Issues and Solutions for Virtual Management

When it comes to virtual management, certain characteristics of the digital working environment pose unique considerations for how managers interact with and motivate their team members.  By acknowledging the issues impacting task and relationship behaviors, a virtual leader can utilize a coaching approach to lower turnover, improve morale, and ensure timely completion of projects.

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Issues of a Virtual Environment

When facing the prospect of leading a team in a virtual environment, the lack of being “face-to-face” with employees poses a diverse set of challenges.  Communicating face-to-face and having physical accessibility to employees is a key aspect of performing relationship behaviors (Northouse, 2016).  In order to compensate for the lack of physical closeness, a manager can utilize tools like video conferencing and ensuring open, constant communication with team members.  It is crucial that virtual team members feel supported and are encouraged to speak out with any issues they are facing.

Another consideration with virtual team leadership is the issue of task accomplishment.  Without being able to easily access team members, employees might face performance issues due to lesser structure and accountability.  The leader can compensate for this perceived lack of structure by utilizing project management tools and ensuring that employees clearly understand the scope of assigned tasks and their deadlines (DeRosa & Lepsinger, 2015).  Utilizing project and time management tools can help to regulate accountability and encourage employees to take individual responsibility for their work.

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The Coaching Approach

Considering the management issues faced in performing both task and relationship behaviors in a virtual environment, an effective leadership style should allow a leader to compensate for the weaknesses impacting both of these areas.  In the S2/coaching approach from the situational approach to leadership, the leader takes on a high-directive, high-supportive style: focusing on “both achieving goals and meeting followers’ socio-economic needs” (Northouse, 2016, p. 94).  The coaching leadership style allows a virtual team leader to remain emotionally and “physically” accessible to team members, while also keeping the workload organized and empowering employees to take responsibility for their assignments. 

In my personal experience, having open communication and a supportive atmosphere is crucial for virtual teams to be successful.  According to the Harvard Business Review, “the ongoing dialogue of coaching guarantees that people know what is expected of them and how their work fits into a larger vision or strategy. That affects responsibility and clarity” (Goleman, 2000, p. 87).  It is important for a virtual leader to have the ability to structure the workload and monitor the progress of employees.  At the same time, it is crucial that followers view their virtual leader as a supportive source they can go to with any problems.  The coaching approach to management addresses the unique task and relationship needs of a virtual team and provides solutions for leaders who work in a virtual environment. 

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DeRosa, D., & Lepsinger, R. (2015). How to lead an effective virtual team. Retrieved from

Goleman, D. (2000). Leadership that gets results. Harvard Business Review, 78(2), 78-90.

Northouse, P. G. (2015). (7th ed.) Leadership: Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks: CA: Sage Publications

Rebecca Wickes Wins Top International “Summit Emerging Media Award”

Meesh Mobile App Places in Global Competition for Creative Excellence in Emerging Media

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Rebecca Wickes is a Leader Award winner in the 2018 Summit Emerging Media Award (Summit EMA) competition for her work on the Meesh Mobile App.

The Meesh Mobile App is a collection of animated stickers featuring the cartoon cat, Meesh.  The app is available in the Apple App Store for iMessage and has been downloaded in over 40 countries across the globe.  Users can select from 30 unique, animated Meesh stickers and send them to each other via iMessage on iOS devices.

The Summit Emerging Media Award (Summit EMA) began in 2007 and evolved through a need to recognize and celebrate creativity, innovation and those pushing the bounds of creative excellence in all forms of emerging media.

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Jocelyn Luciano, Executive Director for the Summit International Awards (SIA) says, “those involved in today’s emerging media technologies are the leaders who are establishing tomorrow’s avenues of advertising communications and emphasizing the importance of the consumer’s experience.  Most communication professionals recognize that established avenues of communication can be reliable and safe.  However, audiences are becoming increasingly fragmented and difficult to engage, inform and affect.  Developing, applying and combining emerging media with creative messaging and market awareness is challenging.  Achieving this synthesis is what makes earning a Summit EMA a significant achievement.”

For Rebecca Wickes, winning a Summit Emerging Media Award is a thrilling achievement: “I am extremely passionate about the mobile space and am honored to have one of my apps recognized by such a powerful industry leader like the Summit International Awards,” Wickes says.  “Data and trends are clearly distinguishing mobile as the preferred landscape for consumers to interact with companies and with each other.  Meesh’s success is a prime example of the power of mobile communication in our technological age and represents the opportunity for brands to create relatable and engaging experiences for mobile users.”

