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Happy Market Research Podcast
11 minutes | 9 days ago
Ep. 401 – What is your Outlook for Market Research in 2021
2020 will be known for many things. Including the rise in the number of podcast. Infact, currently 37% of Americans Listen to Podcasts Monthly and in 2020, for the first time, more than 100 million Americans listen to at least one podcast each month. Today we are going to hear from six podcasters about our outlook for market research in 2021. Referenced Guests: David Paull Hosts the Insights Association’s Audible Insights podcast. With quick-take conversations during industry events and longer-form interviews with industry leaders, Audible Insights keeps you up-to-date with the market research industry, the latest methods and techniques, and trends for the future. Podcast: https://engagious.com/insights-association-podcasts LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/davidpaull Twitter: https://twitter.com/davidpaull Kathryn Korostoff Hosts Conversations for Research Rockstars, a video podcast dedicated to advancing the work–and careers–of Market Research & Insights professionals. With over 1,000 subscribers, topics include research methods, best practices, and research-on-research. And many episodes include links to related templates and tools. Kathryn believes it: Inside every market researcher, is a Research Rockstar! Podcast: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCC0S4qBN9Fhl_LzKJJfjs4g LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kkorostoff Twitter: https://twitter.com/KathrynOnData Merrill Dubrow The host of the On the M/A/R/C Podcast. It completed its first year with 56 episodes. Each episode is unscripted, unrehearsed, and uncensored with plenty of takeaways from his amazing guests which includes a mix of professional athletes, insight leaders, and CEOs. Podcast: https://www.marcresearch.com/#podcast LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/merrilldubrow Twitter: https://twitter.com/merrilldubrow Sima Vasa The creator and host of the Data Gurus podcast with over 115 episodes. The mission of Data Gurus is to bring you a real-life and objective perspective on what’s happening in the data ecosystem. Sima’s goal is to help listeners understand how successful companies and individuals in this niche navigate through the sea of change. Sima’s guests include leaders, practitioners, change agents and investors in the data ecosystem. Podcast: https://www.infinity-2.com/podcasts LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/simavasa Twitter: https://twitter.com/simavasa Stephen Griffiths Hosts the diggingforinsights podcast, a marketing & career podcast with advice from insights leaders at companies like Nestle & Ipsos. As a client-side researcher at General Mills, Stephen hopes the podcast will provide the insights you need to grow your career or business. Podcast: https://diggingforinsights.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenrgriffiths Find Jamin Online: Email: email@example.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 Music: “Clap Along” by Auditionauti: https://audionautix.com Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com/ [00:00:00] Jamin Brazil: 2020 will be known for many things, including the rise of the number of podcasts. In fact, currently 37% of Americans listen to podcasts monthly, and in 2020, for the first time, more than 100 million Americans listened to at least one podcast each month. Today, we are going to hear from six podcasters about our outlook for market research in 2021. So, let’s get to know our podcasters. David, let’s start with you. Tell us a little bit about your podcast, Audible Insights. [00:00:33] David Paull: Hey, everyone, this is David Paull with the Audible Insights podcast, from the Insights Association. And this podcast focuses on quick take conversations during industry events, and we also do longer form interviews with industry leaders. We strive to keep everyone up to date with the market research industry, the latest methods and techniques, and trends for the future. [00:00:58] Jamin Brazil: Kathryn, I think you are the only podcaster that I listen to with a thriving video podcast, Research Rockstar. [00:01:05] Kathryn Korostoff: Sure. My name is Kathryn Korostoff, I am the host of Conversations for Research Rockstars. This is a video podcast that I’ve been running for a couple of years, that’s really about advancing the work and careers of market research and insights professionals. Got over 1,000 subscribers and have had some really amazing conversations in this series. [00:01:24] Jamin Brazil: Welcome, Merrill Dubrow. Tell us a little bit about On the M/A/R/C, which launched earlier this year. [00:01:28] Merrill Dubrow: Hi, my name is Merrill Dubrow, I’m the host of the On the M/A/R/C podcast. I just completed my first year with 56 episodes, one episode for every year that M/A/R/C Research has been in business. Each episode is unscripted, uncensored, unrehearsed, with plenty of takeaways from the amazing guests that I’ve had, that have include a mix of professional athletes, insight leaders, and CEOs. [00:01:54] Jamin Brazil: Our next guest is Sima Vasa. Her podcast played an important role in shaping my work. [00:02:00] Sima Vasa: Hi, my name is Sima Vasa, I am the host of Data Gurus. The mission of Data Gurus is to help all of us in the data ecosystem navigate the sea of change. I speak to leaders, practitioners, CEOs, as well as, change agents in the industry. [00:02:17] Jamin Brazil: Stephen is the associate manager, global consumer insights, at Cheerios at General Mills, and one of the only client-side podcasters I’ve come across. Stephen, tell us a little bit about your podcast. [00:02:28] Stephen Griffiths: Hi, this is Stephen Griffiths, I host the Digging for Insights podcast, a marketing and career podcast with advice from insights leaders at companies like Nestle, Ipsos, and General Mills. As a client-side researcher, I focus this podcast on helping client-side and supplier-side folks, get the insights they need to grow their careers and the businesses they work on. [00:02:49] Jamin Brazil: And I’m Jamin Brazil, Happy Market Research Podcast. We’ve had over 300 episodes, and cover four industry trends per year. For each trend, we interview subject matter experts from major brands, including Adobe, Microsoft, and Proctor & Gamble. David, let’s start with you. What is your outlook for market research in 2021? [00:03:12] David Paull: Well, first and foremost, we’re looking forward to leaving 2020 in the rear view. I know all of my friends and colleagues here will concur with that. And we’ve seen a lot of really challenging things happen in 2020. And one of the things that I’m most focused on is really seeing the rebound of in-person research happening – happen really as soon as possible. That’s a part of our industry that’s so heavily relied upon for qualitative research, and while we, and others, have all adapted online, and come up with suitable replacements in the short term, there’s certainly a void of that ability to do in-person research. So, I know what I’m excited about, and anxious to support is the ability to safely and quickly get people back in person, doing in-person qualitative and ramping that part of the industry back up. [00:04:08] Jamin Brazil: Kathryn, you have over a thousand subscribers to your video podcast, what are your predictions for 2021? [00:04:16] Kathryn Korostoff: Some of the things that existed really pre-pandemic, but have sort of been accelerated now. For example, those of us who do survey research, or those of us who do qualitative research, or those of us who do both, that have been sort of accelerated. For example, in the survey research world, I think that professionals seeking success in survey research in 2021, really need to make sure that they have expertise and the skills for the types of survey research applications that seem to be growing the most. For example, in my experience I’m seeing a lot of increase in the employee research. I’m seeing a lot more interest in survey research related to UX and CX applications. Or survey research related to social advocacy measurements. So, I think for survey researchers, just a practical prediction for 2021 is about what areas of research are likely to be hot. And for the qual researchers, I’m going to bounce back on something that David just said, I think that we will see some of the folks who had to pivot to online qual go back to in-person qual to some extent. But what I’m hearing from a lot of my clients, and a lot of my students, is that they’ll never go back to the level of in-person qual that they had before. That they’ve actually, in many cases, even if they were a hardcore in-person qual team before the pandemic, they’ve often said, hey, we actually found out that the online stuff is working really, really well for us. And so, they are unlikely to go back to that same level. [00:05:36] Jamin Brazil: Merrill, 56 interviews in one year is astounding, and it was a bigger pace than I had this year. Especially in this year. Having done all those interviews, what’s your outlook for 2021? [00:05:46] Merrill Dubrow: When I think about 2020, what an emotional year. Being from Boston, I’m going to start by quoting JFK – John F. Kennedy, who once said, when written in Chinese, the word, crisis, is composed of two characters. One represents danger, while the other one represents opportunity. And to me, 2021 is all about opportunity. Without question, everybody’s clients are changing. And insight will be much more important than ever, and I think opportunities in the insight community to finally build products and services around geo-targeting and geo-fencing. Not to mention, I had the opportunity to go to the World Series between Tampa and Los Angeles Dodgers a few months ago, and it was interesting because it was held in Dallas, so they had a bubble. And when I walked in there, it was a cashless event. Meaning that you could not bring cash and pay cash for anything. So, if you were an individual who likes to use cash, and only has cash, for whatever reason, you had to use a reverse ATM. So, basically you would put the cash in, it would spit out a card, kind of like when we went to Dave and Busters. And it got my mind thinking a little bit, are we headed to that cashless society? And if we are, again, how does research and insight play? So, I think there are numerous opportunities that we could talk about for hours and days, Jamin, but I look at 2021 as a special comeback year for insight, to really leverage what’s going on in the business world. [00:07:22] Jamin Brazil: Sima, as one of the OGs in the podcasting space, and 115 episodes, tell us, what do you see as a future of market research in 2021? [00:07:34] Sima Vasa: I’m really excited about 2021. I think the demand for insights could not be greater. We have gone through an unprecedented time of COVID, and we cannot predict what consumers are going to do, or what businesses are going to do. I think with the digital acceleration that many of us were forced to do, we might have been debating prior to COVID, people have made that leap. And technology is a central theme in our industry. I see the democratization of insights, where we’re seeing a lot of agile platforms coming into play, and providing quick-turn research. I see the visualization of data that allows the democratization of insights through large brand organizations in really enabling people to make decisions more quickly and more efficiently. We can’t ignore the topic that we’ve – is always central for us. And that’s data quality and privacy. So, I think there’s going to be bigger conversations around this, and how do we protect consumers, how do we ensure that they feel protected, in participating in our industry? And again, I think technology will play a big part of that. It’s exciting time. [00:08:44] Jamin Brazil: Stephen, as a brand-side researcher, what are you seeing as major trends moving into 2021? [00:08:51] Stephen Griffiths: Trend that I’m seeing upcoming is this change in the way that we’re working, especially on client-side companies. This idea of Agile and experimentation is really starting to take hold, especially when you come from an era like COVID, where everything is changing so quickly. There’s so much uncertainty, it is harder to rely on simulated models as much as it was before. And so listening to what people say they’re going to do, I would say, is even less credible. And there’s really the strong desire to prove it, and put proof in the pudding, right? So, how would you throw something on Amazon to see if it sells? How would you test something on social media to see if there’s real interest? How would you do an actual in-store test, as opposed to relying on claimed measures through surveys, for instance? And so I think those are some of the things this desire to be more agile and to get real-world learning, that is going to continue to be a trend of the future. [00:09:45] Jamin Brazil: As for myself, I think about trends in 2021. And I was talking with a friend of mine, Janet Strandon[ph], and she told me this, or gave me this great quote. She said: “Really get to know all the people you work with, or for. These are your greatest resources for the whole rest of your career.” I think this is exactly what we learned in 2020. For the first time, we saw each other’s bedrooms, backyards, kitchens, and cars. We saw kids running loose while parents were trying to keep things together. We saw businesses close, and we saw jobs lost while we saw other companies and careers thrive. We’re exiting 2020 in many ways richer. Because we’re taking the time to get to know each other, and I believe that we will continue to invest in the asset of relationship, because it is the one thing that is unmovable in our ever-fluid world. I have found a ton of value in the conversations today, and greatly appreciate all the podcasters who were willing to come together. You can find links to their shows in the show notes. From all of us, we hope you have a safe, happy 2021.
37 minutes | 23 days ago
Ep. 319 – Kristin Luck, founder of ScaleHouse, on 2021 Global Market Research Outlook
My guest today is Kristin Luck, founder and managing partner of ScaleHouse. ScaleHouse is a management consultancy that provides a range of advisory services for companies aiming for exponential growth. Prior to founding ScaleHouse, Kristin co-founded OTX, an online research business that was named the fastest growing research firm in the world in 2002 and 2003; and founded Forefront Consulting Group, a research technology firm that was acquired by Decipher. Find Kristin Online: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristinluck Twitter: https://twitter.com/kristinluck Website: https://www.scalehouse.consulting Find Jamin Online: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Music: “Clap Along” by Auditionauti: https://audionautix.com Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com/ When Satan Met 2020: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkbS-lt39SI
43 minutes | a month ago
Ep. 318 – Dominic Carter & Debbie Howard, of The Carter Group, on how to add Strategy to Market Research
My guests today are Dominic Carter, CEO, and Debbie Howard, Chairman, of The Carter Group. Founded in 1989, The Carter Group is a strategic market research agency that has been helping clients engage with consumers and businesses in Japan. Prior to joining The Carter Group, Dominic served as the Managing Director of Japan for Millard Brown and Debbie is the President Emeritus of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan. Find Dominic Online: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/carterjmrn-kk Twitter: https://twitter.com/carterjmrm Website: https://the-carter-group.com Find Debbie Online: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/debbiehoward Twitter: https://twitter.com/carterjmrn Website: https://the-carter-group.com Find Jamin Online: Email: email@example.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 Music: “Clap Along” by Auditionauti: https://audionautix.com Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com/ This Episode is Sponsored by: This episode is brought to you by SurveyMonkey. Almost everyone has taken its surveys, but did you know that SurveyMonkey offers complete solutions for market researchers? In addition to flexible surveys, their global Audience panel, and research services, SurveyMonkey just launched a fast and easy way to collect market feedback, with 7 new Expert Solutions for concept and creative testing. With built-in, customizable methodology, AI-Powered Insights, and industry benchmarking, you can get feedback on your ideas from your target market–in a presentation-ready format, by the way–in as little as an hour. For more information on SurveyMonkey Market Research Solutions, visit surveymonkey.com/market-research. This episode is brought to you by Fuel Cycle Ignition. Ignition is the agile insights platform that empowers leaders and their teams to improve product, brand, customer, and employee experiences – no insights experience required. With FC Live virtual focus groups and interviews, an Ad Effective solution, and survey automation capabilities, Fuel Cycle Ignition offers the only all-in-one agile insights ecosystem for supercharging the relationship between brands and their customers and serves the world’s most innovative brands including Google, Hulu, Tufts Health Plan, Carhartt and more. To learn how Ignition can take your research to the next level, visit fuelcycle.com. [00:00:00]Jamin Brazil: Hi, I’m Jamin. You’re listening to the Happy Market Research podcast. My guests today are Dominic Carter, CEO and Debbie Howard, chairman, of The Carter Group. Founded in 1989, The Carter Group is a strategic market research agency that has been helping clients engage with consumers and businesses in Japan. Prior to joining the Carter Group Dominic served as the managing director of Japan for Millward Brown and Debbie is the president Emeritus of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan. Debbie, Dominic, thank you both for joining me on the Happy Market Research podcast today. [00:00:36]Dominic Carter: Thank you Jamin. [00:00:37]Debbie Howard: Absolutely. Thank you. [00:00:40]Jamin Brazil: I rarely do two people at the same time for these podcasts because I like to do deep dives. So this is going to be a little bit of a unique episode format wise. We’ll be asking a few less questions but of course I expect there will be a lot more kind of feedback across both of you. But I do want to take time in the beginning to get to know you a little bit and create some context for our audience and myself. And Debbie let’s start with you. Tell us a little bit about your parents, what they did, and how that’s impacted who you are today. [00:01:16]Debbie Howard: Thank you so much Jamin. My dad was a salesman. He was selling mainly construction equipment and [INAUDIBLE]. And he was said to be one of the best salespeople anyone had ever seen and that’s from my uncle who was the other best salesman we’d ever seen in our family. But it wasn’t because my dad pushed or sold per se. In fact, I know for a fact that he wouldn’t have been able to sell anything he didn’t believe in. And he probably wouldn’t have been able to sell anything to someone he didn’t like or think was honorable. Rather he seemed to have the ability to connect with people at a really deep personal level and he really cared about what it was he was selling and who he was selling to. My mom was an executive secretary. She graduated from the well-known Katharine Gibbs secretarial school in Boston. And she worked her way up in the 70s from an executive secretary position to be a purchasing agent for a Fortune 500 industrial company that specialized in building electronics components. And I think my mom and dad both inspired me and my sisters mainly from a motivational and values viewpoint. We were raised to think we could do anything if we worked hard. And our parents showed us by example how that could be true. I like to say that my dad taught me how to dream and reach for the stars while my mom taught me how to get things done. [00:02:52]Jamin Brazil: It’s interesting. Having an executive assistant will, as an executive will 3X your overall output because they’re actually the arms of what your office, of what you’re trying to get done. The, your father, I’ve been saying this for quite a while and it’s not new for me but we build our terms of trade so that we can actually make money. But at the end of the day we work with people that we like in organizations, I think. It’s really interesting how they’ve, how both of your parents connected and have raised you up that way. But I am very interested to understand chamber of commerce is different then market research. So how did you wind up making that transition? [00:03:49]Debbie Howard: Well I didn’t make a transition. I did it in addition to the market research. And in fact I used the market research to gain publicity for myself and to help the organization to put in a customer satisfaction system at the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan. And it’s- I basically, I started there in a really typical way. I became a committee chair of the marketing programs committee and I was basically lining up speakers and it was a natural extension of what I was doing in the market research area anyway and then I, somebody invited me to run for the board. We do elected positions there at the ACCJ and I was lucky enough to win. And so then I was on a 20 person Fortune 500 board in Tokyo because we have a real I’d say treasure trove of Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Tokyo. And so I was fortunate enough to be on the board and then I just kind of got really, I was more and more active. I helped them put in the customer satisfaction system and that gave me a lot of high-profile work and publicity for myself. And eventually I ran for vice president and then I became the first female president. But I can chalk all that up to market research actually. Does that make sense? [00:05:25]Jamin Brazil: Perfectly. Thank you so much for going into that detail. I love that. [00:05:30]Debbie Howard: And if I may Jamin, it actually expanded my ability to look at things from a wider viewpoint when it comes to looking at client’s business because that organization happens to be super involved in advocacy between the US and the Japanese governments. So I had never really done any advocacy work. I’d done some research projects that kind of touched on it but it really got me into a different area that gave me some more sensitivity to what happens in the wider world. [00:06:03]Jamin Brazil: It’s a significant challenge for me because I think about- So I’m part of the Boys and Girls Club of America and on their board. And it’s, I’m not employing my core skills of market research in the way that you applied yours for the chamber of commerce. And I think that’s a really good lesson for all of us to take away in the nonprofits that we are involved in inside the industry to, hey, apply our skills for the betterment of the organization and it’s going to have far reaching implications for you. Dominic we’re going to shift gears a little bit. Same question. Tell us a little bit about your parents and how that’s informed who you are today. [00:06:46]Dominic Carter: Sure, well my father and I really different people. Dad’s an engineer and he’s very scientific and he knows a whole lot of stuff and I don’t know how he knows it but he’s an engineer and I’m much more, I was always much more interested in English and the humanities and that sort of thing. So I used to have to do things with him like get him to teach me the whole quantitative methods course in one night before the exam and all of- So when I grew up with my father I thought I’m never going to do what my father does. I have absolutely no interest in engineering. He always had a calculator on his desk and I was like this is not for me. But one thing my father did when I was very young is he was offered a partnership in the firm where he worked and I think my mother thought it wasn’t a very good deal. So he started his own business and he worked out of home for the next 25 years. And so I sort of always had that example of going out on your own and putting the sign up with your name on it and that was something that I think sort of really affected me and I sort of lived through all of the trials and tribulations that they had setting up that business. And I distinctly remember we- Mom had to stop buying name brand stuff at the super market and buy home brand stuff and it was weird the kind of home brand kind of stuff that she could actually buy that you never knew existed. But dad I think gave a really good example of sort of how to persist with a business and it started very small and then he ended up with, he was still quite small when he retired but he had five people working for him. My mom, well she had five children, so she had to spend most of her time looking after us. But she helped dad out with the business. She used to type up, she had a typewriter and used to type up all of the invoices but it’s fair to say that my mother was actually the business brains and my mother is actually a really good businessman and very insightful. So whenever I speak to my mother about anything that’s going on in business mom’s always got a really interesting point of view and is usually right which is very frustrating because you don’t want your parents to be right. So really interesting combination. Dad obviously had the professional practice and my mother was always in the background supporting and advising and I think it was a really good combination. So I’ve always felt, I always saw myself doing something like my father. [00:09:43]Jamin Brazil: Mother’s are the CEO of the household. [00:09:47]Dominic Carter: Absolutely. [00:09:50]Jamin Brazil: Where did you grow up? [00:09:54]Dominic Carter: I grew up in Sydney, Australia so- [00:09:57]Jamin Brazil: How did you wind up in Japan? I know it’s much closer than in the US but how’d you wind up in Japan? [00:10:02]Dominic Carter: Well I was quite interested in Japan as a teenager. At that point it was in the 80s and Japan was very topical and had become very successful at that point and in Australia at the time it was quite controversial because they were making large investments in real estate and buying companies and so forth. I think it was a similar situation to the US, but Australia’s a lot smaller. So I think Japan loomed very large for us. So it seemed like it would be a good idea if I studied Japanese at university. So when I graduated I went to the University of New South Wales which is one of the big state universities in Sydney and I did a commerce degree with a major in marketing and Japanese studies. And somewhat uncreatively I’ve ended up in Japan working in the marketing research area and have a linear thing in some ways but- So I studied Japanese at university. I wish I had studied more because when I made it to Japan I couldn’t understand what anyone was saying. Even at McDonalds I was like what did this lady just say to me. So I think learning the language takes a very long time and it’s actually still an ongoing process for me after more than 20 years. But I started working in a market research agency in Sydney called Yann Campbell Hoare Wheeler and at the time they were the longest independent agency in Australia and I sort of forgot about Japan for about a year or so. And then it just so happened that they were mentoring a [INAUDIBLE] at Millward Brown in Tokyo that they were going through the process of selling out their business to Millward Brown at the time and I just put my hand up for that and said I’d really like to be involved in that project at some point and so they kind of planned it out for a couple of years and I landed there at the beginning of 1999 to take over the licensee. [00:12:24]Jamin Brazil: When you landed there, the composition of the people that you worked for, were they Japanese or? [00:12:38]Dominic Carter: Well actually it was just me and they sent me, I was 24 and they, it was, I remember my boss saying to me, Mr. Hoare said to me, well if it doesn’t work out you can always come back. So I thought that was kind of weird because people usually say it’s going to be great and you’re going to kick butt and all the rest of it. But anyway, so, but I think that was OK. It made me feel loved in a way. But they kind of, they set me up there and I was joined by a lady who worked for the Miller Browns licensee and basically they threw me in there and said get started. Do whatever you’ve got to do and- So there were a couple of big accounts that needed rescuing at the time. But I was basically on my own. [00:13:37]Jamin Brazil: Did you, so you were obviously immersed in the culture which is very different than Australian, imagine from where you grew up. How did it impact you being a minority? [00:13:53]Dominic Carter: That was really interesting. I- It was the first time where I’d experienced discrimination I guess. Petty discrimination. Kind of sort of interesting. Japan’s not too bad of a place in that respect but definitely, certainly at that time there were much less foreigners around the place. Just the fact that you’re foreign creates a bit of a difference in the energy there and I was very sensitive to that. And of course that’s given me a lot more sensitivity to those issues in terms of how they play out in our, in the society back home. So I felt that was kind of very interesting. Also as a foreigner in Japan you have to be very careful to pay respect to the culture that you’re working in. And when I first went to Japan I thought I was there to teach everybody and I can’t believe what I used to go around saying to people. But I guess when you’re in your 20s that’s what you do. [00:15:04]Jamin Brazil: You have it all figured out. [00:15:06]Dominic Carter: And I used to go into these companies and this is how advertising works and you’re doing it all wrong and [INAUDIBLE]. And they were very polite. I’m impressed by how polite people were with me at that point. But, so I think it kind of, you sort of, there was a point where I realized I really had to learn more than I was, more than sort of be trying to teach people all the time because it’s a bit of a joke when you think about it. Not that, I don’t think I had nothing to offer but you know what I mean. It’s kind of like getting- [00:15:39]Jamin Brazil: I do. The how you go about that is very important. So our topic today is about conducting international research and I think the underpinnings get to exactly what you just were talking about which is we have to approach international research with a high degree of humility. But what do you see as common mistakes that companies make when they’re conducting research in other countries? [00:16:07]Dominic Carter: I think it’s, you really need to listen to your local partner when they’re giving you advice on the project. And so when you try to force things through that the local partner doesn’t think are advisable it can cause problems. A classic example was when we tried to do mobile ethnography with doctors and we just didn’t feel that this was going to work. But- And it didn’t work. It was like doctors don’t want anything to do with mobile ethnography or downloading an app or a web cam or something like that, but they may be perfectly capable of doing it in America. But in Japan it’s just kind of not something that they would do or they’re just a little bit, their relationship with technology is a bit different than the average doctor. But it can be, if you’re asking for that work to be done it can be very hard for you to imagine why this thing would be difficult. So, that kind of advice that people give I think is something that it’s well worth listening to and I think a lot of mistakes could be avoided. [00:17:26]Jamin Brazil: Debbie. [00:17:28]Debbie Howard: That’s one of the- I mean I- The first thing I had written down was about applying your own standards and ways of being and doing to what is often an entirely different pattern or paradigm and expecting things to be the same as they are in your home country. That’s a real mistake. We’re just simply not in Kansas anymore Toto when we get into a foreign country. And it doesn’t even, language is one thing. So we could talk about English speaking markets like, let’s say a US company going to Australia or Canada or England. But then we layer on the nuances of language. So operating in Japan for example or South Korea or somewhere where they don’t really speak much English that’s a whole different ballgame as well. Any country is different from your own home country and I think keeping an open mind and I loved your phrasing of humility. Approaching it with humility. That’s really important because things are different. I remember the case that you said, that you just mentioned Dom and I also remember a couple of, I had a couple of examples that came to my mind when you mentioned the doctors are definitely something that is, they’re treated like Gods in Japan if you will. They’re kind of Gods in any market but definitely in Japan there’s a certain structure around interviewing them. The incentives are set. The recruiting time is set. The methodologies are often set. Another example that comes to my mind is just a simple exercise that we might do in the states or in Europe. Let’s call it the bar exercise where you ask the respondent to go into a, imagine they’ve gone into a bar and start personifying the various people there with different brands. I see that guy over there, he must be Glen Fiddich and then you, then the moderator goes why and you sort of get a little more color around that. And you get more color around the brand. In Japan, we couldn’t do that bar exercise, because they don’t really have those kinds of bars, the same way. And when we tried to do it with respondents, when we were piloting it, they couldn’t even get the concept of a bar in their head, and it became a real resistance point. So we changed it to an eating and drinking place. They call it an Izakaya in Japan. And that made it a lot easier. Because that was something that people were more familiar with, and they could relate to. [00:20:41]Dominic Carter: Could I add something to that? [00:20:43]Jamin Brazil: Please. [00:20:44]Dominic Carter: I think one of the- you also have- you have those issues that we were just talking about. But also, you have, also- in Japan, you have sort of- there’s an added job in interpretation that you need to do. Because Japan is what they call a high-context culture. So a lot of communication is nonverbal. And a lot is communicated in what people don’t say. And that can be really hard for outsiders to interpret. And it’s hard for- I’ve lived in Japan for over 20 years, and it’s hard for me to interpret, still. And I live with Japanese. And it’s just- it’s something that- when you’re working in this country, you really need to have a good relationship with people who are local and native, who can help you interpret what you’re seeing. Because you might be seeing the same thing, but arriving at quite different [INAUDIBLE]. So I think a very common mistake is, really, just taking things very literally, placing your own interpretations based on your own experience. A good example we had- he shall remain nameless, but we had a very famous guy come and do a project with us a while ago. And he was working with the consumer in-home, creating his narrative around what they were thinking and feeling. And of course, my team were polite at the time, because that was the way that it needed to be. But they came- I remember them distinctly coming back and telling you that they absolutely disagreed with every single conclusion that the guy had come up with. And this is a really famous guy, too. And I thought, “Well, was there really the opportunity to have that dialogue with him? Is this something that he was open to hearing the interpretation of the local team?” And I think, when clients- the good clients will kind of be much more open to having that dialogue, even with the very young people on our team, or more junior people. Because they’ve got some really interesting perspectives. So I think it’s not a case of, necessarily, just taking everything that the local researcher says, and taking it onboard, and not having your own input. But I think there’s a really great synthesis of points of view and almost- you can get to these transcendent insights, where you have the local insight and the foreign insight, and then you can make some real progress. But that’s a big one for us, is getting the real- [00:23:44]Jamin Brazil: Collaboration. [00:23:45]Dominic Carter: Exactly. Because you’re just not going to get the right story unless you do that. [00:23:51]Jamin Brazil: So if you- great job of articulating some of the mistakes that are made, coming into the market. Let’s think a little bit about some of the solutions. Let’s say that you are in the US, and you want to conduct research in another country, like Japan. What are three tips that you would like to give yourself? What are three tips that researchers should follow, in order to have a successful project in another country? [00:24:54]Debbie Howard: Well, I have a few. I think keeping an open mind is extremely important. Remembering that nuance is everything. And using local expertise. I think we’ve already mentioned the importance of doing that. But I would like to also say one more. I know you asked for three, Jamin. [00:25:21]Jamin Brazil: It was three, but I’ll go with four. [00:25:23]Debbie Howard: Well- and Dom will probably have a couple of others. So the fourth one, I would say, is to immerse yourself in the culture, so that you can see something outside of the research facility. Get out in the street, look at the retail environments, look at the homes. And try to understand how those differences might impact the way that people are living and feeling and reacting to the products and services that you’re testing. [00:25:58]Dominic Carter: I think that’s so important, Debbie. I remember, we had- we took basically the executive board of a very large company in the US on a safari, about a year ago. And of course, we felt that we were dealing with complete neophytes. We were, to a large extent. But that client had actually, off their own bat, had actually spent some time just walking around in advance, and on previous trips. And that really added to their ability to empathize. And that’s really important. One thing I’d add. I agree with everything Debbie said. One thing I would add, in terms of tips, is ask lots of questions. And there’s a lot of- and this is especially true with Japan. There’s a lot of stuff that doesn’t get spoken about, and people don’t tell you things unless you ask them. So asking lots of questions. Ask lots of questions about process. “Can I do the same thing that I do back home? How long are things going to take?” Those sorts of questions are very important, because the answers can be different than what you expect. And then also, before you’re working with a supplier, too, I would ask around, other people who have worked in that same market, who they would recommend working with. That’s- so I’d get as much- in terms of the partner that you’re working with, I’d get as much informal feedback from people that you know in the industry, about who they’ve worked with and who they’ve had a good experience with. Because of course, it can be a bit- there’s a lot of trust that you have to place in people who are doing work for you in another country. You can’t necessarily go in there and fix it, if it’s not happening the way you want. [00:28:03]Jamin Brazil: Are there Google groups or other resources that you would recommend for people that may not have a network that extends internationally? [00:28:14]Dominic Carter: There are LinkedIn groups. We haven’t gone that far into them, as a way of getting this information. But for example, when we’re doing work in China, we will always ask people we know, who’s the best supplier in the particular area that we want to do the project in. So it’s not even a question, often, of who’s the best partner to work with? It could be a good partner that does very good consumer work. They could be one that does very good farmer work. So it’s very much a case of, who’s the right partner? Down to- if it’s qual, who’s the best moderator for that type of work, in that market, that you know? So I think asking a lot of questions around your own colleagues, maybe. I’ve gone to people that I used to work with in the past, old colleagues. And just sometimes reach out to people. And I’ll field queries about other- not just Japan, but other markets, as well. So who’s a good person to work with in Korea and Australia, and places like that? So I think that- getting that sort of informal feedback on who’s good to work with- and what are they good at, and what are they not so good at- is much better than just broadcasting a request for quotation, and getting back all the bids, and choosing the cheapest one. [00:29:44]Jamin Brazil: Which is how- let’s be honest- most of the time, it goes. [00:29:49]Dominic Carter: Well, you’ve got to be good and on the money, right? [00:29:54]Jamin Brazil: Yeah. [00:29:55]Dominic Carter: But obviously, we’d prefer it if people would take a more holistic approach. [00:30:02]Jamin Brazil: I think the word-of-mouth referral is always the best way to get the best solution, across the board, no matter what it is. If it’s somebody working on your car, or somebody doing your market research, you want to go with a trusted advisor. So I do want to dig in a little bit on the tips. The immersion into the culture stood out to me as very interesting. The cereal partnership between General Mills and Nestlé, which is the largest cereal company in the world- they sell cereal to 136 countries, I believe. The CEO takes time every quarter to visit consumers’ homes, and do on-site interviews. And the reason is that he understands, in context, how they’re using the cereal, which kind of seems- as I think about it, cereal’s fairly simple. But it’s actually relatively complex. And then that helps him connect and build empathy. And that’s something that, of course, has trickled down across that organization, which is fairly unique. How do you recommend your clients to- international clients to become immersed in the culture, given that they have a finite amount of time? [00:31:27]Dominic Carter: Well, just one example. We had a cleaning company approach us a few years ago. And the first thing that I said to them is, “Look, we’re just going to do three quick in-homes, while you’re here.” Because they had come to Tokyo just for a quick visit, [INAUDIBLE] visit. And said to them, “Let’s get you into three homes ASAP.” Because I knew that they will have absolutely no idea what they’re dealing with here. You’re dealing with smaller homes. The bathrooms are different to what- if it’s a European client, they’re very different to what they are in Europe. Much smaller. The materials that you’re cleaning are different. The issues are different, with mold and so forth. So just get them- before we even have any conversation about developing a market for your product here, just we’ll throw you in-home. And that was a very informal thing, but I think it was very important for them to have that, in a sense, experience or shock to the system, or whatever it was, to understand what they’re dealing with. So if a client’s completely new to the market, we’ll generally- it’s rare that we won’t recommend to them that they do some form of ethnographic immersion. So that can be in homes. It can be- if it’s gaming client, going to the gaming arcade, or whatever it is, going shopping with people. But there’s just a huge amount of contextual cues for conversation, and just things that you see and hear. And it’s not- I’m not saying focus groups are not fantastic in their context, which they are. [00:33:22]Jamin Brazil: Of course. [00:33:23]Dominic Carter: And we do focus groups a lot, as well. But just to- that kind of initial immersion, those questions that you would never even know to ask, come up a lot in those kinds of immersive sessions. So when you know nothing, you’ve really got to start with a very highly-immersive, exploratory stage. Otherwise- you have clients come to you and say, “Well, we have- here’s our product. Let’s do a survey.” And I always tell clients, “Don’t do quant off the bat in Japan. For goodness sake, just don’t do it. Because whatever the results are, you’re going to be locked into them. And you don’t even know the parameters of the way that the consumer makes decisions in that [CROSSTALK], what’s important.” So the idea of doing a survey is really crazy. And then, also, interpreting- when you ask a Japanese person their likelihood to purchase something, the way that they answer those questions is quite different to Americans and Australians. It’s actually quite different even to Chinese people. It’s very different. So just understanding how those dynamics work, and what the issues are. If you’re not- so to rush in and just implement the same survey, with a few different attributes that you’ve been using in your home market, to assess concepts, for example, is just not really the right approach. [00:35:10]Jamin Brazil: So I am interested in how COVID has impacted you, specifically in Japan. Japan is one of the luckier or better-equipped countries, I guess. They peaked, I remember, around mid-April, and then have been on a steady decline since, in terms of new cases. Do you think that COVID is going to have a lasting impact on the ability to become immersed in a culture, given a short-term framework? [00:35:39]Dominic Carter: Look, we’re doing a lot of- we had to digitalize very quickly. Until COVID came along, nobody wanted to do focus group in Zoom and this sort of- But of course, we had to convert very quickly to doing that. And we’ve been doing studies, immersive studies. The way we do it we courier out the iPad and the iPhone, or whatever it is. And everything’s preloaded and nobody has to work out how to download or anything. And then- so it’s all very- the steak is cut up into little squares for the respondent, and they just have to- [00:36:21]Jamin Brazil: Which is probably a good practice, in general. [00:36:24]Dominic Carter: Well, no, absolutely. And we don’t- and we’ve been doing