Interview with StJohn Deakins, Founder and CEO of CitizenME

Last week we posted an analysis of the investment and M&A activity in the industry. One of the companies included in that review was CitizenMe, who recently raised $2 million in a new investment round. Here is an excerpt from their announcement:

“….The money will fund its mission to “fix the internet”. CitizenMe leads the category with the only fully functioning Zero Data technology that allows consumers to take control of their data and choose what data to share with companies, in exchange for fair and immediate payment…

Today, our personal data is scattered across the internet, harvested by big tech companies like Facebook and Google. CitizenMe’s ‘Zero Data’ technology introduces a simple change with a massive impact: people reclaim their digital superpower over their personal data by using a smartphone and the CitizenMe app. Companies and organisations use CitizenMe to request anonymised data and insights directly from consumers in real-time, in a fair, transparent and ethical exchange of value.

With more than 7.5 million zero data exchanges already completed, this method of sharing data is quickly establishing itself as the voice of the customer.

‘We are more than just consumers, we are Digital Citizens, and there is a trillion-dollar digital economy fuelled by our personal data. CitizenMe enables people and brands to co-create better digital products, services and life outcomes. We are delighted that Mercia and 1818 share our belief in a sustainable digital future and our lead in the new Zero Data category. It is time to fix the internet by putting the control of data where it should be: in the hands of Digital Citizens,’ says StJohn Deakins, CitizenMe Founder.

Digital Citizens have chosen to pre-share over 350+ different data types: from housing to income to their personality types. It enables customer-centric businesses to drive unique insights and one-to-one personalisation. With over 9,000+ Google reviews and counting, customers agree. By helping people to understand themselves better, companies can better understand their customers. Everyone benefits.

Thea Tebble of Mercia says: ‘Growing concern about the use of personal data is creating demand for a new type of customer data technology. CitizenMe offers a solution, enabling consumers to retain ownership of their personal data and companies to access it in an ethical way. The company is already ahead of the field and has huge potential for growth.’

The Covid pandemic, combined with yet more data regulations, has accelerated demand for a new type of customer data technology: ‘Data privacy is of ever-increasing importance to consumers and regulators. Companies want and need to be able to personalise while respecting those desires. CitizenMe’s Zero Data solution elegantly enables all those needs to be met.’ – Marc Cohen, Partner, 1818 Venture Capital

By being Citizen-First, and enabling people to participate in the exchange of their data, CitizenMe is part of a groundswell of ethical data companies delivering the required technology to change the internet. These include the MyData organisation and Tim Berners-Lee’s SOLID protocol. CitizenMe is an active partner in this transformational new ecosystem seeking to create a more sustainable digital future.”

CitizenMe started several years ago when multiple companies like Veriglif, Data Wallet, Measure Protocol, and more emerged as the vanguard of the Personal Data Economy shift, a topic that I believe is absolutely the future of insights and analytics, as well as marketing in all its forms.

Since two of my favorite topics are tracking the growth of the industry and the development of the personal data economy, today’s interview with StJohn Deakins, Founder and CEO of CitizenMe, was a real joy. We explored his entrepreneurial journey, what led him to launch CitizenMe, and what he sees as the future of the industry. This was a fun, insightful, and inspiring conversation. I think you’re going to enjoy it a lot.

 


MyData Operator Award

As a founding signatory to the MyData Declaration, CitizenMe is exceptionally proud to have been awarded the coveted MyData Operator status. The MyData Operator Award recognises companies that have shown leadership by empowering individuals to control their personal data.In order to receive this award, CitizenMe disclosed information about their operations for thorough scrutiny. With over 7.5 million data exchanges, CitizenMe is delivering on its’ mission to fix the internet and provide accurate, authentic, and real insights for businesses through their Zero Party Data platform.


The text has been edited for clarity:

Lenny Murphy: Hello, everybody. It’s Lenny Murphy here with another one of our CEO Series of interviews. And today, it is my honor and privilege to be hosting StJohn Deakins, co-founder and CEO of CitizenMe, a guy that I have known and followed for a few years because we think about similar things in similar ways, which is always great to have somebody else that – 

StJohn Deakins: [INAUDIBLE] 

Lenny Murphy: Yeah, welcome, StJohn. 

