SurveyMonkey CMO: Search For The Perfect Questions

SurveyMonkey CMO Leela Srinivasan, who joined in April for the opportunity to remain curious, doesn’t think marketers spend enough time thinking about the correct questions to ask consumers.  

“People ask questions and offer opinions, whether they’re welcome or not, but as organizations think about the questions they want to ask I would encourage them to think more deeply,” Srinivasan said. “If the questions aren’t clear, crisp and presented in a neutral way, you bias the results.”

Stay curious and be curious, she said, to keep improving the organization. Aside from “deeply” thinking about the questions being asked, Srinivasan stresses that marketers should ask questions up front to better inform campaigns and products, as well as improve the relationships with existing and potential customers.

Helix Sleep, the direct-to-consumer mattress company, used SurveyMonkey Audience in its product development to discover the features that consumers wanted in a pillow. Helix cut production development cycles in half because it knew what features to focus on from the beginning.

"Data becomes interesting when 'what' is paired with 'why'," Srinivasan said. “Leaders in general still struggle to make sense of it.”

The Global Online Survey Software Market Report  estimates the value of the market for online surveys at about $4.065 billion in 2017, reaching 6.9 billion by 2022.

SurveyMonkey often asks questions of its employees. The company runs a survey on the quality of its benefits to gather feedback from employees. The last time the survey ran, employees wanted to know how the company could extend benefits to third-party companies, outsourced services, such as janitorial services or employees who work in the kitchen’s cafeteria.

These workers are not on SurveyMonkey’s payroll, but offer valuable services to employees. The company contributes financially, so the workers can receive a higher level of benefits.

It has been a big year for SuveyMonkey. Early in October, the company filed with the Security and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering on NASDAQ, listed under the symbol SVMK.

SurveyMonkey celebrated in Times Square with banner ads featuring celebrities, digital bus shelter displays, and data covering the NASDAQ building. The campaign featured work with Serena Williams, Arianna Huffington, Draymond Green and Jeff Weiner on the campaigns around its IPO to explore their curiosities through surveys and decorate displays.

Perhaps Facebook influenced SurveyMonkey’s culture. The late Dave Goldberg, former CEO, was married to Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg.

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