Categories
Customer Engagement Highlights Reaching New Customers Strategy

Organizational growth strategies: Aligning purpose and practice

Organizational growth isn’t just about increasing revenue or market share. It’s about building a sustainable and purpose-driven organization. 

Sure, every company aspires to quickly grow and see revenue rise. However, understanding the “why” behind that growth is critical for attracting and retaining talent, authentically engaging customers, and achieving long-term success. Simply put, understanding your “why” and aligning your purpose with your operational practices can unlock true organizational growth.

Understanding the ‘why’ in business growth

Many companies define growth in terms of financial metrics. While these are important, focusing solely on profit and EBITA is like having a destination in mind without plotting a route to get there, which can leave business strategies directionless. A truly purpose-driven business clearly understands its “why”—its core reason for existence beyond making money. This purpose serves as a guiding star, rallying like-minded employees, inspiring customer loyalty, and fostering a genuine connection between your organization and the market you serve. When companies are guided by purpose, they’re more likely to find their way to financial success.

Consider Patagonia, a company renowned for its commitment to environmental sustainability. Their purpose isn’t just selling outdoor apparel but protecting the planet for future generations. This purpose informs everything they do, from product design to marketing campaigns, and has earned them a fiercely loyal customer base for good reason. Consumers get to feel as if they are playing a part in the health of our environment by purchasing Patagonia goods while having great gear to enjoy the great outdoors. This is a great example of how threading purpose all the way through an organization drives positive business outcomes.

The significance of authentic branding

Authentic branding is the outward expression of your company’s purpose. It’s about clearly communicating your values, mission, and the impact you strive to make. Customers today are savvy; they can sniff out inauthenticity a mile away. Remember when Kellogg’s CEO Gary Pilnick suggested on national television that American families consider “cereal for dinner” in response to rising food costs? Consumers certainly do, and an organized boycott is still underway.

When your branding authentically reflects your purpose, it fosters trust and creates a positive emotional connection with your audience. Here’s where crisp and consistent storytelling comes into your brand’s message and content strategy. Your company story should be woven into every facet of your marketing and sales efforts. This can include blog posts, social media content, website copy, and even customer case studies. By consistently telling your story, you reinforce your purpose and build brand loyalty.

Linking purpose with operational efficiency

Purpose is not just a feel-good slogan; it must be operationalized to fuel your company and ultimately growth. This means ensuring your business operations and processes are aligned with your purpose and your people are equipped to deliver on your promises, not just to customers but to one another. 

Here’s where data-driven accountability and data-centricity come into play. Leaders and decision-makers need access to the right metrics and data to assess operational efficiency. These metrics should measure progress toward company goals, client satisfaction, customer perception, retention, and growth. By holding leadership accountable for key performance indicators (KPIs) that connect to purpose-driven growth, you create a feedback loop that ensures alignment across all levels of the organization.

The critical role of sales and delivery synergy

Imagine a scenario where your sales team paints a rosy picture of your product or service to close a deal, but then the internal teams responsible for delivery lack the resources or capacity to fulfill those promises. This disconnect between sales and delivery creates a frustrating experience for customers and can damage your reputation (your brand). It’s important to remember that sales are just one step in the customer journey.

For true organizational growth, your sales and delivery need to be in lockstep. This requires clear communication between both teams, ensuring everyone understands the product or service capabilities and realistic timelines. Additionally, shared goals that prioritize customer satisfaction and advocacy are crucial. By aligning purpose with operational practices, you can foster strong collaboration between sales and delivery, ensuring a seamless and positive customer experience from initial contact to successful delivery.

When internal solutions fall short: Finding the right partner

Sometimes, organizations get stuck in their siloed workflows and struggle to create the internal alignment necessary for sustained growth. This is when partnering with a trusted external partner can be invaluable. Infusing fresh perspectives and outside expertise can help you refocus your strategies with your customer at the center and your purpose as the driver for greater resonance with your target audience and purpose-driven growth for your business.

Here’s why seeking external help can help bring purpose to your efforts:

  • Internal blind spots: Teams can be too close to the problem, losing perspective on the value your brand exists to create for your customers and missing potential solutions.
  • Leadership challenges: Leaders may lack the expertise or resources to implement necessary changes when purpose becomes disconnected from practice in their business operations and strategies.
  • Translation to execution: Even when the purpose is clear at the brand level, it’s not always easy to thread it through to execution at the hands of practitioners. From sales and marketing to product, IT, finance, operations, and every other business discipline, the subject matter experts across all these domains need to approach what they do from the context of why they do it, which stems from your purpose.

By partnering with an agency that aligns with your purpose, understands the digital landscape, and approaches marketing, product, and data strategies as tools to help you fulfill your brand’s purpose and create the kinds of experiences that your customers demand, you can overcome organizational inhibitors and achieve your growth goals.

At Tallwave, we’re passionate about helping businesses unlock their full growth potential by aligning purpose with practice. We believe that a well-defined purpose, operational efficiency, and authentic execution of the brand are the keys to sustainable growth in today’s competitive environment.

Ready to take your organization to the next level? Get in touch with us today to discuss how we can help you craft a purposeful and profitable growth strategy.

Categories
Customer Engagement Uncategorized

Unlocking the power of data storytelling

Once upon a time, interpreting data was as simple as processing numbers. But with the volume of data collected multiplying exponentially every day, simply being able to analyze and interpret that data is no longer sufficient. Quickly providing data points and metrics without additional context and a story around what happened to produce the numbers and what to do about it is meaningless to business users who need to make decisions for their organization. 

Enter the world of data storytelling, the art of communicating data-driven insights effectively. This approach embraces narrative analytics and weaves facts and numbers into actionable insights.

The prologue: Why data storytelling matters

Data-driven storytelling is the art of transforming complex data sets into a compelling narrative. This narrative uses context, visuals, and insights to engage a specific audience and ultimately influence their decisions or understanding. It should be an essential part of any organization’s data strategy for two main reasons:

1. Data storytelling fosters engagement

In business, engagement is not just a buzzword; it’s a strategic imperative. While raw or straightforward data might be the backbone of decision-making, it’s the narrative around that data that provides qualitative context for quantitative information and mobilizes teams to action. Combining both straightforward data with an illustrative narrative via data storytelling transforms abstract figures into a compelling story, fostering engagement and understanding at every level of your organization.

2. Data storytelling enables understanding across teams

Bridging the gap between technical experts and non-technical stakeholders is a challenge that data storytelling helps to address. It presents the data in a way that is accessible to business users regardless of their technical or analytical expertise. There is an increasing need across numerous industries to bring these two groups together via data storytelling. Read our blog about bridging that gap here and how we have been successful at bringing teams together for the benefit of the overall organization. 

The plot: Elements of compelling data stories

The elements of compelling storytelling with data are like characters coming together to set the scene in your favorite novel. Consider your approach to the data story, how you’ll illustrate the story, and the potential impacts of your story with the following elements:

Audience-centric approach

In order to be effective, a data story must be crafted for the audience at hand. The storyteller must ensure they understand the motivating factors and perspectives of the intended audience. This oftentimes requires stakeholder discussions to build a clear understanding of metrics and KPIs that are relevant to respective audiences and/or persona groups. It also requires a solid partnership and mutual understanding of how stakeholders are using their data to make informed decisions. Without this context, storytelling around the data is much less effective.

Visualizing data for clarity

Data visualization is the brushstroke that brings your data story to life. Data without visuals is like a story without illustrations—less engaging and prone to misinterpretation. However, it is important to explore the art and science of visualizing data for clarity. Certain data points might be best visualized in a scatter plot versus a bar chart and it is important to think through the best and most straightforward visualization for stakeholders. Visual literacy is a superpower. It is also critical that data visualizations do not leave anything to be misinterpreted. While it is important not to clutter and overly complicate visualizations, clear and succinct titles and labels can make or break a visualization. Take a look at our example below.

