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Marketing Technology Landscape January 21, 2014

Posted by StrategicGrowth in local marketing strategies, location-based technology, marketing strategies, Marketing-changing technology, Mobile Marketing, Social Media, Virtual Technology.
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Today's Marketing Technology Landscape

Today’s Marketing Technology Landscape

TIPS FOR USING MOBILE MARKETING FOR YOUR BUSINESS September 3, 2012

Posted by StrategicGrowth in marketing strategies, mobile, Mobile Marketing.
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  • Realize that mobile marketing is just like any other marketing medium you will be using as part of your complete marketing strategy; fit your mobile marketing initiatives into the overall marketing strategy and set specific goals for the mobile marketing elements so their effectiveness can be measured, just as you would for every other medium being used.
  • Integrate the mobile ‘call-to-action’ across the marketing mix to ensure an integrated marketing strategy.
  • Understand that your use of mobile marketing legally requires you to get consumers to ‘opt-in’ and that a marketing strategy should provide an incentive for them to do so in order to maximize the effectiveness of the mobile medium.
  • Keep it simple! Think about ease-of-use for consumers; if it’s difficult to engage with your marketing strategy, they won’t. Mobile technology is very easy to use, but some marketers tend to over-complicate it for consumers. Remember to keep to the basics.
  • Be creative! Design the marketing campaign to maximize brand interaction, immersion and brand awareness; mobile marketing technologies provide a wide variety of options for encouraging consumer interaction with your brand.
  • Whenever possible, find ways to leverage the use of SMS (texting) since most mobile devices built in the last few years are text-enabled (and it doesn’t require the use of a higher-end smartphone) therefore it will maximize your ability to reach the largest possible target audience with your marketing message since virtually every phone can send and receive text messages.
  • Make sure to educate and prepare your customer-facing employees so they understand how the mobile campaign will work and they can effectively interact with customers; get your employees ‘buy-in’ by getting them excited about the mobile aspects of the campaign – employees love to be involved with ‘cool’ and progressive technologies.

What is your New Year’s resolution for your business in 2011? December 29, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in email marketing, location-based technology, marketing strategies, Marketing-changing technology, mobile, Mobile Marketing, Social Media, Strategic Growth Concepts, Virtual Technology.
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I had someone ask me today about their business, “If I could do one thing better, what would it be?”.  As a business consultant, I am frequently asked some version of this question, but today it got me thinking that the start of a new year is probably a great time to pass along one of the answers to that question that I give to everyone who asks it of me.  Are you ready?  Here it comes!

Resolve for 2011 to fully embrace technology and to completely integrate it thoughout every aspect of your business; from your marketing, to how you work with and interact with clients and staff, to how you manage your administrative tasks and actually operate your business, etc.

What I mean by this is:  integrate and take advantage of all the benefits that today’s technologies have to offer, including:  webinars and other types of virtual events (including virtual environment events), social media, mobile technology (and I don’t just mean mobile marketing), cloud computing software options, video, email and any other type of technology that will help you increase efficiency, productivity, and profitability. 

Those that don’t choose to embrace technology will be left behind very quickly because 2011, I believe, will be a ‘game-changing’ year for how business is being conducted.  If you continue to do business as you always have, you will very quickly become irrelevant.

Think about your business in a new way, for example:

  • could mobile technology enable your customers to order and pay for your products or services via their cell phone?
  • can you use social media to interact with your customers and potential customers on a more in-depth level so you can be certain you’re providing the products and services they need?
  • will location-based technologies enable you to more effectively target potential customers?
  • do you have an email marketing program to keep clients, vendors and staff aware of what’s going on in your business?  If not, why not?
  • can you make your field staff more productive by dispatching them with tools provided by GPS mobile technology?
  • can you get more immediate response to special offers by sending them directly to your existing customers via their cell phones?
  • can cloud-computing technology allow you to access information from wherever you are as long as you have some sort of mobile computing device or a computer available?
  • can you be more available to your staff for those decisions only you can make if you’ve embraced the use of a SmartPhone or tablet device?
  • can you cut down on travel costs, and yet increase the number of people that you can effectively interact with to present your products or services by engaging in virtual sales and training programs?
  • can bluetooth or QR code mobile technologies help your firm in the manufacturing or supply chain processes?
  • can mobile marketing technologies make your marketing more effective?
  • would video technology help you more effectively communicate the benefits of your product or service?
  • can mobile technology help you increase the viability of the leads you receive at the next trade show you participate in?
  • can participating in virtual trade shows help you decrease travel costs for your staff, and the ‘down time’ that results from that travel, while increasing the number of viable leads you receive?
  • could social media, mobile and virtual technology increase your ability to recruit new employees with higher rates of effectiveness?

So far, I’ve not found one business that I’ve spoken with or worked with that would not be positively impacted by increased integration of technology in their business.  Given that, I now challenge you to consider how technology can help to improve your business – and as a result, your life.  If you would like some assistance in evaluating your business and the options available to you, please contact us, Strategic Growth Concepts is here to help!

Here’s to increased efficiency, productivity and profitability in 2011!

