Leela Srinivasan
March 1, 2019

How SurveyMonkey Powers the Curious

Guest: Leela Srinivasan - Chief Marketing Officer, SurveyMonkey

“Eating your own dog food” didn’t sound so appetizing, so folks started “drinking their own champagne.” SurveyMonkey didn’t want people thinking they were sipping too much bubbly on the job, so now they “eat at their own restaurant.” Put simply, they lean heavily on their own offering to strengthen their marketing, grow their company and—as they like to say—power the curious!

From finding out how much a person uses technology, to determining how a company’s culture is developing, the options are endless on what info you can gather with SurveyMonkey, and the company’s  marketing efforts put that to test. Leela Srinivasan, SurveyMonkey’s CMO, chats with Drew on how everything at SurveyMonkey—from campaign development to internal culture—is about creating and supporting a world of curious people.

Don’t miss what Leela has to share!

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Bonus Segment: The Art of the Survey

This week, Leela took the time to record a brief bonus episode with Drew that addresses how a company can effectively craft surveys to glean serious insights, and boost your marketing efforts and overall operations. Click here to get some insights into the art of the survey!

What You’ll Learn

Power the Curious campaign

Prior to going public, SurveyMonkey did a brand refresh with its Power the Curious campaign in 2017. The company defined its mission as Powering the Curious. SurveyMonkey’s products and solutions enable organizations everywhere to measure, benchmark, and act on feedback. If these organizations can listen to this feedback and have a curious attitude towards it, then the feedback can drive growth and innovation.

Leela shares that she loves the notion of curiosity for two reasons. One, the notion of curiosity was one that their audience was leaning into. The smartest people display curiosity. Secondly, if you think about the idea more broadly, the value proposition for employees is massive. This campaign not only set SurveyMonkey up to market to the business realm but to employees and potential employees. SurveyMonkey could be the place where the curious come to grow, which is exactly what bright minds are looking for in a workplace.

How to build a culture of curiosity internally

SurveyMonkey uses its own tools to build a culture of curiosity. Leela shares that SurveyMonkey leverages its own platform to obtain living feedback from its employees. These surveys measure employee engagement and to find places that can be improved to make a company with more inclusion and belonging. All leaders in the company are given scores for their departments, and they are shown how their scores stack up against other departments in the company. All of this information pushes SurveyMonkey to be curious internally. They are given results and scorings that can drive its leaders to be curious and search for solutions on how to how a healthy organization.

Big drivers to marketing SurveyMonkey

SurveyMonkey partnered with 4 influencers to show that curiosity is self-defined. Serena Williams, Arianna Huffington, Draymond Green, and Jeff Weiner each created concise surveys to engage different audiences. These surveys were advertised on social media, billboards, and more to let the world engage with these influences. Curiosity was at the top of the whole thing. Success was measured by the volume of responses, and there was a lot of engagement. Throughout this campaign with these four influencers, a conversation was generated that said, “you can do this every day of the week by using SurveyMonkey. Find an idea you want to tap into. Bring these ideas to market and explore the things where you are involved in the world.” Be sure to look below in the resources mentioned for the findings from the influencers surveys.

Timeline

  • [3:07] Who is Leela Srinivasan
  • [9:07]] Launching the Power the Curious campaign prior to going public
  • [15:42] How to build a culture of curiosity internally
  • [21:00] How to teach curiosity
  • [26:05] Big drivers for marketing at SurveyMonkey  
  • [29:50] The Curiosity Conference
  • [32:35] Lessons learned from rolling this campaign out  

Connect With Leela Srinivasan:

Resources & People Mentioned

Full Transcript: Drew Neisser in conversation with Leela Srinivasan

Drew Neisser: “Eating your own dog food” is an expression that is used so frequently in the tech industry that it has been shortened to just “dogfooding.” Its origins are debated. Some connect it to the CEO of Kal Kan who actually ate a can of his product at a shareholders meeting. Ick. Others think it was from Lorne Green in an Alpo commercial back in the 70s when he said, “Hey, I feed this to my own dogs.”