Psychological power of storytelling

The human brain craves stories. There is neuroscience behind storytelling and why stories stick. Engaging multiple parts of the brain enhances the memorability of your data narrative, creating lasting impressions that transcend the numbers. Doing so is akin to creating a symphony of cognitive responses. By triggering various brain regions simultaneously, a well-crafted narrative becomes an immersive experience, leaving a lasting imprint on the audience’s memory.

Giving data a narrative engages multiple parts of the brain for emotional and empathetic processing. This is where it becomes more about the story than the raw numbers. The story becomes an experience, a journey that the audience embarks upon, making the data more than just information—it becomes a memorable and impactful narrative. The data narrative becomes a part of the audience’s cognitive landscape, ready to be recalled and reflected upon.

Learn more about Data Strategy & Analytics Services at Tallwave.

Intermission: Tallwave’s data storytelling in action

Narrating the full sales picture: A real example

Let’s dive into a real-world application of data storytelling. During a typical monthly reporting cycle, one of our clients, an e-commerce company, identified declines in sales and revenue across multiple digital channels on their owned website. Initially focused solely on e-commerce sales, the team was alarmed by the decline in organic and paid search sales. However, a more comprehensive understanding of the full story, including sales through brick-and-mortar partners, 3rd party marketplaces, in-store, and phone orders revealed a different story—increases in sales with partners resulted in greater TOTAL sales, and naturally cannibalized some of the sales from other sources.

In order to better tell this story, Tallwave created customized, purpose-built, actionable dashboards in Google Looker Studio. These dashboards helped to mitigate risk of misinterpretation, presenting a clear and concise representation of the sales landscape. It is not uncommon for individual stakeholders to misinterpret data that they might have a personal or departmental bias toward and inadvertently lead other stakeholders astray. Nor is it uncommon for individual stakeholders to exert their own bias in a way that tells the story they believe to be true. This is why it is important to include cross-functional stakeholders involved in rounding out the data story or dashboard visuals to ensure consistent KPI understanding and consensus.

A purpose built dashboard identifying products with a low add to cart to view ratio that the organization should focus on improving this ratio by comparing competitor price points, inventory availability, lack of useful information listed on the product page, etc..

The resolution: Practical tips for effective data storytelling

Reducing complexity

In an era where information inundates every corner of our professional landscape, simplicity emerges as a guiding principle in effective data storytelling. The call is clear: advocate for simplicity in both language and visuals, ensuring your data story is accessible to all members of your audience.

Language Simplicity: Complex jargon and convoluted terminology can act as barriers to understanding. Embrace clear and concise language, choosing words that resonate with a broad audience. Your goal is not to showcase your vocabulary but to convey the essence of your data story in a way that everyone can grasp.

Visual Simplicity: Complexity in data visualizations often leads to confusion. You do not gain style points for making data visualizations complex and difficult to interpret. Instead, opt for visual simplicity. Choose charts and graphs that convey the message without overwhelming the viewer. Consider the power of minimalist design, where each visual element serves a clear purpose.

The art of simplicity in data storytelling lies in finding the delicate balance between conveying intricate insights and ensuring comprehensibility. Simplicity does not mean sacrificing depth; rather, it involves distilling complexity into a form that enlightens rather than perplexes.

The theme: Emotion and impact

In the realm of data, numbers tell a story, but it’s the human connection that makes it memorable. Data storytelling is not just about numbers; it’s about people.

Humanizing Data: Every data point represents a real-world scenario, a decision, or an outcome that impacts individuals. Infuse life into your data by humanizing it. Share anecdotes, testimonials, or real-life examples that resonate with your audience. By connecting data to real people, you create a narrative that goes beyond statistical significance.

The true power of emotion in data storytelling lies in its ability to inspire action. An emotionally resonant story is more than a set of charts; it’s a call to action. 

Within a compelling data story each element contributes to the overall harmony. It is also important to maintain consistency in your data narrative.

The twist: Can AI effectively assist in data storytelling?

AI in data storytelling: A double-edged sword

Data and analytics are always evolving and changing. Along with many other use cases, Artificial Intelligence (AI) emerges as a powerful tool to aid in crafting compelling narratives. However, this opportunity also comes with its complexities and challenges. Let’s explore how AI can effectively assist in data storytelling, its responsible usage, and the potential pitfalls that counteract efforts to tell a story with data.

AI’s role in enhancing data storytelling

AI offers the ability to sift through vast datasets, identifying patterns and trends that a human might overlook. Automation from AI can also assist in uncovering key narratives without as much of an exhaustive manual effort. With the help of AI, data stories can be tailored for specific audience segments, considering individual preferences and comprehension levels. This personalization ensures that the narrative resonates with diverse stakeholders, enhancing engagement and understanding.

Using predictive analytics can also be a big factor in forecasting future trends based on historical data. Integrating these predictions into data stories provides a forward-looking dimension, empowering decision-makers with strategic insights.

Responsible use of AI in data storytelling

It is important to be transparent about how you use AI algorithms to contribute to data storytelling. Specifically, outlining how AI is being used to process data ensures that stakeholders understand the methodology behind automated insights. This is critical for building trust with your audience.

While AI assists in streamlining the data analysis process, human oversight is absolutely imperative and neglecting the need for human oversight when building a data story could result in a less effective narrative. Human intuition and contextual understanding add a nuanced layer to storytelling that AI may lack. Striking a balance between AI assistance and human interpretation is key to responsible usage.

There is also a risk of AI identifying correlations without establishing causation. This can lead to misinterpretation of data relationships, potentially distorting the narrative and steering decision-makers in the wrong direction.

If you endeavor to use AI as a tool in your toolkit, to enhance your story, rather than using it as a crutch to tell your story, you will be exponentially more effective. 

The resolution: Navigating success in data storytelling

By acknowledging and addressing complex datasets, avoiding unnecessary complexity to prevent misinterpretation, and encouraging data literacy across various teams, organizations can transform the potential impediments into catalysts for success in data storytelling. At Tallwave, our data experts are equipped to support your data storytelling needs. We can help you embrace technical advancements, foster a culture of collaboration, and prioritize education to bridge the knowledge gap. Let us help you tell a comprehensive data story today!

Categories
Customer Engagement Reaching New Customers SEO Strategy

Microconversions: Unlocking the power of incremental steps in your conversion funnel

Introduction: What is a microconversion?

In the dynamic world of digital marketing, where every click and interaction matters, understanding microconversions is crucial. But what exactly are they? Let’s start by demystifying this term.

What is a microconversion?

A microconversion is any incremental step a user takes to show initial interest in your brand or product. Unlike the grand finale of a macroconversion, like a product purchase or subscription that constitutes a final goal and often achieves a financial outcome, microconversions are the incremental steps along the way that lead up to those final actions. Imagine a visitor to your website as a curious explorer embarking on a journey. Along the way, they encounter various signposts, each representing a microconversion. These small actions might not lead immediately to a purchase, but they’re part of the breadcrumb trail that leads prospective customers to that final transaction.

Learn more about the power of the “micro-yes” in sales.

Why do microconversions matter?

1. Trust building and brand advocacy

Microconversions are like the first handshake between you and your potential customer. At the earlier stages of the buying journey, some common microconversions include:

  • Email newsletter sign-up: When a visitor subscribes to your newsletter, they express interest in staying connected. This small commitment builds trust and opens the door for further communication.
  • Social media sharing: When someone shares your content on social platforms, they vouch for your brand. Their endorsement reaches a wider audience, potentially attracting new visitors and signaling trust and confidence in your brand.