this. Debbie’s worked on projects where we’re talking to over-70-year-olds. And some of them over 80, aren’t they, Debbie? [00:36:37]Debbie Howard: Absolutely. And we had a little bit of trouble getting a couple of them on. But most of the time, it went really smoothly. And we’ve had people, Jamin, literally walking around the house with the iPhone that we sent them, showing us the inside of their refrigerator, for example. And we had 15 clients in the so-called backroom, the virtual backroom, watching that. So it’s been amazing to see. And our team has done such an amazing job. I don’t want to use the word, pivot, but they did pivot. [00:37:17]Dominic Carter: Well, I think the thing that- maybe it shouldn’t have surprised us- is just that we actually prefer digital in many ways. It’s just that there are certain aspects of it that are just easier. And for in-home work, we have the problem of everybody in the client team wants to actually go to the home. Which, for a start, is not obviously- [00:37:45]Jamin Brazil: Not feasible. [00:37:46]Dominic Carter: It’s not a natural scenario. But also, people’s home are really small in Japan, too. So if you’re going out, doing ethnography, you’ve got to sit on the floor. I’ve sat in the corner of many a home here, moving around uncomfortably. Because [CROSSTALK] crossing legs and that sort of thing. But you have all of these people. And then you’ve got to tell the client, “Well, no, you can’t come to the- you actually can’t come inside, because it’s too small.” And then they’re unhappy- so digital, it solves a lot of those problems. I feel, at the end of the day, though, we’re still going to benefit from doing work face-to-face. Digital will become part of- it’s more deeply penetrated into our repertoire of things that we can offer people. But generally, I think that there are some things that happen in the face- you may want to walk around the person’s home, or just there’s a more natural back-and-forth in the communication. And so I don’t think digital replaces. I think it sort of augments and will become a very valuable part of what we do- [00:39:05]Jamin Brazil: I actually think your thesis is correct. I believe it’s the case that we’re going to go back to face-to-face. Whether it’s focus groups or what have you. I even think that we’re eventually going to get to a spot where we can be a little more- it’s going to feel less like air travel, and more like- used to- little more comfortable and human. But- and intimate. Maybe that’s the right word for it. But I do believe that, because we’ve been forced to operate in a digital framework, especially for qualitative, for the very first time, it’s going to open up the data to people that previously would not have had access to it. And I think that is going to be a bigger lever for insights, which is going to functionally create bigger impacts. Which, in my opinion, means the democratization of research should mean that it has more value, organizationally. So I want to end on this last question. Then we’ll move into the final personal bit. So do you have, in just a very brief story- maybe a favorite story of how a foreign company leveraged research for an oversized or very positive return? And either one of you can answer that question. [00:40:30]Dominic Carter: Can I take that one? So we’ve worked with- and Debbie will have- I think we can probably take it on together. Because I think Debbie’s actually worked more on this account, of course. [00:40:43]Debbie Howard: I think I’ve got the same example in mind. [00:40:45]Dominic Carter: I think it’s just a great example. So these people came to see us about five years ago. And they were quite senior in the company, and they were looking at their international expansion, and they were looking at Japan. And they came in and met us, and we sat down. And they said, “Well, we don’t really think we need to do market research in Japan. Because we’ve got a really excellent product, and we think that the consumer here is going to love it, and they’re very excited.” And I- I have to admit, it sort of irritated me a bit. Because I knew that they didn’t know anything at all. So I basically said to them, “Are you crazy? This is not the way that you’re going to be successful doing it.” And they were kind enough to let me say that to them. And we started off doing our first project with them. And of course, everything was wrong, everything. The product was wrong. The packaging was wrong. The positioning didn’t work. Nobody got what was actually interesting about their product, the way it was presented, or anything. So it was a really juicy market entry project, because everything had to be fixed. And market entry projects are pretty much my favorite type of project, because everything’s problem solving the whole time. So we ended up doing a bunch of projects for them. But even down to reformulating their product, because it’s a skincare business, and Japanese skin is different. And I remember having these many conversations around, “Is it really different? Why is it different?” But they were great, because they just accepted that there’s different cultural issues surrounding skin, to start with. But also, there is a physical basis to the belief that skin is different. Which meant that stuff has to be reformulated. It needs to be tested. [00:43:03]Debbie Howard: Absolutely. And they did have so many dimensions to their challenges in the market. And we were able to- Japan is a very sophisticated and highly-developed skincare and anti-aging market. You see products in the States, here, from Japan, that have been very successful in the US market. So this is a US product going to Japan. We did desk research to study the market landscape, and the competitive landscape. We did ethnography. We went into women’s vanity areas, Jamin, and had them empty out and show us their skincare routines. They met us at the door with no makeup, because we wanted to watch their skin cleansing routines, as well, cleansing and toning and everything. So we did some really interesting work there. We positioned focus groups. We did these in-home product placements, as Dominic said, where we were testing for the sting level of the skincare products. And we definitely had some reformulation that had to take place. Packaging adaptation, social media listening. And at the end, a lot of messaging research, to make sure that we were getting the brand laid down in the Japanese market, in a way that was close to what they offered in their home market of the US, and their other international markets. But it couldn’t be exactly the same, because some of the words just didn’t port over to the Japanese markets. [00:44:54]Dominic Carter: No. And they’ll say, in that category, skincare, it’s a classic area where there’s just really different cultural elements in Japan, compared to what you’d see in the US. So if it’s anti-aging, for example- let’s say, if you promise, in America, that the product will iron out your wrinkles in four weeks, and you’re going to look 20 years younger, everyone wants it yesterday. If you offer that in this market, people think they’re going to die, because they’re going to get poisoned. They’ll have a smooth corpse for the funeral. [00:45:32]Debbie Howard: It’s too much. [00:45:33]Jamin Brazil: Wow. [00:45:34]Dominic Carter: So you’re dealing with situations in this culture, where even your most basic assumptions of what works and what doesn’t work- another example is we did work years ago for Australian beef, in Japan. And Aussie beef is a really big brand, very successful in Japan. But their strategy was to start talking about iron content in beef. And this is a given in Australian market for the past 35 years, that beef has iron, so therefore, it helps you stay healthy, especially if you’re a woman. We just couldn’t- you can’t get that message across. Because it’s just so different to what people’s common sense is around eating, where it’s all about balance, and you’re not upweighting- drastically upweighting different types of nutrients and whatever. So it’s just different. But we worked with that client, too, on the relaunch of their band, as well. It’s another example. But we love those projects where you’re really starting from knowing nothing, and then you’ve got to work on adapting. And it’s a multi-stage process. It’s the product. It’s the brand strategy. It’s the communications. And we’ll bring copyrighters into the backroom- focus group. “They didn’t like that. Did they like that?” And you just try and fail, and try and fail, and try and fail, until you succeed. And that client we were just talking about has just literally launched in Japan in the last week. And we’re very proud of the work that we’ve done to get them ready for that. [00:47:27]Jamin Brazil: Last question. Debbie, I’ll ask you first. What is your personal motto? [00:47:32]Debbie Howard: I’m going to give you my personal motto for this year. It’s kind of a mantra. Intention, attention, no tension. [00:47:42]Jamin Brazil: That’s interesting. I really like that. Dominic. [00:47:47]Dominic Carter: My motto has always been, in this industry, that we’re here to give people a voice. So our role is to make sure that the consumer gets listened to, and is able to effect decisions that affect them. [00:48:05]Jamin Brazil: My guests today have been Dominic Carter, CEO, and Debbie Howard, chairman, of the Carter Group. Thank you, Debbie, thank you, Dominic, for joining me on the Happy Market Research podcast today. [00:48:16]Debbie Howard: Thank you, Jamin. [00:48:16]Dominic Carter: Thanks, Jamin. [00:48:18]Jamin Brazil: Everybody else, if you found value, please take time. Screen capture, share this episode. This is one of the more enlightening episodes, especially if you are considering doing work in Japan or other countries. I think you’ll find the lessons very applicable. Hope you have a fantastic rest of your day.
36 minutes | a month ago
Ep. 317 – Daniel Stradtman, VP of Consumer & Market Insights at The Lubrizol Corporation, on how to add Strategy to Market Research
This episode of the Happy Market Research Podcast was recorded in July 2020. My guest today is Daniel Stradtman VP of Consumer & Market Insights at The Lubrizol Corporation, a Berkshire Hathaway Company The Lubrizol Corporation is a provider of specialty chemicals for the transportation, industrial, and consumer markets. These products include many different types of additives from transportation-related fluids like engine oils to personal care products, pharmaceuticals and medical devices Since 2011, Lubrizol has been a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. It generated $7 billion in revenue and has an employee headcount of approximately 8,300 people globally. Prior to joining Lubrizol, Dan started his career as a research project manager for a non-profit. Since then he has served as Director of Consumer Insights & Strategy at Walmart, Director of Brand and Comms at Kantar TNS, and the VP of Market Insights, Analytics, and Strategy of GE. Find Daniel Online: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/danstradtman Twitter: https://twitter.com/insightdan Website: https://www.lubrizol.com Find Jamin Online: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Music: “Clap Along” by Auditionauti: https://audionautix.com Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com/ This Episode is Sponsored by: This episode is brought to you by SurveyMonkey. Almost everyone has taken its surveys, but did you know that SurveyMonkey offers complete solutions for market researchers? In addition to flexible surveys, their global Audience panel, and research services, SurveyMonkey just launched a fast and easy way to collect market feedback, with 7 new Expert Solutions for concept and creative testing. With built-in, customizable methodology, AI-Powered Insights, and industry benchmarking, you can get feedback on your ideas from your target market–in a presentation-ready format, by the way–in as little as an hour. For more information on SurveyMonkey Market Research Solutions, visit surveymonkey.com/market-research. This episode is brought to you by Fuel Cycle Ignition. Ignition is the agile insights platform that empowers leaders and their teams to improve product, brand, customer, and employee experiences – no insights experience required. With FC Live virtual focus groups and interviews, an Ad Effective solution, and survey automation capabilities, Fuel Cycle Ignition offers the only all-in-one agile insights ecosystem for supercharging the relationship between brands and their customers and serves the world’s most innovative brands including Google, Hulu, Tufts Health Plan, Carhartt and more. To learn how Ignition can take your research to the next level, visit fuelcycle.com. [00:00:00] Jamin Brazil: Hi, I’m Jamin. You’re listening to the Happy Market research podcast. My guest today is Dan Stradtman, VP of consumer and market insights at the Lubrizol Corporation, a Berkshire Hathaway company. Lubrizol Corporation is a provider of specialty chemicals for the transportation, industrial and consumer markets. Their products include many different types of additives from transportation related fluids like engine oils to personal care products, pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Since 2011, Lubrizol has been a subsidiary of the Berkshire Hathaway company, and it has generated over $7 billion in annual revenue. It has an employee headcount of approximately 8,300 people globally. Prior to joining Lubrizol, Daniel started his career as a research project manager for a nonprofit. Since then, he has served as director of consumer insights and strategy at Walmart, Director of brand and comms at Kantar TNS, and the VP of market insights, analytics and strategy at GE. Daniel, thanks so much for joining me on the Happy Market Research podcast today. [00:01:08] Daniel Stradtman: Yeah, my pleasure. Thanks for having me today. [00:01:11] Jamin Brazil: I like to start out with a little bit of context. It helps all of us sort of level set. Tell us a little bit about your parents, and what they did and how that informed your current career? [00:01:23] Daniel Stradtman: Yeah, thanks, Jamin. I grew up in somewhat rural Ohio. Halfway between Cleveland and Toledo. My mom was a schoolteacher, and when she had me and then my sister, she ended up not working until we got to the age we were both going to school. And then she worked part time. My dad worked, actually for my grandpa who owned an electric contracting company there. And so he spent 40 odd years doing electrical work around town, he’s probably been in two thirds of the buildings in Sandusky, Ohio over the course of his career, and so growing up there for the most part it is fairly rural although a lot of tourism runs through there because it’s right on Lake Erie and there’s an amusement park there that draws from the Midwest. But I think one of the biggest impacts they probably had on my development was it never was a question of whether I was going to go to college, it was an expectation that that was going to happen. And so really when I entered college, they were very supportive of it, but I had no idea what I wanted to do. I thought I did and then about four majors later, I settled on psychology and then that kind of took me down a path that eventually and somewhat haphazardly led me into market research. As I move through psychology, I think it’s interesting because you get when you’re in an academic setting, you get feedback from advisors, you get feedback from professors and they kind of hold that up as the epitome of that degree. So it was expected, you kind of go on and get an advanced degree. I was a good student, not good enough to probably go in and get a straight PhD. So I moved from Ohio, at the University of Dayton out to the University of Colorado to get a master’s degree in clinical psychology. And it was along that path I started to kind of change my focus in terms of hey, is being a clinical psychologist really the career that I want or is there something else that might be more suited to some of the things I was recognizing I was pretty good at? So thankfully, in grad school working for that nonprofit through grad school, I started to learn what’s essentially called program evaluation where you’re doing the research side of clinical psychology, but it’s a very applied research. So you’re going into different entities and working through the process on how they collect data, the impact that they’re having on a community, and then how to improve those things to get a greater impact. And I had a really forward thinking professor there who started to push me in those ways around statistical analysis around what was the beginnings of analytics. And so when I finished my graduate degree, I took a year sales job with Wells Fargo and then ended up being able to get back into kind of more the analytics side working as a business analyst for the university for a few years. And from there, that really was the launching point of recognizing like hey, if I stay inactive academia the path probably doesn’t have a lot of financial benefit. Because I wasn’t going to go on and get a PhD. I knew that that wasn’t something I wanted to do. And so I started to try to make the transition into market research and ended up moving to Atlanta for a short time, and working for Earthlink and then moving back to Ohio to Toledo with TNS for a few years in both the CPG and the automotive sectors and then eventually Walmart and GE and that’s led me to where I’m at today. But I kind of like to say I was a failed psychologists before it was cool to be one. But it’s been a background in a training that has blessed me across the years to have some pretty amazing colleagues and pretty amazing roles. [00:05:56] Jamin Brazil: There’s not a lot of guests that have been on the show that have both the supplier and the brand, the internal researcher perspective. I imagine having that dual background that aids you a lot in your current role? [00:06:13] Daniel Stradtman: Yeah, it’s funny because moving from TNS to Walmart when you’re on a supplier side, you’re doing the work and you’re really trying to figure out and you’re going out and talking to the consumers and surveys or in focus groups or whatever the methodology is. And then you deliver and it falls into a black hole a lot of the times. And so recognizing that one, I think it prepared me to be a better partner when I got on the corporate side in understanding some of the demands on suppliers and the demand on vendors and kind of what helps them improve and what helps them grow as partners. But I also walked into Walmart with a bit of a skill set to figure stuff out. In fact I remember it was within the first couple of weeks I was there, my boss at the time had said, “Hey, we’ve got this data from human resources and they’ve done some surveys, and they were asking for some help on this. It’s kind of all convoluted, I don’t know if you can make any sense of it, but they needed by tomorrow, if you can, but if not, don’t worry about it, I don’t really expect anything.” And it’s one of those cases where when you’re in a supplier side, you use Vlookups in Excel and you’re able to really manipulate poor data because you end up in situations where you’ve got to be creative, and so I was able to pull something together that was fairly cohesive, fairly quickly. And I remember my boss said, it was kind of like, wow, this guy’s got a little bit of a future here. Even today I think having that background on the supplier side, whether it was at GE or Lubrizol I think it allows us to be more effective when we think about how to direct suppliers to get the best outcomes because you don’t want these things to be transactional. And certainly, there’s been a push across most companies to push to a procurement model. To push to this centralized buying function that treats buying market research the same as treating buying a raw material, but I think I fully recognize that you’ve got to have the right mix between value but also quality of partnership. [00:08:40] Jamin Brazil: I couldn’t agree with that point more. I’ve not been on your side of the fence. But over 20 year veteran in the space, the companies that get the most out of me are the ones that understand that it is in fact a partnership. So our space has gone through a lot of evolution. There’s a report done by a consultancy called Watermark Consulting. They analyze the S&P 500 for commonalities among over performers and underperformers, and what they found was that last year, companies that employed consumer insights to make business decisions outperform the index by 45 points. What was really interesting in the report though for me is that companies that didn’t employ they actually underperform the index by 76 points. And so in that context, how have you seen over the last five years the role of consumer insights change inside of top companies? [00:09:44] Daniel Stradtman: That’s a great question. And in fact, I haven’t seen that particular consultant report. So I may need to hit you up later to get it to make sure I forward it to my CFO and my CEO, by the way. So I think you’re right. I think that is one of the key changes is you really have to be focused in as an insights leader on return on investment. And what does that dollar buy me? And that can be very difficult to do, especially when you’re talking about foundational research or early and early stage research type concept testing. And when you don’t have a clear visibility to sales like we do at Lubrizol, because in many cases, we’re providing components to things that end up becoming other things. And so having that clear vision for how to establish a return on investment metric or set of them for your organization, I think is a critical capability than any insights leader needs to develop. I think the other thing is, we’ve obviously seen a rise of data. And that data is extraordinarily diverse in terms of where it’s coming from, who’s generating and who’s analyzing it. I’m not necessarily sure that has always been translated into more insight. So we’re a little bit data rich and insight pour. And part of that is just do we have the right tools? Do we have the right talent? And are we given the time to really allow for that translation to occur? The third element to that change over the last five years is just speed and sense of urgency. I remember being somewhat of a methodologist at Walmart, probably to my own detriment. When in reality, as I was striving to get 90 to 100% variance explained, the organization was just saying, look, if you can give me 65% a way there that’s already smarter than we are and then we can kind of move faster. And so you have to come off of that methodological mountain and be pragmatic. That’s one thing I’ve stressed to the teams that I’ve led over the past decade is just the pragmatism. Yes, you want to have methodological rigor, but you also need to have a pragmatism when it comes to being able to turn those insights into action at the speed of business. [00:12:32] Jamin Brazil: Which is ever increasing and I think the current state of the world in this global pandemic, we’re now resurging again in the US as we’re having this conversation in July 8th, 2020. How has the global pandemic impacted market research? [00:12:53] Daniel Stradtman: Well, it’s certainly impacted the ability to do some methodologies at all. Calling together people to sit around a table in a dark area in a strip mall in Columbus, Ohio isn’t going to happen anytime soon. And so the tool box needs to expand. For us, it’s meant using more data collection tools that are self-provided. So the ability to capture video on a mobile device or something like that, and then use analytics or analysis to make sense of that, text to text surveys. There’s a couple of firms out there that do that I think fairly effectively. And thankfully, we had done some of the legwork even before we knew there was obviously going to be a pandemic. We had kind of pressure tested though, so we had some relationships developing. So we shifted away from some of those more traditional ethnography and focus group type qualitative work into that more distributed model. The other element is now that you don’t have shared spaces at work because we’re not in the office, we’re a distributed team now, we’re all working from home and I honestly that light at the end of the tunnel feels fairly distant. Thankfully earlier this year, we had launched our insights engine, which is really a digital hub around all the insights that make a company tick. And there’s plenty of companies that have done that, especially in the consumer packaged goods and services spaces. So we’re not unique in that area. I think we are fairly unique when it comes to maybe our competitive set, but that’s really allowed us to carry on some momentum because it’s now essentially the insights megaphone and the great thing is the organizations respond. And we’ve seen we launched honestly two weeks before these work from home orders and we’ve seen great membership, we’ve seen great engagement in the tool. And it’s really helped to push some different strategic actions as well. So I think it’s been fairly effective. So if I think about in some how is the pandemic impacting market research? You end up having to focus in on what’s going to drive the organization forward in the short term while not losing sight in the long term. So if there’s things that you can do as an insights professional that maybe even aren’t part of your job description normally, and maybe they’re not what you thought. I’m a custom researcher and I run these things. You may need to become a strategy moderator where you’re helping them develop different scenarios, and thinking through the business implications. You need to be water and you need to flow where the cracks take you to make sure that the organization is still using insight to move forward as much as possible. So I think the team here has done that, I’m really pleased with that, but I think that’s good counsel to any insights team right now is to just help where you can because the world’s never seen anything like this. [00:16:35] Jamin Brazil: I really like your water analogy. I wish I could quote the Bruce Lee or the Bruce Lee quote, but anyway, I can’t. [00:16:43] Daniel Stradtman: I just watched his biography too, and I’m failing on bringing that quote back as well. Anyway. [00:16:53] Jamin Brazil: Maybe because it’s a podcast. I, can sound really smart in the post production. [00:16:56] Daniel Stradtman: Yeah, you can push that right in and just blow everybody’s mind. [00:17:02] Jamin Brazil: Which I would never do. But that is pretty funny. So instrumentising, instrumentation, instrumentising the consumer insights role is something that I felt is one of the biggest opportunities in consumer insights. What kind of things do you put in that dashboard or system that you have? [00:17:22] Daniel Stradtman: It’s definitely not a dashboard. It’s truly a system. So it steals from social media practices. So you have posts and you have the ability to drill down on different markets or categories or contributors, you’ve got search capabilities. You’re able to upload multimedia, so it’s not flat and file based. And that multimedia then becomes searchable. So this is really it’s an insight engine. And that came from some early conversations we had after I joined in 2017, where the organization latched on to what was I think it was a Harvard Business Review article that took a deep dive into Unilever and the work they did in this insights engine world. And so we started in earnest on that journey probably in late 2018, and we were able to launch it by the beginning of 2020. So the instrumentation of it is that now instead of general manager or marketer calling somebody and going, “Hey, can you search for this for me on all the many resources we have?” The syndicated resources of which we have probably 50 plus, or the custom work that we’ve done to this point. Which spans almost probably 100 studies over the past couple of years. It’s self-service to start. So it’s always on, we’re a global company, the teams in Shanghai and Mumbai and the UK and Spain can all search on their own time. And then the next question, so the first question isn’t, can you search this? They can do that themselves. And then the subsequent questions are more value add. So it’s like, “Hey, I found this what do you think about this? Or can we build off of this now that I understand this topic?” And so that’s at a very base level what we’ve tried to do here is to do more with the great work the team’s already doing and force multiply it across the org. I’m always very careful because I think I’ve heard it her said inside, we need to get to this point where there’s artificial intelligence to kind of push and self-analyze some of this stuff. And I think at some point we probably get there. I don’t know if we get there in a way that’s really actionable in my career, maybe. But I have been very careful to make sure when I hear AI in that we talk about augmented intelligence and not necessarily artificial. It’s how do you enable the team’s – it’s more of an exoskeleton than a robot. And because the insights team and the marketers and the business managers like it’s more about how do we empower them to do more with what they have than necessarily replace what they are doing with kind of artificial means. [00:20:51] Jamin Brazil: So then – you think about this post pandemic world in a lot of ways we’ve now completely digitized or digitized the market research process, the actual research ops elements of it. Before we would do things like in person focus groups and while that obviously is still going to happen it’s fundamentally different going forward. What sort of tools or techniques or methodologies do you think a post pandemic researcher that is all of us should be cultivating in order to maintain an edge in consumer insights? [00:21:32] Daniel Stradtman: I mean depending on the market you serve. Certainly, in the consumer space you’ve got to be able to reach out and get a wide variety of opinions both quan and qual. So I don’t think survey research is necessarily going away because that can be done at home and there is plenty of people smarter than me who can argue whether survey research has the same validity that it once did. And I don’t begin to say that it does or it doesn’t. But I think it’s more of some of those articles that used to be done face-to-face, intercepts and focus groups and in person ethnography that just going out and making sure that you have a tool set where you can reach people in ways that avoid you having to actually physically be there. And there is plenty of companies out there that are playing in that space right now and so just find the ones that make the best partner to yours. That’s a tough one with one of the transitions you do see a lot of market research departments or insights departments moving to more that we are going to program our own surveys and we are going to hire an ethnographer. And I think those work. I wonder if those structures might be a little bit under fire though in a post pandemic world. Because you are going to need to rely on vendors probably because the technology is moving so rapidly. So certainly, having that right tool set and continuing to go out and investigate cutting edge tools – I think actually this is probably, the pandemic is probably going to create new opportunities. Create new companies out of this that can reach consumers or end users or up and down the value chain players in different ways. I’d love to see it happen more on the B2B side. Obviously, that’s self-serving because we – my team does actually go all the way to the consumer in some cases. But we are also talking to different value chain players whether its farad as it may be truck drivers or for some of our industrial sectors it might be plumbers or folks like that that just aren’t typically all that reachable in kind of a standard consumer panel. So, I think those types of things are going to be important. I think the text to analytics stuff could probably be additionally invested in. we are playing in that now and some of it is good some of it I think lacking a data dictionary, it really struggles to kind of tie those things together into true insights. Again a lot of data, not sure quite what to make of some of it. But if I was somebody who was early in my career it used to be you’d have your research folks, your custom folks almost, and then you’d have your analytics folks. And I think those are blending a bit. You’re still going to have people with great expertise in both but you can’t be a market researcher, an insights person without some understanding of analytics and some understanding of how data and the bigger data pieces fit in. And in the same band, I don’t think from an analytics perspective you are doing yourself the best service to not have that visibility into some of the things that get uncovered in insights works because you end up without the why in a lot of cases. So thankfully I have a little bit of flavor in both but if I fall on either side it’s probably more the insights side. But I know enough analytics to be Danielgerous. And then lastly just having data visualization, how to use that data to tell a story. We actually had this conversation with the team today about getting Power BI training more effectively rolled out across the team because how you can tell stories with data and be able to capture that and put that into our tool, our megaphone right, which does actually account for Power BI. It’s just a skill set that I think you look 10 years down the road and it might become somewhat table stakes like Excel or PowerPoint is now. [00:26:09] Jamin Brazil: Do you think in a right now world who is doing that really well? And is that the agency level or is it happening inside of the brands? [00:26:21] Daniel Stradtman: I think agency vendor level they tend to do really well in niches, right. So one of the trends of the last decade, decade and a half is you’ve really lost the middle-sized vendors, because they’ve been swallowed up into the bigger conglomerates and then they get rebranded in that. And so you end up with the big ones and then you end up with the boutique ones. And so the boutiques tend to do one or two things. They like to think they can do a lot of things and in some cases, they can but they do tend to do one or two things really well and so that’s fine. You can make a great living out of that. And the big ones I think have that greater continuity to be able to provide full service but in a procurement led world a lot of times they cost themselves out of it because they are adding price to everything. So I think there is definitely – in the vendor side that’s probably, what you are seeing is that these tools get developed and then they eventually work to get bought out or work to get kind of become part of these other things. So if you can catch them on the way up a lot of times you can get some really cool thinking at a pretty reasonable cost. I do think there is a ton of creativity going on on the corporate side. And just knowing a lot of folks I have worked with over the years and as that tree has gotten more full some of the former colleagues have had whether it’s’ TNS or Walmart or that. I mean I think you’ve got some in leadership positions in both the corporate side and the vendor side and there is just really cool stuff coming out of it. So I don’t mean to shut that question it’s just I think if you see a company that’s succeeding in the market most likely there is some cool stuff going on behind the scenes to help define their customers and define their value prop. Which is coming from market strategy and coming from insight. [00:28:53] Jamin Brazil: So when you add a new whether it’s a tool or agency or supplier what have you it could even be supporting the team from operational perspective, what do you look for? [00:29:10] Daniel Stradtman: We did these vendor days at Walmart when I was there and our VP there started them. And it was really this chance for kind of – it was like a speed dating thing over the course of a day or two. And they’d come in and they get their 40 minutes to pitch and 20 minutes of question and then it’s on to backdoor number two. And you do that all day for a couple days. And so from that came some great vendors and I like that. And I have used that process actually coming into Lubrizol now where we didn’t really have a big vendor set. What I realized at GE was I was doing some good stuff and I had a team that was doing some good stuff but I think I lost that kind of cutting-edge, that tap into cutting-edge. And so I viewed to not do that here at Lubrizol. So we’ve done two of those now, we will probably do a virtual one this year. So we do have that kind of speed dating thing set up where we ask folks purposefully to come in in a very small amount of time or to pitch in a very small amount of time, 30 to 40 minutes with some questions. And the reason is is that I want to see how well they get their point across. How well they get their value prop across. And it’s not like we can’t continue the conversation offline but I think having firms that can kind of produce that in that short amount of time if they can really come out of it and be impressed that bods well to their ability to write reports and to kind of be able to deliver what my expectations are. So hopefully I didn’t away the firm on that one but I do think that there is a benefit. I mean we tell them upfront like hey you’ve got a small amount of time so get to the point. I don’t need the full origin story. So that’s an element of it. We also try to do pilots. I think for a newer function at a company, which we certainly are, Lubrizol, and you want to have some success points to draw from. And then we want them to have a little bit of skin in the game. So look normally this might be a $40,000 project, so for this first one given there is an unknown quantity is there some skin in the game you can put into it to try to earn new business? And that’s worked out pretty well for both sides I think. I don’t think anyone has necessarily walked away going well that wasn’t worth the 10% price reduction or 20% price reduction or whatever. Because it gives them a chance to stand out. But it comes down to just saying look what’s the one thing you do better than anybody else in the world? And then what’s that project that if it came across your desk you guys will be like yup this is our fastball, right down the center and this is the one we hit out of the park 99 times out of 100. Because that allows us to set them up for success. When trying out a new vendor I don’t want to put them in a situation where they have to stretch necessarily to do something that isn’t in their wheelhouse. I’d rather if this is the one thing they do better than anybody give them a chance to prove that. And so I push that on my directors, I want them to work with who they feel comfortable with, who they think they can deliver against their accountabilities. And so thankfully the directors I have a lot of experience and I think do a good job of ultimately picking the partners they work with on custom work. And for that matter integrated work. With this new tool in the toolbox, we want to integrate all this integrated work into the tool because that’s going to make the search more powerful. And for some vendors that’s a really tough thing to hear because they work on sea licenses or they work on access by location. I mean how is that going to work in a post pandemic world? If you are charging based on how many sites accessed I mean that’s a struggling business model I think. So we want vendors who can kind of understand like if you can get into these systems you are going to get a lot more folks using the insights that you are generating therefore you are going to have value which means that you are less likely to lose business with us. So yeah, I mean, I think that’s a bit of a snapshot on how we make that evaluation. [00:33:55] Jamin Brazil: I love that and actually that’s like right in the middle of my ethos which is you need to add value in a freeway and if you do that then you build relationships with humans and those relationships wind up netting more projects, right. So like if we are really concerned with the terms of trade like they used to be even like two years ago, very transactional in nature then you can start – I think in the post pandemic you are going to start losing out to companies that have, I don’t want to say philanthropic point of view, but maybe more of a liberal point of view on how they are actually getting compensated for the insights. [00:34:36] Daniel Stradtman: Yeah I agree with you 100%. I think that’s easier said than done, right. And hopefully you are right. And don’t get me wrong, I mean, we are a for profit company as are any of these, right, in that. And so the goal is never to get something for nothing. I think the goal is to say how do we set up the relationship so that it is mutually beneficial and has a future. I really don’t like – I try to avoid transactional relationships as much as possible because market research from a career standpoint if you are five years into it right now you’ve got to understand it’s an extraordinarily small world. Extraordinarily. I connected today with a guy who I worked with at TNS who is in a new venture and I hadn’t talked to him in 12 years. But those relationships last. And so if you are good to vendors, if you are a good vendor like that’s going to resonate. And this is tough industry if you are known for being anything but genuine. So be genuine and be real and be fair as much as you can and I think it will work out. [00:36:04] Jamin Brazil: Words to live by. So as you think about building successful insights teams, strategy teams, is there again any principle that you’ve used to follow somehow to optimize the talent? [00:36:18] Daniel Stradtman: Yeah. So it’s evolved as I’ve gotten bigger teams and different accountability you definitely have to evolve it. But I mean I stole a couple points from VP at Walmart because he always said, “Look, you hire smart nice people.” And so I was like OK that makes sense, right, because smart – you need people to really be able to think through problems and figure stuff out. You need to have that kind of ability to do that. And even if the intelligence or the experience is a little bit off from what you are asking them to do, if they are smart enough and have that right mindset they’ll figure it out. Nice, I mean you want to have folks on your team who you enjoy working with. You want to have people who assume positive intent and interactions. I have evolved that over the years and include it in kind of a driven if you would and I actually don’t mind people who have a little bit of a chip on their shoulder to prove themselves because that shows that internal drive. There is a lot of reasons why people get up every day and go to work. For some it’s the outcome, for some its look they are trying to put food on the table for their family, for some it’s they love feeling that sense of accomplishment or being congratulated or getting that award. And any of those are fine as long as there is some drive internally that fuels you and I can work with that. Above all, you need ethical folks. You have to have an ethical orientation. If you don’t you shouldn’t – whether it’s an insights team or any other team I would struggle with that. And as I have been here at Lubrizol what I’ve really tried to focus in on is development and so we’ve created some roles on the team that are really meant for high potential talent maybe a little early in their career they doesn’t necessarily have to be insights people. So we kind of bring them and the goal is for them to spend a couple of years to increase their commercial acumen, increase their storytelling abilities, increase their analytical abilities and to really have more of a think external market driven mindset. Because those are cultural beliefs that we are moving the organization to be more focused on the market drivers. And so that’s been I think a real success. We’ve already had – even in the short time I’ve been here we’ve had one person come in from human resources function and then she has rolled off actually into a product management role in the additives business. And so by focusing in on that talent and really developing it we hope to be able to create evangelists in the organization that really have the ethos. Yes, along the way they might learn how to run a focus group or they might learn how to analyze a conjoint and that but it’s more about – it’s less about OK I know how to run a focus group and more about how do I create the insights out of that data. And then how do I turn that insight into something that’s actionable, into a strategy, into a new commercial opportunity, into the innovation point. And so that’s been a lot of fun here. But overall I’m blessed to have extraordinarily good people and teams and my hope is that can continue based on some of those ethos of how we try to bring people into the group and invest in them. Mentorship is critical so if you’re wherever you are at in your career you should always have folks who are your sounding board, you should always have folks who you can truly look to and are going to give you critical feedback. Another boss of mine always – I remember as an early manager I would – there was somebody who was working for me and I wasn’t happy with the results and so I tried to kind of do it. I tried to kind of go in there and fix things. And his point was like look you can do that or you can actually let that person have a performance to measure. Because if you just go in and fix everything then the performance is yours, it’s not that person’s. And so you’ve got to be willing to put in the work to give critical feedback that’s going to grow someone. So for that – that answers that question. [00:41:14] Jamin Brazil: I learned something from it so thank you for that. My guest today has been Dan Stradtman, VP of consumer and market insights at Lubrizol Corporation. Dan thanks for joining me on the Happy Market Research podcast today. [00:41:24] Daniel Stradtman: Yeah my pleasure, anytime. Take care and be well. [00:41:27] Jamin Brazil: Everyone else, if you found value in this episode like I know you did, please take time screen capture, share it on social media, tag me on LinkedIn or Twitter and I will send you a special gift. Have a great rest of your day.
