Segment makes it easy for Breather to access data, answer questions, and make faster decisions than ever before
“We have a full and complete picture of the performance of our campaigns and our return on investment because we’re not limited by the reporting of any one platform.”
Like most great ideas, Breather, a Montreal-based startup, started out trying to solve one problem and discovered more problems along the way. Originally geared toward business travelers looking for an alternative to crowded coffee shops, Breather’s on-demand, designer workspaces have quickly become popular with businesses, therapists, and consultants who occasionally need office space. Having raised more than $73 million in venture capital since 2012, its clients include some of the biggest companies in Silicon Valley and beyond, all of whom are seeing the benefits of stepping out of their hyper-collaborative, open offices when they need uninterrupted focus time. There are no membership fees, cancellations fees, or any other commitments involved in renting one of their 200+ locations in 10 major cities in North America and the UK.
Breather’s commitment to a consistent user experience doesn’t stop with its no-strings-attached policies and the bright, airy design of their spaces. Quantitative and qualitative user data play a crucial role in Breather’s quest to provide the kinds of spaces and experiences that their rapidly evolving customer base demands. "If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it," says Digital Analytics Director Simon Trudeau. He and his teammates are focused on, among other things, ensuring that all of Breather’s tools use the same data as much as possible and that the data from those tools is centralized. No small task when you’re growing as fast as Breather is.
Breather was losing too much time trying to manually compile and integrate its data. And the longer it took to centralize Breather’s data into a single source of truth, the longer Breather would be going without valuable campaign insights.
Before using Segment, Trudeau and his teammates were manually downloading reports of aggregate cost, clicks, and impressions data for ad campaigns from Adwords and Facebook Ads and putting them on Google Drive. Then, once a month, they ran a Python script to compile that data in Breather’s database. "The whole process was eating up a stunning amount of time and was prone to human error," says Trudeau. "Time we really needed to be spending on building new features for our customers."
And the longer it took to centralize Breather’s data into a single source of truth, the longer Breather would be going without valuable campaign insights. "Other tools give you access to aggregate data and force you to use their pre-built reports," says Trudeau. "We couldn’t afford those kinds of limitations to the questions we could ask. To take full control of our attribution model and our campaign reporting, we knew we needed a solution that could put raw data from Adwords and Facebook Ads into our database."
Breather started using Segment to track all event data. Pushing its event data out to various analytics and marketing destinations enriched Breather’s dataset, all of which was being sent back to its internal database for more complex analysis using SQL. Working with data from multiple ad platforms via Segment, Breather analyzes and takes action on its ad spend.
At first, Breather signed up for Segment simply for the time they could save on tagging data. Trudeau and his team starting using Segment to track all event data from the website, native app, and servers, as well as email and push platforms, A/B testing tool, live chat, customer success, and other tools.
From there, it didn’t hurt that Segment offered a roster of integrations that already included most of the tools Breather used. Pushing its event data out to various analytics and marketing integrations enriched Breather’s dataset, all of which was being sent back to its internal database for more complex analysis using SQL.
But it was when Segment brought raw ad campaign data into Breather’s database that Trudeau and his team realized the full value of Segment. "It was love at first sight," says Trudeau. "The implementation was fast and simple: we just turned on the switch in Segment, entered our database credentials, and voila! Data started syncing right away. It took less than a day, and most of that time was spent uploading our historical data."
Working with data from Adwords, Facebook Ads, and other ad platforms, Breather uses tools like Looker, Amplitude, Adroll, Criteo and Zendesk to analyze and take action on its ad spend. "We have a full and complete picture of the performance of our campaigns and our return on investment because we’re not limited by the reporting of any one platform" says Trudeau. "Segment is so powerful, we can tie back each individual user impacted by our campaigns to all the data we collect internally via Segment."
Not only has Segment achieved the significant time savings that Trudeau and his teammates were after, but the team is also confident that the data is accurate and free of human error. Now, with the time they've saved on data tagging, Trudeau’s teammates can look at different options in how they analyze the data. "One of our main conversions is ‘creating a booking,’" says Trudeau, "and that leaves a lot of room for further analysis: excluding cancellations, including booking updates, examining first-time bookings. We can also slice and dice our conversions based on any booking/user property we capture. With all of our data held in a single source of truth, Segment has given us full flexibility on how we want to count conversions."
By analyzing users’ time to first booking after clicking through on Facebook Ads or Adwords, Breather discovered that depending on the ad platform, the time it took for users to convert was significantly different. From there, Trudeau and his teammates were able to boost ROI by modifying their strategy. "Segment helped us define a new ad strategy that balances acquisition and brand awareness as opposed to focusing almost exclusively on acquisition."
As Breather’s user base continues to evolve, Trudeau and his teammates are excited to explore more complex analyses. They are beginning to test cross-platform attribution models customized with view-through data, and they want to better analyze true lifetime value against customer acquisition cost by both channel and campaign. "We’ve really just started to explore the analytics opportunities that Segment offers," says Trudeau, "but we can tell that powerful insights are waiting for us in the data. And when we find them, we know we’ll be able to easily share them across the company, and ultimately with our customers."