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Customer Engagement News Product Design Uncategorized UX Design

It’s never the end: Continuously evolving product improvement

About this series: Great products are built using good problem-solving, and the best way to solve problems is to define needs and then meet them in every user interaction. Alignment across teams and channels ensures that expectations are set correctly and delivered on effectively at every stage of the user journey. Great design starts way back at defining the problem and extends through the entire product lifecycle, continuing long after launch and into the ongoing iterations of product development. Great design is a cornerstone for great products, driving great business, and creating opportunity. Read on to learn how ongoing iteration and innovation in the product design process makes great product design and the business value it creates sustainable. If you missed the first two installments, be sure to check out the other blogs in our series: 

The design journey continues post-launch

Embarking on a successful product launch is a journey that requires planning, strategic collaboration, and continuous improvement. Crafting an effective launch strategy is the foundation, involving comprehensive market research, targeted messaging, and utilizing diverse marketing channels to build awareness and demand. Integrating a motivated and informed team becomes paramount as the launch unfolds, fostering a collaborative environment where each member contributes to the product’s success. Post-launch, the journey doesn’t end; it transforms into a dynamic cycle of continuous improvement. User feedback emerges as a guiding force, steering the development team toward iterative enhancements that align with evolving user needs. The importance of great design in this phase cannot be overstated, as design systems, seamless handoffs, and branding alignment contribute to a visually cohesive and engaging user experience. 

Crafting effective launch strategies for product success

Launching a new product is challenging and the foundation for success is laid in the earliest stages of product development with a well-thought-out strategy centered around a clear and strong problem statement. That problem statement should provide connective tissue through the product development process and into planning for the product launch, including product positioning and go-to-marketing messaging. Ensuring that your product strategy as a whole is driven by a clear problem statement will help ensure consistency and alignment at every stage of the product journey. Additionally, you must leverage the right mix of marketing channels based on your target audience’s preferences and behaviors, such as social media, email, and influencers. This ensures a broad reach and sustained interest leading up to the launch. This comprehensive approach creates excitement and establishes a strong foundation for the product’s success in the market.

An effective internal launch paves the way for a successful external launch. Creating buzz and anticipation across your cross-functional team is a crucial aspect of a successful product launch. A cohesive team that is well-informed and motivated can significantly impact the outcome. Communication is key; share the vision, goals, and milestones with your team to foster a sense of unity and purpose. This will ensure that a single vision will be promoted across the team and translate seamlessly into the customer experience. When every person on the team knows how the pitch will go, they can all use their collective resources to lean into launch.

Allowing team members to contribute their unique perspectives by encouraging open dialogue and idea-sharing is also important as you consider external launch. By involving everyone in the process, from marketing and sales to product development, you harness the collective energy and expertise of your team. This collaborative approach not only generates creative ideas, but also ensures that everyone is aligned and committed to the launch’s success. Crafting an effective internal and external launch strategy is a dynamic process that requires adaptability and ongoing assessment to ensure the success of your product in the ever-evolving market.

Driving iteration with user feedback in the continuous improvement process

As a new product is launched to the market, it’s easy to assume that’s where the product team’s job ends and the marketing team’s job begins. But in truth, product launch is a phase that should bring these teams even closer together to bring the product to market while closing the feedback loop to drive continuous product improvement. Following launch, monitoring the performance of the product and features is paramount. This holistic approach to performance evaluation provides valuable insights into customer preferences and behavior. Utilize analytics tools to track key metrics, such as user engagement, conversion rates, and customer feedback. By analyzing the broader landscape, you can adapt your strategies and address any issues that may arise swiftly. 

Continuous improvement is a cornerstone of long-term success, and by keeping a close eye on performance metrics, you can make data-driven decisions to refine your product and marketing strategies for sustained growth. Regular updates and releases based on user insights not only demonstrate responsiveness to customer needs but also foster a sense of trust and loyalty. This iterative approach transforms the product development process into a dynamic, user-centric journey, where each iteration builds upon the last, leading to a more refined and valuable end product.

The role of design in continuous improvement strategies

Great design plays a critical role in driving iteration and responding to user feedback effectively. Design systems provide a framework for consistency, enabling seamless integration of new features while maintaining a cohesive user experience. Additionally, well-managed handoffs between design and development teams streamline the implementation of design changes, reducing friction and accelerating the iteration process. Aligning branding elements across marketing channels and into the product will ensure user expectations are met at every turn. During iterations, a holistic approach to design, design systems, handoffs, and branding alignment ensures that the process is not only efficient but also results in a cohesive and engaging user experience.

Product success factors and the pursuit of excellence

In the ongoing journey of product development, launch is never the end; it’s the beginning and it launches the team into a cycle of perpetual refinement. Our products can exceed audiences’ expectations by embracing user feedback and integrating it into the continuous improvement process. The collaborative spirit within teams and the strategic planning behind launches form the basis of success. Throughout this dynamic journey, it’s important to celebrate the milestones achieved, learn from the challenges faced, and remain committed to the pursuit of innovation. The combination of effective launch strategies, user needs-driven iteration, and thoughtful design ensures that  products stay relevant and evolve into solutions that resonate deeply with users. Here’s to the continuous pursuit of excellence in product development and the exciting possibilities that lie ahead on this ever-evolving path of innovation.

Are you ready to pursue product design excellence with a team that understands cross-functional teams and embraces continuous innovation? We are. Let’s talk.

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News Reaching New Customers Strategy

SEO isn’t dead: How AI and SGE are shaping the future

The artificial intelligence revolution has rocked our world in a few short months. OpenAI launched ChatGPT. Bing released a chat feature. Google opened access to Bard and the experimental Search Generative Experience. As these new tools emerge, almost everything about how we seek, access, and interact with online information changes. And it begs the question…

Could all these AI-enabled changes mean SEO is dead? The answer is a hard no; it’s just different. The days of optimizing websites exclusively for crawlers and bots are far behind us. We, as SEOs and marketers, must embrace the shift toward optimizing websites, content, and online experiences for humans and their information needs. As such, search engine optimization is alive, and will become even more important in your web strategy as AI tools advance in this new era.

Living in the moment: Understanding SEO, AI, and SGE

SEO, AI, and SGE are three of the most important technologies today, and they’re all becoming inseparably linked. AI is already used in a number of ways to improve SEO, from generating high-quality content to identifying and targeting the right keywords. 

As AI develops, it will likely play an even more significant role in SEO, helping businesses reach their target audiences more effectively. By staying ahead of the curve with these technologies and strategies, companies can position themselves for success in the future of search. Before we dive into the details of what comes next for SEO, let’s look at broader definitions and how these technologies and strategies impact each other today.

What is SEO?

SEO (search engine optimization) is nothing new. In fact, both the concept and the term have been part of the web-based world since 1997 — before Google existed. At this time, search engines functioned as directories or virtual yellow pages. And as more consumers adopted the Internet, more businesses became invested in making themselves visible on the Internet.

SEO is a complex and ever-changing field, but it is essential to any online marketing strategy.  Your web presence depends on organic SEO. Traditionally, SEO depends on fundamental factors that increase website traffic and search engine placement, which include:

  • Creating relevant, keyword-optimized content.
  • Optimizing the website’s title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags.
  • Building backlinks from high-quality websites.
  • Ensuring that the website is mobile-friendly.
  • Improving the website’s loading speed.

What is AI?

AI, short for artificial intelligence, is a technology that mimics or simulates human intelligence. There are a variety of applications for AI, from self-driving cars to automated manufacturing processes. Machine learning, deep learning, and cognitive computing all influence how AI works. 

Conversational and generative AI tools like ChatGPT, Bard, and Bing are natural language processing tools and can communicate in a human-like way. They provide information quickly and can generate new text, code, images, and other kinds of creative content.

What is SGE?

SGE stands for Search Generative Experience. It is a new set of search and interface capabilities that integrates generative AI-powered results into Google search engine query responses

SGE is still under development, but it’s designed to make searching for information online even more helpful, instructive, and insightful. By nature, SGE hinges on providing users with a more personalized and conversational experience. It is intended to do this by:

  • Generating concise and informative answers to complex questions.
  • Providing relevant visual content, such as images, charts, and graphs.
  • Suggesting follow-up questions to help users explore their topic of interest further.
  • Translating search results into different languages.

