IBM Tip – API Playbook



Thank you to all who attended our session “A Marketer’s Practical Guide to the IBM Marketing Cloud API” at Amplify!

Whether you’ve never used the Watson Campaign Automation API or the only time you did was for the certification, this playbook will help you understand why the API test harness should be your BFF. As a marketers we have a lot of tools in our marketing toolkits and the API test harness is extremely valuable.

Extend the functionality of the Watson Campaign Automation UI by diving deeper into reporting, mass calculate queries, add and remove data, and so much more.

We share tips and tricks, how to get started, and breakdown each section of XML for one of our favorite API calls.

What Retailers Want Infographic

Digital-Dialogs-Banner



Thank you for joining our Digital Dialogs breakfast session “What Retailers Want” at High Point this week!

You can download the infographic we shared by filling out the form to the right.

Marketing Tip – MailChimp 101

So, What Exactly is MailChimp?

MailChimp is an email service provider (ESP) for small to midsize companies with a range of communication needs. Pricing is based of user’s list size and number of emails they would like to send. MailChimp offers an easy to use user interface with capabilities that personalize the experience for the sender and recipient.

How to Send an Email in MailChimp

MailChimp provides numerous campaign types and templates to customize for your needs. No HTML or CSS coding is necessary to use MailChimp with easy plug-and-chug systems in place. Follow along to see how to send an email:
Step 1
Locate and navigate to “Campaigns” in the top menu. Click “Create Campaign” to get started. Select the type of campaign you would like to build. In this case, we’ll start small. Let’s choose “Regular Campaign.”

MailChimp-Campaigns

Step 2
Choose your list. This is pretty simple – just select which of your lists you would like to send to from the drop-down menu. You then see the option to choose segments. This is where you would apply a specific set of rules to a targeted audience – or, just send to the whole list. (Hint – segmenting does wonders!)

MailChimp-Sender

Step 3
Complete your mailing settings. This includes all of the basics: mailing name, subject line, from name, from email address and tracking. MailChimp provides the option to personalize the “to” field based on data, or check different methods of tracing. The screenshot below shows the generic options – which suffice for a typical send.

MailChimp-MailingSettings

Step 4
Now, the fun begins! Don’t get overwhelmed with the mailing template options, go into this step with a general idea of how you would like to layout your email.

You may choose from basic templates, themes, saved templates (from previous sends), set campaigns, or code your own. Once you have your bearings within MailChimp, you can create a saved template with standardized assets such as your logo, header, and footer. For all future sends, you can select that saved template rather than starting from scratch each time.

For now, we will select a simple 1:2 Column Banded template.

MailChimp-Templates

Step 5
Design to your heart’s content! This is your chance to play with the drag and drop functionality within the platform. Pull different content blocks from the right side and insert images and copy to make the email your own. The template you start with is just a jumping off point, customize it to your needs.

The right panel also offers you styling options per content block. Anytime a content block (image, text, column, etc.) is selected on the left, it’s settings will appear on the right. That’s where you can style based on color, size, linking and more.

Here’s a simple before and after:
Before

MailChimp-Template-Before
After

MailChimp-Template-After

Step 6
You’re almost there! Let’s quickly pause and review what we’ve accomplished. You chose the send list, completed the mailing settings, selected and styled the template. Now you can finally press the “send” button to send now, or you can schedule the mailing for a future send time! Always use an email checklist and send with a buddy to ensure your send is successful.

MailChimp-Send

Is MailChimp Only Used for Sending Email?

Nope! MailChimp has many integrations that can be set up to extend its functionality to fit your needs. Let’s break down some of the popular options:

E-commerce Integrations
The more you know about your customer’s shopping behaviors the better you can target and personalize the customer journey. MailChimp has integration capabilities with numerous e-commerce, such as Shopify, Magento, and ShipStation to name a few.

CRM Integrations
Not only is it important to track online behaviors, but it is also necessary to track offline behaviors customers have with sales or customer service reps. Connect this data with MailChimp, through CRM integrations, such as Salesforce or SugarCRM.

Social Integrations
Facebook
Build single image or carousal image Facebook ads, using the same plug-and-chug tools that you use for email. There is no extra fee for this feature within MailChimp, just pay what you would for Facebook sponsored content. Not only can you setup and trigger Facebook Ads within MailChimp, you can set up custom audiences, and access holistic campaign reporting.

Twitter
Easily integrate Twitter information in your campaigns or post to Twitter all within MailChimp.

Is MailChimp Right for Me?

