EP. 237 – Zontziry “Z” Johnson; Microsoft – Understand the Impact of Converting from Traditional to Digital Consumer Insights: Online Communities, Focus Groups, In-depth Interviews, Sampling

My guest today is Zontziry “Z” Johnson, VP of Customer Transformation at Zappi. Zappi helps global brands make better decisions to drive business growth, shape product development, and enhance their advertising and branding efforts.

Prior to joining Zappi, Z has been a market research manager at Microsoft, a director at Ipsos, an independent consultant, and worked at various market research firms. Additionally, she has a storied long-form blog called MRxplorer and has recently added a podcast to her thought leadership. 

Find Zontziry Online:

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/zontziry 

Twitter: www.twitter.com/zontziry

Website: www.zappi.io/web

Find Jamin Online:

Email: jamin@happymr.com 

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jaminbrazil

Twitter: www.twitter.com/jaminbrazil 

Find Us Online: 

Twitter: www.twitter.com/happymrxp 

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/happymarketresearch 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/happymrxp 

Website: www.happymr.com 

This Episode’s Sponsor: 

This episode is brought to you by HubUx. HubUx reduces project management costs by 90%. Think of HubUx as your personal AI project manager, taking care of all your recruitment and interview coordination needs in the background. The platform connects you with the right providers and sample based on your research and project needs. For more information, please visit HubUx.com.


[00:00]

On episode 237, I’m interviewing Z. Johnson, VP of Customer Transformation at Zappi, but first a word from our sponsor.

[00:10]

This episode is brought to you by HubUx.  HubUx is a productivity tool for qualitative research.  It creates a seamless workflow across your tools and team.  Originally, came up with the idea as I was listening to research professionals in both the quant and qual space complain about and articulate the pain, I guess more succinctly, around managing qualitative research.  The one big problem with qualitative is it’s synchronous in nature, and it requires 100% of the attention of the respondent. This creates a big barrier, and, I believe, a tremendous opportunity inside of the marketplace.  So what we do is we take the tools that you use; we integrate them into a work flow so that, ultimately, you enter in your project details, that is, who it is that you want to talk to, when you want to talk to them, whether it’s a focus group, in-person, or virtual or IDI’s or ethnos; and we connect you to those right people in the times that you want to have those conversations or connections – Push-Button Qualitative Insights, HubUx.  If you have any questions, reach out to me directly. I would appreciate it. Jamin@HubUx.com       

[01:35]  

Hi. I’m Jamin, and you’re listening to the Happy Market Research Podcast. My guest today is Z. Johnson, VP of Customer Transformation at Zappi. Zappi is a marketplace for consumer insights and research automation. Prior to joining Zappi, Z. has been a marketing research manager at Microsoft, a director at Ipsos, an independent consultant and worked at various market research companies. Additionally, she has a storied long-form blog called MRXplorer and has recently added a podcast, which really drives her thought leadership. It is actually one of my go-to podcasts. I love the fact that they’re really these micro-episodes. I highly recommend you add it to your list. Z, thanks very much for joining me today. I really want to start the conversation a little bit differently than I normally do. Let’s talk a little bit about this point that you’ve raised: thinking about new technologies that have been entering the marketplace in the last, I’ll even call it 10 years, right? So, we know that the online survey, big difference. In fact, I think I saw a statistic recently: something like 70% of surveys are now online or have an online component to them, quantitative surveys. 

[02:48]

OK, OK, that even sounds low. 

[02:50]

Yeah, I thought so too actually. But Caddy still exists or phone-based surveys still exist as well as there’s definitely a place for in-mall intercepts, although I feel like that’s basically completely gone away less the Nielsen. 

[03:04]

There’s even paper surveys.

[03:07]

There are still some paper surveys, but most companies have digitized even the paper surveys aspects of it now are… There might be a portion that’s paper, but it gets scanned and then processed.

[03:19]

Automatically read. Yeah. 

[03:21]

Exactly. So it’s almost like the digital process. It starts to digitally and then it goes paper and then it goes back digital. But anyway, so what has been one of the more disruptive technologies that has entered the space?

