Happy MR Podcast Podcast Series

Ep. 559 — How Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Play a Role in the Insights Industry with Sebastian Syperek, Head of CX & UX Research at Kaiser-X Labs

This episode is in collaboration with MRMW Virtual Summit 2022. 

Today I’m joined by Sebastian Syperek, Head of CX & UX Research at Kaiser-X Labs.

MRMW Virtual Summit 2022

Find Sebastian Online:

Find Jamin Online:

Find Us Online: 


This Episode is Sponsored by:

The Michigan State University’s Master of Science in Marketing Research Program delivers the #1 ranked insights and analytics graduate degree in three formats: 

  • Full-time on campus 
  • Full-time online 
  • Part-time online

NEW FOR 2022: 

If you can’t commit to their full degree program, simply begin with one of their 3-course certificates: Insights Design or Insights Analysis. 

In addition to the certification, all the courses you complete will build toward your graduation.

If you are looking to achieve your full potential, check out MSMU’s programs at: broad.msu.edu/marketing.

HubUX is a research operation platform for private panel management, qualitative automation including video audition questions, and surveys. 

For a limited time, user seats are free. If you’d like to learn more or create your own account, visit hubux.com


Jamin Brazil: Hey everybody, welcome to the Happy Market Research podcast. I am joined today by Sebastian Syperek. I’m probably mispronouncing your last name and I do apologize for that. This interview is being done in conjunction with MRMWs virtual summit that is being held on July 6th and 7th. The MRMW virtual event has 25 top level speakers, case studies from over 20 different industries, and over 1,000 attendees. It is heavily focused on APAC and Europe, and you will absolutely want to join this conference. The interviews as – the panel conversations and the talks will be available post-conversation or post-event if you’d like to consume it there. Sebastian currently is the head of CX and UX Kaiser X Labs. Sebastian is a psychologist with a focus on quant research with almost two decades of experience in both market and UX research. He has worked for agencies, including Ipsos as well as a number of corporate companies including eBay. Currently active as principal CX and UX research within the Elion Group, Kaiser X Labs, he is also a crypto and Blockchain expert. Sebastian, thank you for joining me on the Happy Market Research podcast.


Sebastian Syperek: Thanks a lot, Jamin. I’m really happy to be here. Thanks for the slot and telling a little bit about my tour next week and some other questions from the research scene.


Jamin Brazil: The Michigan State University’s Master of Science in marketing research program delivers the number one ranked in science and analytics degree in three formats, full-time on campus, full-time online, and part-time online. New for 2022, if you can’t commit to their full degree program, simply begin with one of their three course certifications, insights design, or insights analysis. In addition to the certification, all the courses you complete will build towards your graduation. If you’re looking to achieve your full potential, check out MSU’s program at broad.msu.edu/marketing. Again, broad.msu.edu/marketing. HubUX is a research operations platform for private panel management, qualitative automation, including video audition questions, and surveys. For a limited time, user seats are free. If you’d like to learn more or create your own account, visit hubux.com. Yes, I’m very excited about having you on the show. It is absolute honor. We don’t get enough conversation on this show about Web3, and I think Web3 is probably the most important thing for us to be thinking about. The analogy I use is it’s 2000 – or sorry, it’s 1998 right now and the internet is – we’re trying to figure out what the internet is, and that’s the impact that Web3 is going to have on our society. So, you have a talk, it’s titled: The World Needs a Crypto Consumer Barometer Tracker. Give us a little bit of a teaser about your talk.


Sebastian Syperek: Of course. So, Crypto and other topics in that space like DeFi, which is decentralized Finance, NFTs which means non-fungible tokens, Web3 and even Metaverse are – were in the media quite a lot over the last month. So, our idea was to start a consumer tracker covering all these fields. So, as you said, personally, I’m quite interested in this area. And so, I was happy that we started the tracker in Germany using the Dynata panel in March this year. And we also weighed, I think 3,000 people, so, a lot of samples, and we found 636 crypto users, which is quite a big pocket for this group. And we were not limited to Bitcoin or Ethereum or other cryptos, but we extended the survey to the other concepts that I mentioned, and what we wanted to know in this survey and this degree of awareness people have in these fields, the user trades, and even the understanding of these concepts. And I think that the results were quite interesting in terms of the fact that we even found, in a normal panel, quite a lot of people who are really interested on all six periods in this field, so, that is the main takeout of the study, and we found a lot of other interesting findings including a segmentation of attitudes towards Crypto and the other stuff in this area. And I think this is really a great starting point for a tracker, not even in Germany.


