• ChallengeHow did a small team with limited engineering resources build the world's fastest and most up-to-date music industry directory?
  • SolutionIntegrating typeforms directly into the platform to collect information for the directory + using Automate.io to create smart no-code workflows, between Typeform and other business apps.
  • ResultBoosted customer activations by 10% in two weeks. Saved hours of valuable engineering time per week, allowing engineers to focus on the product rather than building business processes.

Mark Williamson spent eight years as the Global Head of Artist Relations and Industry Partnerships at Spotify. He was responsible for developing strategies with artists, managers, and senior executives from across the entertainment world to help transform Spotify into the world’s leading music streaming platform.

Despite working for one of the fastest-growing music technology companies in the world, the industry changes so quickly that finding and connecting with people was like finding a needle in a haystack.

“Even at an influential music company like Spotify, it was way too difficult to find information about artists, people and companies across the music industry. It’s a very fragmented industry with precious little digitized information”

Mark Williamson, Founder & CEO, Rostr

"When I Ieft Spotify, I wanted to help solve this problem and make the music industry easier to navigate," said Mark. "Our hope is that by doing this, we’ll democratize access to opportunities for many more artists around the world.”

With a completely remote team based out in LA, Mark set up his new venture, ROSTR in 2018. ROSTR is a free music industry directory designed to help people in the biz get their hands on information within a single easy-to-use platform.

In the year since the launch of the Beta, ROSTR has become the go-to-place for anyone looking for information on music artists and their teams. Their directory currently tracks over 100K relationships between artists and almost 10k labels, agencies, and management companies around the world.

Plugging into the community

With a small team of only six people, one of the keys to making ROSTR work was to be as lean as possible—and to ensure that the minimal engineering resources at their disposal were used efficiently.

In order to capture the info needed to build this super directory, ROSTR harnesses the power of the community. At the heart of the platform is a typeform, which gathers information from users about artists, labels, and agents to build out the database.

Here's an example version of what ROSTR’s typeform looks like:

When building ROSTR, Mark knew a key part of their service was getting users to submit information. To make this as easy as possible, they decided to integrate Typeform directly into their existing platform.

“Typeform makes it easy for our users to quickly send us the information. The experience is great for users and it’s saved us a lot of engineering time.”

Saving time with automation

Mark wanted to take the legwork out of managing submitted info, and to automate processes wherever possible. For example, they needed a way to automatically raise tickets in Zendesk when users wanted to correct inaccurate listings data.

Mark and his team wanted a no-code integration platform to save engineering time and focus on building their custom code product.

Automate.io was the chosen solution because Mark felt it had an extensive set of integrations compared to other platforms they tried, plus the team really liked the kanban-style UX of setting up these workflows. Check out how the Zendesk implementation looks:

"The Typeform to Zendesk integration is the bread and butter of our Automate.io process, which saves us a huge amount of work on our side and just enables us to be much more efficient”, said Mark.

Besides the Zendesk integration, ROSTR set up a whole bunch of automation sequences between Typeform and other apps to reduce user friction on their platform, including:

  • Slack

  • Trello

  • Mailchimp

  • Google Sheets

  • HubSpot

Sending info through Hidden Fields

Mark made use of Typeform's Hidden Fields feature to help pass information through the system smoothly.

“Typeform’s Hidden Fields allow us to pass information about the user who’s filling in the typeform along with metadata about the page they're on when filling it out," said Mark.

“It allows users to quickly send us information without requiring them to answer a lot of unnecessary questions.”

Mark continued: “For example, if a user wants to tell us about a change on Drake’s profile, they just need to tell us about the change and our code passes the Hidden Fields about the user, their email address, and the page they are on. Automate.io then passes this to Zendesk where we can easily respond.”

More ROSTR workflows using Typeform and Automate.io

It's not just the data collection typeform that is helping ROSTR make a big noise in the music industry. Here are more ways they're leveraging Typeform and Automate.io:

1. Conducting user research

Pre-launch, Team ROSTR used Typeform to conduct user research. To effectively prioritize and collaboratively address this information, ROSTR integrated Typeform with Trello using Automate.io. The automation turned new submissions from the typeform below into cards on their Trello board.

2. Approving new users

“Since we’re in beta, we want to review every single person that requests an invite and that is a real pain for us," shares Mark.

The process took a lot of time and caused delays as they had to manually approve the invites, assign invite codes, then finally export this information from HubSpot to Mailchimp before sending out the invites.

Mark adds, “Now we use the parsing tools within Automate.io to automate the entire process. This bot cut ten manual steps down to one and gives us a more responsive invite system for users.”

3. Getting product feedback

A feedback typeform within the platform helps Mark and the team to constantly improve ROSTR based on what users say about it. To ensure that feedback doesn’t fall through the cracks, ROSTR uses Automate.io to notify them in Slack about new typeform submissions.

Key wins

Thanks to these sweet hookups between ROSTR's typeforms and the rest of their software stack, Mark has been able to get on with the job of improving the product and growing the business. Here are the key benefits he points to:

  • User Onboarding automation increased ROSTR’s customer activations by 10% in just two weeks.

  • Automate.io saves their engineering and support team four hours every week by automating user onboarding and support issues.

  • Their engineering team has more time to focus on building the core product of their business operations.

What next?

Inspired by Mark's endeavors? Want to be able to focus on growth and innovation rather than time-sapping processes? Here are some ways you can get started:

  • Discover how to integrate your typeforms with 200+ apps using Automate.io

  • Check out our template gallery, where you'll find dozens of free examples to start your next Typeform project

  • Read more customer stories on the Inspiration section of our blog

  • Got a story to share about how you're using Typeform? We're all ears! Tell us all about it in this typeform and you may end up being featured here like Mark.

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