67 minutes | 2 months ago
Ep. 316 – Aaron Burcell, CEO of methinks, on the Role of Diversity in Consumer Insights
This episode of the Happy Market Research Podcast was recorded in June 2020. In this episode, we’ll hear from Aaron Burcell, CEO of methinks on his opinions and experiences about diversity in consumer insights. Find Aaron Online: Website: https://www.methinks.io LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aaronburcell Twitter: https://twitter.com/AaronBurcell Find Jamin Online: Email: email@example.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 Music: “Clap Along” by Auditionauti: https://audionautix.com Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com/ This Episode is Sponsored by: This episode is brought to you by SurveyMonkey. Almost everyone has taken its surveys, but did you know that SurveyMonkey offers complete solutions for market researchers? In addition to flexible surveys, their global Audience panel, and research services, SurveyMonkey just launched a fast and easy way to collect market feedback, with 7 new Expert Solutions for concept and creative testing. With built-in, customizable methodology, AI-Powered Insights, and industry benchmarking, you can get feedback on your ideas from your target market–in a presentation-ready format, by the way–in as little as an hour. For more information on SurveyMonkey Market Research Solutions, visit surveymonkey.com/market-research. This episode is brought to you by Fuel Cycle Ignition. Ignition is the agile insights platform that empowers leaders and their teams to improve product, brand, customer, and employee experiences – no insights experience required. With FC Live virtual focus groups and interviews, an Ad Effective solution, and survey automation capabilities, Fuel Cycle Ignition offers the only all-in-one agile insights ecosystem for supercharging the relationship between brands and their customers and serves the world’s most innovative brands including Google, Hulu, Tufts Health Plan, Carhartt and more. To learn how Ignition can take your research to the next level, visit fuelcycle.com.
40 minutes | 2 months ago
Ep. 315 – Adam Froman, Founder & CEO of Delvinia, on how Amplify Summit is Helping Market Researchers Adapt to the New World
My guest today is Adam Froman, Founder & CEO of Delvinia. Founded in 1998, Delvinia is a Canadian based Group of Companies that provide technology-enabled consumer insight and data collection solutions including Methodify, AskingCanadians, AskingAmericans, and CRIS. Adam a Canadian-based entrepreneur, operator, and investor. According to Adam, we are in the midst of a digital transformation in Market Research that Delvinia has been involved in for over 20 years. He has made investments in Measure Protocol, Personal Panels, and the acquisition of CRIS. Register for Amplify: https://www.delvinia.com/amplify/ Find Adam Online: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adamfroman Twitter: https://twitter.com/adamfroman Website: https://www.delvinia.com/ Find Jamin Online: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Music: “Clap Along” by Auditionauti: https://audionautix.com Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com/ [00:00:00] Jamin: Hi. I’m Jamin and you’re listening to the Happy Market Research podcast. My guest today is Adam Froman, founder and CEO of Delvinia. Founded in 1998, Delvinia is a Canadian-based group of companies that provide technology-enabled customer insight and data collection solutions, including Methodify, AskingCanadians, Asking Americans, and CRS. Adam is a Canadian-based entrepreneur, operator, and investor. According to Adam, we are in the midst of a digital transformation in market research that Delvinia has been involved in for over 20 years. He has made investments in measure protocol, personal panels, and the acquisition of CRIS, C-R-I-S. Adam, thanks for joining me today on the Happy Market Research podcast. [00:00:47] Adam: Thank you, Jamin. I’m really, really, really, really, really, really happy to be here to do this. It’s great to see someone who enjoys what they do as much as I do. [00:00:59] Jamin: I really appreciate it. Let’s start with our kind of contextual question. Tell us a little bit about your parents and how they informed your current career. [00:01:08] Adam: My parents, who are – Thankfully, I still have my mom. She’s 88. I lost my father two years ago. If I would summarize my parents, it would be unconditional support. My parents were in real estate and property management in Ottawa, Canada for many years. Classic small-city, small-Jewish-community parents, bringing you up in the diaspora of the world, trying to keep onto your Jewish culture, which interestingly enough, being the baby in my family, I got to kind of pursue my own path after my sister and brother went down theirs. I think what really demonstrates my parents and who they are as sort of business people and entrepreneurs was that when my brother at 19 decided he wanted to go and become a jazz drummer – And for Jewish parents, you’re not gonna be a lawyer or a doctor or go to university for that. And he went to the U.S. to Berklee College of Music and became a jazz drummer. He’s a teacher now. And they just supported him with his passion. So when I came out of school, I fumbled after I did my MBA. And it was 1992. It was a recession. But I had this passion called multimedia at the time. And they unconditionally supported my journey. My parents still don’t know what I do to this day. They know I deal with something in technology, but they’ve always been very proud of me and have supported everything I’ve done. And it’s been a foundation that has gotten me through some incredible difficult times. But also it’s really inspired me to, when I do things well, it keeps a humility and a desire to make sure I’m taking care of those around me. [00:02:51] Jamin: How has that impacted your management style? [00:02:55] Adam: I think my management style – I call it somewhat unique. Trust and loyalty are very important to me in the sense of you have to earn trust and be very loyal to those who trust you. My parents’ trust is something that always had to be end. It wasn’t just something that you expected because you were in a certain role. So my management style has been that I care very much about the people around me-sometimes too much. I’m very loyal to them. If they’re willing to trust in my judgment and my decision-making process, then they will have my unconditional trust to support them in what they do. And at times, I’d say one of my greatest shortfalls is that I care too much. So my style is very much “suck it up, buttercup”. If something goes wrong, you can feel the fall when something doesn’t work out, but get up and just keep fighting on. And my parents taught me that. But that also I find sort of runs people over and not everyone can handle that much love and support when I’m saying, “Just get up but I’m here beside you.” But it’s really – My management style is very committed, very supportive. I think because of my experience of building the company, I’m pretty fearless when it comes to business. Nothing really scares me. I’m willing to walk into any situation and believe that I can succeed at it and I’m not afraid. Even if there’s a challenge in terms of nothing comes easy, but helping others lead by example, build your trust within your group, and be really loyal to those around you. And that’s how I would summarize my management style. [00:04:39] Jamin: Today I should mention is November 4th. Yesterday was Super Tuesday in the United States. And I tell you, I wasn’t sure what I was gonna wake up to this morning. It turns out it looks like it’s just gonna be a little bit longer process. What is the view from Canada? [00:04:56] Adam: The view in general from Canada is I’d say a relief that we’re Canadians and that we’re in Canada. We don’t understand how – We have many of our own challenges. We have our issues with systemic violence and racism and etc. But we don’t have the divisiveness that we’re watching and observing in the U.S. And I think where Canadians have been sitting back and watching the election is that whether you support the policies of a Donald Trump or you support the policies of a Joe Biden, it’s that sense of decency that Canadians really aspire to and that’s sort of the fabric of who we are. We’re struggling with that. We’re struggling with, given our sense of decency and respect for others, that the race is so tight. And because we’re so integrated in the fabric of the U.S. as your northern partner, we really feel for the struggle that the nation is going through. And I think there’s an overall sadness that’s going on here towards what the average American is going through during this election. It’s really troubling for us. And we’re feeling it. Although this isn’t what governs our country, but it definitely affects us. [00:06:21] Jamin: I was talking yesterday with Claudia Kotchka, and she’s on the board of directors for Canadian-based company Loblaw’s, which I’m sure you are aware of. They have 200,000 employees in Canada. And they were very quick in the COVID crisis to invest in employee safety because that’s one of their core values and then customer safety, which is their second core value. And she was talking to me about the importance of being value-driven as opposed to bottom-line driven. And I think maybe what you’re articulating or at least what I’m hearing anyway that resonates with me is that desire to do what’s right and actually commitment to do what’s right because it’s in line with your values as opposed to what is gonna drive the best financial returns for the quarter. [00:07:16] Adam: I think, on one level, I would completely agree with you and I think that is, for many big Canadian corporations, that’s relevant and that’s consistent with them. I’d say I represent more of the scaling technology community. I’m part of a group of 150 CEOs in Canada of scaling tech firms that are growing internationally that are doing well, and we probably have much more of a mindset of an American company where we’re really about wealth creation that leads to job creation but with a Canadian value system. So taking care of our – Our Number 1 priority when the pandemic hit was we went remote. I anticipated – I had heard word that the Prime Minister was gonna close our airports on March 16th, and I was moving my daughter into school on March 15th. Or actually, I was moving her home from college. And I caught wind of this and I got on a call with my executive team that morning from my daughter’s college and then driving home, I had an all-manager’s meeting to say, “We’re going remote tomorrow.” And we just made that decision because we wanted to deal with the safety and the mental health of our staff. So that’s very important. But at the same time, we had to balance that with “you’re a technology company”. We need to be successful and profitable and be able to keep running to create the jobs of the future. And most of us, you make a dollar and you spend two because you’re actually growing. Whereas a lot of the big companies like Loblaw’s are big, stable, public companies that they have a different public mandate. So I agree with that on the corporate level, but definitely on the entrepreneurial level, it’s probably less of an easy balance but more of a – You have to work at the balance between focused on the bottom line as well as taking care of your staff. You don’t compromise it, but it gives you more sleepless nights for sure. [00:09:21] Jamin: Yeah. Yeah. Because money doesn’t provide security for those jobs. Amplify is a 24-hour, global insights summit. It is happening on November 12th and 13th. This is being put on by Delvinia. This has been the year of virtual conferences. I’m trying to remember if you and I had dinner in Q1 this year or if it was in Q4 of last year. I can’t remember which. But it was close to if not the last conference I went to. [00:09:49] Adam: I think it was December in Los Angeles. [00:09:50] Jamin: It was. That’s right. So it would’ve been the last conference I went to. That’s right. All of a sudden, everything’s kind of turned on its head and now everybody’s moved to these digital conferences. I was really, really curious. Why did you guys decide to launch one? [00:10:04] Adam: I think everyone is trying to find innovative ways to market themselves when you can’t physically go to those regions. Even when you’re in those regions, you’re limited to still remote workforce. We’ve been hiring a lot of people in the U.S., but they’re still working remotely. They can’t do face to face. And as we’re trying to expand our brand and our business internationally, you can’t go to conferences. So there have been a number of conferences – I think we’ve participated in most of the conferences. What we’ve observed on the messaging is it’s been more a scramble to deliver a virtual conference for a conference company to transition and less really thinking through the content. And I think what’s interesting is when Zappi and Vox Pops did theirs in March and they got a huge amount of attention and a great audience because they were sort of the first out of the gate. And then you saw sort of GreenBook and Insights Association and Quirks and TMRE and everyone putting on their own. And at varying levels of enjoyment and content. When we wanted to kind of step in and do something to continue to get our message across, there’s a few things that sort of drive our passion. One is innovation. And really, we’re very much an innovation-driven organization. It’s been at the root of what we do. We put our money where our mouth is, as you know. We invest in things. We invest in ourselves. We’re staying ahead of the industry because the industry tends to lag. So we’ve met a lot of really interesting people along the way and we said, “We can bring content that isn’t normally what a market research industry would have.” Typically a lot of the same people are delivering the insight. But because our roots are digital, we’re heavy in innovation, we wanted to take a different approach. The next one is we now know how mind-numbing these conferences can be sitting at your computer. So we said, “How can we do a global conference but do it in 24 hours.” So we’ll have 24 hours of content. So basically, we’re looking at four time zones to do it in and then we’re delivering content. So if you’re up at 2:30 in the morning and you’re bored, you can listen to it. Or there’s something you want to hear that you wouldn’t have normally heard or from around the world, there’s a time zone for it. So we wanted to kind of have a different number to hook. And because we’re not a conference company, putting on a multi-day conference is massive. So we thought if we could pull this interesting, 24-hour summit with really great content, that would be something different. So that’s the first thing. The second thing was we like to give back, and we know that this year has been incredibly challenging. A lot of people have been laid off. A lot of companies are struggling and people are being forced to reinvent themselves. And we said, “You know what?” Not that we’re – Like everybody else, we’re finding our challenges through this. But how do we provide a vehicle similar to my friend, Merrill Dubrow, put together the Internet resource, the insight resource guide for people looking for jobs? Which I thought was a wonderful initiative. We wanted to do something to give back and help those who are struggling. And look, your podcast captures a lot of people that are looking for jobs and trying to find their way. So it’s unbelievable. I don’t know if there’s something that I’ve ever seen where we’ve actually been able to amass 60 mentors to take five minutes in different groups to be a mentor to people – It’s gonna be 50 or 60 mentees that have signed up. It’s already sold out. To give them perspective, to give them inspiration, and to give them ideas of how they can reinvent themselves. So that’s part of our genuine give-back. And then, the third thing is I’m on the board of the MREF, and that’s the Market Research Education Foundation. And the reason I went on the board was Steve Schlesinger had said to me, “Hey, come out to this event.” And it was really the idea was the market research industry giving back. And what I observed is we really need to keep that organization to help the market research industry to come together to make a difference in the world. So we added a donation component with us and our partner, and I’d be remiss to say – When we decided to do this globally, we wanted a partner to do it with us to help promote it and be part of it. And the Schlesinger Group and Steve have been incredible. They are already global. They’ve been doing incredible things around the world and you’ve seen the acquisitions he’s making. And he jumped at the opportunity to partner with us because he has the same values as an organization. So sort of to sum it up of what we’re doing, it’s four time zones, 24 hours of content. It’s 60 mentors. There’s 96 presentations. We’re expecting about 1,000 attendees. And we’re looking at giving back about $10,000 as a donation to the MREF if we hit some of our targets. So this is our value system of doing stuff from our heart. You mentioned before we started this about why you do your podcast. You do it because you believe it. You interview people that you want to interview that you respect. This event is coming from our heart as an organization, as a management team. And we really hope that people get out of it really what we’ve put in to share. [00:15:27] Jamin: And you had a great lineup of speakers and, this is a little bit self-serving, mentors, of which I’m one. But I mean, some of the companies where you’ve got executives. You’ve got KPMG, Facebook, Mars Wrigley, Coca-Cola, HubSpot, etc., etc. So I mean, you guys have done a really good job of attracting some very talented and even lesser-known speakers. I also think a point that you made about topics that are not right down the middle or in the cross-hairs of market research, so maybe more on the edges, is really interesting. Because one of the things that I’ve noticed, I’ve been much more attracted to content that might help augment and add a lot of value for me as opposed to refine the stuff that I already know. So it should be really – I know it’ll be a great event. I’ll post a link to the event to people can sign up in the show notes. If you are listening to this and you want to pause it and check it out, it’s delvinia.com/amplify. That is delvinia.com/amplify. Amplify spelled with an F. I don’t know how else you would spell it, but there you go. So well done. I’m excited about seeing how that turns out. [00:16:40] Adam: One thing, Jamin, our DNA, if you look at Delvinia’s history, is that we’re about digital, we’re about the user experience. We backed into market research and we’ve always looked at how technology is transforming how data is collected and used. We didn’t come from market research saying, “Hey, this is a market research technology for my market research.” So putting on a conference, what we’re hoping to do – Like you said, we have some incredible speakers from around the world. This isn’t just from North America. These are speakers from around the world that aren’t usually speaking and that are willing to do this. And I think part of it is that because they’re doing it from their home, it’s easy to get them to do it as opposed to have to travel somewhere. But what we’re trying to bring to the audience is technology is transforming how data is collected and used to drive insight. It’s not how is the market research industry changing. And we’re seeing a lot of companies, because of the pandemic, has really forced that digital transformation to occur. So a lot of people in the insight industry are struggling looking for the insight companies who are doing technology in that and jumping on the bandwagon of technology. Which, look, we’re a technology firm. But I lived through the dotcom boom and the dotcom crash. I know that technology doesn’t drive change. Technology provides the platform for change. And those who understand how you can use technology to be more efficient, to get better data, those are the people that need to be informed. So we’re really hoping that the market researchers who are looking for insight of what is the most innovative stuff, we want them to understand that it’s their responsibility to visualize what a world and what can technology do to help them do things faster, not, “Is technology just gonna do it faster and cheaper than I did it before?” We’re trying to get people to think beyond. Because this is transformative change because of technology. And what we’re hoping with Amplify is that they hear unique and different perspectives that will help them through their journey of transformation. [00:18:56] Jamin: You started your career as an engineer. Incidentally, I did as well. Since then, you’ve made investments, founded companies, joined boards. Many of the companies that you’ve started have been very disruptive and taught performers in the market research space. What is one key lesson that you’ve learned when you started your career that helped you achieve where you are today? [00:19:19] Adam: One is my passion for digital. That has kept me inspired by, as technology changes, strategy and the way you do things doesn’t necessarily change. It just is improved by the way technology can do it. So that’s my passion about the role of digital in our lives and that has never, never changed. But I think the real thing that is driving my business passion is the fact that while everyone is looking towards: How do you get stuff and build these companies really quickly? And that’s a technology focus. Don’t worry about profitability. Just get your revenues up. Let’s do a multiple revenues, flip you to the next thing. What you forget is there’s a group of people that we call the insight industry that are fundamentally struggling with changing the way they’ve done market research for the past 40 years. And if you aren’t genuine and truly passionate about guiding people through this and not just pushing technology down their throat, you’re not going to succeed in the long run. You may have some really strong financial backers that build you up and flip you. But it’s always been a long game for me. It’s always been, “Anything we build, you know you’re gonna have to evangelize.” You have to be patient. It’s a long-tail play for us. You have to invest in education. You have to keep evolving and changing faster than your clients. And you have to invest and try and not just talk about, but you have to actually risk your own money to understand the new technologies that are emerging and evolving and how they will change, what role they will have in your industry. So whereas I was always around digital and digital customer experiences, around 2010, when we made a real focus around data collection was our focus, it really became around, “Let’s look at data collection not only today but the future.” The future isn’t going to make us money, but the future is gonna form us the businesses that we want to invest in and the direction and we can have informed discussions with people about doing that. So the desire and the passion to keep on understanding how technology is transforming industries, particularly use of digital and data collection, it’s what gets me up every day. Because there’s no constant to it. It’s always evolving. It’s always changing. But what doesn’t change as quickly are the decision-makers of the people who actually have to do insight. So that’s where you have to be very patient. [00:22:05] Jamin: Yeah. Philip – What was his last name? Kotler. Kotler. Everybody knows. The father of marketing. Or modern marketing, I guess I should say. He was a big believer in the prioritization of product. It’s something like, and I’m gonna probably botch the quote, but it’s something like, “You’ve got to-,” or, “It’s the role of product to drive revenues, not sales.” Again, I’ll have to look this up and provide the right quote in the show notes. But the thing that really comes to mind to me right now is the companies that were very late, the laggards to adopt digital transformation have struggled tremendously. Whereas the companies that were ahead of that transformation have really just had a boom this year. Everybody had a relatively quiet summer, but Q2 and Q4 have just been gangbusters if you’re in those enablement spaces. Have you seen that transfer also into Delvinia? [00:23:06] Adam: Yeah. I think there’s a couple things. When you’re looking at something like Methodify, which is a research technology platform that is automating market research but also enabling researchers to capture and bring their data into one place. What you have to realize is, instead of many researchers or insight people in an organization, for all intents and purposes, they were in the business of procuring research. If you were a research department in a brand, you might be four to ten people servicing 300 clients in the organization. And so, you’re just pounding out studies. You have your research agency partners helping you. You have very little time to consult and advise, “Is that the research you should be doing? Maybe we did that research already in the past and you don’t have to do that study again. I’ll pull up this. This is what happened. It’s exactly the same.” What happened to market research is they became procurers of research. It wasn’t that long ago that the market research industry was under threat because the marketers just didn’t feel they were delivering value anymore. They couldn’t keep up to the demands of their digital consumers and marketers needed to make faster decisions. So they would do crazy things like putting a Facebook poll up and making a $5 million decision. And the researchers struggled to adapt. We need to change. It’s us that needs to change. And when we entered into the automation game with Methodify, what happened was initially, researchers wanted to do their custom jobs, their one-off custom jobs but get it at the price and the speed of an automated solution. And you’re going, “You can’t.” An automated solution isn’t going to replace a one-off custom job. But what it will do is: How many of the jobs that you do in a year, if you’re doing 150 studies in a year, how many of them could actually be automated? Maybe 60%, 70%. If you can automate 60 or 70% of them, then suddenly 30% of them that truly need you to put your insight head on and solve the problem for your internal client to make decisions as opposed to just procuring 150 studies. And this is fundamental change. This is not simply, “Hey, you’ve got a research automation platform. I can do it for cheaper. And oh, by the way, your sample’s too expensive, but I want quality data.” It’s not just cheaper and faster. This is about: Are you changing the way – Is the researcher measuring their ability to derive insight by the success of their organization, not by the success of if they’re getting the research faster and cheaper? So I always measure myself with this change and I measure the success of our company is if the clients that we’re working for who are trying to evolve and change, we help guide them and be patient about how they’re gonna transform and how they’ll use this technology to change their organization. And I would say Q4 is the awakening like we’ve never seen. And people are not so much right now, but people are making commitments for 2021 now but in ways that they really want to understand it. The pandemic – It’s sort of they jumped in the pool and now they’re feeling it all. They’re kicking everyone’s tires. And then, I think what’s happening now are they’re determining, “Who can I trust to guide me through this?” So a lot of the companies, including ours, have a lot of similar tools and technologies. But the differentiator I’m seeing at this moment are: Who do clients trust to genuinely guide them through this transformation? And yes, I agree with you to answer your question from before. Q4 has been suddenly the awakening. Q2 and Q3 were really just trying to fight through the pandemic. But Q4, we’re really seeing thoughtful – Maybe it’s because they’re all planning for 2021. Thoughtful decisions around investment in transformative technologies to help them. [00:27:22] Jamin: So along those lines, what are some practical ways that we should be investing in our industry? [00:27:26] Adam: I think everybody in the industry needs to understand what their role in it is. And many research agencies don’t have an R&D budget. They don’t invest themselves in R&D. And we probably spend probably about 20% of our revenues on investing back in R&D. Now one of the benefits we have in Canada is we have a great tax – Even though our products sell globally, we have a great tax structure. We have great support for innovation where we get significant tax back. We get innovation dollars from our government to be able to invest in this R&D. But if everybody worked on the application of these technologies? You’ve got the technologies providers like us and the platforms, then you’ve got the research agencies who are trying to figure out how they’re gonna adapt, and then you’ve got the clients. If people are willing to invest in the innovation in very practical ways around the application of technologies with their partners and then publish it, share their knowledge, we’re gonna see really some incredible things to change the way the psychology of insight is going to be not today but in the future. And so, I think Number 1 is that everyone needs to commit – And it’s hard to say because we’re in a pandemic and the economic struggles. But people have to commit real dollars to innovation. And like I said, we do. We do it not looking for a client because many companies do it and they’ll try to find a client who will fund it. We just do it ourselves. Because if we’re gonna sit there and wait, you could sit, wait six to eight months before you get someone who may try it. So we’ve chosen to invest. The other one is you need to share your knowledge. This is why we’re having a summit like Amplify is share the knowledge. Amplify isn’t us getting up, talking about our tools and technologies. We have great people from around the world. It’s sharing the innovative stories of what people are going through, of what’s succeeding, what’s failing, what are the struggles they’re going through as they’re trying to transform their organization and have these discussions. We really need to have those forward-thinking discussions. Not discussions about the efficacy of an online panel versus telephone. Those conversations are done. We have to talk about the use of AI in market research. We need to look at the role of block chain in providing consumers protection of their privacy. These are the forward-thinking conversations that we need other people to look at of not what’s happening today but what’s happening tomorrow. [00:30:07] Jamin:: Yeah. And what I like about the framing, there’s two things, right? One is knowledge. So things that are working and things that aren’t working. And then, the other is really vision. Where are we going? And there’s this adage, “Leveraging protectionism to protect your product is a sure way to lose it,” I think is exactly right. You’ve gotta leverage innovation and be able to have transparent conversations, difficult conversations, with customers and competitors in order to identify if there’s crossover opportunities for partnership. Or just like we can all work better together as an industry if we operate with a little bit more transparency. Not to say that we’re gonna go unarmed into sales because of course we’re all in it to win it. But the broader point that I’m trying to make here, and I think you’ve brought out, is that the successful companies are gonna be the companies that are brave enough to have the conversations and share information with one another as opposed to just hoard information and keep everybody else out. [00:31:12] Adam: And let’s not underestimate. You’ve got someone like a Michelle Gansle at Mars who is an innovator, and she managed to convince her organization to support her. So a lot of the people that are truly innovators in their own organizations have their own battle within their organizations to move ahead. So that’s why it’s even more important that we collaborate together. And you’re in for the long run. I’m very much passionate about this as a long-term play, not just a short-term win. And we love it. This is what gets me up every day. Whether it’s moving our own company ahead, whether it’s we’re doing our own R&D to find some innovative way to do things, or investing in some innovative company that I know I’m not gonna make money on for the next five years but I know it’s the right thing to do and that they’re putting effort in the right place so I want to make sure that I can bring my experience or company resources or opportunity to test it. And also, I think it’s take these shots and these investments, you can actually do well financially. So it’s exciting times. [00:32:21] Jamin: So this particular episode is in conjunction with a series that I’m dropping in December on the predictions for 2021 and beyond. We’re releasing it early in context of the Amplify show or event-summit, I guess-that you guys are putting on. So one of the questions I’m asking each one of my guests relative to the topic of predictions is: I mean, 2020 has been the craziest year I have ever experienced. What are three predictions in market research that you have for the next three years? [00:32:58] Adam: Next three years will be the true growth of automation and research. And it’s not just like automating methods, but you’re gonna see the tools and technologies really mature and evolve around automating the research process and providing researchers with the tools to do things not only faster and cheaper but much better. We’ve been seeing everything sort of evolve but we’ve just scratching the tip of the iceberg and you’re gonna see it really, really, really expand. The next thing would be virtualization. So the role of AI in market research. We’re invested in it. It’s really early. There are some applied solutions like our PersonaPanels. The company we invested in in the U.S. that are coming out with some really innovative tools to give you instant responses using AI. Like our CRIS platform, which is a chatbot using for qualitative research. The ability to virtualize the ability to do research and do it on scale is going to huge. Because AI has been going on for a while, but applying it to research is still very early. And then, I think the last part will be around knowledge management. And I think knowledge management is something that everyone has struggled with. There is so much knowledge that organizations have. There are tools to help you manage and pull your knowledge together. But it’s still companies, while they can pull it together, there’s some really great companies like Bloomfire that we work with. And KnowledgeHound is another company. What they’re doing is enabling companies to bring their research into one place. But over the next few years is when the organizations understand the power that brings them. So those would probably be the three that I would think would be the big, big drivers of growth in the next three years. [00:34:54] Jamin: Knowledge management to me has been this really interesting meta-problem where – I mean, I’m a simpleton, so I think about an age question. And an age question: How old are you? Or which of the following best represents your age category? The categorization is usually different by survey programmer or by survey writer/author. And so, then that starts losing its comparability because knowledge management at the core of it is just structuring all this unstructured data. Are you seeing AI play a role in solving that problem? [00:35:31] Adam: That’s a big question. In R&D, I do. I think part of it is that organizations are looking for efficiencies due to knowledge management. So if a company’s doing a few hundred studies a year and there’s repetition, the first thing is: Can you be more efficient with the resources of an organization by having access to those past surveys and the knowledge of other information? So that’s only gonna be as fast as the insight individual who knows how to use it. Because it’s not gonna be the marketers. It’s gonna be the insight person. So I think the first thing is: How do you organize it and get it together? And then, I think what’s gonna happen is insight people start embracing knowledge management of what it could be. Not just what it is today but what it could be. That’s when I think you’re gonna see the role of AI. Because the use of AI in my opinion should replace the labor or the work needed by the researcher to do 15 million tasks at once. And going back to my engineering degree, my engineering thesis was the knowledge acquisition process of expert system design back in 1988. So how do you take the knowledge of an individual and put it into a computer to be used to help others? And I think what’s happening now is knowledge management is taking the knowledge of an organization, which then has to build the knowledge of the individual insight person. And then, once you have that, the insight person gains their knowledge of how they’ll actually use all this data, then I think AI can come into play to make it much more efficient and put it across the organization. That the most unsophisticated insight person or the most unsophisticated person in their organization or business decision-maker has the knowledge and insight of that insight person who’s learned how to use the knowledge management to provide them the answers they need. So that’s a complicated way of saying, “AI will have a huge part and a huge role once the insight people know how to use knowledge management.” In the meantime, AI can be used to replicate individual profiles to make – There’s lots of ways that AI can be used in the short term. But as it relates to knowledge management, I think it’s a much longer-term play that we need informed insight people who are actually embraced and invested in knowledge management to be those people to then train the AI to be effective for the organization. [00:38:09] Jamin: Last question. What is your personal motto? [00:38:13] Adam: I probably have two. Can I say both? [00:38:15] Jamin: Yeah. [00:38:17] Adam: Innovate or die. So the reality is is that if you are, especially with what’s happening now, if you’re in technology or you are involved with using technology, particularly what we’re doing, if you think you’re gonna build something and just rely on that, you’re done. You need to always be innovating and looking ahead. And the other one that I use all the time is: My only constant is change. I never sit back and accept anything as, “This is the way it’ll always be.” I’m always looking at, once we do something, how is it gonna change? Looking ahead, what’s gonna be the impact? And I never take anything for granted. So you don’t really rest, but at the same time, you’re always thinking ahead and you’re always able to embrace new opportunities as they present themselves to you. [00:39:10] Jamin:: My guest today has been Adam Froman, founder and CEO of Delvinia. Thank you, Adam, for joining me on the Happy Market Research podcast today. [00:39:17] Adam: Jamin, I had so much fun. Thank you for the conversation. [00:39:20] Jamin: Everyone else, I hope you will take time to screen-capture, share this episode. Additionally, and actually more importantly, I’d ask you to join us on Amplify. It is a free event for market researchers by market researchers. It’s seven days away at the time of this recording. We’re gonna try to push this out in the next couple of days, so it’ll be five days away. Take the time, sign up. It’s gonna add a lot of value and enjoyment. And I hope you have a great rest of your day.
