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Why Mobile Offers a Good Chance to Connect with Hispanics June 27, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in demographics, mobile, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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June 25, 2010

Young mobile population eager to communicate and connect

Like many Americans, Hispanics love their mobile phones and take them everywhere, more than non-Hispanic whites and, in many cases, more than blacks.

“Hispanics cannot imagine daily life without their mobile phones and credit the technology with strengthening relationships and keeping them connected to their social world, not just friends and family,” said Lisa E. Phillips, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report “Hispanic Mobile Users and Usage.” “Marketers who are just turning to mobile will find a market well ahead of them.”

Hispanic mobile phone users are younger than the Hispanic Internet population, according to eMarketer estimates and comScore: 50.7% of mobile phone users are between 18 and 34 years of age compared with 35.6% in the same age group among Hispanic Internet users. The Hispanic mobile phone population skews even more male than the general population: 55.6% of mobile phone users are male, compared with 51% of males in the Hispanic population.

Hispanics lead all other groups in wireless-only households. And while Hispanics lag behind other ethnicities in having broadband Internet access at home, a full 78% of Hispanic mobile Internet users have some form of Internet access at home.

“In-store mobile marketing is the next big thing,” said Ms. Phillips. “Hispanics are not big online buyers, but they are using their mobile phones to check out products and deals while standing in the store aisles.”

Like most other consumers, Hispanic shoppers are looking for good deals. They use mobile devices to check on prices, product information and inventory while shopping in a store, according to a Sterling Commerce survey.

Retailers take note: Hispanics who are shopping in-store want to buy the product then and there. If they do not find it, 29% said they would use their mobile phone to locate an out-of-stock item at a competing retailer.


The full report, “Hispanic Mobile Users and Usage,” also answers these key questions:

  • What does the Hispanic mobile market look like?
  • Which mobile devices do Hispanics use to go online?
  • Are Hispanics amenable to viewing mobile advertising?
  • How can marketers reach this mobile audience?

To purchase the report, click here. Total Access clients, log in and view the report now.

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Mobile Integrated Into Marketing Strategy = Success & Increased Revenue, Part V June 13, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in marketing strategies, mobile, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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Part V – The Etiquette and Legalities of Mobile Marketing

Those that have been following our multi-part series on Mobile Marketing know that so far in our series we have covered:

In Part V we’re going to examine Mobile Marketing Etiquette and the Legalities involved in utilizing Mobile as part of your marketing strategy.  As we review these two issues, you will begin to see how closely related they are in affecting the way in which a company implements a Mobile campaign.

There are two things that make Mobile Marketing extremely effective:

  1. Mobile is direct one-on-one communication with a targeted customer
  2. The person receiving the message must have already ‘opted-in’ to receive messages from you, therefore, they are receptive to receiving the messages you send them which will typically increase the message’s effectiveness.

In order to insure that the best things about Mobile Marketing are not abused, it is imperative for companies utilizing Mobile to adhere to the guidelines and industry standards that have been developed and are strictly enforced.  This information can be found in the M-SPAM Act of 2009 and the Mobile Marketing Association’s (MMA’s) Best Practices Guidelines.  Adherence to these policies not only helps you avoid legal issues and huge fines, but it also helps you maintain the trust and loyalty of your customers.  To help you understand the importance of this, let’s examine the cases of some companies who forgot.

Case #1

A 2009 article by Adam Broitman in iMedia Connection, details the case of a wireless carrier who forgot to follow the rules they helped draft.

“Recently, AT&T sent out text messages to a large number of its 75 million customers. The message was a promotion for “American Idol,” a show that AT&T sponsors. (The company also plays a key role in the show, as only AT&T customers can vote for their favorite singers via text message.) Many of the mobile customers had not opted in to get this text, and the Twittersphere was, well, all atwitter!

Have a look at some of the conversation:

Sure, Twitter has been known, at times, to have a bit of a mob mentality. But in this case, it is apparent that these people were angry, and the ripples that began on Twitter created waves across the web.”, Broitman states.

While legally AT&T was allowed to do what they did (the M-Spam Act allows carriers to send messages to their subscribers), they lost a great deal of trust from those subscribers who had never agreed to receive messages about American Idol from them and they probably lost a great many future subscribers who didn’t want to be subjected to such practices.

Case #2

In a 2007 Mobivity blog posting by Greg Harris, Greg tells us the story of another extremely credible brand that didn’t adhere to industry best practices when communicating with those who have ‘opted-in’ to their mobile list.  Here’s Greg’s story:

“SPAM has all but killed email marketing, and has made the acceptance of mobile marketing more difficult to both the marketers, and the consumer. On a daily basis we have to win over customers, and explain that SMS and mobile marketing will not have the same problems as email. We explain how the carriers have control of what is sent over their networks, and about the MMA Code of Conduct.

