Salesforce’s Ex-CMO Launches GetFeedback, A New Mobile-First Customer Survey Platform

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Back in 2006, two enterpreneurs called Kraig Swensrud and Sean Whiteley started a business based around the idea that Salesforce could be used for more than just helping salespeople organise their accounts and targets. Kieden, as the startup was called, created an add-on for Salesforce that let users create and manage Google AdWords advertising campaigns, and in that same year, it was acquired by Salesforce itself, where the two held various roles and Swensrud eventually became the CMO. Now the pair have left the mothership to forge out into the startup world again. Today they are launching GetFeedback to fill what they see as yet another hole in the market: mobile-first customer surveys.

Swensrud says that GetFeedback is launching with an unspecified amount of seed funding from Salesforce itself, along with some unnamed investors.

Today is GetFeedback’s official launch, but in beta, GetFeedback had already picked up some 1,000 customers. They include Appirio, Amazon.com Student, Dropbox, Heroku, LinkedIn, Salesforce.com — and a few out of the blue sporting outfits, the Association of Surfing Professionals and the North Face.

For those who follow the world of online marketing, you will know that the survey market is big — worth some $2 billion, according to one estimate — but also very crowded. SurveyMonkey and Google are among some of the larger companies, and lots of startups like Loop, Zoho, Polar and others are also vying for business in the same space.

Swensrud says that what’s still lacking, though, are great experiences that are mobile-first. “It’s a mobile revolution,” he told me. While online surveys have largely replaced more analog paper and in-person feedback gathering (although some of the wave-makers, like Panorama Education, have adhered to them anyway), today the game is changing again.

“There are a host of companies in the $2B market for online survey and research software,” he says. “But many of them have been exclusively focused on delivering browser-based surveys, which translate horribly onto smartphones and cause response rates to plummet, while some of them focus on specific niches in the enterprise such as market research.

“Audiences now expect every experience they have with every company to be engaging on the devices they carry with them 24/7: the smartphone and the tablet,” he says. “Furthermore, the adoption of modern mobile apps such as Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook have retrained audiences to expect engaging, fun, simple, visually-rich experiences on these devices.”

Indeed, GetFeedback includes a lot of bells and whistles that are already commonplace in mobile media experiences elsewhere: the ability for those conducting their surveys to customize the look and branding as well as add images and video to complement text. The surveys as well are responsive, automatically resizing to whatever screen and platform where they are used.

But the promise of mobile will also make it a contested space: indeed SurveyMonkey, one of the bigger players in online, browser-based surveys, hasn’t yet make a real splash in mobile. But now that it is taking its own growth efforts up a notch (with a new enteprise service and more concerted international expansion), it may well choose to focus more on mobile either through inorganic acquisition or through an in-house developed offering.

Some of the premise of GetFeedback is about getting in on the game early — this year there will be 1 billion smartphones shipped and that number will go up to 1.7 billion by 2017, says IDC. And some of the premise is addressing what is already a need today. “Already, around 50% of all surveys are opened on a smartphone or tablet,” he says. “How will businesses evolve in this rapidly changing world, and how will businesses continue to make great decisions?”

For now, the service GetFeedback.com is pitching itself as a freemium product, with a basic offering at no charge, and a monthly pay-as-you-go subscription, based partly on a maximum number of responses generated and partly the level of technical support desired, ranging from $20/month (for up to 100 responses) to $125/month (for up to 10,000 responses). This includes also includes a self-service plan.

A video of how the service looks is below.

GetFeedback – Product Overview from GetFeedback on Vimeo.