2. Insights into user behavior and intent

Microconversions provide valuable insights into user behavior. By tracking these smaller interactions, you gain a deeper understanding of what resonates with your audience and gain insights into the stage of the buyer’s journey they’re in and their needs at that stage. Examples include:

  • Page views: The number of pages a visitor views indicates their level of engagement. High page views suggest interest, while low views may signal disinterest. The nature of the content on the pages viewed can also illuminate stage and intent. For example, if a visitor navigates to specific product pages, adds products to a cart, or reviews a page on returns, those behaviors are all microconversions on the path to purchase that signal a higher degree of intent than a visitor that lands on your home page and then leaves.
  • Comments on blog articles: Engaged users often leave comments. These interactions reveal their preferences and pain points.

3. Optimization opportunities

Microconversions act as breadcrumbs leading you through the forest of user experience. They can also serve as a “canary in the coalmine” of your digital engagements, signaling friction that can then be resolved and highlighting areas for improvement. Consider:

  • Process milestones: These are linear steps toward the primary macroconversion. Analyzing them helps identify bottlenecks and UX pain points. For example, for one client, we pinpointed significant dropoff between the process milestones of viewing a product page and adding the product to a cart, particularly for mobile users. We discovered this was due to an issue causing the “add to cart” button to display much further down the page than intended, causing many users to overlook it and abandon the page. Addressing this issue allowed us to increase add-to-cart actions by 3.8x.
  • Secondary actions: These desirable but non-primary goals indicate potential future macroconversions. Examples include downloading an ebook, creating an account, or watching a video. Using these secondary actions as opportunities to deploy targeted outreach can be a great way to optimize the path to purchase with stage-specific content and messaging that nurtures prospective customers toward other high-value actions.

Monitoring and measuring microconversions: Enhancing your conversion insights

Understanding what microconversions are and the signals they represent is only half the battle. Unlocking their power to gain insights into the path to macroconversions and inform strategies for optimizing digital experiences to improve conversion requires ongoing monitoring and measurement. Both the types of data each microconversion produces and the methods for collecting and analyzing that data vary:

Qualitative data

Qualitative data can be invaluable for getting a sense for how effectively website visitors are navigating to and completing microconversions and where they may be encountering roadblocks in the path toward macroconversions. Here are some common approaches for gathering qualitative data on microconversions and examples of these measurement methodologies in action:

Heat mapping & scroll mapping

Heat mapping is like having a thermal camera for your website. It visually represents user behavior by highlighting the “hot” and “cold” areas of a webpage based on where users click, scroll, hover, and otherwise interact with the page (and where they don’t). Here’s how it works:

  • Heat maps: These colorful overlays show where users click, move their mouse, or spend the most time. Red and orange areas indicate high activity, while blue and green areas are less frequented.
  • Scroll maps: These reveal how far users scroll down a page. Understanding where visitors drop off helps optimize content placement.

Example: Imagine an e-commerce site. A heat map reveals that users consistently click on the “Add to Cart” button but rarely explore the footer links. This insight prompts you to enhance the checkout process and reposition critical links.

Session recording

Session recording is like a digital surveillance system for your website. It records user sessions, capturing every click, scroll, and interaction through the eyes of the user. Key points:

  • User behavior: Watch real users navigate your site. Understand their pain points, hesitations, and moments of delight.
  • Error identification: Spot usability issues, broken links, or confusing forms.

Example: You notice users repeatedly abandoning their cart during the payment step. Session recordings reveal that a confusing coupon code field is causing frustration. Fixing this leads to higher conversions.

Quantitative data

Quantitative data brings a numerical lens illuminating actions that can be counted, measured, or otherwise described in numbers. Where qualitative data can help you channel the perspectives and feelings of website visitors, quantitative can put that data into perspective in terms of its frequency and impact. Here’s how quantitative data on microconversions is often collected:

Basic analytics tools

  • Google Analytics (GA): The Swiss Army knife of web analytics, GA tracks user behavior, traffic sources, custom website conversion rates, and more. It’s free and essential for any website.
  • Built-in e-commerce analytics: Platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, or Magento offer built-in analytics. They provide insights specific to e-commerce, such as product performance, revenue, and customer demographics.

Example: GA shows that your blog attracts high traffic, but few readers proceed to the product pages. You optimize the blog-to-product link placement, resulting in increased sales.

Funnel reports

Funnel reports visualize the user journey. They break down the conversion process into stages:

  1. Awareness: Visitors arrive on your site.
  2. Interest: They explore content, view products, or sign up.
  3. Consideration: Users add items to their carts or engage with your services.
  4. Conversion: The final purchase or desired action.

Example: An e-learning platform’s funnel report reveals that most users drop off during the “Interest” stage. You tweak the landing page content, leading to better engagement.

Remember, microconversions are the stepping stones that pave the way for macro success. By combining qualitative and quantitative insights, you’ll create a conversion funnel that’s both user-friendly and revenue-boosting! 

Making the most of microconversions: Optimizing for conversion

The final step is putting qualitative and quantitative data-driven insights to work to optimize the digital experience to increase the microconversions (and ultimately macroconversions) your audience is successfully completing. This can be done broadly to optimize the digital experience as a whole or more narrowly to optimize for a specific high-value action through two distinct but interrelated approaches: 

Digital Experience Optimization (DXO)

Digital Experience Optimization (DXO) is the strategic process of enhancing user interactions with digital technologies to drive superior customer experiences. It encompasses a holistic approach to improving every touchpoint where users engage with your brand online. DXO aims to create seamless, personalized, and delightful experiences across websites, mobile apps, social media, and other digital channels.

Why does DXO matter?

  • Customer expectations: In today’s digital landscape, customers expect smooth, relevant interactions. DXO ensures you meet these expectations.
  • Business impact: Positive digital experiences lead to increased customer loyalty, higher conversion rates, and improved brand perception.

We discovered this was due to an issue causing the “add to cart” button to display much further down the page than intended, causing many users to overlook it and abandon the page. Addressing this issue allowed us to increase add-to-cart actions by 3.8x.

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) focuses on improving the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action, such as making a purchase, signing up, or downloading content. It involves data-driven experimentation to enhance user experience and drive conversions.

Core elements of CRO

CRO applies a systematic approach to increasing high-value action completion by identifying and testing solutions to resolve friction points along the path to conversion to continuously improve performance. This process includes:

  1. Setting expectations: Clearly define goals and success metrics for each conversion action.
  2. User insights: Understand user behavior through analytics, heatmaps, and session recordings.
  3. Hypothesis development: Formulate hypotheses about what changes will improve conversions.
  4. Testing velocity: Regularly test variations (A/B tests, multivariate tests) to validate hypotheses.
  5. Cross-device testing: Ensure consistent experiences across different devices.
  6. Pre-test prototypes: Validate ideas before full implementation.
  7. Limit changes: Focus on impactful modifications rather than overwhelming redesigns.

Best practices for optimization

While CRO is focused on a specific digital experience, doing it effectively requires considerations that extend well beyond the specific microconversions you’re trying to improve, including:

  • Keyword research: Understand user intent and optimize content accordingly.
  • On-page SEO: Optimize meta tags, headings, and content for search engines.
  • User experience (UX): Prioritize intuitive navigation, fast loading times, and mobile responsiveness.
  • Content quality: Create valuable, relevant content that resonates with your audience.
  • Backlink building: Earn high-quality backlinks to improve authority.

Remember, DXO and CRO are ongoing processes. Continuously analyze, test, and optimize to create exceptional digital experiences and drive conversions. Let us show you how to incorporate this must-have continuous improvement cycle into your business!

