Webinar Recap – The Store Of The Future

Did you sit in on yesterday’s webinar, Connecting Devices and Data to Create the Store of the Future? The webinar covered personalization and technology in retail and had us totally geeking out. A round of applause for the host, Alicia Fiorletta of Retail TouchPoints, and the awesome speakers:

Webinar-recap-panelists

How often do you sit in on a webinar that talks about delivering a tailored customer experience, while showing off super cool technologies like RFID, augmented reality, robots (I mean, ROBOTS)?

Check out just a few of the sci-fi-ish technologies that ambitious retailers are adding into their brick and mortar stores to bridge the gap between the digital and in-store experience:

The New StoreThe webinar covered a ton of information, but we summarized a few of our favorite points for you.

Digital isn’t killing retail

The speakers agree that digital isn’t replacing retail. In fact, 94% of total retail sales are still generated at brick and mortar stores (eMarketer). Consumers visit retail stores because they’re seeking a comfortable, familiar, sensory experience. They want to touch and see your products and get feedback from your sales reps. Smart retailers are using digital to enhance and augment the retail experience, not replace it.

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Web tip – omni channel marketing increases revenue

Whereoware-Currey-Case-Study-The-Main-EventEach year, wholesale manufacturer of distinctive lighting and home furnishings Currey & Company discounts inventory at their very successful The Main Event sale. Their challenge is to consistently raise the bar to top the previous year’s success.

Currey teamed with digital agency Whereoware to develop an omni channel marketing strategy: showcasing the sale prominently on their website; leveraging customer data to segment, target, and personalize a series of email campaigns; and developing a sale-specific digital catalog in their mobile application, the Spotlight Sales iPad app.

The result? Compared to the previous successful year, Currey increased revenue 22%.

Get the case study to see how an omni channel marketing approach took Currey’s annual sale to the next level!

 

Email tip – Animated GIFs we love!

We strive to design and build imaginative emails that capture our audience’s attention and excite them into clicking. Of course, consistently tapping our creative juices for fresh ideas becomes difficult the more emails we send. Sometimes, you’ve got to shake things up to stand out. Animated GIFs are just one way to add a little something extra to your emails. (Our logo’s even cooler when it dances, don’t you think?)
Whereoware Design Development and Marketing

What is a GIF?

A GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) is an image format that can be animated to display a series of images in quick secession. Just like the flipbooks you made in kindergarten, the quick shuffling through images gives the illusion of motion. Consumers are used to receiving predominantly static emails, so even a flicker of motion works wonders at grabbing attention. Check out some of our favorite GIF inspiration!

GIF Inspiration

Kate Spade demonstrates how a subtle animation truly enhances the email experience.

Kate-Spade-GIFs

Click here to see the full email.

This GIF from ModCloth does more than catch your eye. It helps you visualize how versatile ModCloth’s products are when worn together, setting the groundwork for an upsell.

Continue reading Email tip – Animated GIFs we love!

Behind the Glasses – Shauna

Behind-the-Glasses-ShawnaEach month, we’ll go behind the glasses with one of our fab employees here at Whereoware. For March, we get to know Shauna, our Online Marketing Manager, a little better.

WHO:

What’s your name? Shauna Plesmid
Job title: Online Marketing Manager

BACKGROUND:

Favorite food: Anything involving avocados
If there were a movie of my life, I’d be played by: Zooey Deschanel
One item you would bring with you to a desert island and why: Ideally, I’d be stuck on a desert island with an abundance of avocado trees, because then I’d be SET. Otherwise… I’ll go the practical route and say my Camelbak water bottle. It goes with me everywhere.
My earliest memory: Riding ponies at my 3rd birthday – good times, thanks Mom & Dad!

NERD QUIZ:

Facebook or Twitter: #twitter
iOS or Android: iOS (Apple’s native email client supports responsive emails, whereas Android’s native app doesn’t fully support responsive, depending on the specific device… breaks my heart).
‘Nerd’ or ‘Geek’: Geek
Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Trek: Enterprise for best series, but Captain Piccard from The Next Generation…True fan here. #LLAP

What’s the best part about working at Whereoware?

Aside from the challenging work and great clients/colleagues I work with?  I value working in an environment that encourages pushing the standards and breaking boundaries. Our senior staff’s management style fosters growth and learning, enabling our Marketing department to come up with really cool, never-before-seen marketing campaigns. We constantly test and try new approaches to drive innovation in our field. It’s great to look back and see all the success we’ve had (from a client standpoint) and accomplishments we’ve made in digital and email marketing. Proud to be part of such a bright team!

