NEXT 2019

NEXT 2019 Conference Series – Zoë Dowling – FocusVision

Welcome to the 2019 NEXT Conference Series. Recorded live in Chicago, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Zoë Dowling, SVP of Research at FocusVision.

Find Zoë Online:

LinkedIn

Website: https://www.focusvision.com


[00:02]

I’m Jamin Brazil, and you’re listening to the Happy Market Research Podcast.  We are live today at the NEXT Conference in Chicago. I have the wonderful Zoё with Focus Vision.  Zoё, how are you?   

[00:16]    

I’m great, thank you.  How are you doing?  

[00:17]

I’m good.  When did you get in?

[00:19]

Late last night, later last night.    

[00:22]

Oh, OK.  Kind of late.

[00:23] 

Kind of late.

[00:24]

Kind of late.  So, have you been to the NEXT Conference before?

[00:27] 

Do you know I have not.  And I’m actually really excited to…  It feels like the agenda is a little bit different.  There’s a lot more focus on nuts and bolts. I’m speaking here with Ted Saunders and Roddy Knowles on Mobilize Me, which is research on research.  You don’t see that at conferences these days. Why not? This is important. And so, real excited because there’s other presentations like that as well.    

[00:52]  

Yeah, totally.  You know it’s funny there’s an adjacent industry which is analyzing credit card transactions.  It’s a big, big, big space predominantly sold actually, sold into venture and PE and Wall Street firms so they can analyze like when there’s an issue with Chipotle, what its actual credit card transactions trending towards exactly.  What they’re doing is they release a bunch of research on research. And they’re constantly being quoted in Wall Street Journal, etc. It just truly amazes me that we, as researchers who have billions of transactions (not monetary), we don’t do a better job talking about that kind of stuff.    

[01:39]

Do you know from my perspective I think there’s been a trend away from that?  If you think five years ago, certainly ten years ago (of course, that puts us in the aging category) but this was all about web surveys, web data collection, mobile data collection, but also on the qualitative side, how do we create good engagement with online research community participants, and you just don’t see that now.  And, tell you what: we’ve not cracked the nut. It’s not a done deal.   

[02:07]

Not by a long shot.

[02:07]

We’re not doing amazing research, that kind of research on research.  But you’re right: there’s also a lot that we could dig in on the Big Data side.  Like what time of day? Thinking online communities, what time of day are people coming?  What’s the average? How do we aggregate that across projects? How do we then increase engagements?  How could we do some incentives? I think there’s a lot of different things we could do there to just make us better informed.  

[02:29]

Yeah, even something as basic as email-open rates over time.  I think with such an important topic… Rogier Verhulst with LinkedIn, he had mentioned that they’ve actually seen almost a complete decline, approaching a zero, with certain segments in the population just not accessing email anymore.  They’re utilizing a bunch of different tools to communicate. Before you and I because of my age…

[03:02]

That was tactful.

[03:03]

…I mean pre-social media, there wasn’t an alternative to…   You have like AIM or whatever (AOL kind of online messenger), but it wasn’t at scale.  And now, all of a sudden, there’s probably… I mean I could connect with you at least five different ways, not using email. 

[03:18]

And there’s different ways to get our attention.  And I think that’s interesting because if I think of both SMS but also think of push notifications ‘cause again thinking of them is a way to contact people that we are speaking to their participants.  That you see in the general population has gone up and down. And, far from SMS disappearing, it’s got its place but so does all the other messengers – WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and anything else you use – but then also push notifications.

[03:44]

Totally.

[03:45]

Just know, am I just waiting to get something?  So I’m going to engage with you, but I just want that notification to come up on my phone at that particular time.  

[03:52]

Focus Vision:  what are you most excited about right now?

[03:56]

We have a really exciting innovation coming out that we’ve been doing a lot of work on for certainly the last year, the last 18 months.  We’re going to be talking a lot more about that in the coming months, certainly coming September. So I’m hyped ‘cause I think it’s moving the needle, and that’s what we all need to be doing.

[04:18]

Oh, I can’t wait to hear about that.  It’s in the qual space or quant space?

[04:21]    

It is in qual but it kind of bridges both.

[04:24]

Got it, so qual at scale kind of a framework. 

[04:26]

Yeah, yeah, and it’s all in the analytical phase ‘cause that’s what we need, again I think as well.  We talk about better, faster, cheaper. And with AI and all of these machine learning and different types of tools that can help us get closer to that data, I don’t for one minute believe it’s going to replace our jobs ever, maybe.  

[04:44]

No way.  

[04:44] 

Hundreds of years?

[04:45]

I mean not in the next maybe 50 years.  Some kind of like abstract construct.

[04:48]   

And everything will change so much in a way that we can’t imagine, but certainly not now.  I think these tools are there to make us better at our jobs, to be able to get closer to the data quickly, and get some good truths from it.  I mean that’s what we need to do.  

[05:02]

Yeah, I mean we continue to hear data–rich, insights–poor.  And we have seen a proliferation of new tools and methods by which we can gather consumer insights, especially in the qual space, which has been really exciting over the last two years.  What we still aren’t doing a great job of is how in the world do I analyze that at scale. You have like individual fiefdoms where you’re seeing that kind of, but there still hasn’t been, from my point of view, a broader, holistic kind of approach.  You know, mTabs, but there again they’re really focused on the quant space. Anyway, yeah, I don’t know; we’ll see. I’m excited to see what you guys release.   

[05:43]      

Yeah, and I think there’s a lot of scope from innovation.  And I’m sure there are a lot of companies that have this thing in the works just because analyzing at scale, making use of the data.  We’re always talking about this Big Data we have at our fingertips; it’s going to make us better and smarter. And so, yeah, it’s going to be good.  

[06:00]

I’m excited about your talk.  We’ll post a link to it if you write a blog post when this thing launches.  If somebody wants to get in contact with you, how would they do that?

[06:06]

Find me through a variety of methods, as you know.  Anything from LinkedIn but also email me at FocusVision, ZDowling@FocusVision.com.  Love to hear from people.  

[06:17] 

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

[06:19]

Thank you for having me.

[06:20]

Everybody else, we’re live at the Insights Association.  Special thanks to the Insights Association for hosting us here on site as well as some of their other shows.  If you would like to learn more, check the show notes. Have a great rest of your day.

NEXT 2019 Conference Series – Thomas Fandrich & Mike DeGagne – quantilope

Welcome to the 2019 NEXT Conference Series. Recorded live in Chicago, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Thomas Fandrich, managing director US and co-founder of quantilope; and Mike Degagne, head of sales at quantilope.

Find Thomas Online:

LinkedIn

Website: https://www.quantilope.com/en

Find Mike Online:

Linkedin

Website: https://www.quantilope.com/en


[00:02]

You’re listening to the Happy Market Research Podcast; I’m Jamin.  And we have today some special guests. We are live at the NEXT Conference here in what is turning out to be a spectacular day outside although we are quarantined, I guess, in Chicago.  I’ve got Thomas and Mike with Quantilope. Guys, welcome.  

[00:22] – Tom     

Hi, Jamin.  Thanks for having us here.  Great to meet you.

[00:25]

It’s great to have you.  For just voice recognition, that is Tom.  

[00:29]

Hey, this is Mike from Quantilope.  

[00:33]

Yeah, you’re going to have to let him in.  

[00:43] – Tom   

We also have a lot of laughing.  So, now we can go to the serious part.  

[00:45]

I’m glad I called you here today.  Tell me what do you guys think about the show so far.

[00:50] – Tom      

Oh, we really like it since there are a lot of specialists here that have very serious knowledge about the industry and about market research.  It was great to get their perspective on a solution like ours, which is pretty much positioned on speed and substance, substance in terms of quantitative methods that go beyond simple service stuff.

[01:14]

Favorite session?  Have you guys been able to attend any sessions?  Mike, we’ll go with you on this one.

[01:20] – Mike

I have not; so, you should not go with me. 

[01:24] 

Tom, have you attended any?

[01:26] – Tom

Me neither, so ah…

[01:26]

It’s hard when you’re exhibiting to go to the sessions ‘cause you feel like that’s the moment the big customer…  You know Coke is going to walk by your booth as soon as I go here. The head of insights for CES. It’s this whole like FOMO, fear of missing out thing that happens.  I’m suffering from it from it too, which is killing me, because I really wanted to hear the storytelling session, but anyway… That didn’t happen, and I also didn’t get Coke.  So, waah. Anyway.   

All right, so, tell me exactly what you guys do.

[01:59] – Tom 

All right, so Quantilope is an Agile Insights platform, right, that automizes all the single steps in a market research project, which is kind of finding the right tool to tackle your research question, program the questionnaire, and infuse it with high-end methodologies like System 1 Conjoint, MaxDiff, then field it to get the data in real time and get it visualized and analyzed in real time through our analyze module, and build beautiful dashboards of all that stuff to share it internally and externally.  So it covers the entire process very seamless and automized.  

[02:35]  

Mike, you gave me a demo, didn’t you?  

[02:37] – Mike

I did not, but one of my guys did.  

[02:40]  

One of your guys did.  Yeah, right, exactly. So, one of things that I thought was super interesting about the fundamentals of the platform is that I can execute in MaxDiff really, really easily.  So, I have my survey that is built out; that’s straightforward. Not really a big USB. But now, all of a sudden, I just add my attributes and it makes a recommendation on what types of statistical approaches I may want to use, incorporate into my survey design in order to answer my questions.  And then I also really like the reporting side of it (not that I’m trying to sell for you guys). But I personally was really impressed ‘cause it was all streamlined and easy to use. Tell me about some of the more popular applications.

[03:33] – Mike

So, ah, I actually started out in market research 15 years ago, and the way that I was doing studies back then (Conjoint, MaxDiff, Key Driver) was building the survey, taking the data out, cleaning it in SPSS, using Syntax.  And then I took it, put it into a stats package to get the Conjoint. And then I had to take that data out, cross-tab it. I had to use ETABS at the time to auto-populate the 140-slide tracker study for Microsoft, and that would take two months.  And then I would present it, and then they would want to change the segment. And I would cry…on the inside.

[04:07]

Yeah, yeah.  I bet you were happy cashing that check.

[04:10] – Mike   

Well, I was working for somebody else.

[04:12]

I know, I know.  Somebody else was happy they’re cashing the check.

[04:16] – Mike  

Yes, and I was just happy to have a job post-recession.  But with our tool, what’s really powerful is that it can do a MaxDiff for something like this, Conjoint, Van Westendorp in 1 to 3 days and it’s because it was thoughtfully put together.  It’s not a usage and attitude survey platform that we duct-taped or staple-gunned these advanced methods on. And so, the most common usage is going in, using our really advanced library of techniques and then things like MaxDiff, Conjoint, Kano, and then fielding it within minutes, and then having the data back in 1 to 3 days with beautiful visualization.  Did I answer your question?   

