Don’t Push Pause On Your Digital Transformation

One Way signage with a mountain backdrop.

Originally published in CMS Wire.

The unique temperament of daily upheaval meets social quiet made 2020 feel like it lasted a decade. Yet for most businesses, 2020 passed at breakneck speed, marked by compulsory transformation and disruption.

Most every business is competing on customer experience, and your customers won’t accept the inflexible, siloed, or archaic normal business pitfalls of past. Don’t let a pursuit of normal reverse progress. Instead, continue to embrace change to drive competitive momentum and meet customers’ evolving expectations.

Whereoware CEO, Michael Mathias, sat down with CMS Wire to discuss putting the pedal to the metal in the post-pandemic world of digital marketing and e-commerce. A few highlights:

  • Get Out of the Way – Embrace Digital Transformation: Before the crisis, execs expected it would take 585 days to change their organization to meet increased customer demands for online purchasing/services. When COVID-19 forced execs’ hands, it took 21.9 days — a 27-times acceleration. To put it simply, anything can happen when we get out of our own way, if the risks we take are tempered, based in data, and centered in customer value.
  • Future-Proof Your Business – Embrace Channel Diversity: Your customers got used to browsing and buying online, and 70-80% of B2B decision makers now prefer remote interactions or digital self-service. Future-proof your business and protect it against external forces by diversifying your channel mix to give customers’ the purchasing power and options they expect.
  • Give Customers What They Crave – Embrace Flexibility: 75% of customers have used some form of buy online and pick up in store program in the last 12 months. As businesses shift from panic mode to a calmer next normal, stay committed to improving the digital conveniences most critical to your customers’ experience. Determine the pieces of your digital strategy and execution to handle in-house and outsource the rest, but don’t push pause on your business evolution.
  • Don’t Slow Down: Do your business and customers a favor and don’t abandon this momentum. Instead, thrive in unending transformation. Commit to continuous testing and learning. Grow in areas you’d never imagine, and tirelessly seek ways to improve your value offering for your customers.

To read the full article on leaning into the “new normal” we marketers face, head over to CMS Wire.

Optimizely Named a Leader in Forrester New Wave: Feature Management and Experimentation, Q2 2021

Optimizely (formerly Episerver), Whereoware’s longstanding technology Partner, has been named a Leader in The Forrester New Wave™: Feature Management and Experimentation, Q2 2021 Analyst Report.

The new report identifies and evaluates the most significant providers in the emerging market for feature management and experimentation against 10 criteria. The goal of the report is to help professionals assess and select a partner for feature management and experimentation. Interested in learning about the top 7 providers? Check out the full report here.

Forrester found that Optimizely offers strong capabilities in experimentation and analytics, making it one of the leaders of the group. Forrester also reports that Optimizely is ideal for “digital teams that want an end-to-end platform” to support both the digital experience and application development.

“We believe being named a leader in this Wave evaluation validates the strength of our solutions as well as our comprehensive approach that brings together DXP capabilities for data, content, commerce and optimization,” said Justin Anovick, chief product officer of Optimizely. “We’re committed to helping brands unlock their digital potential, and our robust experimentation solution is instrumental in supporting this mission.”

To learn more, download the full report, The Forrester New Wave™: Feature Management and Experimentation, Q2 2021.

Google Analytics 101 – A Simplified Guide

Google Analytics empowers digital teams to stop guessing and start measuring marketing and website success.

Nearly 95% of the top 200 marketing websites use Google Analytics and it’s the top SEO tool used by marketers.

The free, powerful analytics tool measures website and digital campaign activity to help marketers answer questions, like:

  • What tactics or campaigns are working?
  • Who’s visiting my website?
  • How are people finding my website?
  • Are they interacting with my content or products?
  • Where should I focus marketing spend?

Google Analytics helps marketers focus their investment on the right campaigns and audiences to maximize every opportunity. Follow our beginner’s guide to get started on your Google Analytics journey.

Getting started with Google Analytics doesn’t have to be intimidating. To get set up for long-term success with one of our favorite marketing analytics tools, dive in below and watch our on-demand webinar, Google Analytics 101.

