How Casted uses Pendo to find product-market fit, land investors
Proving product-market fit can make or break a startup. It’s the point where you can feel confident stepping in front of a room of investors and saying “this will work,” or realize it’s time to move on to a new idea.
It’s a moment Adam Patarino, co-founder of Casted, knows well: the company recently raised $2.5 million in seed funding to make it easier for B2B companies to launch, manage, and grow their own podcasts. For Patarino, the ability to analyze user behavior, collect feedback, and iterate on the product quickly was critical to raising the funds.
Pendo was Casted’s first software purchase after the G-Suite. It offered Casted a way to measure product-market fit both explicitly and implicitly—by asking users what they think using in-app polls, and by observing how they actually interact with the platform via Pendo usage analytics. Taken together, the data provided Casted with a strong source of truth and a clear direction to take their product.
The usage analytics are particularly useful, Patarino says, because they reveal how users interact with the platform and where they’re getting hung up or dropping off. “Customers’ behaviors are much more indicative of a problem than what their complaints could be,” he says, “so we’re very interested in tracking what they’re actually doing. You can’t always get the right answers by asking directly.”
One of the first things Pendo revealed was that users weren’t taking advantage of a feature that allowed them to quickly and easily create short clips of a full podcast, an extremely useful tool for promoting content across social media and other channels. Raising awareness of this feature was crucial—it gets users in the product more often.
This insight led directly to a product roadmap decision to add native podcast hosting. If customers used Casted to upload and host their podcasts, it’d be much easier for them to take advantage of the clipping feature and the week-to-week marketing and promotion activities available in the platform.
That insight was spot on. Casted has experienced a 350% increase in weekly active users since the change, and usage of the clipping feature has grown by 421%, Patarino says.
Even when user feedback indicated demand for a particular feature like audio transcription, which led Casted to integrate a premium transcription service, Pendo data showed that users were not always using it once it became available. So, Patarino and company used Pendo’s in-app guides to let users know about the feature and why they might want to use it. Again, a massive uptick in usage followed—prior to the guide, the feature was not being used at all, and now 50% of accounts have used it at least once.
When it came time to seek funding, Casted was able to show the depth of insight that they were getting with Pendo, how it guided the development of their roadmap, and how it’s informing their vision for the future of the platform. He expects Pendo to play a big role in prep for following funding rounds, too.
“Everybody has heard of Pendo, so it was really easy when they had those questions to say ‘Don’t worry, we have best-in-breed tech,’” Patarino says. “[That says] ‘Cool, you know what you’re doing.’”
Patarino says in-app guidance has become “a more critical piece of every feature we build.” He also plans to use Pendo to avoid stretching his already lean customer success team too thin as the company adds more customers. Guides accessible in a Pendo Resource Center will answer common questions, so that customer success can focus on helping users develop strategies for deploying their content rather than answering the same questions over and over.
“Once that happens, your relationship becomes much stickier, because you’re a partner now, not just a vendor,” Patarino says. “It’s the perfect tool for us, at this stage—we can scale with software, rather than people.”