Here are some examples of how SGE can be used:

  • If you search “how to change a tire,” SGE might generate a step-by-step guide with images and videos.
  • If you search for “best restaurants in Phoenix,” SGE might generate a list of restaurants with user reviews and links to their menus.
  • If you search for “what does life even mean?” SGE might generate a summary of different philosophical perspectives on the topic.

SGE is revolutionizing the way we search for information. Using generative AI to produce more personalized and informative results, SGE can help searchers (consumers) find the information they need more quickly and easily.

The current state of SEO: ‘It depends’

We can’t ignore the fact that AI’s emergence and proliferation are rattling to SEO as we traditionally know it. 

According to Search Engine Journal’s 2024 State of SEO report, today’s digital marketers and SEOs expect disruptions from three major trends:

  1. Generative AI
  2. Google’s E-E-A-T ranking criteria
  3. Automation tools 

For many SEO experts, these new and rapidly evolving advances challenge how we think about what it means to optimize for search.  

These concerns check out, too. Google’s recent Helpful Content core algorithm update, which began rolling out in August and has extended into September 2023, is making one fact glaringly obvious: SEO no longer means optimizing content and website experiences for search engine crawlers and the only way to win top-ranking spots, boost CTR, gain qualified organic traffic (and lift conversions) is to optimize for the human experience.

While AI, generative tools, and even search algorithms gain a better understanding of what kind of content is helpful and informative to people, the notion of keyword-stuffed web copy created just for search engines is on its way out, and helpful content written by people, for people, has gained momentum as what it takes to win in the competitive SEO space. 

Welcome to the future: Embracing content strategy with SEO, SGE, and AI in mind

As more web users turn to AI and SGE tools to do research and make informed decisions, it is increasingly important to be visible to searchers no matter the medium they’re using and aware of how your business is perceived by both artificial and human intelligence in this new virtual realm. 

The only way to achieve this goal and prepare for future advancements is to embrace a website content strategy intricately interwoven with forward-focused SEO. This is evident with each Google core algorithm update as they increasingly move toward rewarding sites that relay information in an easy-to-understand, conversational, and unbiased tone.

Next steps for content strategy, SEO and SGE success

It might sound counter-intuitive, but embracing an organic content strategy with a human element is vital to success in today’s AI-driven landscape as SGE emerges. This especially rings true when your business and website tie into YMYL (your money or your life) topics like health, medicine, finance, and current events.

Google’s algorithms are designed to reward websites that provide high-quality content that is informative, comprehensive, and relevant to users. To appeal to Google’s E-E-A-T criteria, comply with Google’s Helpful Content updates, and succeed in SGE, businesses need to focus on creating content that is genuinely helpful to humans with UX and CX in mind. There are a few ways to accomplish this:

  • Understand your customers’ journey. Linguistic profiling and search journey analysis can help you define your target audience’s journey.  Where are they in their conversion journey? Understanding their needs and offering solutions improves their experience on-site and with your brand.
  • Write for your target audience. Before you start writing, take some time to think about your target audience. What are their needs and interests? What kind of content would they find helpful? What are the values that drive their decision-making?
  • Do your research. Make sure that your content is accurate and up-to-date. Cite your sources and link to other relevant content.
  • Be clear and concise. Get to the point quickly and avoid using jargon.
  • Write in a conversational tone. Imagine that you’re talking to a friend or colleague.
  • Break up your text with images, videos, and headings. This will make your content easier to read and scan.

Does this sound familiar? We’ve touched on the factors you see above before and it’s helped drive success landing at “position zero” in the SERPs. Learn more about featured snippets in SEO strategy.

Take the next steps in SEO and SGE now

AI is poised to revolutionize SEO, empowering businesses to reach their target audiences with unprecedented precision. Businesses must ethically embrace AI and other innovative technologies and position themselves as leaders in this rapidly evolving field. This requires an online strategy inextricably linked to forward-thinking SEO created by humans for humans.

Offering SEO solutions and website and content strategy is just part of how Tallwave wants to drive your success. As a leader in providing integrated marketing solutions and more to both established and up-and-coming brands, Tallwave is ready to deploy our customer-centric and cohesive approach in a way that is unique to your vision and creates exceptional experiences for consumers of all kinds. 


From conversion rate optimization to paid media services to product design and beyond, we’re ready to partner up and strategically future-proof your digital strategies.

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News

Do You Hate the New Instagram Update? You’re Not Alone

Updated April 25, 2023

When it comes to social media, things are ever-changing. The popular photo- and video-sharing app Instagram is just one example. Instagram updates have shifted from prioritizing photos to videos and back to photos again over just a few short months. Do these shifts mean Instagram lost touch with its user base? Maybe. Learn more about how the app is fighting to find its way back to its roots in 2023.

How is Instagram Changing in 2023

Over the summer of 2022, Instagram attempted to tap into the increasing popularity of TikTok by pushing more video “Reels” to users and serving fewer photos in feeds. Both content creators and content consumers pushed back and, once again, Instagram announced a change.

February 2023: Instagram Brings Back Balance

The new year brought even more changes to Instagram. And this time users are rejoicing. As of February 2023, the app has seemingly gone back to its roots. A recent update removes the Reels button from its center position and instead places the plus icon (Compose button) in this prime placement. This screen real estate swap might suggest the app is once again prioritizing photos posted to grids over video Reels in users’ feeds.

This isn’t just speculation. Instagram head Adam Mosseri confirmed the app’s shift in focus in a series of questions and answers posted to his Stories in January 2023.

“I think we were overfocused on video in 2022 and pushed ranking too far, and basically showed too many videos and not enough photos. We’ve since balanced, so things like how often someone likes photos versus videos, and how often someone comments on photos versus videos, are roughly equal, which is a good sign that things are balanced.” 

— Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram

You can view Mosseri’s responses in the “AMA” circle in Mosseri’s Stories Highlights. 

March 2023: Additional Changes Came in Like a Lion

March brought a shakeup in how creators can identify themselves and gain clout on Instagram. Meta Verified launched in the U.S., turning the coveted blue checkmark into a paid subscription feature. The verification service is currently available to celebrities, public figures, and well-known brands.

“Verified” creators will have increased protection against account impersonation and access to “real-person” tech support. Perhaps most importantly, Meta Verified also promises subscribers “increased reach and visibility.” This means that the content creators who “pay to play” will have their content shown more in searches, comments, and recommendations.

Meta Verified seems to have garnered a few negative reactions from social media users. Twitter user Ahmed Younis (@ahmdpress) replied to MetaNewsroom’s announcement and asserted that “now you can’t protect yourself without paying.” Other replies to the announcement include questions about why Meta prioritized launching the verification service before responding to “major tech issues” on Facebook and why those who do paid advertising on the platforms don’t have access to the same level of support.

Users and creators have noticed other, unannounced changes that came with the March 16, 2023, update, including algorithm tweaks that change how content is pushed to app users. For example, creators have found that the updated Instagram algorithm seems to prefer and more predominantly feature video content edited in the app rather than on another platform, like TikTok or CapCut. Additionally, creators have found the new algorithm seems to favor daily grid posts and multiple Stories shared at specific times throughout the day.

Many users have noticed that algorithm tweaks changed how content is displayed in their feeds. Some content creators have taken to Reddit to seek solutions as their audience reach and engagement dropped after the March updates. Other users are pleased with the updates as their feeds are now chronological and feature more photos and content from the creators they follow as opposed to sponsored content and recommendations.

These anecdotal changes are defined in a TikTok video shared by Design Driven Media CEO Michelle Daboul. In the video, which has garnered nearly 2 million views, she asserts that the new Instagram algorithm changes support the fact that the app now considers itself an SEO platform. Instagram is increasingly making it easier for creators to optimize their profiles and content to leverage keywords which can increase the likelihood of showing up on in-app search features.

As the app shifts direction and more changes are implemented, paid media buyers and advertisers also have an opportunity to change course to achieve balance. Depending on user base and customer preferences, advertisers might opt to prioritize image ads and carousel ads as the app’s focus shifts away from Reels. Brands might opt for verification to increase reach and support paid placements. Advertisers might implement new strategies based on changing organic factors as well.

While photo-focused app users are celebrating the new balance and the way content is delivered to users, it is important to remember why Instagram decided to go back to the basics while pushing forward with other changes. Let’s take a look at what happened to Instagram in 2022 to understand why the spotlight has shifted to a more balanced and consumer-driven user experience.

