Stay up to date with all the latest from Shared Value Project by signing up to our eNewsletter

Australian case study! PwC’s AskU smartphone app.

October 24, 2013

One of Australia’s first shared value creation initiatives has its origins in a challenge facing business everywhere: how do we reach consumers when they are most receptive to a product or service?

No industry knows this challenge better than the market research industry – getting people to leave the dinner table for a 15 minute survey doesn’t happen easily.

Professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers Australia (PwC) saw the challenge and started on a solution. Through its digital incubator, PwC developed AskU, a smartphone app that allows you to complete market research and support a charity in under 30 seconds.

Whether you’re waiting for the train, in a tedious meeting, queuing for lunch, or on the treadmill, you can use AskU to answer market research questions and support causes you’re passionate about. All you need is a smartphone – and it’s estimated 60% of Australians do.

AskU provides the opportunity for companies and financial institutions to conduct – otherwise expensive – market research at the cost of 20c for each of the questions that consumers answer. 50% of the revenue generated is donated to a charity partner; 50% to PwC. It’s win-win-win-win for the community, charities, businesses and PwC, which is generating revenue by doing good.

Ultimately, AskU gives consumers an opportunity to have positive impact on society while introducing efficiency and better value to market research. The app is expected to emerge as a competitive option to other fieldwork techniques such as computer assisted telephone surveying, in-field research and email.

AskU owes much of its success to PwC’s recent development of an incubator for digital services aimed at overcoming the market challenges of digital disruption. While some experts believe that digital disruption is a threat to the professional services sector, PwC has set up a new model for product development. PwC chief executive Luke Sayers says AskU is “digital disruption at its best”.

PwC has invested significant resources in the development of activities related to its social and corporate responsibility agenda. AskU is the first outcome of the firm’s focus on shared value – the creation of social and economic benefits for the company and Australian society.

The app is free from iTunes and Google Play app stores and is currently available to iOS and Android users. Visit:

Image Credit: AskU Vimeo.