Quick Promote has been an advertising product offering at Twitter for many years and existed before I joined the team in 2016. Primarily targeting newer customers with less knowledge of digital advertising, this product provided an opportunity for professional customers to pay a chosen amount of money to boost the impressions of an existing Tweet from the consumer Twitter experience.
Between 2016 and 2022, Twitter's ad business primarily focused on the top 20% of advertising accounts. These accounts consisted of large brands and agencies personally managed by members of Twitter's #Customers team. As a result, Quick Promote was merely maintained with no feature, performance, or usability improvements. Additionally, Quick Promote was only discoverable after a potential customer tapped into their Tweet Analytics. As a result, usage of Quick Promote was diminishing, along with the revenue driven by the product.
At the end of 2020, Twitter established a new cross-functional team to diversify and grow revenue. As that team successfully grew and identified professional accounts on Twitter's platform, the next logical step was to improve the entry point to digital advertising that those customers may experience. Thus, in 2021, Twitter began investing in Quick Promote again. This investment consisted of improving the performance of the primary serving model to optimize for social engagements, an entire rebuild of the customer experience to migrate it to a modern tech stack, a reduction in the cost to create a campaign, expanded goals, and additional targeting controls.
Although I was not directly managing these efforts in 2021, I was close to the project because I led the team working on Twitter's core advertiser experience. At this time, I was focusing a lot of early conversations around the roles of our different entry points for advertising customers and how we could use them to graduate customers to grow total revenue instead of potentially building new surfaces that merely reallocate existing advertising revenue.
While the team was reinvesting in Quick Promote, Apple became aware of the existing product and notified Twitter that it was potentially violating App Store policies. For Twitter's iOS app to remain in the App Store, the company decided to remove Quick Promote from the iOS application until the team could rebuild the product to align with the policies.
The SMB segment was a broad customer segment with few existing research insights. As a result, individuals and teams had constructed internal myths around what the customers wanted and needed.
For Quick Promote to be available on iOS, the team needed to redefine the experience to adhere to the App Store's policies.
Quick promote had a low adoption rate and high churn rate due to many years of no investment, poor product quality, and lack of discoverability.
As a Design team, we wanted to help our partners prioritize efforts that would increase discoverability, reduce friction, and, most importantly, set Quick Promote customers up for continued success.
As a result of presenting a vision for customer growth through the Advertiser Experience Vision project in 2021, the leadership moved Design for the SMB advertising efforts directly into the team I managed. Thus, Simple Ads (another SMB offering) became my leadership responsibility in the autumn of 2021, and Quick Promote followed in early 2022.
Within the Ads Design team, I established a pair of designers focused on our SMB efforts. Each designer was the owner of their project — Simple Ads and Quick Promote. However, they were required to collaborate with one another and the broader Ads Design team with the following principles:
Become experts on the customer segment for your product. Your responsibility is to learn as much as possible about your customer, their needs, and how the broader industry serves them so that you can inform your cross-functional team.
Focus on customer growth and lifetime value, not just acquisition. The focus should be on acquiring new customers, setting them up for success, and educating them to become more advanced to unlock larger budgets.
Leverage the ad platform rather than reinvent it. Train new customers on how to run successful campaigns on Twitter through Content Design and streamlining workflows by reducing choice and automatically setting defaults. Utilize existing components by simplifying their complexity and save creating unique workflows for where there is a distinct advantage.
Define boundaries for the experience. Delivering customer success is more important than features, and working with your partners to define the product experience's specific role to avoid becoming a new advanced workflow. Setting boundaries will encourage optimizing within the core feature set and only introduce features if they are critical in delivering customer success.
Solving for your customer extends beyond your immediate project. Lifetime success for our customers extends beyond ad creation and is an end-to-end journey. Thus, your responsibility is to represent your customers to the broader team in crits, reviews, and feedback.
In addition to focusing on building alignment within the Ads Design team, I invested time on a frequent cadence with VPs, Directors, and managers across Product, Engineering, and Research to align the teams on common goals. I specifically worked with our Research team to tighten how we identify the most valuable market opportunity within this broad customer segment to prioritize solving the customer needs that would yield the most significant returns.
Design for Quick Promote was led by a Product Designer 1 (eventually promoted to Product Designer 2) based in London. As a new manager on the project, I also invested time with them to understand what had informed any priorities or decisions up until this point. I also coached this designer toward a product perspective aligned with the team's goals. For example, one area that we focused on was how we would increase the revenue contributions of Quick Remote without constantly introducing new features. I was concerned that feature additions would overcomplicate the product offering for the target customer without establishing some boundaries.
As a result, the focus of the effort was around growing the customer base by improving the quality of the experience and identifying workflows that were most likely to set the customers up for success. Additionally, we needed to define a product experience that would comply with the App Store guidelines to relaunch Quick Promote on iOS. Finally, I identified a significant opportunity to increase the product's discovery, adoption, and scalability by introducing it within the Tweet creation process rather than on the published side.
In 2022, the focus was on improving the responsive web experience of Quick Promote, which twitter.com and the Twitter Android app utilized as well as relaunching Quick Promote as a native mobile experience on iOS. To achieve this, the team continually explored solutions through prototypes, validated them through research, and prioritized changes accordingly. Additionally, product requirements for the native iOS experience were proposed and evaluated against the policy requirements.
Impactful changes to Quick Promote included:
Adding illustrations and visual polish to make the overall experience more delightful.
Increasing discoverability by implementing promote buttons on published Tweets rather than requiring customers to find the offering in Tweet analytics.
Providing more context for goal selection to inform new customers, reduce complexity in the decision, and set customers up for success.
Improving the aesthetic layout of the targeting section across all platforms and the touch experience of age targeting on the native iOS experience. Also, friction was introduced for some controls to improve the optimal setup.
Bringing interaction consistency to budget and pricing to make the end-to-end experience more cohesive.
To relaunch the product on iOS as a native mobile experience, the team made the following changes:
Repositioned as a "boost" product with all references to advertising removed. As a result, all buttons to evoke the flow were changed from "promote" to "boost."
Removed the goal selection since the product focuses solely on boosting impressions and engagements.
Pricing packages are offered instead of campaign budget controls.
In-app payments replaced credit card purchases.
When the improved Quick Promote relaunched on iOS in mid-2022, Design explored and had solutions for future milestones. One of these included coupon workflows for enticing new and returning customers. Another series of explorations focused on bringing Quick Promote into the Tweet creation flow and using Tweet entry points to unlock boosting Tweets for more recent Twitter initiatives, including Spaces and commerce.
Across the second half of 2022, Quick Promote demonstrated the following results:
+30–40% increase in Quick Promote annual revenue attributed to relaunching on iOS
+30% increase in conversion rates and acquisitions through a $10 welcome coupon offering
There remains a lot of opportunity for Quick Promote as a product, but the effort in 2022 provided some key takeaways:
Focusing on the customer experience rather than feature expansion provided more valuable insights.
Partnering to help the cross-functional team execute against immediate priorities while exploring future opportunities allowed Design to influence future strategy and 2023 roadmaps.
While this advertising product primarily focused on revenue growth, I became increasingly interested in how its prosumer use case could benefit consumer metrics when we have customers paying to promote a surface within Twitter.