[03:33]

So, I’m going to caveat this with it’s the most disruptive and actually useful. And I don’t mean to sound totally contrarian, but there is disruptive, and then there is disruptive and “We’ve found a way to actually use it for research.” And that is the online communities. I think the fact that we now have in the past few years taken more advantage of the fact that people have an online presence. They are comfortable in forums, talking to each other online, talking to complete strangers online. I think being able to leverage that has allowed us to get a lot closer to doing a qualitative research at scale. It also has modified some of how we can serve up some of our quantitative information, right? So now instead of just having to have someone come into a focus group area, focus group building, or a conference room to show them a particular idea, now you can actually serve that up online. They can have a real-time reaction to it. I saw one company Greenberg a couple of years ago. They did this super fascinating thing by combining focus groups with a digital presence. So what they did is they had two sets of people, and they had what they called their experienced IT professionals and then they had their younger IT professionals, so more experienced and less experience. And what they did is they had, for example, the first group that they had in the focus room was going to be the more experienced IT professionals. Well, while that focus group was running, they actually had the younger IT pros online watching that focus group, and so it was like you were doing a double focus group where they were reacting in real time, the younger IT pros, we’re reacting in real time to what they were seeing and hearing from their peers who are more experienced. And then they swapped that. And just the fact that using that technology and that’s an extension of that online community, I think that is just, it’s so powerful and it’s so amazing. And I think what’s so amazing is that it works, and it’s actually opening ideas and doors for us to get richer content, faster content, and be able to reach more people at one time and at a global scale instead of just these tiny regional scales. There’s more disruptive stuff out there, but as far as disruptive and something that we have actually been able to take into our suite of tools and use well I would have to say that online communities piece. 

[06:33]

That’s so interesting. The focus group on a focus group, it’s beautifully meta because I’m thinking about like… I’m going to pick on Remesh. I don’t know if you’ve heard of the technology, but in full disclosure, I’ve done some consulting for them. They fit in this qualitative, quantitative space because basically it’s qualitative at scale, which is something we’re seeing more and more, whether it’s video chat or whatever. And their use case, they don’t have the yellow taxi. Uber is my favorite to example because it’s so obvious. There’s billions of dollars or whatever that are spent in the taxi space or were historically and for Uber as they introduced their product, it was just a transference of those dollars, right? So there was no new dollar that was being created and it was the same experience or outcome for the consumer, whereas most market research technology companies are delivering a different or augmented solution. And that’s as opposed to a transference of, “OK, I don’t have to do a survey. I can do this, right? I don’t have to do a telephone survey. I could do an online survey. It’s the same outcome.” It’s all augmented onto the budget. It’s like bolt on to the budget. This is an interesting concept because what you’re describing is a real clear use case inside of an existing focus group, which is not going to be displaced, at least not anytime soon. Most people aren’t going to say, “Oh, I’m not going to do the focus group.” The reason they want the focus group is that bio-rhythms or comfortability or what have you. Right. But what this layers on top of it in a chat context or in whatever platform you decided to use, it enables this mixed modal experience where you could have a productive conversation and really understand the impact of what the lens that you’re hearing (bad metaphor), but viewing the focus group and then interacting with the peer groups and ultimately the stakeholders inside of the company. 

[08:39]

Yes, and the output has been so incredibly powerful. Greenberg did this as a way of exploring the difference between the millennial IT pro and the non-millennial IT pro. And I will tell you that the information that they walked away with… You know you have heard about, “Oh, they’re more likely to use Amazon” and some of those general things, but the fact that they were able to get that as an on-the-spot-reaction to them listening to their peers and actually show how different their worlds are and the way that they approach things, it actually created this link between the two because you could see this, “Oh, so that’s where I’m going to end up” as they’re watching their more experienced peers and there’s this whole like, “Well, we’re here because we want to be solving problems and we want to break stuff and fix it and just be there to be involved with all this new technology whereas their more experienced peers, they’re like, “Yeah, seen it, done it. We’re just trying to keep the lights on.” But the story that came out of that, I think because of the fact that you were able to get such a quick gut response from both groups to how the other group was responding to the same questions, I think landed that message so much better, so incredibly beautifully well and it provided so much more weight to a lot of the information that had already been circulating. But there’s something about that qualitative, hearing it from a person, seeing a reaction in real time that just ends up landing so much better. 

[10:35]

What is your view on traditional focus groups: recruit nine to twelve people for a session in-person versus online equivalent? 

