Leela Srinivasan
March 1, 2019

121: Eating at Their Own Restaurant: 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.


  • [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

Connect with Drew

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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