Exclusive Interview with Suzy’s Matt Britton

Suzy™ is a pioneering force in transforming how businesses comprehend and engage with consumers. Founded in 2018 by CEO Matt Britton, drawing on his extensive experience in the advertising industry, Suzy™ was conceived to shift brands away from guesswork-based decisions to data-driven insights.

Garnering accolades like Forbes’ Best Startup Employers and Inc. Magazine’s Best Workplaces multiple times, Suzy™ has secured over $100 million in venture capital from prominent investors, affirming its vision to reshape consumer-centric strategies for tomorrow’s leading brands.

Join us as we chat with CEO Matt Britton and learn more about the pioneering company, Suzy.

World Future Awards: Congratulations on Suzy winning the World Future Award for Best Consumer Insights Platform in 2023. What factors do you believe contributed the most to Suzy’s recognition and success?

Matt Britton: Thank you for your kind words and for recognizing Suzy’s achievement in winning the World Future Award for Best Consumer Insights Platform in 2023. We are incredibly proud of this honor. The key to our success has been our unwavering commitment to innovation and delivering actionable insights for our clients at the speed of culture. At Suzy, we understand that in today’s fast-paced business environment, companies need access to real-time consumer insights to make informed decisions. Our platform is designed to deliver just that—rapid, reliable, and relevant consumer insights at the click of a button.

WFA: Could you share the genesis behind the idea of Suzy? What inspired you to create a platform specifically focused on consumer-centricity and insights-driven decision-making?

MB: Over two decades ago, I built one of the first social media and youth marketing agencies. The whole purpose of that company was to help brands create value for consumers through meaningful content and transformative ideas. This venture taught me about the needs of major brands and the immense power of the consumer. Companies that prioritize customer-centricity are more likely to succeed. However, research is sluggish and inefficient, hindering quick decision-making in tune with market dynamics. That’s why we built Suzy. It’s a solution that empowers top brands with rapid consumer insights, enabling them to act promptly and adapt to evolving behaviors in real-time.

WFA: Suzy’s integrated research cloud is touted as a game-changer in the industry. How does the platform streamline the integration of quantitative and qualitative research for businesses, and what benefits does it offer compared to traditional market research tools?

MB: Our platform facilitates consumer-centricity by integrating quant, qual, and high-quality audiences into a single connected research cloud. Gone are the days when brands had to rely on multiple expensive tools or agencies for conducting research. With Suzy, you can do it all in one place, engaging with the same consumers repeatedly to gain deeper insights. Empowered with a continuous platform, brands enjoy enhanced cost savings, efficiency, and flexibility, enabling every business decision to be informed by a comprehensive understanding of the consumer.

WFA: In just five years, Suzy has achieved remarkable growth with over 400 enterprise customers across 22 verticals. What strategies or approaches have been pivotal in Suzy’s rapid ascent to market dominance?

MB: From the very beginning, our focus has been on disrupting the industry. Market research, a $100 billion industry, has long been fragmented, slow, and costly. We recognized the opportunity to revolutionize this space by developing a software tool that democratizes insights, granting access to people across the enterprise, whether they work in insights, marketing, or another area of the business.

I don’t come from a market research background, so I recognized how important it was to hire the people who did to help us build a quality, robust platform. Our research is spearheaded by industry veterans who boast extensive experience and have held prominent positions at leading agencies. This ensures that every insight we provide is backed by the rigor our clients have come to expect.

Our proprietary panel, consisting of a vast network of over a million US consumers, is a key differentiator in our industry. Through a gamified app, Suzy motivates consumers from all walks of life to answer brand-related questions, delivering valuable insights within hours. With Suzy, modern enterprises can conduct extensive testing across various use cases while staying within budget and timelines, enabling them to keep up with consumer demands.

WFA: Could you highlight some of the groundbreaking products Suzy has launched, such as TURF, Data Explorer, and Showreels?

MB: Our clients have come to expect Suzy’s unparalleled iterative research capabilities across a range of use cases. As a result, we are continually developing and enhancing our products to empower them on our platform. This involves the integration of advanced methodologies such as TURF analysis and MaxDiff. With our comprehensive end-to-end platform, Suzy clients can seamlessly execute surveys, gain valuable insights, target TURF back to the same consumers, gather further insights, and repeat the process. They can even create custom surveys for their own proprietary audiences with Public Link and perform data analysis directly within the platform with Data Explorer.