[04:52]

Yeah, perfectly.  So, it sounds like when you guys are looking at the customer utilization, what is the No. 1…  Are they using MaxDiff? Is that No. 1 or is it…?   

[05:04] – Tom

I mean this No. 1 thing…  It’s really the portfolio of methodologies that people appreciate, that they have the freedom to do MaxDiff today, System 1 emphasis approach tomorrow, and the Key Driver analysis yesterday.  They love the broadness and the flexibility our software platform gives them.  

I would add that this flexibility is when you have a business problem.  There’s a lot of people that get caught up in research where they only do MaxDiffs.  When you’re introducing a new product… We’re getting a lot questions about CBD oil in like food products.  So, what does the category mean? When people think of CBD oil, what does that mean for the category? And how does that actually relate to the product itself, the brand itself?  Then from there, you can go through a whole different litany of research approaches to actually get the product idea, the product price point, the product packaging, the product claim.  And so, that’s what we find, that our clients are working with us from ideation all the way to bringing the product to market.    

[06:04]

So, do you guys do services or are you just providing the platform?  

[06:09] – Mike

Yes, this is actually another unique identifier for us is that we have…  Tom runs a team. And I know Bea is listening right now; she has a PhD in neuroscience.  Vanessa has an advanced degree in analytics. So, we have this team that we call the genius bar where you can come to them and ask questions.  And so, if you’re a brand manager and you don’t have experience working with MaxDiff or Conjoint, you come with a problem and we show how you do it.     

[06:32]  

So you’re supporting in the way of training on the tools and make recommendations to methodologies but not necessarily executing a project from A to Z.     

[06:41] – Mike 

We can.  The example that I give is it’s like getting into a Tesla for the first time.  You’re too afraid to turn on the autopilot yourself; so, someone else will sit with you and do it.  After a couple times you feel comfortable… 

[06:52]

Have you done the autopilot with a Tesla?  

[06:53]

I have, yeah.

[06:54]

So, the first time I did it, I was by myself on the freeway.  I’m not exaggerating: I thought there might be a 30% chance I’m going to run off the freeway.  I mean it’s that terrifying.

[07:03]

So you were white-knuckling it the whole time.

[07:05]

Literally.  I’m not going to let you control my life, Tesla.  Double tap and now I can’t stop. I’m completely attached.

[07:12] – Mike

Yep, exactly, but overcoming that fear, especially if it’s an advanced method that you don’t know a lot about, like Conjoint…  If you don’t understand the different product features, the price per pound or ounce, you really can create a Conjoint that doesn’t mean anything that someone with an advanced degree in analytics would be able to shoot holes in.  And so, we find that for the first 90 days, it’s a lot of training and hand-holding. And then soon we see these people that have upscaled their career by being able to learn how to do these things on their own.

[07:38]

So, thinking about that, you wouldn’t normally do a ever full factorial, right?  I’m thinking about like Conjoint. You know what I’m talking about? So you do a partial factorial.  So, are you able to then control how many cards respondents are ultimately answering for, which is kind of the trade-off of “Do I want partial data and then stitch it together?” or “Do I want a full…?  Everybody to see every iteration of the product feature set.”

[08:08] – Tom   

So, we are a ROCBC approach.  We are showing all attributes on the card.  But you don’t have to care about the efficiency of the design, the meaningfulness of the design.  This is just a click on a button. So we are optimizing the designs for you due to the efficiency criteria.

[08:26]

Got it, OK.  So you’re taking that into account already in an automated fashion.  

[08:30] – Tom

Yep, absolutely.

[08:30]

Got it.  Yeah, perfect.  Good. Who’s your ideal customer?  

[08:33] – Tom     

Our ideal customer has a lot of research needs and is very innovation-driven and tries to create new things, new products, new services, new advertisements; wants to explore new categories and all that stuff; so, is very active in terms of research; and is open to work with a platform like ours, right, which is super innovative as well and gives you the freedom to do a lot of the stuff maybe you have outsourced before to keep it under your own roof, to have full control and full transparency of all the steps in the process and all the data you are getting there.    

[09:17]

Mike, what is your favorite project?  

[09:20] – Mike

We did a Conjoint study.  There was a big CPG brand that got a call from a big box retailer, the big box retailer, that they were losing a losing a series of SKUs, and they were going to a generic in-house product and they had four days before they had to meet with the buyer at Walmart.  And they knew that they needed a more substantial approach to be able to make their point that this will hurt their consumers. And we were able to do it in that short turnaround time. That is an example of Agile Insights. So, the word “agile insights” is thrown around way too much today.  Agile insight is speed; there’s tons of free or nearly free speedy tools. But it’s speed and substance, and the substance is what creates agility in our opinion.  

[10:08]

So, talk to me about price point.  What does it look like? What’s the terms of trade when you do work with Quantilope?

[10:15] – Mike    

You know we are a SaaS company.  We’re a flat monthly-fee business, and it ranges from a few thousand dollars a month to tens of thousands of dollars a month, depending on are you running thousands of studies, are they all Conjoint. 

[10:28]

So, it’s like a price per study as opposed to per respondent or…?

[10:32] – Mike      

No, it’s actually access to the platform:  so, logins, trainings, genius bar, the types of studies.

[10:38]

Like basic something else pro or whatever.

[10:42] – Mike 

Yeah, and we’re flexible, right?  So, we understand what I think of as the SaaSification of market research.  The industry has worked on an ad hoc basis forever.

[10:51] 

It’s hard to turn that corner, but it is actually…  It’s funny ‘cause it’s becoming more and more normalized.  You’re seeing an increase in acceptance of SaaS model.

[10:59]

Yeah, absolutely.  To start, we also understand that there are so many vendors out there that have burned partners, promising the world.

[11:06]

Totally.  That happens a lot.

[11:07] – Mike 

So we think crawl-walk-run is a good strategy.  So if you want to start out in a different way, we’re very, very flexible.  We’ll explain to you until I’m blue in the face why the SaaS model is the right model, but again we understand that there’s procurement teams; there’s way of doing business.  

[11:23]  

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

[11:27] – Tom   

Either shoot us a mail to sales.us@quantilope.com or visit us on our website; there is a contact formula there.

[11:35]

Perfect.  And, of course, we’ll include that information in the show notes.  Tom, Mike, thank you both, oh, yep…

[11:40] – Mike   

We’ve got one more thing.  

[11:41]

One more thing.  Well, bring in on.

[11:42] – Mike

One more thing…

[11:44]   

Everybody likes value; so, if you have two more things, that’s OK too.

[11:47]

You only get one.  We’re going to leave you one more, right? 

[11:50] 

They got to call.  They can get the second one.

[11:53]

Yeah.  So, I’ll give you half a sentence.  No, I’m just kidding. So, for the people listening to the Happy Market Research Podcast, if you reach out to us and you reference this, we’ll give you a free trial of the platform, and for the best customers out there, we would actually do a free pilot project for them.  

[12:08]

What!?

[12:09]

Yep, but you have to mention Happy Market Research.

[12:11]

Oh, I love this.  High five right now.

[12:13]

There you go.

[12:15]  

That is bad ass.  Thank you so much for bringing that value.  I tell you what: you know, Insights Nation, this is one of the big misses (and I don’t mean any disrespect from any other guest that I’ve ever had) but you actually have an audience that listens to this.  I’ve had FedEx reach out to me; I’ve had two dozen-ish brands that have, unsolicited, said, “Hey, thanks so much. I actually use this to help me with procurement, which is so funny because I never had that as a framework for why someone would tune into the show and actually don’t think that’s one of the core reasons why but I do think it’s an interesting by-product.  And so, it’s a great opportunity to be able to leverage like the audience and, if you have something valuable that you can pass on to them, to be able to do that. So thank you guys very much. I think that’s very generous of you. I actually do have one other question: Quantilope – I want to eat it ‘cause it sounds like cantaloupe and I like cantaloupe. How did you guys come up with the name?      

[13:14] – Mike

You’re going to have to reach out to us to get the ….

[13:19]

Oh, no!  I’ll not letting you go.

[13:21] – Tom

It’s a long story, but a nice story.

[13:22]

Is it, really?  Maybe some other time.

[13:23]

There’s a really nice story behind this.

[13:25]

All right, you guys.  Thank you so much for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast

[13:27] – Tom

Thank you for your time, Jamin.  I really enjoyed it.

[13:28] – Mike

Thank you!

[13:30]

Everybody else, if you found value in this show, please take the time to either rate it on the platform of your choice.  This particular episode, I would really appreciate it if you just took three seconds right now, screenshot it, share it on social media.  It’ll take maybe 120 seconds. This probably represents about an hour to two hours of production time. I would greatly appreciate it. Have a wonderful rest of your day.

NEXT 2019 Conference Series – Simon Chadwick – Cambiar LLC

Welcome to the 2019 NEXT Conference Series. Recorded live in Chicago, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Simon Chadwick, managing partner of Cambiar LLC.

Find Simon Online:

LinkedIn

Website: https://www.consultcambiar.com


[00:02]

I have Simon Chadwick, the legend, here live at the NEXT Conference here in Chicago.  Simon, how are you?

[00:11]    

I’m good, thanks, Jamin.  How are you doing?

[00:12]

I’m doing OK.  Thank you for asking.  The weather has been a little bit cold, but not too bad.  A little rainy, oddly enough for Chicago this time of year.  But what are you going to do? We’re in a conference anyway so…    

[00:25]

It’s not snowing.

[00:25]

Not snowing, not freezing.  Totally wins, yeah, totally wins.  Actually, it might even be warm for Chicago standards.  I don’t know.

[00:32]   

I don’t know.  All I think is that when it rains in Chicago, it’s just because the temperature is turning the snow into liquid.  

[00:41]

Exactly!  Totally true.  It’s a very cold city.

[00:43]      

Anyway, I love this city

[00:45]

I do, too.  It’s actually my favorite city globally, but it would be hard for me to move here just because of the winters.  But I absolutely love Chicago. The people are super nice. It feels like a New York, you know like a Manhattan, London-ish type. 

[00:59]

And great architecture and, you know, the rivers, and…  yeah, tremendous, yeah.

[01:05] 

It is great.  So, what do you think about the conference so far?

[01:08]

Well, from what I’ve seen so far, not bad at all.  I’m really looking forward to my colleague Lucy’s paper later this afternoon, which is “Who Killed Advertising Effectiveness?”  Murder at the manor. It’s a detective story, interactive.  

[01:30]

Of course, Lucy would bring just riveting bend to that subject.    

[01:36]

Right, right.

[01:37]  

Or any subject.