StJohn Deakins: Thank you. Thank you very much. And thanks for having me on the show, mate. 

Lenny Murphy: No, thrilled, thrilled to do it. So let’s talk a little bit about the CitizenMe journey, for those in the audience who may not be familiar. A little bit about your background and how you got to where you are now. 

StJohn Deakins: Yeah, I’d love to. I kind of try and keep it kind of short and to bullet points, maybe. It’s got a long meandering path. But I kind of got a digital background going back to, jeez, the ’90s putting newspapers online. Dotcom bust, where I made my first million on paper and then lost my first million on paper. 

Lenny Murphy: [LAUGHS] 

StJohn Deakins: And it’s sort of interesting, right? Did an IPO in ’99. Then moved out to Singapore and did mainly emerging market mobile stuff. So mobile phone, early mobile data, building out platforms for telcos. Helped about somewhere between 100 million and 200 million people get on the internet, using smartphones basically and early feature phones. 

Starting off with things like SMS and then going through to distributed video. So I was out there about, what, 12-13 years. I sold my last business there to an American company about 2010-2011 and started thinking about my next challenge and project. 

And the big thing there was this is back – Facebook had been around for a couple of years. Twitter had been around. When I sold my company, I did a – well, it turns out to be a typical thing when you’ve got an exit. 

You do some M&A, a bit of startup advisory, and something quirky. My quirky thing, which turns out to be very non-quirky and typical, I did a movie about Twitter. And we basically did a documentary. We followed the narrative of some people who interacted and found communities and their own personal tribes using Twitter early days. 

And we did a road trip around the states, meeting those people. And some of the people actually joined us on the road trip from New York to Los Angeles via Chicago. On Greyhound buses because it turns out the crowdsourced cinematographer didn’t fly. 

Lenny Murphy: So you really got to see America, then. [LAUGHS] 

StJohn Deakins: That was a fantastic experience. And then we crowdsourced that, crowd-edited it, 50 countries around the world, done an exit so we could kind of do that, which is really cool. And we did a new edit every time we screened it. But you could really see the core of everything is personal stories. 

And underlying those personal stories is the data that feeds those stories. And then it kind of became my next project. And you could see that the way the internet’s evolving, everything becomes digital, right? So the word “digital” disappears because everything just is digital. 

And in that world, the thing that fuels everything, that makes it possible is the personal data. And if you then look at that ecosystem and that economy and you work out how it’s going to play, you end up in some fairly dystopian end games where all of our data and everything about us lives in three or four different silos, which are competitive but a bit of a cabal, a cartel. 

So what I started looking at are ways that you could basically empower individuals with their own data. It’s fine getting a couple hundred million people online, but what are they actually going to do? And how are you really changing the world? And after you’ve done an exit, you get this whole social impact thing sometimes. 

So for me, it’s working through this way of enabling people to democratize data, give people the way to empower. And then as you make markets and experiences better because you just increased the flow of data in a kind of a transparent way. So that’s what I came back to the UK in 2013. 

I actually set up a company then. Started doing some research. And that’s when we set up CitizenMe. So CitizenMe is the idea of we’re all now digital citizens. Wherever you are in the world, we’re now for the first time all connected. And that is a really interesting place to be. 

I mean, beyond doing a startup, it’s there’s this massive, massive shift we’re going through as a society. So CitizenMe is around providing solutions for that for individuals but also for organizations and companies that need to interact with individuals. 

Lenny Murphy: OK, so you and I first met, gosh, probably, what, about four years ago, I think, as this broader concept that you’re talking about, of personal data ownership and in changing that data paradigm, started to really catch on, right? 

And it’s been – so I think – mediocre of me that there’s – the last few years have been a slog. You and I have chatted. I’ve got Veriglyph. You’ve got CitizenMe. We’ve seen Measure. We’ve seen lots of companies try and go down a similar path here. 

