Welcome to another exciting and informative episode of the Data Gurus podcast! Sima is excited to have Ted Pulsifer, the Executive Vice President of Enterprise Solutions at the Schlesinger Group, as her guest for today’s show. In this episode, Ted talks to Sima about his career, his panel discussion at SampleCon, asking the right questions, and incentivizing people to do research surveys.
Ted’s career journey
Ted’s started his career in the technology space, working for large companies like General Electric and AOL, and then he spent a year working in the wine business. After that, he was recruited into market research by a company called Peanut Labs that did a lot of real-time sampling through applications on Facebook. He was later part of an acquisition into the company now known as Dynata, after which he moved to Federated Sample, now known as Lucid. In 2014, he joined Market Cube as a partner. They successfully exited and sold the business to Schlesinger early in 2020.
Ted experienced many advantages to being part of a fifty-year-old organization with clients everywhere. He enjoyed applying many of the products and the technology they built and learned from at Market Cube into the Schlesinger Group.
Time to sell
Ted and his partners decided to sell Market Cube because it was performing well, the metrics were in line, and selling the business then felt natural to all four partners. Ted also thought that it was the right time for him to broaden out and move on.
Migrating to online
There were some challenging moments in 2020 for Schlesinger’s staff, employees, and respondents. However, online work scales and tends to force change. So Schlesinger did well within the legacy Market Cube business, which is now part of Schlesinger, and Schlesinger Quantitative Solutions because they had many people who might have done in-person research before migrating to online.
Larger focus groups
In-person focus groups are an extension of the hospitality business. So, like many hotels, resorts, and airlines, Schlesinger had to close that side and make some hard decisions. Fortunately, the digital qualitative platform that Schlesinger acquired from Market Cube was strong and growing, so it boosted the business.
Although nobody knows what November 2021 or January 2022 will look like, Ted feels that leveraging technology to add scale and save money will stick with their clients.
Ted enjoyed the emotional side and the human aspect of being able to attend the recent SampleCon in-person. He loves that every year SampleCon takes place in a different city with different content and a different set of users. He learned a lot there and was happy to have the opportunity to narrate a panel about how traditional techniques are merging and talk about qualitative research more largely on stage.
The key themes
The key themes that came out of Ted’s panel discussion at SampleCon related to his belief that traditional quantitative and qualitative are very appropriate methodologies that will remain. He feels that research will continue getting done in the way it has.
His goal was to keep an eye on new things emerging that should not be ignored and spend time exploring those ideas.
One of Ted’s favorite things to do
One of Ted’s favorite things to do is to look at the reports from clients and brands and the people that expose him to global clients each quarter and see the changes in those buying from him. He also likes to see that new companies that did not exist two or three years ago that are purchasing his research are doing interesting things.
Ted has recently posted an article called Selecting a Sample Partner with Confidence. The idea behind it is to explain the questions people should ask that they might not know to ask.
People want to have a choice of incentives in return for completing surveys. Ted’s company incentivizes people for updating their profiles and attempting surveys.
Ted Pulsifer is a senior leader of Schlesinger Groups’ client solutions team, driving the continuous evolution of our integrated services. He joined Schlesinger Group in 2020 when Market Cube, of which he was an owner-partner, was acquired by the Group.
Ted cultivates strategic partnerships for Schlesinger Group and brings over twenty years of executive and sales leadership and client engagement experience. He is an expert in our online quantitative solutions and, in particular, for new capabilities including programmatic sample, DIY purchasing tools, and custom insight tools, which empower faster and more creative data collection globally with best-in-class expertise, technology, and services
Ted began his marketing research journey at Peanut Labs/Dynata before serving as Regional Vice President for Lucid. As a Principal at Market Cube, Ted architected and managed the sales organization that helped power the company’s rapid growth and brand loyalty.
Ted holds a BA in Economics from the University of Colorado. Ted is based in Mt. Pleasant, SC. He is an ESOMAR member and served as Director at Large for the Insights Association’s Southeast Chapter from 2016-2020. When not working, Ted can be found hunting for unusual wines, traveling, or on the water with his family in Charleston, SC.
Schlesinger Group: Company Background
For over half a century, we’ve been continually perfecting the art and science of qualitative and quantitative data collection and our research services.
Put simply, we provide answers to your important business questions through practices of partnership, quality and service excellence, powered by an expert team with a genuine passion for research.
And as the world transforms, we reach for new heights, redefining our services beyond our clients’ expectations.
You Need Insights. We Have Solutions.
In a world of markets experiencing massive disruption and evolution, gathering reliable and compelling data for deeper insights is paramount for brand success. Working in partnership with you, Schlesinger Group goes further than high-precision data collection to enable better insights.