[10:45]

Honestly, I think that the in-person focus group, part of the problem with that that I have seen in the past—and I should say most of my past is B2B market research;
so, I can’t speak to this experience with B2C, but I would imagine it might hold true—

is you get a lot of the same people who are participating in these same regions. If you’re going to do an in-person focus group and you’re going to be tech, you’re going to go to the Silicon Valley; you’re going to go to Chicago; you’re going to go to New York. And those are going to be your three places because they each have their own quirks about them that capture pieces that you want to have. That is SO limiting, I think, in terms of being able to capture a broader swath of an audience. Whether it’s B to B or B to C, I don’t care which one of those it is, you’re not capturing a true audience if you’re just keeping it centrally local to that nine to twelve people that you can find within that particular area. Transfer that to the online experience. As long as someone is available during the time that you’re having your thing and they have met the criteria, it doesn’t matter where they’re from. And I think that is super important because there is that cultural element that ends up being almost over-weighted, I think, when you’re doing this in an in-person environment. And it’s over-weighted but it’s also you’re trying to mitigate by having it in these central locations, whereas online it’s already mitigated. You don’t have to worry about making sure that while Silicon Valley is going to be the super tech forward, Chicago is going to be probably more the mainstream. You can have those same people in the same “room” when you’re doing it online. And you’re still going to have the issues of “Hey, is someone going to be dominating the conversation. Do you have a good moderator? Do you have good questions?” But I think the representation that you can get using an online community is it’s richer; it’s deeper; it’s broader; it’s more what I think we try to achieve in those in-person focus groups. 

[13:05]

So, are you seeing online communities really through a longitudinal lens or are you seeing it as the short-term kind of one-and-done? 

[13:15]

No, I think I’m seeing it more through the longitudinal lens. 

[13:18]
OK, so it’s about recruiting a sample frame or a group of people that look a certain way, whether it’s buying habits or demographics or what have you and then just touching them on a regular basis. Got it. Got it. But also, is that asynchronous or synchronous feedback or some combination? 

[13:37]

I think a combination: the synchronous and asynchronous feedback. I think that part of the beauty of having the online community is that you can have both types of feedback in this same group.

[13:51]

Who do you think is doing a particularly good job from a technology empowerment level in the online community space?

[13:57]

I don’t know that I have a good answer for that. I want to say FocusVsion is the one that comes closest to mind and you can cheer. Most of the work that I have done with online communities has been done through agencies that are then reaching out to other agencies to try to get that work done. So I really am not sure who is really forging the path for that. 

[14:27]

So the way that you see that it’s… And this is consistent, incidentally, with other market research professionals in brands that I interact with. You’re really contracting with an agency that is dealing with the technology, implementation, etc., etc. as opposed to that being an internal function inside of, in this case, Microsoft. 

[14:47]

Yup, we rely heavily on the agency partnerships that we have. We go to them; we tell them what is it that we would like to have done; and we rely heavily on them to come back with, “OK, here’s how we can achieve that. Here’s some thought leadership on our part. You want this, but we think it could be even better if you tried this new technology. Here are some use cases where we’ve already used it. Would you be interested in trying it out now?” And we really rely on them to have those relationships with the technology providers to be able to present those experiences. An example is Voxpopme. They had a lot of relationships with agencies and I had seen them but it’s almost like we don’t use them. We didn’t use them at least directly. We use them as kind of that bolt-on feature to a survey, and then eventually over time there surfaced an ability to actually deal directly with them. But that’s, I think, generally speaking, the majority of how we end up interacting with technology companies. It’s like three steps removed from where we are sitting doing our research.

[16:01]

Shifting gears a little bit, you have, I think, since September at least what I’ve found, September of 2015, hosted a long-form blog on MRXplorer.com. Some of your early stuff I found really interesting. The one that I actually tethered myself to was a webinar recap. The subject doesn’t matter. The fact that it was a webinar recap I find it really interesting in that same month because recently this year, 2018, you pivoted to a podcast. I’d like to really understand why you started the blog first, and then I want to talk about, explore why you started the podcast. 

[16:47]

You and me both. No, in all honesty, I started the blog after I left QuestionPro. I was working for a market research agency, doing project management and one of the things that I had done at QuestionPro was blog on behalf of QuestionPro. And that meant that I had a lot of opportunity to explore, to write. And I love writing; I’ve always loved writing. When I switched roles and I no longer had that daily outlet or even daily deadline of having a blog post that I needed to write about some topic on market research, I found that I really missed that and I felt so disengaged from the rest of the market research community. And so, I actually started the blog more as a personal outlet for me to be able to explore ideas, topics that were taking place in the market research industry.