Continue reading Google Analytics 101 – A Simplified Guide

4 SEO Strategies for Voice Search

Speech recognition technology used by Amazon Alexa, Google Home, iPhone’s Siri, and more, makes it easy for users to search for information and products via verbal commands.  

Its adoption is growing. According to Gartner research, 39% of the U.S. population uses voice assistants on their smartphones and 26% use smart speakers at least once a week. What’s more, an Adobe survey found that 94% of users consider voice technology easy to use and say it does more than save time – it improves their quality of life.

When stating voice commands, people frequently phrase questions differently than they would typing into a search engine. They are more conversational and likely ask direct questions. As voice search adoption becomes more widespread, marketers need to incorporate voice search into their overall search engine optimization (SEO) plan.

Optimizing for voice search means answering questions in featured snippets, paying attention to local SEO, and perfecting mobile-friendliness. Listen up: we’re sharing four voice search optimization best practices to level up your search ranking success.

Voice Search SEO Tip #1: Conversational

People are conversational when using smartphones and virtual assistants to conduct in-the-moment voice searches. Voice searches also tend to be longer and in complete sentences, rather than short, keyword-driven, text-based searches.

For example, a user might ask their at-home Alexa device “what is the weather today in Washington, D.C.?,” as opposed to typing “weather Washington, D.C.” into Google’s search bar.

Continue reading 4 SEO Strategies for Voice Search

3 Digital Marketing Strategy Mistakes You’re Making

Originally published in Destination CRM.

The digital marketing space evolves at breakneck speed. Technologies, trends, buyer preferences, and sales environments are always changing, and adept marketers must modify their existing plans to capitalize on every opportunity to engage and nurture their customers.

This is particularly true in 2021, as marketers are challenged to recoup lost revenue from pandemic-impacted 2020.

To help marketers maximize success and build a solid digital strategy, Whereoware’s Vice President of Strategic Solutions, Lynne DeRoché, shared three common marketing strategy mistakes with Destination CRM.

The first mistake? Not basing your digital marketing strategy on data and tying it to measurable goals. The best strategies “document business goals and set KPIs against each goal, and then build out the campaigns and channels you’ll use to reach these goals.” 

By using data to set goals, and then defining the metrics to measure campaign results to achieve each goal, marketers have a logical, data-driven plan to achieve desired outcomes, and the optimization foundation to improve results.

Visit Destination CRM to hear from DeRoché on the remaining all-to-common mistakes marketers make that decrease their digital marketing success.

COVID-19 Changed B2B Buying Forever

COVID-19 impacted nearly every aspect of everyday life. The B2B landscape was not immune to those changes – buyer expectations, preferences, and behaviors rapidly shifted, bucking “business as usual” for good.

The pandemic ushered in digital adoption in a massive way. The shift may have started as a crisis response, but it has transformed into the next normal, with implications for how buyers and sellers will continue to do business in 2021 and beyond. Buyers and buying cycles have changed, and there’s no going back.

We’re sharing how both B2B buyers and traditional buying cycles changed as a result of the pandemic, and how you can adapt your business to thrive in the new normal.

COVID-19 Increases B2B Online Buying

The lines between B2B and B2C continue to blur, and buyers expect the buying journey to mimic the consumer experience, offering the same online buying options. McKinsey found that 70-80% of B2B decision makers prefer digital self-service and remote sales rep interactions, due to safety precautions, ease of scheduling, travel cost savings, and a faster buyer experience.

More and more, B2B buyers were adopting self-service options in recent years, but they’ve often been limited to reordering products or making smaller purchases. Failing to expand beyond these options is a missed opportunity – 70% of buyers are now willing to independently purchase new items online in excess of $50,000, and 27% of buyers are comfortable purchasing in excess of half a million dollars.

We don’t expect buyers’ preference for convenient self-service tools to go away. In fact, 90% of B2B buyers reported that they expect the remote and digital buying model to stay for the long haul, and three out of four believe the new standard is as or more effective than the old model.

To meet this demand, a strong e-commerce presence and digital strategy is critical.

Continue reading COVID-19 Changed B2B Buying Forever

Optimizely (Episerver) Named a Leader in Forrester Agile CMS Wave, Q1 2021

Optimizely (formerly Episerver), Whereoware’s longstanding technology Partner, has been named a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Agile Content Management Systems, Q1 2021 Analyst Report.

