2019 CRC Series – Colson Steber – Communications for Research, Inc.

Welcome to the 2019 CRC Series. Recorded live in Orlando, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Colson Steber, Co-CEO of Communications for Research, Inc.

Find Colson Online:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/colsonsteber

Email: csteber@cfrinc.net

Website: www.cfrinc.net

Find Jamin Online:

Email: jamin@happymr.instawp.xyz 

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jaminbrazil

Twitter: www.twitter.com/jaminbrazil 

Find Us Online: 

Twitter: www.twitter.com/happymrxp 

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/happymarketresearch 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/happymrxp 

Website: www.happymr.com 


Hi, this is Jamin. You’re listening to the Happy Market Research Podcast. The next set of episodes are conversations I had at this year’s Corporate Researchers Conference or CRC. This is put on by the Insights Association in Orlando, Florida. I had quite a few interesting conversations highlighting specific companies that exhibited this year as well as a couple of speakers, Wells Fargo, IBM, etc. I hope you have a really good rest of your day and enjoy these short episodes.


Hey, everybody. This is Jamin. You are listening to Happy Market Research Podcast. We are live at the Insights Association’s CRC event. What city are we in? I keep forgetting.




My guest today is Colson Steber; Communications for Research is the name of the company. Colson, thanks for being on the show.




You got to tell me something. This is the morning of Day Two. Did you go to any content yesterday?


I went to Steve August coaching.


Tell me what you thought.


I loved the tools he introduced to us in the session but did not engage a lot with the conversation during the session. Struck up a conversation with him afterwards and ended up taking up the entire afternoon getting free coaching for about two and a half hours.


I hope you bought him a drink or something.


Unfortunately, not. We got interrupted a lot since we sat in the lobby and lots of people walk past us that were arriving for the conference.


Does the ROI for him, does that pay off down the road, you think? Like good feelings?


For him?


Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean he’s now in a coaching business. So potentially, right. I mean, I now know his story. He knows my story and by…


There could be work down the line. What was one of your big takeaways from the conversation? Because the ROI might be somebody listens to this show and then reaches out to Steve August for coaching.


We talked a lot about how to go deeper in my niche of agriculture sector research without abandoning everything else we can do and can service.


It’s the classic mile wide, inch deep versus go really deep in a single thing. And you’ve got to do both in a lot of cases.


So, as I was mentioning to you directly before this, I’m rethinking my marketing strategy for 2020 significantly and working to move entirely away from this list of services-based website to what outcome do we create for our customers?


Dude, I mean that’s a really… Okay, so, let’s back up. Give our audience a little context of Communications for Research. What is it you guys do?


We add value by helping to plan research, communicate that plan in terms of the sampling plan and field work and how it’s going to get executed and then providing services to do so. And I call that research logistics. The best example being working with researchers themselves, typically as third-party contractors to understand how they’re going to access the audience, help them with the screening criteria and what we’ll do, how we’ll reach them and going out and providing all of those data collection services and handing back something that they can actually use at the end rather than just a flat data file.


I love it. There is a trend in the last 12 months that I’ve seen towards the term research ops or research operations, but it’s actually research-ops one word. And there’s two different Slack channels that I have just been created that I’ll send to you if you’re interested. What’s happened is there’s this new generation of researchers, and they haven’t been schooled in research operations, but they’re primarily coming at it from UX and CX or user experience and customer experience versus traditional market research. So, as those areas are flourishing, there’s this like void of how do I… play in research. And that’s where, I think, to your point, there’s a really big market opportunity in order to help these companies and individuals grow and execute their research. So, they’re focusing more on the insight and less on the operational consideration.


Yes, absolutely. So, actually, being the research operation, being able to take the fact that I need to include research in my process and it is part of my process, but I need someone to manage and execute that process, we can come in and not be the order taker but actually work alongside of the team to understand the research outcome, set up the plan, communicate it, and iterate it as you go through research. I would say research is a gray area and if we knew the answer, we wouldn’t be researching it. Oftentimes we work in really difficult… All the … like the agriculture sector or heavy equipment or financial services where you have to get into the field, try to engage an audience, and then iterate based off of the actual outcome that you’re getting.


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


Through my website CFRInc.net or directly to me at see C. Steber@CFRinc.net.


Perfect. I love the access right away to the head honcho.


Yes, having a new business development account manager that specializes in it, but I still make sure to have a personalized relationship with every single, potential, new customer that we have.


Hey listen. When I was CEO Focusvision, I did the same thing. Like if it was a customer I was going to get to know the customer, which is just how it, and that actually pays big dividends.


It’s my role in the business is a finance and vision. And so, I want to understand exactly who our customer is and discuss what that relationship could look like for us and how we can service it best back with my client services team when a new person comes and finds us.


The connectivity to the customer really creates this beautiful improved value proposition so that you are creating and evolving your business around what it is exactly that the current customer is looking for because we’re always in a state of evolution; we haven’t like figured it out. Like social recruiting is changing. And you nodded vigorously there, right? So, you see there’s all these different ways of communicating and connecting with perspective participants.




And so, to that end, we’ve got to make sure that we’re recruiting the right people for our customers. And that’s where it gets really…


There is actual expertise in knowing how to engage the audience to get them to do research.


Exactly. It’s hard.


Right. And what unfortunately, the data collections field services role has been put down into this order, taking not an equal part of the team position. And that’s how I refuse to operate.


Yeah. That’s beautiful. I think that’s exactly right. It’s not a commodity.


So, I oftentimes am the guy that has our project manager or myself forced that discussion to say, what is the screening criteria? Does it actually meet the research outcome that they’re interested in? And looking at the logic based off of, are we including the people that will provide a relevant opinion to the research we’re working to conduct?


Perfect. Colson Steber, Communications for Research. Check them out. Everybody else, if found value in this episode. please take time: screen capture, share it on social media. You can find Colson’s information inside of the show notes. Have a great rest of your day.