Rick Kelly

Aug 12, 2021

Market researchers must focus on user experience – with Rick Kelly of Fuel Cycle (Live at SampleCon)



Episode Summary

In today’s episode of the Through Your Looking Glass podcast, Rick Kelly, the Chief Product Officer at Fuel Cycle, joins our host Patrick Comer to discuss the past, present, and future of the ResTech Industry. Fuel Cycle is a Market Research Cloud, and as our guest states, it is developed to help companies maintain a constant connection to their prospects, customers, and users.

Patrick and Rick talk about the importance of market research, claiming that businesses didn’t realize how significant market research could be for their growth. As everything revolves around exceptional customer experience, market researchers’ work is more than valuable.

The tech industry, alongside ResTech, has faced many challenges during the pandemic, but, as our guest states, even the pandemic didn’t stop innovations.

Two men sitting in armchairs with a laptop and microphones around them


Name: Rick Kelly

What she does: Chief Product Officer at Fuel Cycle

Company: Fuel Cycle

Key Quote: ”We help you maintain a constant connection to your prospects, customers, and product users. So pretty much any audience you need to do research with, you can connect it through the Fuel Cycle platform.”

Key Insights

  • Fuel Cycle is a Unique Platform in the ResTech Space. As our host admits, Fuel Cycle presents such an important part of the ResTech industry, but it is challenging to place it in a particular category. So, here’s what our guest, Rick Kelly, has to say about his company’s position within the industry. ”The truth is communities are a really important business to us. I think over time, what the industry will see is that we’re so much more. We talk to a lot of people, and I say, ‘This is different; this unique.’ There’s not a paradigm for this. And so that means, we do lots of buyer education, I have to explain how it works together.”
  • Businesses need market research more than ever. Companies focused on delivering insights are becoming significant players in every industry. Business growth depends on high-quality data, so it is safe to say that, once invisible, market researchers’ work is among the crucial factors for business success. ”And so for decision-makers in businesses, they have to have more insights, and they have to be faster and tested. It has to be better. That means they need market research more than ever. I think the traditional kind of old delivery model doesn’t work for today’s decision-makers. And so the industry itself becomes more and more important.”
  • Market researchers need to spend more time on UX. In the past year and a half, companies that made technology investments are scaling rapidly. However, despite conversations around supply and demand issues, Patrick and Rick agree that a tremendous amount of new demands coming into the market present a bigger challenge. Here’s how Kelly sees the situation. ”We think about respondents and data capture and growing that the overall volume is that there’s an issue. It’s not just in the pull factor, the incentives that they’re providing. It’s also creating less friction. And how do we create less stress? Market researchers need to spend more time on UX because you can see this, you have to have exceptional user experience, and you have to ride like a strong hole for somebody to be willing to participate.”

“There are lots of things that are wrong. There are lots of things that are going well. I think that there are lots of improvements, overall. The one thing I’ll say is that we’re fixing user experience.”

Episode Highlights

We Call Ourselves a Market Research Cloud

”What that means is that we help you maintain a constant connection to your prospects, customers, and product users. So pretty much any audience you need to do research with, you can connect it through the Fuel Cycle platform.

In addition to that, we automate research and decision-making. So like Salesforce or any other platform, we do build a lot of our technology. We build a lot of our data collection capabilities. The key is that we decide where we provide something differentiated and value add. And there’s something that’s a solved problem, or there’s a best in class solution out there in the market if we go and plug that into our ecosystem and allow clients to use that in conjunction with Fuel Cycle.”

Two men standing and shaking hands

The Pandemic Didn’t Stop Innovations

”It’s fantastic to see all the innovation is continuing to happen inside the industry, despite a life-changing event for all of us. And so I think that the story going forward in the narrative becomes even more tech-oriented because the companies that succeeded in one and not just survived, but also thrived during the pandemic, or ones that had a solid basis of technology.

And so I see more of that. I see more automation across the entire ecosystem, and I think that’s a good thing. Ultimately because it allows companies to move faster and make better decisions, and hopefully we’ll see more of that.”

“We’ve always tried to earn growth through customer satisfaction and delivering value. And, hopefully, over the next six months or so, the narrative will become bigger and more obvious.”

Insights Are Such an Important Category

”There’s new companies, new processes, outside of the research industry, that are starting to get the job done. And you see different companies – UserLeap, a great example, just raised a bunch of money from a16z. And what’s new is the product research, but it’s microservices. I think that the max number of questions, one of those surveys is four to five questions, and it’s delivered via an SDK that’s inside somebody’s app. That’s simple.”


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