On today's All The Social Ladies podcast, I had the absolute pleasure of speaking to Heather Wajer. Heather is currently the Chief Marketing Officer for Whistle - the world leader in pet health and safety solutions. Heather has had an impressive and extensive career-- working at a number of big brands such as Livestrong, Baby Center and many others. Take a listen to her podcast-- hear her incredible story and how a life-changing event after college really shaped the focus of her entire career.
Critical Events and Their Effects
After college, Heather took an unconventional career path. Within months of graduating, her mother was diagnosed with Lou Gerig's Disease. Heather moved in with her, became her caretaker and started running her small business.
Her mother's passing was a life-altering event and made her consider what she really wanted. The answer: To be a part of organizations that did things that she personally cared about.
It was through this life-changing experience that she learned to follow her passions.
Taking on Challenges by Joining Innovative Companies
In Heather's 16 years of employment, she has had the opportunity to work for incredible brands. She owes her success to taking risks. The throughline of her career has been working for innovative companies that come up with groundbreaking solutions for existing problems.
When she worked for mp3s.com, the digital music space was something new to be explored, and the question was how to access and make music portable anywhere. At Baby Center, she tackled how to take an offline conversation between mothers and bring it online as a resource for happy, healthy babies. Livestrong faced the question of how to live one's best possible life while facing a cancer diagnosis, and used technology to help inform those with the disease.
Finally, at Whistle, she helps pet owners find lost pets with strategies that go beyond "lost" signs. Regardless of the company, she always held a role that helped people.
A Key Time at Livestrong
Heather joined Livestrong in November 2012. On her first day on the job as Vice President of Marketing, she received an email from Lance Armstrong about his resignation from the company.
Her initial goal was to expand current partnerships with athletic brands, and also to onboard new ones. Armstrong's resignation changed everything. Instead of continuing to grow these brand relationships, her role evolved into restoring Livestrong's name.
She came to realize that, although the organization had been around for 15 years, most people didn't know its mission. All they knew was its celebrity face. Its audience struggled to detach Livestrong's mission from what Armstrong did personally.
Heather drew the distinction by creating a shareable graphic. "Livestrong was never about one person," the copy read. "It's always been about the 28 million people dealing with the toughest battle of their lives."
That graphic became the most shared post on its channel.
Whistle: A Game Changer for Pet Owners
Whistle started with the development of a pet monitoring app that tracked a pet's lifestyle: how much exercise it was getting, whether it slept well, etc. It ensured a pet's health while encouraging its owners to stay active.
Soon after the product launch, Heather and her team discovered an alternate function. Pet owners wanted to track and locate their pets if anything ever happened to them.
This led to the Whistle GPS Pet Tracker.
The tracker not only helps find missing pets; it minimizes the likelihood of pets running away in the first place. Users can set up a safe zone for their pet on the app, and if the pet leaves its radius, the owner gets a notification and can track it.
Raising Awareness Through Social
One-in-four pets go missing on July 4th because of fearful reactions to the sound of fireworks. It's a day all pet owners should be on high alert, which led Whistle to launch a campaign called "Lost for Dogs."
The team created awareness and tactics to help pet owners through the holiday. Beyond using Whistle, they advised owners to close doors and take other safeguard measures. Whistle also encouraged owners to share photos of their pets during the night, which brought more attention to the campaign.
Heather finds that Facebook and Instagram are the most popular platforms for Whistle. More than just sharing photos, pet owners love to share stories. For the company itself, Heather uses Facebook to ensure users are making the most of the app.
"The subject matter lends itself really well to social," Heather says about Whistle, because pet owners love to post pictures.
That aspect is pre-built in.
Enjoy, and check back here for more episodes of the All the Social Ladies podcast on Social Media Today.