What Happened to Instagram in Summer 2022?

The changes Instagram users saw in 2022 sparked outrage among many users, including Kylie Jenner who has over 301 million followers. These changes prioritize “recommended videos,” filling users’ feeds with videos from accounts that may not be relevant to the user instead of content from accounts they follow. Instagram is also pushing out video “Reels” instead of photos, which means a lot of content goes unseen by users, further upsetting content creators and users alike.

Why Has Instagram Made All of These Changes?

The short answer is: TikTok. Earlier this year, Meta (formally Facebook) announced that users are spending less time on its platforms and that they expect revenue growth to slow. This caused Meta’s stocks to drop 26%, resulting in a loss of  $232 billion. Meta chief, Mark Zuckerberg, said on the company’s call with investors in February, “People have a lot of choices for how they want to spend their time, and apps like TikTok are growing very quickly. And this is why our focus on Reels is so important over the long term.”

TikTok has done a great job engaging younger audiences with short-form videos and increasing their time spent on the app. This has been made possible with TikTok’s unique algorithm, which learns how each individual uses the platform and feeds them content accordingly. The more time you spend on the app, the more the app will understand which videos to show you. Cue the Instagram changes. At a high level, both platforms are serving video content to users based on their behaviors. So why is Instagram drawing backlash from users for taking a page from TikTok’s playbook? It’s all about the value proposition each offers for users. TikTok was designed as a video-centric platform, so recommending exclusively video content based on user behavior is consistent with what users expect from the platform. By contrast, Instagram started as a photo sharing platform allowing users to connect with friends and family through sharing images. By not just introducing video, but prioritizing video (including video from accounts users don’t follow) over photos from accounts users follow, Instagram’s changes undermine the value proposition for many of their users.

After user backlash this past summer, Instagram took a step back on video prioritization. But that doesn’t mean Reels are a thing of the past in 2023. These short-form videos are still an important part of the app experience, just now with more photo balance based on user preferences.

What Does This Mean for Paid Media?

While the changes to Instagram have been on the organic side of the platform, they could have a chilling effect on users that impacts paid advertising on the platform. If users decide to leave Instagram over the changes the platform is making, this could dramatically decrease the reach of advertisers. Additionally, if advertisers want to be effective on Instagram, they would need to modify their ad content to keep up with the changes Instagram is making. Video has proven to be a priority for Instagram, specifically videos made to fit into Reels, so advertisers would need to make ads tailored to Reels if they want to remain effective. Not only would videos need to be reformatted for a vertical  9:16 ratio but they would need to capture attention quickly which might mean using trending audio, a trending dance, or a trending challenge.

Lastly, if Instagram does in fact become more and more like TikTok, advertisers may need to shift their advertising strategy within Instagram. Users have been drawn to TikTok because they can sit on the app and scroll for hours while being entertained by video. While TikTok successfully launched ads in early 2019, the ads have shown to be great for brand awareness. A study by MediaScience® showed that TikTok ads drive strong brand recall and positive sentiment across various view durations. Brand awareness is great, but Instagram has done a  great job at driving direct conversions. If Instagram continues down this path to be similar to TikTok, ads on Instagram may not perform as well as they used to in the past in terms of CVR or ROAS. This is most likely because users are not as likely to click on an ad and make a purchase while they’re being entertained by videos, similar to YouTube, another platform great for awareness, but not as great for direct conversions.

Keep in mind that there is still value in video even after the 2023 changes. Instagram users who prefer video content certainly still exist. These consumers still interact with and make decisions influenced by Reels, even as the app pushes more photos. A holistic and data-driven social media strategy can ensure advertisers balance consumer preferences and content placements for maximum results.

What Should Advertisers Do?

Instagram is still an important platform to advertise on so advertisers must be prepared to adapt if they want their media dollars to be impactful on this channel. Instagram is a well-established, highly effective platform that reaches 1 billion users monthly, whereas TikTok reaches 689 million monthly users by comparison, and 72% of Instagram users cite that they have purchased a product they’ve seen on Instagram. Being able to leverage Instagram alongside TikTok is the key to success. This will help ensure a wide reach among advertisers’ target audiences and exposure on a platform with proven results.

To continue success on Instagram advertisers need to stay up to date with the changes that Instagram is making and the overall trends with social media channels. This is a great time to start creating videos specifically for Instagram Reels and testing them in Reels-only campaigns. While Instagram has delayed some of the rollouts they had planned due to the backlash, it isn’t likely that they will stop pushing Reels. Advertisers need to get ahead of the curve and shift their strategy to align with Instagram’s shifting strategy. It’s in the best interest of advertisers to align their social media ad content with Instagram’s ambition to push Reels as they try to stay competitive with TikTok. Pro Tip: most trends find their way on both platforms.

As social media platforms shift and algorithms are updated, maintaining a strategic paid social media approach hinges on content and placements. For some businesses, that might be a balance between Instagram photos and Reels. Numbers tell the story and can inform advertising investment decisions. 

Ready to learn more about getting the most sizzle for your social media spend? Tallwave offers truly integrated CX services, covering everything from conversion rate optimization to data strategy to paid media. Reach out to see how we can help you strike a balance.

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Customer Engagement News Reaching New Customers Strategy

Stabilizing Your Facebook Advertising Strategy Post-iOS 14.5 Release

On Monday, April 26, Apple released iOS 14.5, the first version of the operating system to enforce Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policies. ATT requires iOS users to opt in to share their unique Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), a randomly assigned user-specific identifier with app developers. This would, in turn, allow advertisers serving ads within those apps with the data needed to personalize ads and track performance across platforms, from view to click all the way through to conversion. In anticipation of this change and other privacy regulations, players across the digital advertising space have been responding with changes of their own. Most notably, Facebook has made significant changes to its conversion tracking and application settings.

A month after the iOS 14.5 release, opt-in rates for US-based users is sitting at 6% and Facebook advertisers are starting to feel the effects in the form of increased conversion costs, loss of attribution data, and new challenges to ad targeting and lookalike audience building. If you’re grappling with the impacts of the iOS 14.5 release and ATT enforcement on your Facebook ad campaigns, here are some key considerations and recommendations to help you navigate through the immediate challenges and set a course for a smoother road ahead.

Facebook users are a no less valuable audience to your marketing strategy now than they were before.

Stabilizing Steps to Take Today

Secure Ownership of Your Facebook Accounts

Previously inherent capabilities to track movement between your website and Facebook will no longer be available and pixels previously put in place to support user targeting and conversion tracking will no longer be as effective. This is where ownership over your Facebook account and business website become critical. In the past, agencies have commonly created digital marketing accounts for clients – including Facebook Business Managers and ad accounts – under agency ownership. The benefits have been increased speed, reduced burden on clients who may not have resources available to manage account setup, and the benefit of agency history with the platforms, which eliminated spend thresholds and other speed bumps in the path of rapid execution and performance. The implications of iOS 14.5 have created the need to shift ownership from agency to business in order to reconnect some critical dots:

  • Your Facebook account and business website can’t effectively speak to each other until your website is claimed through your Facebook Business Manager account. This will allow cross-platform performance tracking and change how your web links appear on your Facebook page. This is also a requirement for configuring conversion events, which are used by Facebook’s machine learning to drive better targeting, optimization, and performance measurement.
  • The Facebook Conversions API can be put in place to enable tracking and optimizing for conversions outside of Facebook, like purchases made on your website or a Shopify account, among others. It can also mitigate the effects of losing access to 28-day click, 28-day view, and 7-day view attribution windows, which will no longer be supported. However, the API cannot be implemented when ownership of Facebook pages, Business Manager accounts and ad accounts are split between business and their partner agencies.

Keep a Customer-centric Focus

While the ability to track based on audience behaviors may be changing, the behaviors themselves are not. If you were finding success with Facebook users before iOS 14.5, resist the urge to move away from Facebook based purely on trackability. The known habits, behaviors, and preferences of your audience should always be the guiding force behind your marketing mix. Bottom line: Facebook users are a no less valuable audience to your marketing strategy now than they were before. What’s changed is the way users are tracked and attributed and how to interpret the value of that data.

