How Looker increased account engagement by 20%

Four practical techniques to turn users into power users

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Jonathan Anderson
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This is part of our Best Of series: Who better to discuss tracking metrics for customer experience than the experts at data companies? We rounded up a few experts and quizzed them on what they’re tracking, how they’re tracking it, and how all of us can make the most of those metrics.

Jill, a customer marketing guru, focuses on increasing product engagement at data analytics platform Looker, which joined Google Cloud in February of 2020. Jill started out in customer education before moving into customer marketing to zero in on helping users get more value from the platform. Like many SaaS companies, Looker’s platform is powerful and complex. Jill’s goal is to help more users harness that power and flexibility.

Data is like art. Everyone likes the idea of it, but many of us find it intimidating, and aren’t exactly sure what to make of it—much less how to find and analyze it.

With this fear in mind, Looker designed a novel approach to reach more users. To make its data and insights accessible to a wider audience, Looker asked its power users to push data into the places where the rest of us already work, like Slack and Salesforce. 

Jill’s team was tasked with helping Looker customers make data a natural part of their teams’ everyday workflows. The goal was to enable people to use a particular set of features that surface a company’s data in places other than the Looker UI, meaning that teams wouldn’t have to go looking to encounter their data.  Appropriately, they named their campaign “Take the Data to the People” and got to work.

“I'm proud of this campaign because we hit a groove with so many important factors: contributing meaningfully to a larger company goal, fantastic cross-team collaboration, leveraging multiple channels... and ultimately, because it worked! We drove the results we were hoping for, and now we have a cache of great educational content we can use over and over.”

Crafting your engagement strategy

Jill's headshot

First, the customer marketing team built a multi-pronged engagement strategy, consisting of an email campaign, a blog series, and a webinar for each feature they wanted to highlight. The email introduced the concept, the blog highlighted inspirational use cases, and the webinar showed users how to get started with the features. Jill’s team created targeted user segments, and leveraged marketing automation tools (including Marketo) to track how those segments engaged at every step.

Flow chart from Training Site and Skilljar through video assets blog posts and PBL Nurture to demonstrate campaign tactics with virtual assets
Looker used a mix of virtual assets that reinforced each other throughout the campaign. 

Measuring engagement

The campaign had one aim: to improve an important metric—the Platform Score. This score is tracked at the account level, but it’s a rollup of individual users’ actions that increase the overall account’s engagement, such as embedding Looker into Slack. We’ve written about the power and flexibility of a Platform Score before

By measuring the user actions that improve an account’s overall health, the Platform Score helps Looker quickly check its pulse.

Cross-functional collaboration 

To encourage participation and build better content, Jill also tapped Looker’s customer support and success teams. With their subject matter expertise, the support team helped create more engaging content and even hosted many of the webinars. Meanwhile, these and other customer-facing teams were able to drive customers to the webinars with a personal touch. 

As the data came pouring in, Jill and her team watched the Platform Score rise steadily at accounts where the users had attended the webinars, increasing +20% and staying elevated weeks after the campaign had ended.

Score Chart showing average platform score growing from May to October
Platform Score Chart: Accounts that engaged with Jill’s engagement campaign. 

What were Jill’s takeaways from the experience? 

  • Think multi-channel — To drive engagement, work across every possible channel. 
  • Get buy in — Ensure your work aligns with the company’s broader goals, and start building the relationships you’ll need to tap the right teams. 
  • Measure what matters — Align your success metric with your campaign. If your campaign hinges on increasing collaboration, measuring how people collaborate!
  • Take your time — Give yourself more time than you think. Cross-team collaboration takes time to get right. 

As it turns out, running a successful customer engagement campaign is its own form of art.


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