And of course, we understand the importance of showcasing results. That’s why we offer a wide range of C-suite-ready deliverables that seamlessly transition from our platform to the boardroom. Showreels, for instance, allow users to create captivating videos featuring insights from video-open ends, putting the voice of the consumer front and center. There’s nothing more powerful than hearing real consumers articulate why they choose a brand’s product in their own words.

WFA: Suzy’s core values, including people-centricity, collaboration, and continuous validation, drive its innovative approach. How do these values permeate through the company culture and influence decision-making processes?

MB: The core of every decision, strategy, and innovation lies in placing human understanding at the forefront. In today’s era of big data and algorithms, we propose a return to genuine, human understanding. We value the unique perspectives and emotions of real people, capturing the authentic voice of the consumer on a large scale.

We also strongly believe that brands must keep pace with culture. This philosophy permeates everything we’ve built. Our platform was designed to empower users with iterative research, delivering results in hours or days, not weeks or months. We understand that consumers are constantly evolving, and we’re all about giving them a voice. From Product to Customer Success, Sales to Marketing, and even our People and Finance teams, our focus is on providing brands with the necessary tools to prioritize consumers. We constantly validate our own assumptions, just as we encourage brands to do the same. This means we rigorously test what we bring to the market, and we wholeheartedly stand behind our own offerings.

WFA: Could you walk us through how Suzy’s Research Cloud empowers organizations across different functions, such as Insights, Innovation, Creative, and Shopper, to leverage consumer insights effectively?

MB: Every team in the enterprise that relies on consumer insights can access them with Suzy. Marketing no longer has to wait for quarterly presentations from the Insights team to learn about consumer behavior. By then, it’s already too late. Instead, teams across today’s top brands can simultaneously test.

The Suzy platform plays a crucial role in the enterprise, serving as a throughline that keeps the entire brand focused on the consumer and constantly learning from them. Insights teams profile consumers, identify trends, and understand the path to purchase. Product teams can test and refine innovations, including claims and packaging. Marketing plans campaigns and tests messaging, while Shopper performs competitive analysis and dives into market performance. These areas can inform each other or stand alone, creating a well-coordinated and consumer-centric approach throughout the organization.

WFA: The imminent introduction of AI-integrated solutions sounds intriguing. How do you envision these advancements will shape the future of consumer insights, and what opportunities do they unlock for businesses?

MB: AI will not only revolutionize the future of market research but also transform global business practices. When it comes to consumer insights, AI has the potential to swiftly uncover evolving consumer behavior. By automating laborious tasks like data analysis and survey creation, AI streamlines the work of market researchers, allowing them to be more strategic and effective at their jobs.

We’re also committed to prioritizing the enterprise’s safety and took steps to develop responsibly-built AI tools. We’re building AI tools that are reliable, authoritative, and industry-leading. We leverage our expertise, use precise language, and present concise information to deliver valuable insights. By identifying current trends and forecasting future ones, we stay ahead of the curve, ensuring our clients remain at the forefront of their industries.

WFA: With a suite of AI-powered tools and a vast audience of diverse consumers, how does Suzy ensure data quality and security while maintaining agility and speed in research processes?

MB: At Suzy, the goal was never to be the first AI-powered market research tools available, but rather to set the gold standard in what it means to have enterprise-grade AI. Our tools needed to be like we’ve built everything else – game-changing, prioritizing efficiency and accuracy, and built with compliance and transparency in mind.

To tackle a pervasive industry issue–survey bots–we’re taking decisive action. With the rise of AI, detecting survey bots has become increasingly challenging, impacting the quality of market research data for brands. That’s why we’re fighting back with our very own AI solution–Biotic. This groundbreaking tool, backed by a pending patent, proactively intercepts bots before they can taint survey data. Biotic ensures brands not only receive rapid insights but also high-quality ones, setting a gold standard for the entire industry.

WFA: Looking ahead, as the industry continues to evolve towards consumer-centricity, what are Suzy’s long-term visions or goals in shaping the landscape of consumer insights and fostering meaningful connections between businesses and their customers?

MB: We strive to position ourselves as the ultimate “insights platform of record” for our valued customers. Many clients are consolidating their tools with Suzy given we offer what many point solutions options do in one place. Suzy will serve as the central hub, allowing users to effortlessly visualize data, share compelling stories and insights, and conduct research, all within a single, user-friendly interface. Enterprise brands can stay ahead of the curve with our trend identification and forecasting capabilities, propelling their business forward. We are also constantly innovating and have some very exciting updates that will be rolled out later this year. So keep a look out! We would be thrilled to demonstrate how our platform works and how it can elevate your business. 

Thank you for spending time with us today, Mr. Britton!

