Posted by StrategicGrowth in Web 2.0.
I often receive the question, “I don’t market my products/services to consumers, I work in the B2B space. How can mobile technology and mobile marketing help me increase my business? Isn’t it just for marketing to consumers?” Therefore, I thought the results of a recent study by Forbes Insights would provide information that those in the B2B space would find of value.
Business-oriented apps and m-commerce on the rise
Senior-level executives have been reliant on mobile for years, giving them a lifeline to work while on the go or at home. But as smartphones become more entrenched into all aspects of life for consumers and businesspeople alike, and younger, more tech-savvy executives move up the ranks, mobile opportunities for business-to-business (B2B) marketers are opening up.
Among C-suite executives surveyed in October 2010 by Forbes Insights, 82% had a smartphone—far above smartphone penetration in the population as a whole, which eMarketer estimates at 19.4% this year. And for a majority of executives, their mobile device is considered their primary business communications tool. Only respondents over 50 tended to disagree with that statement.
The oldest respondents were also the group least comfortable with making a business purchase via mobile, though even 48% of over-50s said they were comfortable. Overall, nearly two-thirds of respondents would buy items for work over the mobile web, a proportion that reached 78% among executives under 40.
Most US executives were also using mobile apps for business purposes. There was a dramatic drop in app usage among the oldest respondents, but a majority of all those under 50 used both free and paid B2B apps at least occasionally.
And the executives are paying attention to ads on their mobile devices as well. A majority (57%) said they noticed mobile advertising, and nearly as many had clicked on mobile web ads (56%) and paid search ads (51%).
“As optimistic as this may sound to marketers, senior executives also present a warning to would-be advertisers: 53% of executives—evenly distributed across age groups—indicate that they find mobile ads more intrusive than typical web ads,” cautioned the report. “As such, mobile marketers need to be careful to ensure they do not cross the line between welcome or at least acceptable advisory versus unwanted interruption.” Blog Editors Note: The previous statement reinforces the need to insure that all Mobile Marketing guidelines and best practices are strictly adhered to in order to insure that your firm is not perceived as sending SPAM via mobile; the resulting penalties and negative response received by your firm can be subtantial when guidelines are not appropriately followed. If you would like to utilize mobile technology to market to c-level executives, let Strategic Growth Concepts guide you thru the process to insure you are compliant and that results are maximized.
Posted by StrategicGrowth in marketing strategies, Strategic Growth Concepts, Web 2.0.
Tags: advertising, geographic targeting, Google local, local store marketing, marketing strategies, marketing tools, small business, small business owners, Strategic Growth Concepts, Web 2.0, Yahoo local, Yelp
With most small businesses today seeking every low or no-cost marketing option they can find to promote their products and services, the publishers of this blog are constantly in search of information about new resources that can help. As we have discussed in many previous articles, many Web 2.0 options abound to help businesses promote themselves, but most are unable to concentrate your firm’s efforts on your specific geographic area – at least not easily. However, the following tools are ideal for promoting your business within your specific geographic region to insure that those potential customers closest to you are well aware of your existance and what you have to offer.
Take advantage of these tools that any small business can use to promote your business within your local community.
Forget the Phonebook: 3 Local Marketing Initiatives with Higher ROIs
Gregory Go (Wise Bread), Nov 12, 2009 –
The phonebook is so 1998. Few people use it anymore, and yet in an ironic twist, advertising in the phonebook has become more expensive as telcos try to boost revenues. Don’t play their game.
Boost the ROI of your advertising budget by switching your local marketing focus to the following 3 websites.
The basic strategy for each of the following options is two-fold:
- The first step — making sure you are listed and have accurate info — is free for all three of the following sites. It’s equivalent to making sure your phone number and address is accurate in the free, basic listing in the phonebook.
- The second step — buying advertising — is equivalent to buying an ad in the phonebook. Versus the phonebook, you’ll get more reach and better tracking data, which helps ensure you maximize your local advertising ROI.
Yelp is the premier review site for local businesses. Consumers love it because it lets them easily share their thoughts on local service providers and retail outlets, and in return, get honest reviews of local businesses from their peers. Businesses love Yelp — honest, reputable businesses, at least — because businesses that receive positive reviews see dramatic increases in referral customers.
Step 1: Control Your Listing (and Get Stats)
Yelp provides business owners that have “unlocked” their pages with lots of value-added features including messaging options (eg., post offers and announcements, reply to reviewers) and stats on how many people have viewed your business page. Check out this page for a screenshot of the business dashboard you’ll have access to as the owner of the business.
The biggest benefit of taking control of your Yelp page is being able to highlight positive reviews of your business and/or responding to reviewers privately. However, don’t think that just because Yelp is willing to take your money that it means they will take down negative reviews of your business. They won’t, unless it violates review guidelines (eg., contains racial slurs or is second-hand information). As a good business owner, you should take comfort in this policy, because it means your less scrupulous competitors won’t be able to hide their shady practices for long.
Step 2: Buy Advertising
Yelp offers two advertising options for increasing your exposure:
- Top placement in search results.
- Showcasing your business on a similar business’ page.
