How IDAGIO Understands and Optimizes Customer Engagement With Braze

Sunny Manivannan By Sunny Manivannan Jul 20, 2021

Founded in 2015, Berlin-based IDAGIO is the leading classical music streaming service with 2.5 million app downloads globally and 50,000 App Store reviews, featuring an average rating of 4.7 out of 5.

I spoke with Kevin Fons, Senior CRM Manager at IDAGIO, to learn how IDAGIO takes advantage of the Braze platform to know exactly who their users are and what messages and content inspire each of the company's key segments across subscribers, free users, and more.

Fons shared how the team brings campaigns to life and how Braze has enabled the SMB to become more agile and deliver growth across the brand's key metrics, including app usage, playback, and subscriptions.*

What’s your end-to-end process for creating campaigns, from conceptualizing and planning to building and executing and then finally analyzing and optimizing?

It starts with someone spotting an opportunity. That could come from absolutely anyone in the company. For instance, our customer service team was getting lots of requests for a new feature, Apple CarPlay. They worked together with product and development to develop the feature and then worked with me in CRM to figure out which users to target—not only the users who requested the feature but look-a-like users we could cross-promote the feature to and increase the uptake of Apple CarPlay.

Before launching campaigns, my first question is always: What is our objective? What are we trying to achieve, and secondly, how can we measure that? From there, depending on the size of the initiative, things can move quickly. A simple idea can be live and generating results in a matter of hours.

For analyzing and optimizing, I can get most of what I need from Braze directly. If I need to dig further into finding a north star, then I reach out to our BI and product teams and we use Looker, Amplitude, and Segment for additional insights.

What are the teams you work with most often and how do you collaborate?

I work most often with editorial, discussing what content needs to be promoted on a weekly basis—new album releases, what has good, broad appeal and also what is perhaps musically of high interest. I also meet weekly with BI to talk about what's performing and what we need to look into.

As part of a small company, I'm relatively independent using Braze, so I can do what I need to on my own using Braze, which is something I appreciate.

What made you decide to try out our customer engagement capabilities?

IDAGIO was already using Braze when I joined in 2018. But here’s a secret: A year after I joined, I did do a full evaluation, looking into and comparing Braze against competitors. Braze came out as the winner.

To what extent have your engineering teams stayed closely involved with Braze post-onboarding? How do they help you get value from Braze?

We have a superstar engineering team. Any time there’s a new product development, or a new use case I’d like to solve, they are hands-on with end-to-end support and testing. Not just with Braze, but with our whole tech stack.

Your product and engineering teams are your gold mines. Keep them close! They can create the events, event properties, and attributes to make all your CRM dreams come true.

How does Braze enable you to be agile and efficient?

Thanks to Braze, I know exactly who my users are. My advice: Take the time to study your company’s data dictionary and get your Braze segments in order first. Once you have this clearly structured view of your user base built in Braze, getting campaigns and Canvases out the door is lightning fast.

When I started, there was no great setup of our segments inside Braze. Every campaign targeting was set up differently. I took the time to ask myself: What are my key objectives, who are my key audiences? Then I set up clearly defined segments—for example, subscribers, free users, power users, etc. Now that I have that all in place, if we need a campaign, it's super easy. I know we are good at organizing our data dictionary. I know what all of my events and attributes are. I only have to ask: What's our objective? How can we measure that? Then we're good to go.

So in terms of becoming agile, we've become very, very agile.

In what ways does Braze add value to your business?

Shortly after I started in 2018, I implemented a global control group using “random buckets.” I excluded a small percentage of users from all of our CRM marketing communications. Thanks to that experiment, I could clearly see the uplift that CRM generated for my key metrics, such as app usage, playback, and subscriptions.

Any favorite Braze hacks?

Lots. I like to create "fake" webhooks to record user behaviour or trigger parallel campaigns, or use these webhooks to convert events into attributes or even purchases.

I recommend using Liquid to abort time sensitive messages and using tags to create a message hierarchy.

I use silent pushes as control variants in customer journeys via Braze Canvas with time delays and automated engagement reports to spot any sudden changes in user behaviour or even technical glitches.

I set myself up as a test user in the Braze Developer Console, so I could see all of the data coming through on that user profile through the event user log. It's so useful for testing. I can see all of the event properties when I interact with our website or apps.

The list goes on.

What resources have helped you get the most out of Braze?

Hands down: The Braze Bonfire Slack community. I was so thankful Braze implemented this, especially being an SMB. It's such a great resource for sharing, learning, and networking.

I also use LAB (Learning at Braze) and look at the Braze online documentation once or twice a week.

How does Braze help your company grow?

Thanks to Braze, I feel so close to our users. I know exactly what messages and content inspire our different segments. As soon as I hit that “launch” button, I get insights and learnings that I can pass back to our product and C-level teams.

Final Thoughts

Hundreds of innovative small and growing companies like IDAGIO, Branch, and Grover are using Braze to disrupt their categories and achieve success within their industries. See for yourself why Braze is the secret weapon startups turn to to gain a competitive advantage, engage thoughtfully with their users, and ultimately drive business outcomes like user growth, conversions, revenue, retention, and more.

*This conversion has been edited for length and clarity.

Sunny Manivannan

Sunny Manivannan

Sunny Manivannan is the VP and GM of Global SMB at Braze, and thoroughly enjoys being a Boston sports fan in New York City. Previously, Sunny served in various marketing and general management roles at Coupa Software (NASDAQ:COUP), and was formerly a management consultant at McKinsey & Company and an aerospace engineer at General Electric.

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