Paul Hudson talks decisions & data on the IIeX podcast
The IIeX EU event is the place where innovation, market research and business meets. At the 2019 event, FlexMR Insight Manager Iulia Ghindeanu delivered a thought provoking session on the New Speaker's Track that tackled the role of smart speakers in supercharging research experiences. To find out more about that session, take a look at our short summary.
At the same time, FlexMR CEO Paul Hudson spoke with Jamin Brazil as part of the IIeX Conference Podcast Series. In this discussion, Paul discusses the insights marketplace, the challenges it currently faces, the opportunities available and how FlexMR fits into that space.
Listen to "IIeX Europe 2019 Conference Series - Paul Hudson - FlexMR" on Spreaker.
Jamin: My guest today is Paul [from] FlexMR. Paul, tell me about FlexMR.
Paul: FlexMR has been around for nearly 20 years, and for the last ten, we've been building research platforms . So we're a technology driven agency and our platforms are enterprise-wide. Our service level is everything from assisted service through to full service. We're an agency, but also a platform provider.
Jamin: Very interesting. So, tell me about the platform.
Paul: The platform combines qual and quant. It's the first, and still I think pretty much the only one that has qual and quant in one place - as opposed to different services plugged into an API. That allows our clients to move in an agile manner from one method to another and back again. And that's really what has been most useful for our clients as they move towards more iterative techniques.
Jamin: So that's interesting, that almost propogates an agile point of view on your research.
Paul: It does, exactly. We deliberately built Live Chat in the mix, not just discussion boards, next to the quant. So you can literally do a survey, field it and when stakeholders say, "Why did they say that?" we can follow up the survey, recruit specific respondents to answer a specific question and pop them into a Live Chat or Discussion Board.
Jamin: How much time is around that? Let's say I'm doing my quant and that raises a question. How long is it from inception of the question to delivery of the insight?
Paul: It varies really.
Jamin: Hours, days, weeks?
Paul: Well, it would be days really. If you wanted the answer to one or two questions, you could get a quick poll out there in about 24 hours.
Jamin: Got it. How are you getting respondents?
Paul: We work for the most part, directly with brands - so we're using a lot of their existing data. We also work with sample providers to recruit in and field ad-hoc surveys. A lot of clients want to use our platform and serve up ad-hoc surveys outside of pre-recruited panellists.
Jamin: Yeah, perfect. So what does a typical engagement look like with FlexMR?
Paul: It's a partnership. It's a subscription to our model on a 12 month basis, and clients subscribe to the platform, to the tools they use and the service level they want. Because at the end of the day, we are researchers and not just technologists. We have a full service agency behind the platform.
Jamin: That's pretty exciting. So if somebody wants to get in contact with you, how would they do that?
Paul: Direct through the web - www.flexmr.net is the place to go. You can look at videos and a lot of content on there as well.
Jamin: Alright, perfect. So that's FlexMR - as in Market Research - dot net. So, really quick, I know you have a flight: IIeX, we're ending day two... what do you think?
Paul: Fantastic. Just as good as last year where I came to the EU event for the first time. There's some really good stuff about automation and AI obviously. But I think the big takeaway for me was around democratising insight. I think it's not talked about enough. That really stood out to me.
Jamin: Yeah that's right. You know, I was just talking earlier with another guest and for me that's been my big takeaway. Market research is more relevant than ever before and, at the same time, there's a democratisation of the access to insights happening across the organisation. So now it's the responsibility and the obligation of, I believe, market researchers to re-assert ourselves as the sage on the hill and help empower everybody else to do research.
Paul: Absolutely. I see FlexMR's mission to get insight into as many decisions as possible - every decision in an organisation. That's what we should all be trying to do. And that's why we have an enterprise-wide platform. But, you have to remember 20 years ago market research was about collecting data. That's gone.
Jamin: Yeah, it was like a logistics exercise.
Paul: Exactly, a logistics exercise. But that's gone. Data has been democratised already, whether we like it or not. So now it's really about taking that to the next stage, embracing it and not being scared of it. I think democratising data in an organisation is a powerful thing. It will get insight to the point of decisions, and I think we, as researchers, have to think about where we fit in that chain. That's exactly what we are trying to do at FlexMR; understand where we fit.
Jamin: Lovely - Paul, FlexMR, thank you for being on the podcast. Safe travels my friend.
Paul: Thanks, and you!
Thank you to Jamin Brazil and the HappyMR Podcast for putting together the IIeX Conference Series, you can see all podcasts from the series and more over at www.happymr.com.