MRMW NA 2019

This series is a preview of the MRMW North America Conference 2019. Join consumer insight and market research professionals as we hear from today’s thought leaders on trends and innovations in the market research industry. Mark your calendars for April 10th through the 11th in Cincinnati for the MRMW North America Conference.

MRMW NA 2019 Conference Series – Rudy Bublitz – Digital Taxonomy

Welcome to the MRMW NA 2019 Conference Series. Recorded live in Cincinnati, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Rudy Bublitz, Director of Digital Taxonomy.

Contact Rudy Online:


Digital Taxonomy


My guest is Rudy with Digital Taxonomy.  Digital is name of their website.  I hope you’ll check them out. It’s really an interesting combination of AI and human judgment to transform unstructured text into actionable insights.  I was impressed with their framework for how to derive and pull out high quality in that really-becoming-a-crowded space. I hope you’ll check it out.  


So, my guest today is Rudy with Digital Taxonomy.  Tell us a little bit about Digital Taxonomy.


We are a software provider.  We have two products in our portfolio.  We focus on verbatim coding within the survey research context and that includes traditional verbatim coding where humans are employed.  But our application tries to make best use of both a natural language processing, text analytics, sentiment analysis as well as a machine learning capability to try to automate the things humans do.  We don’t want to replace humans; we just think it’s… you know we can optimize their performance by making best use of these tools that have been around for a while, trying to work that into a human interface.  So, that’s the real struggle.


So, talk to me a little bit about how you guys are different.  There’s a couple of different text analytics companies out there in the market research space.


A couple?


Yes.  [laughter]


And all the freebies and all the …


Right, and then you have AWS, you know what I mean, at scale.


Yeah, you can go out, and you can write things in R, and you can do a lot of things on your own.  But if you’re going to create an interface that humans are going to interplay with those things and control them – those different technologies, that’s a bit harder.  The human interface is really the most important piece because you have to have ways for a lot of people in an organization to use the software, not just specialists. A lot of this stuff… There’s a roomful of three or four specialists that are in charge text analytics, machine learning, and they go off and do their thing.  We’re trying to create an application that can be used by analysts, by coders, by DP staff, by end-customers, everyone.


What is one of your favorite projects that you guys worked on?


Oh, I’ve done a bunch of work.  I’m kind of a Londonphile, and I’ve done a bunch of work on London hotels and restaurants, massive numbers of reviews.  So, I’ve come to know the restaurant and hotel industry quite well in London, which is very helpful. Many of these are the very posh places.  Using the text analytics and a combination of a little bit of human assistance, built basically my own Yelp for London for hotels and restaurants.  You pick sort of the things that are important to you and the ratings of the restaurants. and I can show you selections in that category.


So, from a workflow perspective, how do companies interact with you?  Do they provide you their unstructured data in like a file or are you usually part of a quantitative study?  How does it…?


So, right now we license the software.  So an agency will license the software from us.  The data can come in from any form. And we have an open API as well; so, if it’s a consistent method for transporting data from tools like Decipher, from Askia, from Survey Monkey, anywhere, we can set up an automated process so that  just flows, in the evening. We also have the ability to code in surveys; so, we can analyze open-end as soon as it’s entered in a survey and provide results directly back to the survey. So, most of that is automated, but there’s definitely a file-drag-and-drop as well; it’s very simple.  And so then, the agency or client will go ahead and use any of the tools, code the verbatims, then provide data for whatever is next: tables, reporting; more classically today, it’s visualizations, which is another really fun front for us.


Yeah, that’s super interesting.  Have you guys heard of a company called mTAB?


Yeah, mTAB is a wonderful package.  And I’ve spoken to them, yeah. You know it’s interesting to see these tabulation tools coming to the fore again.  Tabulation is kind of the dirty secret of market research. It’s how the data initially gets represented before it becomes the beautiful dashboard.  Yeah, they have quite a good product.


Yeah, they really do.  It seems like there’d be a really interesting partnership opportunity in that kind of a…


Yeah, and we’re open to that, absolutely.  You know with the API, for instance, you could plug our text analytics directly into a table.  And so, you click on a cell and here are the sentiment results for the people in that cell based on some open-end.  Could be done.


Yeah, it’s super interesting.  Well, if you’d like that connection, drop me a note and I’ll connect you to the CEO.  




So, we are live, obviously, on the floor of MRMW in Cincinnati, Day 2.  You guys are exhibiting. What do you think about the conference so far?


It’s a good conference.  It’s a very high-tech conference.  Most of the people here… The phrase “preaching to the choir” keeps hitting me because it’s going to be difficult… and I speak later today.  I’ve altered my presentation based on Day 1 – some points that are just moot for this audience. It’s a given, and so I’d rather just skip past that and try to talk about where we’re thinking about going in the future.  But it’s a great conference; a lot of very smart people; a lot of great corporate involvement. I am a Cincinnatian; I’m very proud of the market research industry in Cincinnati. We have a few companies here that really impact the industry:  Proctor & Gamble, Burke Market Research, MarketVision, Directions; Kroger is here; Federated’s here; and the old Jergens company, which is now Kao Research. We have a really long tradition in this city of consumer products: lot of soap, lot of candles, lot of shampoo.


Thank you, Proctor & Gamble.  


And food with Kroger.


Yeah, Kroger.  That’s right, absolutely right.  Massive brands.    


They’re huge.  And now Kroger’s brought 8451 here, the Dunnhumby component.  Market research in this city is quite vibrant.


Your talk today, you’re going to be looking, obviously, as you said, more in the future.  That’s super interesting, especially in the context of text analytics, which, I think, I like “right-now” technologies.  Sometimes you can be too early, and sometimes you can be too late. Text analytics feels like it is the Goldilocks of industry over the next probably three to five years.  I think video analytics are, obviously, trending as well, but I see this as really the precursor of video analytics hitting scale because, obviously, you have to have that technology dialed in, and whoever winds up being the standard in this text-analytics space is going to have a big impact, I think, ultimately on the adoption of video analytics and how that data is consumed.


Yeah, I agree.


So, give us a little bit of highlight.  What are you thinking?


As we said, text analytics has become quite common; there are a lot of applications, and it’s difficult to separate yourself just there.  What we’re thinking is: in this industry, there are a lot of agencies; there are a lot of little studies; our samples are small. And we don’t play together very well; agencies don’t talk; they don’t share even though many of us in this room have worked for multiple agencies, who now compete.  

So we’re thinking if we could take a kinder, gentler approach where we could design a place where people could safely and securely pool their results based on text analytics or more traditional machine learning and make that available as sort of a consortium to the industry.  So, how many code frames do we need on hotels and restaurants, and soap, and shampoo? There are probably hundreds because each agency has their own. And yet they’re collecting the same data; they’re reporting it in the same way. If we could pool together the texts so that you might be able to go to a library somewhere and just pull it down, at least the core concepts in that category and start with a history of coded information, again securely protected.  You know maybe we could move this needle forward a little faster. And it wouldn’t matter which text analytics tool you use or which machine learning tool. That’s going to change. I mean they’re really sort of the new in the last five years.

It’s actually very old technology; I’ve been doing this for 20 years.  But in the last five years, a lot of the big players have got involved; so, it’s going to get better.  But I think, philosophically, if we were to work better along those lines, I think that would push the needle forward faster than worrying about the actual bits and bytes of the technology.  


This is a cool point that you’re making, and I actually see this at a quantitative level too.  At a micro-level, this is what happens inside of a survey: I recruit a panelist; the panel knows that it’s a female; the female comes into my survey; and, lo and behold, what’s the first question?  “What’s your gender?” So all the sophistication that we’ve built out over the last 20 years with online data collection has really netted out to a lot of the same bad behaviors and redundant behaviors that had to exist…  Actually, I’ll tell you this: we were better off doing in-mall intercepts because then I could sight-screen five questions, right, and I didn’t have to ask you those. But now we’ve like regressed into these protective shells.  I think it’s absolutely ridiculous and the pain that we’re causing at the panelist-level.