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  Very interesting article on a related topic on TechCrunch; click here to read, ‘Seven Technologies That Will Rock 2011′

___________________________________________________________

The author, Linda Daichendt, is Founder, CEO and Managing Consultant for Strategic Growth Concepts, a marketing / management consulting firm focused on start-up, small and mid-sized businesses.  Areas of specialization include:  mobile technology optimization and marketing for increased productivity and profitability, social media marketing, and virtual events production.  Linda is a recognized small business expert with 20+ years of experience in a wide variety of industries.  She is also the Founder of the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan, a mobile industry trade association, and the Co-founder of Mobile Monday Michigan, a mobile industry networking and education organization.

Linda is available for consultation, and can be contacted at Linda@StrategicGrowthConcepts.com.  The company website can be viewed at www.StrategicGrowthConcepts.com

Are retailers ‘missing the boat’ in driving revenue? November 17, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in marketing strategies, mobile, mobile coupons, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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A recent MediaPost Mobile Insider article by Steve Smith makes the bold statement, “friendly reminder to retailers: Your customers are way, way ahead of you when it comes to using mobile as a resource.”

As someone who regularly works in the Mobile space to help clients develop and implement their mobile strategies, I have to say, he’s quite correct.  Study after study indicates that consumers are heavily embracing the use of mobile technology, and are interested in being able to utilize their mobile devices to find convenience and improve the productivity of their lives.  As more and more demands are made on their time, consumers are seeking ways to engage with retailers in ways that are convenient for them; chief among those methods of engagement is mobile.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of retailers – large and small – have yet to catch on.  Smith cites new research from Brandanywhere’s new Mobile Omnibus Study, which polled 7,000 sites on 10 devices, and found that only 4.8% of U.S. retailers had mobile-specific Web sites. The top-tier retailers are faring slightly better, but not well. Almost 23% of the major retailers, as defined by traffic levels from Alexa, had mobile Web sites. When broken down by verticals, the results across all merchants are even worse. While auto parts retailers (20.78% with mobile Web sites) and auto dealerships (15.66%) were relatively more mobile-ready by comparison, department stores (3.41%), clothing and shoe stores (1.61%) and grocery stores (1.60%) were pathetic.

Smith indicates that according to Dan Flanegan, Managing Partner, Brandanywhere, the big disconnect is with consumers who say they would give preference to retailers that had mobile presence. His company partnered with Luth to poll over 1,000 consumers on whether a brand’s mobile-readiness affected purchasing decisions. “One in two consumers would give preference based on whether the retailer has a mobile site,” he says. “It indexes even higher with higher-value purchases. There is a big opportunity retailers can grab onto.”

Luth and Brandanywhere also asked how consumers prioritize the functions they most need on a retailer’s mobile presence. Interestingly, transactions were not among the most popular features. Foremost, they wanted to know about the special offers and coupons available - tools that could help them shop smarter and more cost-effectively. The second most desired feature was product pricing. Store location came third, followed by product information.

According to Smith, “Brandanywhere developed their Indexer to help agencies and their clients better understand how their digital presence is being seen across devices. The main focus was on the mobile Web, where people are inclined to type in a familiar branded URL and hope for a desirable result.”  Smith further explains, “For years the .mobi extension struggled to become the commonplace suffix for all things mobile in the minds of consumers. In many cases the brands ended up creating m.brandname URLs instead. However, the best-case scenario is having a reliable redirect at the branded URL that kicks phones over to a mobile-ready version of the site. But as Brandanywhere’s research shows, this reasonable expectation among mobile users is not being met.”

So, we ask you, ARE retailers missing the boat in driving revenue? Our experience at Strategic Growth Concepts, the Brandanywhere study, and many other studies indicate an absolute YES!

Retailers – large and small – must begin to understand that consumers EXPECT them to be mobile.  They EXPECT to communicate with them via mobile, and they EXPECT retailers to make their lives easier by enabling them to obtain information about and from their firms via mobile.

So why aren’t they mobile?  My experience in talking to businesses about mobile has led me to several conclusions:

  1. they assume it’s cost-prohibitive and that if they don’t have a substantial budget to invest in their mobile effort that they won’t be able to enter the mobile space.  THEY’RE WRONG!
  2. they don’t know where to start. WE CAN HELP!
  3. they assume it’s extremely complicated to get started and that it requires massive amounts of time and effort. AGAIN, THEY’RE WRONG!
  4. they assume mobile is just a passing fad and it will soon lose the interest of consumers, and that they’ll be able to be glad they didn’t waste their time and money getting involved in it. THEY COULDN’T BE MORE WRONG!

So let’s be clear, consumers have spoken; study after study indicates that mobile will continue to grow substantially – particularly in the next 3 – 5 years – and will become a major driver of our economy.  Those that do their homework and start integrating Mobile Technology into their operational and marketing strategies now will find themselves achieving substantial market share increases over their competitors who choose to ignore Mobile.

Which will you be – the retailer who embraces mobile and reaps the benefit?  Or the retailer who conducts business as usual – and gets left behind?

____________________________________________________________

The author, Linda Daichendt, is Founder, CEO and Managing Consultant for Strategic Growth Concepts, a marketing / management consulting firm focused on start-up, small and mid-sized businesses.  Areas of specialization include:  Mobile Technology Optimization and Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and Virtual Events production.  Linda is a recognized small business marketing expert with 20+ years of experience in a wide variety of industries. 

Linda is available for consultation on Mobile Technology Optimization and Marketing and other topics, and can be contacted at Linda@StrategicGrowthConcepts.com.  The company website can be viewed at www.StrategicGrowthConcepts.com .  For more information on Mobile Marketing please visit the Mobile Marketing section of the Strategic Growth Concepts website.