The best ESP for you depends on your needs (and wants) for the tool and your budget. MailChimp is a great resource if you have a smaller in-house team, who are unfamiliar with coding templates from the ground up. We’d love to talk to more about how MailChimp or another ESP would be best to fit your organization.

The State of Online Sales in 2017

Do you still feel the need to go into a store to checkout a product in person before purchasing?  According to Invesp, 78% of online shoppers don’t look at a product in a store before buying it online.

Buyer behavior has shifted with free shipping, convenient free returns, sizing tools, and more. This shift has led to a change in the retail climate which will allow some retailers to flourish and others to perish. The National Retail Federation has stated, “online and nonstore (catalogs, etc.) sales are projected to nearly triple the year-over-year growth rate for the entire retail industry in 2017”

Continue reading The State of Online Sales in 2017

IBM Tip – 3 Things to Know About Your Watson Campaign Automation + Salesforce Integration

Watson Campaign Automation is the IBM solution formerly known as IBM Marketing Cloud / Silverpop.

Is Salesforce integrated with your Watson Campaign Automation instance? Great! But, as a marketer what does that mean and how does it impact the day-to-day function of your leads? We’re here to help. This week we introduce Internal Marketing Manager, Nora Luongo, to share her 3 things every marketer should know about their Watson Campaign Automation + Salesforce integration.

Before we begin, there are some terms I’m going to talk about in this post that are Salesforce specific that you need to understand in context with Watson Campaign Automation:
Leads: Records that are synced to Salesforce and have not been converted to a Contact
Contacts: Records that have been converted and attached to an Account
Accounts: Company name object, that houses contacts and opportunities
Campaigns: A marketing activity that you can, plan and track within Salesforce
Campaign ID: ID for the specific Campaign you would like to add records to (found in the URL for the campaign in Salesforce).
Campaign Status: Status of Leads/Contacts in your Campaign (Sent/Responded or custom values)

1) Email, Last Name, Company Name

When synching leads bi-directionally between the two systems or just from Watson Campaign Automation to SFDC, every record must have values for three fields: Email, Last Name, and Company Name. If these are left blank, the record will not sync over to Salesforce. If you do not know Last Name or Company Name put an X or another phrase to indicate it is a temporary placeholder and update it when known. Just remember, if you do use X or another phrase in these fields and you use these fields for personalization in mailings, you will need to put in safeguards to make sure the recipient doesn’t see the fake value.

2) CRM Settings in Organization Settings Is Your BFF

Note: You must be an Admin of your Watson Campaign Automation org to see Organizational Settings

There are more sections within the CRM settings, but I will just highlight the 3 tabs I use most often:

a) Status Checklist
The CRM Integration Status Checklist catalogs all the sync agents that are currently enabled/disabled for your organization. Unfortunately sync agents are not stealthy secret agents, they are the kind of syncs that are set up to run between Watson Campaign Automation + Salesforce.com. Looking at the picture below, each of the categories: Profile Data for Leads, Contacts, and Accounts; Alerts to Chatter/Tasks; and are all sync agents. You will only have the ones applicable to your organization enabled and you can remove/add any later if you need to.

If you see green checks across the board and the last successful sync date/time is within 1-2 hours of checking – you’re good to go! But if you see that you have green arrows, but the last successful sync was at 8 AM and you’re checking at 1 PM, this can indicate a sync stall; open a support case if you see this. Also, open a support case if you see a red exclamation point – this means the sync has stopped, which indicates a bigger problem.
Salesforce-Sync-Agents

b) Field Mappings
The field mapping tab can be a bit confusing so let’s break it down. There are two tabs on left called “Active Mapping” and “Working Copy”. Active Mapping is the default view and shows you what fields are currently set to sync, one way or bi-directionally. Working copy is where you can go to add or remove mappings. There are also 4 tabs to the right, “Leads”, “Contacts”, “Accounts”, and “Review”.
If you click on Leads, Contacts, or Accounts you will automatically see their Active Mapping. If you want to update the mappings for Leads, Contacts, or Accounts that must be done in Working Copy, then you must go to the “Review” tab,at the far right,  to activate your new mapping(s). If you do not activate in the “Review” tab after making changes to your mappings in the working copy tab, they will not save.