Visit https://suzy.com/ to learn more about Suzy today!

Insights on Innovative Marketing: Interview with Dora Hrkac

When one person embodies a unique combination of energy, experience, passion, and creativity, there is no doubt that success will come not only to that person but also to the teams they work with. We are therefore particularly pleased to welcome Dora Hrkac as a new World Future Awards board member. Her dedication and years of expertise in marketing and communications will ensure that the best of the best in the innovation sector will be honored. Enjoy the exclusive interview Dora gave us on the occasion of joining the WFA board.

World Future Awards: Dora, please accept our congratulations on your new status as a WFA board member. Our readers will be very interested to know more about you. Tell us a little about your professional path and your current field of endeavor.

Dora Hrkac: Thank you so much for the warm welcome and this wonderful introduction; I am truly excited to be a part of the World Future Awards board.

My professional journey has been quite a diverse and enriching one. After I graduated from Journalism at the Faculty of Political Science and pursued my master’s degree in public relations, I started my career as a Chief Editor at Superbrands Adriatic – the world’s largest independent arbiter for branding. I continued my professional growth within Atlas – the largest destination management company in Croatia, with over 95 years of experience, where I have spent an incredible eight years working in one of the most exciting industries.

A diverse Marcom portfolio with a proven track record eventually brought me to the UAE. In 2019, I continued my international experience within Hilton, where I was responsible for driving marketing and communication strategies for two hotel properties in Ras Al Khaimah. After facing the COVID-19 pandemic, I decided to make the most significant change in my career, enhance my skills, and explore new possibilities in the Energy sector.

Tourism is part of my DNA, but I have decided to challenge myself and see how my expertise will contribute to business growth in an entirely different and quite demanding industry. At that time, I got the opportunity to join one of the most recognized brands in luxury hospitality, so choosing between a well-known territory and a very tight niche technology sector was the toughest decision I had to make in my entire career. But as we all know, life begins only when you step out of your comfort zone.

In March 2021, I joined Esyasoft Technologies in Dubai, DIFC, one of the IHC subsidiaries, as their Head of Marketing and communications. Over the last two and a half years, my focus was on increasing brand awareness about this software product company and its commitment to cutting-edge innovation and sustainable solutions, which was one of my main KPIs, resulting in the successful digital presence and opening of several new global markets.

I will never regret making a decision to accept the offer from my CEO, Dr Bipin Chandra, and join him on his incredible journey and mission of making energy efficient, sustainable, and affordable. Under his wings, I had the ability to reinvent myself, upgrade my knowledge, expand my network, and achieve two of the most significant achievements in my entire career.

This year, in March, I became an Official Member of the Forbes Communications Council – an invitation-only, professional organization for senior-level communications and public relations executives.

The other one was winning the Gold Stevie Award for The Most Innovative Communication Professional of the Year in MENA 2023, based on my showcase of how a creative communications approach can result in massive brand awareness through unique storytelling and Employer Branding initiatives.

My focus has always been on innovative marketing strategies and creative communications. I firmly believe that in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world, it’s crucial to stay ahead of the curve and adapt to new trends and technologies. My passion for innovation has driven me to explore unconventional approaches to marketing that can make a lasting impact. I thrive on challenges, and now I can’t wait to conquer another one!

WFA: What attracts you to the field of marketing? Why did you choose it as your main specialization?

DH: Marketing and PR have always been my passion and a constant part of my life. I was creative from an early age and was actually raised in a family of many different talents related to design, photography, and art, so I would say marketing was my destiny. I even defended my master’s degree on the subject, “The Influence of Advertising in the Media,” so although I didn’t work as a journalist since my internship, my writing talent and knowledge about media played a crucial part in forming my career path. 

WFA: You have extensive experience in different sectors and countries.

DH: Yes, I’ve been fortunate to work in various industries, countries, and regions, from Europe to UAE, India, and the US, which has broadened my perspective and allowed me to adapt to diverse market conditions.

I always considered myself a patriot who would never leave my homeland, but the moment I came to the UAE, I realized that there was a place where I could finally spread my wings and fly, reaching horizons I used to only see in the movies.

Back in Hilton, I used to work with over 40 different nationalities, which was a cultural shock despite my, as my former GM said – bubbly personality and being someone who always had respect for every single human being, never mind the color of their skin, passport, religious beliefs or social status.  

India was another massive discovery for my persona. The moment I reached New Delhi, I felt literally like I finally saw the world. The real world. I was so proud that I had managed to build Esyasoft’s booth in the middle of that chaos and proved to myself once again there’s no challenge I can’t overcome.

