders of Methodify.

Contact Steve Online:

LinkedIn

Methodify


[00:00]

Steve Mast with Methodify.  These guys are just crushing it.  They were the best exhibitors at the event, maybe even at any event I’ve ever attended.  A lot of things that were clever. My favorite was… They had these little stickers, which basically were fill-in-the-blanks.  “This blank has been certified by Methodify.”  And they would write in what it was.  So like, “This water cooler or this cup or this microphone or this coffee pot or this person’s back or whatever…”  It was really funny, created a lot of buzz. Also, it drove my good friend, Matt Gershner, and other GreenBook pros crazy, but, having said that, the entertainment value was huge.  Enjoy the episode.

[00:48]  

I have Steve Mast, the founder and CEO?

[00:51]  

One of the founders of Methodify, yes.

[00:54]

Methodify.  Yep, that’s right.  So, we’re at IIeX in Austin.  You guys have been here before.

[00:58]

Yes, we have, yes.  First year, we’ve actually done a full activation:  the booth, speaking, all those kinds of things, so…

[01:04]   

And you’ve been testing everything according to…

[01:07]

We’ve been testing the water coolers, the food stations.  Yeah, everything’s been Methodified.

[01:13]  

I love “This has been Methodified.”  You know that’s an interesting kind of…  OK, so, talk to me a little bit about that.

[01:21]

So, where that actually came out of ‘cause we actually have registered Methodify IT.  So, we’re not an Italian company; we’re actually born out of Canada, right, but Methodify is a global platform.  But the “Methodify it” came out of our clients literally saying, “We want to Methodify it” or “Was that piece of creative or was that new product, was it Methodified?”  So that’s where we actually came up with the whole “Methodify it.” So, it was our clients. So literally we’re listening to our customers, and we’re applying what they’re saying to our marketing and various…           

[01:53]

Isn’t that the best proof of concept? You know you can have this thing like founder-market fit where you have a personalized need, and you recognize it in the marketplace.  “Oh, good, I can solve that need.” But when the market actually starts changing language around your product and your solution, that’s a nice confirmation.

[02:13]

Yeah, I think it was interesting because (I don’t know what your feeling is but…) we’re obviously Methodify is research automation.  Like that’s the space it’s playing in. But I think what’s interesting is the last couple of years everybody’s been, “Yeah, we’re kicking the tires; we’re checking it out; we’re trying things; we’re piloting programs.”  This year I feel a substantial change in that where people are not kicking the tires. Now it’s about “How and when do we implement this?” “Where does it fit within the ecosystem of our market research tools, platforms?”  So I think the whole industry has changed. The other big thing too is (and I think you may have talked about it in other episodes as well) is when you look at the martech industry, right, it’s very mature obviously, but if you look at the research space, now we have this huge rise of research technologies.  And I think the big thing that has to happen is those two industries have to start to move closer together and start embedding research tech inside of martech. So very often, we’ve had some of our clients, if you think of their marketing-operations process, instead of it being a separate thing over somewhere else where you have research basically living on a data lake or living on some other knowledge platform integrating it within the overall process.  So we’ve had the most success where the research tech is actually part of the overall marketing process versus living somewhere else.

[03:41]

OK, this is going to be a longer episode than I thought.

[03:44]

There’s a lot to digest there, for sure.

[03:46]  

More my point is, this is a really exciting topic.  So, I actually bought IntegratedInsights.com because it was, you know, cheap, because (and I’ll never use the domain) but I bought it because the…  I can’t get more excited than, except for like with my kids hitting a home run baseball, than… If we can get insights integrated into the workflows of the large organization, then we become really the enablers of insights, which I believe is the biggest missing piece for brands to ultimately deliver the best product or service to their customers.  It’s ultimately – as you articulated so perfectly – martech, adtech, and researchtech, I mean they’re nice classifications but what we really got to do is not just answer on an A/B test “This is bigger than that” but we have to allow the customer to discover the “why” behind that so then they can make decisions that are moving the needle in the right direction from the customer’s point of view and with the understanding of the motivations.       

[05:05]

Yeah, if you look at some of the work (I think you had Adobe on program)…

[05:09]

Yeah, Stacey Walker with Adobe.

[05:10]

She’s fantastic.

[05:11]

She’s pretty good.

[05:12]

When I see what Adobe is even doing in some of their technologies and I think about what we’re doing, that’s when we start to have to bring those pieces together.  We actually have been working with one of our customers in integrating within their design studios a Methodify button. So, literally, while the designer is designing things, they’ve got to test it as they go through the iterations.  Or even in the editing suites, while they’re going through an editing their actual concept or whatever it might be, they actually have the ability to test something within that environment. So it’s seamlessly integrated.

[05:49]   

Are you on Twitter very much?

[05:50]

Yeah.

[05:50]      

So, I’m super active on Twitter, and I post at least once a week.  I’ll take the time to screenshot when I see an application of integrated insights and then I post it.  This is my post: Is this research? #MRX#marketingresearch. And more often than not, I get push-back from inside of our industry, saying, “Bull****” or whatever, right.  And then you see these two divergent camps. And we just have to own the fact that everybody can do research now. And what we have to do as researchers is protect the integrity of the research.  Now we become largely empowerers at the brand level ‘cause it’s going to happen. When it happens, that research is being done in the right context with the right framework with ultimately the right business insight to drive the right outcome…  And to your point, a designer can’t wait a day to Methodify that point of view. It’s got to be in the workflow at 2 A.M.

[06:57]

What’s interesting is you’re touching on another subject around…  You look at research departments inside of large brands. I’m not going to paint everybody with the same brush, but many of them have such a huge PR problem internally.  Or you look at the marketing product groups, they’re going around them at all costs. So they become these gatekeepers that are holding information back from the people that need that information the most.  So what are they going to do? They’re going to run around; they’re going to use tools; they’re going to write poor research instruments; they’re going to get leading answers; they’re going to get bad data. So, how do we marry these two things?  That’s where I think technology has brought together this beautiful thing where it’s like the researchers can create the instruments for the marketers and the product people and allow them to run as many of these as they want but in a controlled way where they’re actually getting good data.  That’s the whole idea behind the research automation thing. You’re literally black boxing the methodologies, right? So, they can’t mess with the actual, the way the questions are asked. And that’s just human surveying. I mean there’s lots of other ways you can do that as well ‘cause the reality is there are to our point everybody is a researcher now.  Everybody is a consumer insights specialist.

[08:09]

Exactly. Which is not true, but it’s true.

[08:12]

Oh, it’s totally true.  Yeah, absolutely, yeah. To your point, I mean the reason why the researchers needed to have that…  Their job is to say to the marketer or to the decision maker, “That’s a bad idea.” And that’s not always the easy thing to do, right, because you have someone who is super invested in whatever that idea is or that new product, and you’ve got somebody coming along and saying, “You know what?  The consumer just doesn’t like it.” And on the other side, you have people saying, ”Well, what does the consumer need?” or “What do they know?” So this is the challenge, I think. So I think it’s about that iteration, and it’s about all the buzz words you hear now about agile and things like that.  But the marketers are bought into it; now it’s getting the researchers bought into that as well.

[08:56]

Yeah.  So, I actually wrote on LinkedIn a long-form article about this exact subject of where the…  market research still sits in the seat of power. It’s really interesting. I like using Lyft as kind of my go-to example of this.  They’ve got a handful of market researchers, and they’ve got almost tenfold on the UX research side. This is not unique, right? I see it in every organization.  And so, the type of projects that both departments are doing at largely the same. The research department has more of a Ph.D. spin on it, but the others ones are walking like every day in the trenches with the designers that are helping them get to the consumers’ insight, right?  We, as a department, as a function inside of the organization, really have to understand that it’s the role of … We have the opportunity to lead the charge of empowerment inside of the organization and with that I think this is where tools become really powerful because a wiki on how to write a question is not going to get traction but if you embed those best practices into the tool set, now all of a sudden you can create a standardized way of doing “X,” asking this type of question or whatever, right, in the right context, applying the right external data into that – so I’m thinking about like if UX or user experience, excuse me, or UI I think a lot about what part of the app are they interacting with, right?  And what is the specific need? And those are important contexts to understand the real implication of the insight.

[10:37]

But I think you’re touching on something where it’s the tools and the platforms and that’s what we’re all about.  But it’s a mindset that has to shift, right? Once they get past that idea that we’re not the gatekeepers; we need to be empowering to your point (organizations, marketers, decision makers within that).  We’ll become the hero in this story, right?

[11:00]

Totally.  

[11:01]  

And I think the other big thing is, and I don’t know if you’ve seen this as well, but the blurring of these roles…  We’re talking about everybody is an insights professional. But the blurring… If you get a great marketer and a great researcher in the room together that have the same mindset and understand their role and own that role, man, magic can happen.    

[11:20]  

Totally.

[11:20]

That’s incredible, right?  And you see it in some organizations.  Again, that’s why I don’t want to paint everyone with the same brush.  I think there’s a lot of fabulous organizations doing amazing things. Like some of the banking clients that we work with, it’s surprising how forward-thinking they are.  You’d think they would be like the last ones to gate. They’re actually really forward-thinking in what they’re doing around research now.

[11:38]  

So, my guest today has been Steve Mast.  Tell me, how do people get in contact with you guys?

[11:43]

If you go to Methodify.it, you can check us out there.  Or feel free to email me directly at SMast@Methodify.it.  

[11:53]

So, it would be wrong if I don’t ask you a few questions about the show so far.  What do you think about the new layout and venue?

[11:58]   

Ah, I love Austin; I absolutely love Austin.  I’m not sure if I love this location. Feels kind of, everything’s sort of separated in different places.  I don’t know if I can say if we were at Quirk’s recently. I know it’s a competitor.

[12:105]

Yeah, yeah, of course.  

[12:15]  

But it was all in one building, right?  I mean I didn’t love the location in Chicago where it was way down on the pier, but you’re in one building, one location; so, it was kind of easy to get to everything.  Now, for us, personally, it’s hard to miss us, right, like we got the big orange display down there.

[12:32]

Yeah, you guys went all in on the location.  And you’ve got the live video, interviews. And he does (I forgot his name.)

[12:42]

Saul.

[12:43]

Saul does a great job on the post-production.  I don’t know if he does the production.

[12:47]

Yep, he does.

[12:47]

I mean I’ve been looking forward to the highlight reel that he puts together.

[12:53]

Last year, we didn’t have any activation, but Saul was walking around and just interviewing people, right?  And what was amazing with that: we had clients – Coke was one of them – contact us because they loved the video so much that they wanted to use it for their own purposes internally, right?  We’re like absolutely…

[13:09]

NO! [laughter]  

[13:12]

Take that Methodify off the logo.

[13:14]

Steve Mast, Methodify.  Look him up. Information is in the show notes.  Thanks for joining me, sir.

[13:18]

Great, thank you.

IIeX North America 2019 Podcast Series

IIeX NA 2019 Conference Series – Sheila Akinnusi – Nedbank

Welcome to the 2019 IIEX North America Conference Series. Recorded live in Austin, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Sheila Akinnusi, Senior Manager of Consumer Marketing and Insights at Nedbank.

Contact Sheila Online:

LinkedIn

Nedbank


[00:00]

Sheila Akinnusi with Nedbank.  They are a monstrously massive, large bank out of Africa.  She attended IIeX this year with the intent of finding out what the rest of the world was doing as well as bringing home some best practices.  Again, I just want to underscore how good this event is for connecting your brand with, specifically technology, with perspective buyers. One of the things I really struggle with, as an exhibitor of events for a few decades, is nobody is usually there with a fire to purchase right away.  Instead, it feels a lot more like the long tail but, having said that, it is really a good way to put a face to a name, especially if you’ve been interacting on social with attendees. Anyway, I wanted to offer that piece of advice. If I was going to be exhibiting, I would be looking at the companies that are going to be attending and that is a published list.  And then I would be reaching out to them on social, creating some level of connection – not in the way of like asking but in the way of properly interacting. Like see the things they’re posting about; find out what’s interesting to them. And then, you actually have some context for your conversations. Hope you enjoy the episode. I certainly did. Sheila, thank you so much for joining me on the Happy Market Research Podcast.       

[01:20]  

Sheila with Nedbank, South Africa.  You live in Johannesburg. So, this is your first event at IIeX.  Is that correct?

[01:28]  

It is, it is.

[01:31]

Tell me a little bit about what you do there.

[01:32]

So, I’m a Senior Market Research Manager in a large, I suppose, corporate bank.  I do everything from strategic insighting, research projects, consulting internally, managing vendors, governance.  Being a bank, obviously, there’s a lot of that; there’s a whole lot, whole lot. Jack-of-all-trades as researchers are known for.  And, yeah, I get sent to places like this to find out what the rest of the world is doing and bring home some best practice and bold leadership to instrument.

[02:02]   

So, today is Day 2.  Do you have any big takeaways from the first day?

[02:07]

I did actually.  I think what was most encouraging is that we’re challenged by the same things even way across the ocean, which is quite encouraging for me.  I did feel like I was going to be bit overwhelmed. but I’m actually feeling quite comfortable in a crowd, which is really, really nice. The sessions that I attended were really quite interesting was the online influence one, how to leverage social media influences for your brand.  That was pretty cool. Yeah, the Women in Research event was really nice. Met lots of great people. I think everyone in the States is quite open. You guys are go-getters and just getting stuff done. It’s really nice to see.

[02:44]  

Have you been to any other market research conferences?

[02:47]

I have, not here.  I’ve been to ESOMAR so a few years back, I went to Nice, France.       

[02:50]

In general, ESOMAR, the Insights Association, of course, what we’re doing here, IIeX, the GreenBook – all of them, I think, market research, in general, is a very open community.  And it was good; we met at the WIRe, as you said, last night. One thing that I’ve seen as a trend, obviously, we’re seeing this globally, but it’s been really pushed hard over the last ten years in the WIRe organization is an atmosphere of inclusion because it creates a better picture of what the world really is and helps us identify truth and, honestly, it’s just more human.  It’s interesting, like for me, having these experiences where I’ll be (This sounds a little bit odd, especially in context of our Game of Thrones conversation,) but I’ll be like at a WIRe event, and I’ll be the only guy talking to three women at the same time.  I’m like, “Gosh, I feel really uncomfortable right now.” It’s just a funny…

[03:57]

Right, right.  It’s a bit strange.

[03:58]

It’s a really strange context as a white male where normally I’m the most represented people group in the [laughs]

[04:07]

I hear you, but we were actually having a chat with another lady from Toyota.  And we were actually saying we’re quite encouraged to see a lot of guys there yesterday.  To be honest, I didn’t expect to see many. I thought, “Well, you know, it’s going to be all…”

[04:18]  

That was the largest group of guys I’ve ever seen at a WIRe event.

[04:20]

It was really, really nice.  It’s great because I mean back home it’s mostly a female-dominated industry.  I think we were talking about it in terms of the skills that are applied. Most guys just, it’s not their thing.  But to come and see a lot of male representation is awesome; it’s awesome. So…

[04:39]

That’s an interesting point you’re making because I think if you look at market research from an industry perspective like sort of at the operational level, it’s female-dominant.  Now, I haven’t seen that in a survey, just anecdotally in the companies that I’ve worked for and interacted with. But as soon as you sort of move into the executive level, it seems like it’s a lot more male-dominant.  That’s right, yeah, for sure.

[05:04]

And I think it applies, I suppose in any industry actually.  You do find that. I would say definitely the glass ceiling is quite evident in our space and also because people stay for a while.  So to move up the ranks and requirements, family, managing life – all of those things come into play like in any other industry. But what I would say, at least in our space, executive roles in research back home you would find a lot more females than you would in other spaces. HR, general marketing, it is more the more female tendency, kind of roles, which is nice.  So, I’m happy; it’s a great field to be in. And we get to pick people’s minds all the time. I mean what’s better than doing that. So…   

[05:48]

At Nedbank, do you use partners, vendor partners a lot?   

[05:53]

Yes, yes.

[05:54]   

And then, my other part of the question is:  Do you also do a lot of the work in-house? Programming, surveys, and that sort of thing.

[06:02]

Ah, well, I suppose I’ll start with our team ‘cause we’re so small.  So, we are only a team of about six or seven people at…

[06:09]     

Believe it or not, it’s not a small team.

[06:12]

Really, really.  OK, we feel we’re extremely tiny for the needs that we have to service.  I mean we are a bank of 30,000 staff.

[06:18]

Oh, that’s huge.  OK, so, maybe I’ll take that back.

[06:21]

So, it’s a small team for a lot of work.  So we do have an extension of our team as our partners.  We actually worked with one of the ex-IIeX winners, a South African company called Dove.  They won a couple of years back. So, we try and look for the latest and greatest. We’ve worked with a lot of people from the States here, from London mainly, a lot of local vendors as well.  The technology space is getting a lot more exciting for us and the alteration space is getting exciting; so, we want to try some new things there. And I think that’s why I’m here as well: to look for people who we can work with.  

[06:53]

How exciting.  What do you see as one of the biggest challenges that you guys are facing as researchers?  

[06:58]

Sure, to be honest, it’s re-identifying ourselves in the industry, and literally trying to figure…  “Agile” is big in our environment and all of those changes that come with it. You know, design research.  How do these worlds coexist? So, that’s interesting. So, it’s re-defining ourselves and then the pace, at the rate at which things are changing.  And how to leverage the technology ‘cause, obviously, our skill sets are quite specific. So, how do we work with those who come from outside our industry and leverage what we both have?  Those are the things that keep us up at night most of the time.

[07:33]

The U.S. has a certain like view of ways of accessing consumer insights, usually through smartphones or web.  In Africa, is it a different…? Is SMS more popular? Or are there other challenges that you’re thinking about that North America and Europe may not be thinking about?

[07:55]  

Yeah, I think that the biggest challenge we have is we are a melting pot of everything.  So at one extreme, we are in the online community space, using smartphones and all of that.  But then the largest sect of our population really doesn’t have the means, and data is still quite expensive in our country.  So leveraging some of the technologies is a bit challenging, but I mean there’s ways around that. So we incentivize in different ways.  Most people are still more comfortable if they had to do an online survey, I suppose, web- or desktop-based because our questions are still quite lengthy.  To get corporate to change and have the micro-surveys and just let’s get focused about what we’re trying to understand is bit tricky with some executives, especially accountants and banking.  

So our trackers are still really, really long and all of that.  But, yeah, we’re trying as much as we can, and I think in a few years, it will change if the policies change around communication and access to Wi-Fi and all those kinds of things, things are likely to move.  But I think it also depends on the respondent group because language can be a barrier: we have 11 languages in my country. So trying to convey a survey, people get suspicious; there’s trust issues. Sometimes, it is better face-to-face, depending on the market you’re dealing with, especially like mass market.  So, yeah, we do everything, a little bit of everything.

[09:17]  

Now I understand a little bit more as to the challenge with a five-person team.  That’s a lot.

[09:25]

Yeah, yeah, absolutely.  A lot of people.

[09:26]

Well, I think they rang the bell, which means that the speakers are…  Yep, they’re starting in. I’m not sure but I think I’m chairing a…

[09:35]   

Oh, goodness, so we should go.

[09:36]

My guest today has been Sheila.  Thanks so much for joining me on the Happy Market Research Podcast today.   

[09:39]  

Thank you so much.  It was awesome.

[09:41]

Absolute pleasure.

[09:42]

I look forward to hearing it.

[09:43]

Oh, me too.

[09:44]

Awesome.  Thanks.

IIeX North America 2019 Podcast Series

IIeX NA 2019 Conference Series – Rob Benson – Dwindle

Welcome to the 2019 IIEX North America Conference Series. Recorded live in Austin, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Rob Benson, co-founder of dwindle.

Contact Rob Online:

rob@dwindle.app

dwindle


[00:00]

Rob Benson with Dwindle, dwindling it down as it were.  They are a new entrant into the market research space. Really cool in real time AV testing that is designed to work alongside designers.  Enjoy the episode.

[00:17]  

We are live today at IIeX, the Innovation Show for market research in the U.S.  I’ve got Rob with Dwindle. You have a co-founder. Is that correct?

[00:30]  

That’s right.  That’s Joe.

[0:31]

Joe’s standing over there, but because we only have two mikes, you’re going to go ahead and represent and represent well, I’m sure.

[00:36]

Sure.

[00:36]   

OK, good.  Tell me a little bit about Dwindle.  What do you guys do?

[00:39]

So, a little bit of background maybe:  We come from an internet marketing background, and it’s our first conference here, our first kind of dive into market research.  We’re still trying to learn the lingo and the vernacular, which is strange. But we’re getting there. So, we started… we’ve been doing internet marketing for 15 years or so, and we have plenty branding and logo projects, right?  We kind of developed this tool out of necessity because at one point presented, I remember we presented a really big, big branding project. It was a big deal. It didn’t go so well. And we learned things during the presentation that would have been great to know beforehand, right?  So we developed this quick-choice model, where we present two images to a person on an app on their smartphone. They start tapping, and each of those taps tells us something about their preferences: whether they like literal logos versus abstract, Sara versus Sans Sara font. So, going into a branding project, our design team now is armed with this information.  So, we’ve been using it internally with great success. (probably 40 or so projects to date) and kind of sampling it out to some other agencies. It’s going well. So we wanted to come here to try to learn where we might be able to fit a product like that.

[02:05]  

Got it.  Now, you’re connected with Patrick Comer, who we all know as the founder and CEO of Fulcrum, now rebranded Lucid.  How do you guys know each other?

[02:16]

So, Patrick married my aunt, who is a…       

[02:20]

That really is a family connection.          

[02:23]

Yeah, afraid so.  I’m understanding what a tight-knit family this whole industry is, right?  So just knowing one person in that industry has put us in touch with people like you, who are heavy hitters in this place, and it’s a…  

[02:38]

It makes me feel old that Patrick married your aunt.  

