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The Recording Academy’s member experience is being revolutionized by IBM Consulting and Salesforce

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The GRAMMY Awards® show draws millions of viewers from around the world, eager to witness the live performances, see the outrageous outfits, and partake in a global celebration of the music industry’s highest achievers.

It’s a major production. Which is why the Recording Academy®, which hosts the GRAMMYs®, calls it “Music’s Biggest Night®.” But it’s still only one night. The rest of the year, the Recording Academy is hard at work ensuring the recording arts remain a thriving part of the world’s shared cultural heritage. As a member-based society of music professionals, the not-for-profit represents the voices of performers, songwriters, producers, sound engineers, and all music professionals.

In short, members are the lifeblood of the Recording Academy. And with the help of IBM Consulting, the RA is rapidly transforming the member experience.

A call for modernization

The Recording Academy is home to 23,000-plus members. But engaging that membership is a growing challenge in today’s fast-paced digital environment.

“This is the digital age. And digital experiences define your brand, whether you’re a retailer, a bank, or the Recording Academy,” says Panos A. Panay, President of the Recording Academy.

To better engage its members and attract new ones, the Recording Academy needed to modernize, migrating its legacy CRM database to a cloud-based solution. To help, the Academy turned to IBM Consulting™, which optimized their use of the Salesforce Experience Cloud and Salesforce Marketing Cloud platforms as part of a broader digital transformation.

Work smarter with AI, automation and intelligent workflows

As a leading Salesforce partner and the proud recipient of dozens of global, regional and customer awards, IBM has a unique ability to optimize the use of Salesforce. We accomplish this by offering a full range of consulting services spanning strategy, design, integration and technology to create intelligent experiences, drive innovation at scale and capture growth opportunities. IBM is the undisputed leader in AI-powered intelligent experiences on the Salesforce platform, enabling end-to-end digital transformation through our offerings, capabilities, accelerators and technologies.

Phase one

Prior to the Salesforce implementation, the email journey for GRAMMY® nominees was managed manually in an un-integrated process. The Academy knew Salesforce was the answer. But shortly after they embarked on their Salesforce journey in late 2022, the organization realized they did not have enough time or sufficient resources to unlock the full value of the experience and marketing platforms. So they developed an initial two-phase engagement to triage non-negotiable processes before addressing long-term engagement and scalability.

In the first phase of engagement, IBM Consulting helped the Academy team develop a roadmap focused on nominations, ticketing and membership renewal journeys for the 2023 GRAMMY Awards. Just weeks before nominee email notifications were scheduled to go out, IBM Consulting began conducting IBM Garage™ workshops with the Recording Academy team that included mockups of what the journey might look like.

During this phase, IBM Consulting was able to help the Academy speed the development of Salesforce functionality using pre-built accelerators that saved 1,000 development hours and allowed the Recording Academy to customize the experience in time for the 65th GRAMMY nominations.

The now automated process takes GRAMMY nominees on an engaging and easy-to-follow journey, where they can access all the exciting GRAMMY-related information, such as events leading up to the ceremony and how to buy tickets.

Phase two

Within the Recording Academy, there are varying levels of membership and engagement, including the Recording Academy, the Latin Recording Academy®, voting members, non-voting members, students, and lifetime members. IBM Consulting conducts ongoing IBM Garage workshops with the Academy to build and refine a Salesforce roadmap that delivers personalized experiences to each of their 23,000 members. There are several active workstreams focused on improving the member digital journey and the experience:

Ticketing Optimization – For the Recording Academy and the Latin Recording Academy Award shows, IBM partnered with the RA team to build out new digital ticketing journeys, allowing for a more seamless user experience to purchase tickets and view GRAMMY show details. This work increased the efficiency of the ticketing process by 80 percent.

Salesforce Expansion – IBM is partnering with the Academy’s IT team to implement the needs of membership for the Recording Academy, the Latin Recording Academy, Finance, and GRAMMYU teams through a capacity model. Now we can easily accommodate ad hoc requests and be flexible with scope to meet the critical timelines associated with both award shows and other shifting priorities.

Marketing Cloud Migration – IBM is working with the Recording Academy and the Latin Recording Academy to move campaigns and journeys for both members and consumers from the legacy system to Salesforce Marketing Cloud. In the process of migration, we are working with the Marketing team to streamline and automate the journeys to save the Academy team time and effort.

Optimized Processes – IBM and the Academy teams are streamlining a variety of self-service processes for members, from allowing delegates customized access to help manage their accounts to managing payments. We are also enhancing security and permissions for different actions and modernizing the reporting process.

365 days of better membership service

According to IBM’s latest State of Salesforce report, companies that are considered leaders in the use of Salesforce generate 40 percent more revenue per Salesforce license. And though the Recording Academy is a not-for-profit organization, the results speak to the importance of world-class customer (or member) experiences.

That’s why experts from IBM Consulting continue to work closely with the Recording Academy team to unlock the next wave of value from the Salesforce platforms so the company can grow and scale. This ongoing partnership allows the world’s leading society of music professionals to enhance their member experiences year-round so it can build on its mission “to recognize excellence in the recording arts and sciences, cultivate the well-being of the music community and ensure that music remains an indelible part of our culture.”

Learn more about optimizing Salesforce at your company

Jenei Piccone, Senior Managing Consultant, IBM Consulting

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