“I was blown away the first time I used Heroku. It took me less than five minutes to take the code on my desktop and turn it into a live app and everything worked immediately.”
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Audata helps the media industry tune in to their data
Audata is known in the media industry for its Audata Promo app which helps brands manage contests, automate prize fulfilment, and collect audience data. Together with other solutions from Audata, the app also helps broadcasters build more data-driven experiences for their audiences.
“The efficiencies provided by Audata Promo is typically what opens the door to new customers, but the long-term problem we solve is around data,” said Keegan Bakker, Founder and CEO of Audata. “Siloed data is a real problem for more traditional media companies. They are deploying content across all new channels like podcasts and apps and yet have no way of bringing those components together for a clear view of their audiences.”
Audata helps media companies to solve this problem by digitising tasks like promotions management and joining the dots between different sources of data. All of Audata’s apps are built on Heroku and the company uses Salesforce to drive their adoption globally.
An accidental business
Bakker never intended to start his own business. He worked as a radio presenter for 15 years and developed the original Audata Promo app for himself and his team. They gave away prizes many times each day and the processes surrounding this were paper-based and painful.
Listeners would call in to win and presenters would have just a couple of minutes off-air to write down their details. It was typically a rushed task and not uncommon for a number or email to be written down wrong. The promotions team would also need to contact the person again to organise the distribution of prizes. Concert tickets were the most time consuming to distribute because of the sheer number handed out and so the station would have to bring in casual workers to help.
A self-taught coder, Bakker came up with the idea of using an app to collect winners’ details online. The station could then use the app to notify winners via SMS when it was time to collect prizes. This would make life easier for presenters and promotional staff, and save hundreds of hours spent inputting information into spreadsheets and phoning up winners.
Bakker wrote the Audata Promo app himself and tried to deploy it on a few different platforms before landing on Heroku. “I was blown away the first time I used Heroku. It took me less than five minutes to take the code on my desktop and turn it into a live app and everything worked immediately,” said Bakker.
Bakker asked for permission to use the app at work and not long after he found himself sitting in front of executives and ICT professionals selling it as a commercial product. Running the app on Heroku helped to promote trust in its security and scalability.
“I was able to confidently say that while the code was whipped up overnight, the infrastructure we had was solid,” said Bakker.
The Audata Promo app has now been white labeled by many of the world’s largest media brands. And while Bakker didn’t plan for the app to turn into a business, he ultimately couldn’t ignore what was happening. He eventually left his role as a presenter to focus on building new apps for the industry. These include the Audata Platform which offers media businesses a connected view of their audiences across different products. Another app in the works is a cloud service which will allow stations to archive broadcasts in the cloud and retrieve segments quickly using AI-powered keyword search.
“There is so much opportunity to innovate in the media industry as there are few suppliers creating new technology for this space,” said Bakker. “The real benefit of Heroku is that it helps us to experiment. We can write new code and get it into the hands of customers right away.”
Audata has also used Salesforce to streamline the sales of its apps. All opportunities are managed in Sales Cloud, including cross-selling opportunities and license extensions. Quotes are then produced out of CPQ and sent and signed via DocuSign.
Heroku Connect allows for order details to be synced right from Sales Cloud to an app in Heroku that automates provisioning. This has replaced the tedious process of creating a task list for each new order and ticking off items one by one. It has also reduced the time from quote to provisioning by eight days.
“Quoting and provisioning in Salesforce has been a game changer and allows us to provision new licenses for existing customers almost automatically. In the past, it was so difficult that it actually discouraged us from upselling,” said Bakker.
Streamlining onboarding and support
Audata is now using Salesforce to onboard and support customers and ensure high levels of user satisfaction. With Marketing Cloud, it has created onboarding journeys which include a series of emails with tips and information tailored to the products used by each customer. Service Cloud allows for robust and collaborative case management, as compared to in the past when Bakker handled all support himself and was continually attached to his phone.
With Einstein Bots and Salesforce Knowledge, Audata is also able to provide automatic answers to around 45% of enquiries and this number is growing as the company expands its Knowledge database. If customers require additional support, they can then chat to someone live or raise a case.
Audata is further leveraging Service Cloud to manage new feature requests and to let customers know when their request is actioned. “It has really changed our product planning as we can go in and see what features people are talking about and make data-driven decisions about what to implement next. Keeping people informed of what’s happening also gives them a sense of buy-in which is great,” said Bakker.
The recent rollout of Salesforce Voice will add to the efficiency of support by automating activities like call transcription and providing reps with AI-powered recommendations in real-time.
“A big thing for me is automating wherever possible rather than adding headcount, and Salesforce continues to help make that possible,” said Bakker.
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