[01:38]  

Yeah, she’s a great speaker.  So I’m looking forward to that.  Looking forward to the comedy show tonight.  Are you going?

[01:44]

Yeah, I am, I am.  

[01:44]  

That should be fun.  

[01:45]

That’s going to be great.  

[01:46]

Unfortunately, I don’t know about you, but every time I come to a conference, conference calls with China or with India crop up, and you’re in your room, you know, yeah.

[02:01]   

Totally.  It’s ridiculous; it’s absolutely asinine, very frustrating, actually.  That just happened to me today, actually. And I missed an important person I was trying to connect with.  Anyway, that’s disappointing when that happens. So, the show’s actually really good. I’ve enjoyed… I’ve been able to attend three sessions or speakers, whatever.  They were super informative. I’ve been impressed with the quality of the content.   

[02:30]

Yeah, I was at the storytelling one, and I thought that she did a good job:  actually, made it easier for people to understand what they had to do in preparation and how to actually keep this story alive after the presentation.  It was very pragmatic and practical.

[02:53]  

Yeah, I love the tactical application.  I’m a sucker for, if you put up a blog post and say, “Three Tips to…”, then I’m like, “OK,” because I’m going to read it.  I like the… I can pull something out of this and apply it today to my life and have an impact.

[03:09]

You know, we as humans are so funny whenever we see numbers.  Talking about Lucy, again, she did a big experiment at Coca-Cola Western Europe, which she presented at ESOMAR, looking at how you can disseminate insights to people who actually were not the stakeholders.  So, if you’re Coke sodas and you find something, how can you get to cross to the juices or waters because it might actually be really relevant to them. So they conducted a big experiment. And guess what one of the things that actually grabbed people was, in terms of the emails that you would send out, was an infographic with “43 Ways That You Need to Do This” or, you know.  

[03:57]

It’s crazy.  It’s funny. So, now I’m going to say something…  I’m going to contradict what I just said. I, historically, was very resistant to clicking on the three tips or whatever because I just felt it was so canned and market-ish. 

[03:13]

Click bait.

[04:15]

Yeah, it smelled like bullshit (pardon my French).  But I can’t help it now. The data’s right. It is what it is.  So I’m not going to resist the wagon anymore; I’m getting on it.  You know, getting on it. So, what is going on at Cambridge?

[04:35]

At Cambiar.  

[04:36]

No, no, sorry.

[04:37]

Cambridge, I haven’t been there for a while.  

[04:39]

Maybe soon.  

[04:40]

Well, it’s interesting.  So, there are three buckets to our business.  The first is strategic and operational consulting, mainly for research agencies.  That’s where we started off 15 years ago. We then added various different pieces of specialized operation consulting.  Then we got into the M&A business, and that’s now probably a third to a half of our business. And then we got into the training business on the corporate side in what we call Power Skills:  communication, influencing, synthesis, things like that. They’re about a third, a third, a third. But each one is showing different traits. On the client side the demand for training in Power Skills has shot through the roof.   

[05:35]

Really?

[05:36]

Really shot through the roof.  It’s quite amazing. We’re booked now through the year.  I mean we don’t have any space. And that’s with major banks and pharmaceutical companies and so on.  So that’s really good because it means we’re getting… We’re helping them achieve impact and a lot of it is actually about measuring that impact, which is also really good.  But then on the M&A side, it’s almost dried up completely in the States – nothing much left to buy, but it’s exploding in Asia. 

[06:15]

Really?  

[06:16]

Yep.

[06:16]

Who’s doing the buying in Asia?  Is it conglomerates?

[06:21]

It’s mainly the European and U.S. conglomerates.

[06:26]

Big boys, yeah.

[06:27]

Not the usual suspects:  the big four, apart from one.  But three of them are in trouble; so, their appetite is somewhat diminished.  But, yeah, the bigger guys.  

[06:43]

Do you see LatAm being like another…  I think that after Asia gets saturation, then… 

[06:51]

It should move to LatAm, but I think there’s some really interesting stuff going on in Africa and in the Middle East.

[07:00]

Yeah, I’d agree.

[07:01]

The Middle East, in particular, we’ve seen a big, big sort of bump up in activity.  And now, South Africa was always strong, but now we’re seeing East Africa and some of the stronger economies in West Africa really beginning to come on stream.

[07:19]

Thinking about ESOMAR’s numbers on 46-billion-dollar space that we’re in in market research, the representation in these other countries has been small relative to the overall spend.  But it feels to me, and I’m basing this off of conference attendance, I’m seeing a lot more people from these other markets attend conferences. And that is starting to speak to me in terms of how much people are caring globally about consumer opinion.  Honestly, I think we’re at this beginning of a J-curve up as an industry, which is really exciting.

[08:04]  

Yeah, I think one of the things that we have seen now is we’re at the end of the Chicken Little era, you know, where the sky was falling.  And there is this acceptance that actually this is a time of huge opportunity. It just looks different.  

[08:24]  

Totally.  When you think about that like user experience research, specifically in the Bay Area, I’m seeing this a lot.  You know Silicon Valley, you’ve got almost 10 to 1; so, for every market researcher, there’s 10 UX researchers.  It’s crazy. There’s been an explosion in that space. If you look at the hashtags market research combined with MRX on LinkedIn, the number of people that follow it, it’s about 350,000.  If you look at the number of people that follow user experience, it’s over 4 million.    

[08:59]  

Wow. 

[09:00]

So, yeah.  But what’s interesting on a Venn diagram – and I’ve been doing this with a few other people – you look at the types of research that are done in both disciplines, there’s some crossover, a material amount of crossover, right?  I continue to wonder if we’re not – while everything is going to be scaling up over user data, we’re also not going at the same time start seeing… because these people sit in different parts of the org structure, not together.  So I wonder if we’re going to see like this, not chief research officer per se, But like somebody that’s responsible for consumer voice at the C level.  

[09:37]

You know it’s so funny because…  You’re just about old enough to remember the great Jack Michael, you know, his books on research.  And he was such a proponent of that idea 30 years ago. And it still hasn’t come around yet. Also, in the corporate clients that we serve, there’s this battle going on as to who are the holders of the customer voice.  Who are the holders of customer insights, of consumer insights? Is it the research function? Is it data analytics? If so, what type of data analytics ‘cause there’s about 40 of them? Is it finance? Nobody seems yet to have got the structure right, let alone put in that type of chief customer-voice officer or whatever you want to call it.  There’s chief CX officers, but that’s very specific.    

[10:45]   

This is such an interesting deviant from our conversation but, or deviation from my normal conversation, that oversight layer becomes really important because you think about things like data governance, compliance.  It’s actually the same and as important in all those disciplines. So that needs to be part of the job description… as we build out this fantasy job description, that’s part of it. And then also just having that person at the table that has a point of view at a macro level and a micro level.  So, UX seems to be very micro: in order words, “I need a decision right now.” So I do my little whatever (qual or…). And then market research tends to be at a macro, it seems like: larger segmentation, price elasticity, things like that. It’s kind of like this really interesting power that can sit at the table along with the CEO, and I would imagine a lot of eyes would get diverted to that individual because, at least at the board meetings that I attend, that would be a very germane…, right?    

[11:56]

Actually, when we were down in Miami, I was talking to somebody down there who today is in data analytics but he was VP of insights or whatever at a major company.  He remembered being in a meeting with a CEO and there was the Head of Production there, the Head of Sales, and the Head of Marketing. And the CEO said to the Head of Marketing, “So how are things?”  And he said, “Terrific, absolutely terrific. They’re really going well.” And the Head of Sales said, “Ehr, we’re not yet really up there.” Head of Production said, “It’s really bad.” So the CEO turned to the VP of Insights and said, “Well, which is it?”       

[12:44]  

That’s exactly it.  That should be a New Yorker cartoon.  

[12:49]

It really should, yeah.       

[12:50]

That’s perfect.            

[12:51]

I don’t know if we’ll ever see that role, but there’s too much competition. 

[12:55]

I think we will.  I really do. Just think about the amount of waste that’s happening right now from a training perspective.  If I just focus, like a Facebook, if I just focus on the UX division, there’s a bunch of people there and at varying levels of skills and experience.  And then I’ve got a whole different set inside of the market research of different people, right, inside of the market research. And so, never the two will meet if it is the case really. Just the training overhead could be reduced materially if you had a unified road map on these are the core…

[13:31]

That is one thing that we are seeing right now.  We’re seeing more and more, when we go in to train in these major organization, that it is not just researchers.  It’s researchers, data analysts, competitive intelligence, strategic, and they’re all coming together for these. Whereas we would be training, two years ago we’d be training 25 people in a room, now we’re training 125.  

[14:01]  

Right, totally.  See that’s really interesting.  I think about technology has democratized access to the consumer, which is exciting but also terrifying because…  My favorite saying right now is, “Just ‘cause I have a scalpel doesn’t make me a surgeon.” And yet because I can launch a survey doesn’t necessarily mean that I should because the way that I ask a question is actually really important.  People who are seasoned researchers know how to do that well, and people that aren’t, they really don’t. And this isn’t necessarily intuitive. So the added educational level, again going back to that C-level executive or whatever, now becomes really important to start caring about the overall understanding of consumer insights at a…  Because everybody from the intern to the CEO is doing surveys.      

[14:50]

And the very fact that you can do them, like as you said, “If you’ve got a scalpel, you’re not necessarily a surgeon.”  The very fact that you can get up a template and put something on it and put it out to the field and collect that data doesn’t obviate the need for the fundamental principles, and the fundamental principles, I’m sorry, still count.  You know it bugs the hell out me that I was trained for two years before I was actually allowed anywhere near a customer. A lot of that was in statistics and in sampling. These days, that is not there. It’s there in some of the sample companies, in some of the suppliers, but it’s not there in the brand level.   

[15:39]

Right, well, I mean there was going back into the 90s at the brand level, there was structured mentorship program in a lot of the companies I worked with, and that doesn’t exist anymore.  

[15:58]

GM, General Mills was famous for being the university of research.  That went away. And then there’s another aspect to this which is…  And I’m probably going to upset a lot of people, 

[16:18]

Oh, I can’t wait.

[16:20]

I already published it, so…  We have to face that there’s a lot of data illiteracy in companies, in marketing, in brand at the senior management level.  People don’t really know how to read data. And if you’re just putting data in front of them or they’re collecting their own, there’s going to be some really bad mistakes made.  

[16:41]   

I mean, yeah.  Again, getting back to corporate waste.  I think this is probably one of the biggest gross margin opportunities in front of organizations and also at an SG & A level.  So you think about how you could improve your sales and marketing right now. You got the whole lean marketing framework (A–B test the heck out of everything), but a big part of that also is understanding the customer “why” and informing, if B is performing better than A, why is that the case because maybe that’s really important.  And that is now in the spot; it’s starting to get injected into the marketing side of it. But now, all of a sudden, it’s like, “Who’s going to answer that question?” Is it market research or is it UX or is it marketing? You know what I mean? So, it continues to beget the consumer voice is important to a decision I need make, but now who owns that, kind of rolling it again back up.     