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Rebecca Wickes first became passionate about mobile technology during her work as a digital marketing consultant: “specializing in pay-per-click advertising and Google Analytics, I have seen first-hand the power of mobile when it comes to both building successful brands and engaging with consumers,” Wickes says.

The Summit International Awards (SIA) organization is dedicated to furthering creative excellence in the communications industry.  It administers three distinguished award competitions throughout the year with the goal of raising the awareness of companies and individuals who have the creative and marketing talent to go beyond the ordinary.

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“Branching into mobile application development has been such a rewarding process that has allowed me to harness all of my skills when it comes to market research, product development, branding, graphic design, and digital marketing.  My approach to creating this app encompassed nearly every facet of business and marketing: from developing a comprehensive market-entry strategy, to conducting quantitative research studies and implementing full-scale promotional campaigns.  Receiving this 2018 Summit Emerging Media Award is a humbling and motivating experience and I look forward to continuing to push the boundaries of media and technology.”

This SIA organization stands apart by offering a true competitive environment where entries are judged alongside those of their peers.  Companies and individuals from more than 50 countries and across five continents participate in its award programs. The SIA organization conducts three awards each year: Summit Creative Award, Summit Emerging Media Award and Summit Marketing Effectiveness Award.

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More Information & Press Photos

Additional HD press/PR photos are available via the following Google Drive Link:…

Users can download the app by searching for “Meesh” in the Apple App Store or by using the following direct App Store Link:…

More information about the Summit International Awards and the Summit EMA is available on

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About Rebecca Wickes

Rebecca Wickes is a Google-Certified marketing consultant based out of Houston, Texas.  Specializing in pay-per-click advertising, her passion for data-driven marketing has enabled her to transform businesses across the United States.  She is pursuing her Master of Business Administration through the University of Texas at Tyler.

3 Ways DuoLingo Creates Positive UX for Mobile Ads

DuoLingo has been a game-changer in the world of language learning apps. Across the board, companies everywhere are experimenting with different pricing models to generate revenue for their mobile apps.

Finding a good balance between generating revenue and creating a positive user experience is crucial for user retention and app differentiation in the mobile marketplace.

Here are 3 ways DuoLingo has created a positive user experience through their ad monetization efforts.

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1. It’s seamlessly integrated

After a user completes a lesson, they are redirected to an ad. After a few seconds, the option emerges to exit out of the ad. On the back end, this process guarantees an advertiser that at least those few seconds have captured the user’s impression.

This ad delivery process is clean and non-invasive. In addition, the experience turns into a “break” between lessons, rather than a punishment.

duolingo ad preview in app

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2. Rewarded video

Rewarded video has been a gamechanger for mobile app developers. It puts the power of the ad into the hands of the consumer.

Instead of creating an aversive experience where users are actively trying to avoid ads, the process of rewarded video creates a positive connotation with advertisements.

Google recently announced new “Rewarded Products” tools for Android developers to easily integrate “rewarded video” into their apps. This switch in mobile ad monetization represents a larger cultural shift to keep users more engaged and less hostile to mobile advertising.

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3. Users can go “ad free”

Between in-app-purchase (IAP) and monetization through ads, revenues can become skewed for mobile app companies. Revenue models that depend on income from ads make it difficult for companies to justify offering a way for users to opt-out of ads completely, while still remaining profitable.

However, having that “opt-out” option for users is crucial for a positive user experience. DuoLingo balances lost ad revenue with options for monthly “Plus” subscriptions.  For users who are looking for a truly seamless language-learning experience, opting-out of ads is another option that positively enhances UX.

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Looking for some cool mobile apps to download? Check out ours!

NEW Premium Meesh Stickers

The “Meesh Animated Cat” mobile app has been downloaded in over 40 countries. In addition, Meesh recently won a coveted 2018 Emerging Media Award from Summit International Awards.

NEW Premium Meesh Stickers offer a unique selection of animated stickers made for Meesh fans all over the world. Users can “unlock” the stickers in the App for $0.99.

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new meesh stickers preview

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There are 12 NEW Premium Stickers. In addition, there is one NEW Free Sticker for users who prefer to stick to the freebies.

From a bunny rabbit to a chef, the Premium Stickers offer a wide variety of fun scenes for users to enjoy in their iMessage conversations.

Meesh has captivated users around the globe. With these newest Meesh iMessage stickers, users can further enhance their everyday conversations and connect with each other.

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3 Situations: When to Get a Google Analytics Audit

A Google Analytics Audit offers the opportunity to examine how consumers are engaging with your brand and, ultimately, contributing to your bottom line.

Understanding consumer behavior on your website is a crucial aspect of making informed business decisions.

Here are three situations when you should consider getting a Google Analytics Audit.