Jamin Brazil: Regarding the segmentation component of it, I assume it’s the case that you see higher adoption of crypto related assets such as NFTs with younger populations. Is that – did that materialize in your data?


Sebastian Syperek: Yes, exactly. In general, of course there’s a trend that mostly younger people adopt to these new technologies, but not only so, but we also found people in their 50s and even in their 60s and above are involved in these topics, but the general trend is like you said. It’s a new concept and people, I think, it’s the first time, mainly in the history, that everyone gets a fair chance to become rich, to become wealthy through these new technologies and Bitcoin and so on. That was one of the interesting findings here.


Jamin Brazil: It is, and certainly we’ve – in the U. S. anyway, we’ve heard many, many stories of early adopters of Bitcoin specifically and how that asset has continued to dramatically grow and increase in value and you can trade using Bitcoin with real world products and that becomes very exciting for us. But when you think about market research specifically, why do we care, as market researchers, about block chain or crypto related assets?


Sebastian Syperek: On the one hand, of course, crypto and all these topics are interesting content for a survey, like we did it here, but I think the other component is to apply these new technologies to a research tech. So, if you talk about research tech, you have, of course the more traditional field of research tech like panel aggregators, like panel marketplaces and so on, and maybe we also have new technologies like voice technologies. But I think the third group, and that’s maybe the most interesting one, is to conduct research with Blockchain or in the Metaverse and that is something – I also wrote an article recently about in a German market research newspaper. I think that is especially interesting if you combine it maybe with community technologies, so I designed a big MROC in Germany for the railway company here, but thinking about the Metaverse, I thought it will maybe be a good idea to combine it with Blockchain, so I called it BBMROC, Blockchain based MROC and I think that would have – that there are two drivers of this approach. One is, there could be more gamification when you do it in a virtual world, so the motivation could be higher of the panelists or community members. And on the other hand, we always had challenges with the incentives, so payout of incentives. And if you use a Blockchain generated cryptocurrency to do that in the system, that could also be an advantage. And I think there is something that research tech providers should think about definitely.


Jamin Brazil: My current project is a community management platform and incentives are built into that, whether it’s point based or cash based incentives that people have, and I’ve been talking with a developer about adding in a crypto – basically a coin, which would be specific to the community. And the interesting thing about that, and you already know this, but the listeners may not, is that it’s a finite resource. Meaning that, with a scarcity framework, if the participants, the community members, they don’t cash out, then that coin becomes more valuable over time. And the purchasing power of it, in the same way that Blockchain – oh, excuse me, the same way that Bitcoin increases in value. And so, you can actually start working as a material asset for a participant as opposed to really current incentive rates, which, if you look at a – earnings per hour are very trivial to other alternative ways that they could earn money, such as, in the States, driving for Uber or something along those lines.


Sebastian Syperek: I think another idea could also be that community members could share their cryptocurrency with each other, so, for example, if they like something that somebody else wrote very much, they could send some coins to them, that these new techniques, based on the Blockchain and on the coins, I think that they add new value to the community. So, you could even think about limiting the number of coins more and more over time and make it more attractive to collect them or whatever. I think there are many mechanisms that you could use to increase the motivation to be in this community and therefore maybe also the activity in the community and – market research could definitely make profit from that.


Jamin Brazil: The other thing that’s interesting is, in a Blockchain framework, thinking about at a participant level, you could toggle on access to different data points on you as an individual. So, for example, let’s say that you had your psychographics as part of your profile, or your demographics, or your spending habits, or whatever, vacation preferences. Those could get traunched and then you could toggle those on or off and then have that be in an open marketplace for brands to be able to acquire that data in addition to your self-reported data that would be provided in a survey or one-on-one interviews or those kinds of things. So, thereby increasing the earning potential or the passive income earning opportunity for that participant. There’s just a lot of things that Blockchain unlocks for us relative to data and solves for us relative to the data privacy.