35 minutes | 3 months ago
Ep. 314 – Dom Boyd, Kantar’s UK Managing Director, on how to add Strategy to Market Research
My guest today is Dom Boyd, Kantar Managing Director, UK. Kantar was founded in 1992 and characterizes itself as a “data, insights and consulting company.” It has more than 30,000 employees working in 100 countries in various research disciplines, including social media monitoring, advertising effectiveness, consumer and shopper behavior, and public opinion. It is part of WPP, and its global headquarters are in London, UK. Prior to joining Kantar, Dom started his career in 1992 as a Content & Programme Director at WMUA 91.1 FM. Since then he has started several successful companies and served as a strategic executive at top agencies including Publicis Poke, APG, and Adam & Eve. Find Dom Online: LinkedIn: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/dom-boyd-27068b15 Twitter: https://twitter.com/domboyd Website: https://www.kantar.com Find Jamin Online: Email: email@example.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 Music: “Clap Along” by Auditionauti: https://audionautix.com Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com/ This Episode is Sponsored by: This episode is brought to you by SurveyMonkey. Almost everyone has taken its surveys, but did you know that SurveyMonkey offers complete solutions for market researchers? In addition to flexible surveys, their global Audience panel, and research services, SurveyMonkey just launched a fast and easy way to collect market feedback, with 7 new Expert Solutions for concept and creative testing. With built-in, customizable methodology, AI-Powered Insights, and industry benchmarking, you can get feedback on your ideas from your target market–in a presentation-ready format, by the way–in as little as an hour. For more information on SurveyMonkey Market Research Solutions, visit surveymonkey.com/market-research. This episode is brought to you by Fuel Cycle Ignition. Ignition is the agile insights platform that empowers leaders and their teams to improve product, brand, customer, and employee experiences – no insights experience required. With FC Live virtual focus groups and interviews, an Ad Effective solution, and survey automation capabilities, Fuel Cycle Ignition offers the only all-in-one agile insights ecosystem for supercharging the relationship between brands and their customers and serves the world’s most innovative brands including Google, Hulu, Tufts Health Plan, Carhartt and more. To learn how Ignition can take your research to the next level, visit fuelcycle.com. [00:00:03] Jamin Brazil: Hey everybody, I’m Jamin. You’re listening to the Happy Market Research Podcast. My guest today is Dom Boyd, Kantar Managing Director, UK. Kantar was founded in 1992 and characterizes itself as a data, insights, and consulting company. It has more than 30,000 employees working in 100 countries in various research disciplines including social media monitoring, advertising effectiveness, consumer and shopper behavior, and public opinion. It is part of WPP and its global headquarters are in London, UK. Prior to joining Kantar, Dom started his career in 1992 as a content and program director at WMUA 91.1 FM. Since then, he has started several successful companies and has served as a strategic executive at top agencies, including PublicisPoke, APG, and Adam & Eve. Dom, thank you for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast. [00:00:59] Dom Boyd: Thanks for having me. [00:01:01] Jamin Brazil: So I’d like to start with some context. Tell us about your parents and how they informed what you do today. [00:01:08] Dom Boyd: This is a surprisingly challenging question. I think you always want to be what your parents aren’t, maybe, and I’ve definitely followed, tended to sort of follow my own path, I guess, or at least I thought so; Freud might have a different point of view. But I always wanted to be a raw photographer or a psychologist or a musician, and I sort of found my way, after spending 15 months hitchhiking from Alaska down to Peru, I sort of found myself working as a strategist in an advertising agency called Saatchi & Saatchi, and that sort of seems to me a little bit like a decent compromise. You’ve kind of got the adrenalin of being a raw photographer. You’ve kind of got, you do, back then at least you were doing focus groups and qualitative research, which sort of ticks the psychology box. And even if I wasn’t using, strapping on my guitar in presentations, you did get to surf the cultural zeitgeist a bit. So it sort of ticks quite a lot of boxes, and perhaps looking back, I think maybe the red thread is around understanding people, and creativity, for me at least, is a kind of powerful– It’s like voodoo. It’s a really powerful kind of magic. And I think I was very much instinctively drawn to I’d call it the humanist school of creativity, so people like Bill Bernbach, who did Volkswagen stuff, really famous Volkswagen stuff in the ’60s, and David Abbott in the UK who did The Economist and Yellow Pages communications. But all of those kind of campaigns are very deep intelligence and really deep empathy, and that’s what makes them so powerful. And that’s something I’ve always tried to apply in developing brand strategy, which I guess is my core skill set originally. Brand building is sort of the art of connecting business with people through valuable moments, so creating ideas and services are memorable and emotionally rewarding. And that’s sort of simple to say, but really hard to do, and which is why so few things are sort of famous, I guess. And that’s, I think that’s probably, I don’t know how my parents necessarily informed that, but that’s definitely that path that I’ve tended to follow, is trying to understand people and finding ways that are fascinating and doing that, and as well as obviously sort of paying the bills. And yeah, that’s my entry point into this wonderful world, really. [00:03:39] Jamin Brazil: Did either your mother or father play an instrument? [00:03:44] Dom Boyd: Yeah. My dad, he didn’t play an instrument, but his voice was his instrument and he used to sort of drag me down to church and we used to sing, and I used to really love singing, actually, in choirs. My mum’s a pretty decent pianist, actually. So yeah, you could sort of say implicitly music runs in the family, but it didn’t feel like that, but looking back on it, I think that was the case. I’ve certainly got a lot of love for music. [00:04:14] Jamin Brazil: And you play guitar? [00:04:15] Dom Boyd: I do play guitar. I do DJ’ing when not at Kantar. And I do my own music as well. I’ve played in bands, I’ve managed bands, started a record label back in the day. And I still make music, so that’s something that I love to do. I find it sort of, it’s a bit like painting a picture, really trying to imagine the world of sounds and using sometimes songs, sometimes soundscapes, creating a world around that is something I love doing and love thinking about. For me it’s as much of sort of an intellectual exercise as an emotional one, so yeah, I get a lot of joy from that. [00:04:56] Jamin Brazil: And you can build stories inside of music, which is really interesting. How much do you think creativity plays in your success? [00:05:11] Dom Boyd: Well, it’s something I perhaps took for granted for many years. Because, perhaps because I’ve always done music since I was, I don’t even know, six, seven years old, and perhaps because I started my career in advertising, I sort of imagined it was pretty easy. And as I’ve sort of become more experienced, what I’ve discovered actually is it a little bit of a dark art and a bit of a secret superpower, really, and people actually find it really valuable. For me, it seems like it’s relatively easy to think differently because actually there are some very simple almost like formulas that you can use to help you think differently just by flipping things, simple things like flipping things on their head, doing the reverse, asking the opposite of what a question is and things like that. And perhaps over time I’ve just become tuned in to doing those things or to thinking about how those can add a new perspective, and what I’ve discovered is people do seem to find that valuable. I certainly enjoy doing it. But is it a secret to my success? I guess, but I’ve been in the fortunate position of having worked in the creative industries for a lot of my career, so I would, I’m not sure if I’d call it a secret of success, but it’s something I’ve certainly been privileged to be able to apply for quite a period of my career. [00:06:36] Jamin Brazil: So Kantar has been successfully layering in strategy, CX, and executive coaching. [00:06:42] Dom Boyd: Yeah. [00:06:43] Jamin Brazil: Tell us about the evolution of Kantar, because it certainly didn’t start there, and how you guys are uniquely meeting the market. [00:06:52] Dom Boyd: It’s sort of pretty unique, really. I’ve been working I guess at the brand-building frontline, if you like, for some time and there’ve been a lot of changes in that time since I’ve been in the industry. I came into the industry in the 1990s. And since then, obviously, I worked on a brand called Yellow Pages. I don’t know if anyone remembers that brand. But essentially it was this huge book of any sort of small business, like a plumber or anything you ever wanted within Yellow Pages. And essentially it was like Google, but a book version of Google. In the time I’ve been in the industry, I’ve seen the transformation through the break of digital, the role of social platforms, the role of social performance, the role of D2C brands, of new business models, of sustainable innovation, all these new things. And a world that’s gone from a world of Yellow Pages to a world of sort of voice technology and enabled Alexa. So it’s pretty incredible, really, to be in the business in that time. And as I was saying, if all you have is a hammer, then every problem is like a nail. And it became really clear to me that fundamentally there were very new challenges for businesses and for marketeers, and new business models for driving value and creating brands were happening. It kind of went much deeper than advertising and we were music more focused on customer experience, on digital innovation, on responsible business leadership, on using AI and technology, to put a customer’s heartbeat really as the backbone of business. And sort of for me it feels like we’re entering a new era for business and for brands, sort of a shift from what I’d call donut brand-building, where you create value through a very glossy surface layer that’s very enjoyable and advertising-driven but ultimately pretty hollow, to really a world where we’re I’d call it sort of apple brands, building apple brands, where you’re driving core values, strong core values, nourishing the core, and focusing more on behaviors that link to those values and really using empathy to create enriching experiences. And for me, partly that’s a shift from service and sort of from selling to creating services, and it requires a much more connected mindset. And so for me, the evolution of Kantar is very much interwoven into that. The world of Kantar, originally with Millward Brown in the 1990s and early naughties, the shift towards Kantar as an integrated set of skills mirrors that shift in society and that shift in marketing and businesses from standalone specialisms to something that’s much more connected, much more end to end, much more digitally driven, much more holistic, much more incorporating putting technology at the heart. And that for me is why Kantar is a really special place. You’re able to apply that sort of strategic intelligence muscle which can help shift the dial for business and use that connected, those connected skill sets in spades and have a ruthless application to driving brand value. And of course what Kantar has got, which is really its magic superpower, is this thing called Brand Z, which is all about driving, identifying the value drivers of businesses and showing how that’s translating into financial value outcomes. So for me, I was very excited to join Kantar for all of those reasons, really, because for me it’s like holding a mirror up to the future of business and building value. Another factor was really culture. You talked about, you mentioned coaching, and Kantar very much embodies coaching and applies coaching not just on the leadership team, but trying to cascade that through the organization. It’s got a very empathetic culture, very collaborative culture, very [INAUDIBLE] culture, and raises a lot of equalities which provide I believe the foundation for building a better future and for being a good and fun and enjoyable and enriching place to work, really. And for me, perhaps Kantar has undertaken over the last decade is fundamentally a shift from a market research company to a business transformation company. We’ve got a mission to equip organizations to make better decisions through superior intelligence, really. You could say it’s a bit like Bloomberg for business. And that for me is a really exciting place to be at and to help be part of a leadership team with. [00:11:48] Jamin Brazil: I wanna dive in right now because we’re entering into like a post-COVID–you might wanna kill the notifications–a post-COVID time. And in this post-COVID world, is the office gonna look different? [00:12:08] Dom Boyd: I hope so. Well, first of all, I would perhaps challenge, are we ever going to enter a post-COVID world? I don’t know. Let’s hope that we are. But there is a, I think there perhaps is a scenario where this thing continues to play out indefinitely. I know that’s quite hard for people to get their heads around, but we don’t have a vaccine. It’s not entirely impossible, it’s not the first time we’ve had a pandemic, but it is the first time we’ve had one on a global scale that’s impacted the way it has. So it’s not impossible. This is the new normal. So that’s one thing to consider. I think the other thing that we’re all discovering is it is perfectly possible to collaborate with computers and with technology, it’s just a bit less, it’s just different. I think what you do lose is, this is a big problem, you lose the ability to read people’s body language, so it’s much more draining mentally for people. And you lose the– You can still collaborate, and in Kantar we’ve done some brilliant experiments with ways of, new ways of collaborating and using it as a catalyst for actually really working in different ways, in better ways. So we’re not working around the problem, we’re using the problem as a springboard for improvement. And there are all sorts of things you can do there. But I do think you lose, I guess I don’t know if you’d call it a water cooler moment, but ad hoc, side, adjacent conversations. And for me it’s a little bit, what you lose is the magic of connection through those unexpected emotion–yeah, I suppose emotional conversations that can happen unexpectedly. Serendipitous conversations, perhaps. And those are the things that really drive the deepest relationships. So I think that that is something which I think the world is sort of working out how to replicate online rather than offline. But I think the new ways of working are, I suppose we’re all adapting to it, aren’t we. There’s definitely an optimistic way of looking at it and sort of saying it’s just as productive, and I think what we are seeing is a lot of people are actually quite enjoying working from home. And not everyone, but there’s definitely a big cohort of people that are really enjoying this new normal and wondering why, what is the role of the office now? What does the office do better than we can currently do the way that we’re currently connected? And that’s a brilliant question to explore I think going forward, really. [00:15:03] Jamin Brazil: Yeah. I think my hypothesis on this point is that companies, before it was binary, you were either a work remote culture or you were an in-office culture, and if you had remote employees in that environment, then they were basically, they didn’t know how to interact because they didn’t have that opportunity, like you said. But now that we’ve all been forced to work remote, I think companies are gonna look at it like how much time do I need to spend in the office or my employees need to spend in the office, and who are the employees that I need to have in the office when I’m there in order to create those opportunities for magic and collaboration? But if it has to be binary, maybe it looks like it’s more something in between. So that’ll be interesting to see how it plays out. But anyway, so a little bit off topic, sorry about that. [00:15:58] Dom Boyd: It’s kind of wonderful. It’s very liberating. I’m thinking now, do I wanna commute back in every day at the same time? I think we’re seeing a lot of changes. I’ve seen a couple of studies done on this, and we’ve certainly done our own, so you can thank Kantar as well. It’s fair to say that it’s surprising the amount of people that say that they prefer the new way of working and that they actively don’t want to return to the old ways of working, by which I mean commuting to a physical office. And I think the percentages around that are pretty astonishing from what I’ve seen. Whether that translates into a new future, who knows, but I think it could be very liberating, very liberating for anyone that needs to look after kids, very liberating for people that like to work creatively, very liberating for thinking about how we use time more productively within businesses and the way that you get different quality thinking and different quality tasks which you can accomplish when you’re not in the office to when you perhaps are in the office. So I think that’s useful and it gets us to thinking about, what is the value of work? What are the different kinds of values? You can segment your value, your work value into different kinds of qualities. And maybe that’s something we haven’t started to acknowledge or done enough of historically, and this could be a catalyst for thinking more about that. And if that helps us get more balanced lifestyles and more satisfied lives and spend more time with our kids and those that matter, our loved ones and friends and family, that’s surely a positive thing for society. So if I look at it optimistically, I hope it’s a catalyst for positive change. [00:17:34] Jamin Brazil: Yeah, it’s funny, I have a friend, he’s an executive at a publicly traded company here in the US. They’ve had very aggressive operational goals for improving efficiency and they have missed those goals repeatedly year over year. They’ve actually achieved their 2020 goal already in just two months once they entered a work remote environment. [00:18:01] Dom Boyd: Wow. [00:18:01] Jamin Brazil: Yeah. And so it’s pretty– And that was an accident, for all intents and purposes. Now they’re thinking, gosh, what if we actually really dial this in? That could even have bigger returns. So it’s gonna– Yeah, it’s a neat time. I didn’t mean to take us so far off track. I do want to talk about international research. So when you think about doing work in other countries, what are some common mistakes that you see people make? [00:18:37] Dom Boyd: So look, I’m gonna put my cards on the table here and go, look, I’ve been in the research side of this business, or at least in terms of Kantar, for a relatively short time as an applier of research. However, I’ve been on the agency side for a long time and I’ve seen, I’ve commissioned international research myself within the creative agency sphere and as a strategist and I’ve obviously seen, had the enviable position of seeing a lot of international research being done by my clients and having to try and use that. And the things that I think– So I’m not gonna pretend that I’m an expert in international research because that would be stretching credibility a little bit. However, there are definitely things that I’ve experienced myself and seen others experience, so I can sort of– They’ve just raised questions for me. I think one of them is what I call the expertise trap in trying to just cover every single market and every market variable, and you end up with this insane matrix of different research happening in different markets, and it just eats up cost. I’m a big fan of just good enough, I suppose. And research shouldn’t be an academic exercise, trying to cover off every single sample cell, at least not in my book. It’s only a tool to give clients an advantage they wouldn’t otherwise have, through better understanding. No more, no less. So I would do less, but better. I think- so that’s one thing. I think, perhaps, another thing is just not being tuned in enough- so with international research, despite going to all of this effort to doing lots of different territories and sample cells and whatnot, sometimes the research can end up being the worst of all worlds, and just end up being an average. And like all averages, an average is a Frankenstein measure, really. And you can end up with just vanilla insight, or just a lack of insight. You’re just trying to find the common denominator, and in doing so, just end up with a wash of nothing very insightful at all. And typically, you see that happening in global ad campaigns all the time, that connect with precisely no one. Because they’re made of precisely nothing. There’s no insight, really. They’re just lowest common denominator. And I think the same is true of research, really, in trying to- I think the richness is around the edges. And so I would counsel towards running towards the stuff that pulls things apart, rather than necessarily just trying to find the- always for the commonest of grounds. Because you end up with something that isn’t very differentiated, ultimately. Because every- your competitors are doing the same thing. And so you just end up with stuff that doesn’t really give you an advantage, ultimately. It’s more interesting to look towards the edges, look for wherever differences are, and try and embrace the differences. And do unexpected things, is the other thing. Sometimes it’s very easy to go for a standardized approach, for all sorts of very good economic reasons, sometimes. But actually, culture is a fascinating, wonderful, weird, strange, diverse thing. And I would experiment more, and just have more fun with doing things that allow color and texture of culture to really permeate international [INAUDIBLE] research findings and debriefs. And it should be as fun and as exhilarating as when you go and visit those cultures. And often, it just ends up in a horrid PowerPoint deck of 200 slides which, for me, sort of death by 1,000 cuts, really. [00:23:01] Jamin Brazil: I like your framework, there, a lot. I think market research specifically has fallen into the average trap. And the two examples that I go to is- nobody has 2.3 kids, and if Bill Gates walks into a bar, on average, everybody is a millionaire. So we have to reframe it and humanize that data. And a way to do that, of course, is immersion. And obviously, the more entertaining that is, the better. Have you seen- do you have any- off the top of your head, do you have any creative ways that you may have approached international work in the past? [00:23:43] Dom Boyd: Yeah. I remember working with one agency, who shall remain nameless. Much more ethnographic style. Anything that involves- for me, anything that is almost like a documentary can be pretty useful, pretty powerful. So not just vox pops of people filming themselves, but actually genuinely- like a film crew does, observe what happens around a person or a family or a cohort- can be really interesting. I’ve used stuff where we’ve ended up presenting the findings through playing cards. And each card was essentially- I don’t know if you have this outside of the UK. There’s a kids’ card game in the UK, called Top Trumps. And it’s essentially- for example, you get [INAUDIBLE] fast cars. And they’re all really cool car, and every car, you get top speed and miles per hour and fuel consumption and torque, and a whole load of cool- weight, maybe- a whole load of cool- And we ended up presenting this through the medium of Top Trumps, in terms of a debrief. That was a lot of fun, and really powerful, actually, inside the organization. I think that’s possibly one of the most powerful bits of research, really. Because actually seeing how it was used inside the organization as a result, and take hold, was better than any PowerPoint deck I’ve ever seen, really. It became a fun thing to play around with, and for people to spread the message of, “This is what this audience segmentation is all about, and some of their cool characteristics.” So that was fun and effective. [00:25:33] Jamin Brazil: What are some tips or recommendations when thinking about international work? [00:25:39] Dom Boyd: So I think it’s a little bit what I would say around any bit of thinking about- if I was thinking about tips or recommendations, I think I would be thinking about how to add value to consumer insights, generally. And they’re as applicable to international research, as to anyone else. Because I’ve been on the- fortunate, I think, to be on the receiving end of all kinds of insight data and debriefs. And I’ve got to be honest and tell you that, often, insight is often the last thing that insight data and debriefs bring. Often, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of just information overload, which, by definition, is sort of the opposite of insight. And if the role of a business is really just- the function of any business is really just to create positive change. That’s it. There’s not really much more magic around it than that. So I think there are a couple of things that can help create that positive change. And I think that that’s applicable to international research, too. So one would be around, I guess, having the spirit and focus and entrepreneurial energy of a startup, really. So just dynamic testing and learning, which has an action focus, is, for me, a good thing. Because it means you do have an action focus, and it’s not just rigor mortis reports. I would have- I’ve got a positive bias, I think, towards the commercialization of insight, and focusing on business outcomes and tangible growth. So anything that links- any research which links into market share, which links into revenue, which [INAUDIBLE] profit always gets the thumbs-up in my book. And it very rare that I see that much research doing that. And I think one of the other things might be around creating cultural impact inside organizations. So thinking about stakeholders that will ultimately use this research. Not just in terms of the inside, functional- customer intelligence function, or research function. But who ultimately are the stakeholders that are going to be using this? And what is it that they find valuable? And how can you most influence them? So it’s just the old adage of a picture tells 1,000 words. So really, be fearless in bringing real people into the boardroom. It’s almost the flip-side of thinking about the profit and market share point, really. And often, international research doesn’t do that as well as it could do, thinking about- why is this research valuable? What’s it really- what’s its real role? What’s the problem it can solve behind the problem? And so those are things I would be actively encouraging people doing international research to be thinking about. And people that aren’t doing international research, to be thinking about, as well. Because that’s where I feel- areas where research often falls very flat, should we say [INAUDIBLE]. [00:28:59] Jamin Brazil: Do you see cinematography playing an increased role? [00:29:04] Dom Boyd: Well, potentially. It can be incredibly powerful, especially if it’s produced well. [INAUDIBLE]. I’ve got a dog next to me. Ambrose, quiet. [00:29:20] Jamin Brazil: Think he’s going to attack you. [00:29:22] Dom Boyd: Growling. He’s got a point of view on this, as well. I think- look, I don’t know if it was just down to cinematography. I’m a big fan of that, because I’ve seen how powerful it can be. I’ve seen the influence it can have, emotionally, on people. I think ultimately, if I think about- if I stand back from the profession of research, our job is to help businesses take positive actions, to move forward. But to do that, you’ve got to influence people. And to do that, one of the tools you can use, that’s very powerful in influencing people, is storytelling. And humans are meaning-making machines. Our brains are hardwired to find meaning and stories in everything. And sometimes, you can tell stories through a PowerPoint deck. Hey, I’m as guilty, and as good or as bad as the next person, at doing one of those. But I think there is- I would encourage the research profession to think about how you can most powerfully tell the story of the insight that you’ve found, or insight that you’ve got, and think about the outcome of how that story plays out, where you’re going to play that. And how can you scale that story? And sometimes that’s through vox pops. The power of technology, now, to allow people to capture their emotions through emojis and through video, and through cinematography and other things like that. You can tell stories in all kinds of ways, but I would put a lot of effort into that. It’s always surprisingly powerful. No amount of statistics is as powerful as one person’s story. And politicians get that really well, actually, I have to say. And as do charities. Often, they tell- they often tell a story through the medium of one child in need, or one human in need, rather than through dry statistics that land very flat. And that’s because they know that it’s more powerful as an influencing tool. That’s what they’ve discovered over years of doing communications work. So maybe we can learn something from them. [00:31:45] Jamin Brazil: How has the global pandemic impacted doing research at an international level? [00:31:51] Dom Boyd: Well, I think, firstly, there’s less research happening. On a total level, I think it’s forced us to be more entrepreneurial, though, hasn’t it? And it has forced us, fundamentally. [INAUDIBLE] less opportunity, sometimes no opportunity for doing face-to-face, using face-to-face methodologies in the physical sense. But what we’re able to do is obviously explore the frontiers of what technology allows us to do, and to lean harder into that. And to really accelerate our learning curve around how you can get really good, high-quality insight really quickly and cheaply. And that’s got to be a good thing. As long as you’re still connecting with humans, and using it as a catalyst for deeper understanding, rather than just doing- shaving your margin and shaving the costs off. So for me, there are all kinds of positives that the pandemic’s brought. It’s also allowed us to explore different kinds of question, in particular, around customer experience, in particular, around strategy. I think it’s brilliant. It allows- a lot of the questions that clients are asking us are very upstream questions [INAUDIBLE] demand [INAUDIBLE] new business models, reinvented experiences, reinvented strategy. All of that stuff, for me, is like catnip. I’ve got to say it’s really- so I would say that is a potential positive springboard for the industry, generally, to be having much more upstream conversations, and to demonstrate the value it can really add to those conversations, for those people that are equipped to do so. [00:33:44] Jamin Brazil: So speaking of being equipped, do you have- whether it’s tools, technologies, or maybe even methodologies, what should be in the toolbox of the researcher, to maintain an edge in consumer insights? [00:34:03] Dom Boyd: Well, there’s loads of different ways to answer this. So I think there are some key skills, if you like. And then there are some tools around that. So I think, in terms of skills, I would counsel everyone just to listen harder. I think this is a cultural reset moment. And organizations and institutions have systematically lost the ability to really empathize. And 2020 is showing there’s really important lessons for us to learn about that. And it is time to truly understand your audience as people, not just as consumers. So average- well, I talked before about my dislike of averages, because they’re a great place to hide insight. So possibly- it’s time to place less emphasis on AI and more emphasis on EI and emotional [CROSSTALK]. I would also say maybe this is a time for action, not words. And we’ve never seen so much change happening to organizations. And organizations have never needed to change more to understand consumers more. So those are really good opportunities for us, as an industry, to be responsible, as well as responsive, and to galvanize change, and to set the agenda for organizations. So [INAUDIBLE] what I’d call skillset, but there are specific methodologies, in terms of the pandemic. Well, I maybe wouldn’t- I might be heretical. I’m not sure that I would necessarily start [INAUDIBLE] methodologies. I’d probably try to- my bias is to start in understanding the problem and the business problem around your metrics, and which ones you’re trying to influence. And then treat it a little bit like a murder scene. Coming up with all kinds of hypotheses to test, and trying to find quick ways of pulling together the evidence, to find the links between the bits of data. So that would be where I would personally start, on a very much a strategist’s way of approaching it. But there are things that can help, in terms of tools and methodologies. Personally, I would- the sorts of things I think can help. Look for far signals that drive commercial KPIs. Search is one of those. It’s very responsive and it’s very behaviorally-driven. So that’s great. We’re having a lot of- we’re doing a lot of interesting things with search data- cancer. Another thing might be to blend big and small data, and technology is a great catalyst for that. So in Kantar, we used a thing called stand landscape AI. And that helps us see changing emotional motivations, and where the white spaces are to play and win, looking at big data sets of humans’ emotional needs, and complementing that with online qual. And then I’d also just look to experiment. We’ve got loads of cool ways of experimenting. One of them is called Idea Stock. But I think it’s looking at understanding the purchase potential through mirroring a crowd [INAUDIBLE] shows the potential of social purchasing dynamics. So there are loads of different ways of using- the methodologies and techniques that are creative and interesting. But ultimately, I would look for signals, blend big and small, and experiment, really. And then everyone’s going to have their own way of doing those things. But identify the problem that you’re trying to solve first, I think would be my big thing. [00:37:46] Jamin Brazil: Last question. What is your personal motto? [00:37:50] Dom Boyd: The impossible question. Look, I started at Saatchi & Saatchi advertising agency, and their motto is, “Nothing is impossible.” And right now, the world is bleeding, and business is bleeding, and brands are bleeding. These are challenging times. But the history of humanity is showing that we are capable of rising to challenges, and that we’re at our best and our most ingenious when we’re forced to adapt. And boy, are we having to adapt right now. So maybe, in the ashes of the pandemic, there is an opportunity for us to all build a better future. And we’ve all got a role to play in that. So I think my motto probably is, “Nothing is impossible,” and to be the change you want to see in the world, and to believe that big things can come from small actions. [00:38:39] Jamin Brazil: My guest today has been Dom Boyd, Kantar managing director, UK. Thank you, Dom, for joining me on the Happy Market Research podcast today. [00:38:47] Dom Boyd: Thanks very much. Great to have had the opportunity to chat. [00:38:51] Jamin Brazil: Everyone else, if you found value in this episode- I know I found a ton of value in this episode. I hope you take the time, screen capture, put it on social media. If you tag me, I have something special I will send you. Have a wonderful rest of your day.