Also read: Data Driven Insights Into the Evolving Customer Experience

Consolidate Campaigns and Conversion Events

With Facebook shortening attribution settings to 7-day click and 1-day view by default, fewer conversions are being tracked and more scale will be needed to move ads through the learning phase toward performance-driving optimization. The larger the number of campaigns, ad sets, and ads businesses are running, the fewer impressions served and conversions achieved, making it harder to hit an even higher bar for scale. Consolidating campaigns, ad sets, and ads as much as possible will create efficiencies during the ad learning phases, helping drive performance more quickly.

Additionally, advertisers will need to consolidate and prioritize the events being tracked within Facebook’s event manager. Domains are now limited to no more than 8 website conversion events. If your campaigns are being optimized for more than 8 conversion events across the same domain, you’ll need to narrow down to the 8 or fewer conversion events most critical to your marketing objectives and configure them in Facebook’s Aggregated Event Measurement tool. Once your 8 or fewer conversion events have been selected, they must be put in priority order with the most valuable action first and the least valuable action last. The priority of the events will come into play when and if a user takes multiple actions with the 7 day conversion window. For example, if a user adds a product to a cart (achieving one conversion event) and leaves the site without completing the purchase only to return the next day after being served a retargeting ad and completes the purchase at that point (achieving another conversion event with a higher priority), the purchase event will show in Facebook’s event manager and the add to cart event will not based on the priority set. Thinking through the conversion events that are most important and their order of importance will help ensure Facebook continues to be an effective lead- and revenue-driving channel despite the latest changes.

Expectations for performance are going to have to change.

Recalibrate Your Goals

Expectations for performance are going to have to change. CPAs and CPMs on Facebook are on the rise and the increase is likely to continue as advertisers grapple with the previously unknown impacts of iOS 14.5 and the corresponding ripples through Facebook. Those who can stay the course, test new approaches, and adapt how they think about, interpret, and apply data to optimize performance will continue to find long-term value in Facebook as part of their marketing mix. And as advertisers who can’t adapt pull back from the platform, those who remain may find themselves in a less competitive environment over time.

For many businesses, especially those with sales cycles that extend beyond Facebook’s pre-iOS 14.5 28-day attribution window, there were always gaps in the data. To help fill some of the gaps within Facebook’s reporting capabilities, ensure you are implementing best practices for tracking, like adding UTM parameters so that you can track ad and campaign performance and conversions within Google Analytics. In addition to a narrowed attribution window, reporting delays of up to three days will make short-run campaign optimization challenging and breakdowns based on age, gender, region, and placement for delivery and actions will no longer be available, necessitating a different approach to campaign optimization. Creating benchmarks based on the most reliable data points you have and adjusting your performance goals based on that data will help steer campaigns in the right direction. Similarly, stepping back from channel-level performance goals and focusing on incremental impact to business goals (i.e., how much incremental lift you’re seeing in sales, revenue, new customer acquisition, etc.) will help you evaluate the impact of your channel-level investments in a more meaningful and sustainable way.

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News

Tallwave Named to CIOReview’s 2021 Most Promising Customer Experience Management Companies

Read the original article published on CIOReview

 

CIOReview, March 2021 – Today, businesses are designing their organizations to maximize their customers’ experience. However, their efforts often fall flat as siloed systems within their organization block the flow of vital information between different departments. Without internal collaboration and alignment, companies are unable to meet rapidly changing customer needs. Enter: Tallwave. A Customer Experience Design Company, Tallwave combines a data-centric approach to understanding human behavior, first-hand qualitative and quantitative customer research, proprietary technology, as well as user-centered design and marketing expertise to create and implement exceptional customer experiences. Whether it’s branding, product design, content strategy, or customer acquisition and retention, Tallwave is a one-stop-shop that creates unparalleled experiences that ultimately wins the hearts and minds of their clients’ customers. “From employees to end-users, Tallwave analyzes the thoughts and experience of every customer to provide a holistic CX strategy,” says Jeff Pruitt, CEO of Tallwave.

 

While other companies work in a reactive state and, therefore, only optimize singular components of their client’s existing CX at a time, Tallwave approaches their work through a holistic lens. Relying on data to drive surface-to-core roadmaps and achieve cross-functional alignment, they identify key moments of friction and opportunity at each stage of the customer’s journey, and use those insights to craft cohesive and intuitive experiences at every touchpoint. This whole-picture method enables them to design agile work streams for continuous momentum and growth.

While other companies work in a reactive state and, therefore, only optimize singular components of their client’s existing CX at a time, Tallwave approaches their work through a holistic lens.

Leveraging their proprietary, proven solutions Tallwave is able to help clients improve customer acquisition while decreasing customer acquisition cost; increase customer engagement; grow market share; decrease customer churn; expand into new markets; and develop new products and services to meet the evolving needs of their clients’ customers.

 

To do this, they bring stakeholders together to participate in fast-paced, collaborative workshops and help develop integrated workstreams to drive critical, cross-functional outcomes. As a result, silos are broken down and cross-functional alignment on goals and metrics needed to gauge regular progress are established.

 

The Tallwave team marries this work with full digital intelligence on customers and the market to develop strategic plans, and helps to execute many of the workstreams, which often include user testing, rapid prototyping, product developing, acquisition marketing, rebranding, program managing, redesigning employee experiences to better deliver on customer experiences, and more.

 

Recently, one of Tallwave’s biggest clients – a leading global credit card company – saw the demographics of their core customers changing. The benefits and service offerings they desired, especially as it related to travel, were shifting, as well. The client needed to innovate and deliver improved digital-first travel experiences to prevent customers from abandoning the brand. The answer? Developing an omnichannel travel booking experience that allowed travelers to book itineraries, make changes and add personally curated plans through a travel consultant or on their own through several mediums. In order to do so, Tallwave worked with travel consultants, and unpacked the systems and processes that were responsible for delivering the current experience. From there, they outlined the necessary future state by pulling in consumer insights on what benefits and experiences were appealing to this new demographic. By combining all these insights and breaking up the work into different workstreams, Tallwave was able to deliver a seamless experience by working from the inside out.

Also read: Creating a contemporary experience for a strong, timeless brand

 

This agile and adaptable mindset helped Tallwave to navigate and thrive through the pandemic, as well. A thoughtful action plan maintained employee retention and grew the core business. They also underwent a strategic rebrand effort themselves that helped galvanize the team and set a new course for the company’s future. “COVID-19 helped us understand the human experience more deeply and provide more value to clients,” says Pruitt. This drove the ethos behind their new rebrand, revitalized company values, and customer experience design strategies: To always employ an approach that incorporates the heart, the mind and the matter and put empathy for humans at the core. “We look forward to the inspiration that comes from being with one another, but we also look forward to embracing the human value of being able to work in a place where one can get great work done,” ends Pruitt.

Want to learn more about our work? Send us a message via our contact form 

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News

Tallwave Takes Texas: Meet the Dallas Team

As a customer experience design company, our people are essential to creating and delivering remarkable solutions for everyone we work with.

 

We know that doing big things requires people who get it – people who are told they can’t change things and then go ahead and change them anyway. People who embrace a maverick attitude, who challenge convention, and think beyond the ask. These are the kinds of people that affect positive change and growth for our company and clients, and the kinds of mavericks we’re loading our new Dallas office with.

 

Meet the Tallwavers helping us serve the Dallas market on the ground. And if you’re in the area, schedule a virtual or socially distanced coffee with them by emailing Dallas@Tallwave.com or dropping us a note here. They’re ready to help you create unstoppable momentum and deliver exceptional customer experiences.

 

Learn more about our Dallas expansion here

Matthew Kiesel, Senior Consultant

Matthew Kiesel Tallwave bio

A highly-motivated management consultant and client development professional, Matthew joined the Tallwave team with 14 years of experience with aviation finances, joint ventures, merger and acquisition integrations, sales and distribution, revenue management, and loyalty programs. Working previously at Sabre, a travel technology company focused on airline software and service, as well as American Airlines and United Airlines, Matthew is Tallwave’s travel expert. A Texas-native, Matthew is a Texas Christian University graduate and self-proclaimed “rowdy Horned Frog football fan.”