Sebastian Syperek: Exactly. In the end, I don’t think this will be a concept for everyone in the near future, but especially in the area where I’m working, where also design thinking is an important approach, more in the qualitative layer of research, this could be a logical next step to add these Metaverse based research techniques. I don’t think it will substitute a representative panel survey in the next decade, but it doesn’t have to. It’s mainly for the qualitative layer and that’s fine, I think.


Jamin Brazil: That’s really – super interesting stuff. In addition to your talk, you’re also part of a panel, and we’ve already talked about it a little bit, but the panel is discussing research technology or ResTech, as it’s been coined. What trends are you seeing in ResTech?


Sebastian Syperek: mentioned, the more traditional trends like panel aggregation and marketplaces that we as clients can use to manage panel activities on our own, if you want it or not, so – that’s quite different, but that’s one thing that’s also – these kinds of tools not only allow you to conduct primary research, but also to manage the entire knowledge data base or research ecosystem within the software. I think this is also a trend that counts more and more, players like Quantilope and so on. The second one is new technologies like voice. So, I recently saw a new German start-up reSpeak, basically it’s this survey tool with a completely new mold concepted as a chatbot, so that acts as a kind of a dialogue tool. The respondent answers a question and automatically gets deep dive questions steered by kind of AI system. And the cool thing is that this survey tool fits much more natural in the survey dialogue compared to traditional survey tools. I found that interesting. I haven’t tried it yet but could be interesting to try it in the future. And the third one is all that stuff in the Metaverse that be discussed, and I think a lot of options also like virtual test studios and – In the Metaverse now, you can play poker or meet other people and buy shoes and so on. And maybe one day, also, coming to a focus group or to a studio in the Metaverse will be possible. We have to see and think about if this makes sense in any case but – there are so many technological options that we should evaluate for us and then see what’s possible there.


Jamin Brazil: My last question for you is, what is one problem that you wish someone would solve today relative to consumer insights?


Sebastian Syperek: Being in market research for almost 20 years now, I think it would have really a lot – everything would have a lot that helps to close the gap between qualitative and quantitative research, so, needing to close the gap between the what or how much, and the why, especially in my current main field, UX research, that could help a lot. We usually have qual tests with eight to 10 users, but in most cases, we cannot be sure that our findings would also occur at the larger sample. So, anything that helps, for example in surveys, to get more depth in terms of the insights for instance, an open-ended question that would help a lot in practical market research. And I think that is one of the reasons why I believe so much in the power of, for example, voice technologies as an innovation driver for surveys. So, the closing of the gap between qual and quant, that is my main pain still, so, anything that can help there would be a great resource, I think.


Jamin Brazil: It is interesting too; is you see Gen Z becoming a material part of the economy at a global level. These consumers are more comfortable speaking or providing video feedback versus typing, which is very much Gen X, which is my generation and even Millennials. So, there is a big opportunity for us to combine video or voice and structure data that we get directly out of surveys, which is just easier for us to analyze often times. And in order to help close that gap between qual and quant, and I completely agree with your thesis that the future for consumer insights is, in fact, a blended methodology that happens concurrently as opposed to these distinct phases. You’re still going to see quant and you’re still going to see qual happen independently, I’m not suggesting that you won’t, but being able to connect the human why, to the what in the same project framework is a material unlock and big opportunity.


Sebastian Syperek: Completely agree. Let’s fight all that together.


Jamin Brazil: I like it. Our guest today has been Sebastian, head of CX and UX at Kaiser X Labs. Sebastian, thank you so much for joining me on the Happy Market Research podcast.


Sebastian Syperek: Thank you, it was really a pleasure.


Jamin Brazil: Everyone else, I hope you will join Sebastian and myself at next week’s MRMW virtual event. Again, that is July 6th and 7th. You can find out information at apac.mrmw.net or just check the show notes. Have a great rest of your day.