IIeX 2019 Amsterdam

Happy Market Research Podcast onsite at Greenbook’s IIeX in Amsterdam.

Babita Earle, Zappi: IIeX Europe 2019 Conference Series

Welcome to the #IIEX Europe Conference Series 2019. Recorded live in Amsterdam, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Babita Earle from Zappi.

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Babita with Zappi?




How are you today?


I’m good. Thank you. How are you?


I’m doing great. Thank for you being on the Happy Market Research podcast.


You’re welcome.


IIeX Amsterdam. This is my first time here.


What do you think?


It’s amazing. I feel like I miss my wife. It’s such a romantic city.


Yes, it is beautiful. Amsterdam’s great actually. Somebody asked me the question why do they have it here every year? I don’t know why, but I’m not complaining, because Amsterdam is a great city.


Yes. It’s absolutely the case.


The first time in Amsterdam for you?


Period, yes. That’s right.


You must go to the Rembrandt exhibition.


You’re the second person that’s told me that.


Yes. The Rijksmuseum is an amazing museum. If you get some time, you should go.


It’s fairly close.


Walking distance, yes. Amazing.


What do you think, two hours is enough time?


I think so if you stay focused, just go to that part of the museum because there is obviously loads to see there. But you’re here and they’ve got the famous piece, I can’t remember what it’s called? But, it’s definitely worth going to see.


I was thinking about the Van Gogh Museum, was one I was toying between which one I would go to.


I went through that decision process myself, the Van Gogh and the Rijks and I went to the Rijksmuseum. There is a centenary exhibition for Rembrandt, so I wouldn’t miss it.


Thanks for that pro tip. Tell me a little about what’s going on with Zappi.


What’s going on with Zappi. Lots really. For us right now it’s event season, I guess it is for most of the research industry. Last week I was at Quirks, London. It’s the first time Quirks did a big event in Brooklyn. It’s the first time they ran the event in London. We had a number of presentations there. Again, the theme was very much around technology, automation, aJile. I took a slightly different approach. Very similar to what you’re doing here, but I did an interview, short presentation. But also, an interview with a lady from (02:23 unclear) One-on-one interview. Somebody who’s really thinking differently. We did that and then obviously we’re here now. Then we’re going to be in South by Southwest, which is going to be really exciting, in a few weeks. Where we’ve got a bunch of really great clients and brands coming to join us. Then we’re holding our own private event coming up soon on the April 4, in London. Part of the whole Zappi Insiders’ piece. A lot of events, marketing, content. I think the thing for us right now is there is… Obviously, we started in 2013 wanting to automate the world of market research and there is a lot happening in that space now. It’s finding out voice which is different and what that is. We’re very much moving towards the learning side of the industry and how a single platform and standardization and scale, can really drive a better understanding of data.


You moved, it was ZappiStore and then rebranded to just Zappi. What was the rationale around that?


Store, you’re right. You can see we dropped that. We started out to be an app store of the market research industry. Building apps for research agencies out there to drive revenue through our platform. That’s changed now. Rather than building any old products on our platform we’ve got a real focus in specific areas and specific enterprise-based solutions. Rather than building a large quantity of unstructured apps on our platform. Also, when we started, it was very much how can we open up the SME market as well? But actually, where we’re at now we think there’s more demand on the bigger scale, the Pepsi’s of this world.


Of course that being one of the marquee accounts for you guys early days, right?


Yes. Exciting for us, last year we announced a strategic partnership with Pepsi. Where they have got a really amazing strategy to truly digitize their insights function. Some of the stuff that we’re hearing back today and we’re the platform of choice that they’re working with. Yes. A lots happening. We’ve made some progress, but there is still lots to do.


Lots to do. That’s the understatement of the century.


We’re learning. That’s the thing about our business, we’re always learning. As we learn, we keep or we adjust, or we just lose things that aren’t working.


You guys have done a great job of scaling the business. Great growth year over year, et cetera. Lots of challenges and I did that. I know that a business at one million looks different than five, looks different than 20, looks different at 50 million. As you guys have been scaling the business successfully, what have you seen as one of the more material challenges?


I guess when you’re going through a growth period, as we have been, you’re really focusing on sales and driving revenue. Because you need that to invest more in the business. Then you get to a point where you’ve got this organization and that organizations come together maybe in a structured or unstructured way. Then you take a step back and say let’s think about our people, let’s think about our culture. Let’s think about how we work together. I guess we’ve gone through that newborn stage and gone through the teenage stage, but maybe early adulthood in terms of just maturing in terms of our proposition to the market. Just really knowing who we are because you try lots of different things. There is a lot of focus within the business around how we bring in new revenue, but also how we drive repeatable revenue. But then also, how we work as a business, and our culture, and our people. Looking after ourselves as a team.


I love that focus on culture. I recently interviewed the CMO of Qualtrics and in that conversation, we were talking about this exact subject. He sees the superpower of Qualtrics being their ability to intentionally drive behaviors through enforcement of culture. It creates a self-policing, people know they’re a good fit bad fit, quick, early in out kind of thing. Then on top of it, one of the things they did was intentionally drive it’s okay to fail. In the context of success. The actual example he gave on the interview which I thought was clever is, every week they have an award. It’s the biggest failure award. I’m sure it’s better words, but something like that. Then one person had a project, client calls them and they happened to be in the restroom at the time. They were muting the phone, et cetera, trying to navigate that difficult conversation at that point in time. It didn’t happen as successfully as he thought. Catastrophic. The point is that, in these I think high performing companies are predicated on high-performing culture. Do you guys have a specific way? Or how do you install that cultural norm inside of Zappi? Because you’re adding a lot of headcount.


Yes. It’s a very good question. A challenging question. I think we know. Your culture is going to be organically developed from the people that are in the organization. We have our beliefs around inclusive listening. We do have the culture of failure is fine as long as you learn from it. Nobody is going to be let go because they’ve really messed up on something. As long as you learn from it. There are a number of things that we do. We hold each other accountable for our cultural beliefs and we’ve gone through this process recently around introverts, extroverts. How are we more inclusive of the introverts within the organization and let the extroverts encourage them to listen more. I wouldn’t say there is a set process. It’s more around having the courage, courageous honesty to bring these topics to the fore and have a conversation about it. We have a culture of flat channel, so it’s about learning from other organizations. We take a lot from the Netflix culture within Zappi. There is a big part of that that’s fed into ours. It’s learning from other organizations, then as a group deciding what’s important to us and then having a view of, what do we mean by courageous honesty? Holding up really good examples of that, as well as not so good examples of that. It’s work in progress, but there are a number of different things that help us drive that culture. I also believe that it’s about bringing in different viewpoints. There is always going to be different viewpoints of one cultural value and how it should be executed, what it means within the organization. Having a diverse viewpoint on your culture and how it should be embedded within the organization is really important, especially when you’re working in a global organization as well.


