IIeX Amsterdam 2019 Podcast Series

IIeX Europe 2019 Conference Series – Roy Patel – Pathmatics

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 Roy Patel from Pathmatics.

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Hey everybody, welcome back where we are live today at IIeX and the Happy Market Research podcast. I have a special guest, Roy with Pathmatics correct.


Correct Jamin, Roy from Pathmatics.


(Laughs.) We had dinner out of complete fluke with a larger group a couple of nights ago and it was an absolute blast, a 2:00a.m. for me, event.


Was it that late?


We left after dinner and went to one last bar, Steven and I, and there was a drunk Irishman and his wife that were at the bar and they kept ringing a bell that hangs over the bar. The tradition is if you ring the bell, you buy the bar a round. He wound up buying two rounds.


I didn’t know about the after party. Sorry.


Yes. I didn’t either and neither did Steven, so it was like a complete crazy thing. We felt it was one of those like socially awkward. It’s like you always had an extra beer in front of you, anyway, it was not my best morning. It was not the best look for me the following morning.


The luck of the Irish is I would say with Steven and you’ve got two from him, so yes did very well.


That’s true. What do you think about IIeX?


It’s the fifth one I’ve been out of six. It’s the biggest in terms of attendees and the actual conference itself in terms of space and exhibitors and brands and research agencies. Yes, it’s an eye opener in terms of new things that are now evolving. The whole thing about AI as an example, it’s top of mind and there’s a lot more debate about AI or the whole area of data integration in terms of taking large datasets and integrating them. Companies like Knowledge Hound, for example, the whole era of automation for example as well. From a sampling perspective, research perspective. It’s interesting compared to maybe three, four years ago it was more traditional research orientated sub-topic matters.


One of my observations with IIeX is, and I honestly just, this was my one aha moment on this in this event is AI. The way that we’re talking about AI now is, it’s a practical application to real-life business. Whereas when it was first introduced maybe three-ish years ago it was just this concept and we really couldn’t map it to this is the terms of trade or this is how you apply it to better the researcher’s life. It was much more theoretical. My theory is that with technology, you have an adoption curve and it just takes a little while for things to percolate enough and for us to have a meaningful conversation about it. What IIeX does is it gives you a way to see what you’re going to be talking about maybe in a year or two.


Absolutely. IIeX as a platform for innovators to maybe preachers the wrong word, but to make it a topic of debate about what’s going to happen in the future. It’s a great platform.


Yes for sure. The theme of this one has been automated insights clearly, right? It’s funny too because if that was not planned, I don’t believe by the conference. It just has worked out that way. What do you think about automated insights? What’s driving that?


It’s funny, automated insights, AI. (Laughs.) You talk about artificial intelligence, but automated insights know the same acronym as such. Automation is going to play a major part moving forward. It’s all about making things not necessarily faster, better, cheaper, which used to be the old mantra, it’s really about making things definitely more efficient. Rather than a faster, it’s more about making it more efficient. It’s all about making things more tangible, real-life experiences in terms of making things automated through various sources. Then the other aspect is really in terms of adding value. Automation plays an interesting part in bringing things together and adding value to the bottom line, but I want to see, it’ll be interesting, see how that pans out over the next 12 months.


Then in the reality is that automated insights is a little bit, it’s like we’re naming things that have already been in existence, right? You have a storied career, Nielsen.










Both of those companies, of course, have a ton of automation built into their insights. It’s just about automating workflows really, isn’t it?


Yes, absolutely. You could argue that if you go back 20 years ago and things were automated then, but just in a different way.




I would agree with that. Yes, definitely.


For sure. We’re naming it right. That’s what I do like about it is it’s like cloud computing. There was cloud computing before there was cloud computing. Just like conjoined exists and a lot of ways what we’re calling AI is a version of conjoint. By naming it, it is nice because it is prating a centralized focus on what I’m seeing is a big theme, especially with the Qualtrics acquisition of like integrated insights. I would say that is maybe the eye AI here is probably even a better name for it because that the integration of the data collection or the consumer opinion as early as possible in the product creation stage is going to create a better, more efficient outcome for the brand.


Yes. There was, I can’t remember maybe it was today or yesterday. There was a brand talking about, getting to continue consumers early enough to collect that data and put it through the processes so they can really then get things a lot earlier in the life cycle. As I said, you and me had the story about telling you a true story. When I was at Kantar another where we had a leading client that used to say that 70 percent of the research they did was never implemented in any way or form, purely because by the time a project was instructed and then done by the research agency and then the research consultant will come in and present it. It was out of date.


Interesting. Yes because the market is always constantly moving and evolving.




There is no flash freeze of market conditions. Correct. That’s where you need, you think about like product decisions. If you’re a UI designer or a user interface designer and somebody is in, you’re creating and you’re iterating, if you could inject though, what does the customer think about this particular unit? An ingestion of insight at that point in time into those UI tools is a potential. Now, all of a sudden, you’re moving outside of market research, right in a big way. That’s where, like market research, needs to grab hold of this and then empower the whole organization.


I would agree. There is this gray area, you talk about market research and talk about market intelligence, syndicated data the likes of Forrester or Gartner. We’re also providing research as a vehicle. We talked to consumers, they talked to stakeholders and I can see a great synergy with automation and AI bringing in a lot of those things together. That’s where the real value proposition is. Let’s see what happens. Interesting.


Tell me a little bit about Pathmatics based out of Santa Monica and we are in Amsterdam.


Absolutely. Pathmatics, it’s interesting. We just talked about the companies in the periphery and Pathmatics is not really, we don’t see ourselves as a market research company. We see ourselves as a data analytics company around advertising content. What we do is we capture digital advertising and then present all of that data in a meaningful way for marketers, agency folks, and media publishers to utilize that data as a competitive intelligence source. The simplest example would be, if I’m a Coke exec, I could see everything that PepsiCo is doing in the digital ecosystem. I understand the messaging, the creative formats, the size where they’re advertising, when they’re advertising, so that’s data that we provide. It’s very unique, whether as I say, the Nielson of Digital. Nielsen does for TV and have done it for many years very well and that’s what we do for digital.


Do you think there’s going to be room for voice in that, like thinking about Alexa or Google?


That is being looked at the moment in terms of companies are looking at, how do you capture the whole area of VR, especially on media, from the media measurement point of view. It’s one of those ones where the adoption has to reach a critical max before the research agencies say, “Right, we’re going to make an investment in terms of how do we start collecting that data.” It might be a question of where you’ve got the likes of Amazon and Alphabet who might have to work with a leading agency to say, “Look, guys, let’s pair up here.” Similar to the things that Facebook have done with companies like Nielsen and Comscore in terms of understanding what’s happening within the Facebook ecosystem for social media data. Yes, that will happen.


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


The simplest way I would say is roy@pathmatics.com.


That’s P-A-T-H, Matics, M-A-T-I-C-S dot com. Of course, it’s always in the show notes. Roy, thanks for being on the Happy Market Research podcast.


My pleasure Jamin.


Safe travels, sir.