Customer success

How Noteable uses Pendo Free to drive early-stage success

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Preserving engineering resources for launch preparation

Informing design and beta testing prior to launch

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Noteable is a notebook platform designed to empower data teams with easier cross-functional collaboration. But before the team at Noteable could get their product off the ground, they needed product data to inform their own development efforts.

That’s easier said than done for a company in its earliest stages, where resources are tight and the stakes are sky-high. Dave Stuart, Noteable’s director of customer success, has worked in the computational notebook space for years, so he understood the value of using product analytics to gain insight into product adoption and support training efforts. He wanted to have that capability in place at Noteable well in advance of beta testing and general availability. 

“I was asked what tools we would need to be successful going forward, and I knew immediately that product analytics was one of the first things that we needed to understand how customers are actually interfacing with our product well beyond just page visits,” Stuart said.

Stuart found his solution in Pendo Free. Pendo Free allowed Noteable to dip their feet in the water with Pendo’s product analytics and in-app guides and demonstrate ROI of Pendo’s product usage insights. Stuart notes, “one of the most important insights we gained early on was how our design partners were using our platform. That insight was incredibly valuable to help optimize and shape our onboarding processes.”

“We looked at Pendo, and Heap, and Amplitude and a few of the others. Pendo Free offered very low investment to get up and running, and the retroactive analytics meant that once we installed it, it was already capturing all the events.” Stuart said. “That was a really exciting part compared to some of the competitors. You don’t miss that history even if you tag something at a later point.”

Having that capability meant they could move faster without having to use precious development resources to build it out internally or divert any resources from the all-important work of preparing for launch, Stuart noted. “It was very easy to get up and running, even with a non-technical background.”

Stuart’s team only used Pendo Free for about a month before the benefit of the product insights and usage analytics they were collecting became clear and they decided to upgrade to Pendo for Startups, Pendo’s special offering designed to help early-stage companies succeed. That unlocked a wider range of Pendo’s functionality, including NPS surveys, API access, and the Product Engagement Score, Stuart noted, and “the cost was far less than taking the big dive into another platform like Amplitude, and we wouldn’t be sacrificing any of the capabilities as we grew.”

Now, the team is using Pendo to analyze usage and collect feedback from their design partners as they lay the groundwork for beta testing and an eventual launch, Stuart said. Pendo is also showing the team how to optimize implementation and usage tracking so they can create the strongest customer experience prior to going live. 

All of that work will make it easier to maintain that level of insight at scale post-launch, too, he said, and that data will be used to inform their user onboarding and product decision-making.

“Pendo Free was a low risk, low commitment option for getting all that started even in advance of having users on the platform,” he said. “Having analytics at such an early stage of the product has been incredibly helpful to our entire team – from engineering, to marketing, all the way up to leadership. Access to this type of data so early will help us in the future.”

That Pendo offers both behavioral analytics and in-app guidance in the same platform, and that those capabilities work seamlessly together, was another major differentiator in selecting a solution.

“With other tools, it meant stitching them together. For instance, you might have Heap for analytics, and Intercom or something else for in-app messaging,” Stuart said. “It’s great to have one single tool that can satisfy all those needs all under one hood.”

Noteable Marketing is also planning to leverage Pendo to inform marketing strategy and automation. Having Pendo gave Director of Marketing Michelle Boornazian a rich source of customer data from day one—a luxury many SaaS marketers don’t get to enjoy. And, Pendo’s in-app messaging offers a powerful new marketing channel.

“It’s amazing to invest in that early on as an early-stage marketer. We’re able to easily pinpoint who our most successful users are and that will help us know who to talk to find out what they like about the product and seed that into messaging when we go to market,” she said.

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