[17:42]

It’s like the consumer voice is going through a synthesizer and, you know, it comes out female on one synthesizer and a male on the other and a robot on another.

[17:52]      

And the waste then is not just redundant research.  That is a waste but that’s not the bigger problem. The bigger problem is conflicting and wrong answers that are derived just because of errors in the methodology and skill of the analytics person, anyway.  So, as you look forward to 2020… Can you believe 2020 is…

[18:15]

Just around the corner.

[18:16]

Oh, my God.  I swear I thought I had a jetpack.  When I was a kid, you said “2020,” there was no question we had jetpacks.

[18:23] 

Yes, right, right, right.  My wife is really disappointed that we don’t have jetpacks.  

[18:27]

Right.  I think that’s terrible.  I think that’s terrible. Like we haven’t had a material improvement to our air travel across the pond, right?  That’s the other thing I think is… The Condor was one: the supersonic jet or whatever.

[18:42]

The Concorde, yeah.

[18:43]

The Concorde, yeah, yeah.  That’s what it was. But that’s gone now.

[18:45]  

And I never got onto that, unfortunately.

[18:47] 

I didn’t either.  I was super disappointed.  That was one of the things that I would have liked to have been able to do.  By the time, I could afford it, it was gone. Dang it, anyway. So, you think forward:  what do you see as a macrotrend?  

[18:59]

I really do think the biggest macrotrend is going to continue to be on the client side.  And I think it’s going to be this push for strategic relevance and strategic impact. You know when we did the re-benchmark with Boston Consulting three or four years ago now, 20% of insights functions were strategic partners or better.  I mean it’s pretty pathetic: 2 out of 10. The good news was it was double what it had been eight years previously. And I’m on a crusade alongside those from GRBN, Andrew Cannon and others, to get that number up to 30, to 40, and to do so by making people measure their impact, making functions and we’re seeing more and more uptake.  And I think we’re almost at the tipping point where we’ll get to maybe 30%. That still leaves 70% out there still not doing what they should be doing and still a lot of waste, to your point. But if that’s the case, then I can see a much more holistic use of all the tools that we see around us. God knows, how many of these tools can you actually absorb?  It’s really hard. Maybe that will enable us to get to Steve Phillips’ idea of we’ll have more time for the strategic, we’ll have more time for thinking. I don’t know. Everything, technology has given us that opportunity, we’ve wasted it but…      

[20:53]  

Zoe, no, it’s not Zoe.  I’m sorry. Z Johnson, she currently works at Microsoft.  She had an interesting take on this exact point, which is…  And she actually cites in her podcast, MR Explorer, these milestones in her career where she’s had like a technological breakthrough and “Wow,” all of a sudden, she could do a lot more.  But she says she’s actually still spending the exact same time. It’s just on the logistics. They’re doing a hell of a lot more of the research.    

[21:26]

Yeah, yeah.  Unfortunately, I think that’s always going to be true.  But I’m an optimist. 

[21:34]

Me, too, absolutely.  Let’s do that.  

[21:36]   

Yes, let’s hope.

[21:38]

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

[21:40]  

They can do it through Simon@ConsultCambiar.com or just look me up on LinkedIn and send me an email.

[21:49]

My guest today has been Simon Chadwick, the famed influencer and I think patriarch really in a lot of ways at least currently of market research right now.  Thank you very much for joining me on the Happy Market Research Podcast.  

[22:03]

It has been a pleasure.  Thank you very much, Jamin.

[22:06]

For those of you that are listening, if you found value in this show, which I certainly did, I would love it if you would please screenshot it, share it on social.  Just takes a minute. These take hours for us to produce; so, we appreciate that trade of time. Enjoy the rest of your day. 

NEXT 2019 Conference Series – Ray Fischer – Aha! Online Research

Welcome to the 2019 NEXT Conference Series. Recorded live in Chicago, 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.

Find Ray Online:

LinkedIn

Website: https://ahaonlineresearch.com


[00:00]

Aha! is the name of the company.  We are live at the Insights Association’s NEXT Conference 2019 in Chicago.  We are winding up Day 2. What time do you take off

[00:15]    

I take off just after this interview.  I’m going to head down to the train station, do the old school Amtrak back to Detroit.  It’s going to be awesome.

[00:21]

Oh, that’s right.  Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.  

[00:22]

Yeah, yeah.  I take the train, get some work done, get to watch a little “Billions” on the way back.

[00:25]

How long does that take?

[00:27] 

It’s about four and a half hours.

[00:28]

OK.  That’s not bad.

[00:29]      

I lose an hour going back.  I go from the Central to the East time zone.  It’s a little bit longer that way, but it’s a nice, comfortable, great way to go back, you know, Detroit to Chicago.     

[00:38]

Totally.  You don’t have like all the drama with air flight.  

[00:40]

It is so simple.  It’s incredible. I mean they don’t even check ID’s going on, which is weird to me, but…

[00:45] 

I know.  It is old school.

[00:47]

It’s that simple.  It’s old school. It feels like a throw-back, 45, 50 years ago.  

[00:51]

Yeah, it does, it does.  I remember the old days of air traffic prior to 9/11.  It’s like show up. Anybody who’s at the gate…

[01:00]

Right, the train is kind of like that now, but I will tell you they haven’t changed the cars in 45 or 50 years.  A little dated, but it is kind of a cool, romantic sort of way to travel back and forth, when it’s not too far.

[01:14] 

Is it packed?

[01:14]  

It is usually pretty full, you know, because there’s a lot of, again, Detroiters coming to Chicago and back and forth, a lot of transplants both ways. 

[01:22]

Yep, totally.  So a highlight of the show?

[00:25]  

Highlight of the show.  I saw a couple of really good talks.  I’d say the first highlight though… When I go to these shows, they become so fun.  When I look back five or six years ago when we were just launching, I didn’t know anybody at the shows.  So, it was basically me and my two partners, standing at our booth talking to each other, telling stories, trying to make it look like we’re having fruitful conversations at selling something.  Now, I can go to the shows (we didn’t exhibit at this one), I’m just walking around; I see people like you; I see people like a lot of friends, vendors, prospects, clients, etc. I make new friends.  It’s just a really, really fun way to immerse yourself more in the industry but, again, as time goes on, it just becomes kind of a community of friends.      

[02:06]

ROI on shows.  That’s interesting, right?  I think about that a lot. Like how do I maximize my return on… It’s expensive:  it’s $10,000; by the time you’re done, it’s $10,000. You’ve got a couple staff, and that doesn’t include the hard costs of time and money going into it.       

[02:24]

No doubt, no doubt.  

[02:25]   

So, what do you think about that?  Do you guys do much exhibiting?  

[02:29]

You know, we do.  We do about four conferences a year where we exhibit and I speak at several as well.  So those definitely help ‘cause when you have the exhibit and the speaking engagement, as you know, that’s kind of a double whammy, double power-packed punch.  You know where you got the ability to talk to people who come by your booth after they saw it. So you really max out, especially if you get an earlier time slot.  If you’re the last guy on the last day, you don’t really get to maximize that. And the ROI: usually it’s like a couple of projects and you’re good to go. Smaller projects you’ve covered your investment but, again, as time has gone on and I’ve gotten more and more clients, I can walk around this and it saves me from having to make 20 flights to different cities to see these people.  Set stuff up, go meet with them, etc., and they’re all here in one place. This venue is great; the hotel’s cool; great location, obviously, Chicago; it’s sunny today. It’s absolute perfect.         

[03:24]

Yeah, no, today’s like a perfect Chicago day.  

[03:29]  

And to answer more directly your question about the highlights of the show, couple great speeches.  All of them were really smart. I think of this like a high-end conference: very smart people, a lot of client-and-supplier combination speeches, which are great.  I saw one yesterday that was with a Burke, an IBM person, two super smart people. Joelle was the Burke person; I don’t remember who the IBM partner was in that. But the speech was about Artificial Intelligence, AI.  There’s a lot of acronyms flying around today. AI stuff: fascinating to hear the perspective of IBM talking about it. They’ve got Watson; they’ve got amazing stuff. And Burke has been a practitioner and user, probably more on the quant side of things, or in the larger scale data sets.  But the fascinating thing I heard – and you and I have talked about this quite a bit – is that it’s one of things where it’s emerging and we’re trying to apply it. But it’s not the end-all answer at this point in time. And the IBM person actually said you have to look at Artificial Intelligence right now as a baby.  It’s truly a baby. It’s really going to be a great, grown-up human being soon, but it truly is very much in its nascent state. It’s young. It doesn’t have the answers. It can’t write the report for you as a human would, which I love to hear. And that’s something that you and I have talked about before especially on the qual side of things.  Human data takes a human touch, and we’re small data too for the most part. 

[05:02]

Totally.

[05:02]

It’s not thousands of people, saying thousands and thousands of things and having millions and millions of words to draw from.  So, while it does apply obviously to that to help sort data, you know on our side, we still need that human touch. That was really good.  And then I just saw a really good speech about innovation and rapid product development with Thor Ernstsson from Alpha, and Vivek Bedi from Northwestern Mutual Life.  Really engaging. They’re both really good speakers, and they had a tremendous rapport. You tell they’ve worked together and they’re friends. And they had a couple of funny jokes about going out and drinking and whatnot.     

[05:40]

Isn’t it nice when you…?  It’s such a relationship business.  It really is. And kind of getting back to my question about the ROI, the benefit of having a booth is it creates an anchor point for people to be able to connect with you.  And once you have those relationships established, it’s gets harder and harder to justify it because, to you earlier point, you just call them up and say, “Hey, are you going to be at the show?”  And they say, “Yes” or whatever. And then boom, you know what I mean? You schedule that stuff out accordingly.  

[06:04]

And their stuff was great.  So, they were engaging and everything, but it was a very easy presentation.  They weren’t just running charts at us. They almost turned it into a TED talk.  So, it was really much more like half a dozen slides and some nice storytelling.  

[06:19]

That was it.

[06:20]  

Yeah, it’s a good lesson for me and really anybody in how to deliver in a 30-minute format at a show like this where you just kind of tell a story.  Have some great visual things to support it; make it a little bit more interesting from that standpoint. But to be able to just tell stories about how you’ve done project work or come to some successes with big organization stuff and innovation and rapidly getting to market and innovating quickly.  It was very cool. Those were two of the better ones. All of them were good that I did see, though. And I had some good dinners here too, so.

[06:52]

Well, now, did you buy or were you treated?   

[06:54]

I bought one night, and I was treated last night.  