Over the years, the tech community has polished this up, suggesting that they drink their own champagne. You can look at my Fast Company article back in 2011 with John Miller, then of Marketo. And for some stupid and unexplainable reason, whenever I hear a new version of that, I get all excited. Which brings us to our guests today. Leela Srinivasan, the CMO of Survey Monkey, a role she assumed in April 2018. Now Survey Monkey I’m assuming most of you know is the leading platform for fielding surveys. We’ve been using it at Renegade for our clients pretty much since it was founded in 1999, and most recently used it for some really helpful research for my next book.

It’s an incredibly easy and powerful tool and for the record, Leela is not paying me to say that. But I digress. Anyway, in my pre-interview with Leela, she talked about how she’ll be spending 2019 devising new ways to bring her team and entire organization closer to their customers concluding with—drumroll please—we have the luxury of eating in our own restaurant. See, now that doesn’t sound like dogfooding. That sounds so cool! It sounds like this is gonna be all gourmet in this episode. Anyway, I’m excited to introduce you to Leela, and welcome to the show.

Leela Srinivasan: Thank you so much, Drew. What an introduction.

Drew Neisser: Well I don’t know about that, but we’re going to talk about the relatively new campaign and the launch of it. I’m particularly interested in it. We’re going to do that and then at the end, we’re going to get into some very important things that you marketers, particularly B2B marketers, can do and ways to think about research that you may not have been thinking about. If necessary we may even record it as a bonus episode, so just stick with us here. First off, I know you grew up in Scotland. Where exactly were you born?

Leela Srinivasan: Wow—we’re really going back into the mists of time. I was born in Edinburgh, which is the capital city of Scotland, and spent my childhood in Edinburgh and then moved up to a town just outside St. Andrews, which most people know is the home of golf. I did not grow up playing golf, alas, but I watched a lot of golf.

Drew Neisser: Do you still have family there?

Leela Srinivasan: Yes, my parents are there and also my sister and her family. I try to get back at least once a year and I take my own family back there every other year.

Drew Neisser: You’re going very light on the Scottish for us, but I know you promised that we can get there if I ask the right questions.

Leela Srinivasan: Yes, possibly. But also, the misconception about Scotland is that we’re a land of one impenetrable language and in fact—this is one of the things I studied at uni, at college, English language. It is fascinating how many different accents and dialects there are within even a small country like Scotland which has a population of 5 million. I happened to grow up on the east coast of Scotland, which is sort of the equivalent of, if you think about American accents, the Chicago Midwest. It’s a generally understood accent that doesn’t have any strong leanings one way or another. If I had grown up on the West Coast or up in the Highlands, then I think that’s when you start getting into a really thick accent. Yeah, that’s the accent story, and then the other piece of course is that I’ve been in the States now for 20+ years.

Drew Neisser: Does it ever blow your mind to think that you went from an English major at the University of Edinburgh to being listed on Forbes as one of the top 50 CMOs? You’ve spent 5+ years in tech in the Bay Area, do you ever go—wait, wait, how did I get here?

Leela Srinivasan: Frequently, yes. It’s a little surreal but I think on reflection, when you think about what marketing is, it’s really the job of communicating the value your organization adds in the world of influencing current customers, future customers, candidates, everyone, all those key stakeholders. A lot of it does come back to language, communication, and these have been things that I’ve thought about really since the very early age.

Drew Neisser: I’m with you. I love English majors—if you can write you can think. The corollary is that if you can’t write you often can’t think. Is there something other than marketing that really inspires you?

Leela Srinivasan: Oh, lots of things. I’ve been in a marketing role for about nine or ten years now and for eight of those years I was at organizations or parts of an organization that focused squarely on recruiting and HR. I spent four and a half years at LinkedIn in their talent solutions business, and most recently I spent about two and a half years at an organization called Lever which focuses on recruiting software. I often think that if I wasn’t in marketing I would try and do something in the people industry, and I say that because I think about HR and the critical role that people teams play in helping organizations realize their full potential. I think it has been historically one of the most underestimated roles at an organization. I have maintained this soft spot I would say for recruiting and HR as part of the broader set of things that I care about.