Note: Your mapping will look different based on your field names and sync directions
FieldMappings-Leads

c) Alerts
Alerts are used to identify contacts “flagged” with an issue. These are not like lead alerts which you create, instead these alerts are created by the system when a record that is set to sync has an issue that does not allow it to sync. Using the “Search In Records” feature for a desired time frame, you can find if a specific record yields an alert. An alert may identify a contact with a missing Email, Last Name, or Company Name for example. Or that the campaign ID associated with the record is not the correct number of digits. If you do not understand how to correct the issue related to the alert, open a support case.
Alerts

The CRM settings are a great governance resource a lot of marketers don’t know exists. If you do not currently have admin permission, but you are the resource who would handle these items, request admin status from the current organization administrator.

3) Syncing Form Submissions

Did you know you can set Watson Campaign Automation forms to sync contacts on submit with Salesforce.com? Did you also know you can push those submitted contacts to a campaign in Salesforce.com? If you answered no to one or both – stick with me! In Watson Campaign Automation, go to the landing page that has the webform you would like to sync. Click directly on the form name and under Form Settings you will see the checkbox (default is unchecked) to “Enable sync record to CRM on ‘Submit’” and underneath that, two text fields relating to campaigns. Adding campaign information is optional, but you must have the checkbox ticked if you do add campaign information otherwise it won’t work. You can paste the campaign ID from Salesforce to the Default campaign code text box in the forms. If you would like to set the status of all contacts who submit the form and are added to the campaign, you can do that in the Campaign Status text box. Save and publish the landing page to activate.
FormSync-Settings

Did you Learn Something New?

I hope my 3 things (okay, more like 5 things) to know about your Watson Campaign Automation + Salesforce integration were helpful. I learned from speaking with other marketers they didn’t know how to optimize or oversee their sync – they just knew it was set up. Hopefully knowing these items will help streamline your sync and save time in your daily tasks.

Web tip – How to Avoid Product Data Pain

Like OZ behind the curtain, product data files aren’t seen by end users, but power everything: our websites, third-party marketplaces, digital catalogs, fulfillment and operations, and more.

Product data files are integral to smooth internal/external operations, a pleasant end user experience, and sales success. The pitfall is they’re overwhelming and time consuming for marketers to consistently update and maintain across all digital channels.

Marketers rarely maintain just one either. In today’s omni channel world, companies aren’t only selling products through their website, digital catalogs, sales reps, or brick and mortar stores. Now, many brands also sell products on third-party marketplaces, like Amazon, Zulily, Wayfair, Google Shopping, and more.

The third-party marketplaces each require their own product data file. Yet the data in every file must be accurate, up-to-date, and compelling, since this information dictates how a product is displayed and marketed to the public.

Inaccuracies in product data means inaccuracies on webpages, wreaking havoc on site visitors’ brand perception and eroding credibility. In fact, a study from Episerver found that “98% of all shoppers have decided against buying due to errors in a retailer’s site content.”

Luckily, there are tools out there, called Product Information Management (PIM) systems,  that stop this manual product maintenance madness.

Today, we’ll talk through product data challenges, and how a PIM system can revolutionize the product data management process.

How is Product Data Used?

Just about everything a website visitor sees on a product page is pulled directly from a product data file. This Wayfair example below demonstrates a typical product data file, and how it drives the final webpage.

Product Data Wayfair example

Examples of fields that may be in a product data file include:

  • Product category
  • Product name
  • Item number
  • Size specs
  • Images and alternate images
  • Product descriptions
  • Designer
  • Weight and dimensions
  • Shipping options
  • Availability

This data is imported into our website and third-party marketplaces on a regular basis, and automatically changes how information is displayed to end users.

Product Data File Challenges

For too many marketers, product data is housed in multiple formats, with more than one person responsible for managing and updating it.

Perhaps image files are stored on a thumb drive or Dropbox, and product descriptions, titles, SKUs, and more are in an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system or plain old Excel sheets.

When it’s time to update a product’s images or change its shipping options or availability, for example, it is a hassle to locate and modify the correct product in the correct file in a timely manner. The same challenge arises when the marketer is trying to execute a new promotion and needs to gather a subset of themed items from different files.

Furthermore, marketers need to make sure they keep these data files clean of errors or problematic formatting, or their nightly imports could fail. There are a lot of moving parts, and the stakes are high to keep everything accurate and updated.

Third-Party Marketplace Challenges

Third-party marketplaces further complicate product data file management, because each requires its own data file, formatted in a specific way.

Below, we’ve included a sample product data file for Wayfair and Amazon, and an example of what the end user sees for the product “Kitchen Aid Mixer.”

Product Data on Wayfair and Amazon

If a marketer doesn’t perfectly follow their data spec, the product page will be missing, inaccurate, or incomplete.