Wondering How Mobile Marketing Works? Let ‘The Mobile Mavens’ Help! November 15, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in marketing strategies, mobile, Mobile Marketing, The Mobile Marketing Review.
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Have you thought about using Mobile Marketing to promote your business?  Have you wondered how it works, or what your customers will REALLY think about it?

If you’re like a lot of small business owners these days, you’re hearing a lot about Mobile Marketing and wondering if it has any value for you and your business.  You’ve probably heard the Mobile success stories that are all over social media, but that doesn’t really tell you how to mount an effective Mobile campaign does it?

If you’re interested in learning what businesses throughout North America and around the world are doing with Mobile Marketing – and how you can benefit from others’ experience, please join ‘The Mobile Mavens’ on the The Mobile Marketing Review.  From idea conception, to tie-ins with other marketing mediums, to the opt-in messages they’re using and how to make them most effective, as well as the results they’re getting. You can follow ‘The Mobile Mavens’ on each show as they evaluate Mobile campaigns from businesses small and large around the globe, and gain many take-a-ways that you can put to use in your own Mobile campaigns!

And, if you’re already using Mobile Marketing to promote your business, the Mavens are currently on the search for their next featured campaign to review.  If you would like your company’s Mobile campaign to be considered for inclusion on the show be sure to submit it to the The Mobile Marketing Review.

‘The Mobile Marketing Review’ Goes LIVE! October 26, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in local marketing strategies, marketing strategies, mobile, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts, The Mobile Marketing Review.
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As a member of ‘The Mobile Mavens’ on The Mobile Marketing Review, I am happy to say that the first broadcast of our show is now LIVE!  And I think you’ll agree that it’s full of useful content and interesting insights from ‘The Mobile Mavens’, Kim Dushinski (author of The Mobile Marketing Handbook), Peggy Anne Salz (publisher of the Top 50 technology blog, mSearchGroove), and myself, Linda Daichendt (CEO, Strategic Growth Concepts; Founder, Mobile Technology Association of Michigan; and Co-founder, Mobile Monday Michigan).

The show begins with our ‘Under the Radar’ segment which will be a standard part of every broadcast.  In this show’s ‘Under the Radar’ we explore a recent Mobile study by Adobe entitled, Adobe Mobile Experience Survey: What Users Want from Media, Finance, Travel & Shopping which was published earlier this month.

The Adobe study contains some interesting findings, but what really drew my attention was the final conclusion and recommendation, “As the pace of smartphone adoption quickens globally, businesses have to be invested in the channel and move beyond the planning stages to start executing and gain some learnings on how users are interacting with the mobile channel.”  My take on that, “it’s time to get out of the kiddie pool, and jump into the ocean and start swimming!”  The bottom line is, you can study Mobile Marketing all you want, and you can read every expert opinion you can find, but you’re never going to figure out how it really works until you start implementing a campaign!  Sure, your business may make some mistakes – just like you’ve probably done with every other medium you’ve ever used.  But every time you use it, you’ll do it with a bit more insight, a bit more education; and therefore, each time you do it, it will be more successful.

And that’s what the company who produced our first evaluated Mobile campaign found out!  We explored a North American campaign by Arby’s which promoted their RoastBurger sandwich.  The company’s goal in implementing this first campaign was to develop local databases that could be used by their individual franchises for re-marketing efforts going forward.  Our research indicated that they incorporated TV, print, public relations, and in-store signage / collateral.  This first effort helped them build 172 local databases as a result of 89%+ response rates to the various media.  Now, the local markets are taking advantage of those Mobile databases to continue  Mobile Marketing efforts in their communities.  The Arby’s campaign appeared to be well-thought-out and fully-integrated into an overall marketing strategy for the chain – signs of a firm doing Mobile Marketing the “right” way.

However, the power of Mobile Marketing will really shine thru once the medium is fully embraced by small businesses.  It’s all well and good that the large chains and corporations are utilizing Mobile – and those firms always tend to be the early adopters – but the story is yet to be written with regard to small business.  I, for one, am quite confident that small businesses who learn the proper way to engage in Mobile Marketing will find it an extremely valuable, cost-effective tool for marketing their businesses.

To showcase that, we at The Mobile Marketing Review are anxious to review campaigns on the show that have been submitted by small businesses and/or the mobile platforms they utilized to implement their campaigns.  Therefore, we encourage firms that have taken their ‘first stab’ at Mobile to go to our website and submit their campaign information to us.  Give us the opportunity to review your campaign so that we can help you, and other small businesses, improve the benefits you obtain from using Mobile Marketing.

And since my fellow ‘Mobile Mavens’ and I have all discovered a shared affinity for Star Trek (and we wonder if that has anything to do with our shared love of Mobile Technology!), I’ll close with a wish for all who follow this blog and will be following The Mobile Marketing Review that is a greeting from Star Trek, “Live long and prosper” in growing your business with Mobile!

High-impact Marketing Strategies for Non-profits and Small Businesses September 18, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in local marketing strategies, Marketing Plan, marketing strategies, mobile, mobile coupons, Mobile Marketing, Social Media, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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I recently had the privilege of being interviewed by Brian Prows, Director of New Media Marketing for MobileBeyond, on the topics of Mobile Marketing and Social Media for small business and non-profits.