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1. Your conversions are lower than expected

Are consumer calling you and subscribing to your email list? Are they making purchases?

Google Analytics sheds light on exit rates and bounce rates. These metrics can help you visualize the Conversion Flow taking place on your website. In addition, Conversion Funnels can be set up to track specific flows of behaviors across specific pages of your website.

A Google Analytics Audit is also a great time to examine how you currently have Conversion Tracking set up on your website. As a result, you can identify any conflicting code issues that may be preventing accurate tracking of your conversions.

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2. You want to know more about the impact of a marketing or advertising campaign

Referral Traffic is tracked separately through Google Analytics. In other words, you can see how referral traffic is engaging on your website.

Examining Referral Traffic can also help you make informed decisions about which outlets are giving you the best ROI.  In addition, you can use this data to help negotiate media deals and even identify outlets that might be good options for future partnerships.

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3. Visitors to your site aren’t behaving the way you think they should

Above all, being able to track the customer journey through your website is crucial. A Google Analytics Audit can provide meaningful data to help assign real values to consumer interactions on your website.

How many pages are consumers viewing? Are they simply bouncing off your homepage?

Analyzing consumer behavior data will allow you to take a closer look at your website’s User Experience (UX).  With this data, you can create a strategy and implement changes that enhance the online experience you are providing to your customers.

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We Can Audit Your Google Analytics Account!

A Google-Certified individual will audit your account, optimize your website, and train your staff on how to monitor your performance.

Services are customizable to fit the needs of your organization.

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Review of New Delta iMessage Stickers

The new Delta iMessage Stickers Mobile App is a phenomenal example of how brands can utilize iMessage Stickers to engage with their audience and deliver valuable brand experiences in our mobile age.

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iMessage Stickers are the newest obsession for iPhone and iPad users. Delta Airlines has recognized the value of providing tech that can build brand awareness and engage consumers.

The newest additions to the engaging Delta iMessage Stickers app were released in November of 2018 and come auto-installed on iOS users’ devices during a routine update of the Delta Airlines Mobile App.

The best part of this mobile app is it is not “overly brand-y” or obnoxious. What do I mean by that? You won’t find “FLY DELTA!” slapped across the stickers. Instead, users will find useful, fun stickers that reinforce the brand without alienating people from using them!

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A suitcase, champagne, and the famous Biscoff cookies are just some examples of the variety of icons that Delta chose for their sticker pack. Even better? Many of the stickers are animated.

Reading public forums, it’s apparent that consumers love the stickers. In addition, people are appreciating the homage paid to both the brand and common themes of the travel experience.

This iMessage Sticker pack is a perfect mixture of subtle and not-so-suble brand reinforcement that encourages users to engage with Delta and connect with the brand.

By Delta acknowledging the power of mobile and creating a quality product that delivers a high-quality tech experience, the airline differentiates themselves in the highly-competitive airline marketplace.

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iMessage Sticker Apps are the newest way to engage with your audience. In addition, they provide a wonderful outlet for reinforcing your brand image.

We specialize in delivering quality, unique sticker apps! Discover Trobek’s iMessage Sticker packs, available NOW in the App Store!

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Rebecca Wickes is an Apple Developer and Marketing Consultant, passionate about the mobile space. Learn more about Trobek’s specialties and discover how we can evolve your brand in the digital age.

New Press Release for Newest Mobile Apps

“Southern Sayings” and “Texas Animated Stickers” are my two newest apps to hit the (digital) shelves.

The press release is now live on!

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Two new mobile apps have hit the shelves: “Southern Sayings” and “Texas Animated Stickers.”  Both apps are for iMessage and allow users to customize their iMessage conversations with engaging and lighthearted stickers.  

“Southern Sayings” features an array of 30 text-based stickers that include favorite phrases like “Bless Your Heart,” “Hey Ya’ll,” and the ever-polite “Yes Ma’Am.”  Keeping up with the southern trend, Texas Animated Stickers are a mix of western icons and word-based stickers that users can use to “dress up” their photos and iMessages in their conversations.

Trobek’s founder and Houston-based consultant Rebecca Wickes explains how easy it is to use the stickers. “To send a sticker alongside your iMessage, simply tap on it,” Wickes explains. “To get even more creative, try tapping and holding a sticker to ‘drag and drop’ a cowboy hat on top of your pet, or add a Sherriff star to your selfie. iMessage stickers are a wonderful way to have fun in mobile conversations and provide a great outlet to engage with each other virtually.”

Both mobile apps are available in the Apple App Store for $0.99 download.  

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App Store link for “Southern Sayings”

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App Store link for “Texas Animated Stickers”

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Users can also learn more about the apps by exploring the app pages via the “Learn More” link below.

