Connecting enthusiastic people with inspiring gigs.
Head of Product & Design
Web, iOS, Android
Field-marketers are the people in the supermarket, offering you food samples. They're the folks in crazy outfits on the street, asking you to engage with a hot new brand.
Hiring and managing field-marketers is a pain in the ass, and working those jobs can be even more frustrating. PINATA is a marketplace that makes the whole process a lot less painful.
Good product design starts with a deep understanding of the challenges users are facing. My primary framework for achieving that understanding has been the Jobs-to-be-Done theory developed by Clayton Christensen.
This process begins with regular ethnographic interviews of customers and users. Check out Bob Moesta's excellent video for an example of this style of interview.
Over the course of 2 years, we interviewed dozens of workers and brands to arrive at a simple set of needs we wanted the PINATA app to serve.
Make my job more socially rewarding
Add variety to my work
Satisfy my need for progression
Make my income flexible but also reliable
Most field-marketers are in their early to mid twenties and while they often prefer spontaneous lifestyles, their income is also unpredictable. They tend to experience both excitement and stress when looking for work.
Give me more certainty in my hiring decisions
Make managing my field-marketing campaigns less hectic
My hiring efforts should scale and respond to my needs
I want to know if my money is being well spent and how to spend it better in the future
The brands that hire field-marketers have an entirely different set of needs. While their hiring experience is equally as difficult to navigate, their motivations come from a very different place. They're most often looking for predictability and insight.
There's a lot of moving parts involved in finding, hiring, and paying a field-marketer. In the beginning, our product couldn't handle every every single step on it's own. So I had to lean on our sales and operations team for a lot of hands on management.
One of my toughest challenges at PINATA was figuring out how our sales and operations flows would interact with the product to pick up some of that slack.
The Gogetter app
We needed a better term than "field marketer" or "brand ambassador" to describe the people looking for gigs. I decided to call them what they are: Gogetters.
My team and I designed the Gogetter app to guide users through the entire process of getting a gig, working the gig, and getting paid for the gig. We made sure Gogetters know what to expect at each stage in the process and are prepared to exceed expectations any time they worked.
We built the Gogetter app in React Native so we could publish it on both iOS and Android without too much additional engineering work.
Since launch, we've consistently heard from veterans of the field-marketing industry how much better PINATA is than their experience interacting with agencies. We also hear a lot from people new to the industry about how fun it is to find work on PINATA.
The Brand App
The PINATA web-app gives Brand users access to our marketplace of Gogetters and lets them efficiently manage entire field marketing campaigns all from one place.
A lot of tools in this space are over-designed and too prescriptive about user's workflows. Our initial builds of the app made the same mistake.
Each Brand is different, with different situations and needs, so we challenged ourselves to strip out as many unnecessary details as we could stomach. The result was a more versatile app that was also easier to use.
The PINATA reputation system solves a lot of needs for our users. It gives Gogetters a responsive indicator of their progress and it gives brands more certainty in their hiring decisions.
At the end of each week, we prompt both brands and retailers for their feedback on each Gogetter they interacted with.
That feedback is combined with quantitative data to effect each Gogetter's score. Gogetter scores start at 400 and can rise to 800. The granularity allows us to give Gogetters specific and regular feedback.
A score multiplier ensures that scores don't clump up at the top of the spectrum.
Brands can use the Gogetter score to help inform their decisions when selecting applicants for a gig.
Prototyping and Usability Testing
All the user flow diagrams and annotated wireframes in the world won't help you catch problems as well as a half decent prototype. I made it a priority at PINATA to build clickable prototypes as soon in the process as possible. This approach helps product teams identify systems-level issues earlier, when they're easy to fix.
The tools available for administering and documenting usability tests are so good these days, there's no excuse not to do it. I've worked at companies that paid thousands of dollars for a single day of testing, but in my experience, the tests you run in-house usually give better insights.
At PINATA, my team was able to run a handful of tests every few weeks. That kind of constant, regular feedback is critical to building good products. And by working closely with our Sales and Support teams, we always had access to great test candidates.