Categories
Customer Engagement Uncategorized

Cloud security management: Safeguarding your data

Over the past few years marketing and IT teams have been flying high with cloud-based innovations. These servers and software “in the sky” are aimed at improving flexibility, scalability, and efficiency of handling and accessing the data that empowers marketers to make the informed decisions they need to reach their target audiences and provide great consumer experiences. From collecting and storing paid media analytics to scheduling automated campaigns, the cloud seems to be the key fueling your brand’s digital ascent. 

But as you soar amidst the data-driven clouds, a question whispers in the wind: is your data safe?

Enter cloud security management, the vigilant guardian in this digital sky. It’s the framework, the set of tools, the sleepless protector ensuring your prized marketing data navigates the cloud with confidence and integrity.

The cloud security landscape: From seedling to towering tree

Cloud security’s journey began decades ago, as a tiny sapling sprouting from concerns about online data vulnerability. Today, it stands tall as a mighty oak, offering robust solutions across industries. But for marketers and IT teams who rely on high-quality data to drive actionable insight, understanding where you are in this forest is crucial. Are you just planting the seeds of cloud adoption, or do you have sprawling data ecosystems nestled within its branches? Identifying your stage sets the foundation for your cloud security management journey.

Learn more about Data Strategy and Analytics Services at Tallwave.

Understanding data protection: The roots of secure marketing

The heart of cloud security management is data protection. For many marketing teams, this translates to safeguarding customer information, campaign creatives, and brand-sensitive data. For others, like those who rely on healthcare web analytics data, the roots are even deeper. 

However, cloud security management isn’t without a few thorns. Today’s marketing landscape throws myriad security challenges our way:

  • Evolving threats: Hackers, malware, and data breaches constantly evolve, demanding dynamic, adaptable security measures.
  • Fragmented ecosystems: Multi-cloud environments and third-party integrations multiply data touchpoints, creating a complex security puzzle.
  • Human error: Accidental data leaks or inadequate employee training can unintentionally expose vulnerabilities.

To combat these growing threats, marketing and IT teams might consider an approach with two branches:

1. Data classification and encryption

Prioritize your data, classifying it based on sensitivity and implementing robust encryption measures for high-value information. Secure cloud storage solutions further solidify your digital fortress.

2. Cloud security standards

Adopt industry-standard practices like strong password policies, access controls, and regular security audits. Remember, prevention now is always better than breakfixes later.

So, having acknowledged the critical role of data protection, the question that begs to be asked is: how can we actively implement best practices and tools to build a data sanctuary within the cloud that protects and enables our marketing initiatives?

Best practices for cloud security management: Building your data a secure shelter

Let’s delve deeper and explore the practical tools and best practices marketers and IT teams can leverage to ensure data stays safe in the cloud.

Cloud security monitoring and threat detection

Invest in tools that continuously monitor your cloud environment for suspicious activity and potential threats. Early detection is key to swift and effective containment. Tools can vary by cloud provider. Those using AWS might look to GuardDuty or Amazon Inspector, while those on Azure might consider Microsoft Defender for Cloud or Log Analytics.

Future-proof your environment

Stay ahead of the curve by constantly evaluating and updating your cloud security measures. Remember, the digital landscape is ever-shifting, and so must your defense mechanisms.

Secure cloud storage

Choose reliable cloud storage solutions that offer robust security features, data redundancy, and disaster recovery options. Your marketing data deserves a digital vault, not a cardboard box.

Cloud security policy

Craft a comprehensive cloud security policy that outlines data handling procedures, employee training protocols, and incident response plans. Clear guidelines are your best friend in crisis mode.

Regulations like GDPR and HIPAA add another layer of complexity to the cloud security puzzle. Risk management in cloud security is key, by regularly assessing compliance and actively managing potential risks, you can chart a secure course through the regulatory waters. Other guidelines, like SOC 2 and ISO 27001, provide a roadmap for achieving and maintaining compliance, earning you precious trust and peace of mind.

Embarking on your secure cloud journey

Cloud security management may seem daunting and like a maze of risks and regulations. But remember, you don’t have to navigate it alone. Cloud security solutions abound, offering tools, expertise, and managed services to guide you every step of the way.


At Tallwave, we understand the intricacies of cloud security, especially in the dynamic world of digital marketing. Our team of marketing data strategy experts is ready to equip you with the knowledge, tools, and confidence to conquer the cloud’s highest peaks. Tallwave is just a cloud hop away; we’re here to help when you need us.

Categories
Strategy

From chaos to clarity: Data quality management for actionable insight

Data quality management empowers business success

Data quality plays a crucial role in the business landscape when it comes to informing strategy and enabling growth. As organizations strive to do more (or at least the same) with less, mastering data quality management is imperative. Collecting and analyzing the right data points can help you retain customers, enhance customer experiences, optimize campaigns, boost acquisition, and achieve sustainable growth even as the economy shifts.

But in today’s data-driven environment with evolving tracking technology, compliance demands, and AI disrupting the status quo, problems with data quality and quantity problems are amplified. And these issues come with a steep price: misinterpreted insights, wasted resources, and even concerns with ethics, transparency, and consumer privacy.

Effective data quality management is complex, but it doesn’t have to be. Understanding the causes and consequences of poor data quality, finding a source of truth, building a data-driven culture, and working with the right data enablement partner all come together to empower informed decisions that lead to outstanding experiences. 

Missed opportunities: Causes and consequences of poor data quality

Once upon a time, CMOs and growth leaders spent their days thinking about brand strategy with creative license and assumed success came from stellar messaging. But today, these roles hinge on emerging technology, marketing agility, and driving ROI while expecting immediate results — all of which depend on quality data.

Statistics reported in the 2023 Braze Customer Engagement Review indicate that more than one-third of marketing leaders cite the collection, integration, management, and accessibility of data as their top challenges when it comes to customer engagement.

These data challenges come in many different forms. Here are a few common problems in marketing data quality management:

More data, more problems

Organizations often find themselves drowning in a sea of information in the era of big data. According to the Braze survey mentioned above, a staggering eight out of every ten leaders surveyed admitted to collecting more data than they can realistically use.

Graphic image displaying that 8 out of 10 marketing leaders believe they are over-collecting data.

Data down the drain

With so much data at hand, so much goes to waste. Experian’s most recent data experience research report stated that an estimated 73% of all collected marketing data goes unused. Overcollected and underutilized data can come with high costs, ranging from consumer privacy risks to wasted resources.

Have you stored your historical data from Universal Analytics? The clock is ticking! Learn more about GA4 migration.

Standardization struggles

A lack of standardization and guidelines in your data strategy leads to all kinds of complications. Inconsistencies across systems and departments create confusion, and inaccurate data can mislead decision-making processes. Incomplete data leads to gaps in insights, while outdated data fails to reflect the current reality. This results in unreliable data and an inability to inform strategy.

Disparate times, disparate measures

Fragmented data is a major challenge for many (if not all) organizations. According to a study conducted by Wakefield Research, 441 of the 450 senior data leaders surveyed indicated that data silos exist within their organization. In addition, 311 of the same leaders report they have “trapped” data they cannot access. Rescuing trapped data can open opportunities for actionable insights.

What happens when organizations unlock trapped data? You’ll find untapped insights into user interactions that allow you to create outstanding customer experiences. Learn more about Tallwave’s success with data unification and enablement strategy.

Left brain, right brain

What causes all the data debacles? It could be that marketing people and data people don’t always speak the same language. Braze found that 42% of respondents reported that their top data management challenge stems from working with internal data scientists and IT departments who don’t understand marketing priorities. The second biggest challenge is that marketing talent lacks data skills.

Infographic stating that 42% of respondents reported that their top data management challenge stems from working with internal data scientists and IT departments who don’t understand marketing priorities.

