Welcome to the SampleCon 2021 Highlights Series. Recorded live in Pasadena, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors, speakers and attendees at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Timothy McCarthy, General Manager at Imperium.
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Jamin Brazil: Hey, everybody. I am joined by Tim McCarthy, GM of Imperium Sample.
Tim McCarthy: Yep. Not Sample.
Jamin Brazil: Just Imperium. Just Imperium. Just Imperium.
Tim McCarthy: Yeah.
Jamin Brazil: Got it. Sorry about that. We are live on the floor of SampleCon. I’m super jazz to be here in person, how about yourself?
Tim McCarthy: Absolutely. I think everyone’s been dying for this to happen over the last two and a half years. People haven’t even been able to get in front of their customers in their own offices or in their offices, right? So this is a great, great opportunity to meet up with potential customers, current customers that you haven’t seen in forever. And it’s been a really good time.
Jamin Brazil: That’s outstanding. I know, it’s- I’m very simple for SampleCon for- I mean, it’s a risk in some ways, right?
Tim McCarthy: Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely.
Jamin Brazil: Putting this on.
Tim McCarthy: Yeah. They put out that olive branch and people grabbed it, it was nice.
Jamin Brazil: Yeah. That’s right. What do you think about the show so far?
Tim McCarthy: Show’s been great. I really like the way SampleCon kind of approaches their conference. And it’s not overly content heavy where you’re constantly just sitting and listening to people present about how good their company is. They try to make it thought provocative, like thinking about things, panels, and give a lot of time to interact. There’s 15, 20 minutes here, 30 minutes there, just meet up with everyone. So I really like the format of that and I think it’s what’s needed right now. People need some time to just talk rather than just sit and watch someone present to. And the content that they put together is fantastic and I think they’ve hit nail on the head in terms of things that people are really interested in and changes that happened over the last year and a half that people haven’t been able to get together and talk about.
Jamin Brazil: Yeah. For sure. There actually hasn’t been any that I’ve heard anyway, like sales pitches from the stage.
Tim McCarthy: No. Absolutely not. And that’s the nicest thing. It’s like you have a whole array of people on that stage and most of them are even competitors and they’re just talking about what’s next, what’s been going on, and how can we improve the industry.
Jamin Brazil: So the COVID pandemic, shelter in place, what’s your big learning?
Tim McCarthy: So COVID was interesting for me because I started working as a GM at Imperium starting March of last year. So I came on board, shelter in place happened. And I was like, all right. I had all these plans to get our teams together and meet up, so it was a lot of Zoom meetings and phone calls and a lot of that over the last couple of years. We focus in fraud prevention and data quality services, so we saw a lot of spikes in fraud. So it was kind of hitting the ground running right there and trying to figure out, how’s fraud getting ahead of us? How can we catch up to it? And everyone in the industry saw that spike. So it hit us pretty quickly and pretty hard and we were ready to take it on. We’ve made a lot of improvements, so it’s been a fun year and a half, but I’m really excited because I honesty- This is the first time meeting my sales guys face-to-face at this conference because I had them come out.
Jamin Brazil: That’s true. So, when you started as GM, you actually couldn’t go meet anybody in person.
Tim McCarthy: No. Not at all. So we had- I got the team together for Zoom meetings. And luckily we got out here Sunday. We had a dinner together, played a round of golf. It was nice getting the team together a little bit, meeting everyone. But, yeah, it’s been a crazy year and a half. And I think everyone’s hoping and ready for it to go back, not to normal, but at least a little bit more normalcy.
Jamin Brazil: Yeah. Yeah. For sure. So tell me about Imperium.
Tim McCarthy: Yeah. So Imperium, as I said, we focus on fraud and data quality services. So over the last year and a half, we’ve really been focused on enhancing our current tools and building a new tool which takes behavioral and survey data into consideration because what we’ve noticed is, fraud’s always gonna be there. So, then, there’s always people that are trying to get around current fraud checks. Only way to really stop that from happening is catching them in survey as well. So you have your upfront checks, you also need to run survey checks as well to make sure that anyone that figured out a way to get around those initial checks that you have set up, you can also weed them out. So we create an automated tool that can attach itself to surveys that actually scores respondents based on all their in survey answers. And it takes passive data in consideration like mouse movement, browser activity while taking the survey. It’s looking at their survey velocity, their open ends, all in automatic- Automated programmatic fashion and, at the end of the survey, gives them a score. And it’ll tell you how good that person is. And you can actually remove them before they even hit your quotas. And all this data can be fed back to panel companies for the respondents that they’re sending you for their surveys. And this is all- This is all information we can use upfront to enhance our fraud prevention and quality status for respondents.
Jamin Brazil: It’s got to be interesting for you because you sit in this space of actually seeing the fraud that’s coming from specific panels.
Tim McCarthy: Yes.
Jamin Brazil: I’m not asking for any names, but-
Tim McCarthy: Yeah. No.
Jamin Brazil: But my- Everybody right now is kind of leaning forward like white knuckled. I don’t mean that by any means in terms of a stick. But do you think there is an opportunity to partner with those suppliers and circle back the information?
Tim McCarthy: Absolutely. That’s actually one area that we’re really working towards, is using our data to develop analytics and provide it back to companies saying, “Hey, look, we want to work with you. We’ve noticed that your company’s being flagged more than others. Here’s what we’re finding. How can we help you improve or how can you use this data? Just take it, use it, fix your ecosystem, whatever it is.” So we are doing a lot with that. And with our new tool, we’ll even have more data on all these programs. The programming teams will be passing through the panel IDs to us, company names so we can actually use that to figure out, which ones are struggling a little bit more? Which ones are having more fraud? Hit their surveys and provide that back to the industry and help out.
Jamin Brazil: Awesome. Thank you so much for joining me on the show today.
Tim McCarthy: Absolutely. Thanks for having me.
Jamin Brazil: Tim, if somebody wants to get in contact with you or your company, how would they do that?
Tim McCarthy: Sure. They can reach out to me. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org or they can always email email@example.com.
Jamin Brazil: Everyone, I hope you enjoyed this episode. Tim, thanks for joining me.
Tim McCarthy: Thanks for having me.
Jamin Brazil: All right.