AMBOSS was founded in 2012 by a small group of doctors who were frustrated by the lack of quality resources within the medical education system. They set out to create a digital medical resource that could single-handedly support students in the classroom as well as later on as a clinical companion.
After sustained growth over a number of years, AMBOSS now boasts more than 400 highly trained physicians, scientists, software engineers, marketers and many more specialties. Together, they leverage technology to provide accurate and accessible medical knowledge to more than a million healthcare professionals in 180 countries around the world.
With the company scaling rapidly, AMBOSS needed to simplify and centralize its event data pipeline and improve data quality to optimize its marketing attribution. This was essential to allow for better customer segmentation and more clearly defined marketing KPIs. But to do this, they needed to be as cost effective as possible and not take engineering resources away from product development.
AMBOSS turned to Twilio Segment to create a centralized, single source of truth for event and user behavior data. In doing so, it was able to:
Eliminate complexity and simplify its data pipeline, transitioning from batch data to event-based data
Optimize its custom attribution model and develop real-time dashboards to inform marketing strategy
Centralize GDPR compliance across multiple channels and markets and increase agility to react to fluctuating regulatory requirements
Tackling data complexity and developing a gateway for downstream tooling
After several years of 100% year on year growth, the AMBOSS team urgently needed to implement a more sophisticated approach to customer data. With a growing number of people in the business and more than one billion customer touchpoints, the company quickly needed to integrate its customer data into a single platform. And it needed more accurate data, better segmentation and more clearly defined KPIs to support its next stage of growth.
AMBOSS’ customer data was largely based on a direct copy of the production database and the concept of event-based data pipelines was a long way off. Data was dispersed across a large number of places, resulting in massive complexity and making it impossible to understand dependencies and triggers for events across channels. It also made it difficult to identify the root causes of any issues across the marketing tech stack and resolve them quickly.
Elmar Weber, CTO at AMBOSS, recognized the need to simplify the data pipeline and switch to an event-based approach to support key business priorities. Having successfully deployed Twilio Segment in two previous roles, Elmar was aware of the wide range of benefits that Twilio Segment could deliver in terms of creating a single source of truth for all event data and improving data quality, whilst ensuring compliance across a complex and dynamic regulatory environment.
Elmar knew that other vendors on the market simply didn’t offer the same capabilities and functionality as Twilio Segment and there was little appetite to use internal engineering resources to tackle this challenge. AMBOSS needed its engineering teams focused on product development to maintain its market leading position and drive future growth.
Creating a single source of truth to drive a new attribution model for channel performance
AMBOSS brought in Twilio Segment to integrate multiple data sources into a single customer data platform (CDP) and manage its data across all sources.
With Twilio Segment CDP in place, AMBOSS is now able to capture data from every type of interaction and touchpoint – for instance page views, user clicks and purchases - into a single repository in a standardized way.
This has enabled a more detailed and nuanced marketing attribution, in turn empowering the marketing team members to assess performance across channels, understand historical trends and plan ahead. In the past, it was difficult to understand the impact of different channels due to channel-specific "siloed" views, and it was also difficult to compare performance across campaigns on a consistent basis. By combining several sources, Twilio Segment has helped build out a single, reliable source of truth.
Twilio Segment provides marketing managers with visibility on campaign and team performance through real-time dashboards and enables them to make insight-driven decisions based on trusted data.
An additional benefit of Twilio Segment is that it allows AMBOSS to respond more quickly to changes in compliance requirements. Because all customer data is now routed through Twilio Segment, AMBOSS is able to manage policies centrally around data security and privacy - for instance, in relation to GDPR. Twilio Segment is now viewed internally as a critical solution for data compliance.
Twilio Segment is deployed across all of AMBOSS’ engineering and data teams. Engineers are responsible for ensuring all events are entered into Twilio Segment and data teams then process the data and use it for attribution and decision-making.
More recently, AMBOSS has also started to use Twilio Segment Protocols as a communication tool between engineers, product managers and data analysts. It allows teams to share and collaborate on documentation around events and facilitates dialogue between key stakeholders.
Building trust in data and optimizing decision-making to support future growth
By deploying Twilio Segment, AMBOSS has created a single source of truth for customer data, around which the whole organization can benchmark, collaborate and plan. It has enabled teams to make confident decisions more quickly and immediately assess the impact of marketing activities across channels in real-time. And it’s eased the burden of regulatory compliance through centralized management of all data policies.
Over time, this new level of insight in attribution is expected to lead to improvements in marketing acquisition KPIs and faster product and customer experience iteration.
What’s next? AMBOSS is looking to expand its use of Twilio Segment Protocols to further optimize the quality of its data. The team is also exploring how to simplify the management of its outbound marketing activities. There is an appetite to optimize campaigns across multiple destinations using Twilio Segment as the single source of truth for customer segmentation.
Increased self service across the product and analytics organizations, allowing user behavior analysis by all product managers and user researchers.
Reduced time to insights from days to minutes.
Freed up massive amounts of time for product analysts to focus on advanced topics.
We had a vision of creating a single source of truth for event data right across the organization but we knew that this couldn’t be a distraction for our engineering teams. We need our engineers focused on product features that have a direct revenue impact. That’s where Twilio Segment has been game-changing, helping us to centralize our customer data far more quickly, efficiently and cost effectively than we could have imagined. - Elmar Weber, CTO, AMBOSS