[02:42]

Well, now, she’s only four years my senior.  She’s more like a big sister. Yeah, sorry.

[02:50]  

Patrick and I are around the same age, so.

[02:51]

Right.  So, his wife, my aunt, and my mom are 15 years apart.

[02:57]

Got it.  Totally got it.  Perfect. Thanks for the clarity.  I feel a little bit better now. Patrick, I still think I’m older than you.  Ahh, you guys have been to the show. Just today’s your first day, right?

[03:07]

Well, yesterday we came.  This is our first show; so, we’re still learning.  

[03:10]

What do you think about the show so far?

[03:11]

Oh, man, it’s phenomenal:  the resources and this tight-knit community.  Everybody is so willing to help and really mentor us as newbies.  We kind of weren’t sure where we might get the answers to the questions we’re having, but everybody that we’ve talked to just, whether it’s at lunch or in these break-out sessions, have been so helpful.    

[03:34]   

That’s awesome.  Are you… So, going back to Dwindle.  I want to hear about the name. Why Dwindle?  ‘Cause it feels negative to me. I’m not going to lie.

[03:44]

Interesting, right?  That’s an interesting perspective.  So, because we’re essentially trying to dwindle down these myriad of options or inclinations that somebody might have into a funnel.

[03:54]      

Got it.  So you’re whittling down.  They wind up with the choice answers.  Did you identify the chaff from the bad choices along the way?  

[04:03]

You got it.  

[04:03]

OK, got it.  That helps me a little bit.  So, we’re going to push on the name later

[04:08]

Fair, that’s fair.  

[04:10]

Buy you some beer and we’ll talk about that.

[04:11]

I’m in.

[04:12]  

OK.

[04:12]  

That sounds great.  This evening… We learned of this ping pong bar.  Have you heard of this thing?

[04:18]

No, I haven’t.

[04:18]  

It’s called Spin.  Man, we’re excited about this.  So, the biggest table in our office is a ping pong table.

[04:22]

OK, that’s the best boardroom ever.  

[04:24]

Right.  So, apparently, it is a bar made out of ping pong tables, which we can’t wait to see for the first time.  

[04:28]   

Dominate.  Are you guys like sharks?

[04:30]

No, no, not at all, no.  

[04:31]  

Are you going to come in and be like, “I’ve never played before?  $200? Yes.”

[04:36]

Well, we’ll get a lay of the room first.  Just kind of feel for the room. Lay of the land, right?  And just see…

[04:40]

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Feel it out.

[04:43]

We’ll see.

[04:43]

Oh, my gosh, that’s awesome.  If someone wants to get in contact with you, how would they do that?

[04:47]

Email rob@dwindle.app is the best way, yeah.

[04:53]  

Perfect.  Rob, thanks for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast.

[04:56]

Thanks so much.  Appreciate it.

[04:57]

Pleasure.

IIeX North America 2019 Podcast Series

IIeX NA 2019 Conference Series – Rick Kelly – Fuel Cycle

Welcome to the 2019 IIEX North America Conference Series. Recorded live in Austin, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Rick Kelly, Senior Vice President of Product & Research at Fuel Cycle.

Contact Rick Online:

LinkedIn

Fuel Cycle


[00:00]

Rick Kelly, Fuel Cycle, Senior Leader at that company.  This is the second interview we did with Fuel Cycle. As I already mentioned, Fuel Cycle is a research, cloud-based platform that has their own set of qualitative and quantitative solutions integrated directly into it as well as they’ve plugged in some other tools.  Interesting fact: Rick Kelly and I have picked grapes in the same fields; I think there might have been a decade in between. But it was really funny talking with somebody with a very similar cultural point of view, having a very similar upbringing. Hope you enjoy this episode.  It was a lot of fun for me.

[00:38]  

Hey, everybody.  I am here with Rick Kelly, Fuel Cycle.  Rick, thanks for joining me on the Happy Market Research Podcast today.  

[00:46]  

I am thrilled to be here.

[00:46]  

I promise you you’re not more excited than I am.  

[00:49]  

OK, that’s going to be a tough competition, but I’ll let you have it for now.  Let’s see how this goes.

[00:53]

So, Day 1, you’re my very first interview.  So I’m going to do some special promotion around this particular episode.  Fuel Cycle, tell me what is going on there.

[01:02]

I mean there’s a lot of things going on.  So, obviously, we have a big background in research communities.

[01:07]   

So, actually, let’s back up.  When did you guys start?

[01:09]

So, Fuel Cycle’s been around for 12 years now.  We were formerly known as

Passenger, and we branded it about three years ago to Fuel Cycle.  So, we’ve been around, known for our research communities. And then, over the past little while, we’ve launched like a product exchange where we integrate with a bunch of different partners and everything as well and really been repositioning ourselves as a market research cloud, centered around our research communities, with the idea being that we can integrate with just about any other technology provider in the research space and link that to the research communities and run just about any type of project you’d like.  

[01:43]  

Got it, cool.  Give me an example of your favorite project you guys have worked on.

[01:47]

You know what?  There’s lots of really cool ones, but here’s a great example.  We just launched a feature called FC Live. And what we can do is we can do UX-testing on mobile devices.  So a research respondent can take a prototype that’s sent to him by a researcher, share that screen on the phone, capture the entire screen and walk-through experience whether it’s a online shopping experience or a new app or something like that.  All that video is captured and then it’s transcribed by Voxpopme and available for analysis in a few hours. So it’s really taken the idea of remote usability, testing and putting it on steroids.

[02:24]

That’s really cool.  So, how many companies are you guys connected to?          

[02:29]

So, right now we have about 100 clients, just got to a 100.  When I started five years ago, there were about 13.

[02:35]

Yeah, ‘cause I remember you guys way back when.  And then the rebrand, of course, I think, was absolutely brilliant.  Was the rationale like it was just an aged brand or did you feel like it was a strategic pivot?  And, if so, from what to what?

[02:52]

Yeah, so I think there was a new team there.  There were no more founders left in the organization.  And we kind of wanted to re-establish what it meant to be us in the marketplace.  And also, Passenger felt like a very passive brand, and none of us are passive people.  And so, Fuel Cycle just kind of denoted energy and kind of enthusiasm for what we were doing in general.

[03:12]  

Now, I am from Fresno, California, and you are from, as it turns out, which is hilarious, Visalia, California, which is our neighbor.   

[03:19]

Yeah, about 40 minutes down the road.  

[03:21]

Yeah, that’s right.  I will say that Visalia has the coolest downtown of any Central Valley.

[03:25]

That’s true.  It’s very, very cool.  

[03:28]

Totally, totally.  So, tell me a little bit about your journey.  How in the world did you wind up in market research?

[03:33]

No idea, really.  I think that’s the same as everyone.  But I grew up on a farm in central California.  I left and didn’t go back for 15 years. So, when I graduated high school, I went to college in Idaho; I lived in Ireland for a couple years; I lived in Utah.  And after I finished grad school at Utah State, I ended up working in market research. And it’s really due to the recession. I had a job to go overseas and teach English.  And a few weeks before I was due to graduate, the company I was going to work for went under. And somebody introduced me to Bob Faison, who’s now at Dynata. I got hired pretty quickly.  

[04:10]   

That’s awesome.  

[04:10]

So, that’s how I got into market research.

[04:11]      

That’s so funny.  These two country bumpkins that wind up in technology, market research.

[04:20]

Yeah, exactly.

[04:17]

That is so funny, how the world works.  Yeah, totally. Yeah, I grew up picking grapes and the whole… turning trays and pruning.    

[04:29]

I’m sure we worked on some of the same vineyards.

[04:31]

It’s so funny.  So, what’s next for you guys?  You pivoted away from a passive brand, really community-oriented, or panel community, that’s what I meant by that.  Do you guys have your own panel assets?

[04:45]

We don’t.  Nothing proprietary today.  So nothing to announce there, but we continue to focus really on the unique value the community provides.  So, something like some really in-depth qualitative research things that we can do because we have private communities that you just can’t do with a general access panel.  So, while we do a lot of quantitative work – in fact, about 60% of the work done on our platform today is quantitative – we continue to emphasize some of the qualitative things like they mentioned:  the UX-testing, video, photos, things that are really, really different than just standard discussion boards and surveys.

[05:22]

Who’s your ideal customer?  Do they sit inside of a brand?  An agency?

[05:27]  

So, there’s two types.  Really, at the end of the day, end-customers, large enterprises are really our sweet spot, probably your Fortune 1000, something along those lines.  We do work with a lot of resellers who resell our platform and provide services along side it too.

[05:43]  

What kind of terms of trade?  What does that look like with you guys?  How do you monetize the relationship? I don’t mean that like gouge them.  How do you people engage…

[05:53]

What’s our business model?

[05:55]  

Yeah, thank you.

[05:56]

So, we’re software as a service.  So, it’s SaaS. So, we do business in annual license plus.  So, minimum 12-month contracts, and many of them are multi-year.  And that’s kind of the primary business model overall.   

[06:07]

Got it.  So, market research has gone through a lot of transition in the last five years.  A lot.

[06:12]   

Tons.

[06:13]

The introduction of block chain and crypto-currency has entered into the space.  AI, of course, research automation, probably the number 1 buzz word I’ve heard as of late, even though it’s been around for a while.  In fact, I would argue that Decipher, the company I started, was actually just a research automation play as opposed to an online survey play, right?     

[06:37]  

Yeah, in retrospect, it’s all automation.  

[06:39]

Right, totally, right.  It’s just by getting to the data, the insights faster.  So, what do you see, looking forward to the next five years, where’s your bets?  What are you seeing as going to be trending?

[06:50]

I think where we’re going to continue to place a lot of bets is really around analyzing a lot of unstructured data at scale. So, collecting unstructured insights, being able to process and give those things meaning will continue to be important.  So that really is an automation and an AI play because those are things you can do at scale with artificial intelligence. And also I think we’re going to see like a resurgence in the importance of user experience to research respondents. I think having easy-to-use tools and easy-to-use survey of platforms to participate in ends up being very, very important in the long run too and really affects data quality.       

[07:30]

That’s awesome.  You guys think you’re going to continue to play exclusively in the tool space or do you think you’re going to branch out and actually create your own panel?  The reason I bring it up is because there’s been a… I mean our entire careers you’ve heard about data quality, but it does seem like there’s been a big change.  TMR, the group scientists at Proctor & Gamble, MRMW two weeks ago she gave a presentation, claiming that a significant proportion – I might be misquoting it but I believe it was around 30% – of completes on some studies that they analyzed were determined as fraud.  Are you seeing that as problem that you might be able to solve in the context of where you’re sitting in the data ecosystem?

[08:11]

Yeah, that’s an interesting question.  Like I said, we have nothing to announce today, but ultimately like our value to our clients is dependent on the fidelity of data that we’re providing to them.  And so, where we feel like we can have an impact, if we can impact the quality and fidelity, then that’s something that we’re going to invest time and effort into.     

[08:30]

Understood.  Great, fantastic.  Rick with Fuel Cycle has been my guest on Happy Market Research Podcast.

[08:38]  

Very happy to be here.  

[08:38]

Thanks so much.  Hey, listen, before I let you go, what do you think about the show? I know we’re just getting started.    

[08:42]

Well, I think it’s fantastic.  I love being in Austin. Over in Atlanta, I’m really glad they moved it here.  It’s a great city: lots of good energy and everything too. And it’s great to see all these tech companies out here – just explosion in this space.

[08:53]

Just over 1,200 this year, which, I think, almost a couple hundred more than last year in attendees, which is fantastic.  The exhibitor hall is completely packed to the gills even into the overflow areas. To your point, there’s a lot of good energy here.

[09:11]

When Qualtrics gets acquired for 8 billion dollars, I think that makes a lot of entrepreneurs think, “Hey, there’s something in this kind of customer data space.”  And I think we’ll see a lot more in the future.

[09:20]

They are the tail that is wagging the dog of market research right now.

[09:23]

Absolutely.

[09:24]

Yeah, absolutely.  Alright, thanks for joining me.  

[09:24]

Thanks a lot, Jamin.

IIeX North America 2019 Podcast Series

IIeX NA 2019 Conference Series – Ray Fischer – Aha! Online Research

Welcome to the 2019 IIEX North America Conference Series. Recorded live in Austin, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Ray Fischer, CEO and Founding Partner of Aha! Online Research.

Contact Ray Online:

LinkedIn

Aha! Online Research



[00:00]

Ray Fischer, Aha! Online Research.  First off, he is the best voice in market research.  I wish it was me, but it’s not. For those that don’t know, Aha! Online is a qualitative platform that’s used by many large brands.  They support an asynchronous data collection approach for digital ethnography. Enjoy the episode. You can find his contact information in the show notes.

[00:22]  

Ray Fischer, the CEO and founding partner of Aha!, also has been on the show, one of my favorite podcasts.  The best voice in market research. Seriously, 100%, it’s absolutely true. We’re live at IIeX here in Austin.  What do you think about the show so far?

[00:43]

Oh, it’s been great, great.  Great energy, new venue, which is super cool.  I think this is my fifth or sixth one. I’m not sure how many they’ve had, but I’ve been to all of them.  This one is really neat. Love Austin, different energy. Atlanta was great, but this is super, super cool.  

[00:58]

Yeah, it really is.  I agree about the energy point.  I call it the Coke versus Pepsi effect:  some of the executives or people on the floor have been a little bit apprehensive about the structure of it early in Day 1 ‘cause it felt a little bit separated.  But everybody in Day 2 has been excited about the show floor and the interactions that they’re getting and value, value, value.

[01:20]

Some people aren’t open to change.  You know how that goes.

[01:23]  

Are we in market research still?

[01:25]

You’ll always find a complainer, but “no,” it’s awesome. You got to make it what it is, but it is an amazing venue.    

[01:31]  

Yeah.

[01:31]

Look at the walls behind you.  And it’s just the color popping out.  I mean that’s emblematic of the energy in this place.         

[01:38]

I got in big trouble actually because I had placed my…  I have a large case for the equipment, and so I had placed the Penquin case by the…  Anyway, I got in big trouble for it. “Oh, my gosh, I didn’t realize it was actually art.”  It’s legit art.

[01:54]

It’s definitely.  Don’t scrape yourself on it either; it’s 3D.

[01:57]

So, Aha!, what’s going on, man?

[02:00]

I’ve been busy as heck.  It’s really… Last year I think we talked, somewhere near the end of last year.  We had a great year last year. This year we’re off to a rip-roaring start. We’re thrilled.  We’re launching new activities, new things, kind of spreading the word on online qual. Remarkedly, everyone has not yet tried online qual.  So there’s still a lot of untapped territory out there. We’re working to spread the good word and, obviously, spread our own product word. But a lot of big stuff happening in the whole customer experience world.  The video world has changed quite a bit; I think we might have touched on that before, but. All the connectivity: I’m excited about 4G going to 5G on the mobile scene because this is going to increase uploads speeds from respondents with video and pictures, which are so important to the whole online experience and the online mobile experience.    

[02:47]  

There’s a lot you just said.  And I just want to take a step back because probably some of our audience isn’t familiar with exactly what it is that Aha! does.  So, if you could just give me like the high-level overview, not too in the weeds, so that everybody can like level set with where you guys fit in the market research ecosystem.   

[03:07]

We’re an online qualitative platform.  We do what we call asynchronous approach, which means people come in usually on a multi-day to, let’s say, up to a year-long study, where they come in at their convenience on a set schedule.  Most studies usually run four or five days in length. People come in for 30 to 45 minutes and do a set series of activities; some of those are on their computer; some of those can be done on a laptop, tablet, whatever.  And some of that is mobile; so, there may be store missions involved or maybe diary entries where you take it moment in time where, let’s say, if you’re doing a snacking study, every time you have a snack, you might do a little video recording, maybe answer a couple of open-ends, maybe a closed-end about how satisfying that particular event was and make those diary entries.  So it’s a real connected, emotional, and projective-type approach to getting close to how consumers think, act, and feel.

[04:00]

Got it.  So, this is part of my ongoing thesis in market research as I’m 48 years old now, which is not like the pinnacle of knowledge, but I’m smarter than I was when I was 28.

[04:13]

Yes, agreed.  We all get there.    

[04:14]

Thankfully in some ways.  Really what market research is is a conversation at scale.  You know small companies like Mom and Pop retail, you probably don’t need to do market research ‘cause you know the 100 people that are frequenting your establishment in a day, right?  You develop that rapport. But, once you get into two stores and thousands of customers, it’s impossible to actually keep your finger on the pulse of the customer. And now, all of a sudden, in order to facilitate that conversation, market research is employed, which is largely a logistical exercise of facilitating a conversation at scale.  Now, this is what’s really interesting for me is in the 50s when research really started with political polling specifically, surveys became the dominant form for understanding consumer sentiment and then qualitative, of course, had a meaningful role in informing the quant. Now what’s happening is the tools are so sophisticated (AI, machine learning, just getting better at figuring out technology) you can actually conduct qualitative research at scale, like you said, asynchronously and get, not just the A, B test of “This is greater than that,” which comes out of a survey, but you can start digesting that information understand the true “why” and the drivers of the consumer.  So, to that end, are you seeing a lift in qual as just a broader application, not a trump on quant (I’m not trying to say that necessarily) but are you seeing it just kind of gaining overall share in the market research…?

[05:55]   

Yeah, that’s a great question.  I think what I’m seeing, Jamin, is you’ve got people out there…  Obviously, quant is always going to be there, but what’s happened with qual that’s giving it gains is you’ve got…  Remember focus groups, of course. We’ve all been in them, done them, watched them, etc. Now, you’ve got the ability to be with everybody out in their real lives through technologies.  You’ve got video and picture capability. Everyone has a smart phone around the world. So we’ve gone from what you might gain in a 90-minute focus group; we’re now able to spend a couple hours with people over, let’s say, four days.  So, let’s say, one moderator can communicate, as you said, at scale and talk to 50 people for 30 to 45 minutes a day, not necessarily talking to them directly but through great lines of questioning, great projective activities, video exercises, store tours, etc.  I think what’s happened is we’ve gone from this eight people in a focus-group room and everybody has to travel to Atlanta to go watch it from behind a mirror. And it’s kind of a stilted environment: people at little bit, you know, they’re on stage. Now, they’re able to do this stuff in the comfort of their own homes, walking through the store by themselves; plus, people have gotten in this era of social media and camera usage; people are real comfortable in front of cameras, taking pictures of themselves.  We’re all kind of trained actors in a way but, obviously, we don’t want anyone acting when they share information with us, but they’re so much more comfortable and natural in these environments to be able to do things like share what kind of underwear they wear and why they buy it or what kind of personal care products they use, what kind of groceries they buy. So it’s just changed the game completely. So it’s a technology-driven evolution.

[07:38]

Exactly.  With respect to your customers, are you guys…  Obviously, a technology platform, are you also adding in the analytics and engagement with the customer post or is it…?    

[07:48]          

Yeah, there’s definitely probing that goes on throughout a study.  So that’s usually human-driven although we’re touching into the AI zone of that and I know other competitors are doing the same.  One thing that I don’t want to do at this point in time is that qual is so human that the minute we put a chatbot into a study and they ask a question that isn’t really completely perfect and doesn’t feel like a human, they’ll know it’s a chatbot, and the relationship is over ‘cause it’s really about the human touch.  

Now, we truly try to make moderators connect with respondents, do a video before they launch a study so that when people come in, they actually know who the moderator is.  They watch a little one- or two-minute video about who they are, what their job is and what the respondent’s job is going to be. And I even have moderators who do that every day.  They do a quick one-minute video, saying who they are, here’s what we’re doing today, here’s what I need you to do, and have a great day. So the minute a bot comes in and doesn’t fire an appropriately triggered question, somebody’s going to know it’s a machine and not a person.  So, it will get to the point where I think you almost can’t tell the difference; it’ll probably get there pretty quickly. Right now, we’re treading lightly in that area and doing some basic AI-driven questions.

[9:00]

Better to be over-sensitive to that because to your point, market research is in a lot of ways because it’s being done so much now, it’s an extension of a brand.  And so, if a person has a bad experience in a market research study, that actually reflects negatively on the overall brand that is commissioning that project. So you really got to be cognizant of that and error on the side of creating a great customer experience even in context of research as opposed to it being the other direction it used to be, which was “Screw you.  You’re going to take my 30-minute survey, non-mobile friendly, 1,000 variable, 10-point rating scale…” You really got to start thinking about that as a researcher.

[09:41]

Oh, absolutely.  In “Bet Your AI,” I question about…  Like there are chatbots that are doing some automated probing and things like that.  But the other thing is on the back-end, that’s where the opportunity is with the text analytics stuff.  There’s several players here; some of them I’ve know like OdinAnswers; I’ve known Tom for seven or eight years, I think.  And he’s been doing this stuff in the embryonic days of it.

[10:04]

Totally.

[10:04]

And now it’s coming into its own at this point in time. And there’s other competitors like to him like, I think it’s Rob Key with Converseon.  Really cool tools he’s got there too. So, there’s players out there that are trying to get to the point where we can break this data down quickly.  That’s always been the toughest part of being a qualitative market researcher. If you do, let’s say a five-day study or a year-long study and you have 100 people or 50 people or whatever it might be  

[10:31]

…analytic scale for qual’s hard.

[10:33]

You got…  You have to break all that data down yourself.  And, Jamin, you come from this space too and you probably had to write reports that were painful to do.  You know I was talking to Jim Bryson today, which was really funny. He said somebody begged him to moderate some focus groups, which he’d done for 25 years.  He did them a couple of weeks ago, and he said the most brutal part of it is writing the report, which I agree with 100%. I haven’t done one in seven years, and I don’t think I can write a report.  It would be so painful.