Introducing Product Information Management Systems (PIMs)

A Product Information Management (PIM) system centralizes and houses all marketing and technical information for product listings and catalogs in one simple tool.

Marketers can import images, product descriptions, titles, videos, sales sheets, and more into the system for immediate access by team members.

Once in the PIM, products can be searched and filtered, so finding images and assets is no longer a time-consuming struggle. It’s then easily distributed to third-party systems, like websites and marketplaces, supplied to customers, or fed into a digital catalog.

The graphic below is from Whereoware’s PIM system ProductFastLane. We built ProductFastlane with the marketer in mind.

We wanted to make it simple and streamlined to get the data you need to create compelling product pages on your website, run effective campaigns in Google Shopping or Facebook, and get a great ROI out of your third-party market places.

Whereoware's PIM System Product FastLane

We also aimed to enhance your search engine optimization (SEO). Marketers can write and update compelling product descriptions, titles, and other data points in Product FastLane to optimize each product for natural search.

By housing all product data in one secure location, marketers update product details one time and easily distribute it to the website and third-party marketplaces. This saves time and headache, but also ensures product data is consistent and compelling across the web.

Avoid Product Data Pains

Too many marketers live in spreadsheet hell, battling their product data. Yet, this seemingly tedious task is vital to e-commerce success.

Looking for a lifeboat? A PIM system helps busy marketers manage, update, and optimize product data. Spend less time in the data weeds, and more time developing creative merchandising and outreach campaigns to delight customers.

Get more information on Whereoware’s Product FastLane here or contact us for a demo.

Whereoware Wins Episerver’s North American Ascender of the Year award for 2016

Whereoware Wins Episerver Ascender Partner of The Year sign 250Whereoware won Episerver’s Ascender of the Year award for North America, as part of Episerver’s 2016 North America and Asia Pacific (APAC) Partner Awards.

The Episerver Ascender of the Year award is awarded to the partner that has shown the most growth and contribution over the past year, in terms of revenue, lead generation, and loyalty.

“We were proud to announce Whereoware as our North American Ascender of the Year this year at Ascend,” said James Norwood, executive vice president of strategy and CMO at Episerver. “Whereoware is one of our highest performing and fastest growing partners, who go above and beyond to elevate our mutual customers’ digital strategies. Optimizing immersive digital experiences is core to our mission, and Whereoware reflects this both in service and practice. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Whereoware, as we continue to lead the industry together.”

Episerver is a leading provider of a single platform to smartly manage digital content, commerce, and marketing in the cloud. As an Episerver Partner, Whereoware increased net new business 154%, one of the highest growth rates of any North American partner in 2016, and increased revenue over 685% year-over-year. Whereoware also certified nine developers in Episerver over the past year and contributed to competitive lead generation goals.

Examples of project success include a personalized website for client Yamaha WaterCraft Group, that saw a 104% increase in pageviews, 92% increase in sessions and 181% increase in mobile traffic; and a personalized e-commerce website for client Mud Pie, that saw a 120% increase in revenue, 508% increase in mobile revenue and a 56% increase in e-commerce conversion rate.

“Our products ignite a passion and a drive for amazing experiences in our customers, and we wanted our digital, mobile and web experience to exude that same energy,” said Bryan Seti, general manager of Yamaha’s Watercraft Group. “Working with Whereoware allowed us to tap into the latest technology and development platforms, along with a world class design and UX team, to bring our products to life in a way that replicates the fun and excitement our customers have on the water.”

Episerver presented Whereoware the award during its annual Partner Day at Ascend 2017, held from February 26 to March 1 at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Episerver also recognized partners in several other categories, including Rightpoint, named North America’s Premium Partner of the Year; Siteworx, named North America’s Solution Partner of the Year; Fusion Digital, named APAC Premium Partner of the Year; and Studio 60, named APAC Ascender of the Year.

About Episerver
Episerver connects digital commerce and digital marketing to help organizations create unique digital experiences for their customers, with measurable business results. The Episerver Digital Experience Cloud™ combines content, commerce, multi-channel marketing, and predictive analytics in a single platform to work full-circle for businesses online – from intelligent real-time personalization and lead-generation through to conversion and repeat business – with unprecedented ease-of-use. Sitting at the center of the digital experience ecosystem, Episerver empowers digital leaders to embrace disruptive, transformational strategies to deliver standout experiences for their customers – everywhere they engage. Founded in 1994, Episerver has offices in Australia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, UAE, UK and the USA. For more information, visit www.episerver.com.