Data mismanagement comes with consequences that can be summarized in two words: missed opportunities. Without a data-driven strategy, you’ll likely end up with wasted resources and miss out on what matters: customer retention, acquisition, and growth.

Seizing opportunities: 4 considerations for collecting quality data

Access to high-quality data enables business leaders to better understand their customers: their needs, preferences, expectations, and buying habits. This understanding helps companies successfully satisfy and engage customers, increase brand awareness, and drive sales conversions.

While ongoing data quality management might feel like an uphill battle, there are a few best practices you can implement to harness the power of accessible analytics. 

Here are four actionable steps to consider:

  1. Align data collection with business goals: Start by aligning your data collection efforts with your organization’s goals and objectives. By focusing on the data that truly matters, you can avoid the trap of over-collection and instead gather the insights necessary to drive meaningful actions.
  2. Standardize data across systems and departments: Establishing data standardization protocols is vital to ensure consistency and accuracy. Implementing standardized data models, formats, and definitions across systems and departments fosters a unified view of the data and enhances its reliability.
  3. Implement data validation and verification processes: Introduce robust data validation and verification processes to maintain data integrity. These processes involve checking for completeness, identifying and resolving inconsistencies, and ensuring data accuracy through various validation techniques.
  4. Invest in data cleansing, enrichment, and visualization tools: Leverage data cleansing and enrichment tools to improve the quality of your data. These tools can help identify and rectify errors, fill in missing information, and enhance the overall value of your data. Additionally, data visualization tools and dashboards give stakeholders the context they need to gain actionable insights from complex data sets.

Understanding and acting upon data compliance requirements are also significant considerations, especially in healthcare. Learn more about HIPAA-compliant web analytics.

Data-driven culture: Collaboration and metrics that matter

To truly master data quality management, organizations need to foster a data-driven culture. This kind of environment empowers leaders to put facts before instincts and take valuable action with each decision.

Unified team, unified data strategy

A data-driven culture is fueled by connection. The symbiotic relationship between data scientists and marketing specialists enables realizing your analytics tools’ full potential, allowing your organization to make data-driven decisions and achieve greater results. When marketing teams and data teams combine forces and truly understand each other, priorities are aligned. 

Prioritizing data quality lets you unlock valuable insights, reach your target audience more effectively, and ultimately enhance customer experiences while maximizing the return on your marketing investment.

The first step in creating a culture defined by data is finding a data strategy and analytics partner who truly understands the metrics that matter. A true enablement partner, like Tallwave, can help you narrow down the most relevant data points to avoid overcollection and support unification. You’ll have access to meaningful insights that drive positive outcomes.


Ready to embrace data enablement? Let’s chat. We can work together to create a unified data strategy that gives you the information needed to implement outstanding experiences. Reach out to Tallwave now.

Categories
Strategy

Healthcare Web Analytics in 2023: Get Your Data In Order

On December 1, 2022, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) issued a bulletin stating that the use of third-party cookies, pixels, and other tracking technology by healthcare companies may be violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This is in the wake of a year of unprecedented data breaches involving business associates, or third-party vendors, throughout the healthcare industry. 

Bar chart showing a steep increase in healthcare data breaches since 2016
Source: www.hipaajournal.com/healthcare-data-breach-statistics

2022 saw over 700 healthcare data breaches impacting more than 50 million individuals. And nearly a third of the ten most significant breaches were due to third-party tracking pixels from companies like Google and Meta (Facebook). While Google and Meta help companies understand their website and other owned properties’ usage, users of the platform have inadvertently also exposed data ranging from personally identifiable information such as Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, and financial account information to medical record numbers, insurance account numbers, and more.

Chart showing healthcare analytics data breaches by entity
Source: www.hipaajournal.com/healthcare-data-breach-statistics

Such breaches come with hefty financial penalties, including fines, settlements, and other repercussions for the entities involved. But a more significant impact is felt by the consumer whose data has been compromised, as stolen personal information can result in identity theft. And recovery from identity theft is often a long and burdensome process.  

Graph showing a steep increase in the number of individuals impacted by healthcare analytics breaches since 2016
Source: www.hipaajournal.com/healthcare-data-breach-statistics

Up until last December when HHS issued its bulletin, it had not provided formal guidelines regarding sensitive healthcare data and HIPAA relative to online tracking technologies. So what does this announcement mean and how can healthcare organizations stay HIPAA compliant?

What do the HHS changes mean for healthcare organizations?

A good starting point is an understanding of the technologies involved and the risks they pose. The HHS announcement specifically speaks to tracking technologies, often third-party, which are generally anonymized. Tracking cookies, specifically pixels, are tiny bits of embedded code used to track a site visitor’s online activity. The data collected from the pixels provides insights that allow the site owner to develop marketing strategies, such as on-site personalized experiences and off-site retargeting campaigns, specific to each site visitor’s behaviors and interactions.

The problem? Many healthcare organizations are using third-party pixels to gain a better understanding of how they can optimize the digital experiences within their public-facing websites and patient portals. And these pixels may be sharing protected health information (PHI) inadvertently with third parties. Most often, the concern lies with pixels on the patient portal, a secure website or application where patients can access and interact with their health data. But PHI can also be collected from the public website and mobile apps in the form of cookies, web beacons, fingerprinting scripts, and other scripts. 

So what constitutes PHI? 

Protected health information is any information related to an individual’s past, present, or future health, healthcare, or payment for healthcare. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Medical records, be they physical, electronic, or spoken
  • Information pertaining to billing, insurance, or of any financial aspect of an individual’s health or healthcare
  • Demographic information
  • Mental health conditions
  • Tests and laboratory results 
  • All information related to an individual’s diagnosis, treatment, or prognosis
  • Anonymous session user ID

As of December 1, 2022, anonymous session user ID is considered PHI.

Anonymous user identification allows the website to anonymously identify unique site visitors without the user having to log in or consent to a tracking cookie. Anonymous sessions are captured and aggregated and can include data such as (but not limited to) the user’s IP address, geographic location, language, device, and mobile carrier, but is generally, as the name suggests, anonymous. However, HHS has deemed that these data points connect the individual to the entity and therefore can be related to the individual’s past, present, or future health, healthcare, or payment for healthcare.

The addition of anonymous session user ID considered as PHI now adds additional complexity to an already confusing data security landscape. Furthermore, in order to protect themselves and their patients, the onus is on healthcare providers to ensure they and their partners are not improperly using tracking technology on the healthcare provider’s digital properties, mobile apps, etc.

How can healthcare organizations keep web analytics HIPAA compliant?

As there is no easy website or mobile app consent solution, it is best to develop a compliant strategy that will protect both the healthcare organization and its consumers. Developing a compliant strategy requires engaging all departments (marketing, marketing analytics, legal, IT, etc.) and ensuring organizational alignment around it. This starts with examining your current analytics tech stack to determine if it meets both the organization’s needs and HHS requirements.

Is Google Analytics HIPAA compliant?

Over 28 million websites worldwide currently use Google Analytics, over four million of which are in the United States. Of all U.S. industries that use Google Analytics, hospital and healthcare companies are the third most prevalent. Google Analytics isn’t the only option for tracking website data, but it has the largest market share, and for good reason. It is robust and intuitive. But Google Analytics has also faced challenges, having been banned in a few European countries due to General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) violations. Google did take steps toward addressing the European Union’s GDPR requirements with its recent release of GA4.

So, does Google Analytics meet the new requirements outlined in the HHS bulletin? The simple answer is no. In basic and 360 configurations, GA3 and GA4 no longer meet the HHS compliance requirements. This is primarily due to specific attributes of the data sets, specifically the session and user ID dimensions. 