What’s interesting is like you’ve got Lucid and others who have been great at aggregating panels and getting them into survey platforms, but one of their big problems is every panel company has a different definition of age, right, as an example.  So you don’t have a clear path, an API, a triple S structure, JSON or XML or whatever that clearly defines what that category needs to look like or that categorization needs to look like so that you can then skip or auto-populate those questions. And whoever cracks that nut. by the way… It is the gold ring.  I really believe this and this is why: Because then you can start taking things like unstructured social data, structure it, and then feed that into the survey systems too. What you’re talking about becomes a very powerful… I mean it’s the tail that wags the dog in the industry and solves a lot of problems at a lot of levels inside of the workflows.  


I agree.  Age is great.  Age is just a number, by the way, Jamin.  


Well said, sir.  I’m knocking on 50, so I feel you.


I got you beat.  [laughter] Think about that in the context of open-ends.  So, if I’m going to ask you “What do you like about your cellphone?”, “What do you like about your car?” – you’re going to say similar things to what everyone says.  So why wouldn’t I map the core-driving competencies within that field so that I can sort of automatically categorize you maybe by age and by which of those competencies you mentioned and structure the survey, change the survey that I ask you based on that?  If I know that what you liked about your cell phone is its size, then I can go different directions. So, that’s trickier because that’s unstructured, but that’s what we’re saying. If we were to pool together the number of times someone asks the question, “What do you like about your cellphone?” and come up with those driving categories, and people could start from there.  It would be much more proactive. You could certainly code it whenever you want it, you know. And that’s what we say is you have to have a human interface to the system. But I think we could push forward more quickly if we all would play together.


You’re right:  The collaboration needs to exist.  My guest today has been Rudy Bublitz, Digital Taxonomy.  Rudy, if somebody wants to get in contact with you, how would they do that?


I would say that email is best:  Yes, we have a London base.  It’s a long thing. Or just call me:  513-307-4925 day or night.


And we’ll, of course, leave that information in the show notes.  Rudy, thanks for being on the show today.  


My pleasure.  Thanks, Jamin.  

MRMW NA 2019 Conference Series – Will Krieger – Reasearch America

Welcome to the MRMW NA 2019 Conference Series. Recorded live in Cincinnati, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Will Krieger, VP of Research America.

Contact Will Online:


Research America


Will Krieger, Research America, MRMW – He and I got to spend a few minutes together talking about how Research America is improving overall insights deliveries into their customers.  Another piece of our conversation, which I actually thought was really interesting, is that M&A strategy that Rob Porter has put together with Research America to drive 16 successful acquisitions in just a five-year period of time.  I can give you a hint as to what the solution is: It’s all about core values, fit, and culture. Enjoy.


My guest today is Will Krieger, Research America.  Will, thanks for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast.  


Thanks for having me.


So, we’re live today at MRMW in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Have you been to this show before?


I have.  First time was last year.


OK, got it.  And are you from…  I know Research America has an office here, right?


We do.  Yeah, we’re in Blue Ash.  If you know Cincinnati. So, northern Cincinnati.  And I am from Cincinnati. I’ve been here, born and raised in Cincinnati, which is not at all uncommon in the Cincinnati area.  


Yeah, I had an employee from here.  So, my previous business partner, Jayme Plunkett and I, hired out of his graduating class out of Stanford.  And one of them, Alex (I forget his last name now), but was native Cincinnati. And one of the things I found out about the community is, it’s kind of like if you’re born here, you stay here.   


Exactly, and I’ve stayed here.    


Yeah, that’s right.  That’s great, though.


Family’s a big part of that.       


It is.          


Right.  You’ve got the whole family here.  It’s hard to break away from that.


It’s about those core values, I think, too, right?  You have like the similar world view on what’s important and that helps at a corporate level or support that at a corporate level is…  If you go to a different environment, they might not think that those same values are important, and so driving you to do different behaviors that aren’t supportive.  


Very true, very true.


Which is nice about Research America, thinking about that business as…  I know Rob Porter, the CEO, very family-oriented individual. That’s nice to have that little consistency.  


Absolutely.  Every company that we’ve acquired (maybe we’ll get into that) has that same kind of set of core values, if you will:  Collaboration is a big one; integrity; several others. We all have the same set of core values, which helps us mesh together as a team.     


Yeah, I love that.  And that’s one of the things I’ve been picking up more and more with successful companies, is that the intangible, the community that’s created inside of the organization is more important that the assets that are sold.  And my these is that (and this isn’t like some Ah-ha moment that anybody’s going to have; this is well documented) is that the one piece of intellectual property that we have that keeps us differentiated in the marketplace is the relationship with the customer, right?  And if you can drive that relationship internally, it’ll naturally be an extension externally.


Mh-hmm, I agree.  I would add it’s the relationship with the customer and the relationship you have with one another, right?  In order to do your best work, I think it’s critical to have a team that can really gel well together, come up with great ideas, be able to think on behalf of the client.       


Yeah, I totally agree with that point.  So, tell me what’s going on at Research America.  Wait, so how long have you been there?


Yeah, so, I’m from one of the companies that was acquired.  We were acquired in September 2016. So it’s been about two-and-a-half years.  


Yeah, that’s awesome!


Yeah, it’s great.  I’ve really been enjoying it.  So, the quick story is 16 acquisitions in five years.


That’s very fast.    


That’s a lot of acquisitions in a short amount of time.  For the most part, they’re full-service consultancies that have been acquired, kind of in the boutique firm-size:  so plus or minus ten people; so high-touch, high-consultative approach to research. We also have our own field arm of the business as well.  So, what’s new? That’s what’s new really. I mean it’s constantly evolving. I think of myself – I was just saying to somebody – as a solutions consultant:  not just kind of taking in and “Here’s what I’ve done” or “Here’s how I’ve approached it.” but “Here is what our full suite of companies and offerings has.” and ultimately what’s the problem the client has and what solution can we provide to help them.


I love that.  I don’t know if you heard one of the earlier speakers, Gayle of Four Square.  Dude, I mean… on point, right? And she talked about don’t be in love… actually, the way she said it was, “Be in love with the problem, not the solution.”  And I think that is so on point with what drives positive business outcomes.


I agree completely.  


As soon as you start, as they say, “Everything is a nail to a hammer…  That is such as losing proposition in today’s marketplace. You have to be willing to not care about your framework and your offerings and your products and say, “This is the customer’s need.  Can we meet it? And if so… If not, then just help point them in the right direction. Talk about value creation, right? Do you have a favorite, recent customer story or anecdote that maybe is top of the mind?


Yeah, this is the research nerd in me.  Don’t know how exciting it is, right?


I can promise you that for the audience, it’s exciting.


I’ll go for it.  We acquired a company just last year, Parker.  


And where’s Parker based?


Parker’s based in Cincinnati, so we’ve essentially doubled our Cincinnati office size through that acquisition.


Congratulations.  That’s a huge… I mean that’s awesome.


Yeah, Parker is a phenomenal team.  And again, back to the values: we meshed together immediately.  So, they have a solution; it’s called Precision Point; it’s a quant to qual platform.  So, this was done in person. So, all of my background is qualitative and quantitative but traditional stuff:  so focus groups and then moving into a survey or online bulletin board, moving into a survey. This is quant to qual in real time.  So, you’re watching people come in. In this case, they were looking at a product and evaluate it on an iPad. We see data in real time and can choose a sub-group of that larger set of consumers to then do qualitative exercise with, focus group.  So, it’s all happening in a two-hour session. But what was really interesting to me, and I really didn’t expect it, was watching the backroom. If you kind of close your eyes, think about being in the backroom of a focus group: you got people checking email; maybe someone is writing some notes.  We try to create some more activation in the backroom, but in this specific project, people were on their feet, looking at the data come in.   


