Marketing entrepreneur Sebastian Starzynski on eye-tracking and entrepreneurship

sebastian starzynski

Serial entrepreneur Sebastian Starzynski, Poland

What is the story of the leading marketing entrepreneurs around the world? What made these folks choose the entrepreneurial path? What’s on their minds and which books do they recommend?

That is what Markedu aims to uncover in our marketing entrepreneurs series. This time you can meet serial  and marketing entrepreneur Sebastian Starzynski from Poland.

> Meet Sebastian Starzynski in this Markedu webinar about eyetracking with EEG
> Learn about ABR SESTA – a business specialized in shopper research

We asked marketing entrepreneur Sebastian Starzynski seven questions. Here is what he had to say:

1. When did you decide to become an entrepreneur?
It was over 18 years ago, when I was a 21 years old. I was a third year student at The Warsaw School of Economics. My friend was checking in-store prices for one of the multinational FMCG producers. I thought it might be a market opportunity.

Over half of my friends were students from different cities, who regularly traveled home for weekends. I founded my first company, ABR SESTA (the name comes from SEbastian STArzyński – I had no better idea for the company’s name), created a solution for checking prices in 15 major cities in Poland.

After 6 months and over one hundred sales meetings I got my first client, Procter & Gamble.

When I was still in the third year of college I opened a second company – business consulting, where I was selling the consulting services of my university professors. And then at the beginning of the fourth year I started a third company specialized in writing business plans. Then after one year I introduce the first Subway restaurants to Poland.

2. In your experience what is the most scary aspect of being an entrepreneur?

marketing entrepreneur scare

What is scary about being a marketing entrepreneur?

It depends on your situation.  When you are young and you still live with your parents many things are much easier. For me opening companies was actually fun. I did not have wild ambitions about creating a global company. But these days I have a family and 50 employees. So my decisions have to be more careful.

There is always a lot of stress and important business decisions must be made all the time.  For example about what things are better to do in the old way, and have similar results or move forward, take risks and try new things. I mostly chose the second option, but it is very difficult in Poland where most people prefer doing things the old way.

See if Markedu offers a webinar about marketing innovation here

When you come out with a new product, they do not look at it as an opportunity, but rather a potential element that can ruin their position in the company. My work is both exciting and scary. It involves deciding which path I should go and,what products I should focus on. Every decision can have a scary outcome. Or a successful one.

3. One of your businesses deals in the space of measurement and research. What made you interested in using Eye-tracking?

eyetracking with EEG

Eyetracking with EEG looks a lot like science fiction. But there is no fiction about the results if done right.

In ABR SESTA we do a lot of shopper research. For a long time I was not interested in Eye-tracking (mobile version), because we are a leader in the region in NPVO (Non Participant Video Observation) which I still find better for most shopper studies.

Most of our experience in Eye-tracking is the mobile version. Regarding stationary Eye-tracking, from the beginning there was quite strong competition and a small, but growing demand on the Polish market. My biggest concern was whether we can analyze data from Eye-tracking and EEG simultaneously, so we were looking for that kind of solution.

4. What is Eye-tracking with EEG?
It’s a standard method of measuring the brain activity (frontal cortex) that has been applied to market research for over 20 years. Previously it was not standardised and the results were interpreted by specialists, which caused quite a big margin of error.

What we managed to achieve was to use advanced mathematics to filter the brain signals in a standardized way. That is why our methods are fully comparable and we need researchers who understand how to interpret charts and not raw signals from the brain.

5. What is the main advantage of Eye-tracking with EEG?
The standard outcome of an Eye-tracking study is a heatmap. On that base you can identify areas of the tested materials that catch the most attention. The problem is that our attention can be swayed not only by something interesting in a positive way (e.g. funny, pretty), but also by something we do not understand, so we keep looking at it in order to figure it out.

In most cases we prefer not to exercise our brain; that is why we feel reluctance when we cannot understand something. EEG gives us the opportunity to “look into” respondents’ brains and answer those question and color the heatmap in respect to the emotions that each part of the material evoked.

6. Which types of business can benefit most from using eye-tracking with EEG?

eyetracking for planograms

Example of a shelf display planogram in retail

The business area that benefits the most from that kind of data is marketing, with its evaluation of promotional materials (advertising films, printed materials etc.). In respect to that, all businesses that spend a lot of money on advertising are potential beneficiaries of that research technology.

Marketing departments can also use emotional Eye-tracking for packaging tests, websites and applications test. Trade marketing and sales departments can use mobile emotional Eye-tracking for shelf planograms tests, in-store promotional communication tests.

We have used emotional Eye-tracking for computer game testing and for testing political marketing material. So, as you see, the potential areas that can benefit are quite broad.

7. Thinking about marketing and entrepreneurship, which three books have given you the most value?
Dan Ariely’s book „Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decision”. In fact, I like all of Dan Ariely’s books. (check this link to see all of Dan Ariely’s books)

Get in touch with Sebastian Starzynski, Polish marketing entrepreneur and serial entrepreneur
> Meet Sebastian Starzynski on LinkedIn
> Check his company ABR SESTA here
> See his webinar profile on Markedu’s website



By |2017-12-08T19:53:53+00:00January 28th, 2015|

About the Author:

Michael Leander
The founder and CEO of Markedu is a world-renowned, award-winning speaker who has shared his know-how on digital marketing, loyalty marketing, CRM and data-driven marketing with thousands of professionals in 48 countries around the world.

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