Tracking new events used to take a month. With Heap, we can get the information we need in just an hour.
— Gianni Argiris, Product Manager
For millions of users worldwide, CrunchBase serves as a primary source of company, investment, and industry data. The platform delivers the most accurate, up-to-date data available, which is reviewed daily and sourced from 200,000+ contributors, 2,000+ venture partners, and millions of data points across the web.
Internally, Marketing and Product efforts are closely tied. CrunchBase has a highly engaged ecosystem of partners and community members that the company communicates with every day to drive engagement and share highly personalized news and updates. Since launching out of AOL in September 2015, the team has been working on building a platform and expanding their already extensive dataset.
To drive their product roadmap and better target CrunchBase's diverse user base, Director of Marketing, Alexandra Mack, and Product Manager, Gianni Argiris turned to Heap.
Closing the User Analytics Gap
Before Heap, the team found it challenging to understand how users were interacting with different components of the platform, like contributing data, search and follow. This data is critical to Marketing and Product initiatives to drive engagement by optimizing CrunchBase's user flows throughout the site.
Google Analytics was the first tool they tested out, with limited success. "In order to get the information that we wanted, we'd have to sit with engineering, think through tracking plans and event definition, perform QA. This was not fast enough for us to provide insight and guidance at our speed of development—tracking code deployment and iterations took 3-4 weeks," Gianni said.
To get a clearer picture of which actions users were taking as they navigated the site, the team then tried another analytics provider, but quickly ran into the same problems. "This method wasn't for us, either. Tracking took way too long and wasn't reliable," Gianni said. "We had that process in place for about a year, but nobody used it because it wasn't efficient."
When the team learned about Heap and its ability to automatically track all user behavior, Gianni laughed that he "had to see it to believe it."
What's a "Good" Conversion Rate?
Since installing Heap, the team can work with a complete dataset, enabling them to meaningfully segment users, explore user behavior in the site and interaction with marketing content, and ask questions that they never could before. Some core questions include:
- How do different user cohorts interact with CrunchBase, and how do we get them to engage further? What are different user cohorts doing onsite that might signal intent (to purchase one of our Advanced and Commercial products, to contribute, etc.)?
- What are the personas of our buyers for our premium products?
- How do we define success? Specifically, how do we define baselines for different marketing campaigns? Is a 17% conversion rate good, or is 3%?
Powering New Product Development
Alexandra loves that Heap helps her explore "unknown unknowns." With Heap's List View, "you discover a lot of little things, specific patterns in user behavior signaling that people may not fully understand the product's capabilities," Alexandra said. "You can then modify your product and messaging to guide them to engage more and understand the full capabilities of CrunchBase."
Just a few short weeks after installing Heap, the CrunchBase team had already collected enough information from millions of users to start optimizing product usability and designing user flows to drive the behavior they wanted to see on the site.
Data Visibility for the Entire Team
With Heap's Event Visualizer, team members don't need to write code, worry about submitting one-off requests, or maintain a tracking plan. Heap enables everyone from leadership to heads of content, operations, and engineering to quickly view product and website performance. As for Gianni and Alexandra, they're working to unify practices around analysis, too.
"Instead of hosting separate meetings, soon we'll have a single marketing, product, and sales weekly meeting to go over everything from email funnels to new development together," Gianni said.
A Single Source of Truth
Today, Heap gives CrunchBase the ability to view a holistic source of data for all their products and users, including CrunchBase and CrunchBase Data. Automatic data collection saves the team significant time and generates a complete dataset from which they can define stronger user personas, rapidly test and iterate on new product features, and build targeted marketing campaigns that better convert.
"Before Heap, we didn't have much information around specific user actions beyond big picture metrics," Gianni said. "Now we do."