Heap will make you look like a genius.
— Tyler Calder, Director of Marketing and Growth
Precision Nutrition helps people all over the world discover the joys of living a fit, healthy life and teaches thousands of professionals how to deliver this to their own clients. Named one of Fast Company’s 10 Most Innovative Companies in Fitness (2015), Precision Nutrition has helped nearly 50,000 men and women lose over 900,000 pounds of body fat and lead healthier lives since its founding in 2004.
Unlike many products, Precision Nutrition serves a hybrid audience of both coaching clients and fitness professionals. For coaching clients, Precision Nutrition runs a 12 month program that helps people make habit-based behavioral lifestyle changes. Precision Nutrition also serves fitness professionals, helping teach the art of nutrition coaching in both Certification (Level 1) and Master Class (Level 2) courses. For both, the company delivers exercises, content, and individualized plans via an online platform.
To get a closer pulse on the journey customers take from initial discovery to retention, Tyler Calder, Director of Marketing and Growth turned to Heap. In the few months since starting to use Heap, Tyler’s already started personalizing campaigns and identifying the company’s most successful acquisition channels—with big plans in the pipeline.
Testing a Smorgasbord of Tools
Before Heap, the team used a proprietary product analytics setup and had some insight into what people would do in-product once they became customers. The biggest challenge came in determining what people did before they purchased. When Tyler joined to lead growth and marketing, the team had derived all marketing insights from Google Analytics.
“When we were using GA, a number of questions were hard to answer,” Tyler said. “Were certain channels better for finding customers? How does channel conversion correlate to engagement and retention down the line? We wanted more detail to be able to intelligently answer these questions, so I started looking into more robust tools.”
Tyler first turned to Kissmetrics and started trying to understand channel engagement. But that decision was short-lived. “Kissmetrics couldn’t handle the amount of event data that we were sending. It slowed down and couldn’t run any reports, rendering the tool useless,” said Tyler.
It was then that Tyler heard of a couple of people who were using Heap. “They talked about how Heap automatically captures event data, so I signed up for a 14 day trial. I loved it instantly, especially because I could just let Heap run and do analysis when I wanted, without setting up events in advance.”
After using Heap for a few weeks, he noticed his workflows changing, too. “In meetings, post-implementation, people would ask ‘can we track this next time?’ And instead of worrying about a ‘next time,’ I could just pull up the dashboard and get answers right then. Because of how quickly you’re able to pull insights, Heap will make you look like a genius.”
Understanding Conversion: Time or Touchpoints?
After shifting to Heap, one of the first things that Tyler did was investigate what primes users to join a coaching program or register for a fitness professional certification. Because Precision Nutrition’s programs are launch-based, with registration opening only twice per year for each program, it’s vital to understand levers around time to conversion.
“Our hypothesis was that people would need to be in our funnel for 1-2 years before we could expect for them to convert,” Tyler said. “With Heap, I discovered that converting wasn’t a function of time, but touchpoints. On the fitness professional side, this meant key interactions with meaningful content—things like free courses, or our in-depth articles. With insights from Heap, we could reduce time to conversion.”
Building Sophisticated Remarketing Campaigns
Eliminating the notion that conversion was tied purely to time, Tyler wanted to drill deeper to understand which touchpoints in particular triggered different audiences to convert and then optimize remarketing and nurture campaigns accordingly.
“Our basic remarketing up until then wasn’t bad. We had a cohesive narrative, but it was very linear, and everyone was given the same content. If you happened to already read a piece of content, it could still be retargeted to you. Now, using Heap data, I can identify specific users and drop them into targeted audiences. Then, I can show them key pieces of content that I know is likely to trigger conversion,” he said.
Pulling on these customer insights from Heap, Tyler personalized the team’s Google and Facebook retargeting campaigns and boost conversions by a full 40-50%.
Peace of Mind for Lean Teams
Precision Nutrition follows a holacracy model, where every individual has a defined set of goals and responsibilities and the company organizes itself in task-focused clusters. With marketing analytics under Tyler’s purview, the team is looking forward to creating a cluster to focus on full-funnel marketing and product customer insights.
Whether working at a holacratic or traditional organization, as a marketer, Tyler notes that it’s always a struggle to get developer time. When it comes to analytics, Heap gives Tyler the infrastructure he needs to perform stress-free analysis.
“Ultimately, if you’re building out new pages and CTAs, it can become time-intensive to ensure that you have everything tracked and properly, and that it’s fast and always up-to-date,” he says. “With Heap, you just set it up and it’s all taken care of.”