Category Archives: Marketing

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”

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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 + 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.

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

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.

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 Did you also know you can push those submitted contacts to a campaign in 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.

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.

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.

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Careers + Culture – 3 Things I Learned Interning at a Digital Agency

Marketing Intern AmandaToday, we welcome a guest post from Marketing Intern Amanda Whitaker. Amanda’s finishing up her summer-long internship at Whereoware and starts her senior year of college this fall. We’re excited to hear her perspective on interning at a digital agency.

Hi everyone!

I concentrate in Marketing and IT at the University of Virginia, so I knew I wanted to intern at a marketing agency this summer. I was excited to find Whereoware, a local digital agency. At first glance, Whereoware had an awesome culture and did interesting work with a lot of cool clients. (Upon further inspection, all of these things were true.)

As my internship comes to a close, I’ve been reflecting on my great experience working here. I learned so much about email marketing. (I didn’t realize emails had to be coded in HTML and CSS before I started, so you could say I’ve come a long way.)

To any students on the fence, I definitely recommend getting an internship in your field. It’s truly been an eye-opening experience. Overall, here are the top three things I learned interning at a digital agency.

1. Internships provide diverse, hands-on learning experiences

This summer, I had the privilege of working on emails and helping with projects for at least 10 clients. Through these hands-on projects, I learned email design and deliverability best practices, and how to apply them to different clients.

I gained valuable skills in email coding, the IBM Marketing Cloud, Google Analytics, and Excel. I also got experience working with a diverse team of creative and talented people, and I’m grateful to have learned from so many of them.

When you’re looking into internships, I recommend asking whether you’ll be getting your hands dirty on real projects. If I’d only been taking coffee orders all summer, I wouldn’t have gained the real-life skills or insights into agency life that’ll give me an advantage when I’m job searching in the future.

2. Tap into free resources to update your skills, regardless of your experience level

Before this summer, I had no knowledge of HTML or CSS. While I learned a lot from colleagues, I also found free tools that helped me when I was starting out.

SoloLearn provides a great basic overview of several coding languages, including HTML and CSS. The great thing about SoloLearn is it can be accessed online or through a mobile app, so you can learn to code from anywhere. I also used W3 Schools as a quick reference for looking up HTML symbols.

Another crucial area of knowledge I lacked was Google Analytics. Did you know Google Analytics Academy offers free videos on the basics? These videos combined with hands-on projects helped me understand how to navigate Google Analytics.

If you’re struggling to land an internship or find a new job, use free resources to expand your skill set. Understanding HTML and analytics are transferable skills in most industries and will help you stand out from the competition.

3. Work culture makes a huge difference

I saw firsthand how an awesome culture affects employees and the overall organization.

When work is flexible and casual, yet efficient, people are happy, work hard, and have fun doing it. Whereoware has events every month, free snacks and drinks, and a rooftop area with WiFi where you can work and socialize. There are whiteboards all over the office to brainstorm, stuffed animals everywhere, and a variety of different work spaces to change it up from the classic cubicle.

When I graduate college, I’ll look for my first employer to have the same focus on culture. I learned at Whereoware how culture influences your workday happiness and attracts helpful, hardworking, and fun employees.

Thinking of interning? Do it!

For college students interested in marketing, web development, mobile development, or related fields, I recommend interning at a digital agency. Not only will you learn about marketing in general, but you’ll also gain technical skills invaluable to so many career paths. As a bonus, digital agencies are fun, fast-paced, and exciting to work for! It’s a great way to spend your summer.

Interested in joining Whereoware’s team? Check out our current job openings.

Website + Email Optimization Checklists

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our workshop: Quick Wins for Website + Email Success today in the DC Metro Area! As promised, both the website + email checklists are available for download below.

Website Checklist:
Our Website Checklist highlights the most important aspects your website needs to be a lead generation machine. From set up to trust building to relevant and fresh content, our checklist sets you up for success. See the Website Quick Wins slides.

Email Checklist:
Our Email Optimization checklist walks through tried and true techniques for crafting and sending emails that capture inbox attention, convince your audience of your message, and close the sale, conversion, etc. Follow along with our checklist to feel confident every time you hit send. See the Email Quick Wins slides.

Marketing tip – 4 Marketing Lessons From Pokémon Go

Pokémon GO Perhaps you’ve seen them – throngs of zombie-eyed wanderers clutching cellphones in one hand, swiping rabidly with the other; murmuring gibberish under their breaths punctuated by victorious fist pumps.

Perhaps you even know a guy, who’s heard of a guy, who swears he’s seen the infamous Mewtwo, one of the ever-elusive “Legendary”.

No, these impromptu, impersonal public gatherings aren’t the advent of The Walking Dead, nor a particularly sluggish flash mob.

They’re ambitious Pokémon trainers, living their 90’s-era-obsession with “Catching ‘Em All” in the real world.

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Marketing tip – Simplifying the IBM Marketing Cloud Roadmap

We had a great turnout for our June 22nd webinar: Simplifying the IBM Marketing Cloud Roadmap. (See the recorded presentation below.)