And nobody’s really caught on yet until you just closed a pretty significant funding round. And it seems as if there’s a sea change happening now. And I think the really interesting part about the news on your funding round with – congratulations on that – 

StJohn Deakins: Thank you for that. 

Lenny Murphy:  -is that integration to the idea of Web 3.0. And I think that is incredibly interesting because that is where we are now, where what is the next evolution of the internet. And how does personal data fit into that paradigm? So tell us a bit about your thinking around that. And we’ll go from there. 

StJohn Deakins: So we started early. And I think you and I had conversations before about it’s great seeing the future. But the timing is kind of important here. 

Lenny Murphy: Right. I really suck on projecting the timing. 

StJohn Deakins: I mean, the first version of the app, we’re on Version 2 of the app at the moment. Version 1 we put out in 2014. Got us huge amounts of fanfare. And it’s all about kind of data being the edge and you be in control. And the first version of the app was about locking down your data or giving you access to your settings in Facebook, to lock down their access and that sort of thing. 

And we realized 2015, which was not a fantastic experience to go through because you think you’re invincible after doing an exit, is that actually for the mass market, that’s just not something people are going to engage with. So we’re now on Version 2 of the app. 

Version 2 of the app is much more immediate – rewards for sharing insights as part of market research surveys, right? 

Lenny Murphy: Yep, yep. 

StJohn Deakins: And that’s much more accessible for consumers, for real humans. And then it’s marrying that up with the business side. And a critical part of the architecture for that is that the data has to be sitting out with the individual. 

If you’re going to create a system for an individual to empower them and their data, you have to give them ownership of the data or a copy of the data. And it’s not that – it’s an important point. It’s not that the data is moving from one place to another. 

It’s digital, so you get a copy in both places. And the way I think about it is like digital memories. If I go into a supermarket and buy a can of soda, then I’ve got a memory of the fact that I bought a can of soda, and the supermarket does, too. 

The supermarket has a digital memory, which persists. In three weeks’ time, I will not remember that I bought a can of soda in the supermarket, right? But if I have a digital memory, then I then retain that memory. And that’s all we do. We give people their own memory of all the interactions they have online. 

And then when you put those memories together, you can apply algorithms for us on devices, which then becomes really powerful because you can connect up all those different parts of your life. So that’s basically Web3 – distributed data, distributed AI. 

And we’ve just naturally progressed in that direction because it just makes absolute sense, right? 

Lenny Murphy: Yeah. 

StJohn Deakins: But when you do that and you enable people to exchange that data and those insights, that becomes hugely change-making for organizations. But in terms of the way you – it’s orders of magnitude more value for organizations just because you have real-time interaction with real data, which is verified, and teams of insights pre-structured off the top of it. That stuff is just going to have a revolutionary impact on consumer insights and market research. 

Lenny Murphy: Yup, preach to the choir. I think we can go on for a while about that. Let’s talk about the challenges, though, because I think we both know that there are challenges. I was actually going back and forth this morning with somebody on our team. 

There’s a new blockchain protocol called Ocean Protocol. And you’re asking my opinion about it. And it’s a blockchain-based data marketplace. And it’s like, yeah, got it. Great idea. Really damn hard to execute because, as you point out, it’s a supply and demand problem. 

So the demand for data is absolutely there. But the supply, especially in the era of GDPR, it must be a direct-to-consumer relationship, right? 

StJohn Deakins: Yeah. 

Lenny Murphy: So I’ve always thought that research was uniquely positioned to do that. I mean, the original pitch of Veriglyph was to connect all the panels and give all the panelists ownership of their data. And all the panels are like, yeah, that’s great. We’re not going to do that. 

[LAUGHTER] 

So love the idea. This will kill our business. No, no, no, no. 

StJohn Deakins: We had the same conversation with a big data broker four years ago. It’s like, you should get [INAUDIBLE] the data. It’s like, no way. Literally, it’s their value. Their value is a big part of data. 

Lenny Murphy: It is. So as we look at this market, which I think we’ll both still concede is the logical place to start, because you’re dealing with data, and you’re dealing with transactions for consumers of that data, fundamentally. So yay, that’s a great place to start. 

