Meet Andy Cayton, Executive Vice President at PureSpectrum. Today Andy shares the changes and growth he has witnessed in his 20 years of market research and what he sees for the industry’s future. Learn what he thinks is the biggest industry misconception and why you might find him in his garden on any given weekend.
Q: You have worked at many high-growth, technology-focused businesses and start-ups. What drew you to PureSpectrum?
A: There are three reasons why I joined PureSpectrum. First was the leadership team. I knew some before, but after a few calls, it was clear that they were extraordinarily aligned in their vision for the future. I saw that everyone in the company has a clear, collective idea of where the company should be going, which is a testament to management. The second was that I had experienced PureSpectrum’s Sample Marketplace myself. I had used the platform and shared how easy it was to navigate. PureSpectrum’s technology is exactly what the market research industry needs; I wanted to be a part of the journey. And third is the sample quality that PureSpectrum works so passionately to provide. PureScore™, our respondent-level scoring system, is such a differentiator. It’s the only tool I know that has proven ways of validating respondents and ensuring they are engaged, and providing answers that can be trusted.
Q: One of the PureSpectrum cornerstones is simplicity; how do you see that echoed through the platform’s offerings?
A: Within weeks of joining PureSpectrum, we released the Multi-Country feature. This is such a great innovation. You can type in the spec or audience, and rather than having to retype it, if you’re doing it in five markets, you can write it once and then copy it across every target country. I’ve worked with several clients, most of whom do multi-country studies. They can use our Marketplace to access feasibility and pricing quickly and then launch a project in a few minutes. It’s such a simple idea, yet it saves so much time, which is extraordinary.
Although most everyone I’ve connected with says PureSpectrum is the easiest, self-serve platform to use, I think it should also be noted that it’s one of the most powerful. PureSpectrum gives users the capabilities and control to get work done on time with client price overrides and adjustable CPIs, even at the quota level. So yes, PureSpectrum is simple and easy to use, but it also provides impressive speed.
Q: How do you think market research has changed or is changing?
A: Last Friday was actually my 20th anniversary of working in market research! When I started, a lot of researchers weren’t confident that online data collection would work for mainstream projects. There’s been such an evolution in our sector. Ten years ago, I remember people were just starting to design surveys for smartphones. We’ve come a long way but I’m not sure we are quite there yet. The last five years have been much more focused on agile research solutions. AKA trying to get quality respondents in and out of surveys quickly and at reduced price points.
The most successful MR businesses will need to focus on designing more engaging surveys. As an industry, we must continue to focus on recruiting representative sample. We need to keep respondents engaged and expand our reach. We need to focus on equality when it comes to market research sample.
Q: What is an industry misconception that you encounter in your role?
A: A lot of people think that there is an infinite number of people just waiting to take a market research survey and it’s just a question of getting the survey to those individuals. But I think it’s increasingly difficult in most markets to get people to participate in market research. And that’s why we continue to talk to researchers about creating really engaging surveys. Doing so will allow us to win back the population. But it’s also an industry-wide challenge, and we all have a role to play in creating a good user experience with a relevant level of incentives. Travis Miller recently shared similar sentiments after hearing from survey respondents at SampleCon 2022.
Q: What excites you most about the future of market research?
A: In the last ten years, the market research industry has been much more open to embracing new technology and ways of working. I think clients are pushing research agencies, and research agencies are pushing sample providers to focus on creative new ways to collect insights. It’s incredible how fast we can do this now and what quality measures we can implement. I’m excited to see new talent and initiatives flowing into our industry. It’s essential to continue pushing for diversity and new ways of looking at old issues and areas. This will move our industry forward and I’m excited to be a part of that.
Q: What are you passionate about outside of market research?
A: First and foremost, I love spending time with my family, and I’ve also always been passionate about activities such as running and playing/watching sports. But I think most people would be pretty surprised to learn that during the lockdown, I got really into gardening. I now have three fruit trees and a large flower bed. I find it quite relaxing. There’s such a sense of accomplishment when something’s actually happened or grown. It’s very mindful in that way.
Interested in connecting with Andy and learning how PureSpectrum innovations can help simplify your research projects? Connect with him below or reach out on LinkedIn.
PureSpectrum offers a complete end-to-end market research and insights platform, helping insights professionals make decisions more efficiently, and faster than ever before. Awarded MR Supplier of the Year at the 2021 Marketing Research and Insight Excellence Awards, PureSpectrum is recognized for industry-leading data quality. PureSpectrum developed the respondent-level scoring system, PureScore™, and believes their continued success stems from their talent density and dedication to simplicity and quality.
In the few years since its inception, PureSpectrum has been named one of the Fastest Growing Companies in North America on Deloitte’s Fast 500 since 2020, and ranked for three years in a row on the GRIT Top 50 Most Innovative List and the Inc. 5000 lists.