You can see screenshots of both options here. Pricing varies based on your city, business category, and number of impressions you want to buy. You can talk details and pricing with a Yelp sales representative by filling out this form and waiting for a callback.
2. Google Local
When consumers search for a local business or a local service (eg., “thai food”, “dry cleaner”) on Google, a small map and some business results appear at the top of the search results (screenshot). Additionally, you get a business details page that can contain information like your phone number, email address, store hours, accepted payment types, photos and videos, and service or product categories (screenshot).
Step 1: Take Control of Your Listing (and Get Stats)
Adding business details and creating coupons is completely free on Google. Start by claiming your business at Google’s Local Business Center. Once you’ve verified your ownership, you can start adding details and creating coupons that will appear on your business details page.
Here’s where Google Local become more exciting than the phonebook. On your Google local business dashboard (screenshot), you can see what search phrases people are typing in to find your business and where those searchers are located on a map (abstracted to a zip code level to protect searchers’ privacy).
Click here for more information on Google’s Local Business Center features.
Step 2A: Buy AdWords Ads
AdWords is the program where advertisers bid on search keywords and have their links appear next to or on top of search results. While the AdWords program is not specifically geared towards a local market, as an advertiser, you can limit where your ad appears based on the searcher’s location.
You buy AdWords ads by bidding on how much you’re willing to pay for clicks on your ad. Your ads appear on search results for your targeted keywords (ie., phrases people type into the search box). The more popular keywords (eg., “thai food”) will cost more per click than more obscure keywords (eg., “pad thai”).
Balancing the cost per click versus the popularity (reach) of keywords is what makes AdWords advertising a bit tricky. It does take quite a bit of management to maximize your ROI. Fortunately, Google allows you to set spending limits so you don’t blow your monthly budget, and offers plenty of tools and resources to help you manage your AdWords campaigns.
Managing an AdWords campaign is beyond the scope of this article, but here are some resources to get you started:
Step 2B: Buy Local Ad Listings
These are a new type of ads Google is selling specifically for local businesses. They are currently available only in San Fransisco and San Diego. To get a notice when they are rolled out to your area, fill out this form.
The difference between Local Ad Listings and AdWords is that you don’t have to bid for keywords or do any fancy campaign management. Google charges a flat monthly rate for these ads, and shows them on local searches at the top of search results (screenshot) and in Google Maps (screenshot).
The rate depends on your city and business category. Rates are offered after you’ve claimed your small business listing in step 1. Once you’ve claimed your local business and Google has rolled out these ads to your city, you will see a new “Ads” tab in your business dashboard.
An advantage of the Local Ad Listing — in addition to having your business appear prominently on related searches — is the call tracking. When someone calls the phone number listed on your Local Ad Listing, the call is forwarded to regular phone number, and when you pick up, you will hear a short “this call is from Google” message. Counting up the number of calls you receive from your local Google ad, you can then determine if the monthly fee is worth the number of new leads you receive.
3. Yahoo Local
Step 1: Claim or create your Yahoo Local listing
Just like Yelp and Google Local, you can claim your Yahoo Local business listing for free. Claiming or creating the listing will allow you to enter additional information and keep your business details up-to-date.
The first step is to create a Yahoo login. If you already have a Yahoo email address, you can use that login account to manage your local business listing. If you already have a Yahoo account, login to your account. If you don’t already have one, you can sign up for a Yahoo account here (it’s free).
Start by doing a search for your business at Yahoo Local. If your business already has a listing, click on the “edit info” link on the details page. Your business will then be linked to your Yahoo account, and when you go to listings.local.yahoo.com, you can click on the “Local Listings Account Center” link in the upper right hand corner to see all your business listings.
If your business is not yet listed, go to listings.local.yahoo.com and click on the “Sign Up” button. You will be presented with a form to fill out your business details like address, phone number, service description, and hours of operation.
For more information about Yahoo Local Listings, check out the help page for Yahoo Local Listings or visit the start page for Yahoo Local Listings.
Step 2: Upgrade to an Enhanced or Featured Listing
And just like the other options, Yahoo offers premium listings that you can purchase to give your business more prominence. Yahoo Local offers two levels of premium listings: Enhanced or Featured.
An Enhanced Listing costs $9.95 per month. You get to add up to 10 photos, a longer description of your business, and stats on how often people see and click on your listing.
A Featured Listing puts your business in the sponsored results section of Yahoo search results. Pricing ranges from $15-$300 per month depending on the size of your city and demand for your service. Click here to view current pricing details.
Check out this page for a comparison of features for the Basic, Enhanced, and Featured Listings.
Posted by StrategicGrowth in email marketing, Web 2.0.
Tags: advertising, email, email marketing, Forever Free pricing plan, MailChimp, marketing, small business, Strategic Growth Concepts, Web 2.0
Those looking for cost-effective ways to market your business can now take advantage of one of the leading email marketing service providers thanks to the following recent announcement. Now small business has no excuse for a lack of marketing to their customers.
Email marketing service provider MailChimp made its service pretty much irresistible as the company announced the introduction of its “Forever Free pricing plan”.
The new service level allows subscribers to send up to 500 emails per campaign and 3,000 emails per month at no cost. That’s not a misprint folks – that’s a fact.