Once you move to multiple, especially to your point that are in completely different time zones, there is a ton, it’s all about the intentionality. As much focus as you have on sales which is always paramount, you honestly need to put resources in that space too. Because it is the way the organization ultimately will deliver to the market and brand its performance over time. It’s all about that consistent delivery.


Yes. We have teams in Cape Town. We have teams in the US, different parts of the US. We have teams in APAC. Actually, through this journey, we’ve had some really interesting input from those different markets of their perspective on certain situations. Where, I would never have considered. It’s really opened my eyes to how somebody in Cape Town would see our culture versus somebody in APAC. It’s challenging to get a culture which is global. How do you get that truly global culture that works for everybody? Growing at the same time.


Congratulations on your success. If somebody wants to get in contact with you, how would they do that?


LinkedIn, Facebook, call me. Email me or come and see me. I’m based in Camden in London. I think too much is done digitally nowadays. I’m a great fan of meeting people for coffee or a drink or a glass of wine.


The coordination of it, maybe email would be a great way to do it. You mind sharing your email?


It’s Babita, B-A-B-I-T-A dot Earle, E-A-R-L-E at ZappiStore, we’ve still got the store in the email address, dot com.


Thank you so much for being on Happy Market Research podcast.


Thank you.

Florian Passlick: eye square, IIeX Europe 2019 Conference Series

Welcome to the #IIEX Europe Conference Series 2019. Recorded live in Amsterdam, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Florian Passlick, Research Consultant at eye square.

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eye square


My guest today is Florian. Thanks for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast.


Yes, sure. We are happy. Thanks.


Tell me a little bit about Eye Square.


We are a market research company based in Berlin, Germany, and our approach is to use implicit and explicit measures to get in touch with the full experience that users and consumers in the digital age have.


How long have you guys been around?


We’ve been around for 20 years this year. It’s our anniversary this year.




Thanks so much.


Two decades is remarkable.


Yes, it’s pretty much a good thing to have, and we are happy, and we’re going to celebrate it.


As well you should.


I think it’s September or October this year, so I’m excited about that.


How is IIeX going?


It’s going very well so far. We’ve got a lot of interest, some interesting talks as well. It’s been a good venue for us this year definitely.


Who is an ideal customer for you? What type of buyer?


That’s a good question. I think buyer, that would be someone who knows what he wants, and who knows how to communicate his or her needs to us. I think that’s the thing we’re all looking for right now.


Are they corporate? Are your customers primarily in the corporate space, or are they in the agency space?


Both actually, but I would say the corporate space outweighs the agency space by somewhat.


In 20 years, 20 years is a long time. 2002 you were founded. Sorry, 1998. My bad, math. 99, because we’re at 19 now. My God, what’s happening?


(Laughs.) Yes, time’s flying.


Yes, both directions apparently in my brain. Anyway, a little embarrassing. There’s been a lot of change, right? There are a lot of disruptive technologies, markets have collapsed, economic markets. What are you seeing that’s trending right now in the market research space?


What we see at least at (02:09 unclear) is that it’s especially about e-commerce, so we see that there are a lot of people actually asking us about their virtual space and whether we can test for example shelf packaging and supermax shelves in virtual environments. What I also see is data. I think big data, that’s a big point, and also trying to gather the true experience, for example, users have on social media environments. What I sell a lot is, and approach me actually stress a lot too, it’s testing in natural environments. Not having some artificial space to present an (02:46 unclear) in or something like that. It’s about true experiences in context.


I love the in context piece. You are the third person now that has talked to me about this, and it is my favorite thing.


I think it’s the term of this year, and I think it’s a pretty valid if not the valid approach.


The in context is also I believe one of the hardest things to do at scale for researchers.


It is. I have a little gong going on. What we see is that, our customers at least are very happy that we can provide an in context approach, which means that we can do ad replacements for example on live Facebook, live YouTube, live Instagram, and they’re baffled by that somewhat, but also they’re happy because it’s just a reflection of what’s really happening out there, and so I think it is very valid, and it is the only true approach maybe.


Are your customers predominantly in Europe?


Not really. I think that’s one of the things that’s changed in the last few decades. We were pretty focused on the German market, but now we are expanding a lot. We have an office in China since two years. We have a lot of customers in the US market. We actually did a study last year. No, it’s one a half years ago already. We went to seven different countries including Brazil, Australia, Indonesia, the United States to do an in-home study to accompany participants to their homes and have them watch TV for an hour. We saw pretty interesting things across very big markets, across very different markets, and I think it was until now the most interesting study I was able to do.


My guest today has been Florian with Eye Square. If someone wants to get in contact with you, how would they do that?


They would go either to our website eye-square.com, or they can contact me at Passlick, P-A-S-S-L-I-C-K, @eye-square.com.


Perfect. Florian, thanks for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast.


Thanks so much.


Enjoy the rest of the show.


You too, thanks.

Jan Van Puyvelde, discuss.io: IIeX Europe 2019 Conference Series

Welcome to the #IIEX Europe Conference Series 2019. Recorded live in Amsterdam, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Jan van Puyvelde, Sales Director EMEA and APAC at discuss.io.

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My guest is Jan with Discuss.io. What is your title at Discuss.io?


I am actually Sales Director for EMEA and APAC, so everything except the US.


We are here live today at IIeX in Amsterdam. How many times have you been to the show?


This the third time in a row. We are attending because many brands attend. It is a nice blend between agencies, brands and startup companies. For me as a sales director, obviously, I needed to start the sales from scratch with Discuss.io three years ago. This was the perfect opportunity to have the opportunity to talk with different global brands at the same time, and to ramp up the collaboration in a more strategic way. That’s why we are attending.


Third year, you guys have a booth. What do you think about the new booths?


Yes. It is slightly different, but I think that definitely, the booth we have today is much better than a table.


I agree I like it a lot more than the…


Exactly. It’s more convenient to talk because you can stand, or you can sit so it’s easy to talk for people.


I was really reluctant because I had not seen one before. I am so glad with it versus the traditional tables you see along the outskirts. I feel it is far superior for having a conversation.


Correct, I agree.


In your close quarters what makes it feel busier? Even if I am standing by myself, I don’t feel like I am by myself. As opposed to normally, at a table, there is this vast expanse of nobody.


Exactly, (laughs) I agree.


Discuss.io, you guys have had a tremendous amount of success since founding the business, right?




Talk to us a little about what you guys are doing right now.