[11:00]  

You have to write that report on the plane flight after every…  You know what I’m saying. Every minute you’re away from the data, the less visceral the connection is to the outcome and you really start losing the power

[11:13]  

That is kind of the beauty of the online stuff is it’s always there for you to analyze, but again, if you can break that data down quicker.  One of my partners, Jim White, we always talk about “data wrangling,” and what are the best ways to help manage the data on the qual side. And a lot of times what he uses and he preaches this is to use a trigger quant question that helps him at least sort the data.  “Tell me what would you rate this idea,” or “How did you feel about that experience? 1 to 5 or 1 to 10?” So, he can separate the 1s from the 10s and the 1s from the 5s and really look at the polar opposites.

[11:48]

Totally.  Find some context for the answers.

[11:50]  

Exactly, and they get context.  

[11:51]

Ray, if somebody wants to get in contact with you, how would they do that?    

[11:54]

They could get me on email:  RayF@Ahaonlineresearch.com.  That’s a mouthful, but apparently my marketing guy convinced me that was great SCO.  So…

[12:03]   

It is pretty good SCO.

[12:06]

So, here we go.  And my phone number is 810-599-9440, website – Ahaonlineresearch.com.

[12:13]  

And we’ll include all that information in the show notes.  As always, I’d greatly appreciate it if you’d take the time to screenshot this episode, share it on your social media, and whatever platform you’re listening and consuming this content in, please take the time (one minute it will take you) to provide us a rating.  It makes ALL the difference in the world and is really a way for us to help validate content like this and get it into more insights professionals’ hands.

Ray, thanks for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast.

[12:39]

Jamin, thanks so much.

IIeX North America 2019 Podcast Series

IIeX NA 2019 Conference Series – Marc Macellaio – Fuel Cycle

Welcome to the 2019 IIEX North America Conference Series. Recorded live in Austin, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Marc Macellaio, Vice President of Sales at Fuel Cycle.

Contact Marc Online:

LinkedIn

Fuel Cycle


[00:00]

Marc Macellaio, Fuel Cycle.  This is the second interview I did on site at IIeX with Fuel Cycle.  Fuel Cycle is a marketing research cloud platform that allows you… They have their own set of solutions and also you can plug in some external tools that you might have as well in your research portfolio.  You know for me, this is probably one of the more interesting businesses. When I think about my next thing, I definitely feel like there’s an element of their API-driven marketplace yadi-yadi-yada that is real interesting.  But I’d encourage you to think about the last 12 years that they’ve been in business: how they have evolved and stayed, not just relevant, but actually move more, more towards the cutting edge of technology and adding value to our ecosystem.  Enjoy.

[00:50]

I am sitting here with the head of sales, Marc, at Fuel Cycle.  Marc, thanks for joining me on the Happy Market Research Podcast.   

[00:56]  

Thanks for having me.  Really appreciate it.

[00:57]

Alright, cool, man.  What do you think about the show?  IIeX, this is Day 3. I’m a little tired

[01:02]

I’m a little tired, but we’re having a blast.  A lot of energy and really innovative tools out there.

[01:07]   

You guys have a nice presence in the North Hall, I think, or South Hall.

[01:10]

Yeah, one of the two.  The one with the big, orange pillows in the couches, everything, yeah.  Can’t miss us.

[01:16]  

Right, totally.  So, were you at last year’s IIex?  

[01:20

I was.       

[01:20]

What do you think about the difference in venues?          

[01:21]

I love this venue.  Obviously, it’s larger, more space.  I think more energy. I mean it’s easier to get around and a…  The last year just getting too large, I guess, people kind of getting shoved out.  So this has been great.

[01:34]

Have you been able to attend any sessions?

[01:36]

A handful of sessions, yeah.  Mainly, I’m kind of working the room, working the booth, that kind of thing.  But, yeah, a lot of really good information around and talks around AI and sort of what’s next around market research.  So really cool.

[01:46]  

So, let’s talk about Fuel Cycle.  You guys are a, from my understanding, a comprehensive, end-to-end research technology platform that allows community management and then you also have your own tools for conducting qualitative research.  Is that right?

[02:00]

That’s correct, yep.

[02:01]

And then, in addition to that, you have the capacity through your API’s to interact with other third-party tools like Voxpopme or SurveyGizmo or whatever.

[02:11]

Typically, when people work with us, they’ll say, “Hey, we want to build a community.”  And so, we’ll put together a community that allows them to do both the qualitative – discussion boards, diary studies, live chats, video IDI’s, video focus groups (mobile, by the way).  But also, it comes with our SurveyGizmo partner Quant Solutions. So, it allows them to do again the quant and the qual and connect all the data in one community environment, right?

[02:34]

Got it.  It makes a lot of sense to me.  So, how long have you guys been working with SurveyGizmo?

[02:38]

Last probably three to four years now.  

[02:40]   

OK, good.  And how long have you been around?  ‘Cause you’ve really been popping for the last two years.  I didn’t hear a lot about you before.

[02:46]

You know about four or five years ago, we revamped our whole platform, calling it really Fuel Cycle, and it’s really changed the game.  It’s no longer a community; we’ve moved in to the research cloud. So, as you said before, we have this community environment where they can do the quant and the qual.  We also plug into Qualtrics and other leading survey tools as well, but it also then takes us to the level where we can plug in these other great innovative tools like a Voxpopme and like a Consensus Point, like a Protobrand, System 1 Research, right. Any of these innovative tools, or anytime the client wants to pull these in, they can.  And all the data is all housed in the same environment.

[03:19]      

Ah, that’s beautiful.  Super simple.

[03:21]

Super simple, super easy, all connected, giving people the ability to quick, iterative research but also allowing them to do that longitudinal research that they love as well too.  And not only talking to 300 people, we can talk to 50,000 people in one community, segmented and based on who the client wants to talk to.

[03:38]

Do you do the recruiting for those panels or do you use third-party providers like a Dynata or what have you?

[03:46]

We do.  We actually do both.  So, some of our clients want to talk to their own customers; we’ll use customer lists.  So we can actually connect to their customer lists as well through API. And then also, a lot of clients want to talk to sort of their non-customers, right?  “How can I be targeting? How do I target this new audience like a Millennial, like a GenZ”? And we can go to third-party panel providers to recruit them.  

[04:04]

Awesome.  That’s really cool.  So, I’m chairing a track, unfortunately.  So I’m going to have to jump in just a second.  But, if somebody wants to get in contact with you, how would they do that?

[04:12]

Yeah, just reach out to www.fuelcycle.com.  F U E L C Y C L E. com.  Yeah, and request a demo, or give us a call.

[04:28]

Awesome, man.  Well, thanks so much for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast.

[04:31]  

I appreciate it.  This has been great.

[04:32]  

Hey, listen, if you guys are tuning in, please take the time, screenshot this episode, share it with your friends and family.  As always, if you can provide a rating on the platform of your choice, it goes a l-o-n-g ways in helping other people like you find this valuable content.  Have a wonderful rest of your day.

IIeX North America 2019 Podcast Series

IIeX NA 2019 Conference Series – Manish Mittal – Course5

Welcome to the 2019 IIEX North America Conference Series. Recorded live in Austin, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Manish Mittal, Senior Vice President – Business Head at Course5.

Contact Manish Online:

LinkedIn

Course5


[00:00]

Manish Mittal and I basically grew up together in the market research space.  He started a company called Cross-Tab way back when. It’s now been rebranded into Course5.  He’s going to talk about the three pillars of Course5 and the evolution and how he has been able and his team has been able to drive successfully year-over-year growth.  They’re are now over 1,000 people, continue to make pivots and major changes, and continue to be disruptive and add a lot of value to market research professionals. Enjoy.   

[00:32]  

So, my guest today is Manish with Course5, course5i.com, if you’re looking for them.  Tell me a little bit about your business.

[00:41]  

Right, I think we have a slightly diverse kind of a business, if I have to bracket it into three parts of that business.  So, one is what we call a market research AI business. I lead that business. Then there is a digital analytics business.  And then we have what we call as market intelligence business. Those are the three businesses. We started with a company called Cross-Tab, which was more of a market research operations.  Then we also delved into this more of a market intelligence kind of a business by the name Blueocean Market Intelligence. Recently, a year back, we merged the two businesses and we called it Course5i.  And the whole idea of naming this as Course5 is the fifth course, which is the future is what we’re trying to help the clients with.

[01:31]  

I think that’s really clever.  I was checking out your website earlier today.  And Cross-Tab, I was actually a fan of back in the early days.  You guys started (I might be misremembering) but I want to say it was around like 2004 or 2003, maybe even.

[01:45]  

Yeah, I think 2001, 2002 when we started.  You’re two off.

[01:50]

Then I remember you guys in the trade show circuits, of course.  It was a very interesting value prop. And I think it’s really smart how you have evolved your business to accommodate the changes in the market research space, which a lot of firms don’t actually successfully navigate those pivots.  Talk to me about from Cross-Tab to now Course5, where you’re plotting the future. I mean that’s a BIG difference, right? What is one of the big challenges that the company has faced going through that transition?

[02:25]

I think one of the biggest challenges has been about the change itself.  We are almost 1,000 people employed in the company. And I think there is a huge amount of inertia.  You have been doing a certain way all these years, and now the change you want to bring in. So when we are trying to move in that direction, maybe you want to bring in that digital transformation in any piece of our business and also in the research piece of business.  So, the biggest, the hardest of the change are both internal as well as external. The team itself, while they’re excited, but at the same time, there is a question in terms of, “Is it going to be the next thing?”, “Is it the right approach?” And the same with the clients were used to a certain style of dealing with the organization.  And they’re feeling that kind of a change. In many cases, they are very welcoming; they’re very excited but, I think, as an industry, the market research industry, if you look at the genesis of this industry, it has been pretty slow in terms of adoption of that kind of a change. I think that’s what we are seeing, but I think we are not losing out.  I think we believe that’s the future. And we are hanging on to that, and I think it’s just a matter of time and people will start appreciating and accepting it.

[03:32]   

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.  Well, congratulations on your success.  A thousand: that’s a big number; that’s a huge number.  How have you guys maintained growth over the decades?

[03:45]

I think two things.  One, of course, in the same set of business, one we call scaling and one we call growth.  How we have scaled in the same piece of business is just one way to look at it. And we have never been too hungry in terms of adding too many clients to the portfolio.  Can we go deep into the same set of? So that’s more scaling. And growth has been in terms of extension of our business. We are not really wanting to diversify from a research to something very random and something which is off-beat.  But in the same space can we identify “spaces,” which we think are niche, as well there is a humongous amount of opportunity. And we want to bring in that growth from that perspective. So, I think that those are the two things which we have done, I believe, successfully.  There have been failures in the past, but I think we have learned from those failures. And we have been also smart in cutting down our losses. It’s not that we invest something and we want to unnecessarily stick with that. If we realize that it’s not the great thing we want to really pursue any further, we’ll cut down on that and focus on areas where we think that kind of growth and scaling happen.      

[04:45]  

Got it.  That makes a lot of sense.  So, your sales force, about how big is it?  

[04:49]

We kind of define our sales force as hunters and farmers.  The farmers are more classified as account managers, and the hunters are more classified as the sales.  In U.S. itself we will have more than 15 people in the sales team and across the globe put together around 30 of them.  So that’s the size of the sales team. And, of course, I’m not counting myself as a sales person but I’m also playing that kind of a role.     

[05:15]

What advice would…  ‘cause you have a lot of early stage zero to maybe a million dollars of revenue on the floor right now, like a lot.  What advice would you give those entrepreneurs?

[05:26]

If I’m getting it correct, I find a lot of startups that I’m seeing is a startups which are trying to bring in newer spaces, getting into the newer spaces and bringing in the semblance of technology or the artificial intelligence or those kinds of things.  And we ourselves are trying to dive into that space fairly, fairly aggressively. I have been in the research industry for many, many years. And, as an industry, we’ve taken a lot of pride in terms of providing that consultancy, understanding of that domain, really making sense out of that kind of data to our customers.  And when we’re trying to make that big change by bringing in those new technology interventions, I think we have to understand two or three things: One – not everything can be replaced by technology. So we need to really pick out our battle where see that AI or technology can really make that kind of difference.

Secondly, there has to be a balance of people:  the real world, the people, and the technology part of it.  We should not really push to replace everything with technology because there will be humongous amount of resistance to that because the research world has dealt very differently than maybe the analytics world or the other kind of world.  So I think those are the two or three pieces of advice I would give. Pick your battle and don’t try and replace everything and too fast because there’s a higher chance of you being pushed back than you being accepted in the marketplace.   

[06:51]

This is a really important point that I think the audience needs to tune in to.  I heard this from a number of interviews at the brand level. And what they’re not looking for is a new technology.  What they’re really looking for is a new partner that can help solve their business problems and then, in that partnership, it isn’t just about like a one-trick pony where you meet some niche need.  It’s really about having a depth of connection to that business so that when you deliver an insight or empower an insight, there’s an overall context to that insight, to the problems of the business is facing also at that point in time so that you can really frame the answer, the insight in a way that’s meaningful and will drive change in the organization.  

[07:35]

Absolutely.  And, in fact, if I talk very briefly about some of the things which we are trying to do…

[07:39]  

That’d be great.

[07:40]

For example, on the very operations sides of things, we realized over the years, it’s extremely a cost factor.  The entire operations is a cost to the organization. There’s no greater value from an organization. And it has been a lot driven by how cheaper can you get, how faster can you get.  And through a normal intervention, you’ll hit the ceiling; you can’t go any further. And that’s where we’re trying to bring the power of AI. Can we really use that power of AI to make that huge change.  By any stretch of imagination, the entire market research operation, barring the sample collection, is an 8 to 10-billion-dollar industry. That’s humongous. If I’m able to bring in a cost efficiency of even 10%, that’s a lot of money on the table.       

[08:24]

Lot of money.

[08:25]

And that only adds to your bottom line and the speed to market.  Because there is better speed to market, now the entire corporation world is comparing your delivery to the alternative world.  “They can deliver in two-days’ time; you still take two weeks of time.” If I can really cut down on that time as well as other costs, that will give a new life to the entire MR world.  And that is one of the interventions that we are doing.   

Second intervention is I believe the primary research world is all about the perishable things.  You consume and then you throw that data. Can we use all of that knowledge which we have kind of accumulated over the years and make a far superior use of that?  For example, we launched [unclear] optimization, which is using a lot of your past creative and the consumer data, do a meta-analysis to say how you can be smarter and better in the future.  So I think you have to again identify those areas where you can make a real change. And again, the change is not replacing the existing one but kind of enhancing to that particular set.

[09:24]

Love that.  Super interesting.  Yeah, kind of going all the back to the beginning of our conversation…  When I think about growth, I think about like corporate growth; I think about building a bridge of “I’m here, and I want to be there.”  And there are six pillars that I use to achieve growth, two of which are new customer acquisition, which from a blank perspective, should be about 10%, maybe 20%.  But your existing customer base should represent a material gain for about 80% of that growth. And so, I think that… I was just talking with another CEO earlier (I won’t mention their name because this is your episode) but I thought it was really interesting that their seeing a tremendous tick-up in their current customer base.  And I think that goes to your strengths. If you can just deliver value to the customer in the context of their business problems, whether it’s budgetary constraints or timing constraints or quality constraints or innovation constraints, then you’re going to win in the long term.

[10:38]

Absolutely, absolutely.  And again I think, as I started by saying that we have to pick our battle.  We cannot be best in everything. What is our strength? How can we augment that with some kind of emerging possibilities?  And some of the niche areas where we can really play and add value.

[10:56]

Do you use or leverage other partners like maybe even some of the smaller companies here for your customers or do you usually build up the tech yourselves?

[11:04]

Not really.  So again, again, the whole idea is we don’t want to be the tech giants of the technical… call it as a horizontal versus vertical.  Verticals are the business problems you’re trying to solve, and the horizontals are those tech you trying to [unclear]. We are actually using a lot of those tech companies who have built sophisticated engines, but we are there to solve the business problem.  We use the technology, add to the business relevance, and then place it in the marketplace. Some of the technology, we, of course, build in-house, but not everything and anything.

[11:33]     

Got it.  So, if a company like brand or agency has particular technology that they like a lot, they could leverage you guys to partner with them?

[11:44]

Oh, absolutely.  That’s the whole idea.  

[11:45]

Got it, got it.  Manish, thanks for joining me on the Happy Market Research Podcast.  If somebody wants to get in contact with you, how would they do that?

[11:53]

They can reach out to me on my mail ID which is manish.mittal@course5i.com.  I think that’s the best way; I’m always available on that.

[12:13]

Perfect, and that’ll be in the show notes as well.  

[12:15]

Awesome.  Thanks, Jamin.  Thanks for your lovely discussion.

[12:19]

Enjoy the rest of the show.  Thanks so much.

[12:20]

Thanks, Jamin.

IIeX North America 2019 Podcast Series

IIeX NA 2019 Conference Series – Laura Drews Freund – Cranbrook Search Consultants

Welcome to the 2019 IIEX North America Conference Series. Recorded live in Austin, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Laura Drews Freund, CEO and Executive Search Consultant at Cranbrook Search Consultants.

Contact Laura Online:

LinkedIn

Cranbrook Search Consultants


[00:00]  

There’s been a ton of consolidation in the market research space over the last year.  Dynata has done a number of acquisitions. There’s been quite a few others. Just follow MR web if you don’t know what’s happening.  All those individuals that have been displaced need jobs and, at the same time, one of the No. 1 things I hear from insights professionals inside of brands is that they’re looking to hire.  Laura with Cranbrook Search Consultants is a really good contact for you to make if you are looking for a job or you’re looking to place somebody. In her interview, we talk about tips and tricks for both finding good talent as well as making yourself very attractive for prospective hires.  So, I hope you find value here. As always, you can find her contact information in the show notes.

[00:51]  

Cranbrook Search Consultants.  I’m here with the CEO, Laura. How are you today?

[00:58]  

I’m doing very well.  Anxious to get downstairs.  It’s actually a pretty good setup this year: there’s multiple, separate rooms; excellent food as usual; some charging stations.  So I like the setup so far.

[01:11]

Yeah, I like it too.  You know they’ve got just over 100 additional participants in this year’s show versus last year, which was bursting at the seams, which I think is a big deal because it was in Atlanta historically and this is the first year they moved out of that market, which usually you’d see sort of a decrease in attendance, I would think.  

[01:28]

Right.  I think because they moved it out of that one in Georgia, it probably encouraged people because remember there was just that one hallway that had all the booths.

[01:38]   

I do, yeah.  You could barely move.

[01:42]

Yes, I thought that was too crowded.    

[01:44]  

Yeah, it was super…  It had the feeling of a house party.

[01:46]

Which isn’t bad.      

[01:48]

No, it’s not.  I know. I kind of liked it, to be honest, but …         

[01:51]

We’re kind of having a party here.  

[01:52]

I agree.

[01:53]

This is a party.

[01:54]

Totally.  So, you’ve been in the market research space for quite a while.

[01:57]

Yes.  

[01:57]

Tell me a little bit about what it is that you guys do.

[02:01]

So, we hire full-time, permanent professionals within the market research space.  So it can go pretty much business developers; it can be more C-level; and, generally, I would say director on up.  People don’t usually come to us for, say, analyst-level roles unless there’s ten that they need immediately.   

[02:25]

So it’s like scale-type thing, right, yeah, totally.  There’s a couple of different matchmaker-type service companies inside of our space, as you know.  And, of course, you know who all of them are. What is sort of the point of differentiation?

[02:37]

We have a value prop that I think is kind of unique.  First of all, my business partner, Matt O’Mara, was a researcher; so, he really talks the talk.

[02:51]   

Understands the… yep.

[02:54]

And so, if there’s some probing that we need to do to really qualify the job, he knows how to get there from a research perspective.  So, he’s a researcher turned recruiter. I have been a market research recruiter since Day 1. I’ve never recruited for like cell phone sales people or anything like that.  So, I started out as an outside recruiter at an external firm. Then I worked for TNS for five years. Then I was recruited by GFK. So, I worked at GFK for a couple years and then back at Kantar for another couple of years.  So this is really all that I’ve done.

[03:31]      

I mean from a journey perspective, you’re uniquely positioned to have the ears of all the major players and what sort of openings exist.  I’ve never used a recruiter, but I’ve always been fascinated with… I have from hiring people but never on the other side of it. What does that journey look like for somebody?  At what point do they start enlisting the relationship? And then, what kind of time frames are around that?     

[03:59]

So, usually we hear from clients when they’re kind of at their wits’ end if it’s the first time we’ve ever worked with them.  They’re exhausted. You know they’ve posted a job on LinkedIn and they’re getting massive amounts of resumes, and none of them are even close to what they need.  So the first time that we meet a client, it’s usually because they’re exhausted and beat up. And they thought they could do it. You know post a job on LinkedIn and read some resumes and hire someone.  How much easier can it be?

[04:32]

Right, exactly.  

[04:34]

That’s a tough one.  So we kind of ease them into it slowly.  We let them know that we’re here to save them time.  So our job isn’t to further congest their inbox with spraying and praying, multiple resumes.  Our job is to send them a couple that are what we think dead-on. And that seems to be like a bite of a York Peppermint Patty for them.  It’s so refreshing.

[05:00]

Good reference.

[05:02]

Thank you, in case we have any sponsors out there.  That’s always fun to kind of ease somebody’s burden that way for a first timer.  And then, I would say, after that business developers are always difficult for companies to find.  Business developers, they’re just tough for companies to recruit on their own because… multiple reasons.  It’s hard to really assess a business developer on paper. It’s really tough. And it takes some time because, as soon as you find one, they’re gone.  Business developers do not last on the market long. So there’s multiple reasons why people come to us.

[05:48]

What about from the other vantage point of like the business development person or executive?  Do you do executive placement as well?

[05:56]  

Mm-hmm.

[05:57]  

Executive.  At what point should they be thinking about building a relationship with you?

[06:03]

Now.  Yesterday.