But breaking into that ecosystem with a different play is challenging. I mean, even right now, we just saw the consolidation between [INAUDIBLE], the two large marketplaces, which are effectively reselling access to data. I mean, that’s the core of their business, which is great. 

But the process – and be careful. I don’t want to offend anybody. I don’t mean to be offensive. The process of automation in that model is all around speed and not necessarily about effective targeting. And the models that you’ve produced, and others are pursuing, are about effective targeting. 

So we don’t have to ask the questions. We don’t need to have screeners. Why don’t you have to have screens? We already have the data. And I think that continues to be a very steep hill to climb. Obviously, your experience is a commercial success. 

So how are you bypassing that resistance to just the current standard protocol of how folks are doing things? 

StJohn Deakins: It’s a really hard thing to solve. I mean, you’ve got a two-sided marketplace. And you’ve got what’s called the cold start problem and machine learning. So you’ve got a two-sided marketplace. You don’t have enough energy on either side to get moving. And to get one side moving, you have to provide value to the other, so classic. 

A lot of companies have the same issue. I mean, Uber had the same issue in the first [INAUDIBLE]. You’ve got drivers and riders. And you need to balance the two. The issue we had is basically getting individuals to really care enough to want to do stuff where they start building out their own data profile. 

So the way we solve that is that when you build your data profile, you don’t connect up an account because no one wants to do that. Well, maybe 1% of the population would really love to just collect all their data. And it will become a obsessive kind of collection thing, which is fine for them. That’s cool. 

But for the rest of the population, it’s just not something that people enjoy doing, sitting down and connecting up 200 accounts. It’s not a thing. So the way we’ve done it is kind of gamify it with insights. So instead of me putting in my census data into my databank – so for that, we just put in ZIP code. 

And then we put in census data. But the payoff for me just having my census data in a data vault, data wallet on my phone is not massive. There’s no benefit to it. So what we do is basically say, would you like to know how many people in your area were born in your area? Would you like to know how many languages are spoken by your neighbors? 

And you basically say yes, and you get back, there are 16 languages spoken in your neighborhood – Italian, French, Farsi, and Polish, whatever it is, right? 

Lenny Murphy: Right. 

StJohn Deakins: What you’ve done in the background is put in the data. So you’re not even thinking about putting the data in. All you’re doing is getting a little nugget of information that is revealed from the data. And by switching that around, we then drive the collection because the collection then becomes – hopefully, for us, it becomes a bit delightful. 

You have little moments of knowledge, of the insight that we spark up with the individual. And those insights that we provide to individuals then become useful for organizations, too. And they all go in the data profile. 

So if I’m an organization, I want to talk to people in a highly diverse neighborhood. We can look at things like languages spoken in a neighborhood. And that becomes an indicator. So they become useful later on. 

As we do that, the more data you collect, the more insights we can provide. The insights themselves become data points. And they combine with the data points to make new insights. So you get this beautiful network effect happening with data because that’s number one. Sorry, go – 

Lenny Murphy: Sorry. Go ahead. Go ahead because that’s number one. 

StJohn Deakins: Well, that’s number one. So we spent a lot of time working through that. Second thing is you need to give people a way to exchange it. And when we did the first version of the app, which kind of tanked, a lot of the feedback we got was firstly, why are you making me work so hard for this? You should be doing it all for me. 

Real rage – it’s like, wow. And then the second thing you got is, you’re telling me that it has got value, but where’s the money? So the second part is you need to have an exchange, where if you look at the standard mechanics for market research, you 5,000 points. And you’ll get $5, maybe, because most people give up before they get the 1,000 points. 

So they never get the $5. This is massive negative net promoter score for market research apps because it seems to be a con. And it’s delayed gratification payout, and most people just drop out. So we just pay people immediately on PayPal. 

So you share your data. You get paid immediately, straight cash transaction. Immediately it kind of imbues trust because I’m saying you’re going to get paid. There’s a couple of bucks in your PayPal account. And you can see what’s happening. 