Right now, actually we’re online do-it-yourself Qual research platforms. We give the ability to connect with consumers in real time online. The major takeaway is actually that its time and cost-effective. This means that you can get respondents faster in front of you, in real time anywhere in the world and in a more cost-effective way. It’s just a matter of a couple hundreds of dollars, instead of spending thousands of dollars. That’s really the bottom line of the tool. It’s actually made for everyone. Incite people really like that its cost and time-saving. Marketing people really like it because it can have the ability to connect online with consumers, and pop that extra question and take it into feedback and product as they go. The product is evaluating constantly right. We have some new features in our product, but right now we see that more and more large brands are onboarding our solution. They really feel, and see, and experience the added value. That is the reason why they start rolling it out in more strategic ways of using it as a strategy rather than another methodology. That is what we are seeing happening now. With all the big brands, like the FMCG brands and other verticals right now.


You guys have tremendous scale, right?




Thinking about your early days, Unilever, I think, in the innovation department is where you got your footing. Of course, Unilever being a global brand that you had to be able to support research across the globe. Has that been a challenge to keep scaling?


It is obviously a challenge because you are just another kid on the block. You need to make the difference. That is also one of the reasons why onboard is the company to put the company on the map in the European Market because the European Market is an important test marketing research. I think we are doing a pretty good job here. Quite some traction in different verticals, not only FMCG but again once one company starts seeing the added value and they have track records where they have a customer’s journey. Where there is a proven fact that they save not hundreds but millions of dollars by using our tool. Others are looking as well and it is more easy for us in some ways to onboard them as well.


Market research is a fairly unique space to exist in, right?




Are you seeing your customers primarily centered in market research? Or are you moving directly into marketing departments?


It depends. Our tool really is used for two purposes. It is that ad hoc research and the consumer connect. Let’s say the higher target, or the higher aim in the customer journey is really like if they want to roll out a consumer connect program, an empathy program, or a closeness program, whatever you want to call it. Then our agile, or we call it more pivoting tool becomes really interesting. There the added value pops because we can connect on a regular basis with consumers. Connecting on a regular basis means that also research people, incite people, but also the marketing departments, H.R. departments, even C-level departments take can take advantage of the tool. It can be used for anyone in the company in any division for any purpose. I think this is really interesting because if they sign up for a large annual contract anyone can use it, anyone can spend a bundle. This is what I really like, that it is not only focusing on a niche like you mentioned market research.


Are you finding that the use case is more in line with decisions that are being made? For example, thinking about people that are implementing changes to user journey or software or whatever. They have a question, right?




That they need to answer, this versus that. Is that the ability to log into the platform, execute, as opposed to go through a proper market research process.


Exactly. By using our tool is just a matter of days instead of a matter of weeks. That’s what they really like. When they want to pull up that extra question, normally that takes a lot of time. First of all, it has to involve some sort of recruitment, and it has a high cost involved, and it is time-consuming. It is all about cutting these barriers and then by using our product they will be able to connect with consumers faster. When you can connect faster, means you can also go quicker to market in the end of the game. That is really where companies look at, to make it more time and cost efficient.


Amsterdam, of course, this is a spectacular city. This is my first time here. What is the one thing I should do?


One thing you should do? Last year we did, with our customers, the canal tour. That was pretty awesome. We rented a small boat and some potential customers and existing customers were on the boat tour. We had some drinks and some small snacks, and that was really cool.


You are the fifth person that has told me that. I think I’m definitely going to have to figure it out (laughs).


It must be true.


Yes, (laughs) it must be true. That’s right. Jan, Discuss.io, if someone wants to get in contact with you how would they do that?


We have a booth here, so people who are listening right now they can just visit us at the booth. If not, they can go to the website. I am on the website, they can drop a line, and we can get in contact. Or even better, we launched recently a code form, and this means that once you have a project in mind, even if it is just to get an estimation, you put the info in the landing page and you will immediately get an estimate.


I love that, and of course, the website is Discuss.io. Thank you so much for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast.


Thank you for the opportunity. I really appreciate it.

Kristian Smith, GlobaLexicon: IIeX Europe 2019 Conference Series

Welcome to the #IIEX Europe Conference Series 2019. Recorded live in Amsterdam, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Kristian Smith, Co-Founder and Strategy Director at GlobaLexicon

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We are live at IIeX Amsterdam. My guest today is Kristian Smith with GlobaLexicon. Kristian, thanks for joining me on the Happy Market Research podcast.


Thank you very much, great to be here.


Tell me a little bit about GlobaLexicon.


GlobaLexicon’s the biggest specialist market research focused translation agency. Operating worldwide with some very big clients, great portfolio focused on quality, have been doing very well over the last years.


How long has GlobaLexicon been around?


Two thousand four, but the first two, three years were probably in the second bedroom. Then you moved to a shared office of one, two, three. Probably over the last six years is really where we’ve put on the gas.


That’s the right way to do it though, isn’t it? Bootstrap the company, get to know the industry, product market fit.




You’ve been there for eight years now.


Yes, so probably eight years, and then full-time essentially the last four, I would say.


Congratulations on that.


Yes, thanks. We have about 85 employees, so pretty good growth and good referrals as far as new business.


Maybe you could tell us a little bit why companies are choosing to use you guys over some of the competition, because there are a couple other companies out there.


Our key differentiator is we focus quite a lot on the quality aspect. Pricing is competitive, but possibly a little bit above. We focus very much on quality. We have an in-house linguist team, which most of our direct competitors, in fact probably all of our direct competitors, don’t have, in-house QA team versus using interns to quality check your material. Then that comes right up to the PM teams, who then have all of the notes, what we call delivery notes, that go right from the linguist team to the QA team, to the PMs and then out to the client. It’s very client focused. “Hey, we’ve noticed on question five, you’ve used this word, but we would suggest actually, in this market, changing it to this, and therefore the translation would be this instead of this.” There’s a lot of that kind of consultative service.


Language is so complex, because a lot of the communication is set in context. The words that we use in English to describe things versus Japanese, referencing the tea company behind me. That context, oftentimes I think, is overlooked or lost in translations for market research.




It sounds like one of the things that you guys are doing is providing that lens for translation.


Yes, and it’s really, “What is that question trying to ask? What is the preceding question? Where are they trying to go with the research?” Which the team really pays attention to. Eighty-five percent of the revenue is market research, so the team is really focused on that for stuff.


That’s really interesting because market research is, in its own right, a language.




In a lot of ways, you’ve got to be fluent in lots of different…




That’s great.


It’s going well.


If someone wants to get in contact with you, how would they do that?


Quote at globalexicon, G-L-O-B-A-L-E-X-I-C-O-N, dot com, and then the team picks it up. We go from there.


Of course, Kristian’s information will be in the show notes for this episode. How’s IIeX going for you so far?


