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Developing marketing platforms - case study

Take Note! is a digital publishing company that specialises in the UK student market.

Its big idea required the development of a robust, intuitive web portal enabling users to engage with their student community and benefit from relevant, up-to-date offers provided by local businesses and nationwide UK brands. Helastel was instrumental in designing and delivering the software so that it precisely met the needs of all stakeholders.

The Situation

The team behind TakeNote! is a highly innovative group of recent university graduates, passionate about revolutionising the face of student marketing by giving students a valuable resource expressed in their own language, and involving the things they care most about. Its objective was to become a leader in the student advertising market through the introduction of a new online service: Urban Tribe.

Take Note!’s early beta version of Urban Tribe already existed on a small scale to support user communities in just a few university cities. However, Take Note! required a far more professional and high-scale platform to support its growth on a nationwide level.

As well as adding bags more functionality, the clear imperative for the project was to translate the authenticity of the student experience into the software, and reflect the digitally advanced needs of student users. High among Helastel’s technical challenges was the need to develop high integration with social networks like Facebook, and to make the software available and reliable across all mobile devices.

The Opportunity

While Urban Tribe is first and foremost a tool for students to use, Take Note! were all too aware of the need to develop the software so that it would support its value proposition to advertisers. “Our main clients are a mixture of national companies in different verticals looking to reach the student market, as well as local businesses,” explains Nicolas Carey, Director at Take Note! “Success to us is delivering a product to our clients that they love and really benefits their business, as well as providing a product for our users that they want to use every day.”

Having engaged Helastel on the project, the combined team worked closely together to scope the requirements using input from real users, and implement a budgeted work plan to deliver a new online and mobile hub to place Take Note! centre stage in the student advertising market. This involved the following goals:

  • Make an online service to work across all devices, including mobile platforms.
  • Ensure tight Facebook and social media integration to effectively leverage the power of the students’ social community.
  • Develop a highly scalable platform that would enable Take Note! to service the needs of thousands of students and meet its rapid growth targets.
  • Ensure that all student discount vouchers are uniquely identifiable and traceable to maintain the quality and integrity of the offering.
  • Create a highly optimised user flow to ensure high conversion rates in a market where there is zero tolerance for even the smallest barriers to entry.
  • Put in place verification measure to ensure that all users are, in fact, students.

The Outcome

Helastel has helped TakeNote! add value to students through an engaging platform that has been supported by companies looking to reach the student market in the UK. Thousands of students use TakeNote’s online services every day, gaining access to hundreds of deals from local and national businesses.

“We wanted to find a company that would not just develop a version 1 of our product, but would work with us to reach our final vision,” added Nicolas. “Before we started working with Helastel, our biggest problem was scaling our products from 5 or 10 universities, to 30. Creating this software has really facilitated us in reaching those goals.”

The Future

Helastel orchestrated full development of the online portal - a bespoke web and mobile solution including hardware, hybrid cloud facilities and business development consultancy - and continue to work together to grow the business.

“Helastel don’t just have the technical expertise, but also the business acumen to see our vision through,” added Nicolas.
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