Complex turns up the market intelligence

Complex Networks has turned roughly 30,000 fans willing to answer questions into a multi-million dollar focus group.

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Complex turns up the market intelligence


The Future. Complex Networks has turned roughly 30,000 fans willing to answer questions into a multi-million dollar focus group servicing top brands looking for cultural insight. With Complex Collective undergoing a massive expansion (in both clients and leadership voices), the future of market research may be communities with a reputation for being tapped into what’s relevant.

Everybody get focused
Complex has its audiences’ opinions on tap.

  • Its two-year-old Complex Collective — a community of 30,000 users who can be tapped to answer questions or be available to Complex writers and editors — has become a “seven-figure” vertical for new parent company BuzzFeed.
  • It serviced 12 companies last year, including Banana Republic and the CDC (yes, that one), that pay between five and six figures for Complex’s insights.
    • The amount of companies involved has tripled this year.

The dedicated survey audience (which does have a high churn rate) isn’t paid for their involvement, opting instead to help out as fans of Complex. However, they are given access to exclusive virtual events. The average response rate from the group is a pretty great 61%.

Hype panel
Additionally, Complex is providing a layer of leadership over the Collective in the form of an advisory council.

  • The advisory council is made up of eight personalities at the intersection of culture and commerce.
  • It includes experts such as Kith Chief Impact Officer Sharifa Murdock, SNKRS + NBHD global brand specialist Jonathan T. McLean, and TheFutureParty’s very own founder, Boye Fajinmi.
  • The council’s job is to help with Collective member retention and give clients access to experts in their respective fields.

Nick Susi, Complex Collective’s head of strategy, called the infrastructure of the entire Complex Collective team, council experts, and members a community, explaining that “this is not a collection of folks that we dip into and dip out of whenever we please, with more transactional types of asks.”

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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