Owen S. Fay, Poll the People: “businesses need to pay closer attention to their audience to stay ahead of the competition”


No matter if you run a small business or a big company, collecting and addressing user feedback is vital.

One of the most popular ways of collecting user feedback is A/B testing – a simple and effective way of finding out what works best for your clients. Though, as many other business processes, collecting user feedback has also been enhanced by rapidly evolving technologies, like artificial intelligence, which can make the process even more accurate.

To find out more about how AI is used when it comes to customer feedback, Cybernews sat down with Owen S. Fay, the director of marketing at Poll the People – a user testing solution that helps to collect customer feedback before products or services go live.

How did the idea of Poll the People originate? What has your journey been like so far?

Poll the People started when our founder Alden Do Rosario asked his daughter, “Hay, do you want to do a startup with me?”. The idea was simple, give businesses a quick way to get customer opinions before going live. From the start, the goal was to create a market research platform that was faster, better, and cheaper than any existing solution. From the start, Poll the People has been navigating the competitive landscape of market research, creating new features and a platform that makes user testing simple and gives users the insights they need to make a data-backed decision in minutes.

The journey has had its ups and down as a small start-up learning how to penetrate the market with new features like our AI-backed “ask me anything” chatbot, our expert-built templates, and anti-cheating automatic response rejection that gives users only the best feedback. From our launch about 18 months ago, we have seen great growth, built a good customer base, and found new ways to bring valuable user research to new audiences.

Can you introduce us to your testing solutions? What are the main challenges you help navigate?

Our user testing solution utilizes a panel of over 500,00 global respondents based 90% in the U.S., giving you actionable feedback on anything from logo testing to website design. We aim to make data-backed decision-making affordable and accessible to any business, designer, product manager, or anyone else that needs access to consumer feedback.

With expert-built templates, access to advanced targeting and segmentation for your panel, and the best AI-backed analysis tools, anyone can get great feedback. We found that traditional A/B testing and user research take days or weeks, costing businesses thousands of dollars, often without reliable data. Poll the People eliminates the risk of launching the wrong digital assets and allows you to understand your users before spending resources on your assets.

In your opinion, what industries should be especially attentive to the market trends and should conduct A/B testing regularly?

There are a number of industries that should and do conduct A/B testing regularly to understand user preferences and asset performance. However, marketers, data engineers, designers, agencies, and small businesses need to pay closer attention to their audience and understand market trends to stay ahead of the competition.

Many positions rely on the data from A/B tests and market trends, they allow these companies to understand growth, increase revenue, and optimize customer satisfaction.

How do you think the recent global events affected your field of work?

With the state of the U.S. economy, many businesses are looking to save costs, reduce their workforce, and spend their budget more wisely. Being an affordable alternative to traditional, expensive market research allows Poll the People to capitalize on recent events.

Modern businesses are constantly looking for ways to optimize their business, save time, and increase revenue while spending less. This has a big effect on the way businesses conduct research.

In your opinion, what are some of the most challenging issues new business owners face nowadays?

Entering the market as a new business always has its challenges. Some of the most challenging issues we face include money management, balancing growth and quality, and getting in front of the right audience.

Penetrating the market and presenting new, valuable ideas to users is one of the biggest challenges for any new business. Having distinct differentiating characteristics can be a challenge in a crowded industry, and showing users that you have more to offer can be a difficult roadblock to overcome.

What are the best practices companies should follow when developing and when launching applications?

One of the most important things to understand when developing and launching applications is your goals, strategy, and plan. There will be a lot of curveballs thrown your way when creating a new business, but understanding how you stand out, what you want to accomplish, and how it’s going to happen is the best way to stay on track.

Another important aspect of creating a new application is relying on mentors, experienced thought leaders, and the resources you have access to. Someone has already been where you are, and understanding how others dealt with challenges and overcame them will help any new or developing business overcome adversity.

Talking about personal cybersecurity, what measures do you think everyone should implement to protect themselves from emerging threats?

Personal cybersecurity is a prominent and growing issue for anyone today. To keep your assets and information secure, there are a few measures everyone should take. First, updating and backing up your data is always important.

Utilizing strong passwords and a password management tool can keep your important information safe. Additionally, understanding how potential cybersecurity threats try to get your information, being aware of scams, phishing, or other threats is the key.

What predictions do you have for the future of design?

I believe design will benefit from AI and the emergence of new powerful tools like ChatGPT, DALL-E, and other new AI-backed tools. Designs will be created with the help of artificial intelligence or even fully computer generated. AI has moved very quickly from something that only a few people could utilize to tools that anyone can benefit from.

There will always be a place for human-generated design, but AI technology will help save time, money, and resources in planning, ideation, and creation of designs across all industries.

What does the future hold for Poll the People?

At Poll the People, we are focusing on providing the best tools for businesses and individuals to understand their customers, streamline their projects, and automate some of their manual processes. With our recent focus on implementing custom-built AI into existing businesses to help with customer support, content creation, research, and more, we see Poll the People becoming a major player in research. We recently introduced CustomGPT, which uses a business's site data to create a custom chatbot that can be applied to 100+ use cases.

Since the launch of CustomGPT, we have seen major growth in our customers, multiple publications, and influencers covering our launch, and see our business shifting to AI. Poll the People will continue to give anyone access to valuable research through custom AI technology, allowing them to get unique insights and solutions with a chatbot trained on their own data.