That’s so awesome.


They were talking about it; they were pointing at it.  It was constant. So, I think it was a lot, took a lot of energy, but it was incredible to see the engagement and activation of what they were learning really happening all in real time.


That’s super unique, first of all.  And the second thing is your depiction of the backroom is accurate.  I’ve moderated focus groups for whatever before the dinosaurs were around it feels like, and normally the level of interaction in the backroom is not high.  Maybe I’m a bad moderator. [laughs]


No, I think that true.


But on the other side too, right, when I’m in the backroom, you kind of see the same thing.  It gets kind of monotonous and boring for a while, honestly. Have you thought about…? Have you guys somehow documented that thing, that product, that experience that you created that was so dynamic and interactive?      


We talk about it.  


That could be such a great white paper, honestly.  I mean that should be a presentation-circuit type of opportunity.  The lack of engagement in the backroom is a big problem. Like that should be where the co-creation is taking place and the buy-in and all that sort of stuff.  I mean that’s a huge white space, I think.


I mean everyone talks about activation of insights, right?


Absolutely, yes.  


To me, that happens in the moment of the research, not necessarily in the report that doesn’t really tell the full story.


Not at all.  Exactly.  


And we’ve done a few things even with focus groups that create, kind of get people out of their seats, get them thinking in the moment about what they’re hearing, and help them listen actively.  Yeah, I think that’s a great idea: some kind of white paper on that would be great. If you could sort of prove that this type of activation in the backroom leads to some…


I wouldn’t even worry about…  Honestly, I would just worry about the first white paper, and the presentation, I think, would be super interesting is…  (This is me imposing it; so, probably everything is wrong but… I would read it.) What does that experience look like? I would just talk about that one experience that you created.  How was that so different? And then describe the interactions on the back side. Maybe even, if they’re willing, client quotes type thing, etc. But that could be super cool.


Great point.  I’m taking that note down.


Yeah, yeah.  For sure, for sure.  So, if somebody wants to get in contact with Research America about a more engaged experience, how would they do that?


Yeah so, the best way would be to reach out by email:  We’re on LinkedIn, Twitter.  


Great. We’ll include that in the show notes also.  Will, thanks for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast today.


Thanks for having me.  Appreciate it.

MRMW NA 2019 Conference Series – Rob Pascale – MAi Research

Welcome to the MRMW NA 2019 Conference Series. Recorded live in Cincinnati, 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 Pascale, President and Chief Analytics Officer at MAi Research.

Contact Rob Online:


MAi Research


My guest is Robert Pascale, MAI Research.  You can find him online at MAI  Love the .com by the way. They develop custom market research solutions to address important challenges.  Now, this was a really interesting episode for me ‘cause I have five kids, and he uses as an example diapers.  And one of their customers is a diaper company. And they were trying to figure out how to punch through from a messaging perspective.  Originally, the context was all about leak prevention, but after using their proprietary text analytics, which leverages a Bayesian model, they actually discovered that diaper rash was a bigger driver of consumer intent.  And communicating about the gel protection inside of the diaper is what would actually drive oversize returns. Now interestingly enough, after that company changed the messaging, Shzam! It actually took place. I hope you enjoy this episode.   


My guest today – Rob Pascale, MAI Research.  Does it stand for something?


Marketing Analysts Incorporated.  Initially, that’s what it was.


Got it.


But recently, I guess maybe about ten years ago or so, we changed it to MAI Research.


I like it.  Yeah, IBM kind of did that.  M/A/R/C Research, who you might know, Merrill Dubrow, they did that as well.  And we are at MRMW. Ironically, I don’t have any idea what that stands for. Do you?  


I don’t.  [laughter]  


Anyway, we’re live here in Cincinnati.  What do you think about the show so far?


It’s been good.  It’s been good to reach out and let people know about what we’ve been working on.  We also have a spin-off that we’ve been working on, which is Pathfinder Analytics, which is an analytics division that we’ve added into our…  We’ve kind of broken out from being just an analytics department and really focuses on four primary areas, which are text analytics, which is more focused on understanding the broader ideas that people are talking about rather than trying to bring it back to absolute definitions of words.  So we’re getting more of you can pick up some slang that way; you can pick up what are the ideas people really care about and how the words relate back to those ideas.


I had a boss who used to say, actually I had a client that used to say, so yes, a boss:  “I want you to do what I mean, not what I say.” Is that kind of getting to the point of the sentiment and text analytics that you’re doing?    


Yeah, and actually it’s not sentiment analysis, which does try to assign different degrees of emotion or excitement, things like that, to definitions of words.  And so, what we’re doing is actually just letting the connections between the words people use in context define how the words are used. So we’re not going back to dictionary definitions; we’re not applying any kind of bias initially.  We’re letting people just however they speak defines the words.


That’s so interesting.  So, it’s kind of like Brama in that you define it by what it’s not.  Give me an example of a project and the outcome of that example.     


Sure.  So, let’s see.  There was one that we did where we scraped online reviews.  This was for a diaper product. And what we were able to find out was that when people talked about leak protection, they actually talked more about the softness of the diapers than it was about the actual leak protection itself.  So that actually changed the way the client thought about softness. We also found that… Another thing that we do is with Bayesian networking and by understanding the patterns in language and understanding how it connects to close-ended data, we can understand what’s important to driving some measure.  In this case, we took the star rating as well. So we were able to find out not just that people cared about leak protection but also there was an issue with absorbent gel. And the absorbent gel allowed us to understand more when we dove into the text analytics that it was an issue with the diaper itself.  And people were concerned that the absorbent gel was causing diaper rashes. And what we found was that it wasn’t the actual absorbent gel itself. It was what the absorbent gel was absorbing that was causing the rash. And so, they were able to change their landing page to counteract the negative expectations from people’s reviews about the absorbent gel.          


That’s so interesting ‘cause me as a consumer – and I’ve got five kids; so, I’m really familiar with that, the context of diaper and also the concern around diaper rash.  And in that context, I would have never in a million years thought about that. I would never have made that connection as a consumer, right? But now that you say it, it’s like perfectly clear to me.  And then you could communicate that to me and I’d be like: it’d be an Ah-hah moment for me; absolutely, that’s going to be the brand of choice. Super powerful. What’s your go-to-market? Who’s your ideal customer?       


We do a lot of CPG clients, but really, we can apply these techniques across financial institutions.  Really, there is no limit in terms of where it can be applied. We’ve applied it for B2B situations. There really is no…  


It seems there would be a natural fit in the app space for something like that ‘cause you get a lot of reviews.    


That’s a really good idea.


I mean, gosh, yeah, that just seems like a… I don’t know.  So, what do your terms of trade look like? In other words, how do people engage with you?


Typically, we are reaching out to other people ‘cause a lot of people haven’t heard of us.  


I never heard of you.


Yeah, that’s part of the reason for being here today.  But we wind up reaching out to people, setting up meetings, and just kind of going through our capabilities.


You’re outbound.  So your target, your ideal customer, is it a market researcher…




in a brand, or is it…?  OK.


And marketing.  So we’re trying to reach out more to be in the marketing space, rather than just the researcher space.       


You see yourself really as a martech player?




Do you guys have services wrapped around your stuff?  Your technology or is it not really a technology play?


Yeah, so everything is not a technology in itself.  We don’t every say that it’s a tool. It’s not a canned approach.  Everything we do is very custom. Some of the other things that we really specialize in are in segmentation and applying segmentation in ways that go beyond just the statistics side of it and really focuses on the business.


That makes sense.  What is the time frame on a project usually look like?  