I was really making a point of following a lot of people on Twitter. A lot of the thought leaders, Annie Pettit and Jeffrey Henning and Ray Poynter, were the earliest ones that I started to follow. And they were saying some really, really interesting things that were making me step back and think and I wanted to just kind of pitch my voice in if you will. But more it was a personal outlet for me to keep exercising that exploration part of my brain and learning ‘cause it’s something I’ve always loved to do is just learn, learn what’s new and see how it integrates with what I have right now. This last year I actually started the podcast in part because I was inspired by your podcast, and it seemed my boss’s podcast because it was something that has been on my mind for a few years. I’ve been a podcaster or not podcaster. I’ve been listening to podcasts for three years, four years. And ever since I started listening to podcasts like “This American Life” or any of the NPR podcasts really, I was thinking, “Gosh, this sounds so fun. This would be such a great way for me to actually take the same thing that I’m doing in my blog and put it in an audio format. And I naively thought that it was going to be a lot easier to do a podcast than a blog post. I thought, “Oh, I can just have my phone; I can just turn on a recording. And then “Boda bing, Boda boom! It’s published. It’s done. Little did I know that talking into a microphone is so different, especially when it’s just you and you’re trying to self-edit while you’re talking because I just didn’t realize that when you’re typing out something, you read it; you can immediately go back. And it’s not audio, so you’re not having to be like “eh, huh, um, no. OK, let me try that again.” I remember the first time, my very first podcast episode, I ended up doing that waiting for my family to come home from visiting family in Eastern Washington. I was just sitting there at the window kind of like, you know, and in Cat in the Hat where they had the kids sitting in the chairs, looking outside, wishing that they could play, but it’s raining so they can’t. I totally felt like that was me sitting at the window just waiting for the car to drive up. It wasn’t driving up and it wasn’t driving up and I’m like, “You know this would be a good time while I’m doing absolutely nothing to just record a podcast.” So, there was stuff going through my mind. I decided to download an app and just start recording and see what happened. 

[20:43]

So, I got to play this for you. Sorry about the pause. I wanted to find it. “Test, test, test, test, test, test, test, test, test-t-t-t-t-t-t-.” Right. I mean that’s the very beginning of your first episode. For me, it’s an iconic go-to moment in podcasting. You’re capturing a lot of stuff with that. The point about the self-moderating and editing: podcasting happens, even though there’s a post-processing element, it happens in real-time. And like you, I love long-form blogging. And when I made the transition to… I’m literally like terrified. I won’t even listen to the first ten episodes that I produced because they’re just so bad, at least from my lens. And we have to have that honesty with ourselves too, is that all of our stuff and including our voices aren’t terrible. But the degree of, I’m going to say we’re probably self-critical and our biggest critics, but the way that the market views us is very different than that internal voice. And one of the things you talk about, and I think it was in the second episode, you actually use the word self-doubt as one of the reasons that it was delayed in getting published. And that just struck me right in the middle of my ego, which is exactly the problem that moving from a blog or written form to a real-time form that impacts. How did you conquer this self-doubt?

[22:32]

Oh, I still haven’t, honestly. That’s one of the reasons that it has taken me a while to record a fourth episode is, gosh, we have this book that I bought for my son and by “for my son,” I meant for myself. It was called The Whatif Monster. And it’s this little book, and it’s basically talking about this little boy who wants to go do all these things, but the Whatif Monster comes to pay a visit and says, “Well, what if you fail? What if you don’t like it? What if no one likes what you do?” And I just feel like that is such a constant voice that goes on in my head of what if you record something that is just stupid? What if you record something that no one wants to listen to? No one agrees with. No one cares. And then I have to go back to but this really has pivoted for me from my early days of blogging of “This is just for me to have a voice.” It changed dramatically for me when I realized people were reading what I was writing because then I felt obligated to create content that people would want to read and for a podcast that people want to hear. And so, I found myself doing this thing and I had this idea for the podcast that I was going to go back to basics, right? And I think I say that in the first episode and then I go into my next two episodes. But the thing that excites me about market research isn’t necessarily going back to basics and teaching basics; it’s exploring all the new ideas. That’s why I came up with a name for the blog, MRXplorer, because it’s so core to who I am. 

