, the digital suggestion box
that gives users a place to sound off on everything from fast food to mobile phones and beyond, recently partnered with USA Today
to bring crowdsourced suggestions for improvement to the attention of the news media's marketing team. USA Today
joins several other national organizations that have partnered with Betterific to learn more about what consumers want from their products.
"USA Today is a giant publication," says Micha Weinblatt, co-founder of Betterific. "They are very forward thinking."
Weinblatt says that Betterific is now looking beyond querying users on its own site for the companies it partners with. "We're getting traction on licensing our technology to brands—Fortune 500 companies—to use internally in a closed environment," Weinblatt explains. "It's an exciting opportunity for us."
As of the beginning of August, more than 10,000 "betterifs," or suggestions, had been posted on Betterific. "One out of every 20 ideas posted is about Betterific itself," says Weinblatt. The sheer number of posts about the company led Weinblatt to set up a series of Google Hangouts with the Betterific team so that users could share their feedback, ask questions and receive answers to questions in real time. "We had an overwhelming response," he explains. "A lot of [our] users are entrepreneurs and want to [participate]."
Weinblatt will be rolling out Google Hangouts for Betterific users and certain brands' upper management teams in the coming months. "It's a fun thing for the company, to get to hang out with their users," he says, "and it's a fun thing for the customers, to get to have their voices heard."
Weinblatt says that figuring out who to talk when approaching the larger brands about using Betterific is half the battle. "Is it the social media director? Do they have the budget?" he asks. "The chief marketing officers have been very excited about the technology [behind Betterific] and about having a dialogue [with consumers]."
"Six months ago, if you had told me I'd be having meetings with CMOs of Fortune 500 companies," Weinblatt says, "I wouldn't have believed you."