“I’ve always had more ideas to work on,” says Mary Meehan, explaining her motivation to start another company.
“It’s like a gift and a curse…this entrepreneurship thing…but I just love solving problems.”
Though Meehan is not a formally trained social scientist, she’s spent over a quarter century thinking like one, and capitalizing on her experiments along the way.
She co-founded Iconoculture with Vickie Abrahamson in 1992, a consumer trend research firm that raised $12m and grew to 120 employees before a sale to Corporate Executive Board (CEB) in 2010. Post sale, Meehan and Abrahamson continued their partnership under a new name, Panoramix Global, a small consulting firm with international scope.
Her newest pursuit, Metametrix, is decades in the making — a culmination of her personal passion and professional pathway for consumer research. She started it to introduce a systematically scalable software platform for delivering big data to big brands that want know where the puck is going within their target markets.
Metametrix has a three stage approach: first, they identify unstructured information from across the internet – mobile data, panels, blogs, online communities, news, websites, or other social media. With natural language processing techniques, text analytics, and statistical modeling — they create structure, context and meaning around the data.
Lastly, they analyze how that data fits into the big picture of the culture using advanced frameworks referred to as STEEP, Systems theory, Scenario planning, and of course, Maslow.
“We give meaning and context to data analytics so that business can better understand their customers and the market,” she explains. “We call our proprietary process cultural analytics.”
“We help our clients see how ideas are embedded in the culture and guide them toward identifying incredible opportunities for their business. Trends are most important when they represent some sort of measurable change, a movement, and difference. Understanding what is changing a culture allows a customer of ours to be resonant and in step with whatever social demographic that is important to them.”
As for now, she maintains that the product is still in beta, although already selling on a subscription model to multiple large and unnamed customers seeking that data advantage along with the guidance to understand and apply it.
“We’ve reached the stage that it’s time to move things to the next level,” she says with the sort of confidence that comes from having been there before.