3 Questions with Matthew

  • What’s your favorite thing about Dallas?  Dallas has all the benefits of a big city, but still maintains a small town feel. I love that Dallas has everything a world class city should offer: an amazing restaurant scene, sports teams, museums, and fun activities. Yet you can easily run into friends around town, and the attitude of the people mimics the charm of small town Texas.
  • What expertise and specialities do you bring to the Tallwave team? My background prior to Tallwave is in management consulting and corporate finance, specifically in the travel industry. Coming to Tallwave I’m hoping to share my financial acumen and experience in strategy development with our team and clients. Blending my formal consulting experience with Tallwave’s pursuit of “thoughtful rigor” and “maverick attitude” should benefit our client engagements.
  • What experiences of the future are you most excited about? I can’t wait back to get back to travel — both personally and professionally. Prior to the pandemic, I was traveling around the world for about 2/3 of the year for client engagements. Additionally, I love seeing and exploring new countries on my own time. As the world reopens, I am excited to get back on the road. Additionally, I’ve yet to meet any of my Tallwave clients in person. So extending my client relationships beyond Zoom is a top goal for the near future.

Check out our work: Distrupting the Status Quo With a Travel App

Dannette Urquhart, Consultant

With experience in account management, retail, and technology, Danette brings passion and a proven track record for building and retaining customer relationships that grow businesses and increase sales to the Tallwave team and Dallas market. A Dallas-native, Dannette yells her Texas pride loud and proud. An undergrad alumni of the University of North Texas, she is now pursuing her MBA at Southern Methodist University, and is a devoted Cowboys and Texas Rangers fan.

3 Questions with Dannette

  • What’s your favorite thing about Dallas? Dallas is home. It’s where I’m from. I particularly love the patio dining and drinking scene, the summertime poolside fun, and participating in the football at AT&T stadium or one of our many cool sports bars. Most importantly – the people are great.
  • Why did you become a Consultant? Because I love strategizing and creating solutions for clients by developing relationships. I get to be creative and push boundaries in a way that makes businesses better. Plus, I get bored easily, so I appreciate that every client and account is different, and brings with it it’s own unique challenges.
  • What’s your personal and professional life motto? KEEP GOING! There’s no such thing as failure, only learning opportunities. Those opportunities build strength and character that make you better and enable you to help others.

Brooke Weidenbaker, Senior Digital Intel Strategist

Brooke Weidenbaker - Meet Team Tallwave

Brooke is a business and marketing professional with experience in both agency and client-side communications and analytics across multiple industries including, technology, retail, CPG, auto, financial services, education, and more. Prior to joining the Tallwave team, Brooke was the Lead Retention Operations Consultant for AT&T, and Director of Analytics for both Rockfish and Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles, Originally from Kansas, she lived in Texas for 10 years; now she splits her time with her two rescue dogs between Los Angeles and Dallas.

3 Questions with Brooke

  • What’s your favorite thing about Dallas? I moved to Dallas in 2011 and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Dallas has so much to offer, a booming economy, delicious food, amazing art all throughout the city, and a variety of entertainment options including sporting events! I think my favorite thing about Dallas though is the people I’ve met. Growing up in middle America people were always very friendly but in Dallas, the southern hospitality really makes newcomers feel welcome!
  • Why did you become a Senior Strategist? My career has taken many turns throughout the years. I started in Finance and Telecom, then shifted to Marketing after I realized I wanted a balance between numbers and people! After graduating from TCU with my MBA, I entered the agency world. I also grew up in an entrepreneurial family and have owned my own small retail business on the side for the past five years. I really enjoy working as a Strategist at Tallwave because it presents the opportunity to creatively solve business problems for a variety of clients across multiple industries. No day is ever the same!
  • How do you employ empathy and creativity into your job? In my mind, both are vital to success and working well as a team! So much of our work at Tallwave is collaborative, therefore, having empathy for not only our team members but also our clients is imperative. We have a great team at Tallwave, we all care about each other personally and professionally and are available to help each other out when things get overwhelming. As a Strategist, I have the opportunity to creatively shape deliverables on a daily basis. That is part of the fun of it. Charting the path forward!

Check out our work: Upleveling a product that’s all about great service

Brian Hambrick, Senior Strategist

A 6th generation Texan, Brian comes to Tallwave from Dallas where he built his career working in various Strategy and Planning roles at Advertising Agencies such as Deutsch, Tracylocke and the Integer group. Brian brings over 12 years of experience in research, strategy, and planning and has worked across a wide range of clients in the CPG, Hospitality, Food, Retail, Automotive and Telco industries. Most recently Brian worked at Cici’s Pizza as the Director of Innovation helping the brand develop new pizza flavors and transition from a traditional media approach to a digital first media approach.

Interested in joining the Dallas team? We’re hiring! Check out our open positions here

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News

Continuing Our Growth Story By Joining the Dallas Market

Momentum is movement. Momentum is change. For our clients, we aim to create positive momentum in the form of improving their customer experience, growing their business, or disrupting their marketplace.

 

For Tallwavers, positive momentum can be found in the ways we push ourselves to grow – personally and professionally.

 

Momentum never stops. It evolves with every experience we have.

 

Now, we’re adding to our growth story by bringing our customer experience design services to Dallas’s robust business and tech ecosystem.

 

Read the official press release

Proprietary processes, tools, and tailored services enable Tallwave to deliver repeatable and actionable outcomes for clients.

What does Tallwave uniquely bring to the Dallas market?

Our empathetic and client-first attitude. We partner with stakeholders and change makers within companies to help them achieve the results and ROI they need to exceed expectations and defined KPIs.

 

Additionally, we bring a team of diverse designers, researchers, brand developers, marketers and strategizers who break down barriers to accelerate growth and deliver unparalleled customer experiences. By utilizing human-centric design practices, Tallwavers aim to win the hearts and minds of our clients’ customers. They lean into their own personal and professional experiences to challenge convention and offer fresh perspectives to drive fast results.

 

Lastly, the expansion brings “The Tallwave Way” to the Dallas market. Our proprietary processes, tools, and tailored services enable us to deliver data-backed repeatable and actionable outcomes for clients. Our guiding principles – to lead with empathy, curiosity, and humility – and heart, mind, matter ethos enable us to creatively solve for specific needs.

 

Also read: Tallwave Takes Texas: Meet the Dallas Team

The Tallwave Way

How does Tallwave’s expansion into Dallas benefit current and future employees?

Tallwave is a fast-growing company, so we’re always looking to add great people to the team who think beyond the ask and possess a growth mindset. Although we offer remote work and flexible office hours to all employees, we believe it’s still important to provide a safe space where employees can go to focus, connect, and work together, as needed. It also presents a promise of even more room for growth as our Dallas office and other geographies grow.

View open positions

What else should business leaders in the Dallas market know?

Companies are often wrestling with one of three situations – they’re looking to grow market share, they’re looking to disrupt their market, or they’re trying to stave off disruption. We have integrated solutions specifically designed to help these situations.

Interested in seeing some of our work?

Check out the case studies below:

Are you in Dallas? We’d love to grab coffee, virtually or socially distanced. Email us at Dallas@Tallwave.com or send us a message via our contact form.

Categories
News This Week in CX

What’s In Store For the Future of Travel?

Airports, airlines, hotels, and businesses that rely on local tourism are rapidly trying to build new and innovate old customer experiences to make customers feel safe, and encourage the resurgence of travel sooner, rather than later. Just this past week:

 

  • Air France announced plans to test new ICC AOKpass health passes starting March 11 on all flights from Paris to Pointe-à-Pitre and Fort-de-France. The tests will be provided to travelers willing to volunteer, and be an opportunity to assess real-life application and gather consumer feedback. The ICC AOKpass is one of many solutions being evaluated to manage digital health documents. If successful, it is meant to improve the customer experience and streamline the airport journey so that the skies can safely reopen and traveling without fear can resume.
  • Emirates announced a new partnership with GE Digital Aviation Software and TE FOOD  to trial a new smartphone app that empowers safer and easier international travel. The app, currently titled TrustOne, will house all medical screenings of employees and travelers. Additionally, users preparing for a trip will be able to use the app to find testing and lab locations, book appointments, and review test results. Use of the app will cost money – around $40.84 – but a representative for GE Digital said in a press statement, “This is the first step in making international travel during the pandemic as convenient as possible by facilitating pre-travel requirements.” As trials ensue, the GE Digital team will continue to iterate to ensure the app meets government testing and verification requirements.
  • FlySafair, an airline dedicated to transporting travelers to South Africa, also released an app that they hope will simplify the customer experience and in turn, increase their pandemic travel market share. “Customers can manage their journeys on their own devices,” explained FlySafair’s Chief Marketing Officer Kirby Gordon. “Boarding devices are kept on the device which supports our ‘No Touch’ approach at the airport and live updates through the app will keep customers abreast of any possible schedule changes.” Individuals who wish to visit South Africa can also use the app to search for and book flights.