But that self-doubt, man, it totally is that Whatif Monster. It’s the but “What if you say something wrong? What if you put something out there that gets shot down because it turns out you didn’t know what the hell you were talking about really.” So I still wrestle with that on a regular basis, and I just have to remind myself, “You know what? All of us are in that space. All of us are trying to explore this together. None of us have all the answers. It’s okay to trip every once in a while.” And, for crying out loud, it’s a podcast. You can edit the hell out of that thing, and it can sound amazing when you’re done and no one knows that you tripped 500 times over the name of your own damn blog called MRXplorer. No one else would know that you did that because you can just edit all of that bad stuff out, and you sound like the most genius person in the world. But then I still have that self doubt: “Yeah, do I really sound like a genius or am I just slow and rambling?”

[25:32] 

I’ve actually struggled with the editing portion of it not because I hate listening to myself. (I definitely do.) But the bigger reason why is I feel like there’s a disingenuousness. The way that the podcast is consumed, in my opinion, it’s intimate. It’s very unique. It’s a lot like the written word, except for the fact that the written word happens in this dedicated period of time where you’re extremely focused. In other words, there’s not a lot of other stuff going on around you. The podcast is consumed oftentimes in a passive way. So you’re almost always doing something else: commonly, commuting, for example. When you’re doing these drudgery-type tasks (Like for me, I was doing some yard work this weekend when I re-listened to your episodes) and when you’re doing these drudgery-ish tasks, there’s this relationship that develops with the host that is very, very unique because… I don’t know the psychology about it. I’m not trying to pretend to, but I’m just interpreting my own sort of connections, and it’s like I feel like I know you, even though you and I never met in person and this is the first time we’ve ever spoken, right? Right. So, there’s this connection, and it’s way different than me reading your blog posts. It’s totally different. And, honestly, it’s more, in my opinion anyway, it’s way more human, maybe one-sided ‘cause it’s not reciprocated but anyway. So was that part of the reason why you decided to venture into podcasts, was this alternate way of connecting to the audience? 

[27:11]

Totally, it was. So one of my favorite podcasters (is this what you call them?) is Sarah Koenig, right? The one who is the voice for the Serial podcast. And it’s just
you listen to her and you feel like you are sitting in her living room, and she’s just telling you about this stuff that she just happened to learn the other day. And just that intimacy behind it, it became so human like you said. And there was a part of me that wanted to actually put a voice to my voice as weird as that might sound. You know I had the typing and I had the blogging and that was fantastic. And I’ll still go back to that every once in a while. But similar to how—I’m going to go meta here—but similar to how in market research you have qualitative information; you want to support it with quantitative. Oftentimes it goes the other way though: you have quantitative information and you want to humanize it with that voice of the customer, the actual voice. And there was a part of me that really wanted to put my voice out there and connect better, connect deeper with the people who I feel like are part of my tribe, this whole market research community. And I think that’s part of where I got a little stuck at first is because one of the things that I was going to do with my blog was actually make it a how-to for small- to medium-sized business, DIY market research stuff. And so, I kind of had that mindset when I was starting the podcast, but really it’s all about just someone hearing me and my ideation as opposed to someone just reading what I have to write. It pivots in such a unique way, I think. And I think that ends up… It’s like walking into a party and hoping that you’re interesting enough to meet a few people. That’s kind of the podcast world, right? You’re like, “All right, I am sending my voice out into the wild yonder, and I’m hoping that someone finds it interesting enough to listen. 

[29:53]

Yeah, it’s all about this value exchange, right? And you definitely get that with long-form and it happens completely differently, but also, I think, impactfully in the podcast. Webinars are, and this is why I picked up on your webinar piece… Webinars had played a similar role in thought leadership where you’ll have this live event; you’ll present a case study. An agency and a brand will usually present a case study or just the agency on behalf of the brand. And then, people would chime in with live questions. Facebook live, there’s a lot of different platforms; Periscope that now enables similar sort of interaction maybe not to the degree of like a WebEx or GoToMeeting or what have you. But do you think that podcasts are going to assume a similar type role? The difference I see is webinars are not very frequently re-listened to, whereas podcasts tend to be this evergreen piece of content that are… I’m still getting downloads on my very first podcast. 