[06:05]  

So, it isn’t necessary that they even have to be looking at this particular point in time?

[06:10]

Oh, right.  And that’s kind of interesting to get that across at conferences, right?  I’ve known some of these people here for a very long time, and I’ve had relationships with them.  So when I go up to their booth to say, “Hello,” I’m saying “Hello” as a person.   

[06:28]

Totally.

[06:29]   

But I am still a recruiter.  Maybe their boss is there, or they get a little nervous because they may think that I’m there to recruit them.  I’m just here to continue the relationships. It’s funny I feel like I’ve seen some of these people grow up. I’m the same age but…

[06:51]

Me too.  I’m definitely frozen in time.  

[06:54]  

Right, right.  It’s just so fun to just watch people and go, “Oh, where are you now?”  “Oh, you moved there. That’s great. I saw it on LinkedIn.” It’s just a long-term relationship.  So they don’t have to be looking now. Even for the clients, they don’t have to have any recruiting needs now.  It’s just to make that connection long term.

[07:14]

Got it.  It makes a lot of sense.  And if somebody is interested in transitioning, what sort of time frame (I’m not asking for myself), what sort of time frame does that usually look like with you guys?   

[07:26]

Well, so, from a candidate perspective, it depends on if they fit the jobs that we have open.  So that’s sometimes difficult. Say, people get laid off; multiple people get laid off. They will bombard us because they should, but if we only have a certain set of jobs and they don’t fit that job right now, we can only keep them on our radar screen or put them in our database.  But, if they match what we have open, it depends on the client, but I don’t know if you can tell right now, I kind of keep things going. [She snaps her fingers.]

[08:06]

I definitely I’m getting that vibe from you.

[08:09]

I need things now.  I go right for the frosting on the cupcakes.  So I would say start-to-finish, I mean it shouldn’t take more than a month.  

[08:18]

Crankbook.

[08:20]  

Cranbrook.

[08:21]

Cranbrook, sorry.  

[08:22]

Crankbook, actually, would be a fantastic name.  

[08:24]

Cranbrook, that would be good.  Cranbrook, how did you guys come up with that name?  

[08:29]

Not mine.  My business partner, Matt O’Mara, lives near a private school in Michigan called Cranbrook

[08:38]

Alright, there you go.

[08:38]

He thought it was kind of cool.  So he came up with that name.

[08:42

Perfect.  Laura, thanks for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast.  

[08:44]

Oh, wait.

[08:46]

Oh, wait, there’s more.

[08:46]

Yeah, now I get to ask you a question.

[08:47]

Oh, OK, got it.  This is fun

[08:49]

Let’s see. Uh, what are your three favorite words?

[08:56]

Oh, my three favorite words.

[08:57]

Oh, you know.  Have you been asked this question?

[08:59]

Never.  “Unflappable…”

[09:03]  

Oh, that’s a good one.

[09:04]  

…is one of my favorite words.  Definitely, “green.”

[09:10]  

“Green?”   “Green?”

[09:14]

And probably, F***, but I’m trying to say it less.  So, that’s like part of my …

[09:21]

We can swear on this show?

[09:23]   

Well, I mean I can; you can too.  So, yeah, that’s my framework of three favorite words.

[09:32]

I didn’t know that we could swear because [that totally changes the rules here because that is my No. 1 favorite word.  You get so much energy out.

[09:41]  

When I was in high school, never forget.  This was more than a few years ago. I was a sophomore and I was sitting in a math class.  And a student came in. They used students to kind of like communicate in between classrooms so that administrative would send a student to talk to somebody.  I don’t know, jeez, might have been smoke signals. I sound so old now. So, they send this student in and the student said something to the effect of: “The f*** administrator wants a f*** kid to give you this f*** thing to…” Anyway, and so, he left, and the teacher just sat there and busts up laughing and goes:  “That was a perfect illustration of how many times or how many ways you could use one word.”

[10:21]

Right.  Noun, verb…       

[10:23]

Yeah, adjective. It was hilarious.  Anyway, yeah, it’s definitely been a word that…  

[10:31]

I love that.  So, what about your three least favorite, the words you can’t handle hearing?  It gives you the shivers.

[10:39]

Um, so “can’t” is a huge word for me that I’m not a fan of.

[10:44]

Because of how it sounds or what it means?

[10:46]  

“Can’t” for me is like this negative darkness.  Totally, not my favorite, for sure. Other words I don’t like…   Umm, that’d be interesting. I don’t know. I’ve never actually thought about it.

[10:58]

I’ll tell you mine.  

[10:59]

Tell me.

[11:00]

I hate the word “pus.”  

[11:02]

Ew, that is a good word to hate.

[11:04]

I hate everything about it.  I hate the word “phlegm.”  

[11:07]

OK, I agree.  I’m with you. I feel terrified that you’re going to have three.

[11:13]

“Moist” doesn’t bother me like it bothers some people, but some people can’t stand the word “moist.”  But I can’t stand the word “succulent.”

[11:22]   

“Succulence”.  

[11:23]

“Succulent”, like a plant.

[11:25]      

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Plant, yeah, yeah, yeah.

[11:26]

Yeah, even though I like the word “succubus.”

[11:27]

“Succubus,”  which I don’t know what that means.

[11:30]

It’s a female creature.

[11:32]

Oh, it’s a female creature with tail and horns.

[11:34]

Yes, you’re… Yes.

[11:36]

She has a whip and will take your soul.

[11:38]  

Yes.

[11:38]  

Something to the effect.  My gosh, you’re bringing me back now to my 80s D-and-D days.

[11:42]

Uuwah.

[11:43]  

Laura, if anyone wants to get in contact with you, how would they do that?

[11:47]

LinkedIn would be fantastic, but email would be better.  So it’s Laura@cranbrook.search.com.

[11:54]

That’s C R A N B R O O K.com

[12:01]   

Search

[12:02]

Search.com

[12:03]  

You got it!

[12:04]

OK, we’ll include that in the show notes.  Thanks for joining me on the Happy Market Research Podcast.  Have a great rest of your show.

[12:10]

Thank you so much.

IIeX North America 2019 Podcast Series

IIeX NA 2019 Conference Series – Kerry Edelstein – Research Narrative

Welcome to the 2019 IIEX North America Conference Series. Recorded live in Austin, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Kerry Edelstein, President and Founder of Research Narrative.

Contact Kerry Online:

LinkedIn

Research Narrative


[00:00]

Kerry Edelstein, Research Narrative, Live with me at IIEX on the Happy Market Research Podcast.  We do a real quick but yet deep dive in what Research Narrative does. They’re a full-service market research agency.  But enough from me, we’ll let you hear from her.

[00:17]  

I’m here with Kerry Edelstein.

[00:20]

That’s correct.  

[00:21]  

Research Narrative.

[00:23]  

Hello, happy to be here.

[00:24]

Yep.  Happy Market Research Podcast.  We are Day 1 of IIEX in Austin. What do you think?

[00:29]

I literally just arrived, like ten minutes ago.  Gosh, there’s got to be easily like 100 different companies in the research technology space to go look at, and I maybe know a dozen of them.  I’m super excited to check out what’s here and see all the innovative ideas. I came of age in market research as we were making the transition from telephone to online research; so, I love seeing new and cool things and thinking about how we can integrate that into our business.  I’m excited.

[00:59]   

Yeah, for sure.  Well, you guys have been around for quite a while.  

[01:01]

Yeah, we’re going to hitting our eight-year anniversary this fall, which is pretty exciting.  It feels like it was just yesterday that we started it but I’m like, “Wow, we’re actually approaching a decade pretty soon.”  It goes fast.

[01:11]  

It’s a big milestone, honestly.  

[01:12]

It is.       

[01:13]

You know the…  So, one of the questions that I ask in the regular podcast interviews that we do is “What is one of the biggest challenges in market research that you face today?”  And usually these are like heads of insights and brands or whatever. So, there’s two things I hear. One of those things, which is very regular, is storytelling. And connecting that to your company’s name, Research Narrative, I think is super interesting, right?              

[01:37]

And not an accident.  That’s actually why we (1) called in that and (2) came up with the philosophy that we did, which is that…  I was actually working in an online video company, running research and analytics before I started Research Narrative, and this was the number 1 challenge we had.  It’s just literally too much data and not enough people to make sense of what it means and to break it down into a narrative that had business implications and action steps associated with it.  And so, we started this mantra at that job of research has to tell a story. Otherwise, why are we doing this? And so, when I left that job, I thought there needs to be a company whose primary focus is making sure that the research that we’re doing is telling a story.  That has to include analytics as well; it can’t just include consumer insights anymore. The two have become married. So the genesis of RN was actually intentionally a hybrid of data and story from the outset.

[02:36]

Of course, we got interrupted by Joaquim Bretcha, one of my good friends.   

[02:39]

Hello, we’re posing for a picture.

[02:41]  

Yea, President of ESOMAR.  Sir, how are you today?

[02:43] – [Joaquim in background]

Hello, nice seeing you.

[02:44]

Hi, nice to meet you and see you.

[02:47]

Research Narrative.

[02:48]

Hi, we’re just talking about storytelling with data.  

[02:51] [Joaquim]

OK.

[02:52]   

So, this guy is actually a master storyteller, but this is not about him right now.  This is about you.

[02:58] [Joaquim]

This is a very nice spot, by the way.

[03:00]      

Thank you very much.  Yeah, I feel very fortunate.  So, let’s see, got to get the train back on the rails.    

[03:08]

So the genesis of Research Narrative was literally this idea that the biggest challenge at that point in time, which was about eight years ago, was how do we take the increasing volume of research and data that’s coming out.  And we specialize in media as a company. So, in the digital media space, it was particularly epic that this change was happening. How do we deal with that and make sure that we’re not just going too far down the data engineering path without making sense of what it all means?    

[03:34]

Yeah, I love that.  So, where’s your sweet spot right now in the marketplace?  Where do guys – like when you’re pitching this particular thing or this particular way – it’s just like the customer has to buy?   

[03:43]

Well, there’s a sweet spot from the kinds of clients we serve, and then there’s a sweet spot from the work we do.   

[03:49]

Tell me about both.

[03:50]

In terms of the kinds of clients we serve, I think we do best at the intersection of media and entertainment and innovation.  So our earliest clients were companies like Netflix and Amazon Studios. We’re working with a division of Verizon that’s launching a new mobile company.  So, I love working with companies that look at the history of what they’re doing and recognize the heritage and the best practices in their space but are trying to innovate on top of that.  That’s my favorite kind of company to work with. I don’t think I would say it’s disruption; I think disruption can be just disruptive without being innovative or progressive. But I like companies that are trying to make things better and more innovative without losing sight of what works historically.  So that’s kind of our sweet spot is media meets innovation.

And then as a service provider, we set at the intersection of consumer insights and strategic advisory.  So, the consumer insights part is traditional market research, data collection, all that kind of stuff. And then the strategic advisory is the story time part:  What are we going to do with this? How do we roll it out? What does this mean for your organization? How do you do everything from knowledge management to communication and everything in between.  So we try to sit at the intersection of those two things.

[05:04]  

That’s super interesting.  

[05:05]  

Yeah, I hope so.  I like to think so, but I’m biased.  

[05:08]

This is the innovation conference, right?  Have you – and I know it’s just Day 1 – have you seen anything that’s like popping up as particularly interesting right now?

[05:18]  

Not yet ‘cause I literally just walked in the door about 15 minutes ago.  I know I wish I had that kind of prescient behavior that I could just know that that’s the company.  No, I think actually what impresses me is how long I’ve been at this and how few companies I recognize.  That just tells you… I mean that’s probably the biggest change taking place is there so many new companies out there offering unique kinds of data collection and my job is to go through and vet that:  Which of these make sense for our business? And which of these are right fit for the clients, the kind of clients that we work with? So, I’m excited actually to walk the trade show floor and see what’s out there.  Yeah, I love that.

[05:58]

You guys have a podcast.  

[06:01]

We do.  We just launched it today.  And that is that.

[06:03]   

Today.  It’s perfect.  It is perfect. Tell me about the podcast.

[06:07]

So, it’s called The Thinkerry, which is a play on my name.  It’s Thinkerry, with two r’s and my name is Kerry. A little personal branding needs discussion.  And it actually started out… I have a very entertaining team at my company, at Research Narrative.  And we would get on these weekly calls to talk about our blog and social media and what we wanted to do.  And our calls would be really entertaining and interesting in and of themselves. And we thought, “We should be recording these.  Like this is just an interesting conversation that, I think, other people would derive value from.” And so, we started to be more intentional about that and record them.  The idea is to talk about different topics that come up in the course of doing market research or analytics: so everything from how to do different kinds methodologies well to challenges facing our industry to reading between the lines and understanding communication.  So, we launched with an episode we’re calling “Show Me the Data,” which came out of a conversation I had with a client where they said, “Can you send me the raw data?” And I was like, “What does raw data mean to you?” because I think what you think it means and what I think it means are not the same.  And so, it became this conversation of how do you get to the essence of what people are requesting and how much transparency is so much that it just feels like an overwhelming firehose. So, we started to tape these conversations we were having in our team meetings and make them a podcast. So, the first one launched today, and you can find it at our website, which is Research Narrative.com/Thinkerry.             

[07:33]  

Now, are you posting these to normal podcast mediums like Apple…

[07:38]

We will eventually.  Right now, we’re just doing it through our website, and once we have a big enough volume, we’ll port it over to something like iTunes.  

[07:44]

Yeah, right, got it.  Do you see it as… Well, there are two things really that I want to pack here:  one is I completely agree with the thesis, “Do what I want, not what I say,” right?”  That’s super important for anybody that’s interacting with a customer because we’re not 1’s and 0’s.  We’re not code. Language is code.

[08:03]

People are shades of gray.

[08:04]

Yeah, totally, exactly.  And you get to know… That’s the nice part about, I think, this industry is that we get to know our customers, and you can actually…  You become your own Rosetta Stone.

[08:14]

Translator?

[08:16]  

In that framework, yeah, exactly.  So you understand what it is exactly what they mean by “Send me the data.”   

[08:20]

Yeah.

[08:21]

Totally.

[08:23]

And it’s interesting in this case, we talk a lot in this particular podcast (I won’t spoil it too much), we talk a little bit about who is actually saying the phrase and making the request because what they mean depends on what there job is and who they are and what their background is.  And so, part of translating is understanding who you’re talking to and realizing that the exact same request come from five different people and mean five different things. And being able to actually read between the lines is a big part of our job.

[08:50]

Super important.

[08:51]

And the hard part of our job because it requires a lot of nuance and follow-up.

[08:54]

Podcasts are also a very effective way to be able to impact your audience.  I’ve been talking a lot about this topic, and I’ll be talking about it actually at the conference here tomorrow.

[09:06]

Yeah, I’m excited to hear that.

[09:07]

It’s going to be a lot of fun.  I’m thrilled. I really want to encourage our listeners to think about there’s two things with podcasting.  One is it’s easy. Literally, no cost. How much are you paying right now?

[09:19]

I don’t know.  I think the license for the software we use is maybe $25, $30 bucks a month.  And the cost for the microphones is like $100 a person. I mean it was really low startup costs.

[09:29]

Yeah, exactly.  It’s like almost no cap-x to speak of.  Even my setup, which is modeled after Y-Combinator setups, is relatively professional grade.  We’re talking about like $2,500, which in the grand scheme of things is just not material.

[09:43]

No, it’s not a lot.

[09:43]

But the benefit of having the podcast is it provides an ongoing, subscription-based  medium to communicate to your audience. So the brand that you can build, the connection that you build with that audience is very meaningful and actually grows over time.

[10:00]

Absolutely.

[10:02]

Are you seeing this as a…  From your guys’ perspective right now (I know it’s early days having just put your toe in the water), are you seeing this as a marketing initiative or are seeing it as maybe something a little more unique like connecting with customers in a more in-depth way?  

[10:21]

Both, yeah.  I think we started out thinking, “Yeah, this is a great promotional strategy, but we actually recently launched a deliverable as part of our service offering that is called a consumer insights portal.  And the idea is that we take different studies and different data from around an organization and we put it all into one destination online that looks a little bit like Google Drive meets 538. We want it to be data journalism. And so, part of what we thought is we can integrate these podcasts into those deliverables and just a free add-on that gives some color to whatever the topic is.  So if we just did a segmentation for someone and we just recorded an episode about getting the most out of your segmentation research, we can upload that podcast to their portal for no additional cost, and it gives that team a little bit more color. “Oh, how do we now use this research as we roll it out?” So, it was kind of intended to serve a dual purpose. And then for us actually, it served a third purpose, which was we found when we were blogging, we would have these conversations as we edited each other about like:  “What about this? And what about this other thing?” And we had these interesting back-and-forth conversations, and we thought it’s the back-and-forth that makes the meat of what makes this interesting.

That the guy on my team who comes out of academia (We call him Dr. J; his name’s Jordan.  We have two Jordans on our team; so, we have to differentiate.) So, Dr. J comes out of an academic background; I come out of a private-sector background.  I’ve been in business my whole career. And so, we come at research from different perspectives, and we’ll debate that in a kind of friendly, funny way. And that debate is what’s interesting or that conversation is what’s interesting.  And that’s much harder to do in writing. And so, we found that we were losing some of the back-and-forth by writing everything. And that actually, talking out over a podcast and then having a conversation live might give a little bit more of color to the conversations we’re having and to the audience and give them a peek beneath the hood of how we get to the endpoint.      

[12:23]  

That’s the other part that’s interesting about podcasts is that it’s not necessarily a finished product whereas a long-form blog post, you’ll have 20 hours invested.  But you lose the whole journey of creating the blog post. Honestly, the whole meta part of that is the more interesting, valuable piece. I’m toying with… I started a company recently on April 1st actually.   

[12:48]  

Congratulations.

[12:49]  

Thank you.  It’s all very top secret actually.  But I’ve been toying with the fact of recording our staff meetings and starting a whole different podcast, which is just our staff meetings.   

[13:00]

That would be interesting like behind the scenes of a startup.

[013:03]

You’re talking like a 15 minute of a startup, and this is the staff meeting, right?  I think that the value there isn’t the content that would necessarily come out, “Oh, this is the synthesized big point.”  It’s much more about, potentially, about how do you run an effective staff meeting and what does that back-and-forth look like and how do you manage power dynamics and different initiatives and those kinds of things.  My broader point is that what’s interesting at the consumption level right now and I’m seeing this in our numbers on downloads is people are interesting in the overall journey as opposed to the – and also the “Aha” moments.  I’m not trying to take away from that – but as opposed to the (and I keep coming back to the long- form bog structure), the long form blog structure.

[13:57]   

Absolutely.  And we say we work in the world of storytelling both in the sense that it’s the name of the company and it is our client base.  Our clients are oftentimes literally storytellers: we work with TV networks and studios, etc. Part of what’s fun about launching a podcast is we actually get to be storytellers and take people on the journey that we’re going on.  And you can do some of that in a blog post, but there is a piece of it that’s missing when you only see the finished product and you don’t see the journey we went on. And I’m a perfectionist when I write; so, a lot of time was going into one post.  And in an odd way, we actually got to the outcome a lot faster when we talk through it because it’s a group dynamic and then we can have a conversation and be transparent about how we got to that endpoint right then and there without going through 15 versions of it like I might do when I’m writing until I hit that perfect lever:  “Yes, this is the thing that I want out there.”

[14:53]

Nailed it.  

[14:55]  

Absolutely.  So it’s actually become less of a time commitment to speak the things we’re thinking than it is to write them.

[15:00]

Research Narrative, Kerry, thanks so much for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast today.          

[15:05]

Thank you.      

[15:05]

Enjoy the rest of your show.

[15:06]

Thank you.  Have a great conference.  

IIeX North America 2019 Podcast Series

IIeX NA 2019 Conference Series – Joaquim Bretcha – Netquest & ESOMAR

Welcome to the 2019 IIEX North America Conference Series. Recorded live in Austin, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Joaquim Bretcha, President of ESOMAR and International Director at Netquest.

Contact Joaquim Online:

LinkedIn

ESOMAR

Netquest


[00:00]

Joaquim Bretcha, Netquest, el Presidente of ESOMAR.  You all know him. He talks to us today about the importance of May 2, 2019.  By the time you’re hearing this, that date has passed, but I would encourage you to mark it on your calendar.  I have certainly done that. It’ll be a much bigger deal going into 2020. This is the Market Research and Insights….  It’s been institutionalized as our day by the U.N. This is a really, really big deal. And the hashtag that you’re going to want to use on social media (Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter) is #celebratemr; again, that’s #celebratemr.  If you want to see some of the interactions that have already taken place as well as interact with those individuals, of course, you can always go onto Twitter or your platform of choice and enter that hashtag. I recommend sorting it by “latest” as opposed to “top,” but certainly do both.  And it’ll provide you a really good set of contacts of individuals who are interacting on those social platforms. The hack there is some of them are brands, and some of them are agencies. It’s a great opportunity for you to start interacting and learning who is active on social that is inside of your target market or your buyer.  Enjoy.

[01:26]  

My guest today on the Happy Market Research Podcast as you all know El Jefe with ESOMAR, el Presidente, right?

[01:33]  

El President.  That’s in Catalan.

[01:38]

Joaquim.

[01:42]

Joaquim, yes.

[01:43]   

Ah good, did it right.  I always want to change it.  Sorry about that, Bretcha.

[01:46]

That’s OK, OK.  

[04:47]  

I do feel bad about that.  So, anyway, tell me what’s going on May 2nd?

[01:51]

May 2nd.  May 2nd is the Day of Market Research and Insights institutionalized by the U.N. since last year. So, our colleagues from Turkey, the Turkish Association, they did all the process.  So, today the 2nd of May is our day.  We will be heroes for one day.

[02:11]

For one day.  Bowie, who sang that song?

[02:15]

David Bowie.

