Welcome to the WIRe Series. Recorded live in Austin, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from the WIRe MRx Meet & Mingle event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Garrett Gil de Rubio, Vice President of Business Development/Client Engagement at P2Sample.

Contact Garrett Online:

LinkedIn

P2Sample


[00:02]

My guest today is Garrett Gil de Rubio, VP of Business Development at P2Sample.  Thanks for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast today.

[00:09]    

Thanks for having me.

[00:11]

We are at the WIRe event, part of IIeX, Austin.  Have you been on the floor so far?

[00:18]

I have.  It got started just a few hours ago.  It’s been a very busy, pleasant time so far

[00:24]

Yeah, it’s been completely different, structurally different than it was when it was in Atlanta.  What do you think about the differences?

[00:31]   

A lot more space.  Some of the exhibitors have a lot more room to grow and move.  Everyone is on the same corridor, which is a plus, but further there’s a lot more ability to go off and have private areas and discussions and client meetings and the like, which is always great.   

[00:50]

You know I think that the current layout is effective (It’s kind of like moving to market mode) is more effective if you do a really good job of pre-recruiting to your booth.  If you’re just reliant in the trade show industry nowadays or events or walk, walk… I mean that’s going to happen; you’re going to get drive-bys. But you’re going to do so much better if you can start getting critical mass there.

[01:15]      

Absolutely.  And to have people be able to meet you in a common meeting spot where there’s so many human beings in one place it’s convenient for them as well.

[01:23]

So, look, one hack that I’ve been toying with on that subject is doing events, like whether it’s a demo or bring in a special speaker or something like that.  It’s not like you’re taking the floor of the exhibit hall, but it could be something where you could do a five- or ten-person presentation, right, just to kind of like get that activity level up in those rooms.     

[01:47]

For sure.  It can be a bit challenging just because of space and the dynamics of everyone being on top of each other, but if you have an effective booth area, certainly the capability to do that is there.   

[01:58]

Yeah, for sure, for sure.  Do you guys exhibit at a lot of shows?

[02:03]

We do.  We are not exhibiting at IIeX this year.  We’re nomads, as it were.

[02:07]

OK, got it.  Perfect. Walking the floor?

[02:11]

Yes.

[02:12]  

Cool.  So, you guys have had a hell of a big run.  I see your name everywhere. And I believe you announced your biggest quarter ever in Q1, which is actually rare ‘cause Q1 in our industry is kind of like Q3, those are the quieter quarters, right?  So, coming off a big Q4, a lot of momentum, what was the key to success? Give us the wisdom.

[02:34]  

Well, I can’t give it all away, [laughter] but there’s a few factors that play.  Number 1 is we have seen a drive throughout the entirety of industry to move towards automation and programmatic sample.  That has certainly weathered well with us. And jumping onto our programmatic stance has certainly been a big aspect of growth with our client base.

[02:58]

So, really quick, I’m going to interrupt you.  Tell us a little bit about what that stance is.

[03:02]  

We believe in being as programmatic as possible with sample, and not just the sense of having everything automated, but having as real time an aspect of engagement with not only the studies and the ability to launch them but also with the engagement with the respondents and the panelists that are involved as well from our side of things.  So to be able to truly work in real time has afforded a number of our clients the ability to get, I would say, a higher quality of data. And they’re coming back for more, which is a fantastic problem to have. We’ve also seen a lot of international growth on our side beyond the U.S., which has traditionally been a strong foundation for us in our business model, but we’re seeing Western Europe, Asia-Pacific, Australia, even Africa and Latin America starting to make strong gains in our business model.

[03:52]

Are you guys playing in the marketplaces, like the Lucids and…?

[03:57]

Absolutely, we work with a number of the marketplaces as both a supplier and, in some cases, as a client/a buyer, depending on the vernacular of the particular marketplace.  And we work well because of that level of automation and integration; we all speak the same language. So, we’re happy to support marketplaces and work with that and then also bring some additional buyers (non-traditional market research buyers) to the table as well.

[04:21]   

Yeah, that’s cool.  Unlocking the panelists is really important, obviously.  Are we ever going to stop having to ask gender over and over again in surveys?

[04:33]

We would love to see that.  I know our respondents would love to see that, and that’s one of the things we’ve been emphasizing with our clients, is the ability to call on our established demographics that have been proven over and over again.  No one’s changing (although there’s certainly the possibility) but no one has changed their gender 15,000 times. So, let the demographics and their profiles speak for themselves and get to the heart of the research itself.      

