Looking Back, Looking Forward. Psyma US' 20th Anniversary
with Jeff Judek, CEO at Psyma USA
Jeff Judek, Psyma International’s CEO, looks back 20 years when Psyma entered the US market. Born in France, educated in France and the US, Judek joined Psyma at their German headquarters in 1996 and opened the US office in 1997. The Psyma Group is a global strategy and brand consultancy with 17 offices in 9 countries and employs approx. 300 associates worldwide.
“After all, Marketing Research isn’t all that old as an industry,”said Jeff Judek, Psyma’s CEO. Even so, looking back 20 years on when Psyma entered the US market, a lot has changed. “Our strategy was to leverage our European presence. Especially in Healthcare and Automotive, there was a big push for global expansion at that time into the G5 countries. With our industry and in-country experience, we knew the ins and outs of global research.”
Because conducting research on a global scale was relatively new, Psyma spent a lot of time educating US-based clients how to conduct research in Europe. “The methods we could use were not as homogeneous as they are today. We knew what worked well in Europe; we understood the cultural differences. Clients with a domestic focus were sometimes surprised at some of the local limitations.”
Psyma excelled – and continues to excel – at global research, and once clients wanted to expand beyond the G5 countries, Psyma was ready for them in emerging markets. “We had already built a presence in those markets, from China to Russia to Brazil – that was the key. To be on the ground, understanding cultural differences and their impact on global strategies.”
“In those days,” Judek continues, “research agencies were the go-to providers for market insights. Clients would come to us with a strategic need, we would do the research, and in 4 to 12 weeks we would deliver our findings and recommendations. Today, there is a need for much faster turnaround, while ‘insights’ are everywhere and nowhere. The industry has an overflow of new players, forming an informational ecosystem, which can be challenging to navigate.”
Judek believes that to understand the future of the Marketing Research you need to understand where the ‘Marketing’ function is going. “Digital channels have revolutionized marketing tactics. We’re seeing a split between strategic and tactical research needs from our clients. The strategic work calls for deeper engagement with our clients’ stakeholders, as well as savvy researchers leveraging both traditional methods and cutting-edge technologies.”
Overall, Judek sees the trends for Marketing Research continuing toward more digital and agile solutions, delivering a near-continuous stream of micro-data enabling marketing teams to make quicker decisions. “The line separating qualitative and quantitative research is blurred at this point, and rapidly disappearing as we move towards hybrid solutions.”
“Research automation for both qualitative and quantitative approaches will continue to rise. Think artificial intelligence continually monitoring and analyzing social media data.” These changes will drive the type of skills and talents for our industry as well: “The insight professional of the future will be part Data Scientist, part Researcher, and part Journalist.”, he predicts.
Additionally, Judek believes there will be a fundamental change in the delivery of insights. “We will see shorter, insight-driven communication of findings with more videos and dashboards with real-time results. Already we see an increase in demand for new reporting channels.”
Judek attributes Psyma’s success to embracing change. “I like to joke that the Psyma Group is a 60-year-old ‘start-up.' We never settle, or become complacent; we constantly adapt to the business environment around us. At the same time, we know who we are and stay true to our core values.”
Jeff Judek believes that there has never been a better time for Marketing Research: “On one hand, disruption across industries is forcing corporations to explore new business models and to be that much more customer-centric. On the other hand, technology is enabling us to uncover motivations and behaviors in entirely new ways. We continue to adapt and keep innovating. The future is exciting!"