It’s hard to evade the digital transformation topic this far into the 21st century. The digital space has been riding on a gradually stronger, more user-aligned wave for a long time now, and jumping on it seems to be the best way to make your business thrive.
But it’s a hell of a challenge as well.
Cofina Media decided to take up this glove. The journey started in a more consistent way with hiring a UX Researcher to bring UX research methodologies to the corporate table.
Read the story on how Survicate chips in Cofina’s pivot into a more customer-centric aproach, and what it brings along.
About Cofina Media
Cofina Media is the leader in the media printing segment in Portugal. It includes four newspapers, two magazines, and a TV station. There’s also the whole digital counterpart with numerous online portals providing mainly informational content.
Founded in 1990, it built its market position through acquisition as well as launching new media initiatives.
The pebble that starts an avalanche
With almost thirty years in the market, Cofina knows how to run media. Nevertheless, it noticed that lending its ear to what its online visitors say may enormously benefit the organization.
Patricia Caldas, the UX Researcher on board, was the pebble to accelerate the process.
“At first, my job centered on introducing what UX research was and what value we could take out of it, how it worked—basically, showing its value to other stakeholders,”
When she got the green light to purchase Survicate and started running her first surveys, the insights quickly became popular among brand directors and editors, as they could finally get to know their online users.
“So we are getting to the point where they start to really look for answers from their audience. ‘What if we would ask the users?’. And that’s a turning point.”
Patricia Caldas, UX Researcher at Cofina Media
Patricia needed survey software to run periodical assessments of customer satisfaction measured with NPS and CSAT. She also runs a more extensive survey, a so-called “Semestral Evaluation,” to align better with her internal stakeholders. And last but not least, recurrent pinpoint website surveys to check more specific aspects of the user experience.
Customer satisfaction surveys
The initial plan for the NPS and CSAT surveys was to launch them regularly every quarter.
“I planned to establish a baseline where we were at and then start working on the challenges or needs. This way, I could see if there was a positive change in the business and customer satisfaction.”
It quickly turned out, though, three months was too much of a stretch to make a significant impact, and eventually, Patricia spaced the surveys a bit more. Their continuous nature builds a trend line that shows how the new approach affects Cofina’s readers and website visitors.
To dive deeper and get more detailed insights, Patricia started another periodic survey - the Semestral Evaluation. She launches it in between measuring NPS and CSAT. Its name is a bow to internal stakeholders, so “we all know what we’re talking about when discussing a certain survey,” Patricia explains.
Although made accessible, the “Semetral Evaluation” is a more comprehensive survey, that goes through various elements of Cofina’s online portals. It provides valuable insights, later combined with feedback gathered with other research methods.
Pinpoint website feedback
To complete this well-thought-out survey mix, Patricia also uses small website surveys to collect insights about a targeted feature. She uses it to confirm (or to invalidate) stakeholders’ hypotheses about certain aspects of Cofina’s online magazines.
“There’s a sports brand in which we get enough responses in only three to four hours. And they are of very high statistical significance. Those people are truly involved in that community. I love launching surveys there because I can always count on a lot of valuable feedback."
Collecting 1000+ answers in only around three hours may seem like breaking the scale, but her other ventures with website surveys are also very satisfactory. It usually takes around 5-10 days to gather a well-sized volume for analysis.
It helps to build unbiased hypotheses and introduce changes that may initially seem surprising.
Sports news filtering feature
First of all, context. Sports in Portugal, for many, it’s just a synonym for soccer. That’s why sports portals and magazines focus most of their space and efforts on it. It is no different with Record, the most renowned Portuguese sports newspaper, and its digital counterpart—Record.pt.
One of the hypotheses Patricia confirmed through Survicate website surveys was that people also wanted to know about other disciplines. They couldn’t, however, find it easily in the news thread.
A straightforward, targeted website survey showed that Cofina Media should work on better displaying other sports. The result is a filtering dropdown menu that can narrow the news selection to the one that interests the reader—for example, Formula 1 or handball.
“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” Confucius’ words sum up Patricia’s journey accurately.
Her priority was to advocate for customer centricity—getting to know the readers and online visitors within the company's structures. She was fully aware of that process and patient in getting acknowledged.
The results spoke for themselves, though. With a well-designed mix of different research methods—including website and email surveys—the company could hold back the traditional guesswork and assumptions and focus more on real feedback.
It turned out that the readers’ community was eager to share feedback—Cofina Media just needed to ask. Collecting a broad research sample of over 1000 responses in some verticals only takes up to three hours. In others, Patricia is able to start analyzing results in only five to ten days.
And although Patricia has been a part of Cofina’s team for just over a year, she has already confirmed various research hypotheses that led to introducing tangible changes on different online portals.
Slowly but surely, and thanks to turning to the customer, Cofina Media started a new, data-driven chapter within its company history.