When Brian contacted me about doing a podcast interview with him, we discussed a myriad of topics that we both deemed to be of great importance to our respective audiences.  In talking it through, we finally decided that if we focused the interview on small business and non-profit organizations, and strategies designed to help them grow, that we would be addressing a very large audience who would be able to find value in our discussion.

During the interview we discussed a wide range of marketing-related topics that will be beneficial to both non-profits and general small businesses; from marketing strategies, to marketing plan development, to social media marketing, location-based marketing, consumer review sites and mobile marketing.  A primary focus of the interview related to the need for small business owners to identify specific marketing strategies that are high-impact and cost-effective, and then to develop them into a comprehensive marketing plan which can be measured against to effectively track results.

I believe both small business owners and marketers, and non-profit organization management staff, will find valuable information within the podcast and I highly recommend that you have a listen.  The article and podcast can be found on MobileBeyond.  It can also be found on iTunes.

My thanks to Brian for the interview, and for helping to spread the message of Mobile and Social Media for small businesses.

Location-based Services & Local Targeted Marketing Using Mobile Technology August 13, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in local marketing strategies, marketing strategies, mobile, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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ANN ARBOR, MI – The Michigan Chapter of Mobile Monday today announced the speakers and topics for its upcoming monthly meeting.  The event will be held on Monday, August 16th from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at Ann Arbor SPARK located at 330 E. Liberty Street in Ann Arbor.  Attendance at this event is Free, and those interested in attending may register at MobileMondayMichigan.org. Featured speaker for the event will be Melih Oztalay, CEO of Birmingham-based SmartFinds Internet Marketing, who will be speaking on the topic of “Why Geo-Marketing is Becoming Increasingly Important for Marketing Your Business, and How Mobile Helps You Achieve It”.  Other speakers for the event will be Megan Crosbie, Marketing & Membership Coordinator at the Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce who will be speaking about the Chamber’s mobile app, A2YChamber, and Linda Daichendt, CEO of Strategic Growth Concepts, who will discuss recent studies regarding consumer cell phone usage and cell phone operating system market penetration rates.

A co-founder of Mobile Monday Michigan , Daichendt explains the importance of mobile technology as part of local marketing efforts, “As methods of reaching customers become more and more fragmented due to the abundance of channels in use today, it becomes increasingly imperative for marketers to be able to focus their efforts on those methods they can be certain will produce the highest rate of return on the marketing dollars invested.  With statistics showing that 85% of cell phone users always keep their device within 10 feet of them, it’s becoming very clear that mobile is likely to be the best way to reach them.  Further, studies have also shown that mobile is the one channel they will quickly respond to; a recent Nielsen study indicates that 97% of SMS (text) messages are read within 15 minutes of receipt, and acted upon within 1 hour.  Given that no other marketing medium can even come close to that response rate, it’s critical that marketers learn the best ways of using mobile and targeting consumers within their specific geographic areas in order to maximize response.”

In today’s marketplace, mobile marketing is being implemented by business owners and marketers from the smallest ‘mom & pop shop’ to the largest multi-national corporations.  As the traditional marketing channels suffer various levels of decline, mobile marketing is experiencing triple-digit growth annually.  Mr. Oztalay’s presentation on Geo-Marketing via Mobile will help businesses capitalize on this growth by providing more effective ways of using the technology to improve local marketing results; while Daichendt’s presentation will review mobile from the consumer’s perspective.

Featured speaker, Melih Oztalay states about Geo-Marketing, “The benefits to small business are incredible; to be available to their local customers when the customer is looking for them while driving around town with their mobile device is an opportunity they need to take advantage of. The fact that the business can also update their offers anytime gives a local business the ability to adapt to market changes. I’m excited to be able to make this information available to members of Michigan’s mobile and marketing communities.”

For more information about this event, please contact Linda Daichendt at Linda@StrategicGrowthConcepts.com.

# # #

MobileMonday (MoMo) is an open community of mobile industry visionaries, developers, influential individuals, and users fostering cooperation and cross-company business development through virtual and live networking events. The groups programs are designed to facilitate idea sharing, best practices development, trends identification, and Mobile Industry growth locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. The Michigan Chapter executes on these objectives by delivering a balanced approach of business and technical content from within the Michigan business community, as well as beyond our State, in order to insure the Michigan community is made aware of developments taking place outside our area that can aid local businesses. Those interested in learning more about Mobile Monday – Michigan can find the group’s website at MobileMondayMichigan.com; and information about the International organization can be found at MobileMonday.net.

SGC Announces ‘Increase Your Revenue with Mobile Marketing’ FREE Webinar for Small Biz Owners August 3, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in marketing strategies, Marketing-changing technology, mobile, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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Webinar to Provide Information About the Low-cost, High-return Marketing Medium and How Small Business Owners Can Take Advantage of This Emerging Technology to Promote Their Business and Increase Revenue

DETROIT, MI – Small business owners have the opportunity to learn the many benefits of using Mobile Technology to promote their business by attending a FREE webinar presented by Strategic Growth Concepts on Tuesday, August 10th at 2:00 p.m. EDT.  Those interested in learning more about this low-cost, high-return technology, and how they can use it to promote their companies, can follow this link to register for the webinar at the following link.

Read the complete News Release HERE.