I had an early flight. My son’s birthday was yesterday, so I stayed with him all day yesterday, and then left at 6:45. It looks very well attended, lots of good energy it seems, so looking forward to getting out there.


Good, I hope it’s a successful show for you. Thanks for joining me on the Happy Market Research podcast.


Thanks very much.

Maria Soroka, Fastuna: IIeX Europe 2019 Conference Series

Welcome to the #IIEX Europe Conference Series 2019. Recorded live in Amsterdam, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Maria Soroka, Managing Director, Europe, at Fastuna.

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IIeX, we are live today in the trade show floor. This is the second day halfway through it actually. I’m sorry. Did you give me a business card?


I didn’t bring my business card. I should have.


Make sure I get one though.


Yes, I will. I will just bring my business card.


I’m here with Maria at Fastuna. Thank you very much for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast.


Thank you for inviting me. It’s really exciting for me.


You presented yesterday at the pitch competition?




Tell me how it went. What’d you talk about?


I talked about my company. It’s not just my company, our company. The new startup, we launched just a year ago in Russia, and it’s been skyrocketing so far.




Thank you. This year we are launching into Europe, and that’s why we’re here.


Tell me about the business. What do you guys do?


We are doing fully automated market research. Our unique selling proposition, we do believe we are targeting non-researchers. The platform is so simple that even a non-researcher can use it. You just log in, upload your stimuli, like let’s say product idea, just click the button launch, and then you get the results in just a few hours.


That’s spectacular.


Yes. It’s really handy when you run some brainstorming sessions, support and innovation, development or brand development like creative advertising and so on. Really the two that empower people, multifunctional teams within fast moving agile organizations to connect them in regularly ways to consumers.


You have specific product types then or survey types design?




What are some of the more popular survey types that customers are using?


The most popular ones are around product idea at the early exploratory stage where you can upload stimuli like drawings or photos of the prototypes, for example, or any ideas of the services, that will be good visualization for consumers. There are a lot of ideas that we task around advertise in the really early stage before they go into proper link test, for example. It’s also very popular for visuals, video and a lot of clients do promo ideas because it’s really quick and cost-efficient share for your promo ideas as well.


You’ve been in the market research space for a while, right?


Twenty years.


You’re not old enough for that. During that time we’ve seen a lot of trends and changes and things like that in this space. Automation is clearly the word of the day in 2019. There’s no question about it. That’s what we’re going to be talking about for the rest of the year. I think on a go forward basis, I actually believe that automation is the new online survey. It is that disruptive? Right?


Yes. I agree with you, automation is like now this buzz word that everyone uses. What we discovered with Fastuna that simple automation is great, but it’s not enough. What we’re trying to make with the platform is add our specific magic ingredient, which is called simplicity. Basically, once you get everything automated what you want to do with your product to me to make it so intuitive, so easy to use. Basically, people feel really excited after they used it. We work with this wow factor.


I think if I was going to start a company right now it would be called Integrated Insights. I think that’s going to be where we end as an industry is insights integrated into the workflows of the brands across the organization with hopefully market research being the parent or the owner of best practices with those software solutions.


This is exactly this, because that was the message I was presented last week at the clerks and that was my message. If you imagine the big organization undergoing the huge transformation. What usually now they do, they try to create those multifunctional teams that can make their own decisions. However, what’s always unfortunately still happening is that they still don’t have enough product, processes and tools in place that can empower them to make this decision. This is exactly when you can use this automated simple services. They don’t need to run to market researcher. The market researcher can really be a help for those teams to guide them and be a strategic advisor rather than execute the projects, run the projects.


Market research can, one, help from a larger initiative perspective, so not really getting bogged down with a micro decisions that need to be made. Two, that market research can help add the value of the now what and so what of research. Making sure that insights are being consumed in a useful way and then it’s actually impacting and making change. If someone wants to get in contact with you, how would they do that?


Can you say it again?


If someone wants to get in contact with you at Fastuna, how would they do that?


You need to type www.fastuna.com. Fastuna is fast, una, but it’s actually combination of two words. Fast and tuna, which is one of the quickest fish in the ocean, with just one T. Then you go into the contacts and you see my name there and my colleagues there.


It’s Maria.




My guest today, Maria at Fastuna. Thanks for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast.


Thank you, Jamin.

Nancy Hernon, G3 Translate: IIeX Europe 2019 Conference Series

Welcome to the #IIEX Europe Conference Series 2019. Recorded live in Amsterdam, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Nancy Hernon, CEO and Co-Founder of G3 Translate.

This Episode’s Sponsor:


Contact Nancy Online: 


G3 Translate


My guest is Nancy with G3 Translate, she is a, I’ll call it a lifetime friend in the market research world anyway. Nancy, thank you so much for joining me live at IIeX Amsterdam.


I am so excited, thank you so much, Jamin, for having me.


What do you think about the show?


I think it’s great. I wasn’t sure what to think. I’ve never been here before to this show and I thought, “Let me go check it out.” I’m really impressed. The speakers have been awesome and some of the conversations that I’ve had, just standing around, have been truly inspiring.


Do you have a favorite moment so far? I know it’s pretty early in the first day.


My goodness. I think my favorite moment, this morning, I was chatting with someone who’d been talking about a workflow tool that they had developed for an end client they had presented on. It was so interesting to see how artificial intelligence is being implemented in market research and to talk to some of the different software providers here and see where they’re going with it. It’s a little scary and a little exciting so those kinds of things rack up well for me. (Laughs.)


G3 Translate, by the way, the official sponsor of the Happy Market Research Podcast, thank you very much for that. Tell me a little bit about the company and what you guys are working on.


We’re foreign language services for market researchers. All we do is translate your research into a plethora of languages, all different combinations. We do the translations, the transcriptions, and now, after being here, and talking to some of the providers I’m starting to wonder. We’ve been talking about and working on some engines at G3 and I’m wondering how that AI can come to play in our future.


That’d be interesting, wouldn’t it?


Yes, definitely.


Yes, because Google Translate doesn’t work. For Google Translate it works but it doesn’t work in real life and a straight-up translation services can’t do market research either. I’ve tried. It doesn’t translate.


Exactly, yes. It is a very specific language, so to build something around that in a very specific and meaningful way is a big challenge, but I think it’s something that I would like to look into a little further, to try to be quicker, faster, and more agile. We’re very good with turnaround times now and our translators are wonderful, but the future is in technology in many ways so I am very curious to see how we can make that play out for us.


Yes, me too that sounds really exciting. Then you have the opportunity of integrating it into… I’ve always thought that there is an opportunity in your space for a translation company to integrate into a tool so I’ll pick on Qualtrics, for example. You’ve got a survey platform, obviously. International or multi-language is fairly commonplace nowadays. You can’t just push button it, right?