[02:15]

David Bowie.  That’s right, yeah.  Gosh, that’s going to be the intro song for this episode if I can legally do it.  

[02:20]

That’s good idea.  We should just be playing this song all day.

[02:24]  

So, is there a special hashtag that we should be using on social media?

[02:27]

It’s #celebratemr.

[02:29]

Got it.  So, a lot of attention.  I’ll be putting a lot of focus in LinkedIn, Twitter; a little bit of focus in Instagram and Facebook.  But those’ll be my number 1 and 2 platforms. ESOMAR is going to be, I’d imagine, active that day on social media.

[02:46]

Yeah, from ESOMAR we took that day very seriously.  So we are promoting a joint effort from the whole bodies, all bodies of industry that want to embrace this initiative.  It’s not just an ESOMAR initiative. We promote it, but we want everybody to embrace that because it’s for the industry; it’s for the professionals of this industry.  We do not want to take the protagonism; we don’t want to be the “OK, this is an ESOMAR thing.” No, we want… So, we have asked our local representatives; we have been in touch with many national associations as well with trade magazines and media.      

[03:28]

GreenBook, Insights Association, yeah.

[03:30]

So, ESOMAR, we’re one among the others, so one of them.  And we would like to… that this is the day of the professionals of this industry.  And there is a shoot-out of pride, but at the same time, “Hey, we’re responsible for many, many important things in our society.”  We have to be aware of that. For instance, one of the main objectives we have is we have to be stronger together because, for instance, we need to educate the legislator.  Many things are going on now: Privacy is one of them, for instance. So we need to educate the legislator in helping them understand why do we need to do things the way we do because it’s for the good of society, for the good of businesses, and it always needs to have a treatment with full respect for the person, for the respondent, for the people we’re analyzing and observing.        

[04:27]   

I think that’ s great.  Now, I want to shift gears a little bit.  I was fortunate enough to participate in an event that you and ESOMAR hosted yesterday here at IIeX.  Tell us a little bit about the bridge that ESOMAR is building between insights and organizations.

[04:47]

Yeah.  The motto we chose for this term is “Building bridges between practices, people, and regions.”  We are in a moment in which data, as people say, is the new oil. So everybody… We are fortunate enough:  we live in a moment in which everybody says that they’re customer-centric, consumer-centric, people at the center; and we have lots of data.  OK, so what do we do with all that? So we live in that moment, and this moment with technology bringing new sources of data and new methodologies, we see there is a potential drift on practices.  So potential drift between the more traditional side of market research and the new data analytics that the science world that is emerging thanks to this technology. All of us, we have the same objective, which is to understand the consumer.  So our bridge between practices means, “Let’s enrich both worlds” because we are the same. We are the same. We’re all doing the same from maybe different perspectives, different backgrounds, different values, indeed, maybe. But, at the end, it’s for understand people.  So let’s build this bridge, and let’s have a merge of practices, a fusion of practices that will enrich all of us.

[06:05]      

Fantastic.  I love that.  If you are not currently an ESOMAR member, I really encourage you to check them out.  ESOMAR.org I believe is the URL where you’ll find them online. And, of course, on any social media, @ESOMAR, you’ll be able to interact with them as well, ask questions, etc.  They have a couple of interesting opportunities for younger people. So I believe that, if you’re in the under-30 category, you get a break on the discount. Am I wrong? It’s like 100 euros or…  It’s very inexpensive for the membership plus. And probably one of the biggest benefits: not only are you supporting an important, a critical legislative body for us but, on top of that, you have the opportunity to network with probably the broadest reach at a global level in any organization.  So I’d encourage you take advantage of these opportunities if you’re not a membership. Obviously, there’s corporate memberships as well, which are really useful for increasing your overall validity and trust factor in the market research space. Joaquim, thanks for joining me on Happy Market Research Podcast today.   

[07:13]

It’s always my pleasure, Jamin.

[07:14]

Have a blast!

[07:15]

Yeah, thank you.

IIeX North America 2019 Podcast Series

IIeX NA 2019 Conference Series – Jennifer Lauture – TD Ameritrade

Welcome to the 2019 IIEX North America Conference Series. Recorded live in Austin, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Jennifer Lauture, Marketing and Analytics Research Manager at TD Ameritrade.

Contact Jennifer Online:

LinkedIn

TD Ameritrade


[00:00]

Jennifer Lauture, TD Ameritrade.  You all know the company. She’s a proven insights professional.  She was actually a speaker at IIEX in Austin this year. She’s got a really unique point of view with market research and its applications inside of the brand ecosystem and how it is utilized by TD Ameritrade and others to make business decisions. A lot of value here.  I’ve also included a link directly to Jennifer on LinkedIn in the show notes. Hope you enjoy.

[00:34]  

I have Jennifer Lauture, TD Ameritrade.  Tell me what you think about IIEX this year.

[00:42]  

I think it’s fantastic.  This is the first time I’ve been here.  I like the fact that it’s not so large that I can’t talk to somebody.  I like the fact that it’s small enough for me to feel like I can get to know people in a smaller context.  I was at Qualtrics about two months ago.

[01:05]  

That was an epic adventure, right?

[01:07]  

That was huge.  That was 10,000 people.  This is much smaller; it’s more intimate.   I feel like it’s warmer too in a lot of respects.    

[01:19]

Yeah, I agree.  I think that this is a…  From a value perspective, if you want to hear some top minds motivate you, you’re not going to be Qualtrics.  But if you’re looking for interaction with the under-the-surface part of the iceberg, then… GreenBook does a great job in putting on IIEX, allowing us to create really the connections, understanding who’s entering into market research from a technology perspective, what are the unique applications of that technology, how can I actually apply that to my day-to-day life as a market researcher.    

[01:59]

Yeah, that’s exactly why I like being here and what attracted me to this conference is because we’re always on the lookout for new vendors and I have no idea how to get to know them or how to get to know their product, except this incredibly formal:  “Dear, So-and-So: I’m interested in your product and it looks like your website has some stuff. Come and present for me.” And it’s incredibly scripted and very formal. And then there’s this expectation. It’s a little bit like dating. This is much more informal.  You can get to know your providers and what they offer without a lot of pressure to carry through the relationship, and you just pick the ones that are right for you.

[02:47]   

Totally.  So, what have you seen that’s interesting so far?

[02:49]

So far, I think the way that certain companies are creating communities for feedback, that’s incredibly interesting because that’s a lot faster than how we’re used to doing things at my company.  I might say a good research project is a four-week-time turnaround. And now people are saying, “Oh, yeah, we could probably do it in two weeks; we could probably do it in one week if you needed to.”  And I was in a workshop yesterday that really within the span of an hour, we did a co-creation session.

[03:27]

Fun.  An hour.

[03:28]

An hour!

[03:29]    

That’s crazy, right?

[03:31]

Yes. And, you know I try to push my vendors to try to do that.  And maybe sometimes, it’s for very small, very quick-hit projects.  Now I know where to go.

[03:48]

Absolutely.  That’s awesome.  I think it’s really neat seeing the diversity.  Did you go to the WIRe event last night?

[03:56]

I did.

[03:57]  

That was cool.  

[03:59]

Yes, that was very cool.  It was at the Hotel Ella.   

[04:02]

Yeah, which is a killer bar.

[04:03]

Yes, it is a killer bar, and I happened to be staying there.  And I was like, “Why not?” It was fantastic.  

[04:10]

So, you actually booked.  I wish I would have stayed there.  And it’s way cheaper than this hotel.  

[04:14]

It is?

[04:16]   

Totally.  Day 1 is behind us; we’re in the middle of Day 2 right now. What are you looking forward to for the rest of the time?

[04:24]

You know I have a difficult time thinking about the rest of the day.  I’m actually presenting.

[04:31]      

Oh, scary.  What time?

[04:33]

12 o’clock, right before lunch.  So, I’m…

[04:36]

It’s 10:27.  Did your heart rate just go right then?     

[04:40]

My heart rate is incredibly racing, and…

[04:43]

You’re speaking from 12 to 12:30.

[04:45]

From 12 to 12:20.  

[04:47]

What track are you on?

[04:50]  

I am on track 3 and…

[04:53]  

I’m speaking also today on Track 3.

[04:55]

Oh, you are.  What are you presenting?

[04:59]  

I’m going to talk about the power of podcasts.  I think it’s really interesting (I know it’s kind of silly).  This is your show, not mine, by the way. But I will tell this piece of it.

[05:09]

Are you sure about that?   

[05:10]

I am actually ‘cause I’m the host.   So, one of challenges in market research is activation of insights inside of the organization.  So, we can do research, but really making sure that everyone kind of buys into it. One of my challenges is thinking about how can you present the information at scale so that it’s consumed.  Nobody’s going to go read a deck; nobody’s going read a white paper. So, maybe a podcast is an interesting alternative for the researcher to be able to communicate the key insights. So it’s sort of a creative way of being able to communicate at mass.  But it’s also a passive medium by which people can consume content. In the U.S., we spend about 51 minutes a day commuting on average, which is a ton of time. So if you can condense your content into a 20-minute podcast, talking about the trends in you space, whatever the last research project is, that might be a way the general organization can consume your information.  So, it’s not a pitch for like me by any stretch of the imagination. It’s just thinking a little bit differently about other ways we can communication key insights.

[06:17]   

You know something?  Our CEO listens to podcasts as he walks to work every morning.  

[06:24]

Boom!  There’s the knowledge.   

So, now all of a sudden…  And you think about how much time do you actually get with the CEO?

[06:30]

Like almost nothing.  

[06:32]

Exactly.  But now you could get 20 minutes a week or whatever of his time.  Now you think about the like “Holy, F***” moment that is. When you start realizing it.  I mean that’s like this is the piece that, this is the hack that it’s killing me that market research isn’t getting, is that we’ll spend all of our time and money creating these kick-ass presentations.  But at the end of the day, they’re usually sequestered to a subset of the organization. And it’s really, really, really hard for somebody to pull out of their active mode, which is where we are at work, to be able to process in a meaningful way that insight, even though that insight is exactly what they need in order to deliver better products to the customer in relationship to the customer.  So if you can leverage something like a podcast or something else even – I’m not married to podcasts – but that can get to them in a passive way so that they can consume it while they’re multi-tasking, not multi-tasking doing email, but multi-tasking mowing the lawn, or the honey-do lists, or the commute, right, or the walk or whatever. Now, all of a sudden, you’re actually driving. And the other part that’s really interesting thing is the psychology of it.  When you CEO consumes a podcast, whoever he’s listening to, he’s actually developing a relationship with that individual even though it’s one-sided. It’s a very powerful mechanism. I don’t know how in the hell I started talking about myself. I apologize. I’ve never…

[08:01]

You know I’m a researcher and I made you do it.  

[08:03]

Alright, fine.

[08:05]

That’s what I do.

[08:07]  

Anyways, it has been an honor having you the podcast.  Jennifer, TD Ameritrade. We all heard about your company.  Thanks so much. This episode goes live in a couple of weeks.  We’ll create a little like stand-alone for you. So you can send it to your friends and family and whatever.

[08:23]

That’s cool.  Thank you.

[08:24]

Thank you.

IIeX North America 2019 Podcast Series

IIeX NA 2019 Conference Series – James Norman – Pilotly

Welcome to the 2019 IIEX North America Conference Series. Recorded live in Austin, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews James Norman, CEO and President of Pilotly.

Contact James Online:

LinkedIn

Pilotly


[00:00]

James Norman, one of my favorite entrepreneurs in this space.  The name of his company is Pilot.ly. They are an innovative, video-based platform.  Respondents are exposed to any length of video from seconds to hours, and that feedback is automatically processed, analyzed, and delivered to you as the consumer.  And it really helps streamline the overall creative process. Enjoy the episode. You can always find James or any of his crew at the business.pilot.ly website. Enjoy.

[00:42]  

Happy Market Research Podcast.  My guest today is James Norman, the founder, CEO of Pilot.ly?

[00:48]  

Yep.

[00:48]

Yep.  We are live at IIeX in Austin, Day 2.  When did you get in?

[00:55]

Yesterday morning.

[00:56]   

So, you’ve been here for the whole conference.  Any standout moments for you?

[01:00]

Not quite yet.  I’ve just been getting calibrated.  I went into a couple workshops, and I thought they were pretty interactive.  So, that was cool to be able to like jump in our people’s platforms and kind of walk through the demo with them.  So, I think that’s definitely something different than what I’ve seen in other places. I’ve just been running into people; run into you, which is cool.    

[01:20]

Thank you.  It’s an honor to run into you as well.  We’ve had a couple of phone conversations.  And I knew what you looked like on LinkedIn, but like context is really weird. And so..

[01:28]

Right.  I’m probably much larger than maybe you thought.        

[01:31]

You are, you’re a tall guy.  We introduced… I can’t remember if you came up to me or vice versa, but you said, “I’m James.”  And it was just like funny little moment where it took me, I don’t know, a minute. “Oh, you’re James.”  It’s just funny. Tell me about Pilot.ly.

[01:49]

I mean Pilot.ly is all about understanding the audience and using that understanding to make better business decisions.  And so, it all kind of started back when I learned about the traditional process of understanding content. Similar processes were being used to understand products and audio and whatever else.  But video is so much more complex. And so, I thought the things that people were doing and the things they say to me about what they do were very applicable when they came up with those processes.  If you were to be back in the 80s and you said, “Hey, I need to understand this promo or this TV show.” It would be a viable idea to put 30 people in a room or 20 people in a room and have a conversation.  But the lead time in doing something like that, the cost of something like that, the lack of ability to potentially do it at a rapid pace to get the actual audience you need to hear from, that process doesn’t make as much sense anymore.  And in today’s modern time, people are used to responding to things online and giving feedback. And so, you can actually with the right user experience get a pretty robust point of response from a consumer or your audience.

[03:02]

And we’re consuming video at a rapid… and it’s increasing too.  Not only is it the Number 1, it’s also the volume by which we’re consuming it is much greater as well.  So, people are getting a little more comfortable with communicating through video and then also they’re getting more comfortable with seeing it as truth like it’s a surrogate for an in-person conversation.  

[03:22]

Exactly.

[03:22]  

So, are you dealing with recorded snippets or are you dealing with more conversational like real-time video?

[03:32]

For us, the only way that we deal with actual people’s faces is we’re integrating a Voxpopme into the platform.  So, we look for other startups too that have interesting signals that we can plug into our process. But, ultimately, our system is streaming long-form content most of the time in context.  So an ad will go inside a pod within a show to get a natural recall or intent. If I’m testing a film, you’re going to watch the whole film. Things like that. It can range from a ten-minute experience to a two-hour experience.

[04:05]

Wow!  That’s crazy.  That’s pretty cool.  Who are some of your clients?

[04:09]

Everybody from Viacom to CBS to Snapchat to Dolby Audio.  It’s a wide range. Like anybody who’s creating content who really wants to understand their audience is like, “We’ll provide that for you at rapid speed, at a low cost.”     

[04:24]

What does your ideal customer look like?

[04:26]

So, I think it’s someone who is…  I’ve been thinking about this pretty deeply recently ‘cause we work with a lot of researchers, right?  But I recently realized like by proxy I’m involved in market research, but I’m not actually a market researcher.  If I was to say that, then you’re going to ask me like, “Well, what about this company?” I was going to explain to you how we’re not like them.  So, if I’m not like anybody in that space, then I must not really be in that space. And so, I did a lot of studying and realized like we’re kind of in this newer space of like Signal, like data comprehension, data interpretation.  So we’re kind of calling it audience signal comprehension. It’s not just about collecting the data: it’s about looking at these things as individual signals and processing to come up with a key insight and do it in an automated fashion.  So, what I see from an organizational standpoint market research-wise is research departments aren’t necessarily seeing themselves as organizational thought leaders, right? They’re just operating as researchers. So someone in the business might ask a question and then they might answer that email a couple of days later and then they might call a vendor ‘cause they might be understaffed to actually complete the project themselves.  And in that long process, the person who originally asked the question might not have the question anymore. So now, I lost business, right? ‘Cause that person is like, “Ah, forget about it.” And they’re seen as not useful.

[05:49]   

Right.  That’s a double loss.

[05:51]

Double loss.  And so, my ideal client is someone as a research department that is trying to position themselves as thought leaders.  So, it’s cool to have used these other outside vendors or yeah, call people, and have these long lead times, but if you want to be able to respond at the pace you’re going to need to respond in now and in the coming future, you need something that enables you to do what you do best, which is tell stories from information and do it rapidly.         

[06:16]

An interview I had with the Head of Insights from GoDaddy, Lori Iventosch-James, and she had this great quote, which I’ll, of course, screw up, right, but the gist of it was “Executives are going to make decisions; I need to provide them insights.  If I don’t, they’re still going to make a decision.”

[06:36]

Right, right.  It’s going to happen either way, right?

[06:37]

Totally.

[06:38]

And so, you’d rather be part of that process and be able to put your stamp on it ‘cause otherwise, you’re going to be wondering, “Well, why is my budget dwindling?”  “Because people don’t value you.”

[06:46]

How do you get respondents?

[06:48]

So, we actually are pretty deeply integrated with another startup that we work with called PureSpectrum.  Big fans of their team. We’re kind of like hand in hand. With our system, it’s like fully self-service, right?  So you can not only upload your video and program the survey, but then you chose your target audience, build out your quotas.  You can be nested, unnested, whatever. And our system is able to translate that automatically into PureSpectrum, and they’re able to automatically capture 16 different panel providers right now.  But we optimize our panel providers based on our previous experiences. So it’s based on length of LOI; it’s based on device type; and, in some cases, certain demographic attributes. So, we optimize which panels we actually pull from.    

[07:34]  

That’s great.  It’s a company I’m well familiar with.  So, awesome, man.

[07:37]  

Of course, you’re familiar.  

[07:40

So, how do people get in contact with you?

[07:41]  

Easily, you know our website, business.pilot.ly, or you can always email us.  It’s just inquiry@pilot.ly.  Anybody who has a question about their audience, we’re here to answer and just try and improve people’s workflows so that they can win too, right?  They have customers; they’re our customers, but they have customers. I’ve just really realized what we’re here to do is enable you to be the best provider to your customers.  You know what I mean?

[08:13]

100%.  James, pilot.ly, thanks for being on the podcast today.  

[08:16]

Thanks for having me.

[08:17]   

Have a great rest of your day.

[08:18]

Thank you.  You too.

IIeX North America 2019 Podcast Series

IIeX NA 2019 Conference Series – Hannibal Brooks – Olson Zaltman

Welcome to the 2019 IIEX North America Conference Series. Recorded live in Austin, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Hannibal Brooks, Insight Associate at Olson Zaltman.

Contact Hannibal Online:

LinkedIn

Olson Zaltman


[00:00]

Hannibal Brooks is the name of my guest; Olson Zaltman is the name of his company or the company that he works for.  Olson Zaltman is a founder of the System 1, or one involved in the System 1 framework, as I understand it. So, they’ve got a ton of pedigree and knowledge, deep understanding of consumer purchase behavior at a System 1 level, at a habitual-type level.  And they have a really interesting marketing research approach, which goes beyond just traditional research to reveal deeper insights. Enjoy.

[00:35]  

I’m with Hannibal Brooks, which is the coolest name on the podcast in the history so far.  And he is with Olson…

[00:45]  

Zaltman.

[00:47]

Zaltman.  Thank you very much.  Sorry about that. So, we are live at IIeX, and I’m super excited to have you on the show.  

[00:56]

I’m super excited to be here.  

[00:56]

What do you think?

[00:57]   

You know I have loved the presentations I’ve seen so far:  tons of new application for AI, market research, people getting into the quant of things.  I saw a really great presentation on the AI analysis of CPG packages that I thought was just great among other things.  Tons of great presentations.

[01:13]

So a lot of value.  Have you been to many market research conferences?  

[01:16]  

No, this is my first one.

[01:17]

So, tell me a little bit about what you guys do.       

[01:20]

Yeah, so at Olson Zaltman, we’re all about understanding the unconscious mind.  A lot of people refer to it now as System 1, but our founder, Gerald Zaltman, or one of our co-founders, actually developed the concept and founded Harvard’s Mind of the Market Lab.  So that’s where these ideas were explored. He decided to do some consulting, patented our technique – the Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique – and ultimately became hugely popular.  So now we basically investigate the unconscious, and we look at a few different areas. One thing that’s kind of unique is… Laddering has definitely been popular, but really it’s using images and metaphors to explore the unconscious.  And a lot of that is also built around laddering. If you show someone a picture of a whale, you know you could give them huge scientific description or you can just show an image, and it’s, honestly, worth more than as 1,000 words. That sort of thing.             

[02:14]

So, talk to me a little bit more about laddering.

[02:15]

Right, so laddering is about looking at the attributes of a product first.  And so, that’s one thing that’s at the surface-level details, but, ultimately, getting from there through to emotional cues.  And so, you look at things like, “Here’s a product someone has.” “Here’s an attribute.” “Here are its functional benefits.” “Here are psycho-social benefits.”  “Here’s the emotion that it leads to.” And you, ultimately get to an identity. And all that takes place in a setting with three different factors. You have like the behavior; you have the mind; and you have the environment.  And those are three different things ‘cause, if you think about… Let’s say you’re buying a broom, right? From a mind perspective, you can say, “I’m a person who likes being clean. It’s time for me to do some cleaning.” So then you get a broom.  So that’s the mind. The behavioral side would be, “I was getting ready to clean up ‘cause I like cleaning up, and I noticed my broom was dirty. So I ordered a new one on Amazon.” And then the environmental side would be some like: You are on Amazon or some shopping place, browsing.  And then you’re like, “I was here browsing anyway. Now I see a broom, that’s something I like to do.” So, subtle differences ultimately, they can add up to something immense.

