Rival Technologies invests in expanding its consultancy

Founder and CEO Andrew Reid says using Reach3 Insights will help marketers make sense of conversational data.

Andrew Reid

Marketers are drowning in data these days.

The sea of digital information is constantly lapping up on marketers’ shores, but what it all means and what to do about it can be as hazy as a beach in British Columbia. That’s where companies like Vancouver’s Reach3 Insights, a sister company of Rival Technologies, see potential to throw overwhelmed CMOs a lifebuoy.

“A lot of marketers, frankly, they have a basic understanding of research principles and data analytics, but this space is becoming so sophisticated and complex that they don’t just need an agency anymore to tell them what is happening,” says founder and CEO of Rival Technologies Andrew Reid. “They are really looking for a research agency that understands the leading-edge techniques to capture the what, but also understand the why and then, that next step, what most of our clients are looking for, is what should they do about it.”

Rival Technologies (whose parent company is Reid Campbell Group) specializes in conversational marketing solutions for brands, with eye towards consumer research. Reid started the company last year after leaving Vision Critical, the technology company he founded in 2004, and is doubling down on offering its big-name clients consulting services via Reach3 Insights.

Over the last year, Reid (the son of the well-known pollster Angus Reid, who was also involved in Vision Critical until both left in 2016 after reportedly disagreeing with directors over the company’s direction) has raised $8.5 million for his new ventures and works with more than 40 global brands, according to a Rival Technologies press release. Some of that funding will go to investing in technology and specialized staff, as well as an unspecified amount going to further expand Reach3 Insights, which has a client roster that includes Jägermeister, Johnson & Johnson, RXBar, Cineplex and Snap Inc. Rival’s consulting company is being led by Matt Kleinschmit, who previously worked with Reid at Vision Critical, where he was SVP from 2008 to 2016.

“We believe we are at a little bit of an inflection point in the research world, as… there’s no shortage of data available,” says Reid.

He says Reach3 complements Reach3 Insights main offering, which specializes in doing consumer surveys via chat, voice and video rather than the more traditional email surveys marketers have long relied on for greater insights into consumer behaviour. Beyond consumer feedback, Reid says, marketers are clamouring for more than just waves of information, which has led to a glut of companies (including his) to ramp up their consultancy offerings in recent years.

“[Clients are asking] ‘what are the actions that should result from this deeper understanding of consumer behaviours and emotions and context?’” notes Reid. “What do they actually do in terms of new product development, in terms of branding and positioning [and] in terms of content and creative with different types of consumers that are in the marketplace?”

In other words, thanks to smartphones and social media and surveys marketers have tons of data, but are reaching out to consultancies, like Reach3 Insights, to ensure they’re swimming in the right direction.

Corrections: This article has been updated on August 28, 2019, to clarify: Reid Campbell Group is the parent company of Rival Technologies; Andrew Reid has raised $8.5 million in pre-series A from investors in Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg since the company’s inception; The company currently works with more than 40 brands. We sincerely regret the errors.