[04:57]  

So, you guys launched a marketing campaign #timetolisten, which I think should be tethered to some kind of #Beatles or something.  Tell me a little bit about that.

[05:07]

It goes back to that core of respondent engagement.  To be able to hear what… The respondents are a vital part of market research, and to really hear their opinions about not being asked the same question about gender or age 15,000 times in 15,000 ways…  It’s a waste of their time. And so, to be able to hear their voices in market research… The actual voice of the consumer, more often than not is a vital part of the research itself. It not only helps with respect to that respondent engagement also the quality of data.  If they’re enjoying their survey experience, if they’re positively contributing, the data tends to be better and less propensity for fraud or less propensity for boredom in surveys where they start to straight-line or similar. So we really encourage our clients and the platforms with which we work to make things as streamlined as possible for the respondent because it represents a stronger quality to the data that comes out of the research itself.       

[06:07]

Are you seeing Twitter as a platform to engage customers also?

[06:10]

We haven’t traditionally used Twitter; we are starting to.  It’s not part of our core business model, but I know that our marketing team as well as some of our clients are working with Twitter-based projects and the like.  We haven’t been called upon.

[06:27]

Got it.  So, you’re not really active there you seem.  What marketing channels do you use a lot? LinkedIn, I assume.      

[06:33]

LinkedIn is very popular for us.  We do some Facebook, both recruitment for panelists as well as for clients.  We’ve just started in Instagram as well. But predominantly we are working on a number of different anomaly platforms, but social media and also through various publishers and recruitment sources.  So there’s a number of ways in which we promote ourselves from a marketing perspective, utilizing a lot of those same sources from which we get members.

[07:00]

Looking forward, how are we going to change as an industry?  

[07:05]

I think it kind of goes back to two tenets of what I’ve already spoken about, which is Number 1 – a better respondent engagement.  I think the eye towards who is filling out that survey and what are they interested in and how do I engage them is a key strategy going forward for the industry as a whole because, if you’re not engaging your consumers, your products aren’t going to engage your consumers.  Secondarily, I think there is a drastic move toward globalization. It’s not just a U.S. study or a U.K. study; it’s now a 10- and 20-study exercise or 10- and 20-geography exercise. So I think there is a global expansion that is starting to occur and looking at global audiences as opposed to microscopic views of the world.

[07:50]

So, If I’m hearing you correctly, you’re seeing the respondent experience is being something that we should actually start caring more about as an industry, and that’s going to increase engagement and, hopefully, improve overall quality, which is a big problem right now in our space.  The other part of it that, I think, is really interesting is the programmatic… The benefit of programmatic is you’re able to get to the consumer faster because there’s less physical or whatever work …

[08:20]

…fewer jumps

[08:21]

…fewer jumps, yeah, right exactly.  And so, are you seeing the point of insight change inside of your customer base?  In other words, the constituent, right, traditionally has been the market researcher is the buyer of third-party panel.  But are you seeing it kind of move inside of the organization to other individuals, other job functions?

[08:45]

One thing that we are seeing, which takes many facets of that question into regard, is the notion of, going back to real time engagement, we’re starting to see research and, therefore, respondent engagement happening at a quicker pace; therefore, things can be very similar to Twitter where things can be sampled in real time.  So it doesn’t take days or weeks or months in field: things can be done in hours. And so, the notion of programmatic sampling allows for instantaneous engagement with the client. We’re not waiting a week for someone to get back from an email invite and respond. They’re dealing with that respondent in real time, which allows researchers to truly sample something in smaller pools of sample in a very quick time, using very quick media, very quick automation and, therefore, move on to the next topic and the next topic and, therefore, also extend their research, re-contact those respondents a day or two later and ask similar opinions or next phase.  We see a lot the classic Super Bowl model of “What did you think of the commercials?” And then after you saw it three times later, an hour after half-time at the Super Bowl, “What did you think of it?” And being able to really engage in real time and in smaller pools of sample but larger, broader pools for projects of that nature has really changed the face of research. It’s not months and months of planning to get a sample pool: it’s minutes in some cases.

[10:11]

My guest today has been Garrett Gil de Rubio.  Did I get it right?

[10:17]

Perfect.

[10:18]

A little bit tenuous on that.  How do people get in contact with you?

[10:21]

Our website P2Sample.com.  You can always find me on LinkedIn as well.

[10:26]

Alright, perfect.  And I think that we’re connected on LinkedIn also.  So we’ll be posting this episode specifically for you guys and including all your contact information inside of the show notes.  Thanks for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast.

[10:38]

Excellent.  Thanks for having me.