Welcome to the #IIEX Europe Conference Series 2019. Recorded live in Amsterdam, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Frank Hayden, COO at Op4G.
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We are live today. I have got Frank Hayden, the CEO – COO, excuse me, right? For Op4G?
Op4G, sorry. Which sounds like a rapper sort of thing.
It can be to some people. (Laughs.) But in the market research space, we’re a—
You down with OP— Anyway.
Yes, Op4G is Opinions 4 Good and we work with nonprofits. From the food bank of San Francisco to American Red Cross to very local charitable groups. We do an outreach for them to have their members, their donors, volunteers and supporters to join our panel and with their participation of surveys, they have to put back a percentage to the nonprofit that brought them to us. We’re here today in Amsterdam rolling out our European business.
How are you guys different than Research For Good?
We’re different in the fact that we actually go out and make the relationship with the nonprofit, which means it’s a little bit stickier. They can go into our portal and see how many dollars that their research activities have generated for that nonprofit. Research For Good, you join their panel, and they do more of a river based sampling as well, mixing that in, which we’re different in that fact that we only work with nonprofits exclusively. With them, you can pick and choose who you want to join with. With us, you’re pretty much invited in. There’s no open recruitment.
That’s super interesting. How long have you been around? Has the business been around?
And you were early? A founder?
I was early in. They asked me to come in. I was with Greenfield, then Toluna, then sat out a year, and then they asked me to pretty much start the business from scratch.
It’s interesting having an invite-only approach because one of the biggest issues facing market research, in my opinion, is centered around data quality. I’m 22 years in the industry. CPIs continue to go down. We’ve hit the bottom of that, by the way. The actual amount of money or reward that goes to the respondent is relatively small. Again, in aggregate, not picking on any specific brands here or companies. It really is, for me, creating this moment of crisis. I do this exercise, in fact, I’m going to do it tomorrow when I speak here: “How many of you have taken a survey in the last six months for third-party companies?” I’m not talking about satisfaction on the last customer service interaction, I’m talking about outside solicitation of, “I’d like your opinion.” The answer is not very many people ever raise their hand to that question. And yet, there’s an order of, back of the napkin, about 1.4 million surveys that are done in North America every day. There are a lot of surveys that are being done, and I can’t figure out who’s doing all the surveys. You’ve got this inflection point of overall CPIs are really cheap and then you’ve got more demand for people to take surveys. It’s starting to really kind of hit this, in my opinion, I’m calling it a crisis, that’s probably overstating it, but it’s a material concern centered around data quality. How good is the actual data?
Just to finish the point, Remesh, I’m very good friends with Andrew, the founder, and Gary, his COO. They now have in their open-ended, moderated, chat-based discussions, they now ask a screening question which is, “What is your favorite color?” Sixty percent of the answers that they get back are, on average, are “I really like that” and “ASDF.” That’s the first question. (Laughs.) Right? That’s kind of the problem that we’re facing and so having an invite-only panel is interesting because, presumably, you’re inviting a real human being.
We are stepping back the pricing concessions you’ve seen in the market, we feel like we have not been participating in that, the reason being is because of our model we’re not allowed to present a dollar incentive knowing that the nonprofit is going to benefit, at minimum, 25 percent. That allows us to, unfortunately, good and bad, stay out of the bottom pricing, which we know the market’s been driven. Either then-clients or the panel spaces have kind of eroded each other. That has allowed us to find our space very up top.
Especially with B2B and healthcare, knowing that health and wellness are really very critical for the population. For the next 20 years, there’s ways how our method will work in this space because the incentive is real and it’s going to the respondent as well as the nonprofit. The quality is an utmost concern for us. People have initially marked us as, “Oh, you’re very altruistic,” and, “You’re do-gooders,” and we’re like, no, it’s actually trying to get the work done. As you know in research, it’s everybody wants it done yesterday and today. We feel like with our model it allows us to have a high standard of quality but yet also get the work done because it’s actually real money and there’s real contributions to a nonprofit.
My guest today has been Frank Hayden, the COO of Op4Good. Frank, thanks very much for being on the Happy Market Research podcast.
Thanks for having me. I’d like to say hello to Michael. Michael, I’m in the market for a new car. Michael McCreary, wherever you are, if you’re listening, please call me and see what’s in your inventory.
(Laughs.) That’s great.
Thank you for having me.
Of course. Really quick, what do you think about the show?
I’ve been here five years and this has been the largest attendee show in the five years I’ve been here, so, looking forward to the next two days.
It’s going to be fun.
We’re sponsoring the Research Club tonight for drinks, please join us.
Yes, I’m looking forward to being there.
Yes, it should be a great time.
Yes, thank you for that.
Yes. Thanks for having it.