[03:20]

I think that’s really…  Early in my career, I did conjoint analysis.  Part of that process is taking a product and then, I call it degrading it, but I don’t mean that in a negative way.  It’s like separating it into a series or pieces of features, right, that you can then… and levels within those features, price being the obvious example:  low, medium, high price point, price being a feature of any product or service. When you’re thinking about something like this, how do you separate out the broom, like the pieces of the broom.  Is it always segregated in those three ways or do you take it down another level?

[03:59]  

Well, one thing that we specialize in is, after we do our analyses…  So, lot of it is these in-depth, one-on-one interviews, these ZMET interviews we call them, using images.  So, a lot of companies now are starting to use images and understand the power of metaphor, but ours is about going levels deeper and building a complete story.  So, the way we break it up is we do the interviews; we break down products into these attributes. We do custom mind maps; we essentially build out all these various features and ladder up to the top level of connection.  If you look at some of the features that… If you look at a lot of things that we have today: why don’t I have my elbows resting on this table right now? A lot of people are like, “Oh, it’s because of something sailors did ‘cause sailors, when they would eat on decks, they would have their elbows resting on tables so patrons would be warned, “OK, when someone rests their elbows on the table, it means they’re going to be aggressive at the table.”  But that’s not actually the origin: it’s because it’s a naturally defensive position; so, it actually has origins going like thousands of years back. So, ultimately, you have to do a deep dive in customer’s minds to understand the underlying factors that lead to their behaviors.

[05:01]

I love that example.  My good friend, Gordon Hall, is a…  He was Mr. California back in the day.  So he’s super like buff, right? And when he eats, I always laugh at him.  I say, “Dude, it’s like you’re in prison.” he puts his elbows… He literally protects his food.  It’s so funny. Like somebody is going to want to eat his food. “Gordon, nobody’s going to eat your food.  Calm down.” So, anyway… I can’t wait to share this episode with him. So, you guys have been around awhile.  

[05:29]

We have.

[05:30]

And have you had much presence inside of the market research community at trade shows?  

[05:35]

You know we had a bigger presence in the past.  We went dark for a while because we have a couple of books out now that have been pretty popular.  Caught some referral business from that. But now we’re making more of a venture into the conferences, getting more involved in that space.  So, I’m actually here giving a presentation on the new speaker circuit.

[05:52]

Oh, I can’t wait to hear that.  What time is that today?

[05:54]   

It’s at 10:40.

[05:55]

10:40. Now, will you be publishing the talk on social media, LinkedIn?

[06:01]      

I hope so.  Yes.

[06:02]

Cool.  Presentations, that kind of thing.  I tell you what. When you come up with pillar content like that… I’m not sure if they video it or not, but if you don’t have somebody videoing it, you should try to get someone to do it.  Then breaking that up into a short series of maybe five posts at 60 seconds a piece on LinkedIn, and then with some long-form blog with using… I don’t know if you’re familiar; LinkedIn had purchased SlideShare and it’s a great way to get additional visibility on your content by just taking your long-form content, converting it into a PowerPoint presentation, which you already have done, right?  

[06:41]

Yeah.

[06:41]

And then posting that on SlideShare.  It’s a really effective way to be able to punch through on LinkedIn, get visibility on your content, your company’s value prop and help customers and the community at large find you.  

[06:56

That sounds great.  I’ll definitely take that in.

[06:58]

Totally, totally.  So, Olson Zaltman.

[07:03]

You got it.  Some people call us OZ for short.

[07:05]  

Oh, I like OZ so much better.  Thank you. It’s also early in the morning, and this is Day 3 for me, which…

[07:10]  

I see you got the coffee in front of you, so…  

[07:12]

First cup.  Where’d you stay?  Did you stay in the conference hotel?  

[07:16]  

Yeah, I’m just a couple of minutes away in the building.

[07:19]

Lucky guy. Anything really interesting at the show so far from an exhibit perspective?  

[07:22]

Well, I saw a couple of the startups had really interesting ideas.  One of them I loved was the service that allows you to essentially just enter information, maybe two different concepts.  It will automatically generate a survey, compare all of that, get all that data, and then generate like a 50-, 60-slide deck, broken up by all these different attributes, brands, all that.  So, great stuff.

[07:46]   

Do you remember who that was?

[07:46]

The name has deserted me right now.  Soon as I look at the card, I’ll remember it.

[07:52]  

Cool.  

[07:52]

It was a really good one.  I voted for it.

[07:54]

Did you?  Awesome. When I post this episode in a couple weeks, it’d be great if you could just like post that company’s name.

[08:00]

You got it.

[08:00]

Link to that name, and then I’ll make sure I include them in our tech corner.  So, I appreciate that lead.

[08:06]

That sounds good.

[08:06]  

Awesome.  Hey, Hannibal, thank you so much for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast.  

[08:12]

Super happy to be here, and thanks for the opportunity.  

[08:14]

I look forward to what you’re going to continue to kick-ass and do in your career.  It’s going to be a fun time.

[08:18]

I appreciate it.

[08:19]

Alright, my friend.

[08:20]

Thank you.

IIeX North America 2019 Podcast Series

IIeX NA 2019 Conference Series – Forrest Sallee – Invoke

Welcome to the 2019 IIEX North America Conference Series. Recorded live in Austin, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Forrest Sallee, Sales Director at Invoke

Contact Forrest Online:

LinkedIn

Invoke


[00:00]

Forrest with Invoke.  Invoke has built a unique, consumer-driven, decision-making platform.  I actually have never come across anything exactly like this before. It’s worth taking a look at their website.  You can find that information in the show notes. Forrest is a fantastic guest. We had some interesting back-and-forth regarding the new venue with IIEX and their U.S. location in Austin.  Hope you find this to be a fun, entertaining, and also educational episode.

[00:30]  

So, my guest today is Forrest, big qual decisions.  Invoke is the name of the company. Thank you so much for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast.  

[00:41]  

Thank you so much for having me.

[00:42]  

So, tell me a little bit about your experience at IIEX in Austin this year.  

[00:46]  

I love IIEX.  This is actually my second year.  I was here two years ago back in Atlanta, and so far it’s going great this year as well:  having some great conversations. I love the energy of this show in particular. I enjoy conferences in general but sort of the forward-looking, innovation aspect of IIEX is, I think, is really special, and you just got a lot of time to really have in-depth conversations with a lot of folks.  

[01:06]

Yeah.  Are you guys exhibiting?

[01:07]

We are.

[01:08]   

Where are you?

[01:09]

Over in the south gallery.  We are right by the coffee.

[01:11]  

Be honest.  What do you think about the new show floor, the exhibit floor?

[01:18]

I like it just fine.       

[01:19]

Yeah, good.

[01:20]

Yeah, yeah.  I only have one other show to compare it to in terms of IIEX, but I think it’s great.  I’m enjoying it. You have different levels and breakout rooms. It’s working for me.  

[01:29]

I actually really like it too.  So, I’ll tell you: it’s probably 50-50.  It feels like Coke versus Pepsi, right? Some of the complaints, I think, have been happening on the show floor with the narrowness of hallway, which kind of creates a little bit more of a cramped environment.  But what I really like about it is it has so much energy when you’re on that floor. Even when you’re in the halls, it’s just like a ton of activity. And I thought they were really smart about being tactical with coffee placement.  So, you got to go in those halls if you want caffeine or yummies or whatever, right?

[02:07]  

Exactly.

[02:08]

Throw-out question:  You’ve walked the floor?

What’s the best tchotchke you’ve seen?  

[02:14]

Oh, boy.  That’s a good question.  You know I’m just going to – not to give a shameless plug – but we’re giving out these wall chargers, and then I noticed that somebody else was giving away USB; so, I felt like we had a special connection between our two booths because if your phone’s dead that you can stop by our booth.  

[02:32]

I’m totally going to stop by.

[02:33]

Stop by.

[02:33]   

I forgot my wall charger.  

[02:34]

Stop by.  We got a ton of them.

[02:36]

Oh, that’s great.     

[02:37]

You can have two or three.

[02:38]

OK, cool.  Gosh, that’s great.  Thank you. So, tell me a little bit about your company.  What are you guys doing?

[02:46]

So, we are Invoke.  We do live shared-experience concept testing.  And let’s apply the term “concept” broadly. So not just a product concept although we could certainly handle that, but packaging concepts, names, message testing.  Really anything that you could share electronically, we can test it. And then what makes Invoke really special is that we’ll pre-recruit and we’ll develop the discussion guide ahead of time.  But then we go on-site with our clients in the same physical conference room at the same physical conference table. And then we deploy those text-based questions one at a time and we see quantitative data coming in and then qualitative data to back it up.  And we have the filtering and the sentiment analysis and the video response and everything else. So we can actually make sense of a 100 verbatims coming back. Boom! and drill down: “What are the themes here and why?” And then deploy the next question. Ninety minutes later you’ve got cross-tabs; and you’ve got raw data; and you’ve got all your verbatims and kind of have already a directional place to go and you had that experience with your marketing stakeholders and possibly product and maybe somebody with …

[03:46]

I love that.  So, how to you get your respondents?

[03:49]

Yeah, so we work with a number of different major panel providers out there and some niche ones so…

[03:55]  

Got it.  That makes a lot of sense.  So, it almost sounds like it’s qualitative at scale as opposed to more of a survey-quant-type framework.  Is that a good way of thinking about it?

[04:05]  

I think that is.  We deploy both closed and open-end questions.

[04:09]

How long is the session with the respondent?  

[04:12]  

So, the session will be 90 minutes usually, sometimes 60.  And we can also asynchronously for different markets or other reasons.  

[04:21]

It is primarily synchronous?  

[04:21]

Primarily, yeah.

[04:23]   

It would definitely fit in that qual framework, right?

[04:25]

And it’s the big qual that makes it really special because you can analyze a closed-end question pretty fast in real time, but it’s a little harder to do qual that way.  And that’s what sets us apart, that we have these capabilities.

[04:38]  

I know you don’t want to answer this question, but I’m going to ask it anyway.  You don’t have to. I’m serious. Who’s doing a good job of fulfilling qualitative completes in our space?

[10:4]

Gosh, ahh…

[04:51]

I mean you guys are sitting in this unique spot where you got to engage a respondent for 90 minutes, which is hard.  I mean there is a certain type of respondent that you want to hit. It’s like a high-quality person. So you’re probably talking about a big incentive.  Is that right?

[05:18]

It’s actually…  It’s not… The fact that they know it’s live and the fact that they know there’s another human being on the other end of these.  Even though it’s text-based questions, we have a really high engagement rate and, actually, a very low dropout rate. If you asked somebody to do a 90-minute survey… Come on! and even sometimes a group.  But being able to be in their own environment and at their desk whether they’re at home or at work or wherever they do these things… And they know that it’s a live session and there’s an interaction going on somewhere with these people making decisions based on what they say makes it a little different, yeah.   

[05:41]

So, who is your ideal customer?

[05:43]

So our ideal customer…  We can customize to fit industries, verticals.  Let’s talk about technology; let’s talk about consumer-packaged goods; let’s talk about consumer electronics.  Not to mentioned, we’re always interested in finding channel partners as well. So agencies that interested in on-boarding a new tool.  There’s a little bit of a learning curve associated with what we offer but once you get up and running, very powerful.

[06:11]  

Got it.  And if somebody wants to get in contact with you, how would they do that?

[06:15]

Check our website; call me; email; find me on LinkedIn.  I’m all over social media; so, there’s a lot of different ways.  360-510-1788.

[06:26]

There it is and one more time.  That’s 360-510-1788. The information for Forrest and Invoke will be in the show notes.  Forrest, thank you for joining me on the Happy Market Research Podcast.

[06:38]

Thank you so much for having me, Jamin.

[06:39]

It’s an honor.

[06:39]

Thank you.

IIeX North America 2019 Podcast Series

IIeX NA 2019 Conference Series – David Wolfe – Inguo

Welcome to the 2019 IIEX North America Conference Series. Recorded live in Austin, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews David Wolfe, Prinicipal at Inguo.

Contact David Online:

LinkedIn

Inguo


[00:00]

David Wolfe.  Inguo is the name of the company.  They’re an NEC spin-out of the AI laboratories at NEC Corporation in Japan.  David’s got a really interesting background, including Olympic-level wrestling in the United States for those of you who are fans of that.  We don’t actually dive into it, but it was certainly worth mentioning. I thought that was fascinating seeing that kind of background and then coming into market research.  They have AI-empowered insights discovery tool. It’s the first of its kind in the data science industry; it’s got a ton of automation and value that it can bring. They’re very early in their inception, and I think it’s a great time if you’re looking for AI-empowered insights and discovery that you’d take advantage of at least picking up the phone and having a conversation with David.  Enjoy.

[00:48]  

My guest today is David Wolfe, principal of Inguo.

[00:51]  

So, I started my career after grad school in international policy.  So my original background is linguistics, cultural anthropology, and international policies.  So, I have an M.A. in international policy from the Monterey Institute, now known as the Middlebury Institute.  I worked for a firm in Washington, D.C., focusing on the Kashmir dispute where I was working with India and Pakistan, but basically trying to give a voice to the people of Kashmir because they are just basically innocent by-standers caught in the middle of nothing.  But I will leave it at that ‘cause that’s a touchy subject and don’t want to scare people away.

[01:27]

I hear you.  I think that’s great.  That’s an interesting…  There are a couple of things there that are really interesting there for me.  One is that you’re talking about adding voice to a subset of the population that doesn’t have voice, which in a lot of ways is the fundamental core tenet of market research.  So it’s about uncovering the hidden truth, sometimes the ugly truth, so that brands can better deliver on their customer promise.

[01:52]

That’s correct, 100%.

So, I also in my studies studied mass communications, but mass communications from a critical theory point of view.  So looking at things like for urban planning and information cities and how we can utilize technology to make us better as a society. But not looking at societies as a “one size fit all” because we are a big, diverse world.  So how we can utilize this to ingratiate each other without imposing our culture or someone else’s culture whatever on someone else but meeting in the middle and finding understand, which I think market research now is really trying to do that and find the humanity within market research.  And so, that was what drew me into this.

[02:36]

At a macro-level brands are doing the same thing.  So, this is what I find so interesting, and I’ve said this before:  It used to be the case of brands were who they said they were and now they are who their customer says they are.  So this paradigm shift that happened when Facebook started really… And now it’s at scale inside of our world, and everybody is aware of it.  And so, if you’re going to outperform the indices, your peer group, as an organization, the question is really how good are employing and activating insights inside of your decision-making.  So you’ve GOT to be empathetic towards what the customer’s needs are in order to win in today’s marketplace.

[03:21]  

That’s right, that’s right.  So you really need to understand the humanity level, rather than just seeing someone as a number or as a consumer, as a dollar sign, or a yen or something like that, understanding who they are because we are sentient beings.  So, therefore, we have personalities; we have needs; we have wants; we have pain points; we have dislikes; we have likes. And so, that’s primarily what we’re doing with Inguo is trying to get to that causal analysis of it.

[03:48]

So, the other part that’s interesting to that is…  We used to get marketed to in the context of TV, which is to say a generalized point of view from a brand and value prop, which in a lot of ways is way less effective than a generalized ad towards a specific segment of a narrower segment of the population.  And now brands are even, and have been, serving up custom communication to the individual. I’m not just talking about retargeting – that’s obvious. But even down to like… They’re not freaking us out. The Target example and others where there are sort of these iconic moments where Target knew that the daughter was pregnant before the parents.  That kind of stuff. This is really the day for market research to shine, and I do believe that we, as an industry, are doing a good job of that. I’m interested in your company. So tell me exactly what it is that you guys do.        

[04:51]

So, Inguo is a…  We’re on a long and winding road right now.  So, Inguo is a causal analysis and discovery tool that is AI-driven, and we are born out of the NEC innovation labs, meaning NEC corporation out of Japan.  And so, I’ve been fortunate enough and blessed that NEC is looking to me to be the principal to spin this out. In the next week or so, we will be a Delaware corp.  We are going into the Startup New York Program; we’re hoping to collaborate with NYU. There’s a lot of moving pieces, but we’re getting there. Where our name comes from?  Because people will be like, “Inguo. What does that mean?” because everyone wants to brand and be cool and come up. It actually has a meaning: “In” is Japanese for “cause,” and “guo” is “effect” in Chinese, and we are a Chinese-Japanese collaboration at developing this new AI technology for cause and discovery.         

[05:56]

Which is like a mind-blower at a cultural level.  

[05:59]

That is correct.  And I am an East Asian Studies “expert,” whatever people want to put there.  And my main thesis when I was in graduate school was cultural and historical reconciliation between China, Japan, and the Koreas.  So for me, when I was approached by NEC to take on this project to help with the spin-out, I loved it because it was everything that I wanted to do in an international affairs forum, but now I’m getting to do it at a real practical level and see the collaboration and people working together and bringing societies closer together who have been driven apart by historical differences.    

[06:37]

Got it.  That’s so powerful.  And it’s so interesting too listening to your story arc with your story about Congress and then unheard or invisible people groups, bubbling that context up and then now sort of this reconciliation point of view is super interesting for NEC to be birthing.

[06:57]  

Yeah, yeah.  So, with NEC, obviously the target-focus for the Inguo tool is the market research industry, but when they approached me and they showed me what the AI could do, I’m obviously looking through an urban-planning, public-planning lens; so, I saw so many multi-facets and also with the market industry actually taking notice and recognition and really wanting to participate in this, whereas before they just basically wanted to sell, sell, sell without recognizing who that audience was.    

[07:28]

Yeah, it’s all about just Share Wallet or whatever.

[07:29]

Like we’re getting beyond birth of cool, which makes me very happy.

[07:33]  

Totally.  So, who’s your ideal customer?

[07:37]

My ideal customer is your market research firm who is working with, let’s say, pharmaceuticals, who is working with advertising firms, who is either on the qualitative or quantitative side and that is the practical nature of where Inguo is focused upon right now.  And from my side, my own personal loves and my own personal desires, I’m looking at places like UNVP or Save the Children or even the New York Metro System, which is a hot mess all the time in finding out ways to better utilize it. And this tool can give them a better understanding on how to make public policy decisions.  

[08:17]

If somebody wants to get in contact with you, how would they do that?

[08:20]   

They can reach me at David.Wolfe; that’s Wolfe with an “e.”  So, David.Wolfe@inguo.app.  I know the “.app” can be confusing but when it was first being conceived, that was what they chose because the other…

[08:37]

Everything else was taken.

[08:38]      

Everything else was taken because “Inguo” is actually a term in China for a food.  So someone with Alibaba just basically bought up all the .com’s and things like that.  So, I think we have an in on getting .io because I don’t want people to think we’re an app because we’re not.  We’re a software. But Inguo.app is also our website. You can go there and find our case studies and understand what we’re doing.  And you can even upload your data; test out our tool. You can get a hold of me; you can collaborate with my team; they are more than willing to work with you for free as a collaborator and new adapter.  And you can we what we can do, and we can monetize your “why’s.”

[09:17]

Perfect.  David, thanks for much for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast today.

[09:21]

Thank you so much, Jamin.

[09:21]

It’s an absolute honor.  We’ll include all that information in the show notes.  As always, if you would do me a kindness, screen capture this particular episode.  Share it on your social media. Take time to give us a rating on the platform you listen to it on.  It makes all the difference in the world and is a great way to show honor to the people that have been taking time out of their day to share their insights with you.  I hope you all have a fantastic day.

[09:44]

Thank you so much.  You’re far more than Marc Maron.

IIeX North America 2019 Podcast Series

IIeX NA 2019 Conference Series – David Paull – Engagious

Welcome to the 2019 IIEX North America Conference Series. Recorded live in Austin, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews David Paull, CEO of Engagious.

Contact David Online:

LinkedIn

Engagious


[00:00]

This conversation with David Paull, CEO-Founder of Engagious and Dialsmith, offers a unique perspective on his business where he’s finding traction in the marketplace and adding value to his customers.  The other part that I think is real interesting is he’s incorporated in the Engagious podcast an interesting marketing spin that I think all of us as marketing research agency owners should at least start thinking about.  And his particular spin on this podcast is centric to connecting the dots between our discipline of market research and then other disciplines like aeronautics and chemistry and physics and whatever kind of stuff, creating more of a holistic point of view of data insights.  So, I hope you enjoy the episode. As always, you can reach David Paull in the show notes. Thanks so much. Enjoy.

[01:02]  

My guest today is David Paull, CEO of Engagious.  Sir, thanks for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast.

[01:08]  

Thanks for having me.  Appreciate it.

[01:09]

It is an honor to have a fellow podcaster on the show.

[01:13]

Yeah, I know.  I love that too, and anything we can do to support each other and get more quality content out into the industry is awesome.

[01:21]   

Totally, totally.  Now, you’ve been on my show before, right?  

[01:24]

Yes, sir.  

[01:24]  

And that was a great episode.  I can’t remember the number of it, but I’ll post it in the show notes for those that want to like do a deep dive with you.  These are a little like micro-episodes that I throw up based on the different events, which has been really fun. First year in Austin at IIeX, what are your thoughts?     

[01:40]

I think this is a great location.  I imagine it draws a lot of people because it’s a cool spot.  This venue is good, and I like the format that they’re doing this year.  I like the quick 15–20-minute sessions. I think they’re tapping into people’s attention spans.  It’s probably a lot like you’re learning and I’m learning with this format. Early on, I started with longer form 45 minutes, some were pushing an hour.  I figured Tim Ferris can do it; I can too, but…

[02:12]

And Joe Rogan, two hours.         

[02:13]

Yeah, right.  But that really doesn’t work.  So I think those 15–20-minute bites are just right.  So, so far, I like it a lot.

[02:21]

Me, too.  It’s funny like show format-wise, I’ve been struggling with that because I have a standardized eight questions that I ask.  And I’m very sort of rigid on that piece, but at the same time, the rule of thumb is you have to earn right for attention every 20 seconds.  So you really got to start pressing in as a host on “How can I create engagement – basically sound bites – every 20 seconds,” which is hard.