Drew Neisser: Oh, we are going to have the best conversation because you landed in an area that I think is so important. I’ve talked to a number of CMOs as you may know. I mean it’s well over 300, and many of them shy away from employee communications and even the whole HR area. But the mindset of a good HR person vs. the mindset of a marketing are so different. Let’s face it, if employees aren’t engaged, then no matter what you promise to the outside world, nothing good is going to happen. I love the fact that you went there.

Leela Srinivasan: Absolutely, in fact, Drew, I was at an IDC CMO board leadership thing yesterday and probably 50% of the agenda was about talent. About talent management, about recruiting, about skill sets, about inspiring and motivating organizations, which is such a huge part of my role at SurveyMonkey in the areas I focus on, both for marketing but also if you think about the CMOs role, it’s inspiring the broader organization. It comes into play there as well.

Drew Neisser: I’m totally with you. Let’s get to the campaign and then I want to break it down. For SurveyMonkey, first of all, you went public last September, and you raised $180 million. That must have been exciting.

Leela Srinivasan: Also surreal, but yes, very exciting. I don’t think I can adequately articulate how surreal it was to be standing in Times Square and looking out at this whole array of digital billboards—we had 103 different sizes or formats I think of billboard up there—and see our campaigns rotating and see the celebration of the organization going public. And of course, as you said, we’ve been around since 1999. This has been a story that’s been long in the making and if there was a ticking clock, I showed up at about 11:30 p.m., but the point being that it was an extraordinary moment, an extraordinary celebration for the brand, and a really exciting opportunity for us to talk a little bit more about who we are, what we offer, and where we’re headed.

Drew Neisser: Was the IPO the launch of the Power the Curious campaign?

Leela Srinivasan: We had actually come up with that, with Power the Curious, a year or so prior. Our organization, before I arrived, went through a brand refresh. 7/17 is the date that people refer to, so mid-July of 2017. As part of that, the company defined this mission of powering the curious which was one of the things that actually drew me to SurveyMonkey.

I consider myself intellectually curious, I’ve always hired for intellectual curiosity, and there’s something really delicious about this notion that with our products and solutions we enable organizations everywhere—whether it’s individuals or organizations—to measure, benchmark, and act on feedback and opinions of the stakeholders that they care about most. And if they can just listen to that feedback, if they can just show that curiosity, and tap into it and act on it, that will drive their growth and their innovation.

This was a campaign or a positioning of the organization that had actually started a year earlier. As we thought about the IPO, we really wanted to continue that theme of curiosity and how people are leveraging curiosity to make a difference in the world.

Drew Neisser: Love it. We’re going to take a quick break and when we come back—I’m so curious about this campaign you just will not believe it. Stay with us.

BREAK

Drew Neisser: First of all, when you arrive into the company and there’s already a campaign in place, there’s an idea if you will for the organization—there is a temptation among new CMOs to reject what’s in place. What was it about it that made you say, “I think there’s something really good here”?

Leela Srinivasan: Well a couple of things. Number one: this notion of curiosity I think is something that we’ve seen a lot of our audience lean into. As I said, curiosity I think of as something deliciously intriguing and inspiring and I think the smartest people always display curiosity. The idea itself, having been something that drew me to the organization, I certainly wanted to explore further. The other thing is as we think more broadly and tying this back into our talent at the organization, we had taken this notion of power in the curious and thought about, well what is the employee value proposition? Why would someone come to work at SurveyMonkey?

We now think of the organization as “the place where the curious come to grow.” For me, that really taps into what people are looking for in their careers and their work experience these days—the opportunity to develop, to grow, to continue learning. At SurveyMonkey, of course, we put a particular spin on it which is the fact that so much of that learning can be derived from feedback. If you can just isolate that feedback, tap into the why, and then act on it, then that’s what can spur this tremendous growth and innovation. There’s just a lot there’s a lot to explore in the idea of curiosity. For me, I think where we’re taking that now is more squarely into the enterprise and into the business realm because when organizations can really unpack curiosity and delve into that feedback, then it can have some incredibly needle-moving results.

