“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything” – George Bernard Shaw
In a field as hard as business, staying ahead of your competition is extremely hard. One of the competitive advantages you might seek is information, but in an industry quite saturated with market research and data mining companies, it requires some guile to be able to stay ahead of the curve and be current while still providing top-notch research capabilities.
A couple of weeks ago we spoke with Rudly Raphael, President of qSample, about what the business does, trends in the industry and much more, and it’s clear that they have what it takes to shine in the industry. Then, we dig deeper into how qSample is using infographics to drive their marketing efforts, visualising the research that they conduct and traversing the somewhat hostile climate of traditional business being resistant to changes.
Introducing qSample and Rudly
qSample is a Chicago-based boutique research company focusing on delivering the best and most accurate data from different industries. They have a strong background, and excel because of their outstanding service – they promise senior staff handling your project, daily status report so you can assess the progress, and brilliant business insights you won’t get elsewhere.
Also, as they have partnered with Survey Analytics, they have the ability to leverage on their research capabilities and resources – ensuring high standards in the delivery of their services. If you are looking for data, they are the place to go. Even though they are a small, boutique company, they have some high-profile clients such as Sprint, iRobot, The University of California, Japan Airlines and careerbuilder .
We had the pleasure of interviewing Rudly Raphael, the president of qSample, a KISS fan and true blue foodie with a palate for the spicy and international cuisine. He suggests his has a very particular skill: “I strive to create order out of chaos”. It’s only natural then that his business is based on turning unmined data into structured, but insightful results!
For Rudly, success is “when a client is served and a level of intimacy is achieved between the client and the service provider”. One of his proudest accomplishments is qSample’s online marketing presence – by creating quality content through blog articles and infographics from the data gained through their surveys, they have been able to maintain a strong position in the industry and grow from there.
Striving Thanks To User-Centricity
Data mining and research is a particularly tough business. Since qSample is essentially a service provider, they turned the client into THE major component in their business model. They go out of their way to offer the best service and data available, for business in all shapes and sizes: “We generally believe in assisting the client in all angles throughout the whole process”, explains Rudy.
According to Rudy, as there is no product to sell, that’s the whole key to success: “Being a service provider we have to serve the client – this means having effective and regular bi-directional communication with our clients from the inception of the projects to the delivery of the end product. Otherwise we simply would not be successful”.
Being user-centric, the qSample team believes strongly in tailoring the delivery of their services to fit the exacts needs of their clientele, even if they vary across different accounts: “Our main challenge and really, something that we excel in – is that we have projects of various shapes and sizes come through the door at any given time and we have to ‘hold the client’s hand’ throughout the whole process”.
Also, as a way to differentiate and position themselves as experts, they strive to provide valuable content in their marketing efforts, and that’s when Piktochart comes in.
How QSample Uses Piktochart For Lead Generation
As suggested earlier, qSample has a very aggressive inbound marketing strategy – even so that it’s their primary lead generation channel. They chose to go this route because based on research they have conducted themselves, they found that producing timely and relevant content on a frequent basis is key in ensuring that the users maintain a strong level of engagement. As a result, their focus is “centered around inbound marketing and we use heavy content driven marketing for our end users and prospective clients”.
The challenge is that performing a successful content strategy isn’t a walk in the park. As there is a heavy reliance on inbound marketing for lead generation, there is a constant need for new, exciting and valuable content to share. Piktochart helps them overcome that challenge on a day to day basis by making it easier to create beautiful visual content.
The process they use is straightforward: first, they pick the type of content from a few different areas such as current events and happenings or more recently, data on a certain subject matter through surveys that they have run. Then, their content is curated through a content calendar and is published with search engine optimization in mind.
It was a risky strategy but it took off: “We took a different route from what some clients are used to, and it was a hit both with the customers and prospects so we’ve been riding that wave for while now”, explains Rudy.
By sharing quality content done through their own research, qSample are adding value to online information sphere allowing the general population to gain access to this information.
Convincing The Dinosaurs In The Boardroom
By dealing with a large number of big, traditional businesses, there are instances in which some clients are resistant to try out new things. As Rudy explains it, “the dinosaurs in the industry are used to doing things a certain way, and when you introduce innovate a little bit, it’s challenging for THEM to adapt”.
This is something that happens everyday for qSample: “When we propose a client that instead of having a 40-page report, why not have a nice infographic to show your findings, a common response would be: ‘Oh no, I’ll have to have all the data in a single binder or something in that nature’”.
Rudly believes that infographics can be used to visualise a range of subjects, either for your inbound marketing needs or as a more effective way to communicate seemingly complex concepts. That is why he still pushes for infographics: “It is a challenge to convince people who are used to doing things otherwise, but that doesn’t mean it should not be done”.
From Their Content Team: Why Piktochart?
Apart from speaking with Rudly, we also had the pleasure to talk and gain some insights from qSample’s brilliant content team – those who were more hands-on in the area of ‘infographing‘. One of the things we talked about is why they decided to go with Piktochart. First, its “pretty simple to learn” and even though the “templates and themes provide excellent inspiration for the infographics”, the team usually goes with the blank canvas as it gives them freedom to apply their own style!
This is how it usually works for them: after writing the article, the content team extracts the most relevant information and/or pieces of data. Then, through collaboration, they brainstorm and plan the infographic: “As all our teammates are in the same skill level, it’s easy”. As Piktochart’s “platform & interface is easy to use”, they usually have an infographic ready in about 3 or 4 hours.
A Few Examples