Our intention was to make the IBM Marketing Cloud (IMC) simple by walking through use cases for each tool. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? The thing is, IBM has been developing the IMC for some time now – adding new tools, revamping existing products, and integrating them together in awesome ways. All the moving parts are tricky to track.

Once you get the names straight, the powerful capabilities of the IMC are hard to beat. Together, they offer big and small-picture insights into customers’ activity and behavior across channels, so marketers can reach out at the right moment, via the right channel, and with a compelling message customers can’t resist.

Today, we’ll give you a quick recap of how each tool is used by busy marketers to supercharge their campaigns. Download our handout, above, to see estimates of the cost, availability, and level of effort to install each tool.

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Furniture brands use digital to drive in-store + online sales

A fantastic showroom or retail location and stunning products aren’t enough to stand out in the competitive furniture industry. Furniture brands need an exceptional online presence too.

Furniture brands can personalize customers' online experienceAccording to Furniture Today, 8 out of 10 consumers have purchased home furnishings online. Mobile devices are gaining ground too. Google found that one out of every two furniture searches happened on mobile devices.

Whether you’re a furniture vendor in the B2B space or a retail location selling directly to consumers, both your physical showroom and your online presence need to WOW customers at every interaction and across every channel.

Exceptional customer journeys

Research from Deloitte found that nearly 70% of consumers go online before they shop in stores, and 36% connect to the web while in stores. Similarly, a B2B study found that 60% of respondents said their customers spend more overall when those customers touched multiple channels. Whether you’re a furniture retailer or vendor, you must use a mix of channels and outreach efforts to delight customers online and offline.

For example, a wholesale furniture brand might meet a prospect at a furniture market, walk them around their showroom, and they happily purchase. The same furniture brand meets another prospect at market, walks them around their showroom, but they aren’t ready to buy. This prospect needs to be nurtured into a purchase. The brand follows up via email, showing the same product discussed in the showroom and includes a coupon to buy online. This consistent experience across channels, combined with a persuasive offer, motivates the customer to purchase.

On the retail side, you run into similar situations…

A businessman visits a retailer to buy a new office chair. He shows the clerk a picture of the chair he wants, but they don’t have it in-stock. The helpful sales rep signs him up for their email list on her iPad, and a few days later, he receives an email that the office chair is now available in store.

Though each prospect was nurtured via an individual mix of channels, the seamless customer experience from the showroom/in-store, email, and website keeps prospects engaged throughout the sales cycles and guides to the purchase.

Map customers’ journeys to deliver an exceptional experience

Brands that understand their customers’ journey can enhance and guide a pleasant path to purchase.

To map the customer journey, first identify different audience segments, called personas. Then, figure out the different actions each persona is likely to take, so you can identify them. For example, attending certain kinds of in-store events, opening specific-themed emails, or viewing product categories are all ways to identify the person’s interests.

Next, map out the mix of information, channels, and promotions that motivate each persona or turn them off. (We know mapping out different customer journeys can be overwhelming, but our customer journey toolkit, has simple tips, questionnaires, and worksheets to help you out.)

For example, a furniture retailer identifies moms shopping for college kids as one of their personas. Mom Kathy checks out dorm-sized desks online, but doesn’t buy one. Via web tracking, the furniture company knows she was browsing the college desks product category, and sets her persona behind the scenes. The furniture store emails everyone in their database who browsed college-related product categories a 10% off Back To School coupon code.

Mom Kathy uses the coupon code online to buy the desk. At checkout, she decides to save shipping costs by picking up in-store and selects the nearest retail location. On the way to pick it up, she receives a mobile push message offering an in-store coupon on college bedding. Mom picks up her desk and purchases the bedding. She could not be more satisfied that the furniture store anticipated her needs and saved her money.

By using a mix of channels to engage customers, brands can satisfy their current product search, upsell additional products, and nurture an ongoing relationship.

Mobile is critical to the customer journey

As demonstrated with Mom Kathy, mobile is hugely influential throughout the customer journey. Customers basically always have their mobile phones accessible and check them multiple times a day. In fact, nearly half (47%) of furniture shoppers in October used mobile devices, according to

When the customer clicks on your site, they need to be able to browse, compare, and purchase products from their tiny screens or they’ll visit a competitor’s website. They’ll open and read your emails from their smartphones too, so your emails need to be mobile-friendly. Also, don’t forget about mobile push! Customers are used to immediately checking push and SMS messages, and fewer brands are taking advantage of these technologies, so there isn’t nearly as much competition.

It’s also important to mention that Google boosts mobile websites in mobile search results and uses geo-location to prioritize local search – driving new customers to your website and brick and mortar locations.

Online + in-store customer journeys are an opportunity

Eighty percent of customers think brands don’t understand their individual needs. Furniture brands taking the time to understand individual customers and what makes them tick can leverage traditional and digital channels to always deliver the best possible brand experience. This approach of leveraging behavioral data to identify customers and what they need to best experience your brand is an endless opportunity to capture, delight, and retain customers.