Survey Monkey wants your husband to share his feelings.
That’s the message from the world’s leading online survey company, which last week announced a massive round of new financing and an expanded slate of consumer-focused products.
Their first new product launch, called “Survey Your Monkey,” is an easy-to-use questionnaire tool aimed at women whose husbands are reluctant to share their true emotions, aspirations or news of their day.
“If there’s one thing that’s clear, it’s that Survey Monkey gets men talking,” says the company’s CEO, Dave Goldberg. “And there is measurable benefit to any male communication whatsoever, even if it’s hand gestures, monosyllabic grunts or clicking radio buttons on a survey.”
This is the part of the article where, in keeping with Silicon Valley journalistic tradition, we mention that Dave Goldberg is a nice guy and is married to Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg.
“You think Sheryl lets me get away without answering her questions? Not a chance!” says a smiling Goldberg. “But that doesn’t mean that I’m always in the mood to talk. And that’s where our new product comes in.”
Goldberg explained that men are more likely to engage in this format because Survey Monkey has “gamified” the surveys, thus making them more fun than actually talking to one’s spouse.
“We also partnered with Coors Light and Frito-Lay to provide incentives for participation. If a husband makes it through a survey, he gets a free coozie and a pack of Funyuns,” reported Goldberg. “My brother Rob has completed over fifty so far.”
Survey Monkey also rewards sharing. Every time a man shares a survey with a friend, he earns virtual poker chips and a 2013 Hooters calendar.
“Does it make marital communication less authentic?” asked Goldberg rhetorically. “I don’t think so. It actually works really well, especially for the most, uhhh, random and open-ended questions that wives sometimes ask their husbands – shall we say – repeatedly.”
Goldberg was very quick to point out that he was not talking about his own marriage, but about aggregated attitudes and behaviors of husbands around the globe (as is the author of this piece).
The new products follow the same freemium model as Survey Monkey’s legacy products. Premium upgrades get the user longer surveys, unlimited use of emoticons, and the Husband Insight data package (indicating how long a man thought before answering each question, whether he rolled his eyes, and which answers he changed before submitting the final survey).
Premium users also have access to trick questions like “Do I look fat in these jeans?,” “If I died, would you re-marry?” and “Why do you close your eyes when we make love?”
BAC talked to one husband who seemed unconvinced of the value behind the new surveys and the incentives.
“It’s not that I ‘hate to share my feelings’ with my wife when I get home from work. I’m just doing her the favor of not complaining about my completely uninspiring job,” he said. “I’m not sure a survey and a bag of pork rinds is going to change that.”
Goldberg thinks men can do better.
“What we want to do here is get men to answer questions with thoughts beyond words like ‘fine’ and ‘nothing,’” he said. “To paraphrase Edie Brickell, there’s nothing women hate more than ‘nothing.’ ‘Nothing’ keeps them up at night.”
To which the reluctant husband replied, “Well, gosh, when you put it that way…”