It makes the transaction much more transparent as well. So we worked a long time on that. It’s all of that gamification and really building a deep UX for the individual is so important. 

Lenny Murphy: Have you found – and that all makes perfect sense. We look at other companies pursuing quasi similar, at least philosophically similar, approaches here in the US, MFour, mobile platform. They’re paying people, at least a subset of folks, a monthly stipend, a flat amount for passive data measurement. 

A company called 1Q that’s a micro question model. And they pay people [SNAPS] pop – every, I think it’s $0.25 or $0.50 a question, something of that nature. So yeah, I think there’s momentum behind this process is changing. 

But what’s interesting is that all these disruptors have found a very specific niche where they’ve gained real traction. Like MFour and Shopper Insights. That’s a big play for them. 1Q, it’s quick concept testing. Is there a specific business use case that you have found a great market niche for that’s generating opportunity? 

StJohn Deakins: Yeah, it’s interesting. We had a lot of – we have three areas. We have a lot of agencies that use our platform. And it can be anything as simple as having a golden stat, an old school way of doing it. [INAUDIBLE] golden stat for the pitch tomorrow morning. 

So you go and do some quick research and kind of a sort of quick, rapid research platform. Plus, we get the data on top. So you get the quick golden stat plus and these people all use the Disney+ app. So how do you find that out? 

And you got that [SNAPS]. You can do that in 20 minutes on the platform because you got to have information, for instance. We do bigger projects with advertising agencies for clients as well. So we’ve got a very broad range of sectors using the platform because of that. 

The other two areas are corporate innovation teams that actually have cash because there are two types of corporate innovation teams. There’s a corporate innovation team, who have the side office, away from the main building with lots of bean bags and whiteboards. 

Wonderful people, and maybe they just really want to have a video for the board to show that they’re doing innovation. And then we have corporate innovation teams working with a big pharmaceutical company. They are essentially – it’s the next team for the pharmaceutical company. They’re doing a lot of really, really advanced work on things, like combining wearables and digital products plus pharma plus maybe counseling. 

It’s a real mix centered around the individual. And for those guys, our platform is fantastic because they can do all the deep data research for things like proposition testing, and concept testing, segmentation. And they can also do things like testing a prototype of a product because we plug in Figma or InVision and you can actually run through a prototype of an app and see 1,000 people, how they flow through that prototype of an app. 

And then you can cut that against things like activity level based on step count. So you can see people who have got high activity find this app – people [INAUDIBLE] on their phone or [? Strava ?] and have got high activity find this user journey much easier. 

But the people who don’t, who have maybe a different age cohort, find it harder. So you can do traditional testing. Literally, because you do that part of your lean startup and two-week sprint cycle. So the corporate innovation, that makes a lot of sense and then also for startups. 

So anyone doing digital innovation work properly, which tends to be startups, where you have a proper design sprint cycle. And you want to do lots of in-the-moment testing. So those guys use the platform a lot as well. And they innately get the data because they’re already doing lots of A/B testing. 

They’re already deep in the data and looking at usage stats. And we layer on top of that. So those guys really, really get the platform. 

Lenny Murphy: OK, and it sounds to me is an integrated data collection and sample platform, right? So you do it all within one. You can’t access your population, utilizing an external survey platform. 

StJohn Deakins: No. We have looked at that, of course, right? Because we’re looking at – we’ve got the gold stat problem. [INAUDIBLE] We’ve just found the experience for traditional surveys feeding through [INAUDIBLE] tricky. 

And the big benefit, just in terms of the dynamics of the way they’re set up – because they’re set up for a more traditional flow from the user experience point of view. And also the big value of what we have is the data. 

And traditional panels just use the data. [INAUDIBLE]. And then on the flip side, so we’ve obviously been asked whether we’d like to do that. We just haven’t been able to see a way it can really work for the individuals in terms of a user experience proposition. 

On the platform, of course, if we’re asked for particular audiences, there are occasions where we just can’t serve them on our base. We’ve got about 360,000 on base at the moment. If you want to go and speak to diabetics in Guatemala, we probably don’t have many on the platform. 

