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Vanessa Reed is an Event Choreographer with a special interest in event marketing and communications. Vanessa has choreographed public and non-profit arts& culture events with as many as 5000+ in attendance, corporate events, as well as speaker series and innovation-focused experiences.

Ms. Reed also enjoys grueling, endurance-testing feats and is interested in health and fitness. She recently completed a full marathon to benefit Leukemia and Lymphoma research, and is training for her first Tough Mudder event.

EDUCATION:  BA English from UCSB BLOG:  None provided
CERTIFICATIONS:  None provided CURRICULUM VITAE:  None provided


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Writing Sample

Smarter.com Improves Consumer Experiences with New Innovations

The significant changes recently made at Smarter.com are taking the comparison shopping engine in a positive direction, positioning them for a further growth in 2011.  These changes are not only aimed at improving the consumer’s shopping experience, but also enhancing the Smarter.com merchant’s selling experience.

Joanna Estacio, Director of Product at Value Click Brands explained how merchants will benefit from the recent innovations. “With the recent changes at Smarter, we’re committed to providing a brand-safe environment, both in terms of look and feel, for all of our advertisers by accepting only merchants who have a strong online and offline reputation.”

Smarter.com announced in January of 2011 that they would be making changes to their business model.  In a statement released to their merchants, Smarter.com said “In Response to an evolution in consumer demand, Smarter.com has decided to change the service we provide to consumers.  The initial phase of this change is visibly evident in the new look and feel of the site.  Additional efforts will include moving to a smaller, invitation only program. This change will be made effective 12AM PST 2/1/2011.” Estacio added that the idea behind the new Smarter.com is that everyone on the site is a trusted and certified store.

Merchants and consumers should both appreciate the new Smarter.com Blogs which cover topics of fashion, mother and baby, and DIY projects.  Shoppers can read about the topics that interest them, while merchants can benefit by gaining more exposure.   Smarter’s use of social media to attract consumers extends to other realms as well, demonstrating their flexibility in the ever-evolving market.

“With such a large portion of our users also participating in social media, it’s important for us to keep up with the times. Right now, we’re seeing tons of feedback on contests that we’re running that requires you to ‘like’ us on Facebook. It’s great to see the engagement on the Smarter.com blogs with Facebook,” said Estacio.

Smarter also engages its consumers by offering integrated services wherever they go. Shoppers can use their mobile phones to SMS Smarter if they want to compare product prices, as well as view the lowest price available on Smarter.com.  While Smarter.com does not yet have a mobile website, Estacio admitted that they “really want to see our merchandising pages we’ve been working on in mobile form. It’s a work in a progress and definitely on our radar for future expansion.”

Smarter.com’s web traffic is the sum of dedicated search engine marketing coupled with e-mail marketing, search engine optimization and display ads. Smarter.com does have a partnership with Shopping.com that it uses for backfill of long-tail keywords.

Smarter currently represents just over 400 merchants in their system, displaying some 11,500,000 products. The engine currently receives 9 million unique visitors per month, with over 21 million website visits per month.


There are no setup fees to start an account in Smarter.com, just a minimum deposit of $100. Cost per click fees start as low as $0.15 per click. Merchants can expect an easy on-boarding of their products and can choose to use the Smarter.com merchant backend, or the engine can work directly with a 3rd party shopping feed management provider.

While there are few true opportunities to optimize the merchant data feed for better positioning in the search listings, Estacio recommends that merchants provide robust product names when importing data feeds to the Smarter.com system. She explained that rather than use a basic product title like “Men’s Polo shirts by Ralph Lauren” a more robust example would be “Ralph Lauren Slim-Fit Mesh Men’s Classic Polo Shirt.”

Smarter.com has made some innovative changes to its model, and so far the changes are taking them in an exciting new direction.  The future may see Smarter.com at the forefront of the revolution in traditional online comparison shopping engines and consumer and merchant satisfaction.