For the text analytics side, it could be..


Well for the diaper study.


That’s a good one because we don’t have any field time in that since it’s just scraping online reviews.  So, a matter of three weeks or so.


OK. So relatively quickly.




Oh, that’s super interesting.  Rob, thanks very much for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast.  Oh, and if somebody wants to get in contact with you?

[06:57] or you can go to just MAI or  


So that’s R-O-B. You said “Mary Parker”, MP, is that right? Got it.  Great. Thanks so much for being on the show.


Thank you.  

MRMW NA 2019 Conference Series – Niklas Anzinger – Dalia Research

Welcome to the MRMW NA 2019 Conference Series. Recorded live in Cincinnati, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Niklas Anzinger, Commercial Lead of Strategic Insights at Dalia Research.

Contact Niklas Online:


Dalia Research


Niklas Anzinger, Dalia Research – fantastic presentation he gave at MRMW.  This piece is super interesting to me because he talks about the importance of companies brands connecting at a niche level, or even more specific to an individual.  The better they can understand the customer, what resonates with them at the individual level, the higher that content is tailored, not in a creepy way, but the higher that content is touching the needs that I have and my emotional strings, the better it is going to be able to deliver on its brand promise.   And Dalia has a really interesting, both as a private market research firm, the supportive systems around it and also the proprietary mobile technology that enables this type of individualized research at scale. Hope you enjoy.


My guest today is Niklas.  Niklas, pronounce your last name again for me please.  




Happy Market Research Podcast.  You’re with Dalia Research. Thanks for being on the show.


Thanks for having me.


We’re live at MRMW today.  This is the first day. When do you speak?


I spoke.


You spoke already.  


Yeah, I spoke already.


How did that go?


It went really good.  So, you always know by the number of questions that people ask, also by the quality of questions that people ask.  And we had a lot of people coming over to the booth right after. I gave a similar talk one-and-a-half years ago, and there I got very little feedback.  So, I’m hoping that shows that I’ve improved.


Yeah, for sure.  Tell us about your presentation.            


So, I was talking about a method to achieve precision for research results at scale.  So, we’re using (and I’m talking mostly above quantitative research) traditional methods such as quota sampling to estimate, for example, the brand perception.  And I gave the example of Heineken that had a marketing campaign that was supposed to reach millennials, and it didn’t go really well. This is not satisfying for researchers.  So, we wanted to know how can we achieve what we want with the campaign. And I’m talking how a new statistical method called MRP is helping to measure much more precisely and what people think of a brand over time.     


So, give me a specific example, like a project that is a highlight for you.


So, I was talking about this example.  So, imagine that you are Heineken and want your marketing campaign to reach millennials but not only millennials, a very specific type of millennials.  They should also play soccer and sort of be digital natives.


Very niche audience.


Exactly.  So, the problem is when you do traditional research, you do a large survey with a 1,000 people but you only have like 20 people that fit the exact profile.  So, from the answers from these 20 people, you can’t really say how well your campaign worked because, statistically speaking, these results aren’t very relevant; they’re highly prone to error.  So what we did we used the alternative method to show how this specific subgroup was receptive to the marketing campaign of Heineken.


Ah, that’s fascinating.  I think winning inside of the niches is becoming more and more important, yet marketing research, I think, in general is still operating at the kind of quant, big-scale point of view.  But, as brands are focusing, to your point, on highly customized communications to constituents that are relevant… So this is not broad brush; it’s got to be like on point to what I care about.  Then you’re really going to find…


I mean you see it everywhere in consumer industries and FMCG that you have small and nimble brands that grow very fast because they’re able to do highly specific targeting in their marketing.  So, if you’re a Warby Parker or a Casper or if you have a new foods or drinks brand, you could grow very, very fast with highly specific targeting. So the big brands, they want to catch up with that, and they want to do more marketing that’s more specific towards certain audiences.  But in order to be able to do that, to measure if they are talking to the right audience, the right kind of people and see how effective their advertising and their marketing is, they need to consider other approaches to research.   


So, tell me a little bit about companies…  What does engagement with you look like? Talk to us a little bit about what is the framework.  How does that work? Is it a survey-based? Is it…


So, we might be a little bit unusual.  So, we combine two pieces: one we connect with billions of people through tens of thousands of apps and mobile websites, more than 100 countries.  So, we have the sampling part. But we also generate insights that help drive human progress. So, what we do is we do the primary research for a company.  We do the survey; we do the research design and we heavily consult in doing that. My approach is to make the service shorter, to make it mobile-friendly, to make respondents engaged.  Go away from 25-minute surveys; go to 5-to-10-minutes. And then what we do is we help the client automate the process. So we’re not going in there and saying, “We’re your agency, and we give you power stats and recommendations.”  Instead, we automatize the process; give our clients dashboards that they and their stakeholders, especially higher management, can easily access and see the results of what’s been going on for the past years on one page. So, just to give you an example.  We were replacing a big agency brand tracking for a big technology company and they had the problem that you have the PowerPoint battles all the time in different countries with many different stakeholders. You had different methodologies: face-to-face here, telephone here; this kind of online there.  So we streamlined it into one solution where they’re now tracking 30 countries partly on a monthly basis, on a quarterly basis. And the results are automatically fed into the dashboards that updates every time there’s new data and new insights from it, and it shows it to all the stakeholders that log into the platform.       


I love that!  That is beautiful!  This consolidated point of view, I think, is also really important.  Are there other market research companies or technology companies in our space that you think could be partners that you’re seeing, like there’s opportunities to co-create, delivering better value to brands?     


Absolutely.  I’m quite talking openly to anyone.  I’m also recommending my clients another vendor if we’re not able to give the best solution.  I think we all need to work together to effectively use technology to help these friends get better insights.  And I have a very collaborative approach to that. We have been partnering with all sorts of other vendors along the value chains on the mobile technology side, on the sampling side, on the dashboards, insights-creation side.  We’re open to everything just to get the best solution for the client.


I love that!  Yeah, you put the customer in the middle, and you always win.  As long as you add value, it’s karma. It just comes back. It just comes back.  It’s funny how it works. Niklas, if somebody wants to get in contact with you, how would they do that?       


You can just write me an email:  Niklas with a “k”, or you can find on our website, you’ll also find a contact page, and you can get in touch with me directly.  


My guest today has been Niklas Anzinger, Dalia Research.  Happy Market Research Podcast, we’re live at MRMW. Actually, I’ve got to ask you one more question, sir.  Besides your talk, what is like one of the talks you’ve been looking forward to the most from MRMW?


Actually, I was actually looking most forward to the introduction from Proctor & Gamble.  I think that really set the tone and set the stage. One of the key insights that I always trying to promote…  Like everyone is talking about technology but it’s really the human insights and using technology to make that more efficient that is driving progress in this kind of space and it is looking at the problem solution diagnostic, instead of using technology to find problems.  So I think that talk was really great and set the stage for further discussion.


Fantastic.  I couldn’t agree more.  Niklas, thanks for being on the show today.


Thanks so much.  

MRMW NA 2019 Conference Series – Nihal Advani – QualSights

Welcome to the MRMW NA 2019 Conference Series. Recorded live in Cincinnati, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Nihal Advani, Founder and CEO of QualSights.

Contact Nihal Online:




Interview was with Nihal from QualSights.  Getting to know the “why” is vital in consumer insights.  This is why I believe that qualitative tools like Remesh or QualSights are seriously on the rise right now in market research.  If I predict what’s going to happen in the next five years, I really believe that qualitative-based tools are going to do a better job of delivering conversations at scale than historically surveys have been able to do.  Why is that? Because we’re seeing a constant retraction of people from taking the traditional 15-minute, even 10-minute survey. It just doesn’t fit into the context of a modern life. There’s too many competitions for our attention that draws us away from providing that insight.  So the better that qualitative can be conducted at scale through quick hits of insights and really asking open-ended questions, collecting that information in a video, or audio, or a native experience for the user, that can then be analyzed and reduced to both quantitative and qualitative.  So we know this is bigger than that, and we can actually start understanding the “why.” Hope you enjoy this and also hope you’ll check out Nihal online as well as QualSights at


Nihal Advani, QualSights, MRMW.  What do you think about Day 1 of the show?