Analytics tip – Google boosts mobile-friendly websites in search

Yesterday, Google announced on their Official Webmaster Central Blog two important changes to their search algorithm that will make it easier for users to find mobile-friendly content.

1) Google boosts mobile-friendly sites in search rankings

Google boosts mobile-friendly websites in search rankingsStarting April 21, Google is adjusting their search ranking signal to give weight to mobile-friendly websites for searchers worldwide. Their goal is to make it easier for users on mobile devices to find relevant and useful information and receive high quality search results.

This is great news for searchers. Why? Let’s say you’re searching for bus schedules from your iPhone. There are a lot of websites that curate this information. If you click one of the search results and the site has not been optimized to be easily read and interacted with from your iPhone, you’re quickly going to become frustrated and seek another site.

Google’s in the game of giving you the highest quality results, so the last thing they want to do is serve you a poor, frustrating user experience. By giving mobile-friendliness weight in Google’s search algorithm, a mobile-friendly website for bus schedules will list higher in the SERP’s (Search Engine Result Pages) than a non-mobile friendly site, increasing the likelihood you’ll receive an easy and enjoyable, optimized mobile experience.

What does Google’s boost to mobile-friendliness mean for your website?

In a nutshell – it’s time for a mobile-friendly website. Google will rank mobile-friendly websites over non-friendly websites on the same topic, so if you care about search rankings (and you better), now is the time to deliver an optimized mobile experience to users on every device. (Check out our tips for building a mobile-friendly website). If you’re a webmaster, Google recommends you use the following tools to test the mobile-friendliness of your website:

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Web tip – Is your content epic? Get our content creation guide

Write quality contentAccording to Demand Metric, 93% of marketers rate interactive content effective for educating buyers. Interactive content educates and entertains your customers while familiarizing them with your brand and products. Customers are more likely to choose your product over an unknown competitor, because you’ve nurtured their relationship and consistently delivered value without asking for anything in return.

Not only does great content interest your leads and customers, but it also boosts your SEO rankings, keeps your website fresh and exciting, and provides you great resources to email your audience.

Getting started with interactive content

Your first step is figuring out the kind of content your buyers find meaningful. Talk with your sales team and use their experience interacting with customers to come up with initial topics.

Next, identify customer personas; a way of categorizing your audience based on variables like age, interest, buying history, position in the purchase lifecycle, etc. Personas help you better understand your audience, so you can identify and write content that’s more personal and relevant to their needs.

Let’s say you have a bike shop called Round&Round. After identifying your customer personas, map out their needs and interests at all the stages between finding your company and buying your products. You’ll use this list to develop content pieces to speak to their needs at each stage and guide them through the buying cycle.

Generally, browsing customers go through similar phases: awareness, consideration, purchase, and repurchase. Your “awareness” piece introduces your company and provide some background information to show you’re reputable. The “consideration” phase assists your customers in narrowing down their choices and offers key considerations. Content at the “purchase” phase makes the case for buying from your company, and lastly during the “repurchase” phase, you’ll follow up with opportunities to upsell.

For this example, see how we divided customers into personas and personalized content pieces to lead them through purchase stages:

bikerpersonas

Continue reading Web tip – Is your content epic? Get our content creation guide

Google Analytics tip – Intelligence Events

You’ve probably been on the receiving end, or at least heard about, bank alerts. They warn you about strange activity on your accounts, based on your previously established banking patterns. For those of us that don’t check our bank account on a regular basis, it provides us an easy way to monitor any abnormal activity.

Google Analytics Intelligence Events work the same way, monitoring your analytics account and alerting you when a significant divergence occurs.  For busy marketers, intelligence alerts is like having a full-time data analyst tracking your accounts and ensuring that nothing abnormal occurs without you knowing.

intelligencetabv2Where to find the Intelligence Events reports

Intelligence Events is a main category heading in the left hand navigation.

There are four reports: Overview, Daily Events, Weekly Events, and Monthly Events:

  • Overview provides a summary of automatic and custom alerts triggered in the date range selected.
  • Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Events provides automatic and custom alerts triggered based on day to day, week to week, and month to month changes in data.
    GA Intell.

