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DigitalOcean used Twilio Segment to answer complex questions about its marketing performance and content to drive better decision making

Twilio Segment made it easy for DigitalOcean to access data, answer questions, and drive better performing marketing campaigns at a lower cost.

Segment is integral as it touches on everything from the acquisition side, to churn, to looking at product awareness and adoption. Really, the full spectrum of a user's lifetime.

Andy Hattemer, Senior Developer Marketing Manager, DigitalOcean

Challenge

As DigitalOcean’s user base grew, a gap between its two siloed data analytics platforms continued to grow, making it harder to get answers to increasingly important and complex questions, like how to allocate marketing resources. Another concern was the lack of actionable insights generated by the data.

Solution

The team at DigitalOcean chose Twilio Segment to consolidate all of their data into a single warehouse, and also feed that data into the best-in-class cloud tools the entire team used. Twilio Segment routed both analytics data and customer data into the same data warehouse, giving DigitalOcean’s analysts access to a single repository of their customers’ records across marketing campaigns and product usage. By using Twilio Segment, DigitalOcean can access data and answer questions at a new macro level, driving better performing marketing campaigns at a lower cost.


DigitalOcean, a New York City-based cloud infrastructure company, was founded in 2011 and has grown to over 700,000 users in only five years. DigitalOcean provides developers with cloud services to help deploy and scale applications that run simultaneously on multiple computers. It offers a variety of products that range from big data processing, to web application servers, hosting services, and developer tools. 

As DigitalOcean’s user base grew, a gap between its two siloed data analytics platforms continued to grow, making it harder to get answers to increasingly important and complex questions. Without an understanding of what was driving long-term sustainable value in the user base, decisions like how to allocate marketing resources were complicated.

With Twilio Segment, DigitalOcean is able to access data and answer questions at a new macro level, driving better performing marketing campaigns at a lower cost. With a consolidated data set and the visibility into a user’s actions across the entire funnel, DigitalOcean up-leveled its marketing efforts by turning insights into action.

Manual data analysis taking time away from generating value for customers

Before DigitalOcean found Twilio Segment, the company had two separate analytics platforms: Google Analytics, for measuring site metrics and attribution, and an internal tool for measuring the value of each user and how they’re using the platform. However, both systems were siloed, and there was an increasing gap between the data sets, making it difficult to follow the actions of a single user from a paid acquisition campaign to their engagement with the product.

"We had all the standard data on Paid Campaigns, such as how many conversions they drive, but we had unanswered questions. How are those customers using our product relative to the organic customers? How much support overhead do they incur relative to the organic customers?" said Andy Hattemer, Senior Developer Marketing Manager at DigitalOcean.

Without this fundamental understanding of what was driving long-term sustainable value in the user base, decisions like how to allocate marketing resources were complicated.

Another concern was the lack of actionable insights generated by the data. For instance, the team at DigitalOcean knew that the written content from their developer community drove valuable traffic for the business, but was unable to determine which specific pieces led to the most growth. Existing analytics could only provide basic guidance in selecting the most impactful topics to write about.

To measure the performance of their paid acquisition campaigns, DigitalOcean spent too much time manually pulling data from third-party platforms like Facebook Ads and Google Adwords. Not only did this method take up several days per month, but it was also tedious and growing more complex with each new campaign. DigitalOcean needed a more efficient and effective way to analyze acquisition performance.

Consolidating all data into a single warehouse and building a best-in-class technology stack the entire team can use

The team at DigitalOcean chose Twilio Segment to consolidate all of their data into a single warehouse, and also feed that data into the best-in-class cloud tools the entire team used. Twilio Segment routed both analytics data and customer data into the same data warehouse, giving DigitalOcean’s analysts access to a single repository of their customers’ records across marketing campaigns and product usage.

DigitalOcean was impressed by the ease of implementing Twilio Segment. Likewise, DigitalOcean was pleased they could dig as deep as they wanted into the raw data with Twilio Segment. The company has a variety of different data types that didn’t historically “play nicely” together within certain out-of-the-box reporting tools they had used previously. After implementing Twilio Segment, there was a wealth of tools that DigitalOcean’s team could use to be more effective. While the marketing team uses Customer.io and Marketo for activation and engagement emails, the product design team uses FullStory to identify areas of UX friction and confusion.

Lastly, as a company built for and by engineers, the DigitalOcean team said that Twilio Segment scaled seamlessly. DigitalOcean is sending hundreds of millions of events per month and hasn’t encountered any issues with Twilio Segment’s handling of its data.

Validating key performance indicators and identifying highest performing content 

By using Twilio Segment, DigitalOcean can access data and answer questions at a new macro level, driving better performing marketing campaigns at a lower cost. With a consolidated data set and the visibility into a user’s actions across the entire funnel, DigitalOcean up-leveled its marketing efforts by turning insights into action. "We’re able to actually understand the key performance indicators and act on them," Hattemer said.

For instance, the team was able to identify the highest performing content pieces across a wealth of resources. "Some tutorials will drive as much as 10x more revenue, without driving that much more in traffic," said Hattemer. "We're now able to not only confirm that as true, but figure out new topics to cover that we hadn’t really thought about, that attract much more valuable customers."

Twilio Segment also saves DigitalOcean countless hours previously spent implementing additional marketing tools. After Twilio Segment, turning on Customer.io was as simple as pasting in a few credentials.

Another way that using Twilio Segment helps DigitalOcean save time is with the Facebook Ads and Google Adwords reporting. "We enabled Ad Sources and stopped spending time bringing that data in manually," Hattemer said. "It’s really valuable to have those clicks and impressions and spend data right next to conversions and revenue, and all of that in one place."

DigitalOcean is thrilled to have its entire customer record in one single repository, achieving predictable growth via marketing activities and saving time not having to maintain the crucial data infrastructure in-house. "Twilio Segment is integral as it touches on everything from the acquisition side, to churn, to looking at product awareness and adoption. Really, the full spectrum of a user's lifetime."

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