In Conversation With: Popertee’s Dr. Gerard Lynch


We recently sat down with Popertee’s very own Dr. Gerard Lynch to discuss all things technology and data! 

Tell us a little about your background and how you came to Popertee?

A little known fact, despite what you might think from my employment history, the written word was my first love and I was a voracious reader and writer when I was young, but when I got my first home computer in the 1990s (Commodore 64, showing my age now), life took a course towards the tech sector. From those humble beginnings, I went on to take a hybrid degree with Computer Science, Linguistics and German in Trinity College Dublin and liked college so much I decided to remain to pursue a Masters and then a Ph.D (Sure why not!), finally leaving Trinity in 2013.

My doctoral thesis combined the two loves, literature and technology quite neatly as I applied machine learning and natural language processing to literary text to answer questions about style, e.g, who wrote this text or what the demographics of the author were.

After that I took up a short term role at the Irish Times, working on named-entity recognition, basically detecting mentions of people, places and organisations in text. In my short time there I helped develop and deploy a system that is still in use today on the IT website.  Then I returned to academia to broaden my data horizons, working for three years in the Centre for Applied Data Analytics Research at UCD, an Enterprise Ireland Centre set up to allow Irish startups to leverage the power of academic research.

During this time I was exposed to numerous startups and in 2016 I made the inevitable leap to this crazy world, across the Irish Sea in London where I joined the UK medtech startup babylon, working on applying my natural language processing experience to the biomedical domain, including working on one of the first medical triage chatbots to be deployed in a large scale NHS trial in London as a replacement to the 111 emergency helpline.

After a while in the hustle and bustle of London, Dublin came calling again, and that’s when I joined Popertee, heading up the data team here, eager for a new challenge in a fresh business area!

One constant in my experience to date has been data, and how it has changed and revolutionised industries, and the experiential marketing sector was an area which was crying out for some data-driven disruption!

Why did this gap in the marketplace arise?

John Wanamaker (1838-1922), department-store magnate, once said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.”

In these days of Adwords and programmatic advertising, companies are used to getting detailed data on the ROI for their marketing spend. In the experiential sector however, it is often less straightforward to evaluate the impact of an experiential campaign. This is where Popertee’s Popscore comes in, an end-to-end data-driven solution for discovering the best location, booking the perfect space and evaluating your campaign.

How exactly will the technology work?

We are bringing together diverse data sources for each of the three main steps to facilitate discovery, booking and measurement of experiential campaigns.

For example, the discovery step combines social and behavioural movement data along with social media data to determine which area best fits your target audience and topic of the campaign.

Once the location is found, all available properties in the area are ranked according to your requirements in terms of technical fit out and purpose.

Finally, once your event is live, we monitor footfall and dwell time linked to demographics at the event within a small radius (5 to 25 m) and social media chatter about the event, in order to enable you to calculate ROE.

When will the technology be available to brands and agencies?

We are looking to do a target rollout of the Popscore: Discover platform to selected brands and agencies at the end of January 2018.

What common problems faced by brands can be alleviated & solved as a result of using the technology developed by Popertee.

We will enable brands to measure the impact of their campaigns in a clearer way.

What possibilities are being created through Popscore?

Brands and agencies can obtain targeted insights towards their popup locations, and we can aid in the often time-consuming process of finding the perfect location and space.

Also, search and interest data from our site can pinpoint the areas in which experiential and pop-up demand is highest, data which we can then feed to landlords and property owners who may have not considered short term lets in the past.

How timely can data be received by brands looking to find their optimum location, and are the results in real time?

Our behavioural data are based on aggregated data over time and are not real time per se, although they are highly granular, enabling insights on the postcode sector level. Fresh social media data will be added on a daily basis which ensures that up-to-the-minute recommendations are made.

How do you see the technology and capabilities developing over the next 3-5 years, and what new uses of data will brands soon be able to enjoy?

With the rise in deep learning and other advanced machine learning methods, I foresee that brands will be able to obtain up to the minute and detailed insights from relevant image data, both static and from video feeds.

Are there any  brands who have already utilised the technology available to them/brands in the pipeline who plan to use the technology in a strategic manner?

We are lining up a number of pilots with UK-based agencies and a number of large retailers in the New Year. Watch this space for further developments!

Find Your Ideal Pop Up Shop Today

Popertee specializes in helping entrepreneurs find the right temporary commercial space for their needs and we have all kinds of unique spaces available throughout Ireland & the UK. If you haven’t found your ideal pop-up shop venue yet, browse through our list of Popertees now.

Created on date: 08/10/2018