Whereoware wins DC Inno’s 2016 Coolest Companies!

DC Inno hosted their annual DCFest last night. We’re so excited to be named one of two (shoutout to LivingSocial) Reader’s Choice winners for DC Inno’s Coolest Companies competition! 10 coolest companies were announced (see the list here)winners at the festival, 8 editorial + 2 Reader’s Choice – congrats to all companies!!

Our fabulous employees had a great time networking, spreading Whereoware love, and celebrating! Check out some pics from the event below:

2016 Litmus Email Design Conference San Francisco Recap

Digital Graphic Designer Breanne BradyToday, we welcome a guest post from our Digital Graphic Designer Breanne Brady. Bre designs beautiful, effective emails and landing pages, and specializes in responsive design.

Today, she’s following the lead of team members who shared their takeaways from TEDC Boston, and filling us in on what we missed in San Francisco. 

Last week, The Litmus Email Design Conference (TEDC) tour made its final stop in San Francisco.

I jumped into the scene as a #TEDC newbie. I was excited to surround myself with fellow #emailgeeks (and the promise of Litmus socks!).

I was welcomed by an overwhelming love for email.

Takeaways from The Litmus Email Design Conference San Francisco:

1. Email is a privilege, not a right.

Andrea Mignolo explained how an email’s impact can be personal and valuable when it’s designed with intention. Email can also have the opposite impact, and make customers feel like just another transaction.

2. Why should your email audience care?

Alex Williams shared 10 years of email design experience in “Tricks, Traps, and Truths.”

Every email needs a point of view: the what, why, and how. Williams says, “if the email doesn’t have a point, you probably shouldn’t be sending it.”

3. Every email recipient matters.

Your email doesn’t have to look the same on every browser, but every user matters.

Eric Leptit shared his journey creating and deploying interactive emails for Nest. He talked about the challenges of dealing with different email clients’ constraints. These constraints may be annoying, but they’re also motivation to innovate.

TEDC is worth your time

The advice and support gained from The Litmus Email Design Conference San Francisco sent me back to Whereoware with a headful of ideas (and a new Litmus wardrobe!).

I had an awesome two days, learning and collaborating with my fellow email geeks. Thanks for an unforgettable experience, TEDC!

Spotlight by Whereoware Wins 2016 DMA Innovation Award

Spotlight by Whereoware wins a 2016 DMA Innovation Award

September 20, 2016, Chantilly, Va. – Spotlight by Whereoware, a B2B mobile sales application, won a 2016 DMA Innovation Award in the Audience Management category.

The Innovation Awards, sponsored by Google and presented by the Direct Marketing Association, celebrate companies delivering game-changing technologies and platforms that advance the capabilities of the Marketing Industry.

Spotlight has rapidly grown to process more than $1 billion in sales supporting the sales forces of top gift and home and furniture vendors, and consumer product and equipment wholesalers. (Watch the demo, below.)

Spotlight helps professional sales reps book more sales, faster, by providing instant and up-to-date access to everything they need – from online catalogs to customer purchase history, product trends to analytics-driven product recommendations, and more.

Whereoware’s CEO and veteran sales leader, Eric Dean, “We’re thrilled to accept this award from the DMA. Spotlight is the result of a few decades experience working with professionals selling products. The national recognition is extremely gratifying.”

Whereoware and six other winners will accept their awards and showcase their innovations at &THEN, the DMA Annual Event, taking place in Los Angeles, CA, October 16 – 18.

For additional inquiries or a free demo, contact Alyson Hunter, Senior Internal Marketing Manager, ahunter@whereoware.com, 703-483-4042

About Spotlight

Spotlight turns sales reps into superstars with real-time customer behavior and product information. Reps deliver better sales presentations by speaking to customers’ unique pain points and product interests. Everything reps need is at their fingertips – from digital, interactive catalogs and automatic order taking, to customer purchase history, website browse activity, and analytics-driven recommendations.
In addition to a 2016 DMA Innovation Award, Spotlight won Best B2B Mobile Application at the 2014 MobileWebAwards and a 2015 IBM Beacon Award for Outstanding Smarter Commerce Solution. Book more sales faster with Spotlight.