“We’ve always seen email first as a publishing tool and second as a marketing tool,” said Ben Chestnut, Co-Founder of MailChimp. “We’re aiming to empower smaller groups like artists, musicians, nonprofits, small businesses and hand-crafters to communicate effectively at no cost. That’s why we’re calling this Power to the People. We want to give everyone all the tools they need to send professional, permission-based email campaigns.”
The power of email marketing is well documented. If you’re not currently leveraging email as a marketing channel, this should act as good incentive to give it a try.
Posted by StrategicGrowth in Strategic Growth Concepts, Virtual Technology, Web 2.0.
Tags: 6Connex, BlogTalkRadio, Brent Arslaner, Cece Salomon-Lee, InXpo, Kevin Carbone, Linda Daichendt, marketing, small business, Strategic Growth Concepts, Strategic Growth Concepts for Small Business, Unisfair, virtual events, virtual trade shows, Web 2.0
Trade shows – you know what they are, a major element in business development and networking. Whether they be community events sponsored by the local chamber of commerce, or national events sponsored by a national professional or trade association; any business attempting to gain new customers is going to participate in some sort of trade show(s) at some point in time.
Some companies feel it’s imperative to have a booth, others want to attend the educational seminars (or present at them), still others prefer to ‘make the rounds’ and do extensive networking. One thing they all have in common is cost, including: booth rental, display development, staffing, travel costs such as hotel & airlines, and all the materials to distribute – frankly the list can be endless. According to Tradeshow Week magazine, mid-to-large size companies spend about $550,000 every year participating in the standard physical trade shows, with an average cost per show sometimes as high as $100,000 for the larger companies. Small entrepreneurial companies can easily spend in the range of $50,000 per year.
And recent studies have shown – not necessarily productive enough to be worth all that time and expense, particularly in today’s economy.
So what options does a small business have? It turns out, more than you might think! Welcome to the world of VIRTUAL TRADE SHOWS.
As part of Strategic Growth Concepts on-going education series for small business owners, the firm is focusing the next episode of their BlogTalkRadio program, Strategic Growth Concepts for Small Business, on Virtual Trade Shows/Expos/Conventions. Read complete News Release HERE.
This new technology enables small businesses to engage with current customers and find new ones in a highly cost-effective and efficient manner without ever leaving their desk.
We’ll provide a panel of industry experts including :
- Kevin Carbone, CEO of 6Connex;
- Brent Arslaner, VP of Channels at Unisfair; and
- Cece Salomon-Lee, Director of Marketing at InXpo
to educate us on how virtual events work, what they cost, how to maximize their benefit, who’s using them, and how your company can get involved. Learn how your small business can put this technology to work for your company!
Those interested in learning about this new technology can listen to the show live on Tuesday, August 25th at 2:30 p.m. EDT by calling (347) 215-6955, or they can download a podcast of the show at their convenience by accessing the show’s website at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/StrategicGrowthConcepts .
Posted by StrategicGrowth in mobile, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts, Web 2.0.
Tags: advertising, ASPCA, cellular phones, ecommerce, economy affect on non-profit fundraising, Haiti, marketing, mobile advertising, mobile commerce, Mobile Marketing, mobile phones, non-profit fundraising, QR codes, Red Cross, Restorre the Gulf, SMS, Strategic Growth Concepts
Mobile Marketing strategies are now being put to work to help non-profit organizations provide information to their constituencies and also, to RECEIVE DONATIONS!
A recent article by Mobile Marketer Daily reviews a new Mobile Marketing campaign being implemented by the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). They will be utilizing mobile strategies to disseminate animal health tips, shelter locations, and to receive donations. Obviously, this new campaign will also assist them in increasing their database of those interested in animal issues so they may refer to them for future programs as well. They’re accomplishing a lot by the use of Mobile Marketing strategies, and setting the bar at a high level for those non-profits who are struggling because of today’s economic environment and want to follow in their footsteps.
If you would like to learn more about the ASPCA’s Mobile Marketing campaign to consider how your organization might apply similar strategies, click HERE to access the full article.
EDITOR’S ADDED NOTE: An additional example of Mobile Marketing being used for non-profit fundraising is the Red Cross campaign to raise funds for Haiti. SMS (text) messaging was the mobile vehicle utilized, and the Red Cross did a great job of integrating the mobile donation option into their entire marketing strategy – TV, print, social media, etc. Within 48 hours, $5 million dollars were raised, to-date, over $40 million has been raised for this effort – all in $10 increments via text messaging!
A more recent example was the ‘Restore the Gulf’ campaign implemented by non-profit organization in New Orleans. This campaign utilized a QR code which allowed supporters to access a video and online petition in support of the cause. This celebrity-supported effort has made national headlines due to the unique nature of the campaign; results are not yet available.
If you work for, or volunteer for, a non-profit and would like to explore the ways in which Mobile Marketing can be utilized to market your organization, we would be happy to assist you in developing a customized program to aid you in increasing donations and providing information to your constituencies. Please feel free to contact us via our website or via email at linda@StrategicGrowthConcepts.com to schedule a FREE initial consultation.