So far, so good.  It was great to see ….. Gayle from FourSquare.


And you’re presenting, right?


Yes.  Actually, with Gayle later today at 2 P.M.


Gayle is Head of Insights for FourSquare, a massive data company.  I thought it was probably one of the… It’s in my top 10 overall, probably top 5 overall presentations that I’ve ever heard for market research.  It should be a TED Talk. It’s so much value, talking about how data drives positive business outcomes.


Absolutely.  And I would say it’s very interesting to see how she talked about how people vote with their feet and the kind of data they can provide.  So it’s pretty cool.


Yeah, spectacular, actually.  So, you’re speaking with her tomorrow?  Or is it today? It’s actually today.


Today at 2 o’clock.  We’re having a fireside chat.


OK, good.  What are you guys going to talk about?


Getting to “why.”  It’s all about sort of understanding consumers, and she actually talked about a portion of it, which is all precision at scale, and how in our case with QualSights, we can actually offer precision with scale in terms of consumer behavior.  So, in a nutshell, those are the kinds of things we’ll be talking about as well as things around how… you know what’s it like to be at a startup and stuff.


And you have a startup.  QualSights. Tell us a little bit about that.  


Yeah, sure.  It’s, in fact, like we were just saying, it’s basically understanding consumer behavior but doing that with high precision and at scale and basically being able to do remote ethnography in real time.  And that’s, in an essence, what we offer. But we allow someone to use any qualitative method and, essentially, have an all-in-one platform that not just helps people capture data at scale but also analyze and present it much easier and faster.  


And that was part of her thesis is it used to be the case…  Yesterday, she said, it would have been yesterday that you had to decide if it’s scale or precision.  And now it’s precision at scale.


Exactly, exactly.


So, video is a big part of your platform.  


Uh-huh, absolutely.  Video is an integral part and, specifically, also live video.  It something that we offer as a way to do precision at scale, where you can actually engage with consumers as they cook, clean, shop, eat indoors or outdoors and actually probe them in real time as they’re doing these things, therefore, getting that same level of depth that you would have if you were there physically in person.          


Ah, I can’t wait for this fireside chat.  This is going to be great to see that. Now, are you going to be at any other events this year?   


Yeah, IIEX in a couple of weeks.  I mean it’s quite the circuit. Recently, we were at Quirk’s last week and then IIEX in a couple weeks.  And then we’re presenting as the top 5 in the startup competition at IIEX. We also recently got in the top 10 at a pitch competition at ICOM in Malaga in Spain next month.  So, a few big things coming up.


That’s fantastic.  MRMW, this is your second year.  




What do you think about the show this year?  


So far, so good.  It’s just a few hours in but so far, the content has been great already.  And I like that it’s not too big a crowd. And the way it’s set up, so you get to kind of interact with many of the people.  So it’s nice.


Yeah, and they have a…  I mean the speaker lineup is spectacular.    


Yeah, yeah.  It’s very impressive.  


Absolutely, and the P&G guy, a keynote this morning, basically head of market research. Consumer insights, not basically, literally.  And Gayle, of course, leading up there. And some really good lineups later today. We’ve got Google; that’s another major name brand, anyway.  Good. Well, if anyone wants to get in contact with you, how would they do that?


They can just email


And that’s spelled?


N-I-H-A-L @


Good, great.  Thanks for being on the show.


Thank you, Jamin.

MRMW NA 2019 Conference Series – Maryana Stepanova – Borderless Access

Welcome to the MRMW NA 2019 Conference Series. Recorded live in Cincinnati, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Maryana Stepanova, Director of Business Development at Borderless Access.

Contact Maryana Online:


Borderless Access


Maryana is a vet of MRMW.  This is the second time that’s she attended the show.  She had a great time as did I. And we talked about some of the benefits of MRMW in that it’s a very intimate environment.  She also, of course, talked about Borderless Access., her company, how they’ve been growing as a full-service market research firm but then also having a proprietary panel that has a unique “Invite-only” and validation on social media approach, ensuring high quality in their sample.  Hope you enjoy this episode.


My guest today is Maryana.  Maryana?


That’s correct.


Maryana, Borderless Access.  What do you think about MRMW?


I think it’s a great conference.  It’s actually my second year here.  It’s very private; it’s very intimate.  You get to actually have a lot of one-on-one human interactions with people instead of running around and going from session to session.  So I’m a fan. And it’s a beautiful hotel.


It is.  Have you seen The Shining?  It totally is the…  I’m going to post this picture along with this episode just so everybody else has the context.  But like…


I mean the speakers….


The speakers have been amazing.


Have to feel really famous.    


[laughs]  Look at this hallway.


It’s quite a stage.  Yes, wow, mmhm…


Right, I mean that’s like the REDRUM at the end of the…   Right, so, ah.  Love the hotel.  The venue’s great.  I actually really like how the exhibit hall is connected to the auditorium or the speaking area ‘cause that feels like, in the way it has been structured, it feels like there’s no bad spot on the floor, which is nice.


I agree.  It’s beautiful.


So, you guys spoke yesterday.  Tell us a little bit about what your company does and the talk.


So, we are a full-service market research consultancy.  We are most famous for being kind of the pioneers for emerging markets.  We have now built over 34 proprietary panels globally; obviously, started out internationally and now slowly making our way back to Europe, Key West, and Canada.  We do something as small as your traditional quantitative, qualitative research to much bigger, larger things from full-service aspect like designing a questionnaire, toying around with different concepts, full analysis.  We also have created different technologies to support the market research we’re already doing so that it really complements the work.


So, you’re a full-service market research company.  In conjunction, you have a proprietary panel that you’ve built, and that’s in quite a few countries.   


Yeah, 34 countries and they’re all from the ground up, if you will, “invite-only”.  You cannot just simply go in and sign up. You have to be invited; it’s social media verification, the whole nine yards.   


Yeah, for sure.  


We take it very seriously.  That’s our baby.


Yeah, no kidding, huh.  It’s interesting how access to consumers is becoming more and more of a barrier, especially in light of privacy changes.  


That’s correct, especially in Europe.  It’s more stringent. Or when you talk about health care research, it’s really changing.  


Yeah, for sure.  Health care is actually a whole other can of worms.  Even in the U.S. specifically, it’s just crazy how it’s getting locked down.  Feels like there’s… And at the same time, there’s this wealth of data on…  The New York Times this morning, they have an opinion piece centered around privacy.  The context is really interesting for market research because so much of what people are sharing with us is self-reported but, like you said, social connection.  So there a lot of behavioral and transactional data we could tether to that. Is that something you guys are doing? Incorporating outside or auxiliary data into the self-reported data?


Not to my knowledge.  I’m sure they’re probably looking into that.  But the company is so large and we’re so global, international.  It’s probably a whole separate team that’s working on other type of magic and how to stay ahead of times, if you will.  


How long has Borderless Access been around?  


We’ve been around for ten years.  


Oh, gosh.  So a ton of growth in ten years.  


Exactly, they’re really proud of that.


They should be.  [laughs]


Mmhm.  We had a big celebration back in October.  


Yeah, that’s huge.  How many employees?


Oh, my goodness.  Has to be over at least 200.


So, quite a few.


It’s quite a few.  We have international offices.  So, I’m based out of California.  We have an office now in Romania. The operations are in Bangalore, India; we have a presence in APAC, South Africa.  So, it’s amazing.