All these experiences have given me a more holistic understanding of marketing and the importance of tailoring strategies to specific markets and industries. It has also taught me the significance of cultural nuances in ineffective marketing, learning how communication is the most fragile yet the most powerful tool of any business, making it the most valuable asset in my career.

WFA: What is the role of high technology in modern marketing? And what is primary in your work for you – technology or creativity?

DH: High technology has revolutionized the way we reach and engage with our target audiences. It enables data-driven decision-making, personalization, and the ability to measure the impact of our marketing efforts. However, it’s the creative ideas and stories you tell that truly resonate with customers.   Shifting to the digital era, marketers had to adapt many different tools to place their marketing strategies. It’s a never-ending learning process for all of us because technology plays a crucial part in every marketing agenda, and changes are happening practically on a daily basis.

A “360” approach can’t be done without technology. From many different software to the AI, which will only improve. Will it replace jobs? Never say never, but that premise was wrong from the start, in my humble opinion. Artificial Intelligence is here to support us and make our work more efficient, from basic daily tasks to more complex initiatives.

For me, creativity will always be the essence or, better say, the backbone of all my creations. Technology is here to help me achieve those goals faster, smarter, and with improved data results. Once you learn to combine many different talents, skills, and sources and then apply them to your business models, you will never have to worry about your KPIs and ROI. 

WFA: Your high achievements prove that you are able to seek and find bold and unconventional solutions. Tell us about your most innovative projects or ideas.

DH: Glad you’ve mentioned bold and unconventional. Great choice of words and practically two main adjectives that perfectly describe me as a person but also my scope of work. I love working on campaigns that are slightly provoking but tasty. The imperative is always the target audience, purpose, and clear goal objectives.

I am pretty versatile and always thirsty for something NEW – projects, creations, initiatives, and my brain doesn’t rest even when I sleep, so no wonder when I wake up, I already have hundreds of new ideas on my mind.

I joined Esyasoft when I already had an established network on my LinkedIn channel, but my (target) audience was not coming only from the technology/energy/utility field, so I tried to find a way to produce content in a manner of wisdom I have learned back home – “Keep the wolf full, and all the sheeps alive.”

Let me explain. Of course, the main spotlight was reserved for the company I was representing, but I have continued to create content related to other industries and professionals in MENA, and everything and everyone I found inspiring. That’s how Adorata Emirata was born. It’s a blog based on building brand awareness through specific individuals in the UAE and showcasing what it truly means to be a company’s brand ambassador. My name comes from the Latin word Adorata, which means adorable, while Emirata represents me and everyone who adores their life in the Emirates.

So, through my two platforms, LinkedIn and my website – people have the opportunity to tell their stories and build their own network through my connections. Some address me as a LinkedIn influencer, but my scope of work is far way different from what other social media creators are doing. My focus is on promoting brands through their own advocates and professional individuals. When dealing with a highly competitive market such as MENA, it’s hard to stand out, and I am offering precisely that kind of opportunity – both corporate and individual. 

Hard-sell advertising never worked for me, and people adore stories “behind the scenes”. That’s how they really bond with the brands, and now they have a chance to interact even more through their own brand ambassadors. Everyone has a story, but not everyone knows how to tell and spread it, and that’s where I come in.

WFA: In the current digital revolution, you need to be flexible and ready for change. But do you have any basic principles or credo that always remain relevant and help you move forward?

DH: Very true, indeed, the age we are living in requires our flexibility and easy adaptation more than ever before. Social, Economic, and many different outside circumstances dictate our pace, so I would say we should all accept the fact that only change is constant. I will be first in line seeking better solutions and positive outcomes and how to move things forward, but the COVID-19 pandemic taught me one of the biggest life lessons – never to plan anything ahead, or at least always have a plan B.   

Don’t get me wrong; most strategies are based on plans and certain predictions and forecasts. However, we should all start focusing on the present and instead create short-term goals with a clear distinction between tangible and intangible parameters. That way, we can lower our high expectations but look forward to the best possible outcome.

However, customer-centricity remains a constant. Understanding and meeting customer needs is the core of any successful marketing strategy. Secondly, data-driven decision-making is critical. Harnessing the power of data allows us to make informed choices, and continuously optimize campaigns. Last but not least, and as I already mentioned, I believe in the power of storytelling. Humans are wired to connect with stories, and a compelling narrative can differentiate a brand and create lasting impressions.