[02:48]

Yeah, well, because a lot of guests, they’re not professional guests.  They’re professionals in their own field and you get them talking about it and they’re talking and talking and talking.  And while it’s important and fascinating, it’s not in 20-second sound bites.

[03:02]  

Exactly right, especially researchers.  But it’s fun, it’s fun. It’s such a great group.  So, this is Day 2. What highlights do you have of the show so far?  

[03:14]

Ah, I have been personally taking away a lot from challenges that this industry’s having marketing itself.  I get that from a lot of these events. Sales and marketing related to the market research industry: everybody says it we’re great at research; we’re not great at marketing and positioning and selling what we do.  So I’m always looking for new ways to help do that, especially now that I have a full-service agency in addition to a technology company. You know the technology background from your background, it’s a whole different sale.   

[03:52]

Totally.

[03:52]

And so, we’re kind of learning as we go, and I’m picking up a lot at events like these.  

[03:57]

Well, hey, listen, tell the audience a little bit about what you’re doing.

[04:01]

So, Engagious is our full-service agency that focuses heavily on message and communication testing, crafting, testing, and refining of messages and content, stories, ads, brand-positioning, sales presentations – anything that needs to be communicated from an organization to its target audience in order to get that target audience to take a particular action.  So we start with what’s the desired action and we reverse engineer from that back to what needs to be communicated and positioned in order to trigger that action. And we’re pretty agnostic when it comes to methodologies and technologies: we really plug in what fits based on the nature of the study, the problem that we need to solve.

[04:49]   

Ideal customer?  What do they look like?

[04:52]

We do a lot of B-to-B, and it’s clients who have often complex things that need to be communicated in a more simple way, easy to digest, or where there’s a particular call to action but it’s failing to connect, it’s failing to resonate.  The organization thinks they’re making a compelling offer or they’re communicating clearly and there’s a disconnect between that and how the audience is receiving it.

[05:20]      

So, you’ve walked around the trade show floor.

[05:23]

Yeah.

[05:23]

Favorite tchotchke?

[05:24]

Favorite tchotchke.  It’s funny. I haven’t picked up too many so far.  You stumped me. I haven’t too many. I’ll tell you and I’m not just saying this ‘cause we’re here:  I love your Happy Market Research Podcast sticker and notebook, especially the sticker, and how colorful and happy it looks.  

[05:46]

This is the hack there.  You have a 16-year-old. Dutch Bros, I assume, is part of the lifestyle.

[05:53]

Oh, my goodness, yes.

[05:54]

So, at the beginning of the month, they do these really cool sticker giveaways.  And my kids have been collecting them. And I’m like, “You know what I’m going to do?  Every trade show I’m going to put together a cool sticker for that particular trade show, and it’s going to be modeled after the Dutch Bros sort of.

[06:10]  

So, this one’s unique just for this show.  You’ll redesign for the next one.

[06:13]  

Exactly.  

[06:14]

[06:16]  

You know it’s not too expensive.  100 bucks or whatever it is. And call it a day. Yeah, totally. So, anyway, that’s…

[06:21]

That’s a cool idea.  No, Dutch Bros is a phenomenon.  Talk about a branding exercise. Frankly, I don’t think their drinks are all that great compared to other chains.  I’m from Portland, Oregon; so, I’m a coffee snob anyway.

[06:37]

So, you’ve got Pete’s; you’ve got Starbucks.

[06:40]   

Yeah, Starbucks owns most of them these days, but when you can find a great independent roaster and they’re really doing something special.  Dutch Bros is truly a commodity but they’ve tapped into that generation.

[06:51]

They’ve nailed it.

[06:52]  

Yeah, we’ve just heard a presentation about Gen Z.  I mean Dutch Bros is coffee for Gen Z. And it starts with stickers, and it ends with 1000-calorie blue whipped cream bombs.  I mean the kids can’t get enough of it.

[07:07]

They really can’t for 8 bucks.  

[07:08]

Yeah.  Often, it’s for my 8 bucks.

[07:11]

My 8 bucks, I know.  I actually startled my kids.  I said, “I’m not doing it anymore.  You have to do your chores and this work in order to earn…”  I’m still losing money by the way, but at least I’m getting the dishes done.   

[07:22]

A little something in return for it, yeah.

[07:24]

Dave Paull, thanks so much for joining me.  If somebody wants to get in contact with you, how do they do that at Engagious?  

[07:28]  

Ah, DavidPaull@Engagious.com, Engagious.com, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube.  Search “Engagious.”

[07:40]

When you Tweet, do you Tweet from Engagious or do you do it from your personal?  

[07:44]

Both.  I tweet from my personal and we have a team who tweets out from Engagious, but we’re responsive to both, for sure.

[07:51]

Listen, you guys got to do the MRXChat.  Get on that. It’s on my website, happymr.com.  MRXChat: We get about 100 or 200 different, simultaneous participants.  So, one hour; it’s in conjunction with Jake Pryszlak, Research Geek on Twitter.  I forget what the topic is in the upcoming one in May, but it’ll be really good. Good exposure, great community, great way for expanding it.  But one of the things I’ve noticed though, and the reason I bring it up is like there’s a different sort of engagement: if it’s SurveyMonkey that interacts with the community versus Leela, the CMO of SurveyMonkey, you know what I’m saying.  You get a much higher engagement, I’ve noticed, if it’s not the corporate brand.

[08:33]

From the person, specifically on Twitter.

[08:35]

Specifically, on Twitter, it’s a really interesting phenomenon.

[08:38]

Yeah, I agree.  I find that too.  So we try to do both.  We’re trying to crack the LinkedIn code now, too.  We’re doing a lot of work, trying to figure out the most effective ways to engage on LinkedIn.  And there’s definitely a big difference between the person and the company.

[08:54]

The context there is so…  I mean I can nail that for you guys if you’re ever interested in it.  Alright, great. Hey, thanks so much. Have a great rest of the show.

[09:02]

OK, thanks, Jamin.

IIeX North America 2019 Podcast Series

IIeX NA 2019 Conference Series – Casey Bernard – Nimble Modern Radio

Welcome to the 2019 IIEX North America Conference Series. Recorded live in Austin, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Casey Bernard, Marketing Research Consultant and Podcast Producer at Nimble Modern Radio.

Contact Casey Online:

LinkedIn

Nimble Modern Radio


[00:00]

This guest, Casey Bernard, Nimble Modern Radio, is one of the top conversations I’ve had.   I think, obviously, that podcasting has a very relevant place inside of market research, specifically around storytelling at scale.  Actually, producing and then distributing your content so that it can be consumed by your constituents inside of your organization when and where they want is really, really important.  It helps educate your audience and your constituents prior to coming together as a group and can actually create a major shortcut with getting everybody on the same page and then moving the business forward, empowering the insights.  I hope you find a lot of value in this particular interview. Please look her up. She has an amazing business that is flourishing, and anything that we can do to help this particular company as an Insights Nation would be greatly appreciated.  Enjoy.

[01:03]  

Nimble Modern Radio, Breaking Research is the name of the podcast; Casey is the name of the founder and host.  It is an honor to have another podcaster on my show. So thanks so much.

[01:17]  

Sure, thanks for having me.  

[01:18]  

We are live at IIEX here in Austin.  Have you been to the show before?

[01:23]  

I have not.   

[01:24]

What do you think?

[01:24]

It’s great.  It’s my hometown.  So it was really convenient.  

[01:27]   

You’re actually based in Austin?

[01:28]

Yeah.  

[01:29]  

Well, this is super easy for you.

[01:29]

Yeah.       

[01:30]

OK, got it.  When did you start the business?          

[01:33]

Well, I was Nimble Market Research for a while.  I’ve been on my own since about 2009 as a qualitative moderator.  And last year, I started thinking about podcasting because I have been moonlighting for a couple of years doing a podcast with a friend of mine, who has a YouTube channel and we talk about knitting.  So, that podcast has been successful, and I thought how can I incorporate my two jobs, basically. So I started thinking… exploring podcasts for marketing research. And so, last year, I decided to transfer into a podcast production company, I guess we’d say.    

[02:12]

I mean it’s a big leap.  Podcaster jumping… They’re growing right now but, honestly, in this space, there’s not a lot of appreciation for the value that they create.  

[02:23]

Right.

[02:24]  

The connection that can be made with a listener is remarkable in this format versus, honestly, any other format:  YouTube, social media. It’s just a totally unique opportunity to connect. My theory – and I’m interested in your perspective on this – is that it’s because we help occupy the brain during times of monotony.  It’s like: tune in, I’m mowing the lawn (It’s like my go-to example), do my honey-does, or it’s my 51 minutes a day that I commute, whatever it is. There’s like that voice is in my ear and I kind of look forward to it.   

[03:00]

Yeah, you feel like friends.  

[03:03]

Yeah, exactly, exactly.

[03:04]

Yeah, well, I’m taking it from kind of a different angle because, for research purposes, so many people are asking for “Just give me like the 5-minute download” or “I don’t have time to read…”  or “I don’t want to ready another 100-page PowerPoint slide.” Like you’re hearing that more and more at conferences. So, it was like how can we give that 5-minute download, but maybe you’re on a plane, traveling for work, or you’re commuting into work that day.  You don’t want to look at the PowerPoint deck. You can listen to the insights and then you can also hear the voices of the people that we interviewed and the real voice of the consumer in your ear. So it’s allowing you to connect to those consumers that you’re trying to understand.  So…   

[03:43]

That’s interesting.  So, you’re taking consumer interviews and consolidating it and then feeding that in the format of a podcast to the customer.

[03:52]

To the client.  So the end-client gets, instead of a top line report, or along with your PowerPoint deck, you’re getting a top line podcast.  Or I just recently did a project where we did personas. And so, each persona… We did a profile podcast episode for each of those personas.  And so, it was the story of those people that we talked to with their actual voices.  

[04:11]

Is it like an NPResque, journalistic deliverable or is it just a collage of the…?

[04:21]      

The voices.  It’s narrated.  So, it’s like, “Here’s what we did and here’s who we talked to and here’s what they liked” and then quotes from the people; “Here’s what they didn’t like,” quotes from the people and other key findings.  And so, it’s narrated, yeah.

[04:36]

Tell me about your favorite project.

[04:37]

This one that I just did with this persona project was really fun because it kind of took a little pushing to get the client to do this and then we delivered it, instead of on a PowerPoint, we created a website with password protected.  And so, they were able to have kind of a living, breathing place for the podcast to live; we added like a media gallery; and so, there’s downloads so they can put up there. It just really came to life. And what has been exciting is to see the client go out and present it to the teams internally.  And they’ve come up with some creative ways of presenting it: so, they’re going out and doing the roadshow to introduce the personas to people, and they then have a banner with the picture of the persona with a QR code, and you can click on that and download the podcast. So then you’re getting to know the persona through the podcast.       

[05:24]

So tell me a little bit about what your terms of trade look like for that kind of deliverable.

[05:30]

What do you mean by terms of trade?

[05:32]

How much does it cost?

[05:33]

Oh.  Well, it really depends.  It’s about the same as your report costs because, instead of doing a PowerPoint deck and doing all the graphics and stuff like that, we’re just doing the editing services.  So it depends on how much of that we have to do, if we’re doing it from scratch, or if we’re doing it as part of a full project.

[05:50]  

I heard an interview with [Werner] Volges, the CTO of Amazon, recently, and in that interview, he was talking about how Amazon, at the executive level, has boycotted or has an embargo on any PowerPoint presentations or any presentations at all.  And this has been from the early, early days, right? It’s like a sneak peek under the hood. Instead what they’ve done is they’ve replaced it with a six-page paper. And so, what they’ll do is that they’ll spend the first 20 to 25 minutes of the meeting in total silence reading the paper; everybody gets on, like educated and onboard with what the thesis is and the rationale.  And then they have a productive conversation. And the reason that they do it that way is because in a PowerPoint presentation, it feels interactive. And so, the executive… but yet the audience is uninformed. You couldn’t be answering that question in three slides, but now you got to answer it. You see what I mean?

[06:45]  

Yeah.

[06:45]

So they found it very disruptive and much more productive in just being quiet for 25 minutes, processing a piece of information, taking notes, and then having a discussion.  If feels like podcasts could start facilitating that conversation.

[06:58]  

Exactly, and that’s what one of the first podcasts I did for another researcher took that same concept because they were going to a workshop.  And so, they did the research; we created podcasts for them to listen to before the workshop; so, you come in informed. And you got to get a sense of the interviews and a sense of what we already talked about, but we’re going to go workshop it after this.  

[07:20]

So, Casey, when was your “Aha” moment with respect to the power of podcasts?  

[07:25]

Like for me personally or…?  Oh, gosh, I’ve been listening for years to This American Life.  And then, I started saying like… One of things that you brought up in your presentation that I did in a presentation as well is like I remember stuff from podcasts so much better than if I read the article.  It’s partly because your brain’s forced to kind of create a picture in your mind. So that was an “Aha” moment but then when I was at QRCA two years ago, a friend of mine was like, “You should do this for research.”  So then I spent that week, thinking about all the different ways we can use it. And there’s more than just deliverables. You know I was saying you can use it for your secondary research. There’s so many niche podcasts out there.  There’s a podcast for like every disease condition. And I had an “Aha” moment about that because there’s a guy here in Austin who’s doing a show on Friends with Deficits.  It’s friends with rare diseases.  I thought if I was doing research on this rare condition, it would be really hard to find those people.  Well, here’s this guy sharing a story on a podcast. So, exploring podcasts for your secondary research is a huge opportunity as well.          

[08:33]   

If you think about your business model, it’s very interesting.  Is every project custom or is there some like scalable product or productization opportunity?

[08:44]

That’s where I’m kind of trying to figure that out right now since I’ve only been doing it for a few months.  Right now, it’s been very custom, but I’m trying to scale it and see if it can be a packaged kind of thing.

[08:54]  

Insights Nation, if you have an idea on this subject, I know that Casey at Nimble MR would love the opportunity to interact with you, to have at least a conversation.

[09:04]

Yep.

[09:05]

You know I keep coming back to probably the best thing to do is just start as opposed to try to figure it all out.  So, if I’m an internal brand person or if I’m an agency person and I have a deliverable to a customer, tacking on a few thousand dollars for a professionally produced podcast is relatively low risk, and it might actually be something that differentiates you for the next year to two years until the rest of the market figures it out ‘cause I promise you…  In a lot of ways, I invented online surveys. It sounds audacious to say that but it’s the f****** truth. I can’t help it. I’m not like bragging about it; it’s just the truth. And I recognized that in 1996. And the same way with mobile surveys: Kristin Luck, Jayme Plunkett, myself brought that to life in 2006. We’ve been ahead of the curve on a number of different fronts.  And I can tell you the truth that podcasts from a consumption, of insights-consumption perspective is absolutely the future. It’s just a question of if you’re going to be a laggard on the adoption side or if you’re going to start experimenting now to be one of the early adopters and ultimately partake in what will be the mass consumption of insights in that format. So my encouragement to you, Insights Nation, at least have a conversation.  (She’s nodding vigorously.) Casey would love to talk to you about it. Again, I kind of like forward look, and my cast there is you’re probably looking at five different products that are, so to speak, off the shelf with a high level of service associated with each one of them ‘cause telling a story is actually… So, there’s two big needs that I hear from every brand interview that I’ve ever done. One of those big needs is storytelling consistently.  If you listen to NPR regardless of your political stance, they do a hell of a good job of collapsing information in a consumable way that moves you to thought or moves you to action. And by you applying those journalistic principles to your insights, you now increase the size of your lever to move the organization based on those findings, which has an exponential impact on those dollars spent for the brand on that particular answer or the sets of answers.  I know that’s a hard pitch, guys, but I’m just telling you the truth. I mean you don’t have to do it. I tell people this all the time; I’m like, “Do you want to be on the podcast?” And sometimes they’ll look at me like, “Oh, I’m scared,” or whatever. And I’m like, “My question really is ‘Do you want more customers?’” I mean that’s the question that I’m asking them, and I tell them that. And if they say, “No” or they’re too afraid, I’m like, “That’s fine.”  You know, I move on. But the reality is this is a hell of a good platform for people to be able to engage with their audience and engage with insights. I really hope that people take advantage of it.

[11:52]

Yeah, well, thanks.  You’re seeing it what I said ‘cause NPR even shows that you can do it not just qualitative/quantitative.  There are so many stories there that are based on data. Every story about a poll or any kind of science research has data in it.  So, you can make it and you can make it shareable and interview your scientists and your researchers and make it more interesting than a PowerPoint deck.  

[12:15]

TD Waterhouse, I was talking to her about it, and she’s like, “Oh, that’s so interesting you doing a podcast.  My CEO consumes about an hour a day of podcast while he goes on a walk. And I asked, “How much time to you get with the CEO?”  “Not very much, not very much at all.” But now you could be in his ear for ten minutes a week. What’s the value of that?

[12:37]

Oh, yeah.

[12:39]  

That’s a big deal.

[12:42]

And if he sends that to your team and the whole sales team has to listen to your thing.  The sales team is not going to read your 100-page PowerPoint deck.

[12:48]

Even the one-page PowerPoint.

[12:50]

Even the email.

[12:51]

They’re not going to open the email.  Exactly. I had a friend of mine; she’s the CHRO for a very large hospital chain.  And she was trying to figure out how to activate insights and really kind of like put insights in the front of the organization.  This is like big: thousands and thousands of employees; I forget how many, but massive. And she wound up doing a 60-second video that was sent through email.  That was an improvement, but it was still not all the way there. And, again, I think, such another great example of an opportunity to be able to just disseminate information at scale.  

Anyway, alright.  Casey, how do people get in contact with you?   

[13:27]

My website is NimbleMR.com.

[13:30]

Thanks for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast.

[13:33]

Thanks.

IIeX North America 2019 Podcast Series

IIeX NA 2019 Conference Series – Andy Greenawalt – OdinAnswers

Welcome to the 2019 IIEX North America Conference Series. Recorded live in Austin, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Andy Greenawalt, CEO of OdinAnswers.

Contact Andy Online:

LinkedIn

OdinAnswers


[00:00]

I had a phone conversation with Andy Greenawalt, Odin Answers, the day that they actually rebranded from OdinText to OdinAnswers.  Those of you who don’t know Tom Anderson’s the founder of that company and until recently has been the CEO. Andy’s assumed the role and begun with a bang.  I’ll say I really liked this conversation, hearing about how OdinText has pivoted based on where the market is right now and where they believe it’s going. They’re focusing a lot more on what is going out, in other words, where the point of value is and how to get inside of sentiment analysis and how to get to that sentiment analysis and that value to really power business insight.  As always, you can find his information in the show notes.

[00:47]  

My guest today is Andy Greenawalt with OdinText, and we are live at IIEX in Austin.  How are you today?

[00:57]  

I’m doing great, doing great.  Great to be in Austin and great to be on the podcast.   

[01:01]  

Yeah, thanks so much for joining me.  We are sitting here in the beautiful…  like art behind me, right? It’s not a bad venue.

[01:08]  

Jackson Pollack went large-scale here.

[01:11]

Exactly, well done.  What do you guys think about the show so far?

[01:15]   

I just got here.  So, yes, it is successfully achieved my expectations:  it is a building and everyone is here. So, I just walked in the door.  It looks fantastic.

[01:27]

Well, they have some fun activities that are going one beyond the awesome speakers that they have lined up, one of which is a paint-by-numbers that is actually going on right behind you.  If you’re so inclined, you can take a moment, pick a color; she gives you the corresponding number, and you literally just start. They did this in Amsterdam for the first time this year. It was really a cool piece of art, and they actually have down here at the base of the elevator.  So you have to check it out. I’m like, gosh, if they keep doing this, they’re going to actually develop a pretty cool, kick-ass art collection.   

[02:00]  

There we go, there we go.

[02:01]

Market research meets art.  It’s kind of a neat combination.  So, tell me a little bit about what’s going on at OdinText.  

[02:07]

So, OdinText is now OdinAnswers as of this morning.  And really what that is it’s the pivot from what goes into the thing to what comes out of the thing.  I came out about a year ago. I was at the Atlanta IIEX. And in working with these guys over the last year, it was clear that what we were delivering to customers wasn’t text analytics.  It was something else: it was triangulating on a different piece of information and that’s what really answers is all about; it’s about the intersection between the text, the metrics, and segments – and typically microsegments – that define an answer.      

[02:48]

I love that.  You guys have been around for quite a while – OdinText and now OdinAnswers.  Give me a little bit of framework for the ideal customer. Who is buying from you right now?   

[03:01]

The ideal customer is a digital-first company.  So, we found that, as we looked at our customers, they were most typically digital-first companies.  So, what does that mean? It means that they’re not making physical products and they’re not selling it through traditional channels.  Digital-first companies that are doing things online have so much more data, richer data, and critically more real-time data that it allows them to take the feedback loop that Answers creates and get it implemented more quickly.  So they can use insights at the rate that we can create them and really they think about things in real time; they think about things as instrumented ‘cause one of the core ideas behind Answers is that insights needs to be a process, not projects.  And that transition is critical. So digital-first companies serving hundreds of thousands to millions of customers – that’s who our model clients are today and who we are looking to attract more of.

[04:03]

I think this whole concept of integrated insights into the actual workflows of the humans who are using those insights to make better products or services for companies is a really important topic that is getting a lot more traction, but we’re at the beginning of that J-curve.  The closer that you can provide the insight to the point of utilization, the better that insight is from an ROI perspective ‘cause you move outside of the vacuum of “nice to know” and much more in line with “I’m activating that insight right now inside of the business.” As you guys are walking along your customers in the real-time framework, what are some of the challenges that you’re facing.  I would immediately think about like is getting qualified respondents an issue in that workflow.