Reimagining the Hotel Customer Experience

While airports and airlines scurry to announce new plans and fight to be the first to lead pent-up travelers into the new normal, hotels are also planning for what the future may hold. According to Christine Ketter, the Senior Director of Customer Experience and Innovation for Marriott International, the forecast for future travel is bright.

 

“We know that people are definitely looking forward to booking [their] next trip,” she told our Vice President of Strategy, Jesus Ramirez, during a Brand Innovators live discussion. “And if anything, they’re going to be more appreciative, [and more] cognizant of what it will mean when they’re on that [first] airplane ride or checking into that hotel. I think [that’s] one of bright spots, that – even though it took a little bit longer than obviously anybody would have hoped or anticipated – there is that excitement [and] enthusiasm that when people want to plan a trip, they’re willing to do so. They’re [proactively] looking for that next vacation, or even [getting] excited about conferences or in-person networking opportunities to reconnect with colleagues.”

 

To ensure hotel visitors have exceptional experiences, Christine said it’s important for hotels not only to personalize the visits, but provide them with socially distanced yet engaging opportunities on-property and off.

 

“[Marriott International has] done an amazing job pivoting and repurposing different spaces. We have family yoga sessions [and] old rooms [that have been converted] into sanctuaries. [It’s all about] what guests are wanting and requesting. It is so important for our guests [to feel] very comfortable when they come to the properties through all elements of the journey, from the moment that they arrive to the times when they’re enjoying some of our food and beverage outlets. Some of our hotels [have redesigned] guests rooms to be private dining spaces or [spaces] for evening social events.”

 

Local partnerships are also creative ways to improve guest experiences. For example, Christine says various Marriott locations allow guests to be farmers for a day or take Marine biology courses for intellectual stimulation.

 

Also read: 3 Companies Launch New “Unparalleled” Experiences Aimed at Improving Common Life Events

 

“Travel used to be for escape. And now it’s more for connection. That’s connection to others [and] connection to yourself,” Jesus said, pointing out that intention and introspection will all be themes that travelers weave into their vacation plans. “So travel just isn’t about travel. It’s always had a larger meaning,” he says. “it’s quite possible that the meaning of travel is going to change or has changed during this time.”

 

Christine agreed, saying hotels need to spotlight guest’s mental health and wellness by providing options for them to engage in both physical and mindfulness exercises.

 

To learn what else Christine and Jesus predicted for the future of travel, watch the full conversation below or read the full transcript here:

What Our Travel Expert Predicts For Airlines & Hotels

We wanted to pick other Tallwaver’s brains so we reached out to our Senior Consultant Matthew Kiesel, who worked for two airlines at headquarters (United and American Airlines) and did airline management consulting for Sabre prior to joining our team, for his take on the current and future state of travel.

 

What is your perspective on the travel industry right now?

I think the piece that’s still been hit the hardest is corporate business traffic. And there’s a couple of reasons behind that. One: Companies have travel restrictions for health and safety reasons. They don’t want their employees traveling when there’s liability and risk. Two: Many companies have faced extreme budget cuts, so travel is one of the first things to go in terms of controllable expenses. And three: People have just adjusted to the Zoom world in a way that no one thought was possible. Some of those meetings where professionals may have flown somewhere for just a day or hopped across the world for a sales pitch, that’s changed because everyone is surprisingly comfortable meeting virtually now.

 

Do you think travel is going to return anytime soon?

I think the segment we see coming back quicker than others is domestic travel and leisure travel. People are anxious to go somewhere. The fares and room rates are unbelievably cheap right now, so people that feel comfortable taking small risks are willing to take advantage of those deals. I think international travel is a bit of a different story, though. There are so many restrictions going between countries – you have to research what countries are allowing travelers and inbound traffic, or even where you are allowed to make connections. Additionally, there are so many additional travel requirements. You need a test before you get there, then you need a test to get back into the United States. Some places have even instituted mandatory quarantines. So, that type of travel will be slower to come back.

 

What do you think needs to happen to increase traveler confidence and make the experience easier to navigate to support a resurgence of travel?

Airlines, airports and hotels have done a surprisingly good job of being nimble and dynamic. Airlines, in particular, are typically slow to react because they’re massive companies and kind of old school in their management style. So, they’ve really used the technology and tools at their disposal, like apps, to be more nimble, change more quickly and adapt to the various updates in rules and regulations. And I think the apps, when they’re official and a part of the travel journey, will really help out. Travelers won’t be tasked with figuring out the rules or where to get tested by themselves. If travel and hospitality organizations integrate those requirements into the process at a reasonable cost, people will likely be willing to accept that.

 

What do you think the customer experience associated with travel will look like as we enter into a post-pandemic world?

For both health and safety reasons – and, equally so, cost reasons – airlines have stripped away nearly every component of onboard service. They’re barely even offering water service unless you need it. They’ve been able to make that work, and have forced passengers to lower their expectations even further. But I think as travel returns, the airlines will have a difficult time figuring out how to bring back the onboard experience. They have to really evaluate what their model is going to look like. Are they going to return to exactly the way they were before? Or do they use this as an opportunity to reset their customer and onboard experiences in terms of identifying what people are willing to pay for?

 

Are there any data insights you think organizations within the travel & hospitality industry should be paying attention to?

When airlines first started coming back, they were all blocking the middle seat, that way travelers knew there wouldn’t be anyone directly next to them. Now, I believe all the big carriers except Delta have eliminated that feature. What’s interesting is that we haven’t seen any data that suggests Delta outperformed other carriers by keeping that customer friendly component. That proves that people are still primarily price conscious when it comes to traveling – and that might transcend airlines and relate to hotel accommodations, as well. All organizations in the travel and hospitality category need to experiment to figure out what people are willing to pay for and, therefore, what customer expectations they need to strategize around and plan for. More than ever, organizations need to understand consumer behavior and what’s driving them to travel, either now or in the future.

 

Also read: Qualitative and Quantitative Data in CX Design: Everything You Need to Know

 

As travel and hospitality organizations seek out solutionists and partners to help innovate their customer experience, what should they be looking for?

A company who can look at the experience holistically, starting with journey mapping. In the airline world, we often performed customer journey mapping. It’s an exercise that traces every touch point, from booking or searching all the way to picking up your bag and getting into your car after a flight; a good journey map should even evaluate the post-flight experience and communications. Travel and hospitality organizations should look for partners who have experience evaluating the various touch points and illuminating moments of friction and opportunities for improvement. Further, for any project, the recommendations from partners should be substantiated by strong qualitative and quantitative data to ensure they’re not only giving customers what they want, but also predicting what they’re going to need and how their behaviors and expectations are going to evolve.

Is your organization looking to grow, optimize, or digitally transform your customer experience? Reach out to us today. We’d love to help. 

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News This Week in CX

This Week in CX: 3 Companies Launch New “Unparalleled” Experiences Aimed at Improving Common Life Events

There are three things most humans can likely agree they’re fond of: Money, parties, and food. Ways in which experiences can be designed and delivered around each are plentiful. But three companies in particular are making big moves that all have one thing in common: They’re attempting to reinvent common (and sometimes mundane) life experiences in a way that encourages people to weave them into the everyday fabric of their lives.

 

Here are the biggest business, brand and tech developments that occurred this past week and will most certainly impact how we design and deliver the customer experiences of tomorrow.

New Customer Experience Involves Free Money

 A new FinTech startup called Millions – whose business model and services haven’t been fully unveiled yet but relate to reinventing the credit card – is giving investor money (read: millions of dollars) away via Twitter and their app. The concept is said to tease a new business model that will allow brands to be more involved with customer and fan giveaways.

 

How does it work? Well, it’s actually pretty straightforward. Money seekers follow Millions on Twitter (since starting the account in July 2020, they’ve gained 22.2k followers) and just keep an eye out for opportunities. Millions regularly rewards small dollar amounts – usually $100 – to people who are tagged in comments or retweet a post, but now they’re upping the ante. This month, they’re hosting weekly drawings and giving $1 million to users who win number-guessing games. All people have to do to be eligible is: One: Follow Millions on Twitter; Two: download and create an app account; and Three: Guess a sequence of six numbers. That’s it. Whoever’s numbers match the weekly draw, wins big. It’s basically a digital lotto.