20 minutes | 3 months ago
Ep. 313 – How to add Strategy to Market Research
In this episode, we’ll be providing tips on how to add strategy to market research. Stay tuned for the following weeks to hear the individual episodes of our referenced guests. Referenced Guests: Dan Stradtman, VP, Consumer & Market Insights at Lubrizol Corporation LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/danstradtman Twitter: https://twitter.com/insightdan Website: https://www.lubrizol.com Dom Boyd, Kantar’s UK Managing Director LinkedIn: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/dom-boyd-27068b15 Twitter: https://twitter.com/domboyd Website: https://www.kantar.com Dominic Carter, CEO of The Carter Group LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/carterjmrn-kk Twitter: https://twitter.com/carterjmrm Website: https://the-carter-group.com Debbie Howard, Chairman of The Carter Group LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/debbiehoward Twitter: https://twitter.com/carterjmrn Website: https://the-carter-group.com Steve Kantscheidt, founder and CEO of Humantel LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevekantscheidt Twitter: https://twitter.com/HumantelInc Website: https://www.humantel.com Find Jamin Online: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jaminbrazil Twitter: www.twitter.com/jaminbrazil Find Chueyee Online: Email: email@example.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/chueyeeyang Twitter: www.twitter.com/chueyee15 Find Us Online: Twitter: www.twitter.com/happymrxp LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/happymarketresearch Facebook: www.facebook.com/happymrxp Website: www.happymr.com Music: “Clap Along” by Auditionauti: https://audionautix.com Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com/ “Breathe” by Shane Ivers: https://www.silvermansound.com This Episode’s Sponsor: This episode is brought to you by SurveyMonkey. Almost everyone has taken its surveys, but did you know that SurveyMonkey offers complete solutions for market researchers? In addition to flexible surveys, their global Audience panel, and research services, SurveyMonkey just launched a fast and easy way to collect market feedback, with 7 new Expert Solutions for concept and creative testing. With built-in, customizable methodology, AI-Powered Insights, and industry benchmarking, you can get feedback on your ideas from your target market–in a presentation-ready format, by the way–in as little as an hour. For more information on SurveyMonkey Market Research Solutions, visit surveymonkey.com/market-research. This episode is brought to you by Fuel Cycle Ignition. Ignition is the agile insights platform that empowers leaders and their teams to improve product, brand, customer, and employee experiences – no insights experience required. With FC Live virtual focus groups and interviews, an Ad Effective solution, and survey automation capabilities, Fuel Cycle Ignition offers the only all-in-one agile insights ecosystem for supercharging the relationship between brands and their customers and serves the world’s most innovative brands including Google, Hulu, Tufts Health Plan, Carhartt and more. To learn how Ignition can take your research to the next level, visit fuelcycle.com. Jamin: COVID, West Coast WildFires, Presidential Elections, Black Lives Matter, Virtual School. 2020 will be marked as a year of change. This is why brands are looking at insights to drive action. Dan Stradtman: That is one of the key changes is you really have to be focused in as an insights leader on return on investment. And what does that dollar buy me? And that can be very difficult to do, especially when you’re talking about foundational research or early and early stage research type concept testing. Jamin: I’m Jamin Brazil with Chueyee Yang and this is the Happy Market Research Podcast. Chueyee: This is the capstone episode for our latest series on “How to Add Strategy to Market Research.” We have interviewed five research professionals from brands, agencies, and insights platforms including Lu-bri-zal and Kantar. Stay with us. We have the tips you need to take your insights to action. Jamin: This message comes from the HMR sponsor FuelCycle… This episode is brought to you by Fuel Cycle Ignition. Ignition is the agile insights platform that empowers leaders and their teams to improve product, brand, customer, and employee experiences – no insights experience required. With FC Live virtual focus groups and interviews, an Ad Effective solution, and survey automation capabilities, Fuel Cycle Ignition offers the only all-in-one agile insights ecosystem for supercharging the relationship between brands and their customers and serves the world’s most innovative brands including Google, Hulu, Tufts Health Plan, Carhartt and more. To learn how Ignition can take your research to the next level, visit fuelcycle.com. Chueyee: Support also comes from SurveyMonkey… Jamin: This episode is brought to you by SurveyMonkey. Almost everyone has taken its surveys, but did you know that SurveyMonkey offers complete solutions for market researchers? In addition to flexible surveys, their global Audience panel, and research services, SurveyMonkey just launched a fast and easy way to collect market feedback, with 7 new Expert Solutions for concept and creative testing. With built-in, customizable methodology, AI-Powered Insights, and industry benchmarking, you can get feedback on your ideas from your target market–in a presentation-ready format, by the way–in as little as an hour. For more information on SurveyMonkey Market Research Solutions, visit surveymonkey.com/market-research. Chueyee: Ash and smoke still fill the skies from Fresno to Los Angeles and up to San Francisco. Jamin: More than 3 million acres are burning in over 20 separate fires in California. The Creek Fires continue to rage out of control and are less than 40 miles away from where I am in Fresno. These fires are barely contained as is the case with most of the fires across California, Organ, and Washington State. Why are we talking about this? Because brands are finding it harder than ever before to keep up with the hearts and minds of their consumers. But, with the rate of change already at an unparalleled level, it is ever harder for the m to keep their fingers on the pulse of consumers. Chueyee: Just a few weeks ago the sun was shining and we were looking forward to fall. Now, the sky is full of smoke, and ash is coating everything. Does this surprising development impact our views? Absolutely. Just when brands started landing on Black Lives Matter and shelter in place, climate change has become front and center. If there is anything 2020 has taught us is that change is the one constant. Jamin: In business, we have to make decisions or die. The speed of decisions is ever increasing. At the same time, the importance of making a data-driven decision is vital. In our interview with Steve Kantscheidt, successful entrepreneur and founder and CEO of Humantel, he uncovered the stress executives have when running a modern business. The first thing is you got to – you got to be willing – I mean I have literally spent everything I have over the last year to build this, to build a team, to get us to this place. You’ve got to believe in it. The people who succeed are the people who wake up at 3:00 in the morning and they can’t go back to sleep because they’re paranoid with – you know they’re paralyzed with anxiety, right. You have to be willing to leave it all on the field. With the stress around making good decisions, it is no wonder executives have increased their leverage in market research to ensure they are informed and equipped to make the right choice. Chueyee: The role of consumer insights has evolved over the last few years. VP of Consumer & Market Insights at Lubrizol Corporation, Dan Stradtman, identified three significant trends. The first is the need to frame your research in the context of Return on Investment. In other words, how much money can my research save or earn? Dan Stradtman: So I think you’re right. I think that is one of the key changes is you really have to be focused in as an insights leader on return on investment. And what does that dollar buy me? And that can be very difficult to do, especially when you’re talking about foundational research or early and early stage research type concept testing. And when you don’t have a clear visibility to sales like we do at Lubrizol, because in many cases, we’re providing components to things that end up becoming other things. And so having that clear vision for how to establish a return on investment metric or set of them for your organization, Jamin: As you frame your research through the eyes of ROI, it’ll help focus everything from your survey instruments and discussion guides to your final presentation. Dan also talks about how deploying the right tools will continue to be important for corporate researchers. Dan Stradtman: I think the other thing is, we’ve obviously seen a rise of data. And that data is extraordinarily diverse in terms of where it’s coming from, who’s generating and who’s analyzing it. I’m not necessarily sure that has always been translated into more insight. So we’re a little bit data rich and insight poor. And part of that is just do we have the right tools? Do we have the right talent? And are we given the time to really allow for that translation to occur? Jamin: The third change Dan talked about is the priority of action. Executives are going to make a decision. If it is data-driven or not. Dan Stradtman: The third element to that change over the last five years is just speed and sense of urgency. I remember being somewhat of a methodologist at Walmart, probably to my own detriment. When in reality, as I was striving to get 90 to 100% variance explained, the organization was just saying, look, if you can give me 65% a way there that’s already smarter than we are and then we can kind of move faster. And so you have to come off of that methodological mountain and be pragmatic. That’s one thing I’ve stressed to the teams that I’ve led over the past decade is just the pragmatism. Yes, you want to have methodological rigor, but you also need to have a pragmatism when it comes to being able to turn those insights into action at the speed of business. Chueyee: This priority of speed to insight, because action will be taken, was echoed by many of our guests in this series. Dom Boyd, Kantar’s UK Managing Director identified several mistakes that are commonly made right now by researchers. The first one he calls the Expertise Trap… Dom Boyd: I think one of them is what I call the expertise trap in trying to just cover every single market and every market variable, and you end up with this insane matrix of different research happening in different markets, and it just eats up cost. I’m a big fan of just good enough, I suppose. And research shouldn’t be an academic exercise, trying to cover off every single sample cell, at least not in my book. It’s only a tool to give clients an advantage they wouldn’t otherwise have, through better understanding. No more, no less. So I would do less, but better. Jamin: So, we know time is vital. Another tip is to focus on the edges rather than the middle. Many times in our research, we become so broad we lose sight of the real consumer. Your customers are not an average. No one has 2.3 kids. Dom put this perfectly… Dom Boyd: I think, perhaps, another thing is just not being tuned in enough- so with international research, despite going to all of this effort to doing lots of different territories and sample cells and whatnot, sometimes the research can end up being the worst of all worlds, and just end up being an average. And like all averages, an average is a Frankenstein measure, really. And you can end up with just vanilla insight, or just a lack of insight. You’re just trying to find the common denominator, and in doing so, just end up with a wash of nothing very insightful at all. And typically, you see that happening in global ad campaigns all the time, that connect with precisely no one. Because they’re made of precisely nothing. Jamin: Since insights are all about finding something unique and different rather than reporting numbers in a powerpoint. Iit is vital our research have a story and have some unique insight that connects executives … and the broader organization… to the consumer. Dom Boyd: And so I would counsel towards running towards the stuff that pulls things apart, rather than necessarily just trying to find the- always for the commonest of grounds. Because you end up with something that isn’t very differentiated, ultimately. Because every- your competitors are doing the same thing. And so you just end up with stuff that doesn’t really give you an advantage, ultimately. It’s more interesting to look towards the edges, look for wherever differences are, and try and embrace the differences. And do unexpected things, is the other thing. Sometimes it’s very easy to go for a standardized approach, for all sorts of very good economic reasons, sometimes. But actually, culture is a fascinating, wonderful, weird, strange, diverse thing. And I would experiment more, and just have more fun with doing things that allow color and texture of culture to really permeate international [INAUDIBLE] research findings and debriefs. And it should be as fun and as exhilarating as when you go and visit those cultures. And often, it just ends up in a horrid PowerPoint deck of 200 slides which, for me, sort of death by 1,000 cuts, really. Chueyee: International research is part of every brands’ research strategy. We talked with Dominic Carter and Debbie Howard of the Carter Group, a leading Japan-based research firm, about tips when doing research in other countries. Debbie Howard: I would say, is to immerse yourself in the culture, so that you can see something outside of the research facility. Get out in the street, look at the retail environments, look at the homes. And try to understand how those differences might impact the way that people are living and feeling and reacting to the products and services that you’re testing. Dominic Carter: I think that’s so important, Debbie. I remember, we had- we took basically the executive board of a very large company in the US on a safari, about a year ago. And of course, we felt that we were dealing with complete neophytes. We were, to a large extent. But that client had actually, off their own bat, had actually spent some time just walking around in advance, and on previous trips. And that really added to their ability to empathize. Chueyee: I have to be honest, this sounds like a lot of fun! By immersing yourself in another culture, even for an evening, it’ll help contextualize your research findings. Here is a specific story about the learning in-home visits made for a cleaning company… Dominic Carter: Well, just one example. We had a cleaning company approach us a few years ago. And the first thing that I said to them is, “Look, we’re just going to do three quick in-homes, while you’re here.” Because they had come to Tokyo just for a quick visit, [INAUDIBLE] visit. And said to them, “Let’s get you into three homes ASAP.” Because I knew that they will have absolutely no idea what they’re dealing with here. You’re dealing with smaller homes. The bathrooms are different to what- if it’s a European client, they’re very different to what they are in Europe. Much smaller. The materials that you’re cleaning are different. The issues are different, with mold and so forth. So just get them- before we even have any conversation about developing a market for your product here, just we’ll throw you in-home. And that was a very informal thing, but I think it was very important for them to have that, in a sense, experience or shock to the system, or whatever it was, to understand what they’re dealing with. So if a client’s completely new to the market, we’ll generally- it’s rare that we won’t recommend to them that they do some form of ethnographic immersion. So that can be in homes. It can be- if it’s gaming client, going to the gaming arcade, or whatever it is, going shopping with people. But there’s just a huge amount of contextual cues for conversation, and just things that you see and hear. And it’s not- I’m not saying focus groups are not fantastic in their context, which they are. Jamin: Dominic went on to talk about one of my favorite tips, ABC, Always be curious. This is something we hear all the time from the researchers we have interviewed on the Happy Market Research podcast. Dominic Carter: One thing I would add, in terms of tips, is ask lots of questions. And there’s a lot of- and this is especially true with Japan. There’s a lot of stuff that doesn’t get spoken about, and people don’t tell you things unless you ask them. So asking lots of questions. Ask lots of questions about process. “Can I do the same thing that I do back home? How long are things going to take?” Those sorts of questions are very important, because the answers can be different than what you expect. And then also, before you’re working with a supplier, too, I would ask around, other people who have worked in that same market, who they would recommend working with. That’s- so I’d get as much- in terms of the partner that you’re working with, I’d get as much informal feedback from people that you know in the industry, about who they’ve worked with and who they’ve had a good experience with. Chueyee: This is the most exciting time to be in Consumer Insights! Modern executives are looking for better, faster, and cheaper ways to connect insights to action as the pressure to make decisions continues to mount. Jamin: It is our job, as market researchers, to aid our organizations in their decision-making processes. This is where picking the right tool or partner is vital. Is it a micro decision? Like something that’ll impact the User Interface or inform customer support feedback? Maybe there is a tool or service that can be engaged by the decision-maker along with best practices. This solution would create access to the data for better decisions while maintaining the integrity of the research without impacting the researchers’ workload. Macro decision? More and more, brands are building internal capabilities to do some of the aspects of the research internally. However, they can’t staff niche expertise. Partner with your customers. Don’t be afraid to ask them what are their biggest challenges right now and what do they anticipate their needs to be in 2021? The only unique product or service we have is our relationship with our customers or internal stakeholders. There is a ton of pressure for everyone right now. So, it is a perfect time to come alongside others to help them achieve their objectives. Chueyee: In the next episode, we’re releasing the longform interview with Dom Boyd, Kantar’s Managing Director, UK. Dom Body: So thinking about stakeholders that will ultimately use this research. Not just in terms of the inside, functional- customer intelligence function, or research function. But who ultimately are the stakeholders that are going to be using this? And what is it that they find valuable? And how can you most influence them? So it’s just the old adage of a picture tells 1,000 words. So really, be fearless in bringing real people into the boardroom. Chueyee: Happy Market Research is hosted and produced by me, Chueyee Yang and Jamin Brazil. Jamin: Special thanks to our referenced guests: Dan Stradtman, VP, Consumer & Market Insights at Lubrizol Corporation; Dom Boyd, Kantar’s UK Managing Director; Dominic Carter and Debbie Howard of the Carter Group; and Steve Kantscheidt, founder and CEO of Humantel. To subscribe to the podcast, go to iTunes or check out the Happy Market Research website at happyMR.com You can follow us on Twitter at @happyMRxP. Thank you for listening and see you next week.
28 minutes | 4 months ago
MrWeb Series – Tobi Andersson, Chief Product Officer at Confirmit, on Data Visualization
This episode is in partnership with MrWeb’s Data Visualization segment and was recorded on April 30, 2020. Since then the merger of Dapresy and Confirmit has progressed significantly. Details of the new company’s structure and approach will be announced soon – stay tuned. My guest today is Tobi Andersson, Chief Product Officer at Confirmit. Founded in 1999, Dapresy is a data visualization platform for market research and customer experience data. Recently, Dapresy announced a merger with Confirmit, an early entrant in the DIY survey space as well as a leading CX platform. Prior to joining Dapresy, Tobi was the Vice President of Hermelin Nordic Research. Find Tobi Online: Website: https://www.confirmit.com/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tobi-andersson Twitter: https://twitter.com/dapresy_tobi Find Jamin Online: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Music: “Clap Along” by Auditionauti: https://audionautix.com [00:00:02] Jamin Brazil: Hi. I’m Jamin Brazil. You’re listening to the Happy Market Research Podcast. My guest today is Tobi Andersson founder of Dapresy and Chief Product Officer at Confirmit. . Founded in 2008, Dapresy is a data visualization platform for market research and customer experience data. Recently, Dapresy announced a merger with Confirmit, and early entrant in the DIY survey space, as well as a leading CX platform. Prior to starting Dapresy, Tobi was the vice president of Hermelin Nordic Research. Tobi, thanks so much for joining me on the Happy Market Research Podcast today. [00:00:38] Tobi Andersson: Thank you very much. Glad to be here. [00:00:41] Jamin Brazil: Let’s start with our marquee question. Give us a little bit of context for the audience. What did your parents do, and how did that inform your current career? [00:00:49] Tobi Andersson: Yeah. That’s a good question. Actually, I didn’t plan to work within the market research industry. I originally grew up on a farm, and I was very much focusing on – during my time at school to become a farmer. And I also started very, very many years to get a master degree in farming. But during the studies, I realized that the farming industry, they needed to be more – using more technology. And at that time, this was the late ‘90s, there was not that much of IT solutions for the farming industry. So, during my study – the time at school, I started to learn how to program, because I wanted to create software for farmers. And I think I did that quite well, because I became a quite good programmer. And then when I was finishing my studies, and I was going to apply for my first job, that was actually at a market research agency, a fieldwork house, which is primarily market research. So, I applied for that job, and I started my career as a software programmer instead. So, yeah, that was a big change in my – to my focus. But that’s how I started in the industry. [00:01:52] Jamin Brazil: That’s so interesting. And we have seen an explosion over the last, I’d say five years, but it’s been obviously a lot more than that – earlier than that, that really mass adoption, with companies like John Deere, in the actual technology space. So, farming is now probably one of the more technologically enabled industries or sectors in our economy. [00:02:14] Tobi Andersson: No, I fully agree. The farming industry, it’s really much into technology nowadays. And here in Sweden I run a farm, in parallel with everything else I’m doing. And you can clearly see now, that technology has been very, very presenting in all the modern tractors and combines, and really supporting the farmers to get more out of each square of crops. [00:02:37] Jamin Brazil: So, I live in Fresno, which is in the center of California, and it happens to be referred to as the breadbasket of the world. And it produces about nine billion dollars of agricultural product, which is a fair amount. And there’s a tremendous amount of innovation happening out of – where I live. And so, I apologize about this slight divergence, one of the things that I’ve come to love is the satellite imagery of you know, acreage, and how that informs things like irrigation, or as you said, fertilization of – anyway, so, it’s just been – it’s such a – it’s such a data driven ecosystem. And the – I think there’s some parallels that we can draw from that, and apply to actual consumers. [00:03:25] Tobi Andersson: Absolutely. [00:03:26] Jamin Brazil: I mean, just kind of finishing the thought, you know, there is this like information that’s provided to us, whether it’s satellite imagery, or in soil sensors, or in the field sensors, and that really helps farmers make decisions on what they should do, and when they should do it. Which is, you know, functionally what business is at any level. And these maps that we use to guide those decisions, in every way, that’s what market research is trying to do too. And I think that really gets to what you’ve built with Dapresy, with respect to like data visualization. [00:04:02] Tobi Andersson: Yeah. No, absolutely. And you can clearly see that there is a common denominator between the different industries, and that is, normally, you always have data, you have a lot of data. And it’s always about, how can we put this data together, in a form that people understand and know how to act on. So, this is actually why I founded Dapresy, because I was working a lot at this fieldwork house, collecting a lot of data, and I was delivering huge files of tables, and Excel files with various data that was not that easy to consume. So, I decided very early on that that’s, hey, I would like to read it to provide something to the world, where they very easily can consume data. That’s actually how I started Dapresy, and focus has at all times been to consolidate data, and make it presentable in a way that people understand. That’s more tricky than you think, because it’s so much more than just putting a shot on the web page. It’s all about creating a story around the data, and also understanding that it – depending on who you talk to, and what role they have, and the level of experience. You need to present data differently. So that’s all what my professional life has been about. It’s, how can we make data accessible? And as we have been talking about the farming industry during this call, I clearly see that there is the same type of challenge that we are in for in that industry, that once you start to make data available, people make more decisions, and more correct and faster decisions. So, yeah. [00:05:29] Jamin Brazil: So, give us the elevator pitch, or the overview of the listeners, what Dapresy is doing right now for the market. [00:05:38] Tobi Andersson: Yeah, sure, yes. So, Dapresy, we are focusing on providing insights professional, we report based on market research data. We have, from day one, been focusing on being really good at understanding the market research data. And basically saying that once you have collected data anywhere, you should be able to, in a very, very short time, present this data in a consumable format. And so, we focus on the market research industry, corporate research, and professional buyers of insights that wants to consume data in an easy, understandable way. [00:06:10] Jamin Brazil: Could you describe for the audience the actual like outputs that you’re generating? [00:06:14] Tobi Andersson: Absolutely. So, where we are – what we have seen really resonates with people is when you can create infographic based presentations of the data, because very often an image tells the story, and people can connect to that. So, at Dapresy, we are very focused on driving data in infographic lookalike dashboards. But we also provide, from this very easy to consume dashboards, you can really drill down into data, and at the end of the process, you can generate tables as well. But, the high ambition – infographic piece, that’s something that has been the focus for us. [00:06:49] Jamin Brazil: You merged recently with Confirmit, which I thought was a very interesting move. Confirmit, for those that don’t know it, and I’m sure everybody does know that listens to this podcast, but Confirmit is one of the earliest survey platforms that was the first, to my knowledge, that pivoted into embracing like automated NPS and CX. And they experienced rapid growth. And of course, we all know that story as it sort of continued, and languished for a little while. It now seems to be back on the rise, which is very exciting to watch. But, to give us a little bit of understanding of the overall benefits of this merger to the market. [00:07:27] Tobi Andersson: Yeah. I’m very enthusiastic about this merger, because as you refer to, I’ve been knowing the Confirmit team for very, very many years. And I actually got trained in Confirmit back late ‘99. And I have at all times admired the software for its capabilities to collect data in a various set of channels, and also have to present this data in a very interesting way. So when this opportunity got on my radar, where we were going to evaluate if it makes sense to merge Dapresy and Confirmit, I was very positive to this, because, by heritage, the two companies has been focusing within the same type of niche, but still with a little bit of a different focus. Dapresy, we have been very much focused on customized reporting, and being able to present in a very appealing and visual way. And Confirmit, they have a super strong heritage and a software collecting data through a multichannel mode, an all to make to processes, and present this information to the end user. So, when I really looked at this case, it was like a very, very good match. And we really believe that by providing the two platforms as one platform going forward, we can provide an end to end platform for professional insight managers, that more or less solves all the types of use cases that a modern insights professional is looking for. It spans from doing standardized surveys that are more of a volume play. But also then to be able to deliver on customized research, with complex CX studies, and brand checking studies. So, I think the combination of the two companies, it’s really giving something to the industry that they will be looking for what our – that they will see it as a positive move. [00:09:06] Jamin Brazil: I actually really agree with that point about it being a positive move. And what I find very interesting is, from my survey of the industry, there actually isn’t a data reporting or dashboarding tool that exists like what you’ve built at Dapresy. And I know this sounds a little infomercial-y. But I really mean this. Like, it probably does exist, and I just haven’t seen them. So, let’s – in full transparency. But, the combination of integrating the actual like data collection piece, with the highly engaging dashboards. I mean, that is a powerful combination. And so, I know it’s relatively early in the merger. Do you have a specific case where a customer is being able to add on the Dapresy dashboards? [00:09:51] Tobi Andersson: Yeah. So that’s – this has been really interesting, because we have already now quite a significant set of customers that are using those platforms, and maximizing the value from both of them. So, we clearly see here, as you point out, that it’s very much about supporting the industry with a technology platform. The market research agency, or the insights professional can really – where we can support them to create more efficient products processes, but also where we can support the industry to really provide results from market research to the buyers, that is a little bit different than in the past, and maybe easier to consume. And where you can really get more value for the data that you have. So I clearly see, I think it’s [INAUDIBLE] where we have a complete platform that supports all the different faces of our professional insights program. And also combining this with a powerful visualization capabilities and Dapresy, that’s really something that we – we have seen that’s been very positively received by the market. [00:10:49] Jamin Brazil: So, we’re in the middle of COVID-19. This is a very unusual spot for all of us. I mean, as we were talking before we hit record, right, we’re both working from home. I had to take a break in the middle of our conversation to help my daughter, who is in the process of being potty trained, because my wife was working on a call at that moment. So, anyway, it’s just kind of – there’s been a lot that’s happened. I’d like to chat briefly about your point of view of how the world will be different post COVID-19. Right? So things are really different right now. But, like, we’re gonna come out of this at some point. How will market research as an industry be different? [00:11:32] Tobi Andersson: I think it’s – in order to understand that, maybe we need to take a step back, and understand, how will the world be different? And I remember back in 2008, when we had the last financial crisis, and how that changed the behavior of – people maybe were traveling a little bit more before that, and then they started to move to video meetings. And I think what this crisis has done is that it has created even more focus on being digital, working remote, and using different types of technology to communicate with each other. I think that itself will then change the type of requests for what insight professionals or market researchers need to do, because, all of us out there, we need to mesh our reality from a different type of audience, that is basically an audience that is behaving differently than in the past. And also, the way people will buy different things will be changing, et cetera. So, I think there – I mean, we can go back to something that is closer to normal than it is today. But, I think still, the whole world and the way it works will be changed slightly, and we have to adapt to that, and understand what are the different type of methods that will work for the future. [00:12:37] Jamin Brazil: Do you have a bet? Like, do you see that there’s different methods that’re gonna work for the future? [00:12:41] Tobi Andersson: No, I mean, it’s super difficult to predict the future. But, I mean – [00:12:45] Jamin Brazil: That’s true. [00:12:46] Tobi Andersson: It’s – you know, I guess one example is, that maybe we start to see that interviews will be probably done more remotely, for people working at home, than it was before. And then, maybe we need to understand more about social media data, because people will have a different behavior, and communicate more through these types of channels. So, I mean, it’s really difficult to say something. But, I think that these things could be impacted. But I also think that you will see these – on the area where we are working, where you start to digitalize even more than before the type of way that you communicate information. Because I think it will be much more of a mode where you collect the data, depending on different needs. And then you distribute this [INAUDIBLE] that you really would like to be more of a self service mode. And that will then put more focus on us as insights professionals, how can we provide data to people, where we can be assured that this data is being received correctly, and understood correctly. And also help people to explore things differently than before. That maybe was the case when you had a face to face meeting, presenting PowerPoint slides. So, things will change. And we believe it will be more on the – yeah, more digitizing. [00:13:56] Jamin Brazil: Did you use Zoom? Or, actually, do you currently use Zoom? [00:14:01] Tobi Andersson: We do. So – [00:14:03] Jamin Brazil: Did you use Zoom before? [00:14:05] Tobi Andersson: We did, actually. Yeah. So, we switched to Zoom a couple of years ago. But, I can tell you that the usage on Zoom now has been increasing a lot. I think what has been really interesting during this pandemic, is that people have thought to use video. It’s not only noise, it’s also the video. And people get used to having these types of meetings. So, it was like – we’ve been here, in our company now, the combined company, we’ve been doing this for – we are at week six now. And I think nowadays, we are very much used to it. And video is always on, and we use voice and video together. [00:14:37] Jamin Brazil: Do you use Zoom personally now? Like your children or – ? [00:14:42] Tobi Andersson: Well, no. We actually use FaceTime the most. [00:14:45] Jamin Brazil: FaceTime most? I was just curious about that. [CROSSTALK] Why do you think – because it’s very obvious that Zoom has won – I mean, I presume – I actually don’t know if that’s the case in Sweden. But, in the US, you know, Zoom is very dominant now, whereas, you know, none of my family did video conferencing, and now all of them do it. And they all leverage Zoom most of the time. Sometimes we’ll do FaceTime also. Is that the case in Sweden? [00:15:09] Tobi Andersson: Yeah. Yeah, Zoom has been like – yeah. That’s the case here. [00:15:12] Jamin Brazil: Why did they win? [00:15:14] Tobi Andersson: I think it’s, you know, that’s a really good question. And I have a little bit of experience in this topic, because I was using different providers before I moved to Zoom. And I think that the key thing for us making the decision, is the ease of use, and that it’s not complex software to use. It’s very easy to get going, and it’s not overwhelming with different types of functionalities. So, I think it’s about, you know, making technology easy to access to people. Also that it has been a very stable platform. You have had very few interruptions in the service. So I think it’s you know, being available, being predictable, being easy to use. As with all softwares, it’s not the software that has the most complex functionality that wins, it’s the way that it’s being used, and how easy – accessible it is. [00:15:58] Jamin Brazil: My three and four-year -old are doing a weekly Zoom playdate with some friends. And my 80-year-old – my parents are in their 80s are doing a – every Sunday night, we as a family get together and do Pictionary through Zoom. And it’s been interesting – because obviously neither of them used Zoom before, and all of them are very capable of doing it now, which is hilarious. And I think there’s a lot of lessons that we as an industry, especially on the technology side, can apply to our businesses. [00:16:26] Tobi Andersson: Yeah, because what I’ve seen is that, you know, being in this industry for some 25 years, you can clearly see that there is like a generational difference in the way our colleagues are in the market research industries adopting software. Because if you compare to the type of people that work with software 15, 20 years ago, the majority of these types of people, they were people that had a background in programming, or was very, very into technology. But nowadays, we see that it’s more about the business use or that is using the software. And that also puts a completely different expectation on the software that we provide to the industry, because it needs to be more of a do it yourself, easy to use, easy to access, and self learning mode. And I think this something that we will see even more in the future for the industry. The software will continue to be much, much more advanced, and to do much, much more complex programs. But at the same time, the way it’s being used, and the user interface, and the support to get going with a software will – we will see heavy improvements in that area, in the next 10 years, because we are addressing a different type of target group nowadays than we were in the past. [00:17:31] Jamin Brazil: Yeah, I totally – so, it’s funny you’re bringing this point up. I completely agree with you, in terms of market research. I think that you’re gonna see a three to five x in adoption of easy to use tools – market research tools, or user experience tools, or whatever consumer insight tools. And then I think you know, you’re gonna see a very steady state in the more com – the, you know, highly sophisticated tools, like the Sawtooth Softwares. So, right, these highly niche, but very important. But you need to have like an understanding of statistics, and maybe even programming, to be able to leverage them to their full extent, right? So, I think it is gonna be a tale of two cities. But, you know, in terms of the growth, I would definitely see the growth in the easy to use space. A common theme we’ve heard over the last year on the show is that companies are data rich, but insights poor. How does that line up with your point of view? [00:18:26] Tobi Andersson: No, I agree to this. It’s a multidimensional question, how to address that, because it’s very easy to collect data, and also to comingulate from different data sources nowadays, because you can basically use standard APIs, and then you get like a big database with a lot of data. The challenge you have is, what are we going to do with this data? And what data can we put together that as – that will make any sense? And I think that’s one thing that we haven’t been able to really solve in the industry, how to really make data aligned, and then understand that we can work with the same data set and adjust what’s in there. And then also it’s – what we clearly see is that, once you have these big data sets, and you have a lot of data accessible, all of the sudden, you are going to address a completely different group of people in the organization, in order to benefit from this data. Maybe in the past we did research, and we provided this to a limited number of people, that were really experienced professionals, and that really could understand quite complex data tables, and significant testing reports, et cetera. But, if you’re going to really benefit from all this data, we really need to commoditize the data, and make it available for everyone in the organization. And basically, you know, make people enthusiastic about, hey, this is the data we have. This is what it means for you. And learn more about this data, because this will help you to make more decisions, and faster and more accurate decisions. So, I think that you’re absolutely right. Data – we have a lot of data. Now it’s just a matter of understanding, how can we structure this data, and how can we get this data out to everyone, to really create more value of it. And I think that’s – a lot of things go wrong in that sector. But, you know, still much things still to be done. [00:20:09] Jamin Brazil: Right. And the – you know, one of the big – I don’t want to say problems, I’m gonna put opportunities there, is that you have this multilayer data set now. So, you know, it used to be the case that we had a survey, and we reported on that self reported data. But now we have market data, sales data, previous study data. I mean, there’s just like multiple layers that then has to somehow be aligned in a way that it provides context to the self reported data, that really builds a more complete story and point of view of the consumer. At Dapresy, have you guys – or are you leveraging multiple data sources? [00:20:44] Tobi Andersson: Yes. Yes, we do. So, we started quite early on [INAUDIBLE] different data streams, in order to provide the right context. And each time I see the effect of this, it’s so fantastic, because we recently deployed something to an organization that really wanted to distribute this data out to everyone. And we were really able to combine a few data sets, and make them very easily accessible. And when you see people reading data, and understanding data, and really be proud of making decisions on that data, that’s when you really feel that you created a software that will fill some needs. So – and I think we will see more of this, because, the future is, make data available to everyone, because that’s the only way to make sure that we really benefit from the value that we have in all this data. But, on the other hand, you also need to make sure that you use powerful technology to combine the data, and have the ability to co-mingle this data in a really correct and efficient way. [00:21:42] Jamin Brazil: When companies are – when you have inbound leads, what is the pain point that the customer is experiencing, that they’re hoping that you’ll address? [00:21:53] Tobi Andersson: Yeah. So, it’s two or three things. If you look at the corporate researchers, they are very often asking about, can you support us to get more value from a CX study, for instance, because we really have a good CX process in place. We are collecting data, and we are really getting good results. But, please help us to visualize this in a way that people understand what it means. And you need to understand when the customer says that, we need to address people that are maybe not used to working with data on a daily basis. So that’s one use case, visualize data, make people understand it better. When it comes to the market research sector, which is where we’ve been operating for more than 20 years now, it’s very much about a streamline [INAUDIBLE]. Because that – we are – even if we are focusing on infographic dashboards, we are a multitude of reporting tools. Within the tool that you generate, PowerPoint X, Excel Tables, and Dashboard. And the normal ask is, that people come to us and say, hey, we really need now to optimize the production process, because we really would like to spend more time on value creation works, and we would like to avoid copy paste data in order to create shorts. So that’s when we come in and support companies to optimize their reporting process. And that – the interesting thing here is that since we’ve been so focusing on the market research sector for so many years, we also provide this – I call it the layer around the software, where we really have a team that understands the challenges that you have in the market research industry. And I think that also is something that customers appreciate from that, because we really – with all our experience in understanding how to optimize processes can understand, how can our software support you in your specific case, because each company is unique. You can’t make a template and push it out to everyone. You really need to understand how to customize the usage of the software for each company. [00:23:47] Jamin Brazil: I’m gonna ask – I’m changing this question, which I have asked of most of my guests, which is, what are the three characteristics of an all-star employee, and I’m – which is usually dealing a lot more with like core values, and the actual like substance of the person, the character of the person. But, I’m changing it to, what – and I feel like this is really important for us as an industry, what skills should we be learning or developing, in order to be relevant in a post COVID insights function? [00:24:17] Tobi Andersson: Yeah. Well, I think it’s a – maybe you can’t find all the skills in the same person. But, one thing that I think will be very important is that you need to understand that, most likely, in the future, you need to communicate with people that are working remotely, or that is not in the same room as you. And I think that storytelling is something that will be some – a skill that will be very much appreciated, because, I have seen, working with different colleagues, that the type of skills where really see that someone understands, how can we take this data and present a story around this data, when you see someone having those skills, you really see that you can get so much, much more out of the data, by us having this storytelling perspective. And that could be like, telling a story about a specific data set, or also understanding how to create a story around several data sets, that means something. So I think that’s something that will be very much appreciated in the future. And then I think also, to maybe come back a little bit to this, call it process optimization. Because I think that in the future, we will need to just understand that we need to spend more time on analyzing the data, and understanding what type of recommendations we will like to give based on this data. And then having a layer below this – an automated production align, that will be very, very much a benefit for those companies that can achieve that. And then we need to have people that are really good in technology, but also understanding how to connect different systems into our environment, because the future, as I see it, will be an ecosystem, where you will have different software providers working together, and providing what the inside professionals need. So I’m not sure what the type of specific skills set is here. But, a technology enabler that automates the research process. I think that would be very important. [00:26:07] Jamin Brazil: Last question. What is your personal motto? [00:26:11] Tobi Andersson: Yeah, that’s a – yeah. So, it needs some background to this, because otherwise, it would be difficult to understand. But, you, I’ve been founding Dapresy, and I’ve been running this company from nothing to what it is today. And it has been a fun, but very challenging journey, because it’s always painful to grow. And you need to make sure that you continue to grow and make everyone happy, both your colleagues, and also your customers. So, 15 years ago, I started to say to everyone that, hey, guys. We are having so much fun, and we are running at a super fast pace, and we are really growing a company. And we used an expression that we are really building the rocket while we are flying. But, as part of that, it will also be that we will be in challenging situations. And then I said to people that, from now on, I will be using the following sentence. And that is, no surprises. And no surprises is actually what I tell everyone nowadays, because it’s about to make sure that – we all get into challenges, if it’s the private life, or if it’s the professional life. But, as long as you can communicate about the challenges that you’re in for at the very, very early stage, then, as a team, you can help each other to solve that. And that has really resonated really well among the Dapresy team members, that no one is ever afraid of talking about challenges and things that we need to improve or do differently, because as long as we do that, we will have no surprises. And the people really you know, replicate that. And we have a really good culture and momentum around this type of setting. [00:27:44] Jamin Brazil: My guest today has been Tobi Andersson, founder of Dapresy and Chief Product Officer at Confirmit. Thank you, Tobi, for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast.