[31:01]

So I used to do webinars for QuestionPro, and you’re right about their shelf life, so to speak. I had a rotating set of four that I would do and it was mainly geared towards people who were new to the platform. And the first week could be just an intro to QuestionPro. The second week was going to be how to do some of the more advanced stuff. But I had to repeat that every month. So every four weeks or it was like there was a reset. And it was always, if you’re just joining us for the first time and it’s week three, you’re going to want to join us in week one. But your right podcast is totally different. It’s like I can put it out there and who knows? In three years time someone is going to be discovering this and listening to the very first episode. It becomes more fluid, I think, in the content and the delivery. 

[31:55]

We did a podcast specifically for SurveyMonkey prior to them going public and then it launched shortly afterwards. Watching the downloads on that for me has been very interesting because you actually see—even though it’s a one-and-done investment, it wasn’t very expensive comparable to a webinar—there are people today that are going to download the episode. Incidentally, that episode is not on the Happy MR Podcast. But in that framework, I found it really enlightening in terms of the power and uniqueness of a podcast versus a webinar. I think one of the things that we will see in the next two years are onsite podcasts at events, in market research events where you’re seeing sort of a post-interview with the keynote speaker and maybe select other speakers and then that get wrapped into a—we’ll call it a season—and then the democratization of access to information that happens at the brand level is really powerful because right now it’s somebody higher up, they get to go to TMRE or whatever and then they come back and they maybe write a PowerPoint or something, but in this case it would actually give access to all that information to the larger group of researchers. 

[33:21]

Yeah. You know, what I would love to see is the ESOMAR. They had the ESOMAR TV. I would love to see that as ESOMAR podcasts instead.

[33:27]

Totally. 100% there by the way. 

[33:29]

Because TV, which means I still have to dedicated ate time and screen space and all that, but podcasts, I can listen to that while I’m driving into work or back from work. 

[33:40]

And it’s such rich content. There’s so much value there. You’ve been long-form blogging for just about what? Four or five years or actually more than that since QuestionPro, but at a personal level with MRXplorer for about four to five years. You’ve been developing and maturing your personal brand. What role do you see impact of personal brand on an individual and then subsequently their career?

[34:08]

So, one of the things that I have seen was something that Annie Pettit actually told me. She and I connected via Twitter. I finally met her last year at IIeX North America. She actually had reached out to me a few years ago when I started with my Twitter presence and started developing this personal brand of mine and just giving encouragement and telling me that in her experience her using her voice in the market research community via social media had opened doors for her that she otherwise likely would never have seen open. And I have seen that. I know that the fact that I am so passionate about this space that I am willing to share my voice about it either via my podcast or via the blog, that tells people a lot, right? That just immediately right there says, “Whoa, she’s invested in this!” And that has already opened doors for me that I otherwise don’t believe I would have seen open whether it’s getting to talk to the likes of Annie Pettit and exchange emails and meet Jeffrey Henning in person and feel like I had known him for years. It has basically meant that my perspective and my ability to connect has gone global instead of being limited to my little sphere that might exist at Microsoft or wherever I happen to be. 

I have a much broader set of people that I can draw on, that I can ask advice from, that I can connect with. And that alone has really helped me in my career because if I need to, I know that I can send a note to a bunch of people and say, “Hey, can I just get some advice from you on this? I’m really struggling with like a methodology question or even a career question.” And that has been incredibly valuable. Just having that network up at my disposal, it’s something that I do not take for granted at all because I know how incredibly precious that is, how much work that has taken, and at times some courage to get out there and actually engage with the community and expand beyond my comfy little sphere here that I have going. It has been, I think, far more impactful in ways that I did not even imagine when I started.

[37:03]

Annie Pettit, Jake Pryszlak, I think, Research Geek on Twitter. Big, big influencers of course, Ray as well. Big influencers for me, Kristin Luck, of course. On that point in terms of speaking of the influencers of our space, are there other voices that are punching through right now in market research that we should be listening to? 