What do you see as the fastest growing market right now?


I would say the markets that don’t have generally a lot of presence.  I’m talking about like the Middle East, Africa; I see a lot of movement from the Netherlands; so, a lot of like different European countries that, normally, are not included in the research where have less population and harder to recruit into those panels.  Yeah, it’s been interesting.


What does an ideal customer look like for Borderless Access?  Is it on the brand? Is it an agency? It is…yeah.


I think an ideal customer for us is someone that mostly looks for a consultant.  So, we really try to build long-term relationships, and we really try to consult you and hand-hold you along way.  So, for us, it’s not just providing a panel or providing sample. Or, “Here’s your project manager; let’s go in field.”  It’s so much more. We try to provide our expertise because all of us come from different backgrounds and different knowledge.  So, I think we’re really proud of that, you know, what we can bring to the table.


Yeah, that’s really cool, really cool.  So full-service market research, but yet you have breadth of…  So, you’re not really using third-part sample, are you? You’re using your own proprietary panel sample for your projects.


Yeah, for the most part, it’s proprietary, but, just like a lot of players in the market, we all work together.  We capitalize on our strength. So, we have worked with a lot of different companies in this room and have great relationships.  So it’s kind of like, “Help you and you help me.”


Got it, perfect.  So, your favorite speaker.  Any ideas? Besides, of course, Borderless Access.


I actually have not had a chance to sit on the sessions.  I’m so ashamed, but it’s on my agenda today.


The good news is they’re going to be recorded; they’ve been on video, and I think they’re going to be releasing them in two weeks.  So, my recommendation, is at a minimum, watch the FourSquare presentation. I haven’t seen all them either, by the way, by a long shot.  But the Black Swan, Oh, my gosh, that one was fantastic. Yeah, it’s crazy.

Maryana, Borderless Access, thanks so much for joining me on the Happy Market Research Podcast today.  


Thank you, thank you.  This was a lot of fun. I appreciate it.  [laughs]

MRMW NA 2019 Conference Series – Ludovic Depoortere – Haystack Research Consulting

Welcome to the MRMW NA 2019 Conference Series. Recorded live in Cincinnati, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Ludovic Depoortere, Founder and Executive Chairman of Haystack Research Consulting.

Contact Ludovic Online:


Haystack Research Consulting


Ludovic at Haystack.  This is one of my favorite presentations that I’ve ever seen in my entire career, by the way.  I can’t recommend it enough. He passed out chocolate to the entire audience and had us eat it based on different stimuli such as changing music.  And that chocolate actually wound up tasting different based on the music which impacted the mood of the listeners. So, it’s a really cool concept.  In his business, they focus on multi-sensory research, consultancy, implicit, emotive, contextual research. It’s basically how you can drive positive business and decisions that have good impact for customers, connecting their emotions to your deliverables.  I hope you find a lot of value in this episode.


What we mainly do is we try to help companies innovate in sensory space.  So we support companies in innovating by using multiple senses, like combining fragrance with taste to have a great customer experience because that is what is today, more than, very important.


Yeah, for sure.  So, you’re dealing with actual like physical products.  


Yes, physical products, but we can also talk about an app development where you say, “OK, let’s focus at the design of the app.”  Make the design better, but, if possible, try to use other colors or use other senses like have a tactile property. Later on, when we can add virtual reality, maybe one day we will also be able to have a fragrance connected to that.  


Oh, that’s interesting.


Help doing that type of thinking.


Have you actually done anything and played with around with VR, AR, anything along those lines?


Absolutely.  We work for real estate and there we can check whether…  what is the fit between a specific fragrance and the type of atmosphere you want in your real estate project.  


Oh, that’s fascinating.    


Like hotels are using that; co-working spaces also use that.  So, that’s how we apply that and we have VR equipment to project that environment.  Then we have capsules that we can have a fragrance in the room to match with that.


That’s super interesting.  Do you see that as a space that’s going to be expanding in the near future?  


Oh, yeah, absolutely.  Because it’s one of the big disadvantages of sensory research is that you have to rely on center location testing, and it’s very physical.  But more and more with digitized, we also try to bring that in. And I think VR is the perfect solution to that.           


That’s fascinating.  Great. So, is this your first time to MRMW?


Yes, indeed it is.


What do you think?


Yeah, I like it.  I like the fact that it’s not small; it’s big enough.  And it’s very open and very easy to talk to people. I really like that.  And it’s great. Like the room is fantastic.


Yeah, it really is.


The hotel is great.


One of the speakers said it reminds them a little bit of The Shining.  I think so too.  [laughter] I can see Jack Nicholson just like bop me out with an axe, which would be really funny if someone snuck up behind Dan Foreman.     


Let’s do that tomorrow.  


OK, I think that would be a great.  Got to figure out how I can get a rubber axe just in case.  It’d be my luck. The day that someone…anyways. Now, I took a dark turn.  So, tomorrow… Do you have a specific customer story that you’d like to highlight?


Tomorrow, what I’m going to do tomorrow is actually do some experiments with the audience.  Like I will show that the taste of a product is different when you have matching music with that.  So I have special music that I’m matching with Belgian chocolate. So, that’s one thing. And I will show how the dental company is also using that framework to actually do innovation.  But my key point is “Make Sensory Great Again.” Sensory is considered old-fashioned because it’s not easy to digitize it. I will show how digital tools can actually enhance and make sensory great.  With the dental company and also with another case study, I’ll actually show how we bring emotion in that and how we actually go from a classical sensory test (CLT test) and enhance that with an IHUT system where we tap into emotions and need states and also link to Instagram and Facebook profiles so that we can actually not only map the profile of product taste-wise but also map it in emotions and lifestyles and that type of stuff.     


I love the connectivity there that everyone making right now to the importance of driving overall emotion inside of the customer relationship, which I think, man, that is just so refreshing.  All about that connection.


The big brands we’re working for, they’re all suffering.  Also, today it was mentioned like PepsiCo and see what happened to companies like Kraft-Heinz.  They’re losing billions of value; so, they should really put the consumer first again. And I think for research, that’s just great news, but we have to be very agile, make sure that we develop the tools to make that happen.  And I’m very happy today again that I see that it is happening. So it’s great.


Ludovic, thanks so much for joining me on the Happy Market Research Podcast.  Oh, by the way, if somebody wants to get in contact with you, how would they do that?


If you go to our website,, and there you’ll find us.


Alright, perfect.  And I’ll include that information in the show notes, everybody, as well, as well as a direct link to whomever you’d want them to talk to.  Great, well, thanks for joining me, my friend.


Thanks for having me.


Yeah, a pleasure.



MRMW NA 2019 Conference Series – Justin Coates – Eastman Chemical Company

Welcome to the MRMW NA 2019 Conference Series. Recorded live in Cincinnati, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Justin Coates, Consumer Insights Leader at Eastman Chemical Company.

Contact Justin Online:


Eastman Chemical Company


In this interview with Justin Coates of Eastman Chemical Company, he talks about some of the challenges of Eastman in bringing in the insights function to their everyday work flows and decision-making processes.  This is a really interesting subject, and hope you dive deep into it. It’s a short episode, but it’s packed full of what, I think, is one of the more important themes inside of market research. We saw with the acquisition of Qualtrics by SAP of $8 billion and insane multiplier, but I actually believe that we are at the beginning of this J-curve of almost all successful companies ultimately investing in consumer insights and that they will play a key role in the decision-making processes.  And, as that takes hold inside of the companies, not just new companies, but established firms like Eastman, over 100 years old, are going to be looking at employing whether it’s surveys or qualitative or whatever inside their everyday decision-making processes, which, again, is all greenfield opportunity for us. Enjoy.


Justin Coates, Eastman Chemical Company, right?  Been around a long, long time.