So we then provide consultancy services and go off to the samples. Or we do a lookalike, so we look for smaller cohorts for more kind of qual comm, digital qual, effectively, and [INAUDIBLE] research with the platform and use that to add value to the more traditional research. 

Lenny Murphy:  OK, makes sense. So that will be the conscious time. As we think about this Web 3.0, the emergence of a variety of companies that are all, again, conceptually, broadly conceptually similar. And I think we’re seeing, off top of my head, with you, there’s probably another five or six companies that seem to have pretty good traction and some fairly significantly. 

Disco, for instance, here in the US, they just closed an $85 million round. They are at least philosophically the same, how they think about this idea. So we’re getting traction overall with this thinking. 

What do you think the next three togive5 years look like for this sector of Web 3.0 personal data ownership? Not just in the research space but overall. You’ve got now the introduction of the metaverse, all of this stuff. Where do we see all this going? 

StJohn Deakins: Yeah, don’t get me started on the metaverse because I don’t have an Oculus headset. I’m not going to have one for the next couple of years. So I’m not going to be one of the apparently billion people who’s going to be in the metaverse. 

Lenny Murphy: But what really is happening in the market at the moment, there’s a big push on what’s being called zero-party data. So you’ve got zero-party data, which because – mainly because of regulation like GDPR. But in the states, you also have 35 different states all pushing regulation. 

I think Massachusetts is the most – is pretty harsh or stricter than GDPR. California is obviously already kind of out Virginia, Colorado, et cetera. So you’ve got this massive regulation [INAUDIBLE]. So that’s basically pushing away from third-party data brokers to zero-party data. 

The third-party data brokers are going to have a very, very hard time because of the regulation coming through and also [INAUDIBLE] sentiment changing. Plus you’ve got cookies disappearing, plus IDFA on Apple. Massive, massive changes in the data landscape. 

And so because of that, you’re going to have zero-party data coming through. And actually, market research expertise in terms of talking directly to people and getting insights, it’s similar to zero-party data. But the thing is, to do zero-party data properly, you have to have what we call a zero-data platform, or a Web 3.0 platform, where you’re distributed. 

So for us, we’re getting a lot of big corporates coming in asking if they can license our entire stack to their customers. So we’re suddenly seeing a switch in the market. It’s a switch to direct interaction with consumers. And I think in the next two or three years, that’s going to explode in use. 

Even the term “zero-party data” is suddenly coming through as an everyday part of the marketing vocabulary. So we’re seeing that shift happening very, very quickly. And I think COVID’s accelerating it, too. 

StJohn Deakins: Yup, agreed. I think we’re seeing it play out in social media, right? You and I chatted the other day, the explosion of Signal and Telegram, for instance. Those are just two examples. But there are others that have emerged that are playing in that arena, this broad data privacy, zero-party data. 

Now, I don’t think they’ve learned how to monetize their offerings yet. But – 

Lenny Murphy: Well, and that’s the fascinating idea, right, because, I mean, if you’re a marketer and you just got your social listening tools up and running, and then all of a sudden – 

StJohn Deakins: They don’t work for it anymore. [LAUGHS] I know. Yeah, yeah. 

Lenny Murphy: That becomes problematic. And I mean, with the zero-party or zero-data architecture, Web3 architecture, the opportunity for organizations – by having those direct relationships with customers – is that you can actually start plugging in real-time to all of that deep knowledge, customer knowledge that’s out there amongst your customer base and plug that directly into – it’s almost like the nervous system for your organization. 

So research, instead of being a slightly librarian, statistical adjunct to marketing actually becomes the core of your organization. It’s the nervous system. It’s your knowledge system for your organization. 

[INTERPOSING VOICES] 

StJohn Deakins: It’s where market research and consumer insights should be. 

Lenny Murphy: Agreed. And I think the most exciting part is this fundamental reshift of thinking that it has to be a fair value exchange for the consumer. We have treated them as a commodity for way too long. And we are seeing that now occur. 