Drew Neisser: I completely agree. Now what’s interesting is that there’s also sort of, to me, of course, I immediately think of the incurious world that we’re living in certain things and how destructive incuriosity could be. I imagine that if there are people that are incurious, they’re not attracted to your company. Isn’t that great? It’s somewhat self-selecting, right?

Leela Srinivasan: This is true. But I think what strikes me, if we think about curiosity in marketing for example, and the ways in which not being curious can trip you up—think about the last campaign that fell flat on its face or that showed an element of tone-deafness to it. Chances are that the person running that campaign or devising that campaign didn’t take the time to go test that idea, to go get feedback from the masses or their target audience to confirm that it would resonate. Frankly, in this day and age, I don’t think there’s an excuse for that. You can run any sort of A/B test or concept test through a platform like SurveyMonkey, we can hook you up with what we call SurveyMonkey Audience, which is this neutral panel of individuals and you can target within that quite specifically, and you can get an almost instantaneous read on how your campaign is going to be perceived or which of two ideas would resonate more strongly. For marketers in particular, I would encourage them to be curious and make sure that no matter how brilliant you think your idea is, you take the time to go out to pressure test it, to get feedback, to get data that will help to confirm that you’re on the right track.

Drew Neisser: I totally agree with all of that. I’m always surprised when a new campaign launches and there have been times where we’ve changed where we were as an agency, but when we were doing almost exclusively social media, a big agency would launch a campaign and we could tell in 24 hours that the campaign was dying because the feedback was, you know, 100 to 1 negative, and we just thought how could you have not tested that in advance? Yeah, you can save some really disastrous situations that you didn’t anticipate. I’m curious—you talked about how important this idea was internally and that you wanted to build a culture of curiosity. How have you brought that to life internally? What kinds of actions, things have you done that have made and fed the curiosity beast in your organization?

Leela Srinivasan: Yeah. This is where the eating in your own restaurant piece definitely comes into play, Drew. Just as an aside, I can’t take credit for that particular variant of the dog food thing. I actually credit Jeff Weiner with that. I think he was the one who pointed out that if you’re calling your product dog food, it doesn’t send a great message to the market. If you’re drinking champagne, that probably doesn’t send a great message to the market either about how you run your business and where your priorities are. So, you know, eating in a restaurant, to me, is sort of the middle ground. It implies a sense of fiscal responsibility and the potential for it to be delightful as well.

Drew Neisser: Politically correct. Yes, you covered all the bases there.

Leela Srinivasan: But how do we in our own restaurant, is your question. I see it in so many ways here at SurveyMonkey, so we’re probably guilty, if it’s possible, of sometimes gathering almost too much feedback. There are certainly plenty of instances on a monthly basis where we leverage our own technology and our own survey platform to get needle-moving feedback.

One example would be, coming back to the employee piece, we use our own technology to measure employee engagement and better understand where are the areas of opportunity for us to continue making SurveyMonkey a fantastic place to work and the kind of culture where every employee can feel like they belong. Like they can bring their best selves to work and that they really are truly part of something.

We do that in a couple of ways. We have an ongoing pulse survey that we run through our tool SurveyMonkey Engage, which takes the pulse quite regularly with short surveys and then has a longer survey twice a year. We also run a regular inclusion and belonging survey that delves specifically into how much our employees feel like they do belong to something. That’s sort of on the broader base, and then every leader here including myself and the leaders on my team, will be given the scores for their organization to better understand how they stack up against the broader org, where the opportunities are, where they’re ahead, where they’ve got more work to do. That’s a fundamental way that we actually think about the health of our overall organization and our talent base because our people are obviously so important in us delivering on our promises out to the market.

Then, of course, employee feedback from one large use case for SurveyMonkey. Another one is in gathering customer feedback and really understanding how customers are feeling about the products and the services that we provide, where our opportunities are for improvement. We use our own product frequently to measure net promoter score, both in terms of transactions with our customer operations group as well as just relationally, how are they thinking about Survey Monkey. That’s a regular pulse that we check using our own Survey Monkey CX product.