[06:57]

Nice.  Who was it?

[06:58]

It was Focus Forward, Kim Harrison, Dave Pataki.  We were out at Maple & Ash, so a plug for Maple & Ash.  Fantastic restaurant. Have you been there?

[07:08]

No.

[07:08]

Seriously, probably the best restaurant in town.

[07:11]

We went to a pizza place.  So, next event you’re going to go to?

[07:17]

Next event:  good question.  I know there is one in August, the CX.  I think Mark Michelson has his CX Talks here, and I’m going to speak at that one.    

[07:27]

Nice.

[07:28]

That’s here in Chicago.

[07:30]

What are you speaking on?

[07:31]

I am going to talk about customer experience.  He’s got these like TED-Talk, 10-minute slots, which is going to be super fun.  So, you’re basically going to have a couple slides that might be somewhat visual support, but it’s going to be a quick storytelling thing.  It should be really high energy, quick hits, main message in a storytelling kind of way. So I’m excited to do that. Mark’s a good buddy, and I know of yours too. 

[07:53]

Yeah, yeah.

[07:54]

It’s just fun to support his organization and his go forward stuff.  And he did approve my speech. So we’re good.  

[07:59]

Safe travels home.

[08:00]

I appreciate that.  

[08:01]

Everybody else who’s listening, I hope you have a fantastic rest of your day.  Insights Association, thank you so much for hosting the Happy Market Research Podcast on site at this year’s NEXT conference.  Congratulations to everybody who was speaking and the winners of the startup competition. It was SightX, by the way.  

[08:20]

Oh, nice.  

[08:21]

I know I got …  I was really sad.

[08:21]

Tim Lawton, nice.

[08:23]

But that’s OK.  I’ll come back stronger; I always do. Have a wonderful rest of your day.

[08:27]

Good stuff. Thanks, Jamin.

NEXT 2019 Conference Series – Michaela Mora – Relevant Insights

Welcome to the 2019 NEXT Conference Series. Recorded live in Chicago, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Michaela Mora, president of Relevant Insights

Find Michaela Online:

LinkedIn

Website: https://www.relevantinsights.com


[00:02]

My guest today is Michaela Mora, President of Relevant Insights.  Those are my favorite kind of insights, by the way.  

[00:10]    

Yes, they are not any insights.  They are relevant.

[00:13]

I love that.  So, what do you think about the conference where Day 1 has ended at the NEXT Conference in Chicago?  Tell me what you think.    

[00:21]

Well, this is my first time coming to this conference.  This year I have been to several conferences, and I see some subjects coming up on a repeat.  It’s a lot about video and capturing data, more unstructured data and focus on tools at the same time figuring out how can we capture the full consumer or the full participant in many different areas.  And usually, the challenge of that is at the back-end. Many tools are very good at capturing the front-end. Then you go home and then you have to analyze.

[01:12]

Do the work.

[01:13]   

Yes.  And that’s where still…  I test a lot of tools and there’s still some time to go.   

[01:23]

Does one session stand out as your favorite?

[01:25]      

I really liked the one from “Who Murdered Advertising Effectiveness?”  Was a very good presentation, different style. 

[01:35]

“Who Murdered Advertising Effectiveness?”  That was a very sassy title, wasn’t it? 

[01:40]

Yes, it is.

[01:41] 

That was Lucy, the speaker.  She’s from Keen as Mustard, I believe.

[01:46]

Yes.  Actually, it is a way to tell the story, to discuss a subject about elements that are affecting our industry.  It’s about changing times, and who is behind the changes and how we’re all involved in that. And so, that was a different way of presenting and discussing market research issues.     

[02:12]

Tell me about Relevant Insights.  What do you guys do?

[02:14]

Well, we try to help clients to make profitable decisions.  It’s about finding the right questions so that we can come back and help the clients to make the decisions.  So we do both qualitative and quantitative, both in the more traditional research but also in the user experience, user research methods.

[02:41]  

Are seeing an increase in user experience?

[02:44]  

Oh, absolutely, absolutely.  There is these conversions between the customer experience field and the user experience.  They come from two different branches of research. The customer experience, for me, is just a renaming of the traditional customer loyalty, voice of the customer field. 

[03:02]

It totally feels like VoC, market research, yeah.

[03:05]  

Yeah, but the user research comes more from human factors.

[03:11]

Yep, products…  

[03:12]

Usability, interaction, ergonomics.  And in some companies, they are used interchangeably.  If you look at it as different focus on different areas of the customer journey, essentially…  Because the user experience right now has been mainly focused on how users are interacting whether on your website, your application but is going more towards the product and in a little more task base how you use that.  But that also has been an area where customer experience has come in like product testing, concept testing. So it’s a lot of mixed terms.     

[04:02]   

One of the things that I find really interesting is it feels like a lot of the work that is actually being done between by a market researcher, which is my background, and user experience is stuff like…  I mean in 2001 or 2002, I was on-site at Intuit in Mountain View, California. They had built usability labs, and we were doing eye-tracking and exercises where we would say, “Can you do this?”, “Show me how you do this.”, with users, which all fits underneath this user experience umbrella now.  And it’s interesting, again, how… Like you said it, it’s funny I never connected VoC, but you’re right. So, it’s like market research, and then, all of a sudden, you have this variant that came out of it, a child called VoC, voice of customer, that was very big. And it somehow was perceived as something different than market research.  Like NPS almost holds a different space now than market research, right? It totally does. And now user experience, I think it has a lot to do with where the butt is in the corporation. So, if they’re sitting right beside product, then they’re user experience; and if they’re not, they’re probably market research or data scientists or…, right?  It’s an interesting kind of evolution.   

[05:27]

In some companies, customer experience is a more broad term, and then user experience is just one branch of it.  And others are going the other way around where you have the user experience. In terms of the language, if you’re a customer, you’re a user; if you’re a user, you’re a customer.  So it’s hard…  

[05:46]  

Exactly.

[05:47]

It’s hard to make that differentiation.  So, that’s why has to do with where researchers have put their focus on the customer journey.  So, when you go to the interaction area, you do a lot of usability testing. Before I started the company in 2007, I was Director of Research for Blockbuster online, and we also had a lab.  And I was at Match.com before that and also we had a lab. It was very much into the web interaction. Now with more apps out there, it’s also extending to apps. But it’s about usability in many ways.  And there are quant and qual methods in that; there is information architecture testing in that. But it’s all about the interaction. But, at the same time, the customer is one. And so, you start extending that: “OK, I interacted with your website or your app, but I’m also interacting with customer service, and I’m also looking at your advertising.  And so, it’s part of this user experience, customer experience, maybe before and after you become a customer. How you call that, right? So that’s why it’s probably better to… Like I look at it more like the journey. When you start mapping the journey of the potential customer or current customer, now you can see how the different types of research going to that journey.  So we do both: we do both the traditional customer experience-type of research and also user research where iTracking, task-based, usability, and all that good stuff.  

[07:30]

Sorry, my voice is going away.  I’ve been doing this all day. It doesn’t like me talking, I guess.  Relevant Insights: Who is your ideal customer?

[07:41]

My ideal customer is the customer who understand research.  Right?  

[07:49]

Exactly.  Mine too.

[07:51]

That’s the one you want, right?  Because we have the challenge now in the last few years, which I have seen evolution in the industries, as new technology has come and facilitate do-yourself-type of research…  The reason influx of people who really don’t have a lot of experience in research because they have the impression that you have the tool, you can do it; anybody can do it. 

[08:20]  

I have this saying I’ve been using a lot lately: “Just ‘cause I have a scalpel, doesn’t mean I should do surgery.

[08:26]

Exactly, but I was once working on a proposal with a team of people, different companies; there was someone – I think they were in an PR company – they say…  And so, we were discussing price and they couldn’t understand why it would cost so much. They said literally, “But isn’t that like copy-and-paste in SurveyMonkey?”  That’s the idea of how research is: just a bunch of surveys and you just come up with any questions and you put out there. And there’s no understanding on how much work goes into doing, into designing good surveys and to doing good analytics and all that.  And so, that’s the challenge that, as technology has facilitated make it faster and easier to do, then also it is attention for quality, right? Because you want now better, faster, cheaper. And I always say that doesn’t exist. You can one or two of the three, not all three; that’s not possible.  If you get that promise, somebody is lying because you’re going to be stuck.  

If you want faster and cheaper, you’re not going to get better because you have to reduce the scope.  You have to cut corners somewhere because things cost. And for someone who has really done research, they realize how much work goes into it and why is it worth to pay for it, right?  And so, when you have a client that doesn’t really, has never done it, that’s the hardest sale and the more difficult relationship because they don’t get it. And so, we work directly with end-clients; we work with other research agencies as partners; and also, we work with advertising and marketing agencies when they need.  We are certified as women-owned and minority-owned, and so sometimes that helps to win a project because companies need supply diversity too. And so, that’s part of the three segments that we work on.        

[10:22]

It’s really interesting.  One of things that I’ve observed is there used to be a fair amount of rigor associated with being a researcher.  And one of the other guests I had on earlier today, he said that (actually, it was Simon Chadwick) said that when he started his career in research, he couldn’t do research for two years.  It was like that kind of a mentorship.  

[10:47]

Yes, yes, Simon actually was my mentor.

[10:50]

And nowadays, it’s out of the box.  It’s like expected. “Oh, here’s the template.  Do it.”

[10:55]

Yeah, yes.  And the automation also has a lot to do with that perception too.  Now it’s more and more of that. Actually, Simon was my mentor when I was at the MSMR program at UTA, which is a very good program.  We get out of school very purist: we want to do it the right way. And then reality start adjusting. And still… you mean their projects were…  I have to pass because the request for doing certain things there like… “No, I don’t feel comfortable delivering that. It’s just too much violation of the principles.”  That’s the challenge. So the best clients will be the ones who really understand and value research. That’s my final answer.  

[11:45]

Perfect.  Michaela, did I say your name right?

[11:50]

Michaela.

[11:50]

Michaela, sorry.

[11:54]

That’s OK.

[11:55]

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

[11:57]

Well, they can go to RelevantInsights.com.  We are there. Our phone number is there. You can find us there.

[12:05]

That sounds like a good way to do it.  Thank you very much for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast.

[12:10]

Thank you.  Thank you for inviting me.

[12:12]

Are you going to the event tonight?  The comic thingy.

[12:16]

Yes, the Second City Show.

[12:18]  

Yeah, that should be a lot of fun.

[12:19]  

That’s one of the good reasons I came to the conference too.  

[12:23]  

Yeah, no kidding.  Everybody, I really appreciate you taking the time to listen to this episode.  If you liked it, please do me a kindness and take time to screen capture, share it on social media.  As always, your reviews are immensely appreciated. Have a wonderful rest of your day. 