And then a reputable company comes along and does something stupid that sends us a step back.

I just read a post on Greg Verdino’s marketing blog that just made me shake my head in wonder. Apparently Fast Company, a well known brand, took what could have been a great idea and ruined it for all of us.

According to Greg Verdino:

I was reading a great article about authentic business and marketing in this month’s Fast Company .  A sidebar invited me to (and here I quote) “Text In, Get Real.  For exclusive tips on what it takes to be authentic, text the word BACKSTORY to 30364 from your mobile device.”

So I did, and immediately received a WAP push pointing to some good content that complemented the piece in the magazine.

But here’s where it went wrong.  I also received a text message informing me that I was now subscribed to Fast Company’s monthly mobile alert program.  The problem is that neither the magazine sidebar nor the related webpage make any mention of the monthly subscription.  And I simply wanted this month’s content, not an on-going mobile alerts subscription.

One thing that we make clear to our customers is that if you are putting someone on a list, you must let them know. I’m not sure how Fast Company missed that. Just because someone sent in a text message to get the local weather, doesn’t mean you can send them offers and follow-up messages.

Give the consumer a reason to opt-in and you have built a mutual relationship. Provide them something of value, and in return they will let you send them messages once in a while. Don’t just assume that because they requested something from you once that you can now contact them at your convenience.

As Greg puts it:

If I invited you to dinner once, would you invite yourself to show up on the third Thursday of every month to eat again, forever or until I told you to stop coming?  I hope not…

Well said! ”

And Greg is right.

So let’s be clear, the rules of mobile are really not all that complicated, and they’re really not that hard to follow with a little strategic planning.  To help you have a clear picture of the guidelines that are imperative for you to follow, here is a list provided by Mobile expert, Kim Dushinski, author of The Mobile Marketing Handbook:

  • ALWAYS GET EXPLICIT PERMISSION
  • Opt customers in
  • Tell them specifically what they are ‘opting-in’ to
  • Give customers the option to ‘opt-out’ in every message
  • No false advertising
  • Never use a third party list – PERIOD
  • Never hold a contest or sweepstakes without legal advice
  • Never collect data on anyone under 13 years of age
  • Never use the word FREE unless everything is 100% free in the campaign
  • Follow MMA’s Best Practices Guidelines

You see, it’s really not that difficult.  However, if you don’t have a clear understanding of the right way to proceed with Mobile Marketing for your company, then you should hire the expertise of those who do understand it in order to prevent your firm from experiencing such consequences as:

  • Lost trust of customers
  • Loss of your short code access
  • Lawsuits
  • Significant fines

I should state for clarity’s sake that I was driven to explore this particular aspect of Mobile Marketing as part of this series as the result of a recent conversation with a business associate.  We had a meeting where I was explaining the concept of Mobile Marketing, its value, and how it should be used.  When I’d finished, my associate relayed to me a recent experience she’d had with a national retailer and their use of Mobile, it was not a positive experience.

Apparently this national retailer had set up a program within their stores designed to obtain ‘opt-ins’ for their Mobile list.  They had signage throughout the store offering customers an immediate purchase discount if they provided their cell number to be added to the chain’s ‘opt-in’ list. When my associate hesitated to give the number because the clerk could not provide clear information on how the phone number would be used, who would have access to it, what type of messages would be received, and how often, the clerk became quite agitated and said, “Well if you want the discount you have to give me the number, otherwise you don’t get it”.

So, based on what you’ve learned in this article, what are some of the problems you heard in this story? Here’s what I heard:

  • The store’s signage did not in any way clarify how the cell phone number would be used, ie:  how often customers would receive messages, the store’s privacy policy, what type of messages would be received, etc.
  • The store’s staff had not been educated about the details of the mobile campaign and was unable to answer the most basic customer questions about the promotion.
  • The store’s clerk needed an education in appropriate customer service behavior; his response to my associate means that not only did the Mobile campaign not work as it was intended, but in fact it caused the chain significant harm as I know for certain that I am not the only person who heard the story from this individual (and we who heard it directly know the name of the retailer).  I know for me personally, it’s unlikely I’ll be visiting them anytime soon, and I’m guessing others who have heard the story probably feel the same!

So, the moral of the story is this, Mobile Marketing is an EXCEPTIONAL and effective method of marketing, however, it requires you to do your homework and plan the details of an effective marketing strategy.  “Cross the T’s, dot the I’s”, and make sure you are adhering to the appropriate standards in implementing your Mobile campaign.  And if you don’t feel confident of your ability to do it on your own, hire an expert to assist you.  And then, sit back and reap the reward of a Mobile Marketing job well done!

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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 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 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.

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.

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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 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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3 comments

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.