From Rockets to Research: Brandware’s Tyler Sartin
Vice President Tyler Sartin is not your average researcher. He could just as easily help you go to space as he could help you develop a marketing strategy for your new product.
As a leader on the Brandware research team, he helps manage projects across numerous sectors, including: financial services, packaged goods, pharmaceutical, building products and professional services, among others. An engineer by training, Tyler is well-versed in many technical disciplines related to IT solutions, data modeling, application programming and asset management. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Prior to joining Brandware in 2014, Tyler developed statistical tools at SpaceWorks for satellite mangers, NASA and the US Department of Defense. Prior to this, Tyler worked with the US Air Force performing engineering analysis, reliability and risk assessments and market research for aircraft systems.
We recently asked Tyler a few questions about his wide-ranging past and present experiences. Here’s what he had to say.
Why and how did you choose this as your career?
I used to be an aerospace engineer and had jobs involving spacecraft and fighter aircraft after I graduated from Georgia Tech. I did this for around four years and realized I needed a change. Around this time, I met Brandware’s CEO Dave, and he convinced me to use my analytical mind and outgoing personality for market research. I’ve loved seeing our hard work utilized by our clients and haven’t looked back since.
What is your typical workday?
I’m usually in the office by 7:30 a.m. and get started on the tasks at hand. Every day can be different, but I typically begin by looking over our list of ongoing research projects and start to knock out the deliverables. Then my day can include anything from moderating qualitative studies, talking with prospective clients, creating data visualizations, presenting research findings, or guiding our analysts. How I spend my day often depends on the proportion of quantitative to qualitative research on which we’re currently working, which means every day is different.
What is the most surprising thing about your work?
It’s always surprising to discover actionable marketing strategies within the marketing data we collect and analyze. We don’t always begin studies knowing the best marketing strategy for our client, but after well-designed qualitative and/or quantitative research we uncover some pretty startling insights and implications. We then use these implications to better inform a truthful marketing strategy.
Could you elaborate on what you mean by a truthful marketing strategy?
It’s a strategy that tells the truth about why your product or service is valuable to your clients. I believe the stories you tell should not only be compelling, but also honest.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?
It’s always rewarding to give your client guidance on a coherent strategy. Helping clients meet their objectives is a huge payoff.
Where do you see the PR and market research industries headed in the future?
Now that social media and the Internet are the source of everything, research must focus on how to best communicate online and how to appropriately market to consumers on mobile platforms. We need to be sure our clients are set apart from competitors on crowded channels. Additionally, exploring new channels will become hugely important, e.g., virtual and augmented reality, smart home devices, etc.
How do you stay on top of this ever-changing industry?
I try to stay updated on trade publications, academic papers and books. I also try to stay in the loop on cutting-edge methodologies and experimental methods used in consumer and B2B marketing.
What does it mean to you to be competitive?
I would say that being competitive in our industry means earning client business and retaining it. We have project repeat rate of over 95%, which I think speaks for itself.
In all your past experiences, what’s had the greatest influence on you?
I was in a profession where projects lingered and wouldn’t always be realized. Aircraft design and cost estimation projects could be put on the shelf for decades, and most of my work was purely theoretical (and, frankly, a waste of money). This set off a spark and led me to seek a career in which I could create actionable, real-time results. In marketing research and PR, I oversee projects from start to finish and can see the fruits of our labor.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
I’d like the same extraordinary ability exhibited by Johnny 5 in the movie Short Circuit, namely to read a book in a second.
What’s an interesting fact about yourself?
I have somewhat of an encyclopedic knowledge of horror movies between the 60s and early 90s. My top four favorites (in no particular order) are 1985’s Return of the Living Dead, George Romero’s 1978 seminal zombie epic Dawn of the Dead, and the John Carpenter classics Halloween (1978) and The Thing (1982).
What’s the last thing you watched on TV?
What was your first and last concert?
My first concert was the Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age when I was 14 back in 2000. My last was Brian Wilson and some of the Beach Boys performing their album Pet Sounds.
How do you spend your free time?
Reading, doing housework, and watching more of “The Office.”
What’s your favorite 90s music?
I’d say 90s hip-hop. Artists like A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, and The Fugees. I also really like late 90s/early 2000s turntable work like DJ Shadow’s …Endtroducing and, my all-time favorite album, Since I Left You by The Avalanches