Customer success

How AusDoc used Pendo to accelerate their evolution from a “traditional” print publication to a tech-enabled online community


Reduced time to release in-app guides from weeks to seconds

151% increase in monthly unique News Feed pageviews

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AusDoc (Australian Doctor Group, or ADG) is the largest online community of digitally-engaged AHPRA-registered general practitioners and specialists in Australia—providing doctors with entertainment, education, clinical resources, employment services, and a sense of community and belonging. Simultaneously, AusDoc enables life science organizations to connect with health care professionals via a suite of promotional, lead-gen, and consent management services.

Over the past three decades, the organization has seen massive transformation from a print-only publication, to building a digital presence, to becoming a leading community platform—enabling medical professionals to stay up to date on all the latest news, clinical updates, and education while building their networks. This change has required the AusDoc team to evolve and think like a digitally native organization. 

From print publication to leading healthcare community platform

Evian Gutman (Head of Product at AusDoc) explained that this evolution started in the early 2000s, with the rise of the internet. “Everyone’s attention and focus shifted towards the impact of a digital publishing world. And just like other publishers, we made the transition into the digital space. More recently, we’ve taken the next step in our evolution by iterating into a community platform for healthcare professionals, too,” he said.

As AusDoc made this move from a “traditional” to a digital-first company, they knew they needed a data-driven approach to make efficient use of their resources, accelerate company growth, and create exceptional digital experiences for their growing user community. “If you can’t measure your digital engagement, you’re flying blind—which has consequences at all levels of the business. We wanted to move from the ‘guessing’ game to the ‘knowing’ game,” said Gutman.

Before Pendo, AusDoc tried using Google Analytics and other point solutions for in-app guidance. But Gutman and his team knew they needed an all-in-one platform to take their product development efforts to the next level. “We needed more reliable, real-time access to [understand user] engagement,” said Gutman. “[We needed to] evolve into a data-driven, evidence-based framework.” Pendo was the comprehensive—yet easy to use—solution the team was searching for. 

“Gut-feel will only take you so far. You want to make sure dominant voices don’t dictate how decisions are made just because that’s how things have always been done. If you really want to evolve that to the next level, you need a tool like Pendo to get specific and granular insights to operate in an agile framework. [Having] that enables you to then act on them quickly and adaptively.”

Evian Gutman, Head of Product, AusDoc

Turning analytics into action

Gutman noted the sophistication of Pendo Analytics—and especially the ability to retroactively track any engagement on the site—was a core driver in AusDoc’s decision to make the move to the Pendo platform. “The ability to track engagement retroactively means there’s no stone ever left unturned—in ensuring we maintain 360-degree visibility over how effective our product development processes are, and [in identifying] ongoing opportunities to provide additional value to our users.” 

The AusDoc team was already using guides to communicate with users in-app, but bringing those motions together with product analytics in a single platform has made it even more efficient for the team to deliver data-driven guidance to the right people, at the right time. “Over the past 12 months, [we’ve had a huge] focus on rolling out new products,” said Gutman. “A critical piece that often gets forgotten is the go-to-market component and alerting users to new features and products—and educating them on how to engage with and use them.” With Pendo In-app Guides, the AusDoc team can now do so, fast, without needing to wait for the next product release.

Accelerating product development, from weeks to seconds

The AusDoc team has also seen a major reduction in dev and engineering thrash, thanks to Pendo. “Pendo data allows us to know if we’re succeeding or failing far faster, so we can make more rapid and adaptive in-flight decisions,” said Gutman. “We’ve had some poor experiences in the past where we’ve invested lots of time, energy, and money into building features that didn’t work—not because they weren’t thought-through, but because there just wasn’t the product market-fit we were hoping for. That process could have been short-circuited had we used a tool like Pendo to understand engagement rates at a far earlier stage.”

Not only has Pendo enabled AusDoc’s dev team to fail or succeed fast and pivot as needed, it’s also helped them win even faster. Gutman noted that when the team now sees early signs of success in Pendo (e.g. high engagement and adoption), they’re quickly able to double down and invest more time and resources into growing those parts of their platform—some of which they may not have otherwise known were working well. 

Brendan Young (Product Marketing Manager at AusDoc) expanded, “Pendo allows you to do things you don’t expect . . . It’s agile in the sense that you can [release guides] in about five seconds. It’s really easy to use and [enables us to] turn things around very quickly, even retroactively.”

Young also noted that Pendo’s ease of use and unified platform has been a major value-add—making a huge impact on the product team’s ability to react quickly, reduce reliance on engineering and technical teams, and work more efficiently. “We have 504 features and 285 pages tagged in Pendo. Without Pendo, we’d have to rely on many different [tools] to actually acquire all that information, in a much more difficult way,” he said. “All those features that would’ve taken an extra week to tag? With Pendo, I can turn around in five seconds, tag it, and work it out. In five seconds, I can be completely done.” 

“Without Pendo, we’d have to rely on many different [tools] to acquire information, in a much more difficult way . . . But with Pendo, when I’m asked to find out information on a particular page, I can turn around in five seconds, tag it, and work it out. In five seconds, I can be completely done.” 

Brendan Young, Product Marketing Manager, AusDoc

Meeting the ever-changing needs of a diverse user base

As an organization with a long and storied history in Australia, AusDoc knows it’s important to balance their reputation as a leading print publication with the necessity to evolve in a digital-first world. Gutman explained that a significant cohort of the doctors who rely on AusDoc have been on this journey with the company for many years. “They value [our] traditional publishing legacy . . . but the new community elements we’re pushing out have more appeal to a younger, digitally tech-savvy generation,” he said. “It’s a balancing act between not depriving our first user base of the things they know and love us for, while accommodating the next generation and [giving them] all the things they expect in a digital platform for healthcare professionals.”

Gutman noted that Pendo is playing a critical role in helping AusDoc walk this line—and making this transition easier for their legacy audiences. With deep product and user analytics in Pendo, the AusDoc team gets the granular insights they need to understand exactly who is using which features, in what ways, and at what time. “[This helps us] provide value to our users on an individual needs basis, as best as we can,” he said. Plus, with Pendo In-app Guides, AusDoc can also deliver proactive, in-the-moment guidance to users—improving their happiness and reducing their internal support burden.

Since implementing Pendo, AusDoc has implemented product refinements and optimizations that have led to:

  • 151% increase in monthly unique News Feed pageviews
  • 132% increase in engagement with News Feed content
  • 15.7% increase in monthly unique article pageviews

With over 80% market saturation for known general practitioners in the primary care space in Australia, this thoughtful evolution from traditional to tech presents exciting opportunities for AusDoc to deliver even more value to their highly engaged community of healthcare professionals—ultimately improving patient outcomes across the country. “New technologies have enabled new opportunities for AusDoc, and we have embraced these at every [chance] we’ve been able to,” said Gutman.

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