53 minutes | 4 months ago
Ep. 312 — Laura Levy & Emma Varjo on the Rise of Esports and how Consumer Insights can Help
This episode is in collaboration with IIEX’s podcast series. Our guests today are Laura Levy and Emma Varjo. Laura is a human factors psychologist, specializing in how people interact and engage with technology. She works at the Institute for People and Technology and she is Research Director of Gaming and Esports Applied Research at Georgia Tech, where she specializes in esports research, games user research, AR/VR, and human-computer interactions. Laura received her BS in Zoology from the University of Florida, a MS in Biology and a MS in Psychology from Georgia Tech and is expected to earn her PhD in Psychology this Spring 2021 from Georgia Tech. Emma Varjo is the UX Lead for Frozenbyte Oy. Frozenbyte was founded in 2001 and headquartered in Helsinki, Finland. Now, with over 110 employees, Frozenbyte has 11 published titles. Most recently: Boreal Blade which is a team-based melee fighting game with a focus on player vs player combat, The Trine series which is a best-selling game in the adventure genre And, Frozenbyte is scheduled to launch Starbase, a space MMO with a fully destructible and infinitely expanding universe, focused on building and designing spaceships and stations, exploration, resource gathering, crafting, trading, and combat. Prior to joining Frozenbyte, Emma has served as both a software developer and software designer. Find Laura Online: Website: www.lauralevy.science LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lauramlevy Twitter: https://twitter.com/sciencelaura Find Emma Online: Website: https://www.frozenbyte.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/emmavarjo Twitter: https://twitter.com/eevarjo Find Jamin Online: Email: email@example.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 Watch this episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5FqExXM4rg Music: “Clap Along” by Auditionauti: https://audionautix.com [00:00:00]Jamin Brazil: Hi. I’m Jamin. You’re listening to the Happy Market Research Podcast. Actually you’re seeing the Happy Market Research Podcast if you’re joining us live today at the IIEX event. Today the show is being done in conjunction with IIEX’s podcast series and it is also going to be produced in our regular show feed wherever it is that you consume podcasts. The topic for today is the rise of Esports and how consumer insights are being used to make decisions. This is something I am really excited about as I’m a life-long gamer; been doing it since I was gosh, early days of Apple 2, Atari 2600 and now I’m 49-years-old still gaming with my kids, which is maybe a little bit embarrassing. I think I’m going to probably carry it with me to the grave. We’ve got two guests today that are joining us. Our first one is Laura Levy. Laura is a human factor’s psychologist specializing in how people interact and engage with technology. She started at the Institute for People and Technology and is a research director of Gaming and Esports Applied Research at Georgia Tech where she specializes in Esports research as you’ve probably already gathered, games, user research, AR, VR, and human computer interactions. Laura received her B. S. in zoology, which is super-interesting from the University of Florida, an M. S. in biology, and an M. S. in psychology from Georgia Tech and is expected to earn her PhD I think in six months, spring of 2021 from Georgia Tech. Laura, welcome to the Happy Market Research podcast turned blog.[00:01:51]Laura Levy: Thank you very much. [00:01:53]Jamin Brazil: Before we introduce our next guest Emma, who is the UX lead for a large video game company out of Finland I’d like to set some context. Maybe you could tell us Laura a little bit about your parents and what they do and how that’s impacted who you are today.[00:02:09]Laura Levy: My parents – I come from a family of scientists really and I think that obviously had a lot of impacts on what I do now. So on my dad’s side, he’s a geologist. My mom side, they’re all self-taught naturalists pretty much. And I grew up on Florida where you have all different kinds of ecosystems. So it was very common for the house bookshelves just to be full of field guides and not just this is a bird field guide. It’s like this book is only about wading birds or raptors. So that explains the B. S. in zoology because you had – at least at the time you either had to pick animals or plants. So you were either a botanist or a zoologist and it just seemed very natural that you go for a walk and it would take you an hour to go a mile because you’re like what kind of plant is this, what kind of rock is this. So that had a huge impact on me developing as a scientist up until this point. [00:03:04]Jamin Brazil: So your parents, scientists. Were you an only child?[00:03:09]Laura Levy: Yes. And in fact, they’re big sailors and big water people so we basically lived on a boat for a lot of my childhood, which made it super-fun because it was like those field guides were in the boat and then you could just go outside or hop in the water and I had a little underwater slate. So my parents also big scuba divers. My dad was – is – well not anymore but a cave dive instructor; my mom, an advanced diver. So I learned to scuba dive before it’s even legal to teach people to scuba dive, which is generally the age of 12. And I had a little slate so I’d hop in and I would be like I saw five squirrel fish and two plain parrot fish and I would do my own logging, be like this reef seems healthy. I’m like ten. But I made that decision. [00:03:59]Jamin Brazil: It’s interesting you came from a very tactile, real-world – what I call real-world the physical space that we occupy, and now you’ve kind of moved your career from that to a digital context, to a digital world where actually spending lots of time. Why did you make that transition?[00:04:16]Laura Levy: Yeah, that’s a really interesting question because to me the thread of my career makes a lot of sense but sometimes people are like why do you have all these degrees in biology but now you’re working in tech. I studied behavior so I have about ten years’ experience working as a marine biologist, I studied dolphin cognition, I worked for the International Shark Attack Pilot in the US and shark attack behavior. So it was all about like what do animals do in the natural environment and what are the techniques that you can use to understand maybe why they’re doing those things. So when I made the switch, which was honestly around the recession. I worked for a museum exhibition company traveling the Body’s exhibition and the Titanic exhibition, recession happened, and I just kind of worked my network and they needed a behavioral person to look at thousands of hours of video of older adults playing video games. And they needed a statistician. So that was kind of that STEM toolkit that I had. I was like yeah, I could do statistics. And I applied the biology observation techniques to these videos and that’s how I got into Games Users Research. So it’s basically still like what does this organism do when given this thing. In this case it’s a game. We also work on apps and other types of health technologies where we – to me it’s the same research question. It’s just instead of it being an animal – I mean people are animals but it’s people and you can ask them questions and they tell you things, which dolphins and whatever else don’t do as clearly. Sometimes people don’t either to be honest. [00:05:51]Jamin Brazil: I really want to dive in on this topic but unfortunately we don’t have two hours. They’ve limited our time. It would be fun to meet in person at some point and chat about that journey because I do – it’s interesting how the digital is now – thinking I have a five-year old. He’s in school and in California the school system that we’re in is all fully remote. So he’s spending literally five hours a day on Zoom calls with his teacher and some of it is one-on-one; most of it is in group. And it’s been really interesting from an ethnography perspective just me as a dad sitting back watching his learning, the things that are going really well and actually probably accelerating relative to a classroom environment versus otherwise maybe not going as well or things that he may be missing. But regardless of the outcome on the learning side, his comfortability with technology is going to be exponentially higher right now let alone in two, three, four, etc. years. There’s a redefinition that’s happening with us in the way that we feel about how technology connects us. So like in that framework – this is a little bit of an older stat but it was projected that 2020 the global Esports market value was around a billion dollars and is project to be $1.6 billion in 2023, which is huge growth, massive growth in a two-year period. Let’s kind of level set for our audience right now. What is Esports?[00:07:20]Laura Levy: Yeah, so there’s – I think that question has two answers. So the simple answer is Esports are just games played at a competitive level, often to huge audiences pre-COVID, live arenas, Madison Square Garden sold out, seats of a venue of 22,000. They didn’t use the entire arena but for the Overwatch finals in that first year they sold those tickets out like months ahead. So that’s the easy answer. But what I like to communicate about what Esports is, especially to students because I teach some classes around Esports at Georgia Tech. In their head, and this is what Esports is now, modern Esports is part rock concert and part Super Bowl. There’s pageantry, there’s fireworks, DJ Collins there, there’s super-fancy graphics, they pipe up the players as superstars, but really the first time we had an esport was like in the 1950s, a game called Spacewar. That was played on basically a souped-up oscilloscope. And there’s some really cool photos that you can find, black and white photos of clearly engineers, pencil-thin ties, white button-up shirts and socks, and they’re all crowded around this computer that takes up an entire wall playing this game. And then from there we get things that look more familiar to today. So you can find pictures from the 1980s, world championships people are doing some of the first land parties. So even though Esports to us especially in the western hemisphere is kind of new and feels really souped-up it’s been around for a while, particularly like in the Asian market Esports has been huge for 20 years. So it seems new to us now but it’s been around for a minute. [00:09:11]Jamin Brazil: Interesting. Great. Well let’s get our next guest in. Emma Varjo is the UX lead for Frozenbyte. Frozenbyte was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland. Now with now over 110 employees, Frozenbyte has 11 published titles, most recently Boreal Blade, which is a teen-based melee fighting game, which is focused on player versus player. They also have the Trine series, which is a best-selling game in the adventure genre. And they are scheduled to launch Starbase, which is a space-based MMO with a fully destructible and infinitely expanding universe focused on building and designing spaceships and stations, exploration, resource gathering, crafting, trading, and combat, which all those things sound fantastic to me in context of like my MMO background, which starts way before there was even a Gooey back in the ROM Mud days if that gives you any context. Prior to joining Frozenbyte, Emma has served as both a software developer and software designer. Emma, thanks for being on the Happy Market Research podcast.[00:10:29]Emma Varjo: Thank you so much for having me. It’s super-exciting to be here. [00:10:31]Jamin Brazil: As always we have this standard question just to give a little bit of context of who you are. Tell us a little bit about your parents and how they impacted what you do today.[00:10:40]Emma Varjo: Gosh, actually my dad has done a long career in marketing and is now teaching that at a vocational school I think. And my mom has been doing a lot of clerical things and when I was younger she was a stay-at-home mom for much of my young life. And yeah, I guess if I had to guess where my curiosity for how people and things work and to make things better for them is possibly that’s one explanation for it. [00:11:11]Jamin Brazil: So marketing is interesting from your father specifically relevant to like relevancy inside of communities because that is really the underpinnings of marketing. Do you guys talk much about your current work and how marketing tactics, those kinds of things could be applied or are being applied to growing your community?[00:11:35]Emma Varjo: We do talk about work but not on that level that much partially because my dad was a marketing director towards the end of his industry career and he was more about number crunching and managing people instead of doing the actual marketing. And I support marketing here and there but my focus is slightly elsewhere. So while we’re both interested in similar things, it’s not exactly the same. So yeah. [00:12:04]Jamin Brazil: Yeah, that makes perfect sense. Let’s kind of jump into the discussion now that I’ve got both of you here. When do Esports companies reach out, Laura, to you? In other words, what is the business problem that they’re trying to solve?[00:12:21]Laura Levy: Yeah. So I think there are two main challenges the industry is looking at right now for Esports franchises and the reason why we work with our industry collaborations. The first one is fan acquisition. So especially now with COVID, we’re kind of starved for watching anything at all. So we’ve seen traditional sports try things like have the NASCAR drivers play this in a NASCAR-esq type of game. So with things like Overwatch, we work with Atlanta Reign, which is the Overwatch franchise for Atlanta. They’re working on this tribalism piece. So if I live in Atlanta, it’s painful, particularly for us but I cheer for the Hawks or I cheer for the Falcons or Atlanta United. There’s a lot of people that see Atlanta Reign and go hey, I want to get into that but I’ve never played Overwatch. And I don’t know what I’m looking at. And a quote when you’re doing studies of novice viewers, people who have never seen Overwatch league streams before, the quote was, “Everything is happening all the time.” And they want to get into it because they want to have that thing but they don’t know what’s going on. So in terms of fan capture and fan acquisition how can we create maybe tools or experiences or activations so that people can feel connected to a team, a franchise, a game because ultimately the goal of Esports is really to drive people to play that game more. That’s kind of the business connection. And the other piece is player health and safety. We know a lot about sports science and how to support a team like a college football team, a professional NFL football team, but we don’t know what that looks like for Esports athletes and they’re younger. Many of them, maybe they didn’t do so well in high school, they didn’t go to college, they started when they were 14. They were pulled out of their parents’ houses. They don’t know how to eat right, the benefits of exercise, managing strong emotions. So how do we construct teams that support these players so they don’t burn out and so that we can get the best performance. Because obviously a franchise wants to have a very competitive team. That drives viewers and championship titles but there needs to be some research there to understand like how do we even do this. So those are the two main things that the Esports industry has contacted us about at least. [00:14:51]Jamin Brazil: Emma, anything to add, any other reasons why or maybe even furthering these points that Laura just mentioned?[00:14:58]Emma Varjo: Not really. I work in a very different space. So that was – it’s always interesting to talk to Laura and hear that side of things because that’s not what we think about at all really. [00:15:10]Jamin Brazil: When is research employed inside of Frozenbyte?[00:15:13]Emma Varjo: We have a fairly solid idea of what kind of games we’re going to make. So it’s more heavily geared toward – we do them more heavily toward the end of production cycle. And it’s always design and the game first. So we do very little pure marketing research for example. We do some of that but it’s more about how does this game play, how do people see things, how do they react to things, and how do we set their expectations, that sort of thing. It’s very much focused on the game and then we go from there. [00:15:49]Jamin Brazil: So a lot of kind of level testing where.[00:15:53]Emma Varjo: Yeah. [00:15:54]Jamin Brazil: Where you’re – in a simplistic way I’m going to try to explain it and you’ll have to correct me please.[00:15:59]Emma Varjo: Yeah, I went on very high level. You can go more detailed. [00:16:02]Jamin Brazil: No, that was good. So it’s kind of like level one, players are getting through level one so quickly and then – or they’re not. They might be getting out and then level two and so on and so forth so that you’re kind of maximizing that transition from thing to thing.[00:16:17]Emma Varjo: Exactly. [00:16:17]Jamin Brazil: Maintaining the engagement through the next.[00:16:21]Emma Varjo: Yeah. And seeing – because usually the first few levels are tutorials of how you’re introducing the mechanics and everything to the players. Do they understand everything, do they even see everything because there have been instances where we teach a mechanic and they’ve just missed it completely. And then later on they’re confused and seven levels in when they need that to proceed and they just don’t have that skill on their mind. And also the pacing of how things are going forward once you get past the tutorials and everything. [00:16:49]Jamin Brazil: How do you guys gather that feedback? Is it directly inside of the system or is it like post the experience then they report back to you where they had trouble or?[00:16:59]Emma Varjo: Our most utilized method is to invite people into our offices. Obviously we cannot do that now and we’re kind of scrambling. But we invite them in and have them play the game and we’re recording through – the look on their face but also the screen, what they’re doing and we have people monitoring what’s going on. So we see immediately if there’s a problem and we can take note of that, oh we need to fix this but also if there’s a game-breaking bug and they get stuck. So people can come in and help them. But mostly it’s hands-off, just watching them play, taking notes, and then like taking them and moving on and fixing things. [00:17:38]Jamin Brazil: I’m really excited about the MMO. Do you guys have a – because this is like the only kind of game I’ll ever play now. And the reason why, which I think is interesting is it creates the human connection with – in a video game environment, which I find very attractive and fun. Yeah, and apparently I’m not the only one. So as you’re getting ready to launch, I assume you’ve done some betas.[00:18:01]Emma Varjo: Yeah, we’re currently in post-alpha. So prior to this we did some testing on like are we getting the tech right and all these sorts of things. And more contained things and that’s when we invited people over. But we’ve started post-alpha toward the end of spring. I don’t remember the exact date and are progressing toward early access launch. But now it’s a contained number of people, still a lot more than we had in just our studio, which we did like huge play sessions on Friday afternoons like everyone’s playing just to see if we crash this. But now it’s hundreds more players and we have actually a tool built within the game so they can take a screen shot and say this is an issue that I’m having or this is where I’m having an issue. So we get that feedback as easily as possible from our players. [00:18:53]Jamin Brazil: I think the integration of consumer feedback inside of the systems that we’re using – the video game industry has largely pioneered that and now that we’re moving more and more into a digital interaction, a good example is this event. The three of us would have met – historically we would have met in person and done it on a stage at IIEX and now that isn’t feasible. But at the same time we’re able to – like if there is an issue with a product that we’re using to stream, and you’re going to see more and more introductions of what is your experience like and ability to be able to get that consumer feedback. I did have one last question on the MMO thing just out of personal curiosity so I do apologize about the diversions. Space MMOs have been tried in the past, right? And at varying levels of success. I’m really interested, were there lessons learned from some of the other products that or titles that had gone out that you guys have employed inside of Starbase?[00:19:53]Emma Varjo: Yes and no. These sorts of games, they are in development for a very, very long time. And interest for them, and they started popping up around the same time. So they were all in development for a good while. Obviously we’re coming out a bit later than some, so we’ve heard and been able to see how they build off of it first. But a lot of the core things that we’ve had and the mechanics that we’ve built and the tech has been there before the others have been launched. But obviously as they come out, we see how they do things like tutorials and what things look like maybe, so we can riff off of that a little bit, but not the core things. [00:20:35]Jamin Brazil: Well, hopefully the audience will take time to Google Starbase and sign up. Maybe some of them will get into a beta.[00:20:43]Emma Varjo: Hopefully, yes. I’m really glad that you’re interested in it. I’m super excited. I’m just grinning like a goof when you’re talking about it. [00:20:53]Jamin Brazil: Anyway, we can talk a whole episode on this topic. But we won’t. We will stay on topic or get back on topic, I should say. So Emma, who in the organization is using insights?[00:21:05]Emma Varjo: I think it’s mostly through designers, or that’s the mindset that we do – we have. So everything is like, “How do we design the game to be better?” But obviously once we have the insights, they’re public for the entire company, and then they’re used by marketing and management and everybody else. But the idea is what kind of experience are the players having currently? How are we going to make it better? And then everyone can take their takes – I forgot the word, but their ideas from there, like how are they going to go forward? [00:21:40]Jamin Brazil: When you’re developing a new game, do you have injection points of consumer insights? Is it part of the milestone or part of the build-measure-learn, however it is that you guys are framing out the innovation wheel?[00:21:52]Emma Varjo: That depends a little bit. We sometimes have agreements with a publisher, and then they have a set schedule for milestones. And then they might impose things for us. Usually they want to do their own insights things with a deliverable that we give them. But with us, it’s more a touch-and-go thing like, “Now it feels like we could do something with this, so let’s start testing.” And then it’s not as scientific as it could be, but it works for us. [00:22:23]Jamin Brazil: Laura, how about yourself? Is there – the companies that you’ve worked with, are there points like static points inside of their processes where they’re injecting consumer insights?[00:22:33]Laura Levy: Yes. So for us, mostly we follow – it’s called a user-centered design process. So often when we have that first connection with industry or we’re starting a project, we’re trying to do that with them. People are not super great at telling you what their actual challenges or barriers are. And sometimes both industry or users will get latched on to some cool thing they saw in a YouTube video and they’re like, “What if we built this AR experience?” And we are huge AR proponents, but we try to go in very platform-agnostic and say, “What are you actually trying to do?” And then we pick the technology that fits that. We build a little bit. We show that target demographic. We get some feedback, and we do that multiple times. Because we’re more research-focused for us, even though I work primarily with industry, we have to have a research component to the work that we do. So we’re able to do that back-and-forth design process, and I don’t know. It depends on the project. But you might do that four or five times depending on what you’re building or what you’re testing. We worked with the Atlanta Braves to build an AR experience around the new stadium because we moved from Ted Turner Stadium, which has a lot of aura, a lot of history behind it. You can see the skyline from the stadium. But then they moved out north, not even technically Atlanta, to a brand-new stadium. It has no history. It has no vibe to it. So how do you get fans engaged with this stadium that – it’s clean. It doesn’t have anything – there’s no memories there. How can you build that? So we did a bunch of focus groups and interviews, showed them stuff, tried to figure out “how do people relate to a franchise or to a team in general?” A lot of this ports directly to Esports too. When someone doesn’t know a team or a game, what are those touchpoints they make? And often it’s with individual players. So those kinds of research insights, I guess you would call them, will then drive that product. And we’ll just do it until we have a thing that is done, and then we start the next project, which might be building onto it or building around it. [00:24:51]Jamin Brazil: So it’s like rapid prototyping, right?[00:24:54]Laura Levy: Exactly, yes. It is rapid prototyping. Some of the prototypes are rough. They’re literally paper. It looks like a game, but you can move all of the elements around on paper. And we’ll redesign menus or skinning for it. And it’s really nice because you don’t sink a lot of time into building something. You just have some art assets. You put it down on a table. Little bit harder now with COVID, but we’ve been exploring doing that in Google Slides, tools that are not meant for this, so that participants can have that hands-on piece, just safe. [00:25:28]Jamin Brazil: I’m seeing a lot of that, like the taking technology over for this use case that you’re describing of collaboration without the – specifically, Google Slides is a great example because it obviously wasn’t intended for this purpose. But it’s perfect for it. Zoom is another really good example of a platform for conducting IDIs. You’ve got closed caption if you need it. You’ve got real-time transcripts. You can create a – I sound like an advertisement for Zoom. I don’t mean it like that. But my point is that there’s a lot of cycles that are being applied right now to figure out what tools researchers can use in order to get the research done. We’re a scrappy industry though, so it doesn’t surprise me to be quite honest. Emma, thinking about research, you spend money on UX. It’s like a cost center for the business. There’s always an expectation of a return, at least from the executive team.[00:26:32]Emma Varjo: Yes. [00:26:32]Jamin Brazil: CFO, cough-cough. As an internal researcher, how do you measure the ROI?[00:26:39]Emma Varjo: Actually, this is not – this is going to be a very unsatisfying answer. But we really don’t. Our company started very small, and while it has grown a lot, it still has retained some of the heart of it. And a big part of it is that we want to focus on games and not on the money, which is – that’s one of the clearest things that we see, is the money is hidden in everyday things that we do. Everyone has access to finances and everything if they want to, but we’re not given “this project has a strict budget and you have to stick with this” or anything. It’s always more about needs and what the game needs and what the resources are at that moment. And we have then higher-ups that we check with and balance this in a wonderful way without really mentioning money numbers at any point. It’s more about hours and people that we talk about. And it’s kind of weird coming from other industries where that was a big thing. But it’s also very relaxed and liberating in a sense. [00:27:48]Jamin Brazil: Congratulations. That sounds like a really nice environment to be in. It sounds like consumer insights are more of like a core foundational element for – it’s more of like a cultural characteristic or tenet, or I’m not sure what the right word is, but core value for the company. Is that –[00:28:07]Emma Varjo: It is, and it’s on the same page as everything else like programming, which is always – everyone has too few programmers on their games, right? But it’s on the same level. There are programmers, and they don’t have to think about money in the same way that we don’t have to think about money. And we’re all doing important things for the game, so it’s a lovely balance on that. [00:28:26]Jamin Brazil: Give me some context of where you sit organizationally. Are you working directly with the developers or marketing, or who are your stakeholders?[00:28:36]Emma Varjo: It depends on the project. Usually, the easiest way to think about it is project management. They’re my main stakeholders. But where I actually do my work is more with the designers of each team. And then we do collaboration with marketing when our intentions and needs align. But it’s more like we just bubble about or bumble about doing our own thing, and then trust management to give us direction of “you’re needed here, so ship this way.” And it’s more about the everyday interactions with the teams to have a bead on it myself as well. So I can sometimes go to project management and say, “Maybe we should be testing this thing this way now, because I know that the devs are talking about this.” And they’re like, “Wow, that’s cool.” Or sometimes they come to me and say, “This team really needs help with this thing, and we need to research that.” So it’s an interesting way of doing things. [00:29:30]Jamin Brazil: Yes, for sure.[00:29:31]Emma Varjo: I can tell you that. [00:29:33]Jamin Brazil: Well, if it’s not interesting then we’re not having fun. You have a lot of titles that you’ve launched. Do titles in the video game world – do they get sunset, and then kind of moved off? Or is there some kind of ongoing legacy that is applied from a research perspective to those games?[00:29:54]Emma Varjo: It’s different from game development way, because we’re – Trine is a great example. It has four installations, so when we start – let’s say we were making a new Trine game. We would have to look at what the history is there like what the mechanics are, how people received it. Also technical things. There would be code that we would try to import as much, so we would incur a technical debt from there, but also create new things. Research-wise, we can start on a cleaner slate. Of course we look at previous research done, but it’s also very free of “what’s happening with this game?” So we don’t necessarily have to focus on what’s happened before, although it obviously helps both on the design side and research side what’s been done before so we can reflect on those. But it’s not as closely tied to past as other disciplines are. [00:30:50]Jamin Brazil: Laura, how about yourself? Do your customers – do they think about the ROI when they’re engaging with you, whether it’s rapid prototyping or something else?[00:30:59]Laura Levy: Yes. I think sometimes there are – mostly what my group does – there are two kinds of projects. There’s projects like especially in the health field, and we build also serious – they’re called “serious games.” Nobody really likes that phrase because – [00:31:15]Jamin Brazil: No. I already don’t want to play it.[00:31:18]Laura Levy: Yes, exactly. And educational games and stroke rehabilitation games and all of that, they still should be fun because we know that the traditional method is almost not fun most of the time. But if we’re doing an applied thing like that, there’s some quick wins that we can make to say, “This is definitely going to help people in poverty connect with the resources that they need,” that sort of thing. But the other types of projects that we do are much more experimental, like a lot of – we work with Google. So they’ll come to us and they’ll say something like, “We think in the future, people will be engaging with technology in this way. But we don’t know what that tech looks like.” Or “we have that.” So Google Glass, the technical components were developed at Georgia Tech with Thad Starner and researchers from my group. They’re like, “We built this thing, and we don’t know how people are going to use it. So can you come up with some studies around it and see what use cases are, how that integrates with people’s lives?” So those studies tend to be a little bit more like a company saying, “We’re going to give you this money, and we know that you’re going to do some interesting research with it.” But it might be a bust. There’s always going to be some kind of research or insight or finding that comes out of it that’s really important. But because we often work on projects that are cutting-edge or bleeding-edge or any of those buzzwords, sometimes you just don’t really know what it’s going to produce. So it’s hard to really draw a straight line between “we gave these researchers money, and this is our ROI based on what they did.” It’s more like we don’t know what people are doing with wearables and gaming or – I don’t know. Fitness games are a really challenging space. We’re all kind of lazy. We just – everybody stands up and plays with the Wii, and literally or closer to literally bowls. And then we sit on the couch and we just flick our wrists, and we’re playing tennis. So sometimes those connections are not as clear for, “What does this actually do in terms of changing the way games are built or the way this technology works?” Sometimes it’s a little bit more fuzzy. [00:33:30]Jamin Brazil: What’s interesting there especially in context on rapid prototyping is the big learning might just be “don’t place the bet.” Or if you’re like Pokémon Go, when Nintendo launched that, that game is still an active userbase and –[00:33:43]Laura Levy: I play every day. [00:33:44]Jamin Brazil: So there’s a – it’s a really interesting – when you think about the actual ROI on research, this is kind of like my challenge to my colleagues in market research specifically and user experience and CX, is it helps us as agencies to think about what the actual – whether it’s measured in savings or upside, is for the research. What is that actual outcome going to be? And that can help a lot of times the clients recommunicate that back to their internal stakeholders as well, because a lot of times companies aren’t actually framing it out that way. We’re seeing a ton in the VR space. I was really surprised. At my last company, we had one of the developers that got a Google Glass. This is, what, almost eight years ago now? And so it was super fun having that thing right there. And the applications for Google Glass seem infinite, all the things like pre-flight checklists for pilots to surgical checklists in general, I think. But then also, it’s such a more elegant way of getting information versus something like this where you’re looking at a watch, which is very distracting. And one of the things that I thought would be really cool is if you and I could meet in person, not know each other, but have each other’s LinkedIn profile or a highlight of that pulled up so we have some immediate context, creating this shortcut. Then all of a sudden, now I think it’s going to get adopted by Tinder. But –[00:35:25]Laura Levy: But this is a good example that you bring up in terms of research. Glass is a great example. Glass is alive and well in enterprise, car factories, factories in general. But what the research could’ve really supported is this understanding of what we call socio-technological aspects. People really don’t like that camera that is just pointing at them. And we saw that have a huge impact on society. Movie theaters ban them. There was a term that described people wearing Glass, because the technical component was super sound. It is a cool piece of technology that people can tinker and play with and customize. But it really creeps people out and it makes them feel uncomfortable. Even the wearer kind of feels like, “Man, I feel really weird. I’m one out of 200 people that’s wearing this thing.” So if there’d be some maybe more research around that, there are ways that you can design that little camera eye to give some clear indications like “hey, it’s not on,” or whatever. Some other kinds of affordances so people understand and don’t feel like they’re being surveilled. And that was one of the main downfalls of Glass. But as a unit, it’s actually a very cool piece of tech. [00:36:45]Jamin Brazil: Yes. You see that with Snap being classified as a camera company as opposed to a social media platform with their S-1. So I think at first – and of course they have their own Glass. It doesn’t have the flip-out thing. It’s just like glasses with a camera embedded in it. They’re not for me, but I’m almost 50. But there is this overarching theme of comfortability with technology that I think is really driving a lot of the things that were maybe far-reaching and bringing that in. And so when I think about time on game, so how much time I spend or a person, a player spends – you could go with like Ready Player One as the extreme example of an immersive environment. But if I could – the shortcut is maybe it is – I don’t know how it works. But it just feels to me like the next generation could be in class while sitting outside at the beach or in a park or whatever. And the way that that could be accomplished is probably a lot less of having this laptop in front of them, and a lot more of having this kind of lens with some writing utensil or what have you. So we’re in this interesting redefinition of what normal is at a society level. Do you think that the social norms will be readjusted so that something like Glass becomes integrated into society anytime soon?[00:38:17]Laura Levy: I hope so. We have seen shifts in wearables, and I have colleagues that only do wearable work. We have grants to do wearables for assistive tech, which I think is a really promising space. So for people with perceptual disabilities or cognitive disabilities, wearables that can support the way that they interact and move through our world is super promising. But we still have to get over this hurdle of that socio-technical piece, particularly for assistive tech. If I’m blind and I have a wearable sleeve that I use to interact with a kiosk or my own devices, maybe I don’t want people to see that sleeve. Or maybe I do want them to so that they know that maybe I need assistance, or – because we find that people who have visual impairment sometimes want to communicate to the world like, “Hey, I need help right now.” And they’ll pull out their cane when they don’t need it, because they’re hoping maybe someone tells them what bus just pulled up. And other times of course they want to keep it hidden because people will come up to them and grab them by the arm and be like, “Let me help you across the street.” We have to really consider the form of these, whether it’s on our face or if people make pendants that you wear around your neck so it’s not exactly in your eyesight, but it’s someplace else. Jewelry wearables too that do similar things to Glass. We have to consider what this looks like so that it’s preferable for both the wearer and the person with that wearer, because otherwise we’re just going to keep making tech that creeps people out. Or it’s onerous to wear too. Glass is kind of heavy if you wear it for a while. It gets hot. You’ve worn one that’s actively working. That little tiny power unit here gets kind of hot. So we have to think a lot about just the acceptability of what it looks like and what people’s mental model is of what it’s doing too. Is that camera on. Is it not on? How do I tell? What is this person looking at? Are they looking at my LinkedIn? I haven’t updated it in years. That sort of thing. Not me personally. But a lot of- [00:40:32]Jamin Brazil: Are they single. The- Or which one do they care about.[00:40:38]Emma Varjo: Back to that creepy thing? [00:40:39]Jamin Brazil: No, exactly.[00:40:40]Laura Levy: [CROSSTALK] population. Women are probably like no, I don’t want someone to be able to know who I am or where I’m from. Being able to have a high level of control over what you are sharing with the world or not is super important. [00:40:55]Jamin Brazil: And all the PI around that. Emma the Esports, myself for example, I’m a bit college sports. Huge fan. Everything’s been shut down. And even though I have an avid gaming life and my family does too we’re really not, we’re connected to different streamers. But we’re not connected at an Esport level. In other words there’s not a, in February there was the Super Bowl normally or whatever kind of a thing. Do you think we move towards that, more of this, these iconic events that take place?[00:41:37]Emma Varjo: I can only talk about through my personal experience I haven’t really been watching the space as a professional but my friend group, we always gather around for the international for Dota 2. So that’s definitely a thing that we do. There’s the same thing for League of Legends. A similar tournament every year. And also the smaller ones. But the big international things and the main one is, they’re big things for some games at least. But there’s a problem of what team do you route for. Because I could say, and I’ve seen people actually out jogging that wear say Team Liquid shirt. But I don’t know which league they’re watching. Are they following CS or Counter Strike or are they watching Defense of The Ancients two? Which game are they playing because now there are these big corporations that sponsor many different teams for many different games. We don’t have say Seahawks, which is my favorite NFL team. Once you say that you immediately know which team, which sport but we don’t have the same thing for Esports yet. [00:42:46]Jamin Brazil: It feels a lot more, the little tribes as opposed to more of these bigger things. Laura do you have, do you think that Esports is, people are going to start choosing Esports over regular sports? Do you think that it feels a little bit more like a zero-sum game in context of time?[00:43:05]Laura Levy: No. I think we’re seeing a blurring of lines between traditional sports and Esports. And this is exciting I think. So a colleague of mine at the University of Utah, Roger Altizer has said that Esports is us getting to do traditional sports over again. So we can look at the things that went well in traditional sports from how you support fan communities to the technologies that support the way that we experience those, the way the live experience is constructed we can port that into Esports and vice versa. So I think really they build off of each other. And in the same way that we’ve seen the breakdown of what it means to be a nerd in the past 30 years I think we’ll see that for fans of Esports. Because if you read comics in the 1980s or prior you were a little untouchable in a lot of different kinds of social circles. But now the biggest movies are comic book movies and there’s some friction there for people who were like, hey I kind of suffered for loving this thing as a kid, being bullied. And now any yahoo can wear an Avengers shirt and not get teased for it. I think we’re starting to see that breakdown too for an Esports athlete is not just some neck beard in their mom’s basement playing whatever StarCraft. We’re seeing this blend of hey that is a feat of athleticism. These sports athletes they’re APMs. Their actions per minute are crazy. It requires a high level of cognitive ability and reaction time and special awareness and game sense. So I think you’ll have traditional sport fans being like hey, football season is over but the Overwatch league is happening and I live in Atlanta. That whole piece that they’re trying to do for the localism and vice versa. The Overwatch league season is about to end in a couple of weeks but there’s other sports, things that are going to happen. And maybe someone’s like hey I kind of miss cheering a team. I’m going to see what The Hawks are about or we may- Sorry, Thrashers. I miss having a hockey team here. But they might glom on to a traditional sport just to have something to have that kind of social connection, the relation with the city that you’re in, the fun of having a viewer experience of some kind of competition. So I hope that it joins us. [00:45:34]Jamin Brazil: You kind of see it with the NFL and of course other sports. But there’s a, the Madden franchise for- And so they’ll always do the Super Bowl and Madden first to see who won. There’s also this really interesting kind of player worth, real life player worth that has materialized in the NFL. So whatever player gets on the title of Madden, even though now it’s all digital based, is that sort of the poster child for Madden. All of a sudden their relative value as an athlete now materially increases inside of that, absolutely increases inside of their NFL career. So it’s funny for me to see this connection of a digital pretend to players getting really upset that their, they aren’t as- They aren’t scored as fast on Madden as their counterpart.[00:46:33]Laura Levy: And also we’re seeing the lines blur where the Atlanta Hawks, they bought a 2K team. So they have a team of Esports athletes playing NBA2K as The Hawks. So that’s an even more kind of literal overlay of a traditional sports team owning an Esports team mimicking themselves and we’re seeing that all over the country. I don’t know if FIFA maybe in Europe is similar are there sport clubs buying FIFA types of teams. I don’t know about that. [00:47:06]Emma Varjo: I’ve heard a story, and I’ve completely forgotten the name of the game, but there was this English game that was centered on football and they were doing what Madden’s doing now for NFL. They were mimicking the leagues and they hired actual fans to go to the games and see how people were performing and they had stats and this was back in the day before the teams themselves had these stats. So they actually went back to the game developers to ask for these stats and then they started, this is how they started figuring out how to buy people from other teams to their thing. And they had their own systems before but it was more touchy feely and now they have stats from a game that they use for this. So it has been going back and forth for a long time. [00:47:49]Jamin Brazil: That’s so interesting. EA has a whole division around basically decomposing the athlete in terms of how they, their stats. I don’t know what the stats are. Agility, strength, size, whatever. And then and those guys or gals, people, are really important and sometimes loved and sometimes hated based on how you get ranked. It’s kind of interesting. So just to clarify you both think that it is less of a zero-sum game in terms of Esports stealing share from traditional sports and more of a collaborative relative growth in both categories?[00:48:26]Laura Levy: Yes. I definitely think so and I am excited about what Esports borrows from traditional sports especially in terms of technology. Because there’s things in traditional sports, that experience that we take for granted. In American football you have the first down yard line. That’s augmented reality. And that’s been around for a while. We see a lot of computer-generated stuff in a broadcast sports scene. You can kind of argue that watching it at home is a better supported experience than watching live in that stadium. It’s not the same feeling but you get a lot more information because you have this Hud. So with Esports we have this perfect knowledge of a game whereas in football they will replay the tape. Well was his foot in or out or what was that? Look at it from multiple angles. With Esports there’s no question what happened because we have the build and we can run it back. But it also means we can do things like embed in the same way, still augmented reality. Embed ads into the game and not to create this dystopic marketing nightmare. It still might be preferable for a billboard in a Twitch stream advertising specifically to me a specific graphics card, but to you a mouse. That might be preferable to be in the game, doesn’t impact the athletes to this ad sponsor saying why is this match going on for 30 minutes? I have not seen the ad that I paid for. Having to wait for those breaks and then that might encourage businesses to invest more in Esports and that bumps it up but it’s same tech that we’re porting from traditional sports into this game space. So I think it’s going to kind of ratchet both. I’m excited about that. [00:50:20]Jamin Brazil: Well we are at the end of our time. So I’d like to go out on one question to both of you. Laura let’s start with you. What is your personal motto?[00:50:29]Laura Levy: So my personal motto is borrowed from Russell Kirsch who created the pixel, the graphic length unit. And he would say that, “Nothing is boring if you ask enough questions. And you have to keep asking questions and then stuff becomes really interesting.” I think that’s very important in research because sometimes you get locked in on you think that your target demographic, your user, your consumer already knows this sort of thing. Or you think you know what they’re thinking about. You have a locked in mental model, but the purpose of research is to do this. You have to just keep asking questions even if you think you know you still have to do that sit down. Do an interview. Do that focus group. So that’s what I try to think about all the time. I’ll think I know something. I’m well let’s actually just create an interview and see if that’s right. [00:51:22]Jamin Brazil: Emma, what about yourself? What is your personal motto?[00:51:25]Emma Varjo: Mine’s super similar and now I’m thinking I’m stealing it from someone that I just can’t credit them. It’s, “Stay curious.” Because there’s always more to learn whether it’s a thing, a topic, or a method, a person, or an event, or whatever. Be it work of how are my players reflecting on this and feeling about this thing. Or you come home and what’s my partner thinking about today. Everything is, you should always be asking questions and being curious of what’s going on around you because once you get complacent there are going to be problems. [00:52:00]Jamin Brazil: My guest today have been Laura Levy and Emma Varjo. Thank you both for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast today.[00:52:09]Emma Varjo: Thanks for having us. [00:52:10]Laura Levy: Thank you. Thank you very much. [00:52:12]Jamin Brazil: Everybody else, it has been a pleasure having you join us for this very first video, what it looks like when we do a podcast with adding video, which has been interesting for me and a little bit unnerving. But it’s been great seeing our guests faces today. Ladies again, really thank you very much. As always I appreciate you tuning in. If you have any questions or want to reach out to me please do. You can find me on LinkedIn, Jamin Brazil or on probably any other social platform except Snapchat and maybe TikTok. Not as active there either. Have a good rest of your day.