Mobile Users Ready for Location-Based Text Marketing July 11, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in demographics, local marketing strategies, mobile, mobile coupons, Mobile Marketing.
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The assumption that marketers make who are still unfamiliar with Mobile Marketing and its benefits, is that it only works on consumers who have high-end smartphones.  In my discussions with small business owners who are considering the use of mobile as a part of their marketing strategy, there is a strong belief that Mobile Marketing can’t be effective because, though growing rapidly, the smartphone consumer segment is still in the minority as compared to feature phones.  Therefore, they believe that a majority of consumers will not be able to see their ads.

However, much to the contrary, any number of studies conducted in the last couple of years indicate clearly that Mobile Marketing is a highly effective medium at reaching all consumers, not just smartphone owners.  And not only is mobile effective with consumers, it is also in-demand from them.  The most effective method of mobile marketing is SMS (text) messaging, due to its ability to cross all mobile operating systems; it has no dependence on being able to access a smartphone.

The study detailed below, conducted by Harris Interactive, clearly indicates that consumers of both smartphones AND feature phones are quite open to receiving SMS messages and that location-based messaging is increasing their effectiveness.

 ___________________________________________________________

JULY 6, 2010, eMarketer blog

Mobile marketing is not just for smartphones

Though smartphone shipments are rising and expected to surpass shipments of feature phones in 2011, according to Morgan Stanley, feature phones are still the devices in the hands of most mobile users. An April 2010 ExactTarget study found 58% of all US internet users ages 15 and older had one, compared with 31% who had a smartphone.

That means a large swathe of mobile users cannot be reached by more sophisticated mobile marketing efforts like sponsored apps, in-app ads or campaigns on the mobile web. According to location-based advertising network 1020 Placecast, opt-in text alerts are the smart way to target a fuller mobile audience.

A May 2010 survey conducted for Placecast by Harris Interactive found that while most mobile users still have not signed up for any text alerts, there was a small rise in interest since a similar poll in 2009: 28% were at least somewhat interested in the alerts, up 2 percentage points, and 8% were extremely or very interested, up 3 percentage points. For under-35s, interest was significantly higher.

Those who wanted the alerts were most interested in coupons and promotions from grocery stores and restaurants. Respondents who had signed up for text alerts said it made them more likely to visit the company’s website (34%), visit the store (33%) and purchase the product being promoted, either in online (28%) or in the store (27%).

Many agreed that making those text alerts location-based, so that recipients would get the right offer at the right time, could make the channel more useful or interesting.While awareness of location-based text alerts is still building, there is the potential to reach a broader audience than with check-in apps such as foursquare or Gowalla, which are designed with smartphone owners in mind. And despite negative attitudes of many mobile users toward SMS marketing, Placecast reports low opt-out rates among recipients.“The brand faithful view these kinds of alerts as a service, not just marketing or an intrusion,” Placecast CEO Alistair Goodman told eMarketer.

Mobile Integrated Into Marketing Strategy = Success & Increased Revenue, Part IV June 6, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in local marketing strategies, marketing strategies, mobile, mobile coupons, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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Part IV – Using Mobile for Local Business Development

In Part I of our multi-part Mobile Marketing series we learned that Mobile Marketing is most effective when incorporated into an overall marketing strategy, and used as a supplement to the mediums you are already using. 

In Part II of our series we discussed a variety of low-cost or no-cost methods of Mobile Marketing that a small business can utilize to promote their firm. 

In Part III of our series we reviewed a wide range of Mobile Marketing case studies that showcase the ways in which Mobile Marketing is being utilized by both large and small businesses.

Now, in Part IV of our series on Mobile Marketing, we’re going to look more specifically at the ways to effectively utilize it to promote your firm within a specific local marketing area.

As you know from reading the earlier segments of our series, mobile phone advertising is quickly becoming a key component in large business marketing campaigns – large companies are definitely the early adopters of the technology. And since billions of people use cell phones every day, and over 12 billion text messages are sent every month in the US, the reasons for big business adoption of the technology are clear. However, Mobile Marketing can be even MORE effective for small local businesses once they understand how to use it effectively.

One of the reasons many small business owners give me for not using Mobile Marketing, is their belief that they will be sending messages to lots of people outside their market area who will never have need for their product or service, and because so many people are thought to be receiving their messages, they assume it will be extremely expensive.  However, THEY COULDN’T BE MORE WRONG!

A primary advantage to using Mobile Marketing is its ability to very specifically target your messages to only those you want to receive them according to very specific demographic criteria.  Remember, Mobile Marketing is an ‘opt-in’ medium.  Once someone has opted in to your list, you can segment them according to whatever criteria is most effective to you in marketing your business.  The more information you gather about them, the more information you can use to target them specifically.

Let’s say you run a small ice cream shop or a family-owned restaurant and your customer database includes information on the names, ages and birthdates of your customer’s kids. How about sending coupons for a free cone or a free kid’s dinner on each of your customer’s kid’s birthdays via SMS messaging? Or if you run a beauty salon, or work for a doctor’s office, how about sending text message reminders about upcoming appointments in order to cut down on your ‘no shows’?

This form of personal contact is perfect for any type of service business. If you run a massage parlor or day spa, consider sending discounts or coupons to your customers on their anniversaries, birthdays or other special occasions.

If you run a woman’s clothing store, you can suggest that your customers fill out a card asking to be notified when particular new items in their preferred style, size, brand arrive in inventory; then you can text them when those items arrive. Or you can send an offer for an inventory close-out sale for current customers only when you’re getting ready to change seasonal inventory.

