Kaleidoscope spins up quick multi-channel consumer campaigns with Twilio
Time to read: 4 minutes
When a fast-moving interactive marketing agency needed to build a scalable, multi-channel survey platform capable of handling huge traffic spikes, and they only had 48 hours to do it, they partnered with Twilio to make it happen.
Giving Network Audiences a Big Voice
Kaleidoscope Promotions Interactive creates interactive campaigns that give consumers a say in the programs and channels they watch. Among Kaleidoscope’s clients are top media networks like FOX, NBCUniversal, and Disney-ESPN Media Networks, all looking to dialogue with their viewing public. Kaleidoscope helps generate fast and direct feedback from viewers during critical airtime negotiations between networks and cable providers. For example, when your TV service provider decides to eliminate your favorite channel from their lineup, Kaleidoscope would spin up digital, IVR, SMS, and phone campaigns to quickly generate viewer feedback. The network and cable providers could then course-correct their programming decisions based on those consumer opinions.
Adaptability and responsiveness to fast-moving media negotiations is core to Kaleidoscope’s business, but their previous phone provider was not built to keep up. Sluggish and using old IVR technology, the provider took weeks to build simple apps, and slapped on rush charges for any code changes requiring less than 48 hours’ notice.
All data sets had to be placed within the phone provider’s environment, which meant that Kaleidoscope couldn’t use its own existing data infrastructure. Instead, they spent time and energy getting their data to work behind the scenes in order to facilitate call handling, as well as getting consumer call data back into their own infrastructure. Even worse, the phone provider limited the channels Kaleidoscope could use to reach consumers to phone only.
“Our old provider charged us a premium for call activity as well as their value-added in facilitating that call. Adding to that was the cost of our own duplicated effort to simply be able to work within their technical environment. So, we were working much harder than we needed to and ultimately paid more for the privilege,” said Rebecca Beaty, Kaleidoscope’s owner and president.
All of this added up to prohibitive costs and major frustrations for the agency, as they worked against the grain to provide an excellent call experience for consumers and responsive reporting to their media network clients. What Kaleidoscope needed was a robust SMS, voice, and IVR survey platform capable of managing massive call volumes in a short period of time. Plus, they needed a solution that allowed them the extra efficiency and accuracy of tapping directly into their own existing and extensive data infrastructure for real-time call handling and reporting purposes. So they ditched their old provider in search of a more flexible solution, which led them to Twilio.
Twilio Makes it Faster, Better, Cheaper
“Building with Twilio was better than buying from our previous supplier as it allows us to be more responsive to our customers’ needs,” noted Beaty. With Twilio, Kaleidoscope can now execute complex multi-channel campaigns in two weeks or less and make same-day campaign changes on the fly.
“With Twilio, we’re so much more nimble and flexible,” said Stephanie Mullin, director of operations. “It takes less than 24 hours to get an entirely new campaign up and running with Twilio, whereas it took our old provider 48+ hours just to upload content.”
Beaty agreed. “Twilio lets us do anything our imagination wants, faster and easier, and significantly cheaper. We can set up custom connect-outs or terminating behaviors, send callers to voicemail, easily implement different call-handling rules based on time of day, or whatever the business case calls for. It literally takes two seconds to switch out files in programming, and only three or four days to create a whole system.”
Now, Kaleidoscope can run campaigns offering multiple communication options to reach across different demographic groups. For example, viewers of a given channel may typically skew older, so campaigns for that channel drive more direct phone dialers. Kaleidoscope can have a vanity phone number and a robust IVR on the Twilio platform handle those callers. But, mobile and web-based tactics including click-to-call and SMS are more popular with the much-coveted younger demographic. With Twilio, Kaleidoscope is able to easily and cost-effectively add these channels to their campaigns, which were unavailable through their previous provider, and enjoy the same seamless integration with its own data infrastructure.
“With Twilio, we’re much more nimble and flexible. It takes less than 24 hours to get an entirely new campaign up and running with Twilio.”
How it works
With Twilio’s platform, Kaleidoscope can quickly change content and code to boost responses, with non-technical staffers switching out URLs or calls to action as needed. When a channel or program is on the line, they might launch a call-in campaign direct to the cable provider using click-to-call, which converts traffic from their web campaigns into phone calls. Users input their phone number on a landing page, and get an immediate callback connecting them directly to the right people at their cable company.
“By using Twilio, we have better real-time insight into what happens in our campaigns because we can immediately access call data within our own data environment,” said Beaty. “For example, now we know immediately and on an on-going basis how many people called into a specific TV service provider on behalf of a given TV network, because our integration with Twilio gives us immediate data on how many calls were placed and connected.”
If airtime negotiations falter, “we need to be able to change messaging and tactics mid-campaign, so we try to have all scenarios ready. We have alternative messaging ready to swap in and out, and Twilio lets us do that.”
Even more exciting, with Twilio, Kaleidoscope can quickly customize the IVR interface. By using Twilio’s modern technology and the Twilio API, Kaleidoscope can build applications where a celebrity does the high-level prompts, but additional talent or a robovoice can be used to flesh out the application. With Twilio, “we could even have Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory say ‘Thank you for calling to speak up and be heard’ and go on to explain the situation, without troubling the actor to voice the little prompts like ‘Press 1,’ ‘Please hold,’ etcetera,” said Mullin. Bazinga!