It would be interesting if there was a way to inject it in the process, actually have a translate button, that would not be Google Translate but would actually start the process of the translation.


Yes, I don’t want to give anything away but there are some tools that we are talking to about integrations.


Are you serious?


Yes, I am. (Laughs.)


I totally nailed it! (Laughs.) You heard it here on Happy Market Research Podcast. (Laughs.) Are you going to get to see any of the sights here in Amsterdam?


I don’t know, maybe. I’ve been here a few times before it’s a gorgeous city, but let’s see. Let’s see what tonight brings.


Yes, I’m going to go to Van Gogh tomorrow.




That is my plan.


Very nice. It’s gorgeous. Do a canal cruise if you can. It’s such nice weather.


I can only squeeze one thing in. I can’t decide if it’s going to be Van Gogh. I know I’ve heard the canal cruise is a must do.


Evening, after dinner.


We have a research club tonight.


That’s right. They really pack us full here, don’t they? (Laughs.)


We are 100 percent on this one. It is absolutely crazy. You go to a lot of events, right?




When you’re going to go to an event, do you have some, like, “I want to get this out of it,” or is there a specific objective in mind?


That’s a good question. You always go into an event hoping to get new business out of it, that’s always top of mind. For me, I really like to look and see who’s going to be there that I already know and I look to reconnect, to further develop the relationships that I have with people. I think it’s really important to go to these events and support them because there’s nothing better than facetime. There’s nothing better than actually being able to hug your partner and say, “Hey, how’re you doing?” Face to face look you in the eye and know who you are. There’s no artificial intelligence, no webcam, no telephone, no text message will ever replace that human connection and these conferences, for me, are all about human connection.


One hundred percent. I love that. It’s funny, I was talking with somebody else earlier, they were asking me about the impact of AI. I’ve been doing this, I’m 22 years now in the industry. We’ve seen all kinds of things get injected into the industry, disruption, change, new methods, massive spending pattern differences, economic downturns… What’s funny about the space though is, consistently, it’s all about the human beings, right? That just doesn’t change. I think it’s very reassuring if you can see the world through that lens. It becomes a lot less about how sexy your tech is, and a lot more about the connections that you make and the depth of those connections. These kinds of events are actually pretty good for creating a high concentration of people you should know.


Absolutely, I agree with you 100 percent. Some of my very, very good friends in life have come from these events.




I mean, I met you at an event. (Laughs.)


Right. I was going to say I hope I’m there. My guest today has been Nancy, G3 Translate. Thanks so much for joining me on the Happy Market Research podcast.


Thanks so much, Jamin.

Ep. 206: AJ Johnson, Kynetec: IIeX Europe 2019 Conference Series –

Welcome to the #IIEX Europe Conference Series 2019. Recorded live in Amsterdam, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews AJ Johnson, Executive Director of Global Operations and Innovation Director at Kynetec.

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Welcome to the IIeX Europe conference series 2019. This is Jamin Brazil, host of the Happy Market Research Podcast and we have been recording live in Amsterdam. Stay tuned for interviews brought straight to you from the exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. Enjoy.

So my guest today is AJ Johnson Kinetec or Kynetec, however you want to say it. What do you guys do?


We are the global leader in market research. That is specialize in agriculture and animal health.


I’m from the central valley of California which is one of the hotbeds for agriculture.


Indeed. A Lot of specialty crops?


A lot of specialty crops. That’s right. Probably the highest concentration of specialty crops in the U.S.


Tell me a little bit about how you guys do business?


The business really has two parts. One is a measurement. Where we literally track all of the product use across the world; including in California. Then we syndicate that and sell it as a subscription to all the major manufacturers who want to understand how their products are doing and how there changing in the market.


You’re kind of like Nielsen but for agriculture.


We are the agricultural Nielsen, but we also have another big part of the business which is custom. It’s the same as the consumer market research world, but we are doing pricing studies, customer studies. Basically talking to farmers and vets in the agriculture world, but solving the same problems that our clients have in the CPG world.


How long you guys been around?


We have been around for about 15 years. We’ve been growing over that time. We’ve went into JFK for a little while next to JFK two and a half years ago. We’ve been of a couple of acquisition since then. We’re all over the world right now.


Congratulations on your success.


Thank you!


Yes, so what do you think about IIeX?


I think IIeX this year is great! I think the topics on discussion have been diverse and pretty interesting. I’ve enjoyed a lot of the tracks, and also I think the exhibitions have been great as well. A lot of good things to see. Keep up to date with who’s doing what, and then of course the chance of network with people in the industry is always a great thing to do. Catch up with some old friends and meet some new ones.


You’re not exhibiting right?




Do you see this as a place to meet either vendors or is it more customers?


I think for us it’s more for vendors. It’s about being able to take some of the ideas and the technologies that have been in bounce the more mainstream market research and then seeing how they can be applied in our world so really that’s what I’m here to do. To meet some people see some things, and then take does ideas back and apply them in the agriculture and animal health world and take them back to the business and tell our people what they could be doing.


Do you have a stand out moment that was positive?


I think there have been a few great moments. I would say I really enjoyed hearing more about the behavioral side. Listening a little bit about System 3 which I guess is finding a new concept for me, but also I think on the development of our official intelligence. I think now we are seeing that being talked about in lots of different areas and is now become less conceptual and more what people are doing to not just generate data but also insights.


We’ve been talking about AI for what, three or five years now? Seems like a while but blockchain maybe in three to five years will understand how that’s going to get used. (Laughs.)


I’m just being less mention of it here then there was in the U.S. IIEX last year, but I think it would be interesting. See how blockchain develops over the next two years, and what market research will or won’t do with it.


Have you seen any use cases in your industry?


No, not yet. Just people talking about it. There’s a good concept there. Why would we not want blockchain to help to trust the privacies issues that we have in our industry, but I guess going from concept to reality will see if it flies.


It hasn’t been a real clear market case for how it works. It’s been more of a surrogate or euphemism for trust in security.


I think so and I think there’s been a lot of people who are interested perhaps trying to find the opportunity that may not quite be ready, but I’m keeping an open mind. I’ll keep listening and when it happens I’ll look and see if it can work in our world.


System 3?




I didn’t hear the talk.


System 3, obviously building on System 1 and System 2. I think is now I kind of realize that System 1 and System 2 in combination are the way to look at things, but System 3 is about the imagination about what people are inspired to and what people think they will do. If you don’t actually try to understand that part of it then just thinking about System 1 and System 2, you may not have all your bases covered. It was quite good and again think it makes since that, yes System 3 in a way is to find that the thing has its place and understanding human behavior.


Interesting. I’m going to do a lot of my research on that topic. That sounds fascinating and relevant. If they want to get in contact with you. How will they do that?