39 minutes | 5 months ago
Ep. 311 – Jared Feldman, CEO & Founder of Canvs AI, on how to Navigate a Successful Career in Market Research
My guest today is Jared Feldman, CEO & Founder of Canvs AI. Founded in 2010, Canvs is a software as a service company focused on measuring emotion. Jared is an experienced entrepreneur and was named in Forbes’s prestigious 30 under 30 which identifies top entrepreneurs under 30 years of age. Find Jared Online: Website: https://www.canvs.ai LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jaredfeldman Find Jamin Online: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Music: “Clap Along” by Auditionauti: https://audionautix.com Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com/ This Episode is Sponsored by: This episode is brought to you by SurveyMonkey. Almost everyone has taken its surveys, but did you know that SurveyMonkey offers complete solutions for market researchers? In addition to flexible surveys, their global Audience panel, and research services, SurveyMonkey just launched a fast and easy way to collect market feedback, with 7 new Expert Solutions for concept and creative testing. With built-in, customizable methodology, AI-Powered Insights, and industry benchmarking, you can get feedback on your ideas from your target market–in a presentation-ready format, by the way–in as little as an hour. For more information on SurveyMonkey Market Research Solutions, visit surveymonkey.com/market-research. This episode is brought to you by Fuel Cycle Ignition. Ignition is the agile insights platform that empowers leaders and their teams to improve product, brand, customer, and employee experiences – no insights experience required. With FC Live virtual focus groups and interviews, an Ad Effective solution, and survey automation capabilities, Fuel Cycle Ignition offers the only all-in-one agile insights ecosystem for supercharging the relationship between brands and their customers and serves the world’s most innovative brands including Google, Hulu, Tufts Health Plan, Carhartt and more. To learn how Ignition can take your research to the next level, visit fuelcycle.com. [00:00:00] Jamin Brazil: Hi, everybody. I’m Jamin Brazil, and you’re listening to the Happy Market Research Podcast. My guest today is Jared Feldman, CEO and Founder of Canvs AI. That’s C-A-N-V-S AI. Foundered in 2010, Canvs is a software as a service company focused on measuring emotion. Jared is an experienced entrepreneur and has been named Forbes prestigious 30 Under 30, which identifies top entrepreneurs under 30 years of age. Jared, thanks so much for joining me on the Happy Market Research Podcast today. [00:00:38] Jared Feldman: Thanks so much for having me, Jamin. It’s a pleasure to be here. [00:00:43] Jamin Brazil: Today, almost everyone has taken surveys. But did you know that SurveyMonkey offers complete solutions for professional market researchers? In addition to flexible surveys, their global audience panel, and research services, SurveyMonkey just launched a fast and easy way to collect market research feedback with seven new expert solutions for concept and creative testing. With built in customizable methodology, AI powered insights, and industry benchmarking, you can get feedback on your idea from your target market in a presentation ready format, and by the way, in as little as an hour. For more information on SurveyMonkey’s market research solutions, please visit surveymonkey.com/market-research. That’s surveymonkey.com/market-research. Support for the Happy Market Research Podcast comes from Fuel Cycle. This episode is brought to you by Fuel Cycle Ignition. Ignition is the agile insights platform that enables leaders and their teams to improve product, brand, customer, and employee experiences with no insights experience required. With FC live virtual focus groups and interviews and ad effectiveness solution and survey automation capabilities, Fuel Cycle Ignition offers the only all in one agile insights ecosystem for supercharging the relationship between brands and their customers, and serves the world’s most innovative brands, including Google, Hulu, Tufts Health Plan, Gohart, and more. To learn how Ignition can take your research to the next level, visit fuelcycle.com. Yeah, no, it’s an absolute honor. I’d like to start with some context for the audience, and myself even. Maybe you could tell us a little bit about your parents and how they informed what you’re doing today. [00:02:40] Jared Feldman: Yeah. It’s an interesting question. So I grew up with both of my parents, very blessed. My mother was a nurse, my father was a businessman. One of the things that was unique about our childhood though is that we moved around cross multiple states very early. I lived in five or six different states before I was 11. And the core family unit, my parents and my sister, had to get used to change very quickly and had to build a, sort of resilience, if you will, early on. I know that part of my influence in sort of wanting to start a company more broadly came from my parents and also my grandparents and uncles who were always very encouraging of me exploring things, trying new ways to solve problems, and just really being insatiably curious about the world and pulling threads. And it – I was always a curious child. I was always encouraged to try new things. And, so, the other sort of element of my upbringing that I think influenced me in a major way is that I have a lot of artists in my family. My grandmother is a painter. My grandfather is a musician. I have filmmakers and musicians and writers. And I grew up playing the piano and the drums and lots of different musical instruments. And I ended up going to college, actually, for music at NYU. And the fascination with it was always around emotion, I realized, that really the point of music, the point of art more largely is to elicit an emotional response. And that always became fascinating to me as just a highly sensitive individual to understand what causes people to feel things, and how do you feel what they’re feeling? And that, the concept of empathy and that idea was really grounded in my study of music and my evolution as a creator there. And, then, it wasn’t until college where I started to understand more around the business opportunities with emotion. And that, really, kind of the whole psychological underpinning of all consumer behavior is actually how we feel, because all of our decisions that we’re making on a daily basis are driven by our subconscious. And, so, it just became a really fascinating thread to pull, to understand how people were feeling and why and to, ultimately, sort of enable more empathy in the world. And that really stemmed from a childhood where I was asked to change context all the time, was encouraged to pull threads and endlessly dig into new problems and propose new solutions. And, then, this sort of overlapping Venn diagram with music and just this fascinating with, how do you not only understand how people feel, but create context where in which they’ll feel those things, and thereby motivate some sort of behavior. That’s really my context stepping into the research world is – And how my parents and family upbringing influenced that. [00:05:28] Jamin Brazil: It’s interesting how you have, I think it was Steve Jobs, right, and his famous dots. You don’t know how the dots connect, but when you look backwards, you see it so clearly. And it’s interesting how the upbringing, where you had fast friends on a regular basis, I imagine those – That kind of a context would create the need for you to quickly access the emotional status of people and really over index on the EQ side of things so that you could fit into the – Because moving is hard. Moving states is really hard. It’s funny how now, all of a sudden, you started a successful emotions management company. Hilarious. [00:06:08] Jared Feldman: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it did highlight for me, naturally, the value of EQ and just understanding intrinsically how emotions changes our behavior, it changes how we feel about a situation and our perspective, and then ultimately what we do about it. And, unfortunately, in the business world, folks really don’t care how you feel, they care what you do because of it. And, so, there then became this interesting opportunity to figure out how to connect dots, sort of as you mentioned looking backwards, how do we understand how people are feeling, and then, ultimately, what decisions those things drive. And, for me, I became very interested in people and understanding sort of complex emotional systems and was exposed to a lot of different people in different regions. The friends I made in Virginia versus New Jersey versus Texas versus Connecticut versus New York, got a sort of a good sample size, so to speak, and was exposed to a lot of different dimensions of humanity. And this is really the underpinning, is the emotion. [00:07:12] Jamin Brazil: In fact, I just had an interview with the Head of Customer Experience at Disney Parks. And in that interview, she talks about how important it is to connect at an emotional level, but then also, in the US, how diverse we are from our points of view. And, so, just going to the sample size that you just – Or the sample frames that you just mentioned, you get a lot of differing opinions based on a lot – All sorts of stuff. And because we as Americans have such a diverse point of view, it becomes even more important that companies are able to measure emotion. And getting that information quickly is, I mean, now it’s the speed of light, right? So that you can make correct, inf
50 minutes | 5 months ago
Pepper Miller, President of the Hunter-Miller Group, on the Role of Diversity in Consumer Insights
In this episode, we’ll hear from Pepper Miller, President of the Hunter-Miller Group on her opinion and experiences about diversity in consumer insights. Find Pepper Online: Website: http://www.peppermiller.net LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/peppermiller Twitter: https://twitter.com/peppermiller Find Jamin Online: Email: email@example.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 Music: “Clap Along” by Auditionauti: https://audionautix.com Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com/ This Episode is Sponsored by: This episode is brought to you by SurveyMonkey. Almost everyone has taken its surveys, but did you know that SurveyMonkey offers complete solutions for market researchers? In addition to flexible surveys, their global Audience panel, and research services, SurveyMonkey just launched a fast and easy way to collect market feedback, with 7 new Expert Solutions for concept and creative testing. With built-in, customizable methodology, AI-Powered Insights, and industry benchmarking, you can get feedback on your ideas from your target market–in a presentation-ready format, by the way–in as little as an hour. For more information on SurveyMonkey Market Research Solutions, visit surveymonkey.com/market-research. This episode is brought to you by Fuel Cycle Ignition. Ignition is the agile insights platform that empowers leaders and their teams to improve product, brand, customer, and employee experiences – no insights experience required. With FC Live virtual focus groups and interviews, an Ad Effective solution, and survey automation capabilities, Fuel Cycle Ignition offers the only all-in-one agile insights ecosystem for supercharging the relationship between brands and their customers and serves the world’s most innovative brands including Google, Hulu, Tufts Health Plan, Carhartt and more. To learn how Ignition can take your research to the next level, visit fuelcycle.com. [00:00:00] Jamin Brazil: Hi, I’m Jamin Brazil. You’re listening to the Happy Market Research Podcast. My guest today is Pepper Miller, a principal consultant and an award-winning market researcher and speaker. In 1995, Pepper founded Hunter-Miller Group, a market research and marketing strategy company. She followed this by being the lead consultant in the largest study about African Americans in 2008. It was called the Black American Today Segmentation Study, commissioned by Radio 1 and conducted by Glovich [ph]. Today, Pepper is the president of the Hunter-Miller Group, author of Black Still Matters in Marketing, and co-author of What’s Black About It? Pepper, thanks for joining me on the Happy Market Research Podcast today. [00:00:45] Pepper Miller: I’m delighted to be here, Jamin, and I love your name, by the way. That’s a very cool name. [00:00:51] Jamin Brazil: Thank you very much. I owe it all to my parents. I did it. I was going to say, “I did a good job picking.” [00:00:57] Pepper Miller: I love that. That’s right. We pick them. [00:01:01] Jamin Brazil: Anyway, so well, speaking of parents, tell me a little bit about your parents and how they informed what you do today. [00:01:07] Pepper Miller: So my parents, they’re both deceased. I miss them a lot. Glad I picked them, to your note. But my parents- so my mom was an educator. And she was adventurous, Jamin. She was really ahead of her time. She had this intellectual curiosity, and I believe I got that from her. So my mother was traveling to Europe alone, and I remember she even- she went to Morocco too and she came back with pictures of her riding on a camel with a snake around her neck. So-. [00:01:44] Jamin Brazil: Oh my God. [00:01:45] Pepper Miller: you have to think back. In, “71, a black woman going to Morocco alone or going to London alone- black people are traveling a lot these days, but it was not like that in the, “70s. So adventurous spirit, intellectual curiosity. My father was a trained classical pianist. He had this right-brain, left-brain thing going. So he got an undergrad in classical piano. He got a master’s in music theory. And my father had- was an entrepreneur. He had a wonderful music school. He had 40-plus teachers, 200-plus students, a classical music school. And in our community, in the black community when I came along, wanting to be an entrepreneur was like “oh no, get a real job.” But not my father. He was very, very supportive of me going out on my own and working this market research thing. And my father also, in addition to having the music school, he worked for the government. So he led these audits of these large refineries, and one of the refineries that his audit team was auditing for years was Standard Oil. So he worked during the day, then he’d come home and teach and meet with his students and at the Austin Academy. And he had that for over 30 years, and when he retired from the government he moved his music school to South Carolina. So I got the entrepreneurship, that mindset from my dad. He was a people person too, a lot more upbeat, and really comfortable with talking with diverse people. His music school was very- it wasn’t a black music school. It’s probably more white kids and white teachers that attended the school than people of color. So it was good that he felt comfortable interacting with different people, diverse groups of people as well, which passed that on to me. So good parents. They divorced when I was 11, but good parents at the same time. [00:05:06] Jamin Brazil: So your mom, an adventurer. That’s an amazing- 1971 is the year I was conceived. My mom was very much into feminist movement, “60s. And then your dad having this classical music background and passionate entrepreneur, but then also with the rigor of operating in a government level. How did you wind up in market research? [00:05:40] Pepper Miller: Jamin, I worked at an ad agency. Well, yes, I worked at an ad agency. I didn’t work in the research department. I moved around. I started working and doing bookkeeping, and then I got promoted to work in the traffic department. And then I worked- so I worked at various jobs. I had-. [00:06:03] Jamin Brazil: And that was an operations role at JWT, right? [00:06:06] Pepper Miller: Exactly, it was. It was a wonderful job actually, because you were managing this 600-person office. And you’re working with architects and interior designers. And I had to- my boss was not- and if she listens to this, I’m so sorry. But she wasn’t very good. So I had to take the initiative to go and interview people and try to determine what each department’s needs were. And I learned a lot about the departments in interacting with people, so I was interviewing people. And I was doing research projects on “should we”- I know the controller asked, “Should we have our own security team, or should we buy our own planes? Or should we”- and so I was doing the research and coming up with the analysis for a lot of this as well. And I just found it fascinating because I’m this “why” girl. I got that from my mom. I always want to understand why. So I got exposed to advertising. I applied for the market research department and didn’t get the job and quit and just started doing research on my own. [00:07:22] Jamin Brazil: That is hilarious. [00:07:23] Pepper Miller: I know. [00:07:25] Jamin Brazil: I forget that [LAUGHTER] do it myself. What were those early days like? That had to be terrifying. [00:07:31] Pepper Miller: Well, one of the things- one of the black executives, because when I was at J. Walter, there were 600 people. There were 60 black people, and most of those people were clerical. So there were very few of us I guess in the professional, if you will, area. So one of the black executives left. Actually, a girlfriend of mine, we were starting our own business. And we were researching a business to start. And he heard about it and he said, “I heard you guys had a research company. And can you do a project for me?” We were researching what to do. So we stumbled into this thing, stumbled into doing focus groups. Didn’t realize that there were recruiters. We were out on the street recruiting people, and they would show up for $15 if you can believe it. Now it’s $100 for respondents. But we recruited people on the street. We would go to the malls and get thrown out. And so we stumbled onto it. And I just- and our relationship with the partner that I had dissolved relatively fast. But I just kept going. I just kept going with it. And here I am today. And actually, Jamin, when I started knocking on doors to conduct research studies, I didn’t intend on doing this black focus. But I showed up in this brown skin, and I kept hearing, “When we have something for the black market, we’ll call you.” And I was like, “Are you talking to me?” So I got pigeonholed or defined- I won’t say pigeonholed. I got defined in the black space by some of the people I was seeking out for business. And what I discovered was there’s just this huge disparity in terms of understanding the messages that they were creating for us, even the way they’re doing research. I’m glad you’re talking about this because it’s still an issue with me, and we’ll talk about that later. So there was just this huge disparity in terms of what brands understood or thought they understood about us, how we lived, and how consumers felt. So I just got into this, and then I just started- I started then going and I would go to these
29 minutes | 5 months ago
Ep. 310 – Jonatan Littke – Keys to Success of a Modern Startup
My guest today is Jonatan Littke, co-founder of Lookback. Founded in 2013, Lookback is a video capture and sharing application used by User Experience professionals to conduct both moderated and unmoderated user research projects that is used by over 1,600 companies globally. Prior to founding Lookback, Jonatan founded several companies including GosuGamers one of the world’s largest eSports websites and Ripple, a UX Consultancy. Additionally, he was one of the original Spotify engineers. Find Jonatan Online: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonatanlittke Twitter: https://twitter.com/littke Find Jamin Online: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Music: “Clap Along” by Auditionauti: https://audionautix.com [00:00:00] Jamin: Hi. You’re listening to the Happy Market Research podcast. My guest today is Jonatan Littke co-founder of Lookback. Founded in 2013, Lookback is a video capture and sharing application used by user experience professionals to conduct both moderated and unmoderated user research projects. Prior to founding Lookback, Jonatan founded several companies including GosuGamers. This is one of the world’s largest e-sports Web sites and Ripple, a UX consultancy. Additionally, he was one of the original Spotify engineers. Jonatan, thanks for joining me on the Happy Market Research podcast today. [00:00:41] Jonatan: Happy to be here Jamin. [00:00:42] Jamin: I’d like to start out with this contextual question. What did your parents do and how did they impact or inform what you’re doing today? [00:00:49] Jonatan: Sure. That’s a great question. So my dad was an engineer and a jet pilot in the Swedish military. And one of the things that my wife and I always think so much about his impact on me was how he is a man with a theme. And by that we mean that there’s something very central to his life, a particular interest or hobby at a given time and then when you meet him you will get to know about that theme. And I’m sure you have somebody in your life who’s like that. And my wife says that I’m like that and I kind of have that when I get something that feels like this is really what I need to do right now I just can’t let go of it. And I think that’s part of being an entrepreneur. I didn’t really know what I was quote unquote growing up because I liked to do a bunch of different things. But over time I realized that that’s that tenacity of being I need to see this thing built or I need to see this solution coming to the world. I just can’t let it go. Stay up all night thinking about it. So that’s probably the biggest contribution my dad had on me. I feel like that’s from him. Not being sure. But I think so. And then my mom was a doctor or is a doctor and she’s been also an educator in communications and teaching a lot about empathy and how doctors can meet patients with empathy and see it from their side and their situation and all of that. So I grew up with a lot of questions about feelings and a lot of don’t say you did this say when you do that here’s what I feel. So when you say that thing that makes me feel angry. And growing up really learning how to verbalize my emotions and access them from within my body. Identify where in the body the emotions are and all these things. And I like to believe that, that helped impact my decision to run this current company which, Lookback which helps increase empathy. At least we hope so with that company. So that I think is one of the biggest things my mom gave me, that whole emotional feeling side. [00:02:53] Jamin: You think about empathy and then also this grit to see things through. Empathy’s at the core of consumer insights. Did it play an active role when you started your UX consultancy and then later Lookback? [00:03:07] Jonatan: Yes. Exactly. That I think is a big piece of it. And I think user experience is so interesting in that way because it-I’m a designer and engineer as well. But I don’t particularly care for those functions or that role per say, although I enjoy it. But I do care about what is the end state that I’m able to put the person using the product in. And I’m not saying I’m the best at empathy. But I do certainly have built in the reward of identifying when somebody’s able to get to that point where they’re really feeling good or able to achieve their goal and that’s been kind of innate in me in a way that I’ve been building companies to try and create more of that feeling or have that as a reward more so than financial reward or fame and popularity. It’s how can we get more people use this thing in order to feel good or be more successful. [00:04:00] Jamin: It sounds like it’s a lot about enablement. Helping other people attain what is their goal or even full potential. [00:04:07] Jonatan: Yes, absolutely. That’s it. [00:04:10] Jamin: The other thing I think is interesting, your father-fighter pilot? [00:04:14] Jonatan: Yes. [00:04:15] Jamin: Instrumentations a big part of being a pilot and when you think about user experience, actually user experience was founded in the cockpit. So you, pilots needed to get into a cockpit and they needed to have the same experience or similar experience across planes. And that’s where the altimeter and speed and etc. became really important as this unifying force. [00:04:41] Jonatan: That’s a good point because my dad after being a pilot went into the industry of building airplanes and jet fighters and so. And just the other week he was calling me and raving about how terrible Boeing were doing with their instrumentation of the whole nosedive thing where the pilot has to steer in the right way and how they didn’t have enough sensors to accurately measure it. He was saying “when we built these jet fighters we had so and so many sensors and this-” And I think that’s a core piece of it is how do you build that experience that puts the pilot in control, which they weren’t in the Boeing. They weren’t allowed because the computer took over. How do you put the person in control to be able to do what they need to do especially in the time of crisis or challenging situations? That’s where I think technology really has to trust the human that’s in this case driving the engine or controlling the machine. Has to really trust it to know what it’s doing which then mixes them by case. [00:05:38] Jamin: And the, to the earlier point, the important of muscle memory and training kicks in, in those moments of crisis etc. And really kind of the design of what you do. So I did a little bit of getting my private pilot’s license. I haven’t completed the process and I don’t know that I actually will. But as I started that journey the thing that stood out to me was the importance of checklists and maintaining the discipline around the checklists regardless of if it was your first flight or it was your billionth flight. There really is no, it’s open ended. You just maintain that discipline. And the checklists get-they happen before you get into the plane and then there’s a whole other set of checklists that happen when you’re getting ready to take off and then there’s a whole other set of checklists that happen after you’ve taken off. And you kind of reverse those procedures. And then similarly there’s checklists that exist for moments of crisis. And I just-I found that really interesting that really every aspect of the flight has already been decision treed out for you so that you know what to do and a good pilot has functionally memorized those things. But then also has access to those in quick format, those checklists complete format so that they can then execute the right procedure at the right time. [00:06:55] Jonatan: And I think that’s so important to verify that things are going the way they should be even if everything is a green light and not just relying on that. Because I think as we think about scaling technology to millions or billions of people we can’t afford ourselves the luxury of check listing everybody’s experience was exactly the way that we wanted it to be. And yet I think that is our responsibility. And it’s somehow figuring out a way to ensure that vital systems like immigration or healthcare or has all of these rely more on more on technology we can’t allow the systems to fully govern that incredibly important and personal experience. So let’s say that computer or the records state that you had the wrong history because it pulled up the wrong record or whatever. And then we rely on that more so than the word of the person or the experience with the doctor, whatever. And that I think is the challenge going forward that we’re going to have to figure out how do you rely on technology without fully relying on it like the airplane’s a really interesting example of where we don’t really rely on technology fully because we can’t allow ourselves to do that. [00:08:04] Jamin: You’ve got actually a laminated sheet that tells you these are the-physically they’re [CROSSTALK] [00:08:10] Jonatan: You have to verify it. [00:08:11] Jamin: Exactly. So this is an interesting point really. The black box that technology builds into our lives. The assumption that Google Maps is in fact giving me the shortest distance between A and B. And we don’t really have a way of validating that because it’s impossible for us to be able-well be impossible for us to validate that especially in context in real time. But we do increasingly put our trust in technology that it is operating for our good and the ethical association with that as it relates with the companies is interesting to me because yet is in some ways in conflict because the company’s objective is to make money. And so you do have this juxtaposition of the business has to do good. It’s going to do the best thing that’s in my interest, but at the same time they’ve got to operate in the interest of their shareholders as well. [00:09:09] Jonatan: That’s why I think it’s so interesting with emerging technologies that allow not full control of the system by any one player. So take banking where suddenly I could try to withdraw money and it says you have zero dollars on your bank account by an error and I would have absolutely no way of verifying or proving that actually I have a lot of money in there and they give it back to me. That would be really hard. And I think that the power decision that the owner or controller of a technology has right now is totally imbalanced. And so moving to systems that are more distributed or needs to be verified by more players at the same time or gives control back to consumers I think is absolutely critical if technology’s going to be able to sustain all of the reliance that we have on it and be able to back society to the extent that we want it to do. [00:10:00] Jamin: Give us a little bit, a very brief, the elevator pitch of Lookback. [00:10:04] Jonatan: Sure. So Lookback is a better way to talk to your users, specifically for user researchers we help with moderated and unmoderated research on mobile and on desktop. Remote as well and in person. [00:10:17] Jamin: And full disclosure to our listeners, Lookback and myself have a formal agreement. They have been a sponsor of our 2020 Q1 episodes. Very appreciative of that. This episode is not sponsored by Lookback. And the reason I think that’s really important and if you are a long-time listener or know me personally you know that I really don’t do anything for money. My motivation is to bring my audience the absolute best content at any given point. And the reason that I wanted to have Jonatan on the show today is because he’s birthed or created several very successful companies. Lookback being the last one. And in that process he’s gained a lot of insight in terms of identifying where market is and what the opportunity is and then also being able to bring to life that particular vision or that particular company. So, what I’d like to do is ask you sir what are some tips you would give aspiring technology entrepreneurs. [00:11:17] Jonatan: So, that’s a good question. I would start with making sure that you understand, fundamentally understand when what you build successfully solves the problem. Doesn’t have to solve the entire problem but as long as one key part is solved better than it was before than you’re good. But you have to be able to verify that yourself. If you’re building for somebody else, which you should, you shouldn’t assume that you’re going to be the end user. But you have to be able to verify they’re now able to do it better than they were before. And measure each improvement that you’re making to your product in terms of how much of a benefit is this to end users. Now of course research helps tremendously in this area, but at the same time in the beginning you’re going to need to make decisions so often, so rapidly that you can’t rely on every single micro decision being validated or researched upfront exactly, how well the solution is functioning. And so build, I would say build for yourself or build to the extent that you can validate it yourself. Yet at the same time you want to build for a higher purpose. And sometimes just serving yourself, let’s say that you have far more money than most people in the world or you’re privileged or you’re able to be in, to be in a position where you can start a company, which is fantastic, congratulations. Do remember that there are people out there who are not in that position and so building for yourself while at the same time scratching the itch or solving the need for somebody else or a lot of people out there I think is absolutely critical. So being able to combine those two is very important. I see sometimes people are very mission driven who want to solve problems for somebody else end up not creating really powerful products because they’re not able to get to that level of detail or understanding when the product actually does what it should do, if that makes sense. [00:13:09] Jamin: So flesh that out for me just a little bit more, the last part. I didn’t quite track with you. I get the first part which is you want to solve a real problem. It needs to be quantifiable in terms of the overall benefit to the customer. [00:13:24] Jonatan: But then you want to make sure that you’re not the only one having that problem because I see some real-the really great engineers especially on the mobile development side or they’re building these fantastic tools for themselves. They’re the best code editors in the world and they know exactly what they want. It’s so tailored for them and then you see the farther away you get from engineering you’re using crappier and crappier tools. You’re sitting in finance you’re, or maybe finance is a bad example. But you’re sitting in a function that’s far away and you’re just using so clunky tools that are not specifically built for you because nobody fully understands what a great solution for you would look like. [00:14:03] Jamin: So that’s a really-that’s-I love that. I’ve never heard that before which is, I don’t know if that’s important or not but, and I think that’s very true. The farther a technology is away from actual coders than the worst fundamentally the worst the experience is for the user or the worst it does at solving that particular problem. [00:14:24] Jonatan: I think power is shifting too. Product managers and business leaders are able to say we’re going to go in and solve this problem. But that’s where I’m saying. If you want to be that kind of entrepreneur who’s able to solve a problem that’s not necessarily your own you have to be able to find a way to know whether you’ve actually solved the problem in each micro interaction. You’ve got to know each button. Is this better than it was? This flow. Is this the way that we’re thinking about it? The whole mental model is this fundamentally stronger than what was instead of just saying we’re going to build a better support tool or we’re going to build a better micro loan system. But knowing it intimately is so critical. [00:15:04] Jamin: So you’d need to understand fully the problem and then you also need to understand the implementation or the user experience of your particular solution. [00:15:13] Jonatan: Yes. It’s almost like I would say if you don’t have a cofounder or yourself who personally has experienced this problem you’re not going to succeed. It’s going to be really hard. You have to surround yourself with people who want this problem solved and who have an intimate understanding of it because it’s not enough to just listen to people every now and then. It has to be very close to your heart. [00:15:35] Jamin: We start with founder market fit and then we move into product market fit. What do you see as one of the largest challenges for a startup or a set of entrepreneurs in today’s framework? [00:15:53] Jonatan: In the product market fit space specifically? [00:15:55] Jamin: It could be if you were just starting a company. [00:15:57] Jonatan: So I think a lot of-in the beginning you’re very focused on building things and on doing things. And I think a lot of people stop measuring the increased progress that you’ve done in your understanding of the problem solution that we just talked about. And so finding a way to quantify how much have we learned and how much better is that going to make us is really important because what I see, most people at least in tech entrepreneurs they sit down and the first thing they deal with, they start to write some code. Or now these days more people use, they use Figma and they create prototypes and they do some testing and all that is great. But at the same time it’s very focused around let’s start building something or least start creating something or doing a lot of things. So getting to the state where you can appreciate all of the conversations that you had and all the insights you’re getting. Basically, collect the insights. Pounding your insights is something I would definitely do more of. And then I would go back to the mission thing which is it’s going to be easier for you to succeed from a customer perspective if you build something that people want but also from a pure human perspective I do believe it’s going to be more and more important that your mission really resonates with where we want the world to go. And so that the mission is something that a lot of people can get behind. Now you’re going to hear BCs who say that they’ll invest whether, as long as it makes money. And I do believe that that’s true. But at the same time, everyone you’re interacting with is human being and if you can have a mission that resonates with people that’s going to help you tremendously when you’re hiring, when you’re getting advisors, when you’re getting press because if you’re doing something great people appreciate that and they like you more and they want to talk to you more and so on and so forth. So increasingly thinking about the mission that’s good for the world, not just disguised as good for the world I think is incredibly important too. [00:17:51] Jamin: It’s-I keep going back to that Steve Jobs quote which is, “Make a ding in the universe.” His overall driving mission of Apple. And sort of just massive aspirational goals. It wasn’t about at least the vision that we heard from the outside is that the company wasn’t built around making a billion-dollar company. And I’m sure that many people would have different points of view on that. But from an outsider perspective it was very clearly communicated. The need to create something and then communicate the actual vision or connect the vision to the thing that you’re creating, I think is one of the biggest opportunities for entrepreneurs because most people just create something and then expect people to use it like a set of features, as opposed to build something that is actually creating a better world or making a difference in individuals lives or what have you. It’s almost like are they using the tool or are they creating a better world. I know that’s such a crazy thing to say, but I really think that the overarching communication one, is a movement and the other is more of a transaction. [00:19:04] Jonatan: And one way to frame it is pretending to be a historical documentary that’s says in 2030 the world finally was able to achieve what because Jonatan Littke did what. And then you know both what is what you fill in and if you can honestly say that now the world can chat faster using mobile and that’s because Jonatan Littke built this great app of whatever. And if I believe in that and I think that’s great then sure, great. But if it starts sounding hollow then you’re like maybe this isn’t really contributing all that much. [00:19:44] Jamin: What is something-so you were part of the original Spotify engineering team. What was something that you learned as that particular engine was getting spun up? [00:19:53] Jonatan: Well, so I joined the engineering team and there were lots of brilliant engineers there for sure and particular grade designer called Russ Anderson [ph] who went on ultimately to move to the valley and joined a lot of companies. He’s at Figma now I believe. And he would always seem-forgive me, but he would seem like the guy who didn’t really care what people thought because he just wanted to build this great product. And that was always a little bit hard. And it was weird for me coming in. Sweden is so much about concepts and it’s like we, if there are five people in the group. If five people don’t agree than we’re not going to do it. And then here was this guy who was you know what, all those ideas they’re really bad. Here’s what we’re going to do instead. And he often got his way. And learning to make the decisions for the product, not necessarily always finding consensus is one of the big things for me back then. But then also is how do we treat one another when we disagree and how do we create a culture that is able to tie break when you end up in that kind of lock was definitely something I learned there. The other thing I certainly learned from CO Daniel was just being incredibly bold and his vision. Just the-at the time it’s like being a successful tech company out of Sweden and competing with all these US giants and in this-in the industry of music, what a challenge. It’s obviously somebody else is going to join this industry. Is going to join this, solve this problem. And today you have, I think every large tech company probably has a music app with Google, Amazon, and Apple obviously all do and then so you certainly taught me that. Going out and negotiating all those label deals and all those things. Certainly appreciate it there and have been trying to emulate, so. [00:21:35] Jamin: And already a material incumbent with Pandora. [00:21:39] Jonatan: Yes. For sure. And look at them today. They’re at 270 million users and I think 160 are something paid subscribers, 160 million which is fantastic. And every week, every month it would be like we have to grow because this market’s not going to exist forever. Let’s go get it. And we had several years but at the same time he was able to beat that trial continuously. And that for me was very new. I was very young when I joined Spotify. I was 21. But basically my first not-my first job not being where I wasn’t the founder myself. But that was very inspiring to kind of be part of that. Let’s do it. Let’s go get them. This whole movement of doing that every day sounds great. [00:22:21] Jamin: GosuGamers. That was first. That was your first company. That was, you were there before Spotify. Is that correct? [00:22:30] Jonatan: That’s right. Exactly. In my teenage years basically. [00:22:33] Jamin: Well all teenage boys like two things, one of them is video games. [00:22:37] Jonatan: I guess that’s true today. [00:22:42] Jamin: I think it’s been true for at least my generation. [00:22:44] Jonatan: You’re right. [00:22:45] Jamin: And so circa Atari 2600 for those that are wondering my generation’s go to. So that was a very big-it’s a very big EA Sports Web site. What was the founder market fit and then product market fit? story? [00:23:03] Jonatan: Well the founder market fit was my brother was great at playing the game and I wanted to be part of it but I wasn’t as great at playing. So I was what can I do. And I started writing about my brother when he was playing games. And published those posts online. And I was 11 years old. And then two years later those writings ended up being added to the site originally called the Star Cut gamers. And I just kept writing and writing about my brother and all these other players and it was basically like a fan site and because I loved the game. So I kept playing and I kept writing. And then that-I think one key difference I did compared to some, the few other sites that were out there was that they were in Swedish and mine was in English although I couldn’t even spell. And that just gave me a lot of, a much bigger market. And so I think I copied a lot what the other news sites were doing. But I just did it in English and that proved to be the successful recipe because it ended up growing and growing. And we had millions of gamers on that site and staff of 50 people just writing and covering gaming events. And so it’s really, I think my-it’s a good fit for because I liked the game but also I wasn’t good enough to be all- [00:24:22] Jamin: All in on the gaming side? [00:24:23] Jonatan: Yes, to spend all my time gaming itself. Exactly. [00:24:26] Jamin: Unfortunately, it seems more fun than writing, especially for teenage boys. [00:24:30] Jonatan: Well I got to be the manager of the national team because I started a national team. There wasn’t a national team so I said we’re going to start one and who did I put on a team? Well I put my brother on the team. [00:24:42] Jamin: Inside recruiting. [00:24:45] Jonatan: And then I had some tryouts and then eventually he couldn’t be a part of the team anymore but it was a lot of fun and then in terms of product-go ahead. [00:24:56] Jamin: If you would’ve had one for pong I swear to God I would’ve running man-nobody knows what those are. I would-dominated that space. But anyway-sorry. Then you’re saying product market fit. [00:25:10] Jonatan: And that’s what product market said. I think-I was thinking about it in those terms but essentially a lot of people wanted to read about the gamers. And I think today it’s-each person’s a billion-dollar industry and a lot of it is driven by your fans to these fantastic gamers or these fantastic teams or winning all this prize money. But back then it wasn’t an obvious and I like doing what you’re doing now is interviewing a lot of people and writing about them and posting their photo. And then people would write about-or come and read about that. So the product market fit was really good from that perspective. We had forums and we had match videos and all of that. So it’s a lot of gamers just hanging out reading about that. It’s pretty easy from that perspective. It’s here’s what I would want to read or want to have as content and then that’s what we made. So it’s back to the idea that you got to be able to know what’s valuable for yourself. That makes it away easier. [00:26:03] Jamin: What is your personal motto? [00:26:05] Jonatan: My personal motto’s probably if I had to pick one. I have a long list, but probably to know your dream. Sounds cheesy but I think we’ve lost dreaming to some extent. And by dreaming I mean I think of it as the act of creating visions but visions have this feeling that it’s very clear and it’s exclusive and the visionary can think of vision and that’s now everybody has to follow the vision. If you think about dreams it’s more accessible and approachable. Everybody has some kind of dream. We can –and they’re-dreams are somewhat fuzzy so that they can, your dream can join with mine and they can overlap and they’re not as exclusive. So the people that I know that have been really successful entrepreneurs they have a dream of what they want the world to be or how they want to change. And if I say what’s the one thing that you would change about the world those entrepreneurs certainly have thought about a lot about that. But the interesting thing is I think all of us really have a deep understanding of what we would want to change for ourselves in our own lives but also about the world. But it does take a little bit of effort to sit down and be like what is the highest dream that I can come up with. What is a better version than the dream I just made up? And you’re going to find, at least I found that there’s actually a threshold to how big you can dream. It is hard at some point to be like if I made my own life 10x better what would it look like. And then have 10x better than that, what would that like. And then you’re like, I actually can’t think of what would be better. And daring yourself to do that and go through that exercise really being clear about what those dreams are. Being able to communicate those. I think greatly enhances your ability to get there and to get there not just for yourself but for others as well. I think so much of our society today is about accepting the world around us as it is because the fact that we end up living in houses, driving cars, and going to work, those are not necessarily the only way that society could’ve been built but we all are that’s the way it is and that’s the way we’re going to do it and we just accept it straight up. But I think instead remodeling that and thinking about here’s the way I want it to be. Think it’s so important and I think just in friendships, in families, at work, shared dreaming and going through those exercises together I think is so important and has been a big motivation and joy for me to do together with people. [00:28:36] Jamin: My guest today has been Jonatan Littke. Successful technology entrepreneur. Jonatan thank you so much for being on Happy Market Research podcast today. [00:28:43] Jonatan: Thanks for asking me Jamin. [00:28:46] Jamin: Everyone else, if you find value in this episode I hope you will share it on social media Twitter, LinkedIn. Screen capture. Tag me. I will send you something special. Have a wonderful rest of your day.