If you’re a toy store at Christmas and you manage to get a shipment of the ‘must have toy of the season’ that everyone is clamoring for and can’t find anywhere, don’t you think a text message to your existing customers will result in their IMMEDIATE presence in your store when you send a text telling them you have the item in stock but supplies are limited and likely to be gone by tomorrow?  AND, don’t you think they’ll be extremely grateful for the information and likely to think of your store first the next time they need a hard-to-find toy item?

The possibilities are really endless when you think about ways to increase your contact with customers via Mobile technology.  Mobile Marketing allows you to provide a much higher level of customer service to your clients, as well as developing creative, cost-effective ways to obtain new clients.  View Local Mobile Marketing examples in our Flickr stream.

Mobile phone advertising can also become an extremely inexpensive form of viral marketing if you indicate in your text message that the offer is good for any friend or family member that your customer forwards the text message to. A modern version of “I told two friends…and they told two friends…,” the possibilities for your business are seemingly limitless.

Whether you run a storefront or a service business, viral mobile phone advertising is a great way to fill in slow periods throughout the week your company may be having. Suppose you run a cleaning service and your Wednesdays are typically slow; consider sending a text message to your database of customers who may not have used your services for awhile, offering a discount on a whole house cleaning to anyone who responds within the next 3 hours – or to make it competitive, indicate that the first person to respond will receive 1 month worth of whole house cleaning services.  This will get those who haven’t thought of your business in a while thinking about it again – even if they don’t win the contest, and the next time they need cleaning service, they’ll likely call you.

Try to make your offers fun and appealing so your customers will pass them on to friends and family; this will help to build your ‘opt-in’ list so more people will receive future messages from you. A small bit of creativity together with a commitment to offering a personal touch through Mobile Marketing will really set you above your competition in your customer’s minds.

If you would like to learn how Mobile Marketing can be used effectively with strategies for your specific business, please contact Strategic Growth Concepts via our website or email us directly at info@StrategicGrowthConcepts.com .  Our strong relationships with a wide variety of mobile services providers insures that we will be able to find the right solution for your business, and work with you to develop an exciting Mobile Marketing campaign that will generate interest in your business and revenue for your company.

____________________________________________________________

The author, Linda Daichendt, is Founder, CEO and Managing Consultant at Strategic Growth Concepts, a consulting firm specializing in start-up, small and mid-sized businesses.  Linda is a recognized small business marketing expert with 20+ years experience in a variety of industries including: wireless, retail, chemical distribution, residential and commercial contracting, automotive aftermarket, personal services, shopping center development/management, and entertainment facilities management.  Linda is available for consultation and can be contacted at linda@strategicgrowthconcepts.com. The company website can be viewed at http://www.strategicgrowthconcepts.com.

Mobile Integrated Into Marketing Strategy = Success & Increased Revenue, Part III June 2, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in marketing strategies, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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Part III – Mobile Marketing Case Studies

In Part I of our multi-part Mobile Marketing series we learned that Mobile Marketing is most effective when incorporated into an overall marketing strategy, and used as a supplement to the mediums you are already using. 

In Part II of our series we discussed a variety of low-cost or no-cost methods of Mobile Marketing that a small business can utilize to promote their firm. 

In Part III, we’re going to take a look at a wide variety of case studies which showcase the way businesses are utilizing Mobile Marketing.  Our example case studies are drawn from a wide variety of sources, and will detail Mobile Marketing strategies being implemented by firms both large and small; remember, Mobile Marketing is a great way for even the smallest of businesses to ‘level the playing field’.  When opting in to your Mobile campaign, a consumer will have no way of knowing how many employees you have, what your store or office looks like, or how much inventory you’re carrying.  The idea is to draw them in to want to visit your business.  Mobile Marketing allows a small business to present itself in a professional manner, in a high-impact / high ROI medium, with a low cost of entry.  What more could a small business want?

In the case study examples we will provide, you will be able to see Mobile Marketing at work in a wide variety of business types including:  retail, food service, travel, B2B, media/entertainment, healthcare, automotive, non-profit, real estate, consumer services, education, and much, much more. 

Many of the provided case studies go into great detail about the problem they were trying to solve, the mobile strategy they implemented, and the results they achieved.  We encourage you to review them in-depth and consider how their examples might be applied to your business; and then we encourage you to SIMPLY TRY IT!  There are a wide variety of Mobile Marketing resources that enable you to implement a single low-cost campaign without requiring a contract of any kind or any future costs; we would be happy to assist you in identifying those vendors.

So now, let’s get to the case studies!  Please follow the link to the case studies, and we encourage you to add any thoughts or questions to the comments for this article; we will respond to each and every one that requests a response and we’d love to know what you think about the case study examples provided.

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The author, Linda Daichendt, is Founder, CEO and Managing Consultant at Strategic Growth Concepts, a consulting firm specializing in start-up, small and mid-sized businesses.  Linda is a recognized small business marketing expert with 20+ years experience in a variety of industries including: wireless, retail, chemical distribution, residential and commercial contracting, automotive aftermarket, personal services, shopping center development/management, and entertainment facilities management.  Linda is available for consultation and can be contacted at linda@StrategicGrowthConcepts.com. The company website can be viewed at www.StrategicGrowthConcepts.com.