The “anonymous founders” (who aren’t so anonymous – a few Google searches revealed Kieran & Rory O’Reilly, the founders of gifs.com, as the brains behind the new company) claim it’s a different approach to paying for customer acquisition. Instead of forking money over to Facebook, Instagram, Apple, or Google to find customers for them, they’re using that same budget to attract fans directly by, well, giving it all away. And they hope the initial fun, which one investor called an “unparalleled, engaging customer experience,” will result in a loyal customer base eager to support the company’s future launch.

 

While details are still underwraps, another investor, Allbirds co-founder and CEO Joey Zwillinger went on record explaining his monetary support for what Millions is building, and revealed some clues regarding what’s ahead. “This company is creating delight from what would otherwise be the mundane, everyday necessity of swiping a credit card,” he said. “We invested in Millions because they will spark joy in people’s lives, and think the traditional points model of accumulating hard-to-use airline and hotel points is tired, and ripe for reinvention.”

 

But is this customer acquisition ploy sustainable, and will it really create authentic brand affinity and customer engagement? Or will it just rack up the brand’s Twitter following and create synthetic app engagement with people who are just looking for some extra dough?

 

“The strategy is interesting,” says Tallwave’s Director of Performance Marketing Dallas McLaughlin. “But I think people are overthinking it by trying to understand the product, the game, the acquisition costs, etc. Let’s not outsmart ourselves here.”

The Millions "game” is just a facade that makes consumers feel comfortable entering a ”cash for data marketplace.”

As Dallas put it, Millions simply came up with a way to incentivize people to willfully hand over their demographic and mobile device data. That’s all it is.

 

“Each time someone follows them on Twitter they are going to receive their name, age, gender, income, interests, accounts they follow, etc. Millions then hands the follower cash for this information. Exchanging consumer data for Millions’ cash. Then, when they download their app – where the game actually takes place so it’s a requirement – the consumer is willfully accepting the terms of service which in all likelihood will include handing over the majority of the mobile device data which will include social logins, geolocation, app usage, apps installed (think banking, insurance, shopping) and more.”

 

Essentially, the Millions “game” is just a facade that makes consumers feel comfortable entering a ”cash for data marketplace.” Yes, that is a phrase that Dallas made up.

 

“Mobile device data is the new gold and the gold rush is on. Millions figured out that consumer privacy concerns go out the window as soon as something is in it for the consumer and they did it in a way that is fun for the consumer. It’s a win-win for all. Until the story breaks a month from now about how they are using the data.”

 

Also read: How Tallwave Optimized Paid Media Strategies For a 40,000% Increase in Leads

 

Well, that’s always the caveat with datat: Do consumers actually have privacy and can brands truly cultivate feelings of trust? Only time will tell for Millions.

Will You Be My… Pop-Up Drive-In Date?

Drive-in movies are getting a thematic makeover. FunFlicks announced a new initiative to provide pop-up drive-in events as alternative solutions for high school dances (think proms, formals, homecomings, etc.) and graduations. Calling it the “natural next step in helping the community move forward together and begin to heal,” the events offer safe ways for people to celebrate big moments and create memories together, in a time when we can’t physically be too close together.

It’s a shining example of how a company – perhaps less relevant in our regular lives than say, 70 years ago – can employ creativity and empathy to launch a marketing strategy that does more than build awareness and rely on advertising dollars. Instead, FunFlicks’s new offering finds a modern and unique way to once again become a fabric of old and new customer’s lives.

 

“For years we have provided pop-up drive-in movie theatre rentals for all kinds of events and had great success,” share a company spokesperson for FunFlicks. “In the beginning of COVID-19, we began a robust campaign to give back and help support the community by providing free downloadable movies to cope with lockdown, as well as donating important relief supplies… I strongly believe that it is time for us to begin using drive-in movie theaters in a way that can return positivity and some type of normalcy to the community.”

 

Also read: Why Customer Experience Can’t Be All Data Driven

 

While we can’t see this being a permanent thing – it’s safe to assume that most people would prefer in-person dances and graduation ceremonies bounce back in a post-pandemic world – it may create long-lasting customer appreciation and support amongst FanFlicks fans who are provided with a safe space to relax and connect during a most difficult year. Even more, it may change consumer perspective and attitude towards drive-in movie nights, for good.

In the Future, People Will Decorate Their Porches With Mini-Fridges

Walmart announced a new plan to pilot “smart boxes” this spring. Essentially front porch mini-fridges with compartments for various items depending on their temperature needs, the smart boxes are controlled via a phone app and aim to “ease the pitfalls” of grocery deliveries.

HomeValet Instagram reveals picture of smart box

The smart box manufacturer, HomeValet, says it will allow shoppers to continue conveniently grocery shopping online but won’t require they be at home for the delivery – the food will stay fresh and smart box owners will have full control over when the box is locked (or unlocked) while on the go.

 

And while Jack Simms, the co-founder and COO of HomeValet, says the smart boxes can hold up to seven or eight bags of groceries, he foresees consumers using them in a more agile, as-needed way.

 

“We think there will be a big market for auto-replenishing perishables”, he told MediaPost. “How nice would it be to have milk and eggs delivered without even having to order them? And instead of buying a week’s worth of meat at once, having it take up space in the fridge and worrying about cooking it by the sell-by date, people can get it delivered more often, maybe daily. So, that will improve the quality and freshness of food.”

 

The pilot program is in partnership with Walmart, but HomeValet has consumers at its core.

 

“This will be consumer-owned and brand-agnostic, Simms explained. “People won’t want it if it’s connected to just one store. It works for deliveries from grocery stores, the butcher, wine deliveries. Even if the vendor doesn’t have the technology, customers can leave the box open and lock it via the app once the delivery has been made.”

 

Also read: How to Brainstorm For Innovation

HomeValet announces Walmart pilot program

While this new technology certainly does improve convenience of home grocery delivery, the Tallwave team wasn’t sold on its necessity, with 70.8% of those surveyed saying they wouldn’t buy the product.

Tallwave survey regarding smart boxes

“Most of the existing food distributors use dry ice to keep content at the appropriate temperatures. Fridges cost extra electricity and most likely space. It could be helpful for people that are not working from home, but it’s hard for me to relate to the use case. I think its an interesting product concept for the problem, but the fridge is not the solution in my opinion,” said one Tallwaver who took the survey.

 

“Sounds awesome and highly convenient if the price is right and it’s not an eyesore for my porch,” said another Tallwaver. “The HOA may nix it.”

 

Meanwhile, a potential problem was also brought to light.

 

“I say ‘Yes!’, but my front door area does not actually have space for this type of unit to be placed, so the practicality of it is limited. What about people who live in apartments or smaller houses? The convenience aspect of this is nice, but not necessarily a game-changer, in my opinion. I like the idea of eliminating waste from grocery deliveries in lieu of having a place to put it in front of my home, but there’s still the question of resource use, and the impact production of these units will have on the environment, as opposed to paper bags. I would love for retailers to find more innovative ways of continuing the home delivery services while also looking for ways to mitigate the waste associated with them.”

 

Price was also a contentious issue. Nearly 50% of responders said they’d be willing to pay between $150-$200 for the product, The other surveyed ranged between $0-$150. Zero responders said they’d be willing to pay over $200. The price of the smart box units is currently unknown.

Smart Box survey regarding price

While we didn’t get an overly enthusiastic reaction to the new smart box technology from our Tallwave Team, people originally thought the Edison light bulb and telephone wouldn’t catch on, either. And look at where they are now.

 

Either way, we hope HomeValet and Walmart use the pilot program to dig into consumer concerns, sentiment, and core needs and address concerns or experience gaps before pushing the product to market. 

Would you purchase a smart fridge? Weigh in and tell us why or why not in the comments below.

Categories
News This Week in CX

This Week in CX: 3 Big Healthcare Tech Companies & Providers Announce Future CX Plans

The healthcare industry was always going to need to integrate and provide more personalized digital-first experiences for patients. The 2020 pandemic just sped up that demand.

 

Patient experiences in healthcare – and how to improve them – is something we talk about a lot. Whether with prospects, our current healthcare clients or internal teammates, we’re always hypothesizing, testing, and implementing new data-driven strategies designed to solve the acquisition, engagement, and retention challenges that many organizations are facing. These solutions always have one theme in common: They’re developed with humans at the core and with heart.