As a result, healthcare companies are expediting their searches for alternative platforms that will provide organizations with the information they need to measure their digital customer experiences and — more importantly — store that data securely.

After the Universal Analytics sunset on July 1, 2023, you will have a minimum of six months to access your previously processed data. Are you ready to transition to GA4?

What are the best next steps toward achieving compliance?

The first step is to identify and outline requirements for a cohesive transition to a new, compliant platform. The most important of these requirements is a HIPAA-compliant analytics platform provider, one that will be covered under a Business Associates Agreement (BAA). The good news is there are a handful of platforms available that fit this important need. 

Additionally, all businesses are unique and have priorities that must be considered when planning a transition to a new analytics platform. Some examples of priorities might include ease of implementation, tag management capabilities, user limits, integrations with other Google products, and interface complexity, among other things. 

Once requirements have been prioritized across internal teams, analytics owners will be able to guide a best-fit decision.

Whether your organization has been using Universal Analytics for years or you have recently migrated to GA4, Tallwave can help you organize around your requirements, gain internal alignment, and provide expertise on next best options all the way through the implementation and reporting transition. Reach out when you’re ready to learn more.

Categories
Customer Engagement

Developing Nurture Strategies That Decrease Time to Value

Whether you’re nurturing prospects or guiding product qualified leads through a free trial, intentionally crafting their journey allows you to coach potential buyers toward a purchase decision. Weak points in your nurture could be the cause of a low conversion rate.

Understanding the mechanics of a great nurture hinges largely on the concept of time to value (TTV), which refers to the time between when a customer takes an action and when the value of that action becomes obvious to them. TTV can help you diagnose where your nurture might be weak. For example, if you’re seeing low conversions from your free trial, it could be the case that your TTV is actually longer than the trial itself. This concept could apply to many points in the customer journey. Marketo found that 96% of website visitors aren’t ready to buy based on their initial visit. That’s when nurturing strategies come into play. Your nurture strategy helps to move customers through the marketing funnel with touch points that help communicate the value your product or service provides.

Tweaks to the nurture strategy can improve the customer experience and increase customer engagement and conversions. We worked with a SaaS company to revamp their nurture strategy to do just this. Originally, their customer onboarding experience had an ambiguous timeline and the high value actions weren’t made clear. We recommended changes that pivoted to an action-based nurture that reduced friction and personalized touch points. By identifying three critical stages in the trial onboarding period, we divided actions between what we called work, play and commit. We then frontloaded the sign up friction in the work stage. That allowed us to reduce the TTV and move customers through the play stage and toward commitment.

Also read: Uncovering the Root Cause of Low Conversion Rates to Unlock Continual Growth

If you’re trying to improve your customer nurture journey, there are some key best practices to incorporate. Here’s what to know.

Best Practices

Statistics show that 74% of companies are prioritizing improving conversion rates over the next 12 months, indicating this is a more important business need than driving traffic to their websites or even increasing customer lifetime value.

Here’s what to keep in mind if you are looking to revamp your nurture strategy to optimize your conversions and increase customer engagement:

  • Personalize: No one wants to feel like they’re receiving a cookie-cutter message from you so take the time to personalize your messaging based on customer actions. This goes beyond simply addressing them by name and takes into consideration where they might be in the journey.
  • Segment your lists: You can’t personalize if you aren’t segmenting, so be sure to divide your list by specific data points. There are many ways you can do this beyond the basic demographics of age and gender. You can create segments such as location, transaction history, web browsing history, and even device type.
  • Get creative and specific. Create multiple touch points: You should think of your nurture as greater than just one email. Consider all the channels you can use to nurture your customers — email, text message, retargeting ads. Make your communication ecosystem work together to create a world that pulls your customer in.
  • Include a call-to-action: In all your messages there should be a clear call-to-action that helps your customers understand their next steps. Keep it short and compelling.
  • Split test: Develop the practice of being data-lead by A/B testing all of your messaging. It’s hard to be entirely sure which subject line, call-to-action or topics will resonate with your audience, so let the data lead the way.

No one wants to feel like they’re receiving a cookie-cutter message from you so take the time to personalize your messaging based on customer actions.


Validation Strategy Framework

Make your communication ecosystem work together to create a world that pulls your customer in.

Product-Focused Campaign

Educate potential customers on everything your product can help them achieve with a product-focused nurture that highlights your most important features.

 

Purpose: Become a trusted thought leader for your prospects as they advance through the sales cycle.

 

Strategy: Highlight features that solve pain points using case studies, white papers, and internal data.

 

Success metric: You’ll want to determine if customers are using the specific features you’re highlighting for them in your nurture. This can tell you if the features you’re explaining are resonating with them or if you need to find more relevant features for their goals.

Competitive Campaign

A competitive campaign is more aggressive than other nurtures on this list. For this type of a nurture you’ll get specific about what differentiates your product, and what users have to lose if they choose one of your competitors.

 

Purpose: If you have a main competitor that customers are constantly weighing against you, a competitive campaign can work to overcome their objections by educating them about how you are better positioned to help them achieve success.

 

Strategy: Use specific information gathered during sales calls to address main objections without coming across as negative. Any press you’ve obtained or industry intelligence that proves your worth can be helpful here.

 

Success metric: Count actions such as signing up for your trial or upgrades to determine the success of this campaign.

Promotional Nurturing

Promotional nurturing can help move prospects across the finish line with a limited time, exclusive offer that encourages them to act now.

 

Purpose: Promotional nurturing helps you close a sale when you are in the purchase stage of the cycle.

 

Strategy: If you’re working with a big account that could significantly impact your business, offer special pricing or access to upgraded features based on what you know their needs are. For smaller accounts, adding a discount to your email nurture toward the end of the trial stage can inspire users to upgrade.

 

Success metric: For account-based selling, assess how many times you are able to close the sale. For product qualified leads, review how often your discount code has been used.

 

Also read: Optimizing paid media strategies to continually increase leads year over year

Your goal should be to help your customer get the value they are seeking faster by sending the right message at the right time.

How to Assess & Redesign Your Nurture Strategy

Improving your nurture strategy starts with assessing user behavior to identify where you can aid with value realization. This might include collating more data on your users so you can do a better job segmenting your nurtures. It could also include competitive research that helps you identify other journeys your users might be experiencing as they compare your service.

 

Use this research to map your entire customer conversion experience to identify opportunities to increase customer engagement. Then, identify gaps in content and specific trigger points that could reduce the time to value. If you find quick wins, implement these immediately while preparing your campaign overhaul.

The Bottom Line

There are so many ways you can nurture your relationship with your customers to increase engagement, prove your value and turn trial users into paying clients. The key to it all is constantly iterating by using data to understand what your customers are experiencing at each step in the journey. Customizing your messaging to respond to their actions and experiences will help you personalize each nurture touch point, increase customer engagement and prove the value of your product or service.

Categories
Innovators Series Uncategorized

Innovators Q&A: How Johnson & Johnson Is Pairing Data With Creativity to Connect With Customers Like Never Before

A big brand name is no longer a differentiator. In fact, according to the Customers 2020 study, neither is price or product. While those factors may naturally drive more awareness or familiarity, they no longer drive trust and credibility or dependably convert consumers to buyers and advocates. Actually, if you think of it, big legacy brands might have even larger hurdles to overcome in achieving the cross-functional alignment and agreeance it takes to transform customer journeys and craft personalized, valuable experiences at every touchpoint.

 

There’s really only one way huge companies – like Johnson & Johnson – can be innovative in a fast-changing marketplace. They must learn how to pair data and analytics with design and creativity to cultivate authentic strategies that place the humans they serve at their core. Even if that means spending money to create experiences that have no guaranteed ROI.