Here in the US, there’s SampleCon, an industry of all the Sample players together. And it really came to the surface at that event of, crap, we got a supply problem. I’m hearing it from everybody. There is a challenge with panel companies delivering supply, delivering consumers. 

And yeah, because we have people that are disengaging. They’re coming out of the matrix, right? Whatever, you know. But consumers recognizing there’s value to my data. There’s political implications around all of that, et cetera, et cetera. 

But there is a shift that has happened, where folks are withdrawing. They’re going behind firewalls for at least some of their data. And they’re not engaging. I actually was watching even the political results last night here. There were elections here in the US. And boy, another polling failure. 

And we didn’t see that coming in Virginia and New Jersey in some of these places. Well, yeah, because I think our samples are bad. So I think our samples are increasingly skewed because we don’t have access to the entire population because people are now aware. I want a fair value exchange. And I want this under my control now, not yours. 

StJohn Deakins: Absolutely. And so trust, it’s become a bit of a cliche. But trust is going to become so important. We’re working with a government department in the UK. They’re trying to drive engagement to actually help specific groups of individuals. 

But they just can’t get the engagement because of a trust issue. And they don’t see that coming through again and again and again. And you can kind of try and address it with purpose. 

I saw there was a Mark Ritson talk, saying about there’s a lot of purpose watching. His comment was about Starbucks being about communities, but they don’t pay their taxes. And maybe the two things are linked. So it – really kind of coming through with purpose. 

But the purpose isn’t just having a billboard about how you care about the environment. It’s engaging with people and really understanding and listening to them. And that’s how you build trust. And that’s innately what the consumer insights marketplace has always done. 

And Jane Frost told me a few years ago – market research is the ethical part of marketing. So we’re the guys who have always done this. We just need to get back in touch with our roots. 

Lenny Murphy: Yep, yep, agreed. And I think that’s – it’s part of the – when I mentioned the marketplace is in the automation, that’s fantastic. To be able to deliver 1,000 completes in an hour? Yay. That’s a great thing to do. 

Obviously, cheaper, faster, better – that is the driver of change. So we need to be able to do that. Where is the balance to be able to maintain that level of efficiency, which is not going to go away, combined with the quality and ethics and fair value exchange. 

And I think that’s really exciting, as we move forward, where this goes. So I think you and I could go on for a long time about this. And I suspect that we will have more conversations – 

StJohn Deakins: I want to say one other thing. [INAUDIBLE] because the reason I got into marketing in the first place was that I was persuaded by a director of marketing at British Telecom, one of my first jobs, about driving life outcomes through marketing, understanding people, so you can give them better products and services. 

And that’s what we’re trying to do, is driving better life outcomes. And that’s about understanding what people actually need and want. 

Lenny Murphy: Yep, yep, agreed, agreed. I had met somebody recently of – they were talking about the intention economy. And they’re building a new browser based on this idea of the intention economy. And their position was all marketing is bad. 

It’s like, no, no, marketing is not bad. It may be abused, sure. But no, marketing is about giving people what they want. And we have to find out what people want. So it’s not that the goal is commendable. The process maybe isn’t always great. 

But now we can fix that. We can fix that process. We can align those things. And I think that’s incredibly exciting. 

StJohn Deakins: Totally, totally, completely agree with that. 

Lenny Murphy: Yeah, all right. StJohn, this has been great. I’m sure that we will chat again. Congratulations on the round. Congratulations on the stick-to-it-ness, right? So I love how you were like, yeah, the first one bombed. We didn’t do it right. 

StJohn Deakins: I wasn’t smiling that time. But anyway, yeah, I mean, the big thing for me is the market’s changing. So it’s really, really – next year is going to be groundbreaking for all of us. 

Lenny Murphy: Yeah, I think so. I think so. Well, I will look forward to chatting with you about this more as things progress and CitizenMe takes off into greater and greater heights. 

StJohn Deakins: Thank you [INAUDIBLE]. And I’ll see you at the next event for a beer or something. 

Lenny Murphy: Yeah, all right, my friend. Thank you. We’ll talk soon. Bye bye.

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