Always be researching with Marlon Wayne!!

Marlon Wayne is the founder of impulse, a social polling app, and an Akron, OH native. He describes impulse as Nielsens for the TikTok generation, meaning they gain consumer insights in a fast, fun way without violating personal privacies.

On Tuesday, June 16 our CEO, Claire Coder, interviewed Marlon and asked him about his knowledge and expertise of market research and social media. The video of this interview has been edited and posted online on Claire’s Linkedin page. Below is a transcription of the interview. 



[CLAIRE] Marlon, welcome to Clarifications. We are so glad to have you. Right before this phone call—or right before this Zoom call I was like make sure you have your notifications off and you're like, “Claire, I am the expert on Gen Z and media so y'all don't have to remind me of this,” and I was like, okay, okay. But Marlon, you really are. The reason that we wanted to have this call is because you know about Gen Z and market research. I'll admit I'm technically part of Gen Z and I don't even know what my generation is about, you know more about me than I do. So, I'm really excited to have you. Marlon, I did not do you justice in describing how awesome you are.

What is the most badass thing about you? 

[MARLON] I will say the most badass thing about me is, I moved to San Francisco and within a day I had a job working at a venture capital firm.

[CLAIRE] Wow, that is super badass. What was the trick? 

[MARLON] Show up. 

[CLAIRE] Show up. What a remarkable way to start this and that's how you started your company, right you did—you did took the leap and you showed up and that's—that was the impetus of your company. Yeah? 

[MARLON] Yeah exactly. 

[CLAIRE] Tell me a little bit more about what you do and what you spend your days doing. 

[MARLON] So I spent a lot of time working with Impulse, which is our app as you know. So, with Impulse we are effectively a bridge between social media and market research.

[CLAIRE] Tell me. How would you suggest companies really using social media to address their markets? Like what are we missing? 

[MARLON] We’re moving towards this Zoom era, this House Party era, this Realtime if you're familiar with the Realtime app, where you're just quickly getting together people that are similar to you and then boom you're talking, you're meeting, you’re chatting. And, as we move towards that I think brands are going to have to adapt and evolve and understand what it means to be present. To show up. Just being more organic. Put your money towards how can you have more interactions with your consumers, more interactions with fans of your brand and being authentic. Put money behind that. Put money behind hiring talent that reflects your consumers. You can’t expect to be able to service Gen Z if you haven't hired any. They know what they want to see. 

[CLAIRE] I love that. I love that. Put your money behind hiring people that look like your consumers. That is great. I’m curious Marlon, from your perspective, what questions are brands not asking around social media and marketing and also market research that they should be asking? 

[MARLON] The research component. The “how do we understand who—who we're marketing to, who we’re catering to,” is the more important thing. Because when you say marketing, it's really how do we reach these people and you should be thinking about that on a greater depth than just “how do I get my product in front of them?” But “how do I understand them? How do I get in front of them” and actually have these conversations where I can start to learn about them.

[CLAIRE] So Marlon, now is the time where I really want to ask you—we've talked a lot about social media, market research. In those industries, what is one thing that we need to CLARIFY?

[MARLON] We need to clarify, in market research, that it is not one and done. In social media, It is not one and done. It is continuous. It is relational and it is compounding. I say always be researching.


By: Ally Williams