Yes. Just drop me an email it’s AJ.Johnson@kynetec.com and that’s K-Y-N-E-T-E-C.com


AJ it’s been a pleasure having you on the Happy Market Research Podcast. Thank you!


Thank you! Happy to be here.


Today’s episode is brought to you by Green Book. The Green Book directory helps you find marketing research suppliers, facilitates and consultants. Additionally, Green Book helps modern marketing researchers understand industry trends via the grit report and the IIeX global conference series. To find out more please visit Green Book online at green book.org.

Nick Thomas, MrWeb: IIeX Europe 2019 Conference Series

Welcome to the #IIEX Europe Conference Series 2019. Recorded live in Amsterdam, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Nick Thomas of MrWeb.

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I’m Nick Thomas. My company’s called MrWeb. MrWeb Limited, and a producer of Daily Research News Online as well.


You are my honored guest on Happy Market Research today. I have been, as has the entire industry, consuming your content for many, many years. You are the leader, I believe, in what’s happening right now in market research.


I like to think so. It’s a small market, so there’s not a vast amount of competition (laughs).


It’s true.


If we were the leader of 1,000 competitors then that would be great, but very few. It’s been going on now for 19 years, or 19 years next month, we’ll have been doing the news. The company is 21 this year, so we’re dinosaurs in internet terms (laughs).


Yes, that’s true.


Some would say we’re dinosaurs in the way we do it as well (laughs). We’ll come back to that later.


That’s hilarious. I can’t wait to dive in more. IIeX day two is winding up. How has the show been for you?


The show’s been excellent. I’m always telling people, whatever show I’m at, that… Which I’m not at very many, by the way. I’m trying to get out more these days rather than sit behind the PC. I’m always saying that there are quite a lot of shows around these days. It’s, if anything, quite a crowded market.


Very. It’s one I’m glad I’m not in.


Yes. You have to look at it and say that you’ve got to differentiate yourself. Would there be consolidation? Possibly. There are people collaborating in Quirks and TMRE in the US. Things may not mean consolidation, but there are a lot of events around companies that feel that they need to go to all of them. They’re now having full-time staff just traveling from (laughs) place to place for certain parts of the year.


It’s a heavy lift. We’re doing—


It is, yes.


At PureSpectrum, we’re doing 16 conferences this year up from zero.


You’re in second place then. Congratulations (laughs). I have a 20, a 16 and a 15 now. This company’s spending all their time on the road. Having said that, IIeX, this particular show, which is the only one I’ve been to, the European one, has easily got a place notched in there. There’s no threat to this one because it’s an incredible conference, incredible location. They do very well.


They’ve absolutely nailed it. What’s interesting about IIeX is they have… GreenBook at large, with GRIT as well, has really assumed this Sage leadership role of insights or cutting-edge technology in the insight space. What I like about this is you walk around the show floor. You’re meeting a lot of… I don’t know. We’ll call it $1 million to $5 million companies. In five years, some won’t be here and some will be big, which is neat.


It’s a good space for them to be in, and it also makes it a very interesting show. I’ve particularly enjoyed the startup competition this year because it’s showcasing… There are people competing for quite a reasonable prize.


Yes, $20,000.


Twenty thousand dollars.


Yes, it’s real money.


We’re trying to add in a little prize of some bonus advertising on DRNO.


Are you?


Yes. Only a small amount, don’t worry, Jamin. (Laughs.) That will be part of the prize, hopefully. The organization that—


I love that.


Scoops it gets as well. It’s a bit of exposure. We’ve had seven companies picked out in total, and the winner will be picked this afternoon. We got a chance to go and talk to each one of them yesterday and decide who to vote for. Sorry, not each one of those. A qualifying group to get a place among those final seven, which meant talking to some entrepreneurs about their company’s one-to-one of this group.


I definitely have my favorite of your group, but I’m not going to say who.


No, you have to say—


I have to be, yes, agnostic (laughs). It’s tough. You’ve got a tough job for this year because there are some great companies.




There really are. Tell me about MrWeb. What’s going on?


What’s going on? This is a year of trying to expand the audience. We always are, but we’re going to make a particular effort to do that for Daily Research News this year. We’re looking at the idea of doing it through associations and agreements and partnerships with other people. That’s one of our strategies for the year. It’s a year of trying to do interesting things with the job board.

We started off as a job board, certainly in income terms. We completely dominated 90 percent plus from job advertising. The news, funny enough, started off as just a way of promoting the job board 20 years ago, 19 years ago. That’s taken on a life of its own, thank goodness. It does very well. The job board, it’s a totally changed market from what it was 19 years ago, 20 years ago. A lot of people probably even hear the expression job board and think, “Are people still running those?”


It’s the dinosaur in us.


Yes, it is. It’s like running an old-fashioned panel company, as they say. Don’t quote me on that. It’s not got a mobile angle or an AI angle, whatever, but it’s still very much a market that’s alive and has a good point to it. It’s just more difficult to compete than it used to be with the likes on LinkedIn and Indeed. We have to try new things with it. We have plenty of plans for it, so watch that space.


We’re going to be watching. You’ve got to give us a little bit more though.


Just what might happen, there’s a lot of potential in picking up jobs ourselves on a permissioned basis rather than having them forms filled in by people. On a longer-term agreement with companies, to make sure that we stay in the position where we’ve got more market research jobs listed than anybody else, which is still the case. Not quite sure how many market research jobs LinkedIn has worldwide. That may be more, but certainly in terms of only specialists board. We want to make sure that you can find jobs more easily through us and find jobs that you won’t find anywhere else and know that it’s very focused on research professionals. We still think we add a lot to the game on that one.


It’s interesting because LinkedIn is very far away from nailing groups. That probably happens best on Facebook. When you get into niche markets, like market research, the probability of you getting hired is entirely based and predicated on your network. Knowing what jobs are available becomes the issue. You don’t get it in aggregate, whereas you deal with a major Fortune 500, for example. There’s a huge value opportunity that’s created for job seekers and hirers, employers.

I want to shift a little bit towards the news. When I launched, I launched two podcasts simultaneously. One, Happy Market Research. The other, MRx News. I stopped MRx News about three months into it, because of resource allocation. It was just taking too much time for me to focus on it. I just needed to be more disciplined. I would say that a lot of value was in the distribution of news in an audio format. Do you see that as a possible future for you?


