In the News: Heatseeker AI Leads Businesses to Growth by Discovering What Customers Crave

Kate O'Keeffe
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This article was published on Forbes on February 8, 2024.

When Cooper, the parenting support startup, wanted to reach a wider audience, it decided to take an innovative approach to customer acquisition by “heatseeking” its way to the answer. The result: conversions increased by 42%, and average cost per click decreased by 44%.

Heatseek. Verb. A market research and validation method that uses AI to gather real data on customer behaviour and purchase decisions without recruiting human interviewees.

Don’t be surprised if that word enters the mainstream startup vocabulary alongside classics like “growth hack,” “pivot,” and “leverage.” The company championing this new method, Heatseeker AI, offers a new way to build go-to-market strategies by gathering real-world customer feedback on everything from product messaging to customer segmentation.

For Cooper, this meant figuring out where to focus their resources when it came to paid ads. The parenting market is competitive, and they knew there was a better way to find their audience than pouring money into unproven campaign strategies. Heatseeker helped deliver results through data extraction, analytical review, competitive intelligence, and more.

“Exciting news! We have been running ads for a week and have seen a decrease in our CPC and an increase in sign-ups. So awesome!” wrote Genevieve Liston, a consultant supporting Cooper’s growth strategy.

Co-founded by Kate O’Keeffe and Fiona Triaca, Heatseeker’s goal is to be the most valuable tool in a founder or growth marketer’s toolkit. Today’s entrepreneurs face countless growth decisions, and their survival often counts on their ability to adapt well and at the right time. Heatseeker offers a data-driven, behaviour-focused way for founders to test their gut instincts. It does for product testing and validation what fellow Aussie company Canva has done for graphic design.

This is more than just another story of an AI startup. It’s a tale of how one company changes the game by answering a simple question: What do customers really want?

Leveraging Experimentation for Success

Merging technical proficiency with market expertise, the female-led company identified a gap in how companies approached market research. “The issue was clear,” O’Keeffe says, “Startups were shooting in the dark, guessing what their customers desired. We needed to illuminate these insights.”

Heatseeker’s notable offer is its unique approach to gathering market insights. Traditional market research methods are often time-consuming and expensive, a luxury many startups can’t afford. Heatseeker AI flips this model, “We’re not just offering data. We’re giving businesses a clear vision into their customers’ minds,” O’Keeffe explains.

Heatseeker provides a much-needed solution through live market testing and strategy refinement, saving effort and resources until the most effective path becomes clear. Their streamlined approach involves launching experimental campaigns with multiple variations of messaging, designs, and pricing strategies to see what resonates most in the real world. By analyzing which versions garner the most engagement and dissecting these outcomes with data science, Heatseeker provides actionable insights.

Balancing AI and Human Expertise

However, not everyone is sold on the idea of AI-driven market research. Critics argue that while AI can provide valuable insights, it cannot replace the real-life experience of customers. “AI is a powerful tool, but it must be balanced with hands-on market understanding,” notes one industry expert.

Considering O’Keeffe and Triaca are both serial founders, it’s no wonder Heatseeker’s blended approach resonated with the market. Driven by significant scaleup interest, the company boosted its pre-seed funding to $1.3 million from $500,000. This financial boost includes $420,000 from angel investors and venture capital firm Euphemia.

By reducing startup failure rates and expediting product iterations, Heatseeker not only propels company success stories but also enhances the overall resilience and dynamism of the startup ecosystem,” says Dom Pym, co-Founder of Euphemia.

Since announcing their pre-release on December 2023, the startup has attracted diverse customers, from early-stage startups to established businesses. Moreover, their waitlist for the next release is growing by the minute, proving its market fit.

Setting New Standards for the Data-Driven Future

The software space is at a turning point. As the industry leans towards AI and machine learning, Heatseeker is well-positioned to capitalize on this trend. “The future is data-driven, and we’re just getting started,” says O’Keeffe.

The company’s plans include expanding its AI capabilities and exploring new markets. However, Heatseeker remains committed to its founding principle – helping businesses understand and cater to their customers’ desires.

Heatseeker brings in a new understanding of market research where customer insights are gathered and deeply understood. For businesses of all sizes, this is an opportunity to see what drives recurring revenue, lasting customer relationships, and sustainable growth.

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Kate O'Keeffe
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