 

To learn more about how Johnson & Johnson is thinking about and approaching customer experience, we talked to Matthew Fantazier, Senior Brand Manager for Johnson & Johnson’s Baby businesses, including Aveeno Baby and Desitin. As you’ll learn during the conversation, hosted by our very own Founder and CEO Jeffrey Pruitt, Matthew is passionate about bringing together insights, data, and technology to connect authentically with today’s consumers.

 

Prior to his current role, Matthew led digital strategy and media at J&J’s OTC business for Digestive Health, Cough Cold Flu and Eye Care. He has also worked on brands such as ZYRTEC®, SUDAFED®, and BENGAY®. Through his experiences and first-hand interactions with evolving customer experiences, Matthew shares his unique insights and perspective as it pertains to the future of CX.

Q&A with Johnson & Johnson Senior Brand Manager Matt Fantazier

 

Jeff Pruitt: We’d love to hear a little bit about both your personal and professional story. I saw that you interned at Deloitte at the beginning of your career and then took a job as an analyst. So, you’ve always been very tied to brand strategy.

 

Matt Frantazier: I’ve been at J&J (Johnson & Johnson) for about 14 and a half years now, but I did start out as an accountant way back when. I studied accounting, got my CPA, and spent about seven years in finance at J&J, actually. I made the switch to marketing about eight years ago. And that’s definitely been a hallmark of my experience – combining the data and analytics side with creativity. That’s the exciting thing about what I get to do for work now: Combining those two things – data/analytics and creativity – to connect with consumers.

 

JP: That’s great. I actually am, too, a CPA and studied accounting. I don’t know why I actually got into it, but I love [working] more on the marketing and branding side. We’ll get into how data and brand connect, but first, how do you believe marketing strategies have been forced to change for big legacy brands like Johnson & Johnson during COVID?

 

MF: Well, you know, I think the evolution really changed before COVID and… this has been talked about a lot, but the last 10 months or so just accelerated a lot of things that had been advancing maybe at a medium [or] slow pace, but the need to change has been right in our faces. I think one of the biggest evolutions is brands and companies thinking about moving away from advertising and retail and [instead, thinking about] enabling access. How do we enable access to consumers and how do we foster discovery versus just advertising? I think that’s one of the biggest changes that I’ve seen in what we’re thinking about [at Johnson & Johnson]. COVID forced consumers to adopt all sorts of new habits and behaviors. More research is happening online [and on] social media. Consumers are becoming accustomed to different shopping experiences and we have to be there.

"Brands are being pushed to change as fast as the world around them is changing, and we can't wait for perfection."

There’s just countless specific things that have changed from a commerce perspective: E-commerce media habits, [and] consumer demands for brands to stand for something. There’s so much that has changed in the last 10 months. I think brands are just being pushed to change as fast as the world around them is changing. And we can’t wait for perfection. I think that’s the biggest challenge right now: So much has changed so fast that we have to try. You know, we’re in uncomfortable territory of not knowing – doing new things, operating differently – but we have to try to learn and adapt.

 

JP: Yeah. So, when you think about that and you’re pushing out different work streams or different approaches to drive an experience through your brand with your customer, how are you looking at that in conjunction with data, analytics, and creativity and design?

 

MF: The intersection of data and creativity – I think it’s just so much more prominent now. And it’s one of the bigger challenges we’re facing right now: Unlocking this data. There’s so much, and as more commerce and media consumption and interaction – on websites or wherever – happens online, there’s a data trail there. But, “What do we do with it?” is really the next big question. You can have all the data in the world, but if you don’t know what it means, – if you don’t understand what to do differently, or if it’s good or it’s bad – it’s sort of meaningless. So, you know, we seemingly know more about consumers as digital media matures and data becomes more robust, but you have to have that feedback loop to consistently learn and adapt…

 

One of the challenges there is that it can’t [just] be a machine.

 

At the end of the day, we’re talking to humans… They may be online and buying things online, but you still have to make that personal connection. I think that’s where the tension point really lies. Algorithms don’t make purchases. People do. So, the data can be incredibly powerful in understanding what’s working, what’s resonating, but you still need to grab attention and make a human connection there. The data is allowing us to try more things and push further, but I think it can be used as an enabler because you can quickly figure out [if] something is working or not, versus feeling trapped in [the mindset of] “We’re going to do what we know because it’s safe.” We can do unsafe things because of data – it’s unsafe from a performance standpoint – but it’s making that connection and creating that loop. That is really the biggest challenge, right now.

Also read: How We Created a Contemporary Experience For a Strong, Timeless Brand

 

JP: So, getting more specific, what kind of data do you look at? And how does that influence, for example, design – how you test design and get it out into the real world?

 

MF: Yeah, I mean, I think one of the things is that it’s not just one data source. It’s important to not get too myopic and focus on [something like] short term ROI, is a good example. It’s paying the bills. It’s keeping the lights on. That’s important, without a doubt, short-term ROI matters. I would lose my job if I ignored it. But it’s one data point. So, brand awareness or different equity metrics – those are important for long term health assessments to understand [if] what you’re doing [is] driving relevance with your consumer. Is it something that they like? Do people agree with what [you] stand for? You need both. You need to know: Is what you’re doing selling products? Is what you’re doing getting people to respond positively? It’s that mix. You need to understand all of it, which can be hard. It’s easy to anchor on the one good metric and declare a success, but we do need to take a broad approach to it.

 

JP: All too often, we’ll focus as marketers on the bottom of the funnel because it’s the most trackable, but at the same time, as you look at the upper- or mid-funnel, you are now able to track some brand awareness. And it’s important to make sure that you do measure it, but it shouldn’t get the same level of ROI expectation that you do at the bottom of the funnel.

 

MF: Yeah, it’s a different job to be done. You need all of it. I think it’s easy to [say], “My job is to sell product,” but really, it’s to create awareness, drive consideration, and sell product. You need to do all [of] that stuff.

"You can have all the data in the world, but if you don't know what it means, – if you don't understand what to do differently, or if it’s good or it’s bad – it's sort of meaningless."

JP: So, taking this to the experience you’re driving for your customer: How does Johnson & Johnson measure customer experience, both digitally and in store? What are the key components of understanding that experience and ensuring that it’s seamless – that it’s one of value – and that you’re educating the customer correctly?

 

MF: It’s really taking a look at the entire journey. There are so many touch points [within] consumer journeys today. And, I think when you look at it, the consumer journey being very non-linear is a reality that we’re dealing with.

 

So, customer experience [or] consumer experience takes a lot of shapes and forms… I’m thinking about what they need. What are the consumer’s current needs and expectations? You know, in my business, I talk to new parents a lot and they’re very information hungry. So, providing them with knowledge, information, education – about ingredients, or what our products do; how to give your child their first bath, [for example] – that’s relevant. They need that, that’s a lower purchasing barrier. But it may be tips, if it’s a more complex product. If you’re in a category that [doesn’t naturally provide an] intuitive process, or it takes some skill to use your product, you’re going to have to provide support. We see a lot of good examples from hardware stores – they do DIY videos on YouTube. That’s super important. If you don’t know how to install a toilet, you’re not going to go buy one. So, they need that – as far as the consumer journey and experience goes. It’s really [about] putting the consumer at the center, which is a little bit of a trite thing to say, but I think it’s true. First thing’s first.

 

JP: Implementing these strategies is really, really difficult for a lot of brands internally. When brands have a customer acquisition group, a brand group, and a customer experience group – the reality is that it’s still the same customer, they’re just entering your brand through different touch points and avenues. Your experience is resonating, you’re working on the acquisition, but then when you bring them in, it’s still that customer that you’re driving the experience to. Sometimes this journey spans across  multiple teams and stakeholders. How do you manage integrating all the good data that you get around the experience – like you mentioned, talking to actual mothers and parents – and then, embed that through a multitude of strategies that provides a seamless experience to the customer?