“Southern Sayings” Mobile App on App Advice

We have a new mobile app feature, and it’s pretty exciting!

App Advice is a modern, visual resource to discover the best iOS mobile apps. They “filter through the 1,500,000+ apps in the App Store to bring you up to date on relevant news regarding apps, as well as providing detailed app reviews.” (App Advice, n.d.)

The company has been awesome enough to feature all of Trobek’s mobile apps so far, and our newest app is no exception!

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In case you haven’t heard, Southern Sayings is a must-have for adding some Southern Charm to your iMessages. The text ANIMATES on 30 stickers for extra flair.

It’s available for download in the App Store for iMessage!

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Head on over to App Advice to see some pretty visuals of the app, or “Learn More” about the app on its Official Page right here on the Trobek website.

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App Advice. (n.d.). What is App Advice. Retrieved from

Startup Training in Denver

Last week, I flew to Denver to train an awesome startup on how to leverage website analytics and social media data for product development.


One of the best things about startups says it right in the name: things are starting up.

When it comes to any type of marketing strategy, the deeper the roots go, the more likely it can be successful.

Using marketing and advertising as a “band-aid” never works out well in the long-run.

That’s why, for startups, the somewhat clean slate provides a wonderful opportunity to get set up for success.

It’s very easy for people to get “stuck in one lane,” and it’s even easier for a company to do so.  For startups, getting the product or service right is crucial, but that doesn’t mean the right product today will be right a year from now.

Product development should always be an ongoing process.

Even for myself personally, navigating my career path has been a series of trials and errors.  The point is to keep experimenting, keep optimizing, and keep innovating.

Data is the backbone for these experiments.  It is what can help you to navigate the murky waters of personal bias vs. realistic expectations.

When you lay a solid foundation, set clear goals, and understand how to adapt a strategy on an ongoing basis, you can make informed decisions on the direction to take your company and be prepared for changes in the marketplace.

Also during my time in Denver, I met with Masha from Coding Blonde!

Masha is part of a new generation of female tech influencers who are passionate about breaking gender barriers in tech and encouraging women to pursue careers in all fields related to technology.

The power of the Internet is making self-learning a possibility for all – we need only have the courage and the dedication to push ourselves outside of our comfort zones!

Traits of the Best Marketers

You realize you need help with marketing.

That is the first step in achieving success.

That being said, how do you know where to turn for advice? Should you trust an agency or an individual? Which qualities should you be looking for when you hire someone in-house?

As a Google-Certified marketing consultant, I’m a little biased myself. So, bear with me as I try to deliver useful information that you can use in your quest for digital marketing stardom.


I think one of the biggest differentiators among marketers is not their number of skills, it is their level of passion.

Our drive to succeed is fueled by our desire to achieve.

In the two-factor theory (also called Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory), those with a high preference for achievement go beyond the usual realms of success: their desire for success is a key motivator in all of their behaviors.

They can be star students, or those who actively apply for awards. They can be those who always have their head in a book, or those who always seem to be “doing too much.”

Look for someone who does more than is required, just because they can. 

Why does this matter when it comes to marketing?

Wickes Results Matter

If you’ve been in business for some time, you know that “years of experience” is typically a key indicator of quality. I challenge you to downplay this mindset when it comes to marketing.

We have all met those people with 20+ years in marketing who cannot deliver results. Similarly, there are those still in high school who can grow an online audience like it’s nobody’s business.

Keep in mind that Facebook advertising launched in 2007.  Similarly, Instagram itself launched in 2010, with advertising really only taking hold within the past few years after Facebook’s acquisition of the social media megastar.

The exponential growth of social media demonstrates that the number of years is not the key, it is the quality of the efforts behind them.

Wickes-High Achievers

The future rests with those who continually push the boundaries.

Those who are actively learning the newest trends and technologies.

Those who face challenges head-on, are flexible in their approaches, and don’t approach marketing with a one-size-fits-all mentality.


Whether you want to hire a consultant, agency, or in-house marketer, your long-term goals are what ultimately matter.

Are you focused on driving traffic today, or do you want to understand how your brand will fit into the long-term reality of the digital age? Maybe it’s a bit of both?

Do you want the prestige that comes with a big-name agency, or are you looking for a customized, one-on-one approach with a single individual?

There are many “on-paper” considerations when evaluating a marketer/agency, but I urge you to also examine their willingness to change with the market demands.

Just as the marketing landscape today is vastly different than it was five years ago, our reality today will be vastly different five years from now.

When looking for the best marketer or agency,

Surround yourself with those who will grow with you.