We additionally use surveys for everything you can think of from designing our new headquarters building—a lot of which was fueled by thinking on what employees would like to see in their place of work—to the shaping some of our HR strategies. We recently rolled out vendor benefits in response to feedback from the organization that people who walk the hallways every day and feel like part of the team but happen to work for third party contractors, whether it’s janitorial services or kitchen staff, and so forth, people on the SurveyMonkey team wanted to see them get the same level of benefits. So, we actually made the decision to invest in delivering benefits that were more in line with our own full-time employees’ benefits. That idea came directly from the employee base, and so we’re constantly listening for ways to improve our offerings, our organization through our survey technology.

Drew Neisser: Well it must be working because I did notice that SurveyMonkey was named the Best Workplaces in Technology by Great Places to Work and FORTUNE in 2019. You’ve got some good things going there. In addition to using your tools, because I think that’s great and that’s really smart and it makes sense because everybody sees, it feels, it lives the brand there—I’m just thinking back of a conversation I had with Diana O’Brien the Global CMO of Deloitte and she talked about Deloitte University, where they literally taught empathy and leadership. I was thinking that, in some ways, you could teach curiosity. Particularly for dealing with inclusion and belonging, there are ways to ask questions that could be more sensitive than others. We could go back to our child childish wonder and just say, “Why, why?” but I imagine there’s something you could actually train and teach and see when you’re no longer curious about something.

Leela Srinivasan: Absolutely. In fact, that’s where our technology is headed. If you think about everything that SurveyMonkey has seen and experienced in the course of 19+ years in business, we’ve had over 47 billion questions answered on our platform. We still have over 2 million people a day take a survey; 20 million questions answered daily. There’s a tremendous amount of activity and data flowing through our systems. What we’ve been able to do is actually take our ongoing learnings and use machine learning to help those who are putting together the next generation of surveys to do that in the most effective way possible.

That led to us developing a feature called SurveyMonkey Genius which, whenever you’re creating a survey in SurveyMonkey, you’ll see that we now score it at the end of the survey. We give you a sense of what the completion rate might be. We give you a percentage of how much have you got this right. And we’ll even point out opportunities to improve that survey. The point of improving the survey is to get the best possible data and to increase the likelihood of you getting the respondents to actually complete it. That’s one very concrete way that we’ve taken the Survey expertise and packaged it into something that every single SurveyMonkey user can benefit from.

Drew Neisser: We need to take a quick break. This is all really interesting. Let’s take a quick break and then we’ll come right back.

BREAK

Drew Neisser: So, you were talking about how you had this genius product that helped score the survey. What else are you doing?

Leela Srinivasan: Yeah, a couple of things. First of all, in marketing, we’re joined at the hip with our research team here at SurveyMonkey. We’re blessed with having a fantastic team of in-house researchers who are experts in developing methodologies and question types and making sure that people are using the optimal set of response options to get the data they need.

That shows up in a couple of ways in our core survey platform. As you are typing in a question, we will read ahead and anticipate where you’re going with that and actually suggest question structure, suggest the answer set that you might want to offer, suggest the type of response that you might want to gather whether that’s open-ended or multiple-choice or what have you. That’s one thing.

And then the other thing is, as we have gone deeper into building these purpose-built solutions that cater to some of the biggest use cases and ways in which we see our companies globally using SurveyMonkey, some of those products have their own methodology actually built into the product. This is where having a research team that can really kick the tires on a rigorous methodology will really help organizations using those tools.

Going back to the HR examples that I gave earlier, you’re absolutely right. As much as organizations today know that they want to create a workplace where everyone can belong, many just don’t have the first clue where to start, and what questions to ask. How do you actually get to the right responses with the right information to truly evaluate whether you’ve built an inclusive workplace? Knowing that’s a challenge, we partnered with some very smart people at Stanford and also our own research team and a group called Paradigm to create a belonging inclusion template that any organization can deploy tomorrow if they want to internally, with a view of taking out to their workforce a rigorously tested methodology that will truly help them understand how they are faring when we think about the true drivers of belonging and inclusion.