About DMA:

Founded in 1917, DMA is the community that champions deeper consumer engagement and business value through the innovative and responsible use of data-driven marketing. DMA’s membership is made up of today’s leading tech and data innovators, brand marketers, agencies, service providers and media companies. By representing the entire marketing ecosystem – from demand side to supply side – DMA is uniquely positioned to bring win/win solutions to the market and ensure that innovative and disruptive marketing technology and techniques can be quickly applied for ROI.

DMA advances the data-driven marketing industry and serves its members through four principal pillars of leadership: advocating for marketers’ ability to responsibly gather and refine detailed data; innovating to bring solutions forward for marketers’ most vexing challenges; educating today’s marketers to grow and lead marketing organizations in the ever-increasing omnichannel world; and connecting industry participants to stay current, learn best practices and gain access to emerging solutions through &THEN – the largest global event for data-driven marketing – and DMA’s portfolio of other live events.

Behind the glasses: Naynish

Whereoware Web Developer Naynish Each month, we’ll be interviewing one of our fab employees here at Whereoware. For September, we get to know Naynish, our Web Developer, a little better.

WHO:

What’s your name? Naynish Chaughule
Job title: Web Developer

BACKGROUND:

Favorite food: Why have ABS when you can always have KEBABS?
Hidden talents: Singing, dancing, and obviously, laziness (hides all of my other talents).
If there was a movie of my life, I’d be played by: Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street.
One item you would bring with you to a desert island and why: Iron Man Suit.
In a zombie apocalypse, my weapon of choice would be: I would use a Sig Sauer P226 pistol, M4 Carbine, and a knife.

NERD QUIZ:

Facebook or Twitter: Facebook
iOS or Android: iOS
‘Nerd’ or ‘Geek’: Geek
Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Wars

What’s the best part about working at Whereoware?

I love working at Whereoware. There’s a good sense of team spirit. I enjoy working as part of a highly committed and professional team. Our culture supports big steps and powerful beliefs – what’s beautiful about this approach is that it’s a self-reinforcing environment. All of these efforts support one another, and together, create an organization that is creative, fun, hardworking, and highly productive.

Email tip – Gmail announces support of media queries and CSS

Welcome Dan Caro, Whereoware’s Director of Marketing Operations. Dan specializes in behavior-based marketing automation strategy, e-commerce marketing, and conversion optimization. He’s psyched to share today’s news…

Welcome to the 21st century, Gmail!

In case you missed it, Gmail announced the support of  <style>  tags and media queries. Start celebrating #emailgeeks!

leo

Recap

Before yesterday,  email designers had to rely on inline CSS to style their emails. Lack of support for media queries led to the spongy/fluid/hybrid design revolution in email.

Now, Gmail says they’ll finally support media queries and responsive email. This gives email designers more flexibility and fewer hoops to jump through, saving stress and time.

You can find Gmail’s official documentation here.

Soon, Gmail will support:
• Embedded styles
• Classes and IDs
• Media queries
• Background-position and background-size
• *Animations, transitions, and transforms will still not be supported

What do we think?

Senior Digital Marketing Manager Shauna PlesmidSenior Digital Marketing Manager Shauna is pumped:

“From a B2C perspective, the majority of our audiences are reading emails and browsing websites on their mobile devices. Previously, creating a good mobile experience on the Gmail and Inbox platforms required us to adapt different development techniques – sometimes sacrificing a better experience on another client. I’m glad to see Google putting its customers’ experience on their platforms at the forefront of their priority list… Finally :)”

Digital Graphic Designer Breanne BradyDigital Graphic Designer Breanne’s initial reaction?

OMG. SPEECHLESS. This is a HUGE reason to encourage clients to try new development ideas. Before, it was hard to make the case for something cool that would take a lot of work, but wouldn’t be seen by a chunk of their customers.” 

Whereoware’s Senior Graphic Designer Jason is still skeptical.

My range of emotions: 

Gmail to support media queries

skeptical cat is skeptical

Elf You're sitting on a throne of lies

What’s Gmail’s change mean for you?

More than 75% of email clients will support responsive design. Although Outlook is still an outlier (excluding Outlook App for Android), go ahead and design using media queries. This latest release should also allow more support for specialized, web-based fonts, like Google Fonts.