The quarterly, 26-criteria evaluation provides an overview of agile CMS market trends, as well as assesses the strengths and weaknesses of 15 Content Management Systems vendors’ offerings, strategy, and market presence. Interested in learning how the leading CMS providers stack up? Dive into the full report here.

Receiving the highest possible scores in the content hub, content services, and supporting products criteria, the Forrester report noted that “Optimizely’s developer and practitioner tools and content services capabilities are particular strengths.”

“We believe Optimizely’s leadership position in Forrester’s most recent report is a validation of both the strategic business decisions we’ve made over the last 12 months and the continuous effort our team puts into improving our CMS strategy and capabilities,” says Justin Anovick, Chief Product Officer of Optimizely. “The breakthrough combination of our traditional CMS with the added benefits of acquired organizations like Idio and Optimizely make Content Cloud a strong choice for those searching for a content management system.”

Continue reading Optimizely (Episerver) Named a Leader in Forrester Agile CMS Wave, Q1 2021

Reduce Cart Abandonment: How to Build A Better Shopping Cart

Improving website user experience (UX) is a continuous process, as technology, product interests, and consumer behavior is constantly evolving. To get it right, marketers analyze every aspect of their customers’ journey to pinpoint areas to reduce friction and improve the digital experience. In fact, The CMO Survey found that 54% of Marketers focused on improving the customer experience throughout COVID-19.

Today’s customers expect to find products or information on a website quickly and without error, and simple irritants will cause them to click away to an alternative. Taking painstaking care to improve and elevate customers’ experience at every touchpoint is critical – a single bad web experience makes visitors 88% less likely to return (Equation Research).

If you’re overwhelmed by the endless customer experience challenge, one e-commerce area for immediate gratification and improved conversions and revenue is the shopping cart and checkout process. It is a pivotal moment for your customer and business: they’re eager to buy; emotions and urgency are high. It’s also prone for abandonment – Statista found that 88% percent of online shopping orders were abandoned.

Reduce abandonment and recoup lost sales by improving your customers’ cart experience. We’re sharing four optimizations to reduce friction and capture revenue.

Continue reading Reduce Cart Abandonment: How to Build A Better Shopping Cart

Webinar Recap: How to Thrive in 2021’s Digital-First Sales Environment

Thank you to all who joined us for our webinar, COVID-19 Changed Your B2B Customers and Buying Cycles Forever: How to Thrive in 2021’s Digital-First Sales Environment.

In 30 minutes, we shared research on how COVID-19 transformed the B2B customer and upended traditional buying cycles.

Watch the recording and get the webinar slides to learn how to adapt to meet the heightened expectations of today’s digital-native buyers. Discover how to future-proof your business with a digital-first approach and must-have digital strategy tactics to deliver a first-class online experience.

Watch the Recording

Continue reading Webinar Recap: How to Thrive in 2021’s Digital-First Sales Environment

Digital Strategy Mistakes to Fix for 2021

The once-in-a-lifetime challenges of 2020 accelerated the adoption of e-commerce and online sales. In fact, during just the first 3 months of the pandemic, e-commerce penetration in the U.S. grew more quickly than it had in the last 10 years combined.

A tumultuous year likely left your digital marketing strategy under intense pressure to perform in 2021. As digital has become the primary (if not only) way to reach your customers, delivering a stand-out customer experience is more important than ever.

According to eConsultancy, 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a website after a single bad experience. Don’t let this happen – a strong digital strategy is your best tool for achieving a better customer experience.

As a digital agency for 20+ years, we help our clients understand their customers needs and motivations to deliver compelling content and offers that guide their next action. Our marketing experts continuously optimize digital strategies to achieve our clients’ business goals.

Our work is centered on creating genuine customer experiences online (albeit, this can be complex and easier said that done). Through the years, we’ve noticed patterns with the types of issues our clients come to us to solve, including:

  • “We can’t keep up with our customers’ changing demands.”
  • “Abandonment rates are high and customers are losing interest.”
  • “We set up automated campaigns, but we’re not seeing results.”

Sound familiar? Let’s address these common digital strategy mistakes and share quick tips on how to get back on track for the year ahead.

Continue reading Digital Strategy Mistakes to Fix for 2021