All posts by Whereoware Staff

Email Tip – How email personalization increased offline event attendance



Who:

Pacers Running sells running gear and hosts races to promote a running community for their customers.

Challenge

Pacers Running needed to drive participation at the George Washington Parkway Classic 10 Mile & 5K (GWPC).

Solution

Whereoware designed a hyper-personalized, automated email program for Pacers to drive participation at the GWPC.

By integrating multiple race registration and tracking systems, the personalized emails reference each contact’s relationship with Pacers, place in the race lifecycle (pre-registration, post-registration, and race lead-up), and more.

See all the unique datapoints Pacers used to personalize their audience’s experience and boost attendance at the George Washington Parkway Classic 10 Mile & 5K.

Persona Worksheet – 4 Steps to Actionable User Personas

When you’re developing a content piece, website, or email, your audience sometimes morphs into faceless figures, instead of the real, everyday people you’re trying to reach.



To engage real people, you need to tailor your messages and incentives to be relevant to their individual needs, address their concerns, demonstrate your value, and persuade them to convert (all at an appropriate time in their purchase cycle and without being too aggressive or annoying).

Luckily, developing user personas – mapping out fictional characters representing your core audience – helps you engage individuals with the right approach, timing, and messaging to move them down the conversion path. (Our Persona Worksheet makes mapping our personas easy! Get it below.)

User personas work

User personas help you personalize interactions with your customers + personalization simply works:
Personalization-Stats-Updated

How to build actionable user personas

Identify characteristics that offer insight about customers and factors driving their decision making. The goal is to group similar customer representations together, until you’re left with a manageable number of personas, representing about 80% of your audience (3-5, depending on your organization’s size).

When developing user personas, you must collect actionable information that tells you something about the person, so you can respond to their behavior with persuasive, impactful marketing.

Remember, you’re trying to understand intangibles like motivations, concerns, turn-offs, and position in the buyer lifecycle, as well as tangibles like location, age, and education level, to paint a clear and divisive picture of the different types of people making up your core audience. You must also plan how you’ll identify these personas in your various channels (website, email, mobile push, etc.) to deliver the right content.

Continue reading Persona Worksheet – 4 Steps to Actionable User Personas

2017 Whereoware Awards and Recognition

We’ve been slow to toot our own horn on some recent award wins and recognition. Today, we’re making up for lost time and updating you on a few exciting happenings at Whereoware.

via GIPHY

Best B2B Agency at the Ace Awards

Whereoware Wins Ace Awards Best B2B AgencyWe’re proud to announce that Whereoware won a Ragan & PR Daily 2016 Ace Awards in the Best B2B/Business Services Agency category.

Announced in May 2017, the Ace Awards honor excellence in communications and marketing.

See all the winners here.

2017 Washington Executive Management Award, SmartCEO Magazine

Whereoware’s VP of Finance & Administration Frank Policastro won a SmartCEO Magazine 2017 Washington Executive Management Award!

IBM Beacon Award Finalist

Whereoware was also a finalist for a 2017 IBM Beacon Award for Outstanding Smarter Commerce Solution (we won this award in 2015).

The IBM Beacon Award recognizes an omni-channel solution developed for client Mud Pie, that combines a personalized, data-driven website, email marketing, digital advertising, and a mobile app.

See an example of Whereoware’s Mud Pie work here.

Whereoware is a 2017 IBM Beacon Award Finalist

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, announced in March 2017.

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. Read more about it here.

Congratulations to all the Winners

It’s been an exciting couple of months around here.

It’s gratifying to see our hard work recognized among some serious top-tech-talent. Congratulations to all the other winners!

Behind the glasses – Nicolas

Each month, we interview one of our awesome Whereoware employees. For May, we get to know Nicolas Sam, our Junior Front End Developer, a little better.

Whereoware Junior Front End Developer Nicolas Sam

WHO:

What’s your name? Nicolas Sam
Job title: Junior Front End Developer

BACKGROUND:

Favorite food: Steak
Hidden talents: I am a classically-trained pianist.
If there were a movie of my life, I’d be played by: Will Smith.
One item you would bring with you to a desert island and why: A phone, to get off the desert island!
In a zombie apocalypse, my weapon of choice would be: A hatchet! Portable, not too heavy, easy to clean, and maintain.

NERD QUIZ:

Facebook or Twitter: Twitter
iOS or Android: Android
‘Nerd’ or ‘Geek’: Nerd
Star Wars or Star Trek? Eh. The Matrix?

