Today we have selected Jim Longo to take his interview. He is the Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder of Discuss.io.
How are you and your team doing in these COVID-19 times?
No question, it has been a challenging year for everyone. We have always been a virtual organization with employees in over 13 counties, so we did better than most organizations. Since we are a provider of video conferencing services for CX, UX, and MRX, we have seen a huge uptick in business as both brands and agencies shifted face-to-face customer interviews to digital platforms. We have seen digital adoption advance 5 years in just the last 16 months.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you joined this company?
I have over 30 years of domain expertise in the market research industry, specifically online behavior and market research technology. I’ve consulted with brands and research agencies worldwide on how to have insightful online conversations and was instrumental in building the first global online qualitative research practice at Harris Interactive (acquired by Nielsen). There, I led a team that conducted more than 1,000 online groups in the first three years of its existence.
At Discuss.io, I help brands create a process that scales qualitative research and raises awareness of the value of insights to entire enterprise organizations.
How does your company innovate?
Discuss.io is an enterprise-level smart video platform helping business professionals make better-informed decisions by using experience and innovation to capture conversations, analyze them, and create intelligence at scale. Our mission is to create a universal platform for deep, purposeful connection that yields intelligence at scale. We call it getting to the Why at Scale. Our platform enables brands and agencies to connect with consumers and employees anywhere worldwide and easily and securely record, categorize, transcribe, share and store insights. This allows brands and agencies to make better informed, strategic business decisions, whether big or small, based on their own direct experiences with consumers, not just assumptions based on historical, behavioral, and third-party data.
How has the pandemic affected your business, and how are you coping?
The pandemic led to a sharp rise in e-commerce as physical retail locations closed, and we’ve seen more consumers than ever shopping and making purchasing decisions from their mobile devices. The world is now more omnichannel than ever, and customers expect a consistent experience across their computer, mobile, and in-person touchpoints with your brand. To help marketers accommodate for this shift, this year, we announced the launch of Mobile Screen Share, which allows research teams and consumers to share their mobile screens inside a meeting room, enabling access to the mobile screen of the respondent and their real-time movements on their device. This tool creates an entirely new opportunity for brands and agencies to understand mobile consumer behavior first-hand with the ability to see the respondent’s face, voice, and body language, enabling a true 1:1 connection in a virtual environment, to inform product and application development, digital experiences, usability and more.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
We validated that businesses could move forward and continue to innovate during the pandemic. As more and more brands realized consumer needs were rapidly changing, we launched several improvements to our platform, including Mobile Screen Share, to allow our brand customers to serve consumers better. Looking ahead, qualitative research will remain digitally-driven, and we aim to provide the innovative tools brand marketers need to establish a connection with consumers on the human level and get to the root of what they truly need.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate the crisis?
We instituted a wellness program where each of our employees received an allowance each quarter to use on something for themselves or their family. Employees were encouraged to share photos and videos of what they did with their allowance. This was a great way for our employees to bond regardless of where they were located.
How do you stay ahead of the game and differentiate from competitors?
We practice what we preach – we are a customer-centric organization and put the voice of the customer first when making nearly all of our strategic decisions. When we founded the company, we interviewed 100 business and qualitative research leaders to learn the pain and friction points of getting to the voice of the customer. Today we have a Customer Advisor Board with our top clients where we meet quarterly with each to learn how they are using our platform and how we can serve them better.
Any final thoughts you’d like to share?
If you are making all your big decisions without actually talking to your consumers, you will fail. 80% of the new products and services introduced into the marketplace without first having consumer conversations fail, and less than 15% of all brands actually get feedback from their consumers before a product launch. Don’t assume you know your consumers.
- Spokesperson: Jim Longo
- Company: Discuss.io
- Website link: www.discuss.io