Yes, almost a 100 years.  


That’s insane.  Congratulations.  You’ve done a great job over the last 100 years.  You don’t look it.


Thank you.  I know. I look great for a 100.  A lot of Botox.


[laughter]  It’s like that Star Trek episode.  Anyway, so, you gave the last speech today, which is always the toughest, by the way.


It is the toughest.  Everyone wants to go, and there are free drinks, I hear.


I’ve heard that too.


We’re here doing this, but this still…  Yeah, that’s always a rough spot.


Yeah, no kidding.  So, maybe just give our listeners a quick overview of what you’ve talked about.    


Sure.  So, essentially, I’ve been doing consumer research for 13-14 years mostly in the textile industry but came to Eastman to kind of build a consumer research function for a chemical company that doesn’t sell to consumers but needs to understand what they want, where their needs are to really create products and materials that will eventually make their way to consumers.  So, my journey over the last two years is building buy-in within the company, within different businesses that this stuff matters, and they need to invest in it, and invest in my area so we can kind of help them solve their business problems and do front-end innovation and really reposition ourselves in front of our customers.


So, relatively new division inside of Eastman.  Is that correct?


Yes, so, it’s within corporate innovation but…  Yes, this is brand-new, started with me.


I was just going to ask.  So, who brought you in?


So, I had a great first boss, Glenda Eilo.  She was the director of corporate innovation, and I was recruited for something completely different.  Came there and did a presentation on what I was doing at Cotton Incorporated. And they’re like, “We don’t want you for this job.  We want you to do what you’re doing here.” So, she went and talked to her CTO and our VP at the time, and they created a position for me almost overnight.


Oh, that’s awesome.  That’s amazing.


That was really very impressive.


Are you a team of one or do you have…?


Right now, a team of one.  I do have some folks that donate some of their time to me for different projects, which I definitely appreciate.  But certainly, looking to expand.   


So, in that context, are you looking at…  Like you have to leverage partnerships to give stuff done, right?


Right, exactly.  Essentially, how it’s set up is Eastman has a number of different businesses.  So, it might be textiles; it might be plastics; it might be tires, care chemicals.  And so, I work with those different groups and kind of try to understand what their needs might be and develop kind of a research design methodology that could help fill those needs with consumer research, whether it’s qual, quant, whatever they might need, and convince them to invest it in.  So they invest in the project, and then they get my time to help them use the insights to help their internal work, internal strategy but also help go directly to their customers and really position us as a strategic thought partner with them.


The company that I started Decipher, we’re on the west coast.  Most of my initial customer base was out of the Silicon Valley, so predominantly in the tech like Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.  And so, those large organizations are going through a very different sort of pain point, which is their constituents inside of the corporation are using research autonomously, which is causing a little bit of confusion in some cases. Just ‘cause you can do a survey doesn’t make you a researcher.


It doesn’t?  Well then, I’m out, I guess.         


Dang it!  Me too. Anyway, it’s kind of interesting.  I think that they would look at you in sort of an aspirational position where the organization is actually bending towards you for that consumer insight.


Yeah, it’s been a great ride.  Of course, there are certain businesses where it’s not necessary, but in certain businesses, we’ve gotten a lot of traction.  I’ve gotten in front of a lot of their customers, have impacted sales, which is important. If you’ve heard some of the other talks today is what are the metrics you use to show your value?  And that’s how you’re being incorporated into market strategies, how you’re impacting sales growth, how you’re getting in front of other customers, other constituencies, and kind of changing the conversation.


Kristi Zuhlke, she’s a previous Proctor & Gamble.  She started a company called KnowledgeHound, which is like a knowledge management platform, kind of like Google for insights at the corporate level.  And she had this great, great saying: “Every project has to have an ROI.” So, research has to have an ROI. If it doesn’t have an ROI, don’t do the project.  


Exactly, and that’s where…   They were talking about zero-based budgeting.  I am zero-base budget. [laughter] So I have to prove “This is what you’re going to get out of this project.”  Can’t always predict what will happen, and that’s also where you have to have great business partners who can help take it forward for you.  Accolades for the research and also the people that can champion that within the company ‘cause it’s a large, complex organization. There’s lots of players and influencers; you got to be able to navigate that.     


That’s the other part of it that, I think, is really interesting that you’ve identified; that is, the importance of researchers to have agency inside of their organizations.  And that’s something that has to be intentionally cultivated. The steamroller approach just doesn’t…


It doesn’t really work.


Not so much.


It might work once, but after that, you’re going to get steamrolled.  [laughter] The most important thing when I started Eastman, I had a good mentor who said, “Build your network.  Whatever you do, build your network. Find your people.” And that has been excellent advice.


Yeah, power of network.  There you go. MRMW – of course, you’re client side and speaker.  What do you think about the show so far?


I think it’s great.  This is my first time here.  So, I’ve done other conferences before.  I like how this is very focused on content.  For me, I love to hear the client-side stories, what other researchers are doing, and how they’re going about it.  That’s most fulfilling for me, but there were some agency presentations that were pretty good. Like I need to give these guys a call.  


For sure.  FourSquare, I thought, was super interesting.


FourSquare was interesting.  I think Black Swan was really cool.


I’ve never heard of them.  Well, I have heard of them, but not like that.


They have an interesting business model I want to learn more about.


Yeah, for sure.  Is there any specific unmet needs that you have?  That you’re like, “Gosh, I wish somebody could crack this nut for me.”


I think for us we’re still looking at trying to really dive deeper into the user journey.  And I know how to get there, but getting the organizational line on how to do that is not always happening.  But we’re creating materials that go into a product that consumers are using, and sometimes the performance may be as good, better, or underperforming.  And we need to know that because, if we’re really going to be a specialty-materials company, when we go to a PNG, a Starbucks, a Target, whoever we’re going to, we really need to show them how our material performs, give them that user-journey experience, kind of explain to them how they could potentially market it – kind of all on a silver platter – for them to adopt it.  So, that’s the one element that I don’t think we’ve really gone into yet. We can; it’s just that we haven’t done it yet.


Yeah, yeah, of course.  That’s an interesting point of view.  So, my guest today has been Justin with Eastman.  Thank you so much for joining me on the Happy Market Research Podcast.


Thank you for having me.  


Awesome.  Have a great day.


You too.

MRMW NA 2019 Conference Series – Jill Bishop – Multilingual Connections

Welcome to the MRMW NA 2019 Conference Series. Recorded live in Cincinnati, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Jill Bishop, Founder and CEO of Multilingual Connections.

Contact Jill Online:


Multilingual Connections


Jill Bishop, Multilingual Connections, I had the pleasure of getting to know her over the several days we were at MRMW as she was located right by where I was doing the live podcasts.  Tremendous energy, in-depth understanding of translation, transcription, and just a global point of view, which adds a lot of value. You know language is set in context, and context is critical for translation and transcription.  I really hope that you enjoy this episode. She also talks a little bit about technology and how she’s streamlining processes. As always, you can find her information in the show notes.


My guest today is Jill Bishop; Multilanguage Connections is the name of the company.  She is the founder. Jill, thanks for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast today.


Thanks.  Yeah, Multilingual Connections.


Did I say it wrong?


Everybody does.  


Dang it!  Multilingual Connections.  I apologize.


That’s OK. That’s OK.      


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


Yeah, sure.  We are a translation and transcription agency.  We help organizations understand and engage their multilingual speakers.  That could be local, national, or international. We work in about 75 different languages.  So, we do translations of surveys, legal contracts, discussion guides, audio and video transcription, voiceover, and subtitling.  


Very fun.      


It is very fun.       


My first experience was in 1996 with a transcription company.  And it was probably one of the biggest pieces of value I’ve ever had to qualitative research.  So, I did this series of focus groups. We had them transcribed, which was at significant added cost; we’re pretty lean budget-wise.  But, man, talk about the best utilization of funds for pulling out quotes and discoverability.