What’s the best part about working at Whereoware?

Definitely the people. I feel like I have great support, and everyone wants to succeed and help others.

2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce report

Whereoware Partner Episerver is named a Challenger in the 2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce. Episerver is now the highest placed Microsoft .NET-based solution in the Magic Quadrant.

The Gartner Magic Quadrant report evaluates 21 providers of digital commerce platforms to provide context and clarity to organizations considering vendors and platforms. Read the full report here: Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Marketing 2017.

Gartner awarded Episerver top marks for the critical capabilities of Agility, Customer Experience, Time to Productivity, and Total Cost of Ownership. They are the single platform listed in the “Challenger” category.

Episerver within Magic Quandrant

“A large majority of reference customers found it easy or very easy to implement and customize, whereas all reference customers reported high overall satisfaction with both Episerver and its digital commerce platform” Gartner Research, April 2017

Episerver Digital Experience Cloud provides integrated web content management, commerce, marketing and personalization capabilities. The platform provides the ability to leverage content for commerce and marketing functions and personalization/product recommendations as a core of the functionality.

Read the full report here: Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Marketing 2017.

Whereoware + Episerver

“Whereoware recognized a huge opportunity partnering with Episerver back in 2013. We’ve consistently been impressed with the platforms’ flexibility, innovation, and performance,” said Joe Harris, Whereoware Partner and Head of Development. “It’s gratifying to see Gartner recognize Episerver as a significant digital commerce Challenger.”

Whereoware is a longstanding Episerver partner. As the winner of Episerver’s 2016 North American Ascender of the Year award, 2015 Commerce Site of the Year award, and 2014 Best Digital Marketing Site award, Whereoware maximizes the Episerver platform to produce huge rewards for clients. See examples of our work here.

Whereoware Releases Product FastLane, Product Information Management System

Product FastLane

Whereoware adds to its product offering with the release of Product FastLane, a cloud-based Product Information Management (PIM) system. Built specifically for e-commerce companies, Product FastLane is a user-friendly system managing all the moving parts (product data, images, videos, sales sheets, inventory, and more) powering organizations’ e-commerce websites, digital catalogs, and third-party marketplaces.

Product FastLane diagram

Within one centralized location, marketers can upload, optimize, search, and organize product data and related digital assets, ultimately reducing data management costs, while improving data quality and consistency. Marketers can access and update their product data, related images, and other digital assets any time and from anywhere. They can easily share them with third-party marketplaces, like Wayfair, Amazon, Google Shopping, and Zulily, so data stays compelling, consistent, and complete across the web.

Our industry is experiencing a transformation, where technology-driven companies are quickly gaining on competitors. The explosion of third-party marketplaces, and the evolving expectations of B2B buyers are driving marketers to take control of their product data. We witnessed our clients struggling to manage thousands of products while using spreadsheets and USBs. They needed a better way, so we built Product FastLane,” said Eric Dean, CEO Whereoware.

For more information on Product FastLane, visit www.productfastlane.com.

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.

How to build a Facebook Ad

If you’re marketing on Facebook, you likely hang out in one of two camps. You run a successful Facebook Business Page with an engaged, excited audience, or, like too many businesses, your Facebook Business Page exists, but interaction is few and far between.

Facebook Advertising offers many ways to tap into those 1.23 billion people logging into Facebook each day and increase engagement on your business page or drive traffic and sales on your website.

Today, we’ll walk through building a simple Facebook Ad from your Business Manager Ad Account.

Continue reading How to build a Facebook Ad

SEO Tip – 6 Steps to Local Search Success

To simplify local search engine optimization (SEO), think through every couple’s favorite argument: what should we order for dinner?

Though the battle may be long, ultimately, a cuisine is picked. What’s your next move?
Likely, you hop on your phone, and search: “Italian food near me,” “Thai nearby,” or “Greek restaurant open.”

Local Google Search Italian Food Near Me

In SEO land, that’s called “searching with local intent.” When you’re quickly searching to find dinner before your spouse pitches a fit, you don’t want Google to return a restaurant three states away. You want the restaurant closest to you, preferably one with good reviews.

Google understands that searches with local intent (referencing specific geographic areas or using keywords like “near me,” “nearby,” “open,” “closest,” etc.) value information differently than a researcher seeking historical documentation.

Continue reading SEO Tip – 6 Steps to Local Search Success