[37:29]

I love following Lucy Davison. Her voice assignment Chadwick, I feel like that is another voice that I love going to. Someone that I met at IIeX that I have been following. He is working more in the AI space right now.  But Patricio Pagani, the stuff that he is bringing forth in terms of just keeping on top of what’s happening with AI and digitization of so much stuff globally and he is taking a look at it as “Now how does this apply in market research?” His stuff, I have been following him more on LinkedIn and it has been so eye-opening because at least in market research. I joke that we just finally woke up to the fact that people use cell phones on a regular basis. But so AI seems so distant, but the stuff that he publishes that he shares with what he’s seeing happen in the world with AI, it makes it so real and so present and so right now. And almost to me it gives an urgency behind needing to understand it better and figure out how we can include that or learn about it and how to include it in our tool set. 

[38:58]

Kind of pulling back, talking about the importance of value in your thinking about the role of podcasts, the competitors set to podcasts are traditional media, right? So it’s a high bar and we have to frame it like that because this is interrupting their Spotify playlist. And so that means the value and as much as I like to think I’m a good singer, actually I don’t think I am, but we’ve got to bring value because that’s the only way we’re going to be able to gain and retain an audience. I want to talk a little bit and we’ll probably end on this with respect to MRXplorer. Recently, in fact this month, November 2018, I believe you posted to your blog after a while. What do you see as the future going into 2019 from a communication strategy perspective with your personal brand? Is it Twitter? Is it blogging? Is it going to be more podcasts? What can we look forward to? 

[40:04]

Definitely more podcasts. I was actually talking with my husband, who is my sound editor, my podcast editor. He’s fantastic and I think I’m going to be doing many episodes. Just when things come up and they’re top of mind, I’m probably just going to take some time, pull out my phone, record a few minutes and publish, but also working somewhere on the long-form episodes. I don’t know to what degree the blog will play a part in what I do moving forward. It’s still going to be there, but probably more on an ad hoc basis, so to speak. Twitter is going to still continue, especially as I go to conferences. That’s going to be where I end up sharing out a lot from what I’m learning and connecting with people at those conferences. But yeah, 2019 I think is going to be more, in terms of my communication strategy, it’s going to be very podcast heavy and I’m excited. I’m looking forward to it. 

[41:10]

We are excited about consuming it. Jake Pryszlak or Research Geek on Twitter and myself are going to be rolling out a scheduled Twitter chat for MRX. It’ll be a… 

[41:22]

No way! That would be awesome. 

[41:24]

I think it would be helpful for a lot of experienced stakeholders or influencers in the space to be able to talk about specific subjects, and then, at the same time, it’ll provide other people that maybe are new to the platform or not using the platform to start engaging and adding value. Right. The idea is that it feels like there’s a lot of the same voices, but it’d be great if we could start expanding those voices so we have a core choir. 

[41:56]

Yeah, absolutely. Similar to how Kristin and Annie, they have been working so tirelessly to get new speakers. I especially appreciate the fact that they’re trying to get more of the women to step up and submit proposals to speak at conferences and just join the conversation. It’s been fantastic.

[42:18]

Exactly right. It’s exactly right. Yeah, that diversity is our strength. My guest today has been Z. Johnson. Z, thank you very much for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast.

[42:31]

Thank you. It’s been such a delight. 

 [42:34]

And thank you, everyone who’s been tuning in. As always, your feedback is greatly appreciated. Please take a moment, provide a rating. If you have questions, you can look me up on any of the social media channels. Jamin Brazil, that’s @Jamin Brazil, Have a great rest of your day. 

[42:55]

This episode is brought to you by HubUx.  HubUx is a productivity tool for qualitative research.  It creates a seamless workflow across your tools and team.  Originally, came up with the idea as I was listening to research professionals in both the quant and qual space complain about and articulate the pain, I guess more succinctly, around managing qualitative research.  The one big problem with qualitative is it’s synchronous in nature, and it requires 100% of the attention of the respondent. This creates a big barrier, and, I believe, a tremendous opportunity inside of the marketplace.  So what we do is we take the tools that you use; we integrate them into a work flow so that, ultimately, you enter in your project details, that is, who it is that you want to talk to, when you want to talk to them, whether it’s a focus group, in-person, or virtual or IDI’s or ethnos; and we connect you to those right people in the times that you want to have those conversations or connections – Push-Button Qualitative Insights, HubUx.  If you have any questions, reach out to me directly. I would appreciate it. Jamin@HubUx.com. Have a great rest of your day.