Kantar's Profiles Blog

A New Year for Data: Q&A with Caroline Frankum

Posted by Caroline Frankum on Jan 8, 2019

As with every New Year, 2019 comes with new resolutions and predictions. 

At Lightspeed, we've cemented our commitment to quality data and modern survey design; this year we aim to create holistic approaches that cater to the needs for simplicity, speed and scale. Below, Caroline Frankum, Global Chief Executive Officer at Lightspeed, shares insight on what you can expect from Lightspeed in the months to come and predictions for the industry in 2019. 


1. Data plays a huge role with consumer brands, do you envision Chief Data Officers becoming as widespread as COOs?

Data has always been key to driving effective decision making. But with people leaving an ever-increasing digital footprint of what they think feel, say and do, clients don’t necessarily want more data, they want the right data from real people. At the same time permission-based data and data privacy have become more important and more complicated than ever in a GDPR world. So yes, in partnership with COO’s, the role of the Chief Data Officer is absolutely becoming more critical to success and growth. Last year we appointed Marc Ryan, our first ever Chief Data Officer at Lightspeed, to oversee our platform roadmap, data acquisition strategy, and engineering resources. We’re fortunate as part of Kantar to have access to some of the industry’s leading data specialists and proprietary data assets (e.g. TGI, Kantar WorldPanel, Brand Z, Lightspeed Panels), and Marc himself joined us from Kantar Millward Brown, where he helped architect their data network. So I’d like to think we’ll be at the forefront of helping shape the role of Chief Data officers in the market research space going forward.

2. With new competitors entering the data space, how does Lightspeed differentiate itself?

At Lightspeed we have always been committed to quality-focused solutions – our ISO accredited panels, GDPR expertise, award-winning survey design, and uniquely patented Honesty Detector solution are testimony to that. But with tech-disruptors, API’s, Programmatic, Secure Server Environments (SSEs), and Data Privacy regulations becoming increasingly prevalent in the data space, we knew that our future couldn’t depend on being just ‘traditional panel people’. 12 months ago we started our transformation into a nexus for digital data collection, powered by automation to optimize speed, simplicity and scale for clients. We have taken bold, creative and fast approaches to partnering with smart tech disruptors like Cint, WeChat and Eureaka, instead of trying to build everything ourselves, and today we offer clients the best of both worlds when it comes to discovering truth through data – i.e. a source of permission-based data, including our proprietary double opt-in (DOI) panels and our Gravity Network Programmatic data, and a platform that connects ‘buy’ (non-survey) data to ‘why’ (survey) data.

3. What can we expect from Lightspeed in the next six months?

We will continue our modernization into a nexus that helps clients find truth by using the right data from real people. Our growth will come from expanding but also simplifying our data solutions to make it easier than ever for our clients to partner with us. Powered by a single, automated platform, we will continue to find faster, more creative ways of sourcing and connecting data: from search to modern survey, from opt-in panels to programmatic exchanges and DMP’s, from self-reported answers to appended profiles, from insights to activation. Our panels, capabilities and solutions will continue to help clients form a fuller picture of individuals and issues, giving unprecedented scale and weight to ideas and credibility to conviction.

4. What big industry trends do you anticipate for 2019?

With so much change happening in our industry over the past 12 months, 5 key trends I think we are going to see in 2019 are :

  • The vendor/client will continue to evolve – I really do think we’ll start to see more holistic partnerships to meet increasing demands for simplicity, speed and scale from clients. And I’m saying this as someone whose been on both sides of the fence!
  • More and more solutions will be AI-driven i.e. automation first, human augmented. This means new ways of ‘collecting and connecting’ data – not DIY as we know it now, but more integrated, holistic, machine-learning ways of connecting and activating data to provide faster advertising guidance more cost effectively and accurately!
  • IP, partnerships and software will continue to evolve as key differentiators
  • We’ll see a return to storytelling, in new and exciting ways - thanks to the expanding role data will continue to play.
  • I also think we will continue to see consumers taking a more diligent approach to protecting their data and managing who gets to see what and when – it will certainly be interesting to see where Blockchain goes!

5. We’ve heard a lot about modern surveys and how consumers are changing the survey experience. Can you tell us about Lightspeed’s approach?

Despite mobile being an implicit part of our everyday lives, I still hear people in our industry talking about ‘mobile first’. Those days are definitely gone - think about how you live your life…it’s on the go, and much of what we need is at our fingertips, a finger swipe away. If your surveys aren’t built with a mobile screen and a mobile consumer in mind, you’re missing out on reaching your target audience, and in some of the world’s fastest growing markets, like China it’s now ‘mobile everything’. At Lightspeed we focus on making it easy for clients to ‘know more by asking less’, without compromising on consistency, quality, feasibility and truth. That means delivering more real-life connections with consumers, patients, physicians in faster, more seamless, more engaging, more implicit, and more ‘in the moment’ ways. We do this via our LifePoints app, our data appending and tagging capabilities, and our award winning QuestionArts survey design team led by Jon Puleston, our Vice President of Innovation. With people being more time-poor than ever before, we also take the time to ask survey-takers themselves what ‘good’ looks like at the end of our surveys – from this we have developed our propriety Survey Health Score to help validate the need for change for the better –our mantra for Modern Surveys? #short #smart #modern!

6. In 2018, Lightspeed announced its WeChat mobile offer in China. How has this changed business?

Our WeChat mobile offer is a great example of how we are extending our solutions on WeChat, is a great example of how we are no longer building everything ourselves here at Lightspeed, and are increasing our focus on building smart partnerships with local giants in markets where homogenous panels have traditionally caused data quality issues due to lower tier cities not being represented accurately. With WeChat being the most popular app in China (over 1 billion users) we are able to reach younger and lower-tier city respondents. This programmatic approach to sourcing double-opt-in respondents drives better sample feasibility, higher response rates and faster fieldwork turnaround. It’s a great example of how speed can be delivered at scale for clients and respondents without compromising on data quality, and is now our default sample source in China for all modern mobile surveys that are 15 minutes or less. we are really breaking new ground with our WeChat partnership in China, and are currently trialing access to real-time mobile data with another potential partner


Learn about the best tools to use for modernizing your survey designs



Topics: Data Driven Marketing, Digital Data Collection, Prediction, thought leadership

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all