NEXT 2019 Conference Series – Lesley Rohrbaugh – Consumer Technology Association

Welcome to the 2019 NEXT Conference Series. Recorded live in Chicago, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Lesley Rohrbaugh, director or research at Consumer Technology Association.

Find Lesley Online:

LinkedIn

Website: https://www.cta.tech



[00:02

Lesley with CES.  Thanks for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast today.  

[00:07]    

Thanks for having me.

[00:08]

We are live at the NEXT Conference in Chicago.  What do you think about the show?

[00:12]

It’s amazing.  It’s so nice to be here with so many of our colleagues in the research community.  A lot of great turnout from all sides of the research community. So we have exhibitors here, and we have analysts on the corporate side, the non-profit side.  So it’s great to pick each other’s brains.

[00:28]

CES is a big deal.  I mean it’s the trade show of trade shows of trade shows, right, the mother ship.  But I hear that you guys have a track specific for research. 

[00:39]   

We do.  So, a few years ago, we started a research summit at the show that precedes the actual show days.  And we have a ton of participants there. We have multiple panels; we have speakers from big and small companies.  So we have startups and then we have the big, large corporations. But it’s attended by a few thousand people, and all we talk about for a few days is just research, research, research when it comes to technology.      

[01:06]

So, the application of technology to enable customer conversations sort of bent?  Is it user experience research, market research, kind of broad umbrella of just consumer points of view?  

[01:22]      

It’s a mix.  We also have B-to-B in there as well.  So, with technology, you have to be able to adopt it somehow, and what better way than to talk to companies in their space and see how they’re actually using things like voice, things like AI, robotics, all these different areas.  So it’s a mix of folks, and it’s really interesting to see the application of things like Artificial Intelligence being built into the data computerization and seeing how people are actually making these ideas come to life.    

[01:49]

I loved your talk this morning, especially as it related to smart devices.  The microwave is still frustrating to me because of all the stupid buttons on it.  

[01:58]

Right.

[01:59] 

And a microwave that actually can identify the objects, the items that are going in there, and then smartly uses that information to not burn the popcorn, as you aptly said, right?  Why don’t you give them sort of the highlights of your 30-minute chat? 

[02:14]

Yeah, sure.  So, obviously, 30 minutes is not long to talk about the entire 350+ billion-dollar technology world.  But some of the highlights include 5G: where we are? where we’re going? what it means? who’s driving it? which is really the industry as opposed to the consumer, which is a little bit different.  Additionally, we talked about Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality: how that impacts both the consumer and research and insights. And then also things like healthcare technology. We touched on that a little bit.  There’s a lot going on in that space. But, overall, I think some of the underlying technologies that we see throughout all of these products include Artificial Intelligence and the real state of Artificial Intelligence and where we are.  Things are not necessarily just smart anymore; they’re intelligent. So, I think that’s an underlying theme we see in a lot of these products.   

[03:08]

That’s an interesting distinction that I have, probably moronically, never made before your talk.  This idea between smart and intelligent. Because one is more of information in action – it’s doing stuff with it and then forms and outcomes.  Going back to the smart or intelligent whatever, microwave, that’s actually really interesting how you’re seeing a continual evolution in this new, uh, with AI. 

[03:41]

Yeah, that’s right, and it has so many different applications, whether it’s synthesizing these massive data sets.  I know I brought up the example of using AI for segmentation analysis and how much time it would save you. But also, just being able to read people’s emotions in an intelligent manner.  So, that facial recognition, that object recognition, that’s where it kind of comes into play. You know what are people’s emotions really telling you in a real-time fashion?  

[04:06]  

If somebody wants to learn more…  The audience for this particular podcast is centric to insight professionals, UX professionals, and market research professionals.  If they want to learn more about what CES is doing in research, how would they find out that information.  

[04:22]  

Sure.  So, CES is actually produced by the Consumer Technology Association, who conducts the research.  We can be found at www.CTA.tech.  And we have an entire research page, and we typically publish about three dozen studies a year, and that’s everything from B-to-B research, to B-to-C, but also it covers a ton of different topics and everything from your traditional tech like television and video and audio all the way through emerging tech studies such Artificial Intelligence. 

[04:56]

Love it.  Lesley, thanks for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast today.  

[05:00]  

Alright.  Thanks for having me.

[05:01]

Of all the guests I’ve ever solicited to be on it, you were the easiest.  Like you literally just like pivoted, walked right to the mic. It was hilarious.  

[05:08]

Well, good to hear.

[05:10]   

Thank you so much.  And thank you very much, Insights Association, for hosting us at the event.  Really appreciate it. If you found value in this episode, please take the time to screen capture, share it on social media.  We would love it. Reviews are always appreciated. Have a wonderful rest of your day. Bye, bye. 

NEXT 2019 Conference Series – John Tansey – Dapresy

Welcome to the 2019 NEXT Conference Series. Recorded live in Chicago, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews John Tansey, director of business development at Dapresy.

Find John Online:

LinkedIn

Website: https://www.dapresy.com


[00:02]

My guest today is John Tansey with Dapresy.  I still can’t say the name.

[00:08]    

Dapresy, Data Presentation Systems.

[00:12]

Dapresy.  I don’t know.  Anyway, I apologize.  

[00:15]

That’s OK.

[00:16]

Rudy has been on the show before.  I’ve been a big fan of your guys’ brand.  What is going on right now in the world of Dapresy?

[00:23]   

I’m still trying to figure this out because this is my second week on the job.  

[00:27]

Welcome.

[00:28]      

Thank you very much.  It’s exciting and, overall, joining, it’s clear to me they’re experiencing a lot of growth.  There’s a lot of hiring. We’re opening up a new office in Sarajevo.

[00:38]

Congratulations.  That’s huge.

[00:40]

A lot of it is sales and marketing.  And then we’re trying to figure out who’s going to do the work that we’re selling to.  So, there’s positions open for that as well.  

[00:48] 

How exciting.  I mean you guys offer industry-leading, customized data dashboards that pull data in.  I always thought of it as quite literally as a BI for insights. Is business evolved into a different direction or is that still the core competency?    

[01:07]

It’s still the core.  And the target has always been mid to large market research companies as well as enterprise but we now have a Do-It-Yourself option coming out, which is a much lower entry point in terms of cost.  So we’re going back to many of the people who maybe have been turned off in the past with this new offering going forward.  

[01:25]

So that is going to unlock a whole different set of customers, it sounds like.

[01:31]

Sure.

[01:31]  

What do they look like?  What are the personas? Do you know?

[01:35] 

Users of?  These are people who respond…  Well, the short answer is, “No, I don’t know.  I’m trying to figure this out.”  

[01:42]

I love it.

[01:44]  

You have owners buying it.  You know from smaller market research companies and analysts using it.  

[01:51]

You think about like enterprise research or enterprise solutions used to be sold at an executive level.  These are like big bundled products, expensive, difficult to deploy. And now, like in modern context, it feels to me that any business that’s here as a technology-based business that doesn’t have a premium DIY (I don’t need to talk to anybody) offering in the next three years is going to have a big problem with growth.  You have to operate at that level. One of the things, I think, that SurveyMonkey has done a great job of over its whatever 15 years is exactly operating in that space. Like it fits like a CRM or SalesForce or MailChimp. I feels like a tool that I can just plug into my platform so that I can easily get to things. But, on the other side of it, I really believe you have to have the Do-It-For-Me option as well because, especially in insights, things can get complex; people can get busy.  And we’re happy to write checks to solve those problems.      

[02:52]

Sure, I think that works well for enterprise and people who, unlike you and I, did not grow up in this industry and did not work as a research analyst and kind of just need a reporting solution and somebody to do it for them.     

[03:05]   

Totally.

[03:06]

And the thing I love about the product is it’s designed for market researchers.  You mentioned Business Intelligence tools. You wrestle when you try and squeeze market research projects into those tools, but this is designed for people like us.

[03:20] 

Exactly, exactly.  All right, great. If somebody wants to get in contact with you, how would they do that?

[03:24]

Well, I don’t have any business cards.  They can dial 603-978-6594.

[03:31]

Well, and do you have an email address?  

[03:32]

I do.  John J-O-H-N.T-A-N-S-E-Y@D-A-P-R-E-S-Y – Dapresy.

[03:44]

Got it, and we’ll include that information in the show notes as well.  John, thanks so much for being on the show.  

[03:48]

Thank you, Jamin.

[03:49]  

Everybody else that’s listening, appreciate your time and attention.  Special thanks to the Insights Association for hosting us here. Have a great rest of your day.

NEXT 2019 Conference Series – Ellen Kolstø – IBM Q

Welcome to the 2019 NEXT Conference Series. Recorded live in Chicago, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Ellen Kolstø, Design Principal at IBM Q. 

Find Ellen Online:

LinkedIn

Website: www.ibm.com/us-en


[00:02]

My guest today is Ellen.  Ellen’s been on the show before.  She’s with IBM Q, right?

[00:08]    

Well, yeah.  I’m actually now working in the quantum computing space.  I used to work on AI for two-and-a-half years, which is how I happen to be here, talking about AI.  

[00:17]

How did your talk go?  

[00:19]

It was great.  We had a lot of really interesting people in the room, a lot of discussion around “Are you ready for AI?”, “What does it involve?” in terms of having successful AI or AI that works reliably.  So we had a great discussion. 

[00:31]

That’s awesome.  This is my first time at the NEXT Conference.  Have you been here before?

[00:35]   

No, this is my first time too.

[00:37]

What do you think?

[00:38]      

Oh, I think it’s great.  I think that anytime you can get a bunch of market researchers together to talk about what’s going on, it’s super helpful.  And you learn something from what everyone else is doing. I took a bunch of mental notes even in my own session of people mentioning things.  So, yeah, it’s helpful.

[00:53]

It’s fun; that’s fun.  So, what are you seeing as…?  Were you able to participate in any of the earlier sessions?

[01:00]

[Sighs] No, I flew in late last night.

[01:01] 

That’s what I thought.

[01:02]

And then we were preparing for this morning’s presentation.  So, I learned a lot in my own session so far.

[01:11]

Ahh, that’s…  What’s your big takeaway?

[01:13]

That everyone is super excited about AI, but they don’t know how to get started.  

[01:19]  

Totally.

[01:19]  

And my view point on it is it’s the same sort of test-and-learn scenario of any part of market research:  take a small part of what you’re doing, test it out, figure out what you’re learning and move from there rather than trying to boil the ocean.  And I think that was what a lot of the people who tried it were talking about as well in the session.  

[01:43]

So, what is one practical way…  Can people engage with you or IBM to help in a similar way to like AWS?

[01:52]  

Uh, well, that’s a good question.  Uh, that’s a hard one for me to answer.