The world is your oyster. Go out there and start designing better emails (except on Outlook, but Litmus is working on it).

Media Race 2016 – Political Digital Marketing in The Upcoming Election

This week, we welcome a guest post from our Digital Marketing Associate Leslie McCrea. Leslie is responsible for behavior-driven email marketing campaigns and strategy for B2B and B2C clients.

A history-making moment

Leslie McCrea Whereware's Digital Marketing AssociateWe are in the midst of one of the most digital media-based elections in history. There’s unparalleled opportunity for candidates to connect with the general public, but also more real-time scrutiny. This ongoing case study of political digital marketing and transformative technology is driven by more than just a desire to win; it’s the result of a media-craving society.

Three out of four American voters have both a smartphone and a Facebook account. The use of technology, media interactivity, and mobile channels built an entirely new data-driven canvas for political campaigning. It’s prominence grew since the 2012 election, but more notably, since Obama first ran and took office in 2008.

Since 2008, Facebook grew up, email databases became the norm, and multimedia content was introduced. With a stack of interchangeable parts in motion – web design, email content, social media, and user content, to name a few – the remaining two months of this historical presidential race are bound to be interesting. Politics, technology, marketing, and social ethics are at a new crossroads.

Trump and Clinton – Pushing Boundaries in Political Digital Marketing

This year, the role of direct-to-consumer media jumped the ladder to become an influential avenue for political conversation. The 2016 election has not only challenged the candidates, but also the public, to make this whole experience just a bit more casual. Let’s take a look at how Trump and Clinton communicate.

Trump – The Celebrity Marketer

Many tactics in Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign mimic those of an A-list celebrity. The campaign centers around two main fundamentals playing off of each other:
Continue reading Media Race 2016 – Political Digital Marketing in The Upcoming Election

2016 B2B + B2C Holiday E-commerce Toolkits

2016 Holiday ToolkitsThe moment you’ve all been waiting for… the 2016 B2B + B2C Holiday E-commerce Toolkits are here!

What’s in your toolkit?

1. 2016 E-commerce calendar for 2016 chock full of holiday campaign ideas

2. Holiday Email Inspiration

3. Stats from last year’s sales season, so you can benchmark your performance

4. A bunch of other marketing resources, like email templates, how-to’s, and mobile tips.

5. A recording from our Holiday Readiness webinar, in case you missed it.





PPC Tip – Forget Everything You Know About Google’s Ad Character Limits

The Skinny

Google announced that Expanded Text Ads will be available to all advertisers later this year.

Why is Google Doing This?

Remember when we explained the new Google Search Result Page layout? (Get a refresher, here.) So with this new layout and the removal of the right side bar ads, there is more room for longer text in advertisements.

While the layout has a lot to do with this new release, guess what’s also the catalyst for this change? If you said, Mobile, then you’d be right! Google’s Senior Vice President, Ads and Commerce, Sridhar Ramaswamy explains that this update is for, “[…] the on-the-go mobile consumer that wants to know exactly what you offer before tapping into your website.”

So What’s Happening Exactly?

The single headline field becomes two headlines fields separated by a dash. Both headlines can be up to 30 characters. The description of the offer is now expanded to 80 characters and you can customize the URL used in the ad up to two paths (www.whereoware.com/about/careers , /about (path1), /careers (path2).

Still confused? Check out this handy chart from Search Engine Land:

Google Expanded Ads

How Does This Impact Marketers?

Start optimizing your text ads now for this new roll-out of expended capabilities. Then when it comes available to all: test, test, test. See if having the two headlines + longer description helps or hurts your paid ad conversions. As with the old text ads, don’t just set them up and forget about them. Check your analytics to see how they’re performing and make any necessary changes as needed.

Web tip – VR and AR in Marketing

Anna Pleshakova WherowareThis week, we welcome a guest post from our Online Marketing Manager Anna Pleshakova. Anna is responsible for behavior-driven email marketing campaigns and strategy for B2B and B2C clients and helping them navigate emerging digital trends.

When you hear about virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR), you may picture a futuristic, Matrix-type world, or think of video games, like the popular AR game Pokemon Go.