Absolutely.  Rather than you spending your valuable time doing something that you’re only qualified to do, send those easy tasks out to somebody else so that you can focus.  


Yeah, that’s awesome.  So, how long have you been doing it?  


14 years.  


So a little while.  


Yeah, a little while.    


How did you get into it?


I’m a linguistic anthropologist.  And I did my doctoral research; I had about 240 hours of research on a number of different languages.  I didn’t know that there were transcription agencies to help out. But lots of steps and diversions along the way, I wound up doing user research for a company in Chicago.  Worked for Chipotle in charge of language and culture programs and then a few years later started my business originally to provide English and Spanish training for the workplace and then later translations.  The last couple years we’ve been doing more and more research work.


You know the translation space and the transcription space in market research is, I think, currently still underserved.  So there are a lot of vendors; it does feel like it’s a rising tide. What’s happening is qualitative is happening at scale now, and it’s creating a lot of opportunity for transcription and translation.  I think companies like yours are very exciting to watch from a growth potential.


Well, thank you.  I think we are.


So, MRMW.  We’re happily positioned by the food line.  I’m sorry about the noise.


Lots of hungry folks.  [laughter]


Hopefully, all of you that are tuning in can hear us.  We’re going to have to project a little bit more than normal.




What is your favorite project?


My favorite project.  Oh, my goodness, that’s so hard to decide.  So, I don’t do the research myself, and I also don’t do the transcription myself at this point.


You’re running a business.


I’m running a business.  So I have to hear little bits and pieces.  I love hearing that we’re doing projects on fast food preferences in France or more academic work of Syrian refugees who’ve settle in Jordan.  And their understanding of home, and everything in between.




So there’s really no one favorite but I love knowing that I’m helping support an area that I’m really passionate about, and it kind of brought me back to my roots.    


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


They would go to Multilingual or send an email to  


That’s  We’ll include that information in the show notes.  Jill, thanks so much for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast.       


Alright.  Thanks so much.  I appreciate it.

MRMW NA 2019 Conference Series – Guy White – Catalyx

Welcome to the MRMW NA 2019 Conference Series. Recorded live in Cincinnati, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Guy White, CEO & Founder of Catalyx.

Contact Guy Online:




This interview is with Guy White of Catalyx.  He is the founder of this company. You are really going to enjoy listening how an internal research at Proctor & Gamble felt a tremendous amount of pain specific-use case and then evolved that evolved that into his own startup.  Earlier day trials and tribulations – how he overcame them to ultimately bring to market an ultimately very successful and growing, thriving business. They sit right in the middle of the innovation process. Check him out. You can find information on the show notes.  Hope you enjoy this episode.


Guy, Catalyx, tell me a little bit about your business.  


So, Catalyx is an insight innovation agency.  Our aim is relentless pursuit of getting insight into businesses in such a way that it is going to build brands and make people buy more product.  I’m actually not a researcher; I’m a marketer. I’m an ex-Proctor marketer. And I set Catalyx up because I was actually frustrated that you couldn’t access consumers as I felt I needed to from the partners that we were working with in such a way that I would have recommendations to build the business.  And we thought we could do it better. So that’s kind of how we started.


That’s super interesting.  I think it’s fascinating that you started the business…  You started the business?




You started the business out of the context of your own pain.


Yeah, exactly.


Which is a completely unique…  I say, “Completely unique.” It’s not really completely unique, but in our industry, usually what I see happen is you have technology or a solution that’s looking for a problem.




Which is kind of to the other point, which is…  I think Gayle made it this morning if you heard that interview, sorry, talk about how you need to be in love with the pain, not the solution.  


Right, absolutely.  I saw that. I agree.  


Talk to me a little bit about…  When did you start the business?


So, first client was 2013.         


Wow, congratulations.  Tell me about that first project.          


The first project was crazy.  So, the first project, I was actually moderating an innovation conference in France in English in front of a French-only conference.    


[laughs]  Heavy lift, isn’t it?


I tell you what at the start you take what you can get.  So…


That is a multi-layered…


Right, yeah.  


Just you and…


500,000 French business owners wanting to learn a little bit about innovation.  No clue about what I was talking about.




But the first proper project I would say was…  We used to do a ton of insight from social listening back in kind of 2013 when people really didn’t know what social listening was and how to use it.  And we said, “Well, the trouble is with the platforms; you can’t get insight from a platform. You can get data but not insights.” So we developed a methodology to be able to convert what people were saying online into kind of golden nuggets that people could use.  And we did that for a few years as we were building up kind of our crowdsourcing capabilities as well. Yea, so that was kind of the first stuff we did. And that lead onto about five or six other projects with the same client all around how do people shop for hair care online, for instance.  What do men feel about shaving? Really, really, not just the process, but why do they shave? And that kind of stuff.


So, talk to me a little bit about what engagement looks like.  What are the deliverables? And what kind of time frame is around that?  


So, it really depends what you’re trying to do.  


What is like a sweet spot for you guys?     


So, we work at that stage from one sheet of paper through to “I’ve got a concept or prototype or a stimulus that I’m going to take through to a big contest.”  So, our whole aim is to embed ourselves into that creative development process or product development process. So we do a lot of insight discovery work. So that might be building a crowd of your target audience in whatever country you’re looking to do and then working with them over a week or so to really find what makes them tick.  So that end-to-end would be about three weeks from setup – live – close. Then we do a lot of stuff around, you know… “I’ve got ten ideas. How do I make them better and which ones should I be pursuing and how should I bring that to life in a consumer context?” I guess they’re kind of the two big…


Your ideal customer looks like what?  


Ideal customer:  consumer-facing business, probably product or manufacturer normally.  So SMCG, with work with pharma medical device, financial. Either has a problem they want to solve.  And they believe or they think we can help by embedding that consumer into that problem or is in a mode of discovery, let’s say, and wants to just have a consumer closer.  I think we love working with people that kind of understand the consumer and understand the power of the consumer because then you work as a partner as opposed to trying to educate on why this is really important and why you can build better products if you embed your consumer.  So that’s kind of who we like to work with, I’d say.


So, you’re a relatively new father and congratulations on that 11-month old.


Thank you very much.


How’s sleeping going?  


Hit or miss, I would say.  She’s just started sleeping through the night.  So, running a business with a new daughter is quite intense.


Hopefully, you have a good team.  I’m sure you do.


We have a fantastic team, absolutely.  And I couldn’t do it without them, absolutely.   


MRMW, is this your first year?


So, I’ve done MRMW Berlin.  It’s now in Amsterdam, I think.  But last year it was in Berlin. My first one here.  


Got it.  What do you think?


I really like MRMW, I have to say.  So, last year we did a kind of… We went to every conference that we could get our hands on and wanted to see what works and what didn’t.  And we’ve come back to MRMW. You see what I mean.


Point taken.    


Yeah, I really like it.  I like its size. I like that at the end of two days, kind of everyone’s met everyone.  And it’s really friendly.


Actually, they uniquely create these opportunities for connection in a very organic way as opposed to a lot of other events.  They try to accommodate that, but it feels very forced and doesn’t seem to come across as genuine. Somehow, maybe you’re right; maybe it’s the magic of the 200 and some odd attendees here.  So, the size of it could work. I don’t know what it is? But it is a super friendly group.


I completely agree.  I think there’s a really nice mix of agencies on the client side.  And, yeah, I think everyone is just super interested in what everyone else is doing.


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


So, email or you can drop us a note on our website: and me or someone else will definitely jump on that and respond.    


And, as always, we’ll include that on the show notes.  Thanks so much, Guy, for joining me today. It’s been an honor having you on the podcast.


Not a problem. Thank you so much for having me.