Mobile Integrated Into Marketing Strategy = Success & Increased Revenue, Part II May 16, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in marketing strategies, mobile, mobile coupons, Mobile Marketing, Social Media, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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6 comments

Part II – Low-Cost / No-Cost Methods of Mobile Marketing

In Part I of our multi-part Mobile Marketing series we learned that Mobile Marketing is most effective when incorporated into an overall marketing strategy, and used as a supplement to the mediums you are already using. 

In Part II of our series we’re going to discuss a variety of low-cost or no-cost methods of Mobile Marketing that a small business can utilize to promote their firm.  So let’s look at some ways a small business without a substantial budget can incorporate Mobile Marketing into their existing marketing strategy:

  1. Local Business Listings – These are the free yellow page listings by Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and many other directories; and these directories are the resource that consumers will use to find your business – particularly when they are ‘on the road’ and searching on their mobile device. There are over 60 local business listing websites on the Internet in five different categories. They include the search engines, social communities, 411 websites (aka yellow page type websites), GPS websites and the age old business directory.  Most of them are free but need to be ‘claimed’ by your company in order to insure they contain accurate information that drives customers to your business.  Failure to ‘claim’ your listing may mean that inaccurate information about your firm is posted to them from other sources, or that someone else may hijack your listing for unscrupulous purposes.  To effectively ‘claim’ your listings can be extremely time-consuming and tedious, therefore, an alternative option is our Local Business Listings Management Service which can handle this task for you.
  2. Google Mobile Coupons – Google is just one of the search engine directories where your business should be listed to insure it will be found via Internet or Mobile search, however, Google offers a distinctive advantage.  For over a year now Google has been offering all businesses with a Google Local Business Listing the ability to include Mobile Coupons as part of their listing.  The Mobile Coupon tool is FREE to use, and you can include multiple coupons with your listing.  Then when your firm comes up in the search listings, potential customers will also see your Coupon.  It could be just the advantage you need to make them pick your company over your competitor’s!
  3. Social Media – many of the most prominent social media sites now allow members to access them via their mobile phones, in fact, Facebook which boasts 400 million users, recently publicized statistics which indicate that more than 100 million of those users are using mobile phones to manage their account.  This means if your firm already has a presence on social media, that you are likely already benefitting from Mobile Marketing without taking any additional actions.  However, if you’re not yet participating in social media, then it’s time to get on board!  If you would like to learn how social media can work for your firm and help to increase your Mobile Marketing presence, or if you would like assistance in developing and managing a social media program, please go to the social media section of our website.
  4. SMS Messaging (text messaging) – According to the Director of Research at Nielsen Mobile, “People look at every text message they get”, and they do so within 15 minutes; in fact, studies show that 97% of cell service subscribers read any text messages they get within 15 minutes.  Can you think of any other advertising medium where you are almost guaranteed that every person targeted will see your message?  In today’s “on-the-go” world, studies show that 84% of mobile phone users keep their device within 10 feet of them at all times.  Considering that over 85% of potential consumers have a cell phone, that’s a huge potential customer base that’s easily accessible (as long as they have opted-in to receive messages from you)!  Recent surveys also indicate that consumers are very accepting of mobile offers sent to their phones as long as they are from companies in which they have interest.  The really good news is that the technology has advanced far enough that there are now SMS Mobile Marketing platforms where you can easily create your own text messaging campaigns within minutes – and starting as low as $25 per month!  Learn more about your text messaging options on our website.  Some ways you might use SMS messaging might include:  coupons, contests, regular ‘tips’ about your product or service, and incorporating your KEY WORD and SHORT CODE in your print, billboard, radio or TV advertising to encourage people to opt-in to your mobile list so you can then contact them via SMS on a regular basis with offers designed to encourage them to do business with you again.
  5. Mobile Website – In the last 5 years it has become an imperative rather than an option to have an Internet website.  Now, it is also becoming an imperative to have a mobile version of your website.  These sites are optimized specifically for easy viewing on the wide variety of mobile phones available today and are NOT just scaled down versions of your Internet website.  However, technology advances have also made this option much easier to implement, and services exist where you can build your own mobile website or have it done for you typically for several hundred dollars or less.  Learn more about mobile website options on our website.
  6. QR Codes – Another very viable and cost-effective Mobile Marketing option are QR codes.  These are 2-dimensional graphics (similar to the barcodes on products you buy at the grocery store) that contain information that can lead your customers to a website, display a coupon, provide driving directions or a map, provide contact information, or many other valuable uses. In order to ‘read’ a QR code a consumer downloads a QR code reader into their phone (though the software comes standard in Europe and Asia, that is not yet the case in the U.S. but likely will be soon), then they take a picture of the code with phone’s camera and the software automatically sends them to whatever content you had embedded within your code.  You as an advertiser can place these codes in your print ads, on websites, on billboards, on t-shirts, in emails, or on any other printable or digital medium where a camera would be able to take a picture of it.  Learn more about using QR Codes on our website.

This is just a brief overview a few of the many ways in which Mobile Marketing can be utilized to promote your business cost-effectively.  If you would like to learn more about the ways Mobile Marketing can help your business specifically, please contact us via our website or email us at info@StrategicGrowthConcepts.com .

In Part III of this series, we’ll review case studies that show a variety of ways Mobile Marketing is being utilized by other small businesses so you can begin to consider how to apply this high ROI  technology to your business.  Future segments of the series will continue to explore Mobile Marketing, and attempt to answer any questions submitted to us about the medium.  If you would like to have your questions about Mobile Marketing incorporated into our series, please submit them to us directly at info@StrategicGrowthConcepts.com and include “Mobile Marketing Questions” in the subject line of the email.

