6 January 2020
NZME grows audience with SMS and desktop platform
New Zealand Media and Entertainment (NZME) is New Zealand’s most diverse content creator, distributor and publisher, with channels ranging from print and to radio to ecommerce and street activations. NZME was formed by combining three New Zealand media brands, APN NZ, The Radio Network (TRN) and GrabOne, and unifying them under one overarching purpose of “keeping Kiwis in the know”.
Growing audiences across the business is the ongoing goal for all NZME platforms – every day. Each platform has its unique systems to help them reach their goals, but they all have a common theme – building audiences through greater listener engagement.
For instance, interactive engagement with its audiences has become a mainstay of broadcast radio, and SMS is increasingly critical to this. While NZME had a desktop platform to manage text messages sent in by listeners, the system challenged NZME’s ability to grow engagement via SMS connections and was also frustrating end-users such as announcers and program producers.
- A gap analysis identified a lack of functionality. Basic functions such as printing, ‘cut and paste’, and multiple logins were either difficult or impossible.
- The system was not suitable for broadcasting, as it was geared towards bulk texts only, not individual messages with the ability to reply.
- Support was variable and reactive only. Outages occurred during peak broadcasting periods and could take up to two hours to resolve.
“There are vendors who are just focused on the sale, and there are those who want to be partners. I am only interested in companies who are really invested in NZME’s future. I look for partners who build proactive support alongside their products and Bulletin is one such company.” Bill Hays, CIO, NZME
These challenges led NZME to look for solutions through Bulletin, part of the MessageMedia Group. Bulletin already worked with NZME as aggregators, a successful engagement that prompted NZME’s CIO Bill Hays to explore options to utilise Bulletin’s functionality more extensively.
“Bulletin worked closely with us, listened, and gave us the excellent system we have now. The development team was outstanding, and it was a stress-free project,” says Hays.
The solution included:
- A messaging platform with a real-time, rich messaging user interface (UI)
- Additional features and functionality, such as reporting, keyword management, templates, and conversation history
- An upgrade of messaging capacity across the brands
- Dedicated short codes for more memorable numbers
- Reliable, local support available 24/7
NZME has been very satisfied with Bulletin’s capability and the solution:
Better audience engagement: One of the key tools NZME uses to prompt audience responses is SMS, so listeners can text in with various opinions or views on current affairs of the day. Using the new system NZME can now engage more proactively and efficiently with its audiences.
Keyword management: The keyword management system is “excellent”, says Hays. “It’s straightforward and, importantly, very user-friendly. For instance, as well as appearing in the dashboard, an incoming text can be sent to someone’s email inbox.”
Increased functionality: Users can view all messages on a single screen, with the most recent first. Messages don’t get lost and those with more than 160 characters show as one single message. Another feature is auto-response, which responds to a listener’s text to thank them for contacting NZME.
Reliable support: Hays rates Bulletin’s support highly. “The product support is a real bonus. From the initial responses through to SLAs and fixing any problems – all minor, and few and far between – I consider the support first-rate.”
Capacity: The system is capable of handling large volumes of messages.
Performance: Hays is happy to report consistent and reliable performance and uptime.
Ease of use: NZME users are very comfortable with the new interface. Usage is high, and listener statistics are increasing every month.
“Bulletin delivered what it promised, met the timeline and the budget, and was very upfront, with no unexpected obstacles or cost increases. Our previous platform was no longer fit-for-purpose and delivering to our requirements was a challenge, especially in our broadcast environment. Bulletin took this opportunity and delivered NZME an SMS platform that is helping us achieve our goals.” Bill Hays, CIO, NZME