I certainly do. Perhaps it’s something we’ll talk about (laughter). Got that to talk about afterward. It’s not a new idea. What was it called? MrWeb’s EarPiece at one point, or DRNO’s EarPiece. It was a little 5, 10-minute podcast produced by a guy in the UK. This must be 15 years ago or something. Produced a little piece once a week for us. It fell through. He had resourcing issues like you did as well. It took him a long time to edit the piece. He used to record it for us every week and we used to put that out. Something we did long ago, stopped and probably shouldn’t have stopped. If the opportunity had arisen we would have carried on. We’re always quite keen on the idea of bringing in different media if you like. Different types of news, different formats. We’ll do that.


Very exciting. This is my prediction. We’ll see what happens. In 2020, IIeX, Barcelona or Amsterdam, we’ll figure out where it’s going to be next year. My prediction is voice is going to be the new blockchain or new Automated Insights. We’ll see.


Quite possibly. Will it be dominant, or will it just be starting to take over? It takes more than a year, usually, for something to do that.


Yes, it is going to start. I predict it’s going to start. You’ll hear two or three talks about it next year.


Definitely, a lot more than this year, because I haven’t heard very much this year.


Zero. Nobody’s talking about voice.


No, it’s quite surprising.


Yes, it’s interesting.


You’re flying the flag for it by having this voice format here. That’s good. Technology moves at the speed of humans to a great extent, doesn’t it? The market adopts it.


That is well-said.


Sometimes you can hear people stand up at conferences. I won’t mention any names. BIG conference, 2011, somebody stood up (laughs) and said, “Traditional market research will be stone dead in five years time.” I don’t see it stone dead yet. A lot of people might tell you that it is.


Give me a break. It’s the opposite. Literally, it’s the opposite.


Even traditional market research. We still publish articles about people opening call centers to telephone people. It’s not unheard of.


It still happens.


That’s opening, never mind continuing to run.


Growing. There are some call centers that are growing that I know of.


Yes. Everything becomes a niche, everything goes into the toolbox. Things don’t die out nearly as fast as you think.


One hundred percent.


I wouldn’t disagree that voice is going to be a big tool, as it were, in the future. It’s going to be widely used.


If you look at units sold, that’s where I go to, you look at the market data, it’s very, very dominant right now from a consumption perspective. Now, we’re doing stupid things like music and stories, and maybe some games to a smaller extent. The iPod started in a similar vein.


You’re talking about Alexa and the revolution that’s leading in voice.


Yes, exactly.


Out of interest, do you have one?


I do.


You do?


I have three.


Do they argue with each other about who’s going to do things for you? “No, let me get that.”


My children’s favorite game right now is, “Alexa, play hide and seek,” which is a very entertaining three-minute exercise for the kids. This is being done by a two and a three-year-old. Voice as a medium is passively consumed. You and I could have a conversation and be on our phones at the same time, or driving a car. Something like that.


Yes, especially driving a car.


Especially driving a car.


It’s very good while you’re driving a car, yes.


You can consume it, whereas visual or reading, or whatever is a big problem. Big, big problem. My thesis is that the next generation, Z, voice is going to be part and parcel with a user interface.

Thinking about your automobile, now, you don’t have to type in the address anymore. You can say, “Directions,” or, “Take me to…” If it’s a Tesla. That technology is just going to continue to… Voice is going to continue to assert a dominant position in user interfaces

As that happens, we as researchers are going to need to start thinking about that the way that we had to start thinking about mobile compatibility with surveys when that medium changed. Anyway, that’s my view.


From our point of view, bringing it back to home turf again, a hybrid model is going to be a good idea. We’ll continue to put things out in print for a long, long time to come. Not print, print, but in words. That’s the quickest way to scan through things. With a voice or a video, it’s very hard to do that.


It’s impossible.


There’s a fairly well-established US Bob Lederer’s Daily Podcast Video. Going for a while. It brings out one issue a day and talks about it, but also hits on various other areas of news. Whereas it’s a very useful format to have, it’s very difficult to scan through a video.


You can’t.


Even if it’s got a summary or a quick rundown of what’s going to be covered today. It’s very hard to do that. A mix is always good.


This is what’s interesting. We went from a pen, a one digit input device to 10 digits. With our fingers now typing, so highly efficient. To two digits, your thumbs (laughter). You see what I mean?


Mm-hmm (agreement).


My theory is that users are lazy, I’m lazy, and voice offers an inefficient mechanism for communication with technology. To your point, it’s not replacing the world by any stretch of the imagination.


It’s a difficult way to scan things.


Yes, it’s impossible.


Visual is, by far, the best for that.


Yes, I agree.


I’m sorry. Voice and video have a fantastic impact. It’s much better for making an impact, perhaps, than being memorable than something that you’ve seen in print.

I just wanted to congratulate you on your paper this morning, and your use of some impactful techniques in that one. I have to admit when you started with the selfie and the company description I was a little worried (laughs), but then you became very… Sorry, I’m always rude (laughs). You became very interactive towards the end and we’re getting people to stand up and sit down depending on whether they use makeup and other features like that. Very entertaining.

I was just saying to some of the organizers that even at a show like this that brings in so many different media and has such technology, perhaps because it’s that kind of show, people seem to have forgotten the advantages and the benefits of a good old bit of audience participation. There is a lot of one-way presenting, even at IIeX. I have to say that because IIeX has been great. Of people just presenting something. A bit of participation woke people up. I don’t think they needed waking up, but they woke up even more when that happened. It’s a fantastic thing to do.

It’s the benefits of mixed media, I feel like. It’s getting different things happening, different senses being used. That’s a good reason to try and mix them up in whatever you do. Great job.


My guest today has been Nick Thomas, MrWeb. Sir, thank you very much for being on the Happy Market Research Podcast.


Thank you very much. A pleasure to be here.


Absolute honor.


You too.

Nik Samoylov, Conjoint.ly: IIeX Europe 2019 Conference Series

Welcome to the #IIEX Europe Conference Series 2019. Recorded live in Amsterdam, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Nik Samoylov, Founder at Conjoint.ly.

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Nick Samoylov from Conjoint.ly.


And Conjointy.ly has been making a big impact in the industry. I’ve been running into you guys a lot lately. Maybe you can tell us a little bit about the company.


Yes, thank you for the kind words. What we do is help companies with product and pricing research. In particular, we help with MCG clients, technology clients, other industries when they have questions about feature selection pricing, selection of claims, packaging and other things that go with it.


Yes, for sure. You started the company?


Yes, seven and a half years ago.


So fairly recent. What was your background before that?


I did marketing at uni and I graduated, so I went to Australia National University. At that time, I really wanted to work in market research and I applied for about 30 market research jobs, but nobody took me, so I had to go into consulting. I worked for a company called Bane for three years, then I left and started this. I made my way into market research, not because somebody took but I basically made my own way.


I love that story by the way. Do you have any co-founders?


At the beginning, yes but now it’s just—


Just you? It can be a little scary or daunting, starting a business?