 

This week, a number of companies dedicated to developing technologies and holistic strategies that streamline healthcare experiences and improve patient engagement made announcements that will help organizations get one step closer to delivering truly personalized CX. No matter your CX speciality, these stories serve to showcase the ways in which companies are getting creative with innovative technologies and may provide some much-needed inspiration into CX takeaways for businesses small and large.

 

Here are the biggest business, tech and data developments that occurred this past week and will most certainly impact how we design and deliver the customer experiences of tomorrow.

 

HIPPA Just Gave a New Telehealth Video Feedback & Engagement Platform the Green Light

 

Twenty-first century technology is so cool. A new “video feedback and engagement platform” designed for healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies fits that bill. Medallia, Inc., a SaaS company that develops technologies for customer experience management, is getting ready to change how healthcare needs are heard and understood with their newest product, Medallia LivingLens.

It all comes down to making patients feel seen, heard, understood, and authentically cared for.

The video solution – which achieved HIPPA compliance this past week – gathers real-time customer and employee sentiment (feelings, perceptions or attitudes that arise during experiences) during telehealth sessions. Using proprietary AI technology, the solution “captures six times more information with video feedback than tradition, open-ended text based solutions, including nonverbal communication, such as body language.” This results in action-based insights that enable practitioners to predict and overcome barriers associated with providing optimal care and exceptional telehealth experiences.

 

One company currently using the solution, Just Worldwide, says the Medallia LivingLens allows them to analyze patient “video diaries,” understand how patients feel, and uncover what they wish their caregivers knew. “We use it to get the emotional impact of a patient,” explained Sally Udayakumar, Research Manager at Just Worldwide.

 

This is going to open up a whole new world of care that practitioners are able to provide to patients – including preventative care.

 

“Organizations and practitioners can only truly be lifelong partners if they are emphasizing and providing preventive care to patients,” says Tallwave Product Designer Chelsey Gloetzner. “Those who are proactively providing preventative and whole-person care will naturally improve patient engagement in-between sick visits.”

 

Also read: Innovators Q&A: How Avidon Is Solving the Patient Engagement Problem In Healthcare

It all comes down to making patients feel seen, heard, understood, and authentically cared for. Previously, practitioners could only know what patients verbally told them or they could physically observe. Now, Medallia LivingLens allows them to dig so much deeper, and provide a level of care that they’ve never been able to before. And it will only contribute to increased satisfaction and loyalty.

 

“Patients that know and believe you have their best interest in mind will more willingly partner and trust healthcare providers long term,” says Chelsey.

 

But will this technology – and telehealth appointments – still persist as the pandemic chapter comes to a close? You can count on it.

 

“Many patients who have become comfortable with telehealth will still prefer this type of appointment in a post-COVID world,” predicts Chelsey. “More doctors are experiencing the benefits of taking these types of appointments as well. In the future, it is feasible that telehealth will not lose its demand.”

 

That doesn’t mean all telehealth challenges are resolved. In fact, there’s one outstanding problem that we’re currently helping clients solve for: The need for increased education to help onboard older generations.

 

“It is a unique challenge because those who would greatly benefit from telehealth appointments due to age, physical limitation or challenges finding transportation to appointments, tend to have the most difficult time utilizing the technology,” Chelsey says. “Without the proper introduction and training for this technology, a large demographic of potential users will not be able to benefit from telehealth appointments. Putting walkthroughs or training within the technology itself will not meet the needs of those who must learn how to utilize this type of technology and the devices they would use it on.”

 

So, once you know how to connect with your practitioners via the internet, you can bet that computer or mobile phone lens is allowing them to peer right into your soul.

Microsoft’s Healthcare Bot Migrates to the Azure Platform

 

If you haven’t noticed, you’re surrounded by robots.

 

Internet bots, that is (think chatbots, Alex, Siri – you get it). And if healthcare organizations weren’t using them before, you can bet they’ll be embedding them into their customer experiences soon.

 

Microsoft announced their plans to migrate their Healthcare Bot to the Azure platform, enabling healthcare developers to customize bots for both clinical and/or operational uses and build new conversational tools. Additionally, organizations will be able to use the new Azure Health Bot as virtual health assistants, ensure compliance requirements related to privacy and security mechanisms, and merge electronic medical records into touchpoints to drive more personalized, holistic experiences.

 

“It’s really great to see healthcare companies leveraging and investing in technology to remove barriers and friction from the customer experience,” says our Senior Product Designer Alyssa Hayes. “Healthcare on its own can be notoriously complicated and stressful. Even the routine stuff, especially when you toss in some unexpected illnesses or accidents, can be a burden to navigate. Using technology to naturally provide personalized care – while delivering an experience that’s more approachable and predictable – will help put patients at ease and enable them to understand what they need to do to achieve better health. It gives them one less thing to worry about.”

 

That’s something everyone could use a little more of, these days.

 

Also read: Real People Tell Us What They Want From Healthcare In 2021

"This type of bot technology is providing great opportunities for healthcare practitioners and organizations to build trust and provide care that is truly valuable."

“There’s nothing more personal than your own health,” says Alyssa. “This type of bot technology is providing great opportunities for healthcare practitioners and organizations to build trust and provide care that is truly valuable.”

 

Our Chief Operations Office Ed Borromeo is also on the bot train. “It’s great to see this technology advance,” he says. “It provides so many opportunities to improve experiences within the healthcare space, overall – for both patient and healthcare workers.”

 

And the benefits aren’t exclusive to the healthcare industry. “We see increasing use of this class of innovation in a lot of other verticals: Banking, travel, even HR. Bots have a lot of utility and, frankly, they’re super cool. Beyond efficiencies, those who can seamlessly transition a bot user experience to, say, a human-to-human user experience with no clunkiness will be winners in the CX space.”

 

Note for all businesses out there: If your customers already explain their problems to bots, don’t make them repeat it when connected to human representatives. Make the changeover from robot to representative as smooth as a cut from a scalpel.

Walgreens Taps Microsoft & Adobe to Drive New Personalized Experiences For Shoppers

Walgreens is doing big things.

 

On the heels of an 18 month partnership with Microsoft, in which the two companies worked together to modernize technology and move their health-related operations to the cloud, Walgreens announced a second phase this past week – one that brings Adobe into the powerful fold to help craft next-level experiences and improve engagement with the store’s customers, both in-store and online.

 

By partnering Walgreen’s global customer data with Microsoft’s cloud-based data platforms and Adobe’s Customer Experience Management solutions, the trio will design holistic CX strategies that connect pharmacy, immunization, and retail interactions.

"Having a personalized experience like this can help customers feel like their time and business matters.”

One example of this is what they’re calling “individually tailored” prescription experiences: Today, customers are contacted numerous ways – by text message, email, phone call – when prescription refills are ready. In the near future, instead of being bombarded through multiple channels, none of which drive a valuable experience, they’ll receive an email that not only reminds them about the refill, but provides a “landing page” filled with information that encomapsses dosage, prices and other educational resources.

 

And since so much of a great customer experience is saving customers time, shoppers will also receive alerts that refills are available when inside Walgreen stores, so they don’t have to make a second trip later.

 

“Customers want to have your undivided attention,” says Alejandra Guillen, a Tallwave Content Specialist. “They want to feel like they matter and like businesses actually care about them. Having a personalized experience like this can help customers feel like their time and business matters.”

 

And Walgreens’ goal to connect their in-store and online experiences are key to sustaining customer affinity and loyalty.

 

“Before, in-store purchases were the gold standard,” explains Alejandra. “Now, especially with the pandemic, online shopping is becoming crucial. While people will always make in-store purchases, online shopping will continue to thrive even after the pandemic for convenience.”

One brand doing this well? According to Alejandra, Target.

 

“The Target app remembers your in-store purchases and combines them with your in-app purchases to deliver personalized deals and reminders to buy goods you have purchased in the past. This method is great for both an excellent customer experience and boosting a company’s profits.”

 

And last, but certainly not least, Walgreens’ new strategy to educate shoppers when reminding them about prescriptions will increase the bond and attachments customers have with them.

 

“Customers want to know what they’re buying and what they’re putting in their bodies. When it comes to prescriptions, no one is reading the long pamphlets that come with medications,” says Alejandra. “Formatting this crucial information into easy-to-understand landing page content will help customers build and establish longtime trust with Walgreens.”

 

Anyone else switching their regular pharmacy to Walgreens?

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