If I told that there is a brand new startup that puts an app on your phone that forces you to answer surveys, while giving you a few euro’s as a reward, would you think that this can potentially a huge success in the future? Probably not. Yet, this is exactly what I am going to argue for a Finnish based Palmopinion.

They took the concept of surveys and turned it around completely. Not only do they want the survey results, which can help companies better target their ads and products in general, but they have built-in native ads into the survey questions themselves.

For instance their app, Quney (QuickMoney in Chinese), could ask you something like “Have you tried using an HP laptop before?” if you have just answered that you use laptops on daily basis.

So why exactly, this seemingly simple idea, can make it big in this world? For one, they are targeting the Chinese market, where similar activities are already popular. Then, they partnered up with D.Phone, one of the largest mobile retailers in China with over 1300 stores. For those that remember, Jolla established their first sales contact with D.Phone too. What kind of partnership? A very direct one – Palmopinion’s Quney will come pre-installed on all mobile phones sold through D.Phone starting this next month.

Yes, yes, you are probably saying that it is great, but they need clients too, right? Well, that was my question as well, and Hu Kunhua, the CEO of Palmopinion quickly and calmly replied: “We have an initial agreement with Omnicom Media Group.” Yapp, that is the $14.3 billion revenue multinational corporate marketing and communications conglomerate.

Will the people use it though? Probably, I would, if after answering a few surveys, I get directly compensated and my phone bill gets automatically decreased. Which is what the company is doing. Besides the questions seemed interesting and you might get some very targeted offers, which take into account all of your previous answered surveys.

The way the surveys work is also very neat, they get your basic data from either the mobile phone number or if you login using China’s biggest instant messaging service – QQ. That way they already know enough to show you some targeted “survey ads”, but not all questions are ads, many of them will simply be about hobbies, movie tastes, etc.

To make sure you do not cheat, Palmopinion measures the speed of responses, if they correlate with previous questions and also ask some questions more than once.

Through this, they can find out a lot about you. For example, are you price sensitive or not, your approximate income, profession, etc. They can even ask questions such as “Do you have a decision making power at your company?” and later ask if you are interested in HP Workstations and if you are, suggest to get in touch with HP for a corporate offer.

Kunhua said that previously, “you would spend one million EUR to reach ten million people. Now we use one million EUR for one million people who are much more likely to be in your targeted group. Doing it this way, your product will be delivered in a much better way, leading to much higher sales leads. Basically instead of 1% of ten million you would get 50% of one million interested in your product”.

So yes, I think that a company that makes advertising surveys can make it big. Especially when you get their app pre-installed with every phone you buy and the ads are sold through one of the largest marketing companies in the world.