[02:00]

Are engagements usually…  Like when I think about IBM, you know this is enterprise-to-enterprise sort of like an engagement, right?  And that’s kind of like the sweet spot, I think, of why people turn to IBM in that kind of context.

[02:12]

Right.  I mean we have cloud services and we do have Watson on the cloud.  So you can..

[02:18]   

Oh Watson, yeah, right.  Exactly.

[02:20]

Yeah, you can access Software as a Service through IBM as well.  So you can engage in that way. I just wasn’t sure if you meant me personally, or…

[02:29]  

No, no, no, I’m sorry.  That was a bad question.    

[02:30]

I was like, “Well, you could, but that would be a LOT of people.”  

[02:33]

That would be a lot of people.

[02:34]

Uh, but you can actually use IBM’s products, but we create products in the space that help other people build models.  So the question is whether you want to build your own model or whether you want use a service that already has models built for you. 

[02:49]

Oh, got it.  That’s actually super interesting.

[02:51]

Yeah, it’s a decision to make for sure.

[02:55]  

Good.  Yeah, so, you’re flying out today?

[02:58]

I am.

[02:59]

Are you really?

[03:00]

I’ve got client meetings tomorrow.  So, it’s like no rest for the weary.

[03:04]

No rest for the wicked.  I think is how that goes.  

[03:05]

I know the wicked.  I like to say “weary” instead of “wicked,” but yeah.

[03:10]

My grandmother taught me that.  Anyway…

[03:12]

I know.  My grandmother probably taught me that too.  

[03:15]

That’s hilarious.  Ellen, thank you so much for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast.

[03:18]

Oh, my pleasure.

[03:19]

Safe travels to you.

[13:20]

Thank you.

[03:20]

Everybody else, please take the time to rate this show.  Your reviews allow other people like you to be able to find it.  If you’re not attending the NEXT Conference right now in Chicago, I’d encourage you to check out the Converge Conference that’s coming up in fall; actually, I think it’s December.  So it’s wintertime; it’s the last conference of the year. It’s a fantastic one based out of L.A. Out of 2018, it was the best conference that I went to. No offense to any of the other GreenBook.  It’s really small, super intimate, fantastic content that we covered there. Anyway, have a wonderful rest of your day.  

NEXT 2019 Conference Series – David Paull – Engagious

Welcome to the 2019 NEXT Conference Series. Recorded live in Chicago, 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.

Find David Online:

LinkedIn

Website: https://www.engagious.com



[00:02]

David Paull, Engagious.

[00:04]    

Yes, sir.  Great to see you.

[00:06]

One of the leading podcasts in the market research space.  What do you think of all the lists for podcasts that’s been popping up?  

[00:14]

Well, I think it’s great that the industry is taking notice and wanting to share it.  I’m certainly gratified by the ones that we make it on. You know you sit in…  

[00:22]

Which is all of them.

[00:23]   

Well, thank you.  Likewise, for you.  I’m always in good company.  You know you sit in a room with a microphone and you talk into it.  And you hope that on the other end somewhere, someone is going to listen.  And to this day, podcast analytics are still not great.  

[00:38]

They’re terrible.

[00:38]      

So it’s hard to know if people are listening.  It’s even harder to know how long they’re listening.  I don’t care if someone starts it. I want to know if they get past 30 seconds.  Are they actually sticking with it so that I know there’s value in the work we’re doing?  

[00:52]

On your platform, are you able to deduce if they actually listen at all?  All I’m getting is downloads.  

[00:56]

Yeah, it’s really just download.  We also put them on YouTube, and YouTube will tell us if we get a view.  But they count a view after 30 seconds, which doesn’t do me..

[01:05] 

Yeah, totally.  How’s your YouTube?  So, this is one of things that actually I’m doing right now.  It started last week. We’re taking all of our backlog of audio, and we’re then converting it into YouTube.  Are you doing that?

[01:20]

Yeah, we’ve done that from Day 1.  We create a video version, and for most of them, when I’m not recording video, it’s just a head shot over a… 

[01:28]

Something moving.

[01:29]

Yeah, something moving.  But we do get… YouTube is the No.2 search engine in the world.  So it only makes sense to have your content there. And we are starting to do more and more video interviews, either in person or over Zoom or something.  So those fit really nicely on YouTube as well.  

[01:49] 

That’s awesome.  So, you are using Zoom.  I’m actually thinking about converting over to Zoom for the interviews as opposed to…  I have a special like fancy-pants app that gets rid of latency issues, but it doesn’t do video.  

[02:04]  

Right, right.  And so, Zoom, I will tell you, nothing’s perfect, right?  So, Zoom is a great application. The video quality is pretty good.  Sometimes the audio will actually be slightly out of syn with the video.  There’s latency on the audio. Now, the fix for that, of course, is when I bring it into final cut to edit it, I just break off the audio file and I move it a few half-seconds one way or the other and everything synches back up.  So there’s work-arounds. It’s a little bit of a hassle, but…   

[02:34]

But the good news is that it doesn’t sound like it’s an elongated… 

[02:38]  

It doesn’t get progressively worse, yeah.  It seems to just be off a little bit.  

[02:43]

Favorite guest so far this year.  Who is it?  

[02:47]

Favorite guest so far this year.   

[02:50]

We love them all, we love them all.

[02:51]

It’s an episode I haven’t even released yet.  He’s a graphic designer out of Portland named Aaron Draplin.  He’s done work for Nike. He’s a prominent speaker in the graphic design world as well.  He’s a larger-than-life character. He told me some incredibly funny stories as well as some really useful tips.  We’re probably not going to release that until later in the year. So, that’s a little anti-climactic. I got to talk to Eric Solomon, who was a keynote speaker here.  Having worked at Spotify, and Instagram, and YouTube, and Google, he knows just a little bit about technology. So he was fascinating too.     

[03:29]  

Yeah, that’s not a bad guess.  I’m definitely going to be tuning in to that.  When’s that one up?

[03:34]

That one’s up.  Yeah, that one’s up.  We did that one a couple of weeks ago in promotion for this event.  So, yeah, he’s here to today. We’ll have to make sure he stops by and chats with you.  He’s great.

[03:46]

I tell you what.  One of the things I’m really in love with is the cross-support that’s happening inside of the podcast community.  Going back to YouTube really quick, being one of the largest search engines, one of the hacks that… And I think this is something that would be really good to explain to people for discoverability.  You think about the modern buyer of whatever it is that we’re selling is using the internet oftentimes. That plays a part in the consumer journey, right? So the better your SEO… Are you seeing YouTube as an overall improvement to SEO?  

[04:22]

Yes, because if you post your YouTube videos properly and you tag them properly…  YouTube’s part of Google. It’s not that people searching on YouTube is the No. 2 search engine.  It’s that when people are searching on Google, YouTube results are getting served up often at the very top of that results page.  So, if you search on the right terms and I’ve tagged it right and I’ve built up just enough viewers, my video interview might show up above many of the first-page search results.  

[04:54]

Thanks pretty awesome.

[04:55]

So, it’s trying to hack Google a little bit by just using a whole other channel of theirs.  

[05:00]  

And the best part about it is it’s actually giving consumers value at a click, as opposed to sales content, which is very, very powerful, I think, and one of things that Goggle’s seeking to prioritize as well.     

[05:15]

Yeah, absolutely, we don’t sell anything on the podcast.  It’s all about delivering value, delivering learnings, trying to give back into our community.  And, of course, the by-product there is, if people are interested in what I’m talking about and they want to seek me out, then all the better.      

[05:34]

Awesome.  So, NEXT conference.  What do you think?

[05:35]

I like this conference a lot.  I really love the intersection of research and technology.  It’s not super huge; so, you really get to talk to everybody.  I really like it. I like everything the Insights Association does.  We’re a supporter of theirs, and I think they put on really good quality, targeted events.  So I’m happy with this one.

[05:56]

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

[05:59]

Thanks for having me, as always.

[06:00]

Everybody else, we will link David Paull’s information in the show notes.  Please, please, please reach out to me if you have any questions about podcasting, or what in the world Engagious is doing these days.  Have a great rest of your day. 

NEXT 2019 Conference Series – David Almy – Insights Association

Welcome to the 2019 NEXT Conference Series. Recorded live in Chicago, 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 Almy, CEO of Insights Association.

Find David Online:

LinkedIn

Website: https://www.insightsassociation.org


[00:02]

Hi, this is Jamin.  You’re listening to the Happy Market Research Podcast.  David Almy is the guest today. I am going to play our conversation with you.  We kind of picked up at a neat spot, I think, talking about trends in the space, how insights are becoming a cornerstone of success for modern businesses.  Enjoy.

[00:23]   

Well, from ’82 to ’84, I wrote an article called Business Aviation – The Fortune 500, which was a correlation of the use of business aircraft to financial performance.  

[00:39]

That’s fascinating.  

[00:42]

Yeah, and so, and it looked at the Fortune 500 and said that if you owned a business jet, for instance, how’d you do.  And I did it for three years times 500 companies, and big surprise to you probably is that there was a correlation between performance and business-jet ownership. 

[01:00]

Wow!

[01:01]   

Now, the great question then is whether or not it was causal or…

[01:05]

Always the question

[01:06]      

…or otherwise.  Having done that 82’ to 84’, very long time ago, you come here and you listen to your commen

[01:15]

Throw that thing out there.

[01:16]

And I have never seen any of that correlation study in this industry.

[01:23] 

Why is that?

[01:24]

Because this industry is not as evolved, not as mature (a funny word to use) as the business-jet industry, which has been around for 60, 70 years bigger 

[01:37]

Before…

[01:37]

Yeah, yeah.  So it’s an evolution of the industry’s group-think, if you will.  So, you announced to me this morning Watermark. And I’m going like, “Holy crap!”  This is exactly what I need, been looking for and did 38 years ago or whatever it is.

[01:57]  

Totally.

[01:57]  

And I went to look for it and couldn’t find it.  So you’ve got to tell me where do find it.

[02:02]

I’ll give it to you.  I have it on my desktop, well, laptop.

[02:06]  

OK, good.  It’s a keen interest, and I think particularly when you looked at the Insights Association, our mandate is economic development, is what it is.  It’s a not-for-profit 501C6.

[02:20]

That’s interesting you say that.  I did not know that.  

[02:22]

Yeah, that’s what we’re here to do.  Per the IRS, that’s our reason for being, is the growth of the industry.  And it’s a lovely term in the IRS regs, but our mandate is the growth of the industry from we draw our members.  That’s different than the growth of our members because it’s broader, bigger than that. And I’ve always loved that turn of phrase, you know.  So, come back to your Watermark, I’d really love to see that study and probably, if they want to do it again, participate in it somehow, support it ‘cause that’s… 

[03:01]   

Yeah, I’ve just been in Twitter conversations with one of their principals.  I can’t remember her name offhand but, yeah, I’ll do whatever I can to help connect.  