MF: We talk a lot about how consumers don’t actually know if they’re getting an ad from me, or from a retailer, or whomever. They see an ad for Johnson’s, and 99% of the time they just see, “Oh, it’s a baby shampoo,” or whatever. But in reality, to your point, there [are] so many parts of the ecosystem at play. It could be an ad or an experience that’s managed by a retailer partner; it can be managed by me, PR, an influencer. It’s so important to be coordinated and to have that partnership. We put a lot of effort into that discussion and alignment upfront: What are our objectives? How are we achieving these together? What is our one communications plan to make sure we’re not operating in silos? From a creative perspective, [that] it’s not different messages; From a data perspective, that we’re talking to the right people, and retargeting the right people, and bringing it all around and feeding insights to one another. It’s all the same consumer. We just trick ourselves into thinking it’s different, but it’s not.

 

JP: Right. Different stakeholders and sometimes different measurements, which drive different initiatives, but trying to align all those is, I think, where Nirvana sits both internally and [for] companies like ours: Trying to find that alignment for the customer sitting in the center.

 

MF: Yes, for sure.

 

JP: So, from a digital first strategy perspective, J&J is a huge legacy company with over 200 companies inside it. How do you drive that overall digital-first strategy as an organization?

 

MF: Yeah, we think about, again, putting the consumer at the center and thinking about, well, first, where are they actually spending their time? What are their actual behaviors in the real world [and where do] we want to interact with them? And digital-first, I think, can be misconstrued as digital only, or digital media, but there’s also a performance mindset that is important within a digital-first mindset of data collection, iteration, optimization, that also needs to be fed into this. But, from a consumer journey perspective, what are those moments along their journey where we can deliver a transformational brand-building experience? Where does it matter? Where is it really high stakes? And put our time and effort there to really make a difference. And, you know, it could be communications, it could be commerce technology, it could be an app experience, whatever. But really, digital-first doesn’t mean anything unless the consumers are there – it’s [zeroing into] a behavior of: They’re working from home, or they like to shop on their phone, or watch how-to videos before they buy something. So, putting ourselves in their shoes and then leveraging digital technology e-commerce to really enable those kinds of brand-building experiences.

"There's also a performance mindset that I think is important within a digital-first mindset of data collection, iteration, optimization, that also needs to be fed into this."

And then, as I mentioned, what have we learned from that, and how do we get better? That performance mindset, I think, to me, that’s what digital-first actually means, which is a lot, and pretty complex. But it’s not, “We’re going to run Facebook ads, and now we’re more digital-first.” That’s objectively not true. A lot of brands do that, and they’re totally not, but it’s a mindset shift, really.

 

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

 

JP: And it’s also a mindset shift to really understand that, even upfront, when you’re identifying your strategies, data can be utilized to understand deeper sentiment and intent from the persona. And also being able to look at engagement metrics, engagement features, and overall demand that does drive both your online and offline strategy through that journey. I think that’s missed a lot.

 

MF: Yeah, it’s getting back to that feedback loop. We don’t want media plans to live in silos. We don’t want insights living in silos, either. So, if you run a programmatic campaign and find out that “Claim X” drives twice as much conversion – it would be pretty good to know as you’re developing other communications or strategies that, “Hey, this is a behavior-changing message. This matters. Let’s think about that. Let’s iterate on this a little bit…” And that’s what we strive for. That’s, I think, Nirvana for me: Getting to that place, but to the extent [in which] you can use it as a research tool. I think that’s one of the less leveraged aspects of digital media right now, and why you’re seeing more and more CPGs getting [into] DTC commerce. I can’t imagine that a lot of these companies are making any money on having a DTC website, selling snacks or soda, but the data they’re getting from it is invaluable. And that’s why they’re doing it.

 

JP: Right. 2020-2021 has been a really interesting year. And COVID in many ways, like you said at the beginning of the [interview], drove the need to really understand the customer experience. If you were to define the experience that you want with your customer, as you continue to go into 2021, what does that relationship look like for J&J?

"If our mission is to make sure babies have the healthiest start to life, how do we not address a global health pandemic? That's crazy.".

MF: I think at a very high level, that relationship is one that is meaningful and relevant. That we are listening to what our consumers need and expect, and we’re delivering on that expectation. [It came into] real focus in the last year with brands: [the need] to think about how they adapt their communications in the face of COVID, and the face of social unrest and racial inequality, and all these different things. There’s a lot on consumers’ minds. It’s not just a product. It could be what’s happening at home or – [for example] – having to homeschool a child for the year, which is a huge challenge, as a lot of us know, right now. But really finding ways to resonate with them on that personal level. We’re a relevant brand, we’re meaningful, and we deliver against those expectations.

 

For us, a lot of new parents are coming into the category [during] a very challenging time. Right now, being an expecting parent is incredibly challenging, which is why last year we launched our #InItTogether program, which is a partnership with Meredith [in which] we created all sorts of different content and videos around what questions to ask your doctor before you go to the hospital; what to expect when you’re giving birth; can your partner be in the delivery room with you. All these sorts of questions we know were rattling around in parents’ minds. There was no tie to sales there, that was purely equity, but we knew we couldn’t talk about shampoos and lotions without addressing this enormous stressor that is happening in the lives of millions of people, right now. We had to talk about this. If our mission is to make sure babies have the healthiest start to life, how do we not address a global health pandemic? That’s crazy.

 

So, I think it’s thinking about that and knowing that we have to be relevant and, if we can continue to do that – if we can continue to make connections, meaningful connections with modern consumers – we’ll be okay. But it’s being agile enough to adapt with the needs and what’s happening in the world around us.

#InItTogether Campaign on Johsnon's Baby Instagram

Also read: How Avidon Health Is Solving the Patient Engagement Problem in Healthcare

 

JP: It’s really made prominent and propelled customer experience forward, faster than I think a lot of people would have expected and the authentic, transparent, empathetic approach to really understanding where people are in their day and their mindset. It’s different for everybody, but being able to – I don’t like the word “market,” as much as I like the [practice of being] able to connect with them with your offering, which is an offering of support, in many respects. So one last question for you. How do you define innovation for both the business that you’re in, and for J&J?

 

MF: I think it is finding what consumers actually want and need, and delivering on it. That could be product innovation to meet emerging needs. We see that across industries in response to the at-home economy now. People’s lives have dramatically changed in the last year. So, there’s new physical needs.

 

We’re also seeing a communications evolution and innovation. So, it could be: What are the needs of consumers, or what are their new questions? What are they wrestling with now? Like the example I gave with parenting information and around COVID. But, I think, regardless, again, it needs to be meaningful. And innovation can’t just be a fresh coat of paint. You can do that, that can work, but ideally it’s evolving with changing needs. If we’ve seen anything in the last year, we’ve seen that needs are changing really rapidly, and the brands and the companies that can continue to evolve and keep pace with what people are looking for, that’s the magic combination. It can be tough. Product innovation obviously takes time. For us, everything we do is backed in science and research. So, we can’t just quickly [get] new products out the door in a couple of weeks, but taking those insights and really thinking about: What are new parents or new consumers looking for? Are they looking for germ-killing characteristics in a wash, right now? Okay. Let’s think about that. How do we deliver on that? But it could also mean information, like the last example, too.

 

JP: Yeah. Well, Matt, from your background – from the very beginning to all the work that you’ve done at J&J – very, very insightful and great to have you on for the Innovator Series. So, I really appreciate your time and look forward to connecting again, soon.

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?

Play Video

Bunger Steel

Doing some things and making some impacts