Former Edelman executive David Brain starts chatbot-based online research firm

The Auckland-based business is called Stickybeak.

AUCKLAND, NZ: Former Edelman Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa president and CEO David Brain is launching an online research company called Stickybeak.

Its platform will allow brands to conduct quantitative research via conversational chatbot-based AI surveys that look like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp chats, according to its website.

Stickybeak is in beta status; Brain said the site will open to everyone on June 10.

Stickybeak has two primary selling points, according to its announcement. First, conversational surveys are more enjoyable than traditional online surveys, so people are more likely to complete them. Second, as Brain wrote in the announcement, the firm picks its sample groups via Facebook and Instagram so respondents will "fill in your survey and your survey alone, unlike the ‘battery-hen' approach of bureaus where uninterested respondents tick box after box often with little or no thought."

Brain cofounded the company with research specialist David Talbot; Brody Nelson, cofounder of parking technology startup Parkable and Auckland digital shop Translate Digital; and Kyle Hickey, who also manages Translate Digital, according to its website. Stickybeak’s portal also lists New Zealand research firm UMR as a cofounder.

Brain is a board member of New Zealand online magazine Spinoff, as well as Parkable. He is also a non-executive director of marketing and communications network Enero Group, according to LinkedIn.

From 2003 to 2017, Brain worked at Edelman, most recently as president and CEO of Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa and as a main board director at Edelman parent DJE. He has also worked at Weber Shandwick, Burson-Marsteller and other firms.

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