[03:14]

Yeah, that’d be great, that’d be great.  

[03:16]  

For sure.  I mean it’s a big deal, and it’s a great paper, I think.

[03:22]

It is a big deal, and it’s one that I kind of know in a different life.

[03:26]

Yeah, totally, it’s funny that we haven’t been driving that conversation though, to your point.  And I think that that’s systemic, or it’s endemic – anyways, it’s one of the “demics” – where we have had this like stuck-in-time framework.  And, if you pull back, you can see that… I started my research career in ’96. Market research was its thing in a department inside of a large corporation.  And then, tools came around. Remember Confirmit launched one of the first VoC at scale using Google ad words. And so, VoC all of a sudden became this like different thing.  NPS then became a component. Neither of those now necessarily sit underneath market research: they sit underneath marketing. And then you see user experience that is now also been birthed out of market research for all intents and purposes; they just don’t know it, so like an abandoned child in every way.  And so, what’s happening is on the vend diagram, they’re doing the same or similar type of work as market researchers but they’re all young. I haven’t seen many UXers (There’s a few) but many UX researchers that are like us, age-wise. They’re having to figure it out like they’re starting from nothing, which is really funny because basic questionnaire design and all these kinds of things that we’ve had in our rubric over time that to know that something’s good or bad in terms of research, they’re trying to define the rubric.  And then, you look at LinkedIn #marketresearch, 350,000 people follow it; #userexperience over 4 million. So, you see what I mean? So now, it’s like, “Gosh, we really have a stage that we should stand on and assert ourselves because they’re looking for the parental role. I really believe that.         

[05:24]

Right, right.  Well, the question that you’ve drawn is what’s the identity of the community and why is it segmented, fractured, spinning off asteroids in seemingly not cohesive.  I asked Simon Chadwick one day this year… I said, “When was the last time that the industry was really cohesive? Everybody was on the same page; everybody was doing the same thing?”  And he instantly said, “2004.”      

[05:51]

Really?

[05:52]

And I said, “OK, what was going on in 2004?”  And he kind of made the case that we knew all about secondary data in 2004 but it wasn’t here yet.  So, everybody was doing primary research and custom and it was all, it was like copy-cat around the room.  And then this cliff came, and the world started to just radically change. They knew it was coming; it wasn’t a surprise. It was just the ball started rolling down the hill and picking up moss in different directions and going in different directions.  I also think, talking about the culture of the industry, that we tend to self-fragment almost. Instead of kind of rallying around a center point, we tend to say, “Oh, well, we’re special; we’re different; it’s what we do.” As I say sometimes (it’s horrible and pejorative) but we get paid by the number of tabs that are in the binder.  So we got an economic incentive to fragment, which is bad. I don’t think we’re quite there yet. To take that home a little bit, we’ve been having a lot of conversations. I’ve been having a lot of conversations in the last year about whether we’re a support function or a leadership function.  

And it’s my view…  I think culturally, traditionally, we have been a support function.  That’s how we view ourselves: well, we do research and we come up with the ideas and we kind of slip them under a door.  It’s like your hotel bill at the end of the stay. And then there’s this “Oh, try to do this or do that.” But what I laid out yesterday, which was the first time in the U.S. that I had laid it out with the four-step process:  problem, research process, outcome or insights, and implementation. That’s the definition of a leadership function rather than the definition of a support function with implementation being key to it. This came from a conversation, kind of this concept came from a conversation I had with the Head of Function for Labatt in Toronto, of all places.  So, she’s a corporate researcher in-house at Labatt’s breweries, Alyssa Rodrigo, great 32-year-old person, by the way, there. I said, “What do you do? What’s your life like?” Corporate researcher, I’m asking the question to. And she said, “Well, 75% of my time is spent implementing the insights that we come up with.” And I said, “Really?” And I said, “So, 25% of your time is research, and 75% is implementation?”  And she said, “Yes.” And I said, “Do you know how rare you are?” And you could hear her blush over the phone; it was pretty funny.  

But, when you think about what she’s doing, she’s not alone in that, and I think there’s a trend in that direction because of realization – just as you talked this morning – realization about customer centricity and the key to the future and key to success and key to a company culture’s effectiveness.  She’s on the frontline; she’s actually doing it: 75% of her time. And I said, “How do you do that?” And she said, “I set up meetings; we have discussions.” I said, “Well, what about the research part?” She said, “Well, we outsource most of the research.” She said, “I direct it.” But she was really focused on the 75%.  And she said at the end of the day, the thing that makes her happiest is seeing changes in the results in the company’s bottom line as the result of the changes that she’s done, the implementation that she’s done. That’s, to my ear, that’s a completely permanent position that is essential to the company’s success and will never be optional because it’s central: it’s at the heart of who they are and where they’re going.  

[10:01]

When you think about…  We hear a lot about ROI on research, which is this very vacuous framework.  One of ways I’ve heard it implemented or measured is how many times are they cited?  How much is research being cited in the actual business cases of the next step that we’re going to take?  Like next quarter or whatever. So it’s like how much voice is really being represented of the customer. I mean that in a generic sense, a market research way, consumer insights into the subsequent business plans.  Is it all just gut/feel from the executive level? In which case there’s no ROI on the research. We’re wasting our time. So, I mean this is a one-use case; there’s others. But that’s one that I think I can really kind of like get my hands around.             

[10:45]  

So, fun parallel for you.  I looked at (again, prior life), I looked at the uses of business jets.  And I asked the question, “So, what are people using business jets for?” And, of course, you think, “Well, the CEO got to a meeting in Oklahoma City or something or other,” right?  And that’s easy. That’s one. I spent 12 years on this topic and found about 37 different uses that I was able to identify of how companies were using it. The reason it took so long is that it was considered “secret sauce.”       

[11:17]

Oh, interesting.  

[11:18]

It’s proprietary.  It’s part of our strategy to succeed.  So we don’t broadcast it, and over the years I noticed that one in ten, only one in ten, companies that I would talk to would actually tell me real stuff and when you get to insights, the question is, “How many insights have I actually had handed to me?”  “Here’s what we’ve done at our company insights-wise. Here’s the outcome of the research process.” And the answer is, “Those are tough to come by because they’re ‘secret sauce’.” It’s the undiscovered country, I think. And I think there needs to be a lot more research on what those outcomes actually look like.  I think we’d be surprised. I don’t need to know Company X is doing this particular thing and that particular thing, but the tone and tenor of them, the flavor of them, the innovation that’s built into them – I just want to see and understand a lot of them to get my arms around what the benefit actually looks like. That’s before the implantation but just what comes out of the research process.      

[12:24]

Totally.

[12:24]

There’s maybe two paragraphs that says, “Build this widget,” or “Offer that service,” or “Change this this way,” etc.  And I think we’d be fascinated and I think the community would be fascinated if we could benchmark effectively in some way to show each other what we’re doing.   

[12:42]

Yeah, I mean in a lot of ways I think that’s the function of Insights Association, is sort of that opportunity to come together as a family and have Christmas dinner and get to know each other again, right.  So, it’s… I think the Christmas dinner is kind of a good analogy anyways too because you have sometimes that you don’t necessarily like that uncle or whatever.  

[13:01]

Well, we have some honest broker qualities that we’re supposed to listen and not disclose but help.

[13:09]

But getting to, I think, the broader point, which is we are in a stage right now of a rising tide.  And this is an opportunity: I believe over the next three years is… will be in my career probably the last time I see anything like this happen where you’re going to see insights being asked, being pulled into the boardroom.  So, I was talking with Simon about this recently… I believe there’s going to be a function that’s created that is like Insights Oversight role from a consumer insight perspective. 

[13:41]

There should be.

[13:42]

Absolutely, because right now it’s so fractured.  Everybody from the intern to the CEO is doing research.  There needs to be some overarching governance around it not just from a compliance perspective – yes, to that – but also from a quality of control perspective and interest in the customer.

[14:00]

It’s an essential role.  It’s an essential specialty.  It’s not an ad-hoc thing. It’s its own locus.

[14:08]

Totally.

[14:09]

..it has to be there, and it has to, I think we need to evolve.  And that’s why we’ve just adopted this new tagline that talks about creating competitive advantage.  And that’s that central purpose. You got to have somebody that fundamentally works on that 60 hours a week.        

[14:30]

Yep, exactly.

[14:31]

And that’s where we are.

[14:33]

Super exciting.  Insights Association is doing…  What is new in the Insights Association? 

[14:39]  

Well, we have a new code that we just finalized in April, which we’re going to mail to the membership.  We also are surveying corporate researchers right now; we got a research study in the field and a phase 2 coming with regard to the uses of research and the methodologies and tools as well.  We’ll get the implementation part of this, and I think you’re going to see some emphasis on the implementation of insights in both this year and in future years because that’s a big topic. 

[15:17]  

Got it.  The next event for you is…

[15:22]  

CRC, Corporate Researchers Conference, in October.  There’s a small event, which is CEO Summit in Edinburgh coming up. 

[15:30]

Is this the first time you’ve done international?  You did…

[15:32]

We did London last year, London last year in concert with MRS, and we’ll be back with MRS in Edinburgh in September.

[15:39]   

Who’s hosting?  I know here it’s Merrill and Steve Schlesinger.

[15:42]

It’s Merrill and Steve, and Glen Foreman is going to be involved as well in Edinburgh.  I think it’s right after Congress, so…   

[15:52]  

Nice.

[15:53]

…Wednesday, Thursday, Friday right after Congress in Edinburgh.  CRC will be in October in Orlando, and hope to see you there.         

[16:02]

Oh, yeah, you will, for sure.  We’ll be exhibiting or something.  We’ll 100% be asking to do Happy Market Research on the premises.         

[16:12]

OK, good, good.

[16:13]

Yeah, good.  That’s exciting.  If somebody wants to join Insights Association, how would they do that?  

[16:18]

Website’s right there or give me a call or send me an email.

[16:23]  

Love it.  

[16:23]

David.Almy@InsightsAssociation.org.

[16:26]

Perfect.  David, thank you so much for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast today.

[16:29

Thank you.  

[16:30]

Everybody else, please take time to…  I want you to share the episodes. What I really want you to do, if you’re in the insights function, take the time, go online, check out the Insights Association.  I’m a member. I find tremendous value: they produce great content; they have a very active forum as well for you to ask questions from your peer group; look for mentors, whatever; look for vendors.  It’s a really good supportive community. Take the time. Investigate it. I’d encourage you to sign up. It’s a nominal fee relative to… It’s certainly an outsized value aspect there. So take advantage of that – Insights Association.  Have a wonderful rest of your day!