Example of a public live event. Image courtesy of Public
Public.com is a start-up company that wants to help people become better investors. They do this by providing personalized content and training to their community of over one million members who use the platform to connect with friends, follow businesses and build confidence in investing.
As their investment in content and features designed to educate and inform their members grew, they realized they had a greater need to make their app content more visible. “It was a need that grew when we realized that getting our content out to relevant members was going to create the most value for us and our user base,” said Katie Perry, vice president of marketing at Public. .
Build different experiences
Founded in 2017, Public’s goal is to help its members build a diverse stock portfolio by providing content and education that makes them better investors over time.
In May 2021, they launched Public Live, a feature that integrates live audio into the public app experience. Users receive push notifications to join live public events that cover relevant topics based on user behavior and other data.
Perry explained that Public uses real-time customer interactions and other information to alert users to Public Live events they might be interested in.
“Alphabet, Google’s parent company, announced it was doing a stock split this week, so we could use Public Live to do a 30-minute breakdown of what’s going on with Alphabet. What’s the stock split? What are the implications?As we invest in this content and experience, we want to make sure it appears to users of our apps who own Google shares.As we add content and features in application, being able to reach people in more sophisticated ways was a growing need.
A personalized customer engagement approach
Public’s Lifecycle Marketing team led the search for technology that could present relevant content to their app users in real time. They have partnered with the Braze customer engagement platform which offers a strongly multi-channel approach to personalization that includes mobile, web, email and SMS.
Braze aims to enable businesses to ingest and process customer data in real time, then orchestrate and optimize contextually relevant cross-channel marketing campaigns. Although Perry was not part of the group that selected and implemented Braze, she worked with her editorial team to fully integrate the tool with her content approach.
“For me, it was helpful to understand what Braze’s capabilities were so I could help advise on how to make sure we’re reaching the most relevant people,” Perry explained. “It meant asking these questions; How it works? how to escalate messages? how to find these groups? These are conversations our editorial and lifecycle teams have been working on together.
Public is a free app with a growing community of investors leveraging social and engagement features. This sets it apart from other sources of investment information. Some of the Public community are actively investing, but many people are there just to learn.
“It’s really not about giving exclusive content to people who pay,” Perry said. “It’s about matching the topics we cover editorially to the right people.”
Public watches what’s happening in the stock market and analyzes relevant business news to identify meaningful educational moments for its users. The Perry team creates relevant content and live events that resonate with users based on their profiles and interests. “Through the experience of talking about a real event, people can learn,” Perry said.
Perry’s team focuses on defining relevant topics and moments such as town halls and live public events. They create the content independently, then work with the Lifecycle team to determine which members will find the content valuable.
“Obviously, people who own certain stocks will be interested in certain events. Say you invest in an electric vehicle company like Tesla, you might be interested in Rivian, whose rumored IPO or This could be an interesting session for you as you have demonstrated an interest in the EV category,” Perry said.
Town Hall with ARK CEO Cathie Wood. Image courtesy of Public
Unlike other investment information companies, Public does not make money on trading volume. The company is backed by venture capital and earns money in a variety of ways, including through optional tips. Public users have the option to add a tip to their redemption to help support Public’s free services.
Public also earns money in other ways, including interest on cash balances and markups on cryptocurrency transactions. They are completely transparent about their business model which is displayed on their website.
Read next: More case studies from Jacqueline Dooley
Build a growing audience of engaged users
Public is a growing company in a very competitive space. After implementing Braze’s solution, Public saw engagement double in its Public Live audio broadcasts. They also saw a 40% increase in attendance at their municipal events.
According to Perry, “It’s about connecting people with content that already exists that they might not even know about and content that we produce ourselves. One thing we do a lot – and Braze is one of them – is using technology to drive key learnings. We use metrics to understand which topics are really popular and this helps inform our content strategy.
Perry advises companies looking to use customer engagement technology to start early in the content creation process so the tool helps inform content strategy.
“We start early,” Perry explained. “For example, we didn’t know how our shows on very complex crypto and blockchain topics were going to work, but these are some of our most popular shows. We have since added a recurring show on crypto topics. Using this technology to reach the right people, then examining the data and capturing actionable insights can inform your content strategy. It’s a virtuous circle.
Get the daily newsletter that digital marketers rely on.