Lately, I have been working on myself, not only in a professional way but also in a spiritual sense. I have discovered many inspirational podcasts, books, and articles that are helping me to become truly the best version of myself. It’s a long road that doesn’t have a finish line, but I will surely do my best to make my path worth walking, not only for myself but for the people who are part of it. Especially those who were always there to land me their hand when I fell and who clapped every time I picked myself up.

I adore quotes and have probably thousands of screenshots in my phone from many different genius minds out there that are lifting our spirits, but here’s the one from Steven Cliff Bartlett that caught my attention. It resonates with me on many levels and could be described as my current personal philosophy:

“Your life, career, and relationships will rise or fall to the level of the standards you defend, enforce, and accept. It’s time to raise your bar!”

WFA: What are the most significant trends and changes in the marketing and communications industry that have you observed over the years?

DH: I’ve seen several significant trends emerge. Personalization is a major one, as customers expect tailored experiences and content. Social media’s influence on marketing has grown substantially, making it a vital channel for engagement. I am thrilled to see that LinkedIn is overtaking that arena and me being a part of it. It’s undoubtedly one of the best platforms for emphasizing your brand’s personality and describing your company culture. If you start using it right, it will become an active marketing channel to grow your network and business opportunities.

Additionally, the rise of influencer marketing and the integration of sustainability and purpose-driven initiatives into brand strategies have been notable shifts. The increasing importance of video content and the continued growth of e-commerce have also reshaped the marketing landscape. AI is at the top of today’s trends, followed by storytelling, which has been finally recognized as the top advertising tool.

On the other hand, what I am always surprised to see is that many companies still have a lack of understanding of the actual value and importance of quality PR. That’s when I always refer to Bill Gates and his perfect statement, “If I were down to my last dollar, I would spend it on public relations.”

WFA: In your opinion, what will be the main difference between the marketing industry today and five years from now?

DH: Huge. As I already mentioned, Artificial Intelligence will play a key role, especially five years from now, while enabling highly personalized, real-time client interactions. We’ll surely witness even greater integration of technology in marketing. The industries will continue to evolve rapidly, primarily focusing on sustainability and ethical practices becoming a standard rather than an exception. The importance of data privacy and security will also continue to shape communications strategies, and the boundary between online and offline experiences will blur further.

WFA: What is the key to a successful marketing campaign?

DH: Budget! Big budget! (laughing) Jokes aside, the success of any campaign depends on a combination of many different factors but with a clear main objective. It is always important to define what you wish to achieve and set a roadmap for the desired ROI.

First and foremost, define your target audience and address their needs. Define which tone of voice you will use to make them listen, and eventually, if you’ve done your part right, they will even start to “sing.”

The approach is quite different, depending on whether you are trying to build brand awareness, upsell, launch a new product or specific service, trying to generate more leads, or anything else you wish to advertise.

The question is very similar to those journalists are required to tell the news. It’s based on 5W rule – Who (is your target audience), Where (will you reach your target audience – social media, events, webinars, etc.), When (use the momentum and schedule accordingly), What (are you promoting), Why (have a purpose).

Once you define those parameters and set the main objectives, you will know how and where to place your budget. It’s an excellent opportunity to test and deliver even better results in the second phase, if necessary.

But one thing should be a constant vertical, despite the goal you are trying to achieve, and that is creativity. A unique approach to delivering a compelling message is essential, and once you set up your tone of voice, it should be consistent across all channels. Consider it as your own brand’s signature!

WFA: What advice do you have for World Future Awards nominees to improve their chances of being recognized for innovative initiatives?

DH: If I had to summarise it in only a few words, my only advice to World Future Awards nominees would be: Be Unique. Be Bold. Be Innovative. Be a Game-changer.

I am sure all of us have had an experience of going to the cinema, theatre, or concert, where the show we watched left us with a portion of great food for thought, and we would talk about its “taste” for days after.

Let that be your lead, not only in this race but in all your campaigns and initiatives that would make a difference while creating a more profound meaning and an impact in society.

Stay curious and continuously seek out opportunities for innovation. Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks, and even though it sounds like platitude, always tend to think outside the box. Dance on it! Embrace change and technology, as they can become powerful partners of your innovation. Always prioritize the customer’s perspective and strive to create real value for them.

Finally, be resilient, as the path to innovation may involve setbacks, but persistence often leads to breakthroughs. And since I told you I love quotes, let me wrap it up and inspire your readers with such great wisdom from Morgan Richard Olivier:

“If you knew the extent of what a person had to endure to have the impact, empathy, and outlook they have today, you wouldn’t be intimidated.
You would be empowered.” 

To learn more about Dora, visit her LinkedIn profile.


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