Mobile Integrated Into Marketing Strategy = Success & Increased Revenue, Part I May 9, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in marketing strategies, mobile, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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9 comments

Part I – Mobile Integration into Marketing Strategy

There’s a lot of ‘buzz’ these days about Mobile Marketing and how it’s changing the world of advertising, and direct communication with consumers.  However, as marketers begin to become familiar with all of the Mobile options available to them, one issue they will need to give serious consideration to is how to integrate Mobile into their existing marketing strategy.

To help facilitate a better understanding of Mobile Marketing and the most effective ways to use it, over the next several weeks we will be publishing a multi-part series which discusses this hot, new medium and the best ways to incorporate it into your existing marketing strategy.  Additionally, we will also answer any Mobile Marketing questions sent to us by our readers!

One of the biggest mistakes that many advertisers make when they start using Mobile Marketing, is to assume that it’s a stand-alone medium – and then when it doesn’t work as expected, they write it off as an ineffective medium – all because they haven’t learned to use it correctly.  So let’s make the most important point about Mobile Marketing now – MOBILE MARKETING IS NOT A STAND-ALONE MEDIUM; MOBILE MARKETING WORKS BEST WHEN IT IS PART OF AN INTEGRATED MARKETING STRATEGY AND A SUPPLEMENT TO THE MEDIUMS YOU ARE CURRENTLY USING.

So what does this mean?  Let’s first define what we mean by an ‘integrated marketing strategy’.  One definition we found that seemed to represent the idea well was:  “A simple way to look at integrated marketing is to think about your customer and analyze all media that you’ll need to use in order to reach him/her with your message, keeping in mind that a consumer will need to see/hear your message AT LEAST 7 times before they will recall it. Integrated marketing also deals with managing those media so that you coordinate activities that will generate a higher impact when combined.”  The concept includes online and offline marketing channels. Online marketing channels may include e-marketing campaigns or programs, from search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click, affiliate, email, banner to latest web related channels for webinar, blog, micro-blogging, RSS, podcast, and Internet TV. Offline marketing channels may include traditional print (newspaper, magazine), mobile, mail order, public relations, industry relations, billboard, radio, and television.

In a recent article in Mobile Commerce Daily, Best Buy representatives discussed their own mobile strategy and offered this advice for those starting to utilize Mobile Marketing, “Use mobile as an integrated part of a larger strategy, not as a one-off channel.  Particularly if you are a multi-channel retailer, customers have an expectation of a consistent experience regardless of which entry point they access, be it online, the phone, or the store. That’s why for the most part, our mobile communication strategy was an extension of our overall holiday strategy and there were consistent elements across.”

In Part II of this series, we will discuss a variety of Mobile Marketing methods a small business can use at low-cost or no-cost to promote their firm.  Future segments of the series will continue to explore Mobile Marketing, and attempt to answer any questions submitted to us about the medium.  If you would like to have your questions about Mobile Marketing incorporated into our series, please submit them to us directly at info@StrategicGrowthConcepts.com and include “Mobile Marketing Questions” in the subject line of the email or post them as comments on this blog.

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The author, Linda Daichendt, is Founder, CEO and Managing Consultant at Strategic Growth Concepts, a consulting and training firm specializing in start-up, small and mid-sized businesses. She is a recognized small business expert with 20+ years experience in providing Marketing, Operations, HR, and Strategic planning services to start-up, small and mid-sized businesses. Linda can be contacted at linda@strategicgrowthconcepts.com and the company website can be viewed at www.strategicgrowthconcepts.com.

Learn Why You Need a Mobile Strategy for Your Company May 7, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in marketing strategies, mobile, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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1 comment so far

Today, every company needs to have a mobile marketing strategy that integrates mobile with other marketing tools they are implementing; mobile tools might include:  a mobile website, text messaging (SMS), MMS, QR Codes, banner ads and more (learn more about each type of mobile marketing on our website).

A mobile strategy should thread through all avenues of marketing that are existing already within a company and should not be a separate entity, according to Marci Troutman, CEO of Siteminis, Atlanta in an article for Mobile Marketer Daily entitled, “Why Brands Must Have a 360-Degree Mobile Web Strategy“.   She further indicates that it’s most effective when mobile becomes an additional marketing channel threading though and linking to all existing channels, i.e., store signage, electronic media, print media, Internet and store associate training.

In the same article, Ran Farmer, managing director of Netbiscuits, Washington says, “Do not misunderstand mobile to be the little brother of the PC Web.  Mobile will very soon be much bigger than the PC Web.”

If you would like to learn more about how Mobile Marketing can help your business, please contact us at info@StrategicGrowthConcepts.com, visit our PC website or visit our mobile website on your cellphone at StrategicGrowthConcepts.mobi.  You can also text the word STRATEGIC to 244326 to join our Strategic Growth club and to become eligible for discounts on Mobile Marketing services for your company.

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The author, Linda Daichendt, is Founder, CEO and Managing Consultant at Strategic Growth Concepts, a consulting and training firm specializing in start-up, small and mid-sized businesses. She is a recognized small business expert with 20+ years experience in providing Marketing, Operations, HR, and Strategic planning services to start-up, small and mid-sized businesses. Linda can be contacted at linda@strategicgrowthconcepts.com and the company website can be viewed at www.strategicgrowthconcepts.com.

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