It’s said, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Oh really? In today’s mobile-marketing world, it’s more like, “The more things change, the more you need to be ready to change with them.” Join our panel featuring crack marketers from Match, Wayfair, Verizon, and Orion Labs to learn how to keep up with changes headed into 2017.

Register here for free.

To succeed in digital marketing, you need to find consistencies and trends in your customers. You do A/B testing to see what works and what doesn’t, then cater your campaigns accordingly to improve your response rate and revenues. People are creatures of habit, so data analytics enable you to build reliable customer profiles to anticipate consumer needs and perhaps predict future purchases.

At the same time, you need flexibility. Evolution is critical. You have to be ready for new behavior and changes in the marketplace. You always need to assess your successes and failures, then adapt your marketing efforts accordingly.

Bob Sherwin is prepared for both. As vice president of direct marketing for online retailer Wayfair, he has a team of product managers and data scientists to crunch numbers and look for tendencies and inclinations from their customers. And looking forward, he and his team are are already preparing to navigate new terrain.

He’s asking critical questions: Will customers prefer mobile web over an app? Will customers use voice-based search more, perhaps by way of Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Assistant, and will Wayfair need to plan for different phrasing for voice than through text? Regardless of the future challenges, Sherwin is ready with a firm plan of attack.

To encourage his group to adjust for inevitable change, he’s developed a “test and learn culture.”

“Because we have a really strong team, we want to empower them and make them feel confident they can test out new ideas — we encourage that. When some things fail, that’s fine — we celebrate that. We live by the mantra that you win or you learn,” Sherwin says. “A good baseball batting average we think is a good win rate for any test we’re running.”

To achieve that, Sherwin says Wayfair has “a bias for doing things in-house.” For instance, by building platforms in-house, they’re free to tailor everything for their specific purposes, as well as customize when it’s suitable — or necessary. It’s helped his team to “really understand how these marketing channels work.”

“It allows us to innovate and pivot when the underlying customer behaviors are changing,” Sherwin explains. “It’s enabled us to be much more nimble.”

He says that Wayfair has a “strong discipline in how we run our marketing programs,” and while the retailer established many of its programs on more than a decade of predominantly desktop users, it was able to utilize many of those same approaches in the addition of more mobile customers. Of course, that brought new complexities with it, such as the need to test on various devices and operating systems.

Sherwin says the majority of Wayfair’s customer traffic is now coming from mobile, a threshold it crossed in 2015. The fact that a customer may come to Wayfair through one of numerous platforms, though, makes it much more important for his team to identify those customers, regardless of the platform they’re on.

“It’s even more important to understand who that person is by device, so you have a really solid, enriched feedback loop to ensure you’re giving right credit to any campaign you’re running,” Sherwin says. “Even if they just use their mobile device to first discover the product, but then end up purchasing it on their tablet or on their desktop, connecting those dots as well as possible is way more important now than it was three or four years ago.”

As he continues to explain, “It’s important to have two things: a really strong feedback loop for any campaign you’re running, and a clear definition of what your success criteria is, and have alignment around that success criteria and then a way to actually measure it.”

Sherwin clearly has figured out how to be flexible, but having such consistency in his methodology gives Wayfair a solid foundation on which everything else is built — and will enable his team to quickly adjust to coming changes.

If you want to hear more about how Sherwin and other pros are planning for the future, you won’t want to miss this VB Live webinar.

Don’t miss out!

Register here for free.

In this VB Live event, you’ll:

  • Learn which mobile analytics will matter in the next five years
  • Understand the ways that KPIs monthly active users (MUA) can be interpreted
  • Measure beyond smartphones — including wearables, connected cars, and more.


  • James Peng, Head of Mobile and Social Acquisition, Match Group
  • Bob Sherwin, VP Direct Marketing, Wayfair
  • Jesse Robbins, CEO, Orion Labs former CEO of Chef


  • Evan Schuman, VentureBeat

This webinar is sponsored by mParticle.