It was and in this industry in particular when the sales cycle is quite long, it’s about six months because what we offer is not something that people may need immediately. It takes time to warm up to this type of research. The research question does not come very often. Yes, it can be but now we’re lucky to have clients who need this type of research and we’re happy that we can provide it through automation and through custom projects as well.


MRMW North America is coming up. It’s a conference in April. April 10 and 11, are you guys going to that?


I don’t think it’s scheduled at the moment.


The only reason I’m asking is that the topic is research automation and on the back of your business card it says automated product and pricing research. Can you talk just a little bit about what that actually is.


Yes, absolutely. Most of the projects we do are not done by us, humans, they are done by the platform. Our approach is to take projects that are starting as custom projects and to put them into automated tools. For example, we worked with a client on about a dozen markets for a claims test and now claims test is a methodology available on the platform so you can just copy and paste your claims for a product from an Excel file, even if you have 300 of them, and then have them tested in a very efficient manner without the need of a custom project.


Conjoint.ly obviously connected to Conjoint from a methodology perspective. Is that the dominant use case on the platform?


Yes, absolutely. Whenever people have questions about feature selection, price elasticity, what happens if you increase or decrease the price upon promotion. Conjoint is a very useful methodology for that and our tools are set up to help with that.


You do other methodologies as well?


Yes, they’re mostly what some people call advanced analytics except we transpire them into usable, user friendly interfaces that lets you put in your stimuli and then wait a few days and then get an output which tells you what is the winning combination of features and claims and press points.


The data reporting is actually pretty interesting as well. Your platform has real time access to analytics?


Yes, in the sense that, for example, if you are running a project and you want to see doth results, you can see them. You don’t have to wait for the other collection to be complete. If you want a sneak peek of what’s coming out, you can. In that sense, yes.


Most of the analytics it sounds like happened with SPSS.


With us, no. The system will do it for you. You don’t need to be an expert at all.


So all utility weights and all that kind of stuff, we don’t have to worry about calculating that anymore?


You can download the Excel file that will describe and explain and contain all the raw data if you want to but inside is what’s coming out at the end of the project.


My guest today on Happy Market Research podcast has been Nick, founder of Conjoint.ly. Sir, thank you very much for joining me.


Thank you for having me.


Real quick question, what do you think about IIeX so far?


It’s good. It’s a great city to be in. Very interesting.


Amsterdam’s unreal. This is my first time to Amsterdam, so I’m like blown away. I thought Stockholm, and I do still think, Stockholm is absolutely spectacular, but this is like taking it to a whole new level.


Yes, it’s good to be here.


For sure, and the show, is it working out? I know it’s early days.


Well, it really just started but we’ll see. We see some familiar faces which is good. It is good to reconnect with existing clients.


Yes, for sure. Great! Have a great rest of the show.


Thank you.

Paul Hudson, FlexMR: IIeX Europe 2019 Conference Series

Welcome to the #IIEX Europe Conference Series 2019. Recorded live in Amsterdam, this series is bringing interviews straight to you from exhibitors and speakers at this year’s event. In this interview, host Jamin Brazil interviews Paul Hudson, Founder and CEO of FlexMR.

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My guest today is Paul, FlexMR. Paul tell me about FlexMR.


FlexMR, we’ve been around for nearly 20 years, the last 10 building a research platform. We’re a technology-driven agency and our platform is a technology platform that is enterprise wide and our service level is everything from assisted service to full service. We’re an agency with a platform provider.


Very interesting, so tell me about the platform.


Yes, so the platform combines qual and quant. It was the first and I think it’s pretty much the only one that has qual and quant in one place as opposed to different things plugged into an API. That allows our clients to agilely move research from qual to quant back again, and that’s really been very useful for our client moving to more intuitive techniques in the years.


That’s interesting. It almost creates this, it propagates an agile point of view on your research.


It does, exactly. We deliberately built a live chat in there, not just discussion boards next to the quant so that you literally you can do a survey, you can field that, and then you know obviously stakeholders say why did they say that? Well, we can then follow that up now. We can recruit specific people to answer this specific question and then pop them into a live chat or a discussion board and then follow it up. 


How are you, how much time is around that, like let’s say that I’m you know whatever doing my quants, then I have a question, right. How long is it from inception of the question to delivery of the insight?


It varies really. It depends on—


Hours? Days? Weeks?


Well, it’d be days probably. Yes. I mean hours if you wanted one or two responses probably. You could get a quick poll out there in 24 hours.


Yes, got it.


And get the results back.


How are you getting respondents?


Typically it’s, we work mostly directly with brands, so we’re using a lot of their client lists. But again we work with sample providers as well to recruit in and fill ad hoc surveys. A lot of our clients do these and want to use our platform and then serve ad hoc surveys outside of recruited panelists.


What does a typical engagement look like with FlexMR?


It’s a partnership one, so it’s a continuous one. It’s a subscription to our service model on a 12 monthly basis and clients subscribe to the platform, to the tools they use, and then the service level that they want because we are at the end of the day, researchers, not just technologists. We have, you know, a full-service agency behind the scenes.


That’s pretty exciting. If someone wants to get in contact with you, how would they do that?


Direct through the web, FlexMR.net is the place to go. You can look at videos and lot of content on there as well and get in touch through there.


That’s FlexMR as in market research dot net.


Dot net.


Really quick, I know you got a flight but IIeX, we’re ending day two. What did you think?


Yes, fantastic. Just as good as last year when I came to the EU one for the first time. It had some really good stuff at automation AI, obviously, but I think the take away for me was around democratizing in sight. Not talked about enough so it stands out for me.


Yes, that’s right. You know, I was just talking earlier with another guest and for me, that was my big take away, is market research is more relevant than ever before, and at the same time though, there’s a democratization of access to insight that’s happening across the organization. So now, it’s a responsibility and an obligation, I believe, of market researchers to reassert themselves, ourselves, as the sage on the hill and help everybody else empower to do research.


Absolutely. I mean, I see FlexMR’s mission and our mission, if you like, is to try and get insight into as many decisions, every decision, in an organization. That’s we all should be trying to do and that’s really why we got that enterprise-wide platform. But, you have to remember 20 years ago market researchers were out collecting data.




That’s gone.


It was like a logistics exercise.


It was a logistics exercise. That’s gone, so data is democratized already in an organization whether we like it or not. Really, it’s about taking it to the next stage, embracing it and not being scared of it. I think democratizing organization is a powerful thing, it will get insight into the point of decisions, and I think we as researchers have to think about where we fit in that chain. And that’s exactly what we’re trying to do. Where do we fit in that mission?


Just lovely. Paul, FlexMR, thanks so much for being on the Happy Market Researcher podcast and safe travels my friend.


Thank you. Cheers man.