[04:59]  

So, it really isn’t as far as we’re concerned; we’re at the point of synthesis.  So we’re taking in survey data; we’re taking in review data; we’re taking in social data.  So really it’s downstream for us. We’re about that synthesis and unification layer to get to the insights.  So, a lot of the data is coming out of things that are inside of their apps, inside of their websites, inside of their workflows.  So it’s not the same panel dynamics, same survey dynamics.

[05:30]

So they see it really as like they’ve got a vat of data, going back to trending words five, ten years ago (“data lakes,” “data oceans,” whatever).  

[05:41]

“Data swamps.”

[05:43]

“Data swamps,” yeah, more accurate actually.  It’s funny, I can’t believe I didn’t write that white paper.  It feels like what you’re saying really you’re calling that content and pulling out relevant insights for that particular business need.    

[05:55]

Exactly.  One of the tricks is… has been that how do you understand a business’s taxonomy.  So, they sell products of what kind? To whom? What are the typical interactions? How do the channels work?  A bit of understanding of what we think of as the business information architecture so that now you understand where these insights might go.  Are these insights product-relevant? So, therefore, product management would likely be involved. Are the marketing-relevant? Are they service-delivery-relevant?  So insights naturally have different owners within an organization. So, how do you understand the business’s information taxonomy, process taxonomy so that these things can go to the right people, consume the right data on the one side and go to the right people on the other side?  ‘Cause they need answers, and that “data swamp” has them; they just haven’t been able to get them fast enough and at scale.

[06:53]

Yeah, exactly, it’s a big problem and providing that context is really interesting too.  What I thought I heard you say is not only are you providing the sentiment side of things but you’re also providing a deeper access to data that goes alongside that.  Is that accurate? So, some profile data along with setting more context for the answers.

[07:25]   

Yeah, so it’s always been…  Tom’s invention has always been about mining the text data for things like sentiment, emotional profiles, and such, but then correlating that with different metrics.  So, there are tons of metrics; and, again, depending on the operational nature of the business, they’ll have different metrics. So metrics is one element of the contextualization, and the other is the segments.  Who is being affected? What is the topic? Who is being affected? What is it driving inside the business? Those three things in correlation are, what we call, the intersection where the answer lies.

[08:05]

Yeah, that’s a really important three-legged stool, right?  You almost need all three of those things in equal proportion and priority in order to get to truth.   

[08:14]      

Yeah, yeah.  ‘Cause one of the examples that I like is we had a motorcycle vendor. Well, when they had problems with their electronics, on a broad basis, their customers didn’t really care about it until you broke it down to millennial first-time buyers.  An old guy like me thinks, “Hey, this is an American icon.” A millennial first-time buyer says, “It’s a product that doesn’t work.” And so, that’s a very important thing, obviously, given the importance of millennials in growing any business.  Identifying these sorts of things that are hidden inside that “data swamp” is critical to keeping up. We call it in the white paper the “Insights Arms Race.” How to you go from project to process? And how do you start mining things at scale and at speed so that you can get what you need and make decisions that are customer-relevant.         

[09:12]

So, if somebody wants to get in contact with you, how would they do that?

[09:17]

www.odinanswers.com

[09:21]

Got it.  And you’d mentioned a white paper.

[09:23]

Yeah, white paper got released today: “Text Analytics Isn’t Enough” by Tom.  It’s an amazing thing to hear. Lenny fell off his stool.

[09:34]

Wow!

[09:34]

That’s great, and that is available.  Many folks probably got an email announcing it today with a download link, or they can get it from the site.  

[09:44]  

And that’s, of course, available on the site, which we’ll include in the show notes.

[09:48]  

odinanswers.com/mission

[09:51]

Got it, perfect.  Well, I’m looking forward to reading that on my flight home.

[09:55]  

There we go.

[09:56]

Thank you so much for joining me on the Happy Market Research Podcast.  

[09:58]

Thank you so much, sir.  Appreciate the time.

IIeX North America 2019 Podcast Series

Ep. 215 – IIeX NA 2019 Conference Series – Adriana Rocha – eCGlobal Research Solutions

Welcome to the 2019 IIEX North America Conference Series. Recorded live in Austin, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Adriana Rocha, Founder and CEO of eCGlobal Research Solutions.

Contact Adriana Online:

LinkedIn

eCGlobal Research Solutions


[00:00]

My guest is Adriana Rocha, eCGlobal Solutions.  Adriana has been a mainstay inside of the market research industry, focusing on a couple of big companies:  GMI, Rob Monster, back in the early days. Those of you who are old enough know he has turned into GMI at Lightspeed and now, I think, just Lightspeed.  Those of you that are in Latin America know who she is. Her company is growing rapidly. She really breaks down their core value prop and how they’re bringing value to their customers consistently by creating innovation through HBO GO panels, leveraging trending shows, and using non-traditional incentives like badges to certify community members as experts.  This is a great episode. Understanding entrepreneurship also through the lens of a woman in context of being a software engineer, entrepreneur, and CEO. I hope you find a lot of value and fun in it. And as always, please take the time to share this episode. Have a great day.

[00:59]  

My guest today on the Happy Market Research Podcast is Adriana with eCGlobal.  Thanks for being on the show.

[01:07]  

Thanks, actually, I’m really happy to be here today.  My pleasure.

[01:14]  

Thank you.  So, we are live at IIEX.  There’s a lot of activity going on everywhere; it’s a little bit chaotic.   What do you think about the show so far?

[01:23]  

IIEX for me is always a great show to meet new people, find out about new players in the industry, see what’s going on, and also catchup on some great presentations as well. So yeah, thus far, I think it’s really good, great conference so far.  

[01:39]

So, we are doing a unique interview.  Normally, I do like these bit-sized snippets, but I’ve been really excited about eCGlobal as an organization, which, by the way, in all full disclosure is not a sponsor of the show or anything like that.  I mean I’ve just been watching what you guys have doing in Latin America, and I feel like it’s really germane and relevant to a need I’ve been seeing surface inside of market research in general. So, I’ve wanted to do a long-form interview with you, which is what we’re going to do today.  So it’s going to be slightly different than the other ones that I’ve done connected to IIEX or any other trade show for that matter. So we’re going to go ahead and get started with our trademark question. Tell me a little bit about your parents. What did they do and how did that impact your career in market research?  

[02:25]

Yeah, so my father, he’s a doctor, and he’s an entrepreneur.  He founded one of the first children’s hospital in the city that we live almost 50 years ago.  And that hospital has become a reference in terms of pediatrician medical sciences there in Brazil.  And it’s very inspiring for me not just because of his success as entrepreneur but also because of his patience for what he does and also about the mission:  having a greater purpose of being an entrepreneur; helping and saving lives and kids. So it definitely has influenced who I am and what I do. That’s why I was an entrepreneur.            

[03:17]   

What about your mom?

[03:18]

Well, my mom, she is also an entrepreneur.  She also had some retailer, you know, some stores, clothing and fashion stores.  So in my family we have a…

[03:38]  

The bug of entrepreneurship.

[03:40]

Correct, yes, yes.      

[03:40]

So, how in the world did you wind up in market research?          

[03:44]

Well, that’s a good question.  So, I am a computer engineer. And before I worked with market research, I used to work with ad agencies, building technology platforms for helping major companies using data to improve their media planning.  So, I’ve always been in the intersection of technology and data and how to use data to generate intelligence and knowledge and help for better business decisions. I ended up in market research because by 2000, GMI, one of the first technology startups by that time, building survey platforms…   

[04:24]

Founder and CEO, Rob Monster.

[04:26]

…with Rob Monster.  Actually, they invited me to open their business in Brazil.  Imagine that by that time, internet penetration in Latin America was almost nothing.  It was kind of a challenge. To tell the truth, I left a very high-level position: by that time, I was technology director in a large company in Brazil just because of the challenge, so the challenge of starting a new business in this new space and traveling around the world because I had to travel to Budapest, where GMI used to develop the software there.  And starting having this more international experience was really my biggest motivation to join GMI and come to the market research industry. As I started working there, with my technology background and social development skills, I started helping them to build a global panel management system and helping to also improve the survey platform. So that’s how I started working for market research.  And then after a few years working for GMI, I decided to start my own company. It was by 2003 when we started with eCMetrics. It was a small boutique with a strong technology background wanting to develop some proprietary technologies for managing communities, collecting data in a different way, using mobile devices. We have been always ahead of, I would say, the curve, the adoption curve of new technology in market.  So by 2005 we built what would be probably one of the first social networks. We were integrating gamification, online communities, forums, ways of people to collaborate and asking questions between them. So, we believed that the better way to understand consumers would be empowering them: giving them the platform and the environment where they could exchange experience, where they could talk with each other. We would be listening and generating insights, and asking questions just when needed.  That was by 2005.

[06:41]  

Yeah, I mean super early.  It’s interesting how you’ll see people…  Like Rob Monster actually… You and I know who Rob Monster is and maybe six other people that listen to the podcast.  But he actually had a really interesting vision, which is funny 20 years later, it’s actually coming about where you have a – I hear it referred to as a data ecosystem.  I know I’m not necessarily telling you anything that you don’t know, but.. And the idea was you’d be able to follow a piece of data, an answer, like through the whole process and ultimately tie back even at the respondent record existing data known on them and this sort of thing.  He was very successful in selling that into companies like Microsoft and other large firms. One of the challenges that company experienced was rapid growth through M&A and international expansion. That’s funny because I really think that that was probably the one thing that undid GMI from a leader position is they just didn’t focus enough on owning a specific market and then just tried to bite off too much too fast.      

[07:50]

Yeah, I agree with you.  The vision was there almost 20 years ago.  And working for GMI for six years was the best school that I could have.  And I worked with Rob on a daily basis. So it was a really great inspiration.  

[08:07]

I have a ton of respect for him, honestly.  As a visionary leader, there’s probably only a handful in our industry that ever fit that mold.  He was very much the Steve Jobs of the space. The problem, of course, is it’s hard to scale that type of business unless you have a ton of capital.  And, in those days, market research was still not in this heavily capitalized space. So it was really hard to do. And Toluna experienced the same thing.  Frederic Petit at Toluna had a very similar experience. It was really hard for him to be able to raise capital in those post-2001-dot.com-bus days. Anyway, it was neat to see you kind of having that long…  So, you’ve seen all the transition that has happened in the market research space over almost two decades now. Now you look forward. Where are you seeing it going? What are we headed towards?

[09:02]

Well, I think that market research is nowadays part of a greater industry; we can call the dating sites or business intelligence or big data.  So I think that we can see our industry evolving as a data industry, but at the same time as we see more and more technology being adopted, automation, artificial intelligence because all industries regardless of being market research or any other will be adopting automation and artificial intelligence.  But I still see the industry really positioning itself as the people who can really understand people because at the end of the day, the data that we collect is about understanding people, and sometimes we don’t find the answers just with pure data or what a machine can understand using algorithms. The inspiration, the feeling, the skills that human beings have to see the big picture, connecting the dots, and also using some gut feeling as well to inspire clients, I think that’s where… I think that market research should have because data and technology will be a commodity.  So everybody will have access to that.   

[10:25]

We only have (I really believe this) we only have one (and I say this all the time) one piece of IP or something that protects us and that is the relationship with the customer.  And the only way that persists is if you consistently add value. And that value is just not in the framework of technology; it’s about helping them contextualize the insights and then activate those insights inside of their organization.

[10:48]

Exactly.  The clients love brilliant minds.  They love to work with people that can inspire them.  And I think that, nowadays, working with some large clients, some of the biggest brands in the world, I think that’s one of the biggest values that we add is really inspiring them.       

[11:06]

So, last night was the WIRe event, which is the Women in Research event.  Are you part of that organization at all?

[11:13]      

Actually, yes.  I participated in one of the first WIRe events maybe three or four years ago.  So, I really appreciate and I think it’s a great initiative to put together this community of women that’s part of this greater industry.  So, yes, I’m part of the community and I’m lucky, I think, to be part of that.

[11:37]

Have you tried any of the mentorship plan that they have?  

[11:40]

Actually, not yet.

[11:42]

No.  That’s a really interesting…  So, the reason I bring it up is you’re, obviously, a woman and you’ve been involved in leadership positions inside of the industry for a while, at least 19 years.  And that has a unique set of challenges that, in and of itself… My go-to example is something that actually happened to me at this conference on Monday night. I went to dinner.  It was three guys and a girl, a woman. Oh, and I was like “Oh, you just felt normal.” It’d be like you and me and Steve August and somebody else, four of us, going for a dinner. It was just like totally normal.   And then I started reflecting on the fact that I used to go to the WIRe events right when they first started, and I actually stopped going because I felt so uncomfortable being the only or one of the only men in the room.   Then, all of a sudden, it’s funny how it just flipped on me and I like, “Gosh, Julie, she’s sitting at the table right now (She’s with a company called CMB). I’m thinking to myself, “She’s the only woman right now sitting at this table.”  Just like no problem at all.

[12:44]

Yeah, yeah.  So, that’s something that is funny because, since I am a computer engineer…  I’m not saying my age, but I am probably one of the first engineers almost 30 years ago.

[13:01]

So, you’re 33.  You started really young.

[13:03]

So, as I started working with computer engineers as I finished college, I quickly started working with, leading a teams, you know technology teams and engineers.  Oh, man, I was the technology manager and then technology director. All men, maybe 90% of men all the time. And sometimes I was the youngest one. I never had that issue, but, I think, that’s something very unique for my profile maybe.      

[13:39]  

So, eCGlobal, you’ve done a lot of projects.  Tell me about one that you’ve done that you’re really proud of and memorable.  

[13:44]  

Well, I think that… There are a couple of projects that I’m really proud being a part of.  I can mention two quickly. What I love about these projects is that we have created an impact and real results for our clients, and at the same time, these clients have helped eCGlobal to grow.  So, we’ve been improving our technology, our platform in growing with these clients and, at the same time, helping them achieve real results. So, one example is HBO. So, HBO has been a customer for more than five years.  And they had a problem, an issue some years ago because they had a panel, research panel with very low response rates, and the panel was almost dying. And they came to us with a challenge: How can we grow this panel? How can we improve engagement? How can we create a similar brand experience that HBO fans and HBO customers have with the brand in other platforms? How can we create a new and engaging experience for people when participating in research promoted by HBO, they have the same brand experience?  So, it was a perfect fit for us because we were looking for clients that would value having a social experience, creating engagement, and enabling the users to talk to them at any time. We’ve helped HBO to grow their custom panel from 2,000 members to almost 50,000 members nowadays in all Latin America. Nowadays, this platform has become an important ongoing tool for generating daily insights, inspiration for their programming teams, for their marketing team. So HBO is definitely a case study that I’m really proud of being part of.

And I’d like to mention Itau Bank in Brazil, largest Brazilian bank.  We’ve helped Itau to build custom communities and that is helping the bank to apply agile market research and quickly innovate, develop new products.  They have reduced from five weeks to one to five days all life cycle of market research projects. And we have helped them to implement agile research process.  So that’s another great project that we’ve been helping the customer with real business results.

[16:10]  

Let’s just focus in on HBO.  First of all, are you a fan of Game of Thrones?  

[16:16]

Yes, yes, for sure.  Working for so long with HBO.  Actually, every time that we have a new season of Game of Thrones, the community blows up.  Sometimes we develop some cool social media stuff to invite people to receive, for example, a badge to become a Game of Thrones expert, for example.  

[16:35]

Oh, nice.

[16:37]   

And we receive like thousands of new members in one weekend because they want to receive the badge.

[16:41]

Oh, that’s so clever.  I love that.

[16:44]  

So, it’s a great experience just to…  Actually, just launched HBO GO community as well.  

[16:52]

Oh, that awesome.

[16:53]

Yeah.  It’s integrated with their own CRM platform.  So, it’s by invitation. So, HBO GO users participate in their community, and we’ve developed some mobile technology as well to integrate with them.  So it’s growing. Actually, it’s a customer that we’ve been working with for more than five years; and the relationship is still growing. There’s still a lot of things to do.  

[17:17]

Beautiful!  You keep finding value in this space, and you will always reap the benefit of it.  It’s just so unique. It’s about the relationships. And if you can prove the ROI and empower that researcher, they can’t wait to spend money with you.  It’s really true.

[17:31]

That’s right.

[17:32]

So, tell me a little bit about the biggest market research challenge that you guys have.

[17:38]  

As I mentioned in the beginning of our talk, I think that one of the biggest challenges for the industry is really how we can turn data into knowledge, into insights and inspiration.  How can we make sense of all of the data streams that we have nowadays because I think one of the main challenges is what we do with all of this information because once technology is easy to access, once we can access even the consumers.  Years ago, the market research companies who could control the data collection process. That was the main differentiation, right? Nowadays the data collection process is just easy to anyone. So, how can we continue to add value? It’s about how we can turn data into knowledge, insights, and inspiring clients.  I think that’s the biggest challenge. How can we scale that? How can we do that in a scalable way? It’s a combination of technology; we say artificial intelligence with human intelligence. That, I think, is the main challenge.

[18:47]

So, you’ve got a lot of employees.  They’ve been growing over the years.  As you think about that like two decades of leadership, one of things that’s evolved is the importance of focusing on the team and building a good team.  We treat our employees a lot different than we were treated, right, before. I mean it’s just a very different world right now, and it should be, by the way.  I know you believe that, and I certainly do. In this new paradigm, what are three characteristics of an All-Star Employee?   

[19:20]

I’d say that the first characteristic would employees who really fit with the culture of the company and embrace it.  So, once they embrace the culture and they fit with it, I would say that the next would be the ones that really act as the owners.  They are effortless; they are committed to results; they embrace the mission of the company. So, I think it’s really important that we have these two characteristics.  And the other one, I think, is to be openminded and collaborate in an achieving environment. I think if we have this combination of skills and characteristics, I think that would define what would be our best team employees and people that really that are really motivated and engaged with our business.    

[20:14]

You know “collaborative” is an interesting core value because it really speaks to the importance of team.  You got to have a team, right? It’s a team mentality; it’s not about me; it’s about us.

[20:25]

It’s all about teamwork.  So this collaborative mentality and working to accomplish results, not just on individual levels but as a team and as a group.  So it’s a winning formula.

[20:45]

So, Insights Nation, if you’re paying attention still, this is a really important part of the conversation.  You’ve got to embrace the culture. When you show up, you’ve got to make sure that you have an owner mentality and you’re bought into the mission of the organization, and that you’re openminded and willing to collaborate as opposed to more of the lone-wolf mentality that I see persist occasionally, especially among high performing people that can sometimes decide to alienate themselves, and it’ll wind up being their loss long-term.  It’s not just for the people that are starting their career but it’s also for the executives that are setting the tone for the organization. But it’s really important there’s clarity so that people, in terms of what you care about and what’s important for the organization, so that people at the beginning can decide, “Yeah, this is a good fit for me or it’s not a good fit.” And if it’s not a good fit, they feel that friction on Day 1 so that they can exit the organization in a healthy, positive way for both parties.    

[21:37]

And it also be a learning curve for us on how to do the recruitment phase.  How we can attract the talent that fits with our culture. And that has all of these characteristics.  So, yeah, it’s really important.

[21:49]

So, what is your personal motto?

[21:51]

I would say, “Live the life of your dreams” and just “Seize the day.”  Live each day doing your best and just believe in your dreams and go for it.  That’s my motto for sure.

[22:10]

“Seize the day.”  So, Merrill Dubrow was on the show.  Did you hear his episode with me?

[22:17]

Oh, no.

[22:18]

You ought to absolutely listen to it on the flight home.  It was probably one of my favorite episodes. He dropped like knowledge bomb after knowledge bomb.  And he had this point. He goes, “Jamin, every day at work is one-half of a percent of your total productivity for the year.”  You figure there’s 200 days in a year: Monday, half of a percent of your productivity; Tuesday, you’ve just hit one percent of your productivity; Wednesday, 1.5%.  We all see what’s happening. 2.5% of your productivity is gone in five days. So you really need to be purposeful about where you’re placing your bets and put your time, focus in that specific spot; otherwise, you run the risk of being ineffective and losing velocity in your everyday life to move towards your goals.       

[23:08]

Correct, yes, definitely.  Nowadays, with all the distractions that are over there, it’s really very important, terrifying, yeah.

[23:16]

Absolutely terrifying.  My guest today has been Adriana with eCGlobal.  If someone wants to get in contact with you, how would they do that?

[23:22]

Well, you can find me on Twitter, LinkedIn, email (Adriana_Rocha@eCGlobal.com).  So, I think that’s the best three ways to quickly reach me.

[23:37]

Now, have you been participating in our MRX chats?  So, MRX chat; it’s on my website (Happymr.com); check it out.  It’s a live Twitter event I do in conjunction with Jake Pryszlak, the research geek on Twitter, super popular.  He’s the number 1 guy on Twitter for MRX. Turkey. I’m number 6; I’m going to beat him, though. Just kidding. I do everything I can to support him.  So, he and I put on a live event for one hour once a month, and it’s a great way to connect with a lot of buyers and agencies in the market research space, talking about like thought-leadership and change and trends in the market research space, and things like that.  Again, it’s on the website (Happymr.com/MRX/chat). Just check it out. Click the link, whatever.

[24:23]  

I’ll definitely check it out.  

[24:24]  

It’s a great way to connect with a ton of other market researchers.

[24:28]  

OK, great.

[24:29]

Adriana, thanks for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast.

[24:31]

Thank you.  Thank you for the time and for the opportunity.  Lovely to be here.

[24:36]   

Oh, it’s great having you.  All of you who have been tuning in, please take the time.  Screen capture this episode; post it on social media; as always, subscribe.  Your ratings to this show on the platform of choice means that other people like you can find it more easily.  I greatly appreciate you taking that two minutes out of your day to just acknowledge the value of our guests that they have brought to the show and to you personally.  It would be tremendously appreciated by me. Thank you so much. Have a great day.