CEO of SurveyMonkey Reveals Their Business Model

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Answers by Zander Lurie, CEO at SurveyMonkey, on Quora.

A: We're a freemium business, which means we offer a basic version of our product for free. For some people, the free version is all they need to conduct awesome surveys. For others that want more advanced features, they have the option to upgrade to one of our other plans. After you complete a survey from a friend or colleague, you're prompted to sign up for your own account (we call this our "end pages"). Thanks to the virality, and overall power of our platform, we have more than 33 million people who use SurveyMonkey to make great decisions. We offer SurveyMonkey Audience to help customers generate answers to market research questions. In our SM4B area where are investing and growing, we are building out corporate plans and Solutions products (like TechValidate). This year SurveyMonkey will generate approximately $200 million in revenue with profit margins in the mid 30s% range. We believe in listening to our customers and building products that generate value for all stakeholders (i.e. customers, partners, employees, shareholders). If you fall down on any of those, it's not a sustainable business model.


A: We've innovated a lot over the past few years.  We introduced new responsive survey pages and themes that make your surveys look beautiful.  Yes, a survey can be beautiful - and powerful!  We launched advanced branching logic which helps survey creators avoid asking respondents repetitive questions. We've also made great strides in mobile.  We've launched a mobile app, which is great for monitoring surveys you have in the field and creating surveys on the go, a mobile SDK for in-app feedback (don't let the only feedback you get on your app happen in the app store!) and a mobile web experience that gives you the elegance of an app directly in your mobile browser. And, last week, we launched a brand new team collaboration feature where you can share surveys with colleagues.  80% of our customers work with somewhere between 3-10 people to create a survey.  We wanted to make the process easier by letting customers share survey data securely without having to share accounts.  You can manage the surveys you want to share with people and they can directly edit the surveys as well as analyze the results. This feature, available in our annual plans, lets you create an asset library where you can share templates, themes, images and logos.  Creating a team for your survey will cut down on the time it takes to get a survey launched.  This is the first phase of this feature, we'll soon be launching comments/tracking functionality too. Do i sound like an annoying political candidate recounting achievements over the last 3-4 years? I'll shut up now. I'm way more focused on what we'll do in the next 3-4.



One thing about a company that is as healthy and successful as SurveyMonkey is that we have many different opportunities ahead. Our cup overfloweth with ideas and shiny objects. The discipline is picking a few and not letting the others distract us. First and foremost our core SurveyMonkey products are some of the most profitable and successful internet subscription products in we're going to continue to push and innovate (international, mobile, speed).

As far as innovation outside our core, we're focused on building out two major opportunities in front of us.  The first one is creating business-grade solutions for customers that allow them to get more/do more with their survey results.  A good example of this is TechValidate, a solution we acquired last summer that takes survey results and turns them into content and testimonials that customers can use for marketing, social media and case studies.  It's a great example of how technology can automate -- what is today -- a very manual/costly process.  We're going to build more solutions like that to serve key departments inside the enterprise.  The second opportunity for us is to leverage our scale and the data we're collecting and do something with it.  Our first data product was SurveyMonkey Audience, which allowed you to build a dataset based on a panel of respondents.  Last year, we launched SurveyMonkey Benchmarks which lets customers compare their survey data to others.  This provides more context to results, helping them gain a deeper understanding of their data.

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