Drew Neisser: Really cool. Boy, I have a lot of questions for you that this just keeps inspiring. I want to go back to the launch event for a moment because that was kind of a spectacular moment. I noticed you gathered some celebrities. That was sort of a big crescendo with the IPO. When you think about your overall marketing for SurveyMonkey, obviously there are big clients and non-profit organizations—you have a massive breadth of customers. What are the big drivers for your marketing right now?

Leela Srinivasan: Yeah, it’s a good question. Just on the IPO campaign itself, just to fill in gaps for folks who might be listening, we made the decision to partner with four influencers/celebrities out there and I think one of the really inspiring and interesting things about curiosity is, it is self-defined, right? We’re all curious about different things and so what we decided to do was work with these four celebrities and influencers. You may have heard of Serena Williams, for example, or Arianna Huffington. Serena is fantastic by the way, she’s just a wonderful human being and she’s very deeply passionate about a number of things including being a working mother.

As we worked with her and her team on our IPO campaign, the idea was to come up with a survey, a very concise survey, and I think it was three to five questions, where Serena would ask questions into the outside world to engage different audiences in the topic that she cared about. For Serena, the topic was being a working mother, for a working parent rather. For Arianna, she wanted to focus on whether people are beginning to feel burned out, is their work-life in harmony or not? We also worked with Draymond Green from the Warriors, who’s known for being quite outspoken on the court, and his questions tied into whether people feel like they can speak up in the workplace or do they not think it’s worth it or are they afraid to do so for some reason? And then last but not least, Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn, and his questions were all about whether people had identified their dream job. That’s something he’s very passionate about and of course the whole value proposition behind LinkedIn ties in with that.

What we did was we developed these concise short surveys with each influencer and then ran them across billboards, through email, across our platform, across social media, and so forth to enable the world basically to engage with these influencers and provide their points of view, their feedback around their reactions to these questions. That was putting curiosity at the heart of the campaign and tapping into the topics that inspire the most with curiosity in the influencers that we worked with.

Drew Neisser: And how did you measure? How did it work out? How did you measure the success, as far as you were concerned, of that effort?

Leela Srinivasan: We looked at the just the volume of responses we had, had a tremendous engagement with the surveys themselves with well over 130,000 responses to the surveys and then we could turn around and actually share that content back out with the world to better understand how people had reacted to these questions around being a working parent or whether they had identified their dream job, whether they felt like they were even in it today.

It generated a lot of conversation just based on the content and the ideas that surfaced from those surveys and the good news, I think, for any marketer is that you can do that every day of the week if you want using a platform like SurveyMonkey. This is where I think there’s tremendous power in research as a source of original content, where really it’s about coming up with the idea that you want to test or tap into, and running that survey whether it’s to your customers or audiences that you know or whether you need to come to a service like us and find that third-party panel. But it really is about bringing the ideas to market and exploring things that tie in with the value that you provide in the world and having something interesting to say based on that.

Drew Neisser: Very cool. I noticed that you also have a Curiosity Conference, or you did, in November.

Leela Srinivasan: Yeah. This was a first for us, and you would ask the question Drew about how we’re thinking about marketing going forward, and one of the other things that drew me to SurveyMonkey was having used SurveyMonkey and loved SurveyMonkey as a marketer for a period of eight or nine years. When I started talking to SurveyMonkey I realized that I only understood the tip of the iceberg. I had been using SurveyMonkey self-serve, an easy to use, powerful, individual user version and meanwhile, it turns out that we’ve got this whole host of business solutions and also an enterprise platform that companies are increasingly turning to so that they can run business-critical research and make business-critical decisions based on feedback that is available to the right people in the organization.

So, as we go forward you’re probably going to see and hear us dialing up that conversation around the use of SurveyMonkey for business, how we’re helping organizations drive growth and innovation. What we did in November was we held our first virtual conference, which we called Curiosity Conference or CuriosityCon, and the idea was to showcase a set of leaders—some of them customers, others influencers—who are exploring different ways in which feedback can have an impact at the organization.

Drew Neisser: it feels like it could be bigger. If we could create a world of more curious people, we could solve a lot of the world’s problems.

Leela Srinivasan: I absolutely agree, and I think that the conference itself went really well. I think the reaction was incredibly positive and, if anything, it just inspired us to your point to probably blow that idea out going forward.