Today, we’ll help you understand the differences between AR and VR, and get you thinking about how you can use both technologies to give your audience a unique brand experience.

VR/AR 101

VR and AR in MarketingVirtual reality is defined as a “computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment, that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as a helmet with a screen inside or gloves fitted with sensors.” That’s a mouthful, but think: wearing a VR helmet to transport yourself into another world – be that a different geolocation or a fictional video game world – the possibilities are endless!

Augmented reality is defined as “technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.” Think: Pokemon Go using your mobile phone’s camera functionality to superimpose a Pokemon inside your living room.

VR is a more immersive experience than AR. Wearing a VR device, the viewer sees a 360-degree view of content displayed on the screen and can interact with it. AR, on the other hand, incorporates the world around you and adds additional elements.

How Marketers can use VR and AR

Film used to be the most immersive storytelling medium, but even with the high-end TVs, you’re still only watching the screen. VR and AR offer marketers an exciting opportunity to create fully immersive, interactive customer experiences.

You’re probably thinking, “great, but using VR devices requires advanced developer or technical skills, right?” Absolutely not!

In our day and age, both VR and AR are easier to use then you think. For example: with a simple and cheap device like Google Cardboard, you can have a VR experience by inserting your phone into a cardboard viewer, which has two lenses. You hold the viewer over your eyes and explore various virtual reality apps.

6 Reasons to Adopt VR and AR + Brand Success Stories

1. Personalization: both the customer and marketer upload their own content to create a unique form of media, appealing to the customer’s interests.

Retailer Top Shop’s Catwalk Experience, developed by Inition, was a chance to get a sneak peek into London’s Fashion Week. Viewers “sit in the audience” at Topshop’s flagship store and get to see models wearing their favorite brand’s collection walking down the catwalk.

2. Novelty: an early adopter of one of technology’s “latest things” will gain the first movers’ advantage.

Michelle Obama’s VR video (created by the Verge) shows a 360 view of everything the first lady accomplished, now that Barack Obama’s time in office is coming to an end. It presents facts, figures, and stats – the very first VR infographic! This approach to looking at the infographic eliminates distractions and allows viewers to focus on the content.

3. Socialization: customers can save and share their content with others, potentially resulting in viral customer/brand experiences.

Mcdonald's Happy GogglesThe iconic fast-food chain McDonald’s Sweden recently created a virtual reality viewer made from a happy meal box. (Remember we told you VR technology does not have to be complicated?) “Happy Goggles” function similarly to Google Cardboard and allow you to insert your mobile device into the happy meal “headset.” Customers can then share this experience with others via social media – a big win for McDonald’s!

4. Accessibility: customers can use both technologies if they’re not 100% tech-savvy or know how to create their own multimedia products.

Hiking boot brand Merrell’s TrailScape is an immersive VR hiking simulator at their Sundance festival stand. Participants can walk/climb up or down a mountain and must overcome obstacles throughout their journey. The customer just puts on the VR gear, walks around Merrell’s set, and they’re transported to the mountaintop– no technology knowledge required!

Merrell's Trailscape

5. Excitement: inject a playful, fun element into any product or service.

Hotel chain Marriott’s “Teleporter” by Relevent is a VR booth whisking a viewer away on virtual travel all over the globe. Simultaneously, it subtly informs the potential customer that there’s always a Marriott to stay in, wherever you go. This takes a regular photo and/or information booth to a whole new and unexpected level by adding an Oculus Rift DK2 headset and headphones.

6. Mobile friendly: many VR headsets use phones to project the viewer’s content of choice. Behaviors consumers do everyday, like taking a photo, are used to deliver a more immersive experience.

Text100 described an example: “someone browsing a magazine for a watch, can take a small, customized branded insert, place it on his or her wrist and use an in-app camera to actually show exactly what that watch will look like when worn.”

Give AR and VR a Try

It’s important for marketers to stay ahead of technology and try new approaches to engage customers. Though we don’t think you should chase every new trend, VR and AR offer marketers an opportunity to create customer experiences that are impossible with other mediums.

We’ll keep watching to see how inventive brands get creative with both technologies. In the meantime, let us know what you think about the future and potential of VR and AR in the comments!