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Email tip – your social media strategy: what’s missing?

You aren’t alone in the struggle to grow a thriving social presence. Social media is a huge opportunity to connect with customers, attract new prospects, and listen in on your audience’s thoughts and concerns, but developing a winning social media strategy isn’t easy.

Like everything worth doing, a successful social media strategy is time intensive and its rewards tend to peak and valley. Even large companies with big marketing dollars become frustrated with the lack of customer interaction on their networks.

Don’t give up! Think of your social media strategy as one puzzle piece in your entire marketing effort. An omni channel marketing approach is the key to engaging customers across the board – your website, blog, social networks, email marketing, and mobile apps work together to deliver a cohesive brand experience.

When you start thinking about your social media strategy as just one piece of the bigger picture, there are a myriad of ways to leverage the other channels to grow your following. Today’s pick – use email to attract social media followers.

Grow your social media strategy with email

You already maintain an email list of customers and prospects, right? Email your list directly to advertise your social media networks and entice them to follow you. You can include a call to action to Follow Us on Facebook in your company newsletter, drop a line to Connect on LinkedIn at the bottom of your welcome emails, or devote an entire email to inviting customers to connect with you on all of your social networks. We could go on and on about the limitless possibilities for using email to drive recipients to your social pages, but instead, let’s see it in action:

Focus on one social network… or promote many

Focus-on-one-social-network-or-many

Continue reading Email tip – your social media strategy: what’s missing?

Whereoware Wins 2015 IBM Beacon Award for Outstanding Smarter Commerce Solution

IBM Beacon Awards recognize select Business Partners for delivering advanced cloud, analytics, mobile, security and social solutions

Whereoware-Wins-IBM-Beacon-Award-Ceremony

HERNDON, VA – February 11, 2015 – Whereoware was named a winner of a 2015 IBM Beacon Award for Outstanding Smarter Commerce Solution. Each year, this honor awards a select number of IBM Business Partners who delivered exceptional solutions to drive business value and transform the way their clients and industries do business in the future. The 2015 awards recognize achievements across a wide-range of solution areas, including, cloud, analytics, mobile, security, and social business.

“The integration of Whereoware’s Spotlight Sales app with Silverpop and Xtify helps Evergreen’s sales team provide even better service to our customers. Now our marketers immediately push relevant promotions and hot leads to sales, our managers can visually see what reps are showing and selling, and the reps’ real-time access to customer history and behavior means they walk into sales calls speaking directly to clients’ unique pain points. This makes for a far more efficient and successful sales meeting,” said John Toler, President at Evergreen. “When you have a team of 175-plus sales professionals representing your brand all over the U.S. and Canada, being able to seamlessly get on the same page from one app is priceless.”

“We are thrilled to receive an IBM Beacon Award for Outstanding Smarter Commerce Solution. While having happy clients is our first priority, recognition for our work among so many talented Business Partners is a huge honor. Being able to integrate Silverpop insights and Xtify into our sales software brings tremendous incremental value to our customers and to our product,” said Eric Dean, CEO of Whereoware.

The Beacon Awards are an integral part of IBM’s Business Partner recognition program. Announced at the IBM PartnerWorld Leadership Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States, the winners are selected by a panel of expert judges consisting of IBM executives, industry analysts, and members of the press. IBM’s Beacon Awards recognize Business Partners who have demonstrated business excellence in delivering IBM-based solutions to clients around the world to drive transformation and business growth. This year’s awards recognized Business Partner achievements across 28 award categories. This includes two new awards for 2015: the Big Data and Analytics Solution award and Technical Support Services Solution award.

“The 2015 Beacon Award winners are Business Partners who have demonstrated their ability to transform the way their industries do business and deliver outstanding value to clients through the development of new, advanced solutions focused on cloud, analytics, mobile, security and social,” said Marc Dupaquier, general manager, IBM Global Business Partners. “We’re pleased to recognize Whereoware for consistently delivering these innovative IBM solutions by honoring them with a Beacon Award for Outstanding Smarter Commerce Solution.”

For more information about the IBM Beacon Awards, including information about winners and finalists, please visit www.ibm.com/partnerworld/beacons.

To learn more about IBM PartnerWorld, a comprehensive program that offers marketing and sales resources, training, certification and technical support to help create new revenue and market opportunities for IBM Business Partners, visit http://www.ibm.com/partnerworld.