Drew Neisser: I’m going to wrap up or try to wrap up some of this. First of all, you have this incredibly powerful idea. I would describe this language—power the curiosity—as a purpose-driven story statement. I mean it really is, it’s got a lot going for it. I hear how that could be inspirational to employees, obviously to customers, you enable their curiosity, and for prospects, hey, it would be a good idea if you were a little bit more curious about these areas. I can see how this thing could just absolutely work all the way around. Are there any lessons that you’ve learned as you’ve rolled this idea out in the various tentacles of the idea, things that you think were instructive or surprising?

Leela Srinivasan: Well, the one thing I will say is we do have the benefit of having quite a well-known brand. Our aided brand awareness is really quite high in the scheme of things. But I think for me, the learning has been that there’s a difference between brand awareness and true brand understanding. As we look at the next 12 to 18 months, the course that I’m plotting for my organization is for us to really extend people’s understanding of the power of SurveyMonkey.

It’s one thing to be seen as easy to use self-serve, really easy to get up and running, and those things remain true. We’ve built consumer-grade technology that is used at over 600,000 organizations globally. We have over 60 million active users using our platform, so it’s definitely used widely but the gap that we have to close is in helping people understand the application and the criticality of the feedback that’s gathered through a tool like SurveyMonkey for the enterprise, for broader business. I wouldn’t trade our brand love and our brand awareness for anything, but we do have our work cut out and there’s a big opportunity for us that I’m very excited about to really further that understanding.

Drew Neisser: Yeah, I can see that and it’s exactly right. You have this incredible awareness as I suspected, everybody who’s listening has heard of you and probably taken a survey if not fielded one but as you move up the sort of value chain and really want to be the organization that brings curiosity to the world in a way that you know helps nonprofits and profits communicate better, you have some work to do.

To me, the opportunity will be to do things where you were leading a conversation. In some ways, you could take a stand. You could be the company that says incurious is a dead-end for the world. Incuriosity is really where we get into all of our problems. We’ve seen it over and over again. I’m excited for you. I think you’re really at a very interesting juncture for your organization. Gosh, it must be a fun situation because you’ve got a solid base and now it’s just, how high is up?

Leela Srinivasan: Yeah. The most fun thing of all for me, Drew, is that the people who are in the best position to tell this story are the customers and the companies that are experiencing this benefit. This growth is innovation, this upside from using SurveyMonkey on a daily basis. We are so early in our journey of really surfacing and celebrating and elevating those customers, so I definitely plan to tap into and be inspired by a lot of what we’re seeing, hearing, learning from customers as they share back with us about their successes that are powered by SurveyMonkey.

Drew Neisser: There you go. This is the framework that my next book is all about. It’s like, get your employees on board, get those customers on board, get them celebrating your product and helping them inform how you do it, and then finally that the prospects will just come on board because there’s so much goodwill out there. This has been awesome. For all the listeners. I want you to know that we’re going to stop this episode here and then we’re going to record about a 20 minute “How to Do Your Surveys Better” tutorial. You’ll be able to find that on renegade.com. And if any other places come up just come back to renegade.com or maybe even look for it on SurveyMonkey at some point. So, with that—maybe we should get SurveyMonkey to put out a survey on the podcast itself, but that’s a dangerous thought.

All right. First of all, Leela, thank you so much for being on the show.

Leela Srinivasan: Thank you so much for having me, Drew. It’s been a pleasure.

Drew Neisser: And to all the listeners out there, thank you as always. Don’t forget to share. I guess and in terms of wishes, may you have the blessing of curiosity every day of your life. I think it’s been proven that curiosity will not only keep you younger but perhaps help you live into your golden years in a very happy way. All good. And until next week, keep those Renegade Thinking Caps on and strong.

Quotes from Leela Srinivasan

If we think about curiosity in marketing and the ways in which not being curious can trip you up, think about the last campaign that fell flat on its face or showed some element of tone deafness. Chances are, the person running that campaign didn't take the time to go test that idea, to go get feedback from the masses or their target audience. Frankly, in this day and age, there's no excuse for that.

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