38 minutes | 5 months ago
Ep. 309 – Katrina Noelle & Janet Standen, Founders of Scoot Insights, on User Experience vs. Market Research
My guest today is Janet Standen, Co-Founder of Scoot Insights; and Katrina Noelle, President of KNow Research and Co-Founder of Scoot Insights. Find Janet Online: Website: https://scootinsights.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/janetstanden Twitter: https://twitter.com/JanetStanden22 Find Katrina Online: Website: https://scootinsights.com Website: https://knowresearch.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/katrinanoelle Twitter: https://twitter.com/kat_noelle Find Jamin Online: Email: email@example.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 Music: “Clap Along” by Auditionauti: https://audionautix.com This Episode is Sponsored by: This episode is brought to you by SurveyMonkey. Almost everyone has taken its surveys, but did you know that SurveyMonkey offers complete solutions for market researchers? In addition to flexible surveys, their global Audience panel, and research services, SurveyMonkey just launched a fast and easy way to collect market feedback, with 7 new Expert Solutions for concept and creative testing. With built-in, customizable methodology, AI-Powered Insights, and industry benchmarking, you can get feedback on your ideas from your target market–in a presentation-ready format, by the way–in as little as an hour. For more information on SurveyMonkey Market Research Solutions, visit surveymonkey.com/market-research. This episode is brought to you by Fuel Cycle Ignition. Ignition is the agile insights platform that empowers leaders and their teams to improve product, brand, customer, and employee experiences – no insights experience required. With FC Live virtual focus groups and interviews, an Ad Effective solution, and survey automation capabilities, Fuel Cycle Ignition offers the only all-in-one agile insights ecosystem for supercharging the relationship between brands and their customers and serves the world’s most innovative brands including Google, Hulu, Tufts Health Plan, Carhartt and more. To learn how Ignition can take your research to the next level, visit fuelcycle.com. [00:00:03]Jamin Brazil: Hey everybody, thanks for listening. You are listening to the Happy Market Research Podcast. I have two amazing women with me today, Katrina Noelle as well as Janet Standen, and if you’re involved at all in the Bay Area and user experience or qualitative research, you know both of these women’s names pop up a lot. Ladies, thank you so much for joining me today.[00:00:25]Katrina Noelle: You’re welcome. Glad to be here. [00:00:27]Janet Standen: Thanks so much for inviting us. [00:00:31]Jamin Brazil: Today almost everyone has taken surveys, but did you know that SurveyMonkey offers complete solutions for professional market researchers? In addition to flexible surveys, their global audience panel, and research services, SurveyMonkey just launched a fast and easy way to collect market research feedback with seven new expert solutions for concept and creative testing. With built-in customizable methodology, AI-powered insights, and industry benchmarking, you can get feedback on your idea from your target market in a presentation-ready format. Oh, and by the way, in as little as an hour. For more information on SurveyMonkey’s market research solutions, please visit surveymonkey.com/market-research. That’s surveymonkey.com/market-research. Support for the Happy Market Research Podcast comes from Fuel Cycle. This episode is brought to you by Fuel Cycle Ignition. Ignition is the agile insights platform that enables leaders and their teams to improve product, brand, customer, and employee experiences, with no insights experience required. With FC live virtual focus groups and interviews, an ad effectiveness solution, and survey automation capabilities, Fuel Cycle Ignition offers the only all in one agile insights ecosystem for supercharging the e-relationship between brands and their customers, and serves the world’s most innovative brands, including Google, Hulu, Tufts Health Plan, Gahart [ph], and more. To learn how Ignition can take your research to the next level, visit fuelcycle.com. Scoot Insights is the name of your company. Give us a little bit of context around what it is that you do.[00:02:25]Janet Standen: Yeah, thank you for kicking off with that question. So, well, Scoot Insights, we were born about five years ago, although between Katrina and myself, I don’t know how many years’ experience we’ve got in qualitative research, but let’s just say a combined sort of 50 years, something like that, and we won’t divvy up who’s got most of those. [LAUGHTER] [00:02:45]Katrina Noelle: No math, no math, please. [00:02:47]Janet Standen: But yeah, so I think it’s a very Bay Area company in terms of how it was created. There was a need, and that need, we were increasingly asked to just do things a little bit more efficiently and more effectively than perhaps the more traditional qualitative methodologies allowed for where it used to be a sort of seven to eight week process and what we had to do was deliver within seven to eight days half the time. And so Scoot Insights is all about driving sort of discussions and directions and making decisions with fun teams. We integrate with the stakeholders as part of our process, but most importantly what we do is bring the sort of voice of the user or the customer or the consumer to the party and manage that end of the process and then integrate that learning and understanding with the sort of stakeholder knowledge and expertise and experience. And ideally, all in a one-day process, to try and be as efficient and effective as possible, making sure by the end of the day we’ve got a sort of decision made that all the stakeholders have been a party to coming to. And that it’s born of the customer understanding or the audience understanding. [00:04:01]Jamin Brazil: So give me an example of a particular research question that you’ve helped customers answer.[00:04:08]Janet Standen: Well, so literally, I think that’s one of the things about being a broader qualitative researcher, is it’s so broad. It could be we really need to understand the positioning of our brand versus some competitors that have come into our space. Or it could be to do with a sort of design development, and that could be packaging design or it could be the user experience design of a website, and we need to make sure that we’re as effective as possible for our end users. It could be advertising testing. It could be literally a sort of shelf set test or trying to understand the behavior of a shopper in a particular type of store or when they go online. So there are so many different questions that we have the luck to try and help our clients answer. I don’t know, Katrina, do you want to add any more to those? [00:04:58]Katrina Noelle: Yeah, I think what the commonality is, though, with the Scoot Sprint approach is it’s making a decision. So whatever question or area of the business that it may come from, it’s about decision makers wanting to make a decision but doing it with the voice of the consumer in the mix, not leaving that out. So when people book us, it’s typically around some sort of decision. And I know that still sounds vague and open-ended, but the world of qualitative isn’t always used in that way. A lot of it is exploratory research, kind of understanding the customer, building personas, that kind of thing, which is all great stuff. But usually when Scoot Insights steps in is when there is a decision to be made and the voice of the customer needs to be integrated or understood to help the stakeholders make that decision. [00:05:51]Jamin Brazil: Do you have a favorite story of how a customer took some knowledge that you gave them and then had an oversized return?[00:06:01]Katrina Noelle: Well, Janet, do we tell our favorite story? Do we tell, do we do the video game story? [00:06:07]Jamin Brazil: I like video games. I feel like that’s a yes.[00:06:10]Katrina Noelle: I feel like it’s just a really good encapsulation of why not to move ahead without customer insights. But Janet, you were the key lead on that, so I think you should tell it. [00:06:20]Janet Standen: Sure. There was a– Clearly the big sales period if you’re a video game company is the sort of run up to Christmas, and there was a big decision to be made about which music should support the ad that they’ve developed for the launch of this game. And to them it was super important. There was a big discrepancy between what the ad agency thought the answer was and what the client team thought the answer was. So in a way, we were brought in to help make this decision between more sort of upbeat type of music to maybe a more somber type of music. It was a first person shooter game, so it was, upbeat is one way of putting it. But it seemed like a simple decision, so we start asking some gamers and people who were aware of this title their thoughts about it, and we played different versions of the ad with the different music. And very quickly it became apparent that there was some deeper thing going on about the sort of, the reference point of, the setting of this game. Which had actually been shot in Eastern Europe and they’d had this famous film director involved in it and it was huge investment in creating this ad. And then it became apparent that some of the American consumers were sort of uncomfortable of the setting, which to them looked like a college campus, and it hadn’t been shot in a college campus. And so suddenly, the dis
30 minutes | 5 months ago
Ep. 308 – Rick Kelly, Chief Product Officer at Fuel Cycle on how to Navigate a Successful Career in Market Research
My guest today is Rick Kelly, Chief Product Officer at Fuel Cycle. Founded in 2005, Fuel Cycle was started as a community management platform and has evolved into one of today’s leading experience management platforms. Prior to joining Fuel Cycle, Rick started his career as a Communications Intern for US Senator Mick Crapo and held a senior leader at Survey Sampling International. Find Rick Online: Website: https://fuelcycle.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rhkelly Twitter: https://twitter.com/_rickkelly Find Jamin Online: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Music:“Clap Along” by Auditionauti: https://audionautix.com This Episode is Sponsored by: This episode is brought to you by SurveyMonkey. Almost everyone has taken its surveys, but did you know that SurveyMonkey offers complete solutions for market researchers? In addition to flexible surveys, their global Audience panel, and research services, SurveyMonkey just launched a fast and easy way to collect market feedback, with 7 new Expert Solutions for concept and creative testing. With built-in, customizable methodology, AI-Powered Insights, and industry benchmarking, you can get feedback on your ideas from your target market–in a presentation-ready format, by the way–in as little as an hour. For more information on SurveyMonkey Market Research Solutions, visit surveymonkey.com/market-research.
33 minutes | 5 months ago
MrWeb Series – Chris Havemann on Insight in the Mobile Age
This episode is in partnership with MrWeb’s Insight in the Mobile Age segment. My guest today is Chris Havemann, CEO of RealityMine. Founded in 2012, RealityMine is a passive metering technology, enabling the tracking of consumers on multiple devices—across all major platforms—providing a holistic view of their daily lives. Headquartered in Manchester, England, with offices in London and Sydney. Prior to joining RealityMine, Chris was the CEO of Rated People and the co-founder and CEO of Research Now. Find Chris Online: Website: https://www.realitymine.com/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-havemann-19a04b8/ Find Jamin Online: Email: email@example.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 Music:“Clap Along” by Auditionauti: https://audionautix.com [00:00:00] Jamin: Hi, I'm Jamin Brazil. You're listening to the Happy Market Research Podcast. My guest today is Chris Havemann, CEO of RealityMine. Founded in 2012, RealityMine is a passive metering technology enabling the tracking of consumers on multiple devices across all major platforms, providing a holistic view of their daily lives. RealityMine is headquartered in Manchester, England with offices in London and Sydney. Prior to joining RealityMine, Chris was the CEO of Rated People and the cofounder and CEO of Research Now. Chris, thank you so much for joining me on the Happy Market Research Podcast. [00:00:37] Chris: My pleasure, Jamin. Great to be here. [00:00:40] Jamin: So I'd like to start out with a little bit of context as usual. Maybe you could tell us a little bit about your parents and how they inform what you do today. [00:00:47] Chris: It's a really interesting question. Without wishing to disrespect my parents, just to give you an idea, my mom was a housewife and my stepdad was a university professor. And in fact, I don't think I do take much inspiration career-wise from what they did. If anything, I think my inspiration comes from my grandfather, who was a self-made entrepreneur. The only boss he ever had, he says - he used to say was the RAF during the second World War. And I think that seeded somewhere in me an entrepreneurial gene that led to me cofounding Research Now and other things in the world of market research. [00:01:24] Jamin: Did you spend a lot of time with your grandfather? [00:01:27] Chris: Yes, I did. I actually left my parents' home on my 15th birthday. At the time we were living in Canada, and I moved across the Atlantic back to where I was born in England. And I lived with my grandparents, so my sort of formative teenage years or late teenage years were living with my grandparents. [00:01:42] Jamin: That's super interesting because I have a similar story. It's not about me, sorry, but just from a connection perspective, I did a similar thing where I moved out of my parents' in my mid-teens and in with my grandparents. And my grandfather was instrumental in my life in a very similar way as an entrepreneur, and he had his hands in lots of different things from garden farming to farmers market-type things to dairies, importing and exporting and whatnot. And so is very - I think that the entrepreneurial gene for me really came from his mentorship, and yes. So was he part of or around when you started Research Now? [00:02:33] Chris: Yes, he was. He's dead now because we started Research Now, myself and Andrew Cooper way back in 2000 actually, or 2003 when we rebranded as Research Now. And he was alive for about another seven or eight years after that, so he saw the early struggle, which I think all entrepreneurs go through. But also, I'm very pleased to be conscious that he also saw the early successes,
24 minutes | 6 months ago
Iris Yim, Principal and Chief Strategist at Sparkle Insights, on the Role of Diversity in Consumer Insights
In this episode, we’ll hear from Iris Yim, Principal and Chief Strategist at Sparkle Insights on her opinion and experiences about diversity in consumer insights. Find Iris Online: Website: sparkleinsights.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sparkleinsights Twitter: https://twitter.com/SparkleInsights Find Jamin Online: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Music: “Clap Along” by Auditionauti: https://audionautix.com Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com/ This Episode is Sponsored by: This episode is brought to you by SurveyMonkey. Almost everyone has taken its surveys, but did you know that SurveyMonkey offers complete solutions for market researchers? In addition to flexible surveys, their global Audience panel, and research services, SurveyMonkey just launched a fast and easy way to collect market feedback, with 7 new Expert Solutions for concept and creative testing. With built-in, customizable methodology, AI-Powered Insights, and industry benchmarking, you can get feedback on your ideas from your target market–in a presentation-ready format, by the way–in as little as an hour. For more information on SurveyMonkey Market Research Solutions, visit surveymonkey.com/market-research. This episode is brought to you by Fuel Cycle Ignition. Ignition is the agile insights platform that empowers leaders and their teams to improve product, brand, customer, and employee experiences – no insights experience required. With FC Live virtual focus groups and interviews, an Ad Effective solution, and survey automation capabilities, Fuel Cycle Ignition offers the only all-in-one agile insights ecosystem for supercharging the relationship between brands and their customers and serves the world’s most innovative brands including Google, Hulu, Tufts Health Plan, Carhartt and more. To learn how Ignition can take your research to the next level, visit fuelcycle.com. [00:00:00] Jamin Brazil: Hi, I'm Jamin Brazil and you're listening to the Happy Market Research podcast. My guest today is Iris Yim, principal and chief strategist at Sparkle Insights. Founded in 2015, Sparkle Insights is a full service research and strategy firm with extensive experience in insight development for Fortune 500 companies. Iris, thank you very much for joining me on the Happy Market Research podcast today. [00:00:22] Iris Yim: Thank you, yes, happy to be here. [00:00:25] Jamin Brazil: Can you give us a little bit of context about yourself. Tell us about your parents and what they did and how they informed what you do today. [00:00:32] Iris Yim: OK, so I am originally from Taiwan. I've been in the US since 2000. My father is an artist based in Taipei, Taiwan. He practices classical, old masters oil paintings like the ones that you will see in a museum. And my mother is a housewife and both of them, they are very open minded and, as you see, I'm very lucky. They never imposed their opinions on me and I have had the luxury to make major life decisions such as college major, graduate studies, and marriage by myself which is quite unusual for an Asian family. So, I majored in foreign literatures and languages in college, decided to pursue graduate studies in the US. And I married a Dane, my husband is from Denmark. So, all these decisions resulted in what I do today, and I live and breathe different cultures, both professionally as a market research because I specialize in multicultural research, and also in my personal life. [00:01:38] Jamin Brazil: A Dane, that's a big - so, like the Vikings. [00:01:41] Iris Yim: Yes. And he teaches Asian studies at UNC Chapel Hill and that's why we ended up here in North Carolina. ...
30 minutes | 6 months ago
Maya Kantak, Consumer Insights Manager at Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products, on the Role of Diversity in Consumer Insights
In this episode, we’ll hear from Maya Kantak, Consumer Insights Manager at Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products on her opinion and experiences about diversity in consumer insights. Find Maya Online: Website: https://disneyparks.disney.go.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mkantak Find Jamin Online: Email: email@example.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 Music: “Clap Along” by Auditionauti: https://audionautix.com Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com/ This Episode is Sponsored by: This episode is brought to you by SurveyMonkey. Almost everyone has taken its surveys, but did you know that SurveyMonkey offers complete solutions for market researchers? In addition to flexible surveys, their global Audience panel, and research services, SurveyMonkey just launched a fast and easy way to collect market feedback, with 7 new Expert Solutions for concept and creative testing. With built-in, customizable methodology, AI-Powered Insights, and industry benchmarking, you can get feedback on your ideas from your target market–in a presentation-ready format, by the way–in as little as an hour. For more information on SurveyMonkey Market Research Solutions, visit surveymonkey.com/market-research. This episode is brought to you by Fuel Cycle Ignition. Ignition is the agile insights platform that empowers leaders and their teams to improve product, brand, customer, and employee experiences – no insights experience required. With FC Live virtual focus groups and interviews, an Ad Effective solution, and survey automation capabilities, Fuel Cycle Ignition offers the only all-in-one agile insights ecosystem for supercharging the relationship between brands and their customers and serves the world’s most innovative brands including Google, Hulu, Tufts Health Plan, Carhartt and more. To learn how Ignition can take your research to the next level, visit fuelcycle.com. [00:00:00] Jamin Brazil: Hi, I'm Jamin Brazil, you're listening to the Happy Market Research podcast. My guest today is Maya Kantak, consumer insights manager at Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products. Prior to joining Disney, Maya's held senior roles in the market research and insights functions at Del Taco and Honda Research and Development. Maya, thanks for joining me on the Happy Market Research podcast today. [00:00:21] Maya Kantak: Hey, thanks for having me. [00:00:24] Jamin Brazil: It's an absolute honor. I'd like to start with a little bit of context. Maybe you could tell us about your parents and how they informed what you do today. [00:00:32] Maya Kantak: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks again for having me. It's actually a really funny story. So my parents were both immigrants from India. They came to the U.S. during college and graduate school and what's actually really interesting is that my dad, he went into the workforce a little bit earlier than my mom and he went into engineering on the product development side and in turn, he kind of became an end-user of market research. So when my mom was ready to enter the work force with her social psych degree, my dad kind of nudged her into market research, which makes me one of the few rare second-generation market researchers. [00:01:11] Jamin Brazil: Yeah. [00:01:12] Maya Kantak: Yeah, so it's really interesting. She went first on the client side, she went to Pioneer, and then Mitsubishi and when Mitsubishi was moving to – their headquarters to Atlanta, my mom decided to venture out and start her own full-service market research firm, Acquired Research West. [00:01:29] Jamin Brazil: Do you remember her first client? [00:01:30] Maya Kantak: Her first client was Honda, actually.
28 minutes | 6 months ago
Orion Brown, founder of the Black Travel Box, on the Role of Diversity in Consumer Insights
In this episode, we’ll hear from Orion Brown, founder of the Black Travel Box & Brand Management Consultant on her opinion and experiences about diversity in consumer insights. Find Orion Online: Website: theblacktravelbox.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/orionbrown Twitter: https://twitter.com/Orion_Helana Find Jamin Online: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Music: “Clap Along” by Auditionauti: https://audionautix.com Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com/ This Episode is Sponsored by: This episode is brought to you by SurveyMonkey. Almost everyone has taken its surveys, but did you know that SurveyMonkey offers complete solutions for market researchers? In addition to flexible surveys, their global Audience panel, and research services, SurveyMonkey just launched a fast and easy way to collect market feedback, with 7 new Expert Solutions for concept and creative testing. With built-in, customizable methodology, AI-Powered Insights, and industry benchmarking, you can get feedback on your ideas from your target market–in a presentation-ready format, by the way–in as little as an hour. For more information on SurveyMonkey Market Research Solutions, visit surveymonkey.com/market-research. This episode is brought to you by Fuel Cycle Ignition. Ignition is the agile insights platform that empowers leaders and their teams to improve product, brand, customer, and employee experiences – no insights experience required. With FC Live virtual focus groups and interviews, an Ad Effective solution, and survey automation capabilities, Fuel Cycle Ignition offers the only all-in-one agile insights ecosystem for supercharging the relationship between brands and their customers and serves the world’s most innovative brands including Google, Hulu, Tufts Health Plan, Carhartt and more. To learn how Ignition can take your research to the next level, visit fuelcycle.com. [00:00:00] Jamin Brazil: Hi, I’m Jamin Brazil, and you’re listening to the Happy Market Research Podcast. My guest today is Orion Brown, founder of The Black Travel Box and brand management consultant. The Black Travel Box is a line of personal care products for travelers of color, that makes travel easier. Prior to starting The Black Travel Box, Orion has served as senior brand manager at Kraft Foods, Backflip Studios, and Oracle. Thank you so much, Orion, for joining me on the Happy Market Research Podcast today. [00:00:29] Orion Brown: No problem. Thanks for having me. [00:00:31] Jamin Brazil: So, I’d like to start with a little bit of context. Tell us about your parents, and how they have formed what you’re doing today. [00:00:38] Orion Brown: So, I grew up on the south side of Chicago. I grew up primarily in a single-parent household. I was raised by my mom. And my dad and I actually are in touch later in life. And so, for many years, I was the only child, with a lot of time on my hands. Similar to kind of how people are feeling right now. I spent a lot of time reading, and being very nerdy. And that was always really encouraged by both of my parents, just to work really hard, and have very, very clear goals. And so, ironically, what I do today has nothing to do with what I’d say the first 20, 22 years of my life focused on. I always thought I was going to be a doctor, and a lot of life happened, and I got to my junior year of college, and I was like, I need to pivot, and I need to go get a real skill. Because all– I know pipettes and I know O-chem. But, like, how do I go out into the world? And so, really for me, I think it was the encouragement to focus on goals, and be really clear about what it is that I want. And then,
24 minutes | 6 months ago
Mario Carrasco, cofounder of ThinkNow, on the Role of Diversity in Consumer Insights
In this episode, we’ll hear from Mario Carrasco, cofounder of ThinkNow on his opinion and experiences about diversity in consumer insights. Find Mario Online: Website: https://thinknow.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marioxcarrasco Twitter: https://twitter.com/marioxcarrasco Find Jamin Online: Email: email@example.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 Music: “Clap Along” by Auditionauti: https://audionautix.com Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com/ This Episode is Sponsored by: This episode is brought to you by SurveyMonkey. Almost everyone has taken its surveys, but did you know that SurveyMonkey offers complete solutions for market researchers? In addition to flexible surveys, their global Audience panel, and research services, SurveyMonkey just launched a fast and easy way to collect market feedback, with 7 new Expert Solutions for concept and creative testing. With built-in, customizable methodology, AI-Powered Insights, and industry benchmarking, you can get feedback on your ideas from your target market–in a presentation-ready format, by the way–in as little as an hour. For more information on SurveyMonkey Market Research Solutions, visit surveymonkey.com/market-research. This episode is brought to you by Fuel Cycle Ignition. Ignition is the agile insights platform that empowers leaders and their teams to improve product, brand, customer, and employee experiences – no insights experience required. With FC Live virtual focus groups and interviews, an Ad Effective solution, and survey automation capabilities, Fuel Cycle Ignition offers the only all-in-one agile insights ecosystem for supercharging the relationship between brands and their customers and serves the world’s most innovative brands including Google, Hulu, Tufts Health Plan, Carhartt and more. To learn how Ignition can take your research to the next level, visit fuelcycle.com. [00:00:00] Jamin Brazil: Hey everybody. This is Jamin, you're listening to the Happy Market Research podcast. Thanks so such for tuning in. My guest today is Mario Carrasco. Mario is the cofounder of ThinkNow based out of Burbank, California area. Mario, thanks for being on the podcast. [00:00:19] Mario Carrasco: Thanks for having me, excited to be on. [00:00:23] Jamin Brazil: This episode is brought to you by SurveyMonkey. Today almost everyone has taking a survey, but did you know that SurveyMonkey offers complete solutions for market researchers? In addition to flexible surveys, their global audience panel, and research services, SurveyMonkey has launched a fast and easy way to collect market feedback. They have seven new expert solutions for concept and creative testing. With build in customized methodologies, AI powered insights, and industry benchmarking, you can get feedback on your ideas from your target market in a presentation ready format, any by the way, in as little as an hour. For more information of SurveyMonkey's market research solutions visit surveymonkey.com/market-research. That's surveymonkey.com/market-research. Mention the Happy Market Research podcast to the SurveyMonkey sales team before June 30th for a discount off your first project. So, how long have you been in the industry? [00:01:30] Mario Carrasco: The industry, I've been saying I feel like ten years, for ten years. So, a little bit over ten years now. Oh no, now, see I'm wrong again. ThinkNow has been around for like nine years now and I was in the industry about four or five years before that. [00:01:48] Jamin Brazil: That's awesome man, you've made it - I think you've been around - if it's any indication, everybody I know which is probably self - actually it's 100% self-se...
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