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The News Rules for Mobile Ads in 2011 November 10, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in mobile, Mobile Marketing.
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by Michael Chang is the founder and CEO of Greystripe, a mobile ad network.

2010 was finally the year of mobile advertising. The market has matured to the point where most major brands have embraced the medium, driven by the reach and interactivity of smartphones and their rapidly growing userbase.

The mobile market is in a state of hyper growth and is reinventing itself almost every quarter thanks to new innovations, better data, and compelling results based on billions upon billions of ad impressions.

As we look ahead to 2011, here are five new rules for brand advertisers as they consider how to integrate mobile marketing into their overall strategy.

1. Mobile display is a necessary component of every brand’s marketing strategy and will continue to outpace mobile search.

Mobile search has received a lot of attention lately, with predictions from BIA’s Kelsey Group that it will grow to a $3.1 billion industry by 2013. Search is large and growing, but display advertising is growing at an even faster pace. In app ads alone are expected to reach $8 billion by 2015, according to Borrell Associates. Search ads have an important place in the mobile market, but they will never replace display ads. So don’t make a quick move by putting all your valuable advertising eggs into mobile search.

2. Don’t rely on Google and Apple to drive innovation.

We know all about the two big hitters in the mobile advertising sphere: Google’s AdMob and Apple’s iAds. Google recently announced a forecasted $1 billion in annual revenue from its mobile ads. But just because these brand names are littered all over your favorite tech blogs doesn’t mean they are the only players. Google and Apple are big, but independents are flourishing – and they’re bringing unique tools and benefits to the landscape. Independents can focus on the needs of each marketer or brand, without being distracted by competing goals like handset sales and search revenue. Mobile advertising is about audience (reach, targeting, content) and engagement (format and creative), and the independents deliver both large audiences and proven, rich-media creatives across platforms.

3. Don’t underestimate the importance of the mobile Web.

Since the iPhone launched, it has been all about apps. All the information you needed was directly at your fingertips with a simple tap. Simple. Easy. No http://www.this or Google-search-that. Naturally, mobile ads followed – bringing advertising content into apps and direct to the consumer. While apps have (and will) continued to grow in popularity and ubiquity, the addition of viable iPhone competitors have reinvigorated the importance of the mobile Web. The mobile Web addresses fragmentation across platforms; rather than build multiple apps for multiple devices, developers can build a single, mobile-optimized Website. According to comScore, there are more smartphone users accessing the mobile Web (34.5 percent) than apps (32.3 percent).  The number of users accessing the mobile Web is growing faster (8.2 percent from May to August) than apps (7.7 percent) as well. Even popular existing apps, such as YouTube, are pushing their users toward the mobile Web. Don’t miss the opportunity to advertise on the mobile Web by being totally app-centric. In-app ads may currently be claiming most of the attention, but the mobile Web is delivering results to marketers too. Which brings me to my next point…

4. Mobile Web ads need to be as engaging as in-app ads.

When you think about ads on the mobile Web, you’re probably imagining boring, static banner ads. Apple’s iAds drew attention to the potential for immersive mobile advertising in app.  Most mobile Web ads have remained blink-and-you’ll-miss-it boring. That is all changing – the same eye-popping immersive ads can be delivered to the mobile Web, to all smartphone users across platoforms. Advertisers and brands need to ensure that they’re engaging their audience everywhere, and that means creating exciting ads both in app and on the mobile Web.

5. New mobile ad companies must outpace consolidations for brand advertisers to reap maximum value from mobile advertising.

There have been a number of high-profile consolidations among mobile ad networks: Apple bought Quattro Wireless, Google bought AdMob. Despite this trend, the market isn’t headed toward consolidation. In fact, nearly the opposite is true. A slew of new mobile advertising startups are taking off in areas that have yet to meaningfully make the way to mobile.  Some will have models in the online world and address needs for better targeting, tracking and optimization. Others are mobile specific, centered on location, format and content discovery. There is no doubt that we will continue to see mergers and acquisitions – but the space is still in its infancy and brands will benefit from the variety of new innovators in order to maximize value.

‘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!

‘The Mobile Marketing Review’ Gets Ready to ‘Hit the Air’ October 20, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in marketing strategies, mobile, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts, The Mobile Marketing Review.
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In my work with small and mid-sized businesses and advertising agencies, I am often asked, “what makes for a good mobile marketing campaign” and “how do I know what consumers will react to on mobile”.  As a result, for some time I’ve been considering a variety of ways to provide small and mid-sized firms with an easy way to obtain this information.  Now I’ve found the right solution!

I have recently joined forces with two mobile industry power-houses, Kim Dushinski (author of The Mobile Marketing Handbook) and Peggy Anne Salz (publisher and chief analyst for the Top 50 technical blog, mSearchGroove) in producing a regular podcast for the mobile industry. Entitled, ‘The Mobile Marketing Review‘, this forum will provide us the opportunity to share our collective experience; educate the industry, business owners and marketers, and agencies who are interested in bringing mobile to their clients; and to help communicate the best practices that are part of working with mobile.

Taking the name, The Mobile Mavens, we will launch The Mobile Marketing Review podcast series on Tuesday (October 26th ).

On our new website (dedicated to the news and views around our new series) we offer companies the opportunity to submit their mobile marketing and advertising campaigns (via this form) for our consideration.

Each month we will use our podcast as a platform to review a selection of the mobile campaigns that are submitted to us, and provide our expert analysis on how well the campaigns achieved their objectives (and served the interests of the most important stakeholders: consumers).

We kick off the first podcast in the series with an in-depth look at a recent mobile/cross-media campaign to promote Arby’s Roastburger sandwich. The campaign, which was developed by Hipcricket, is also a finalist in the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) Awards North America product launch category.

Moving forward, we are eager to receive campaigns from small businesses, local brands and emerging markets.

We would like to encourage brands and agencies everywhere to submit your mobile marketing campaign via this form. It’s your chance to know how your campaign really stacks up and (hopefully) learn ways to generate positive results for your company, and valuable content and experiences for your consumers.

Meantime, check out the web/mobile site and follow Kim, Peggy and myself on Twitter (@MobileMktgRview).

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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5 comments

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.

What is the REAL impact of location-based marketing? August 29, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in local marketing strategies, location-based technology, marketing strategies.
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A recent study by Forester Research concluded that while location-based services (LBS) such as Foursquare, Gowalla and Loopt are intriguing, they are still too small for major marketers to spend much time on.  Location-based services allow users to not only share their physical location with others but also to gather and receive information relative to their location such as reviews, recommendations, other nearby venues and friends that may be in proximity.  Forester added that while current users of location-based services are very likely to be influencers within their social circles, they are also largely male and therefore better suited to marketers targeting men.  Their overall advice to marketers was a resounding “wait-and-see” on location-based services.

Then Why So Much Location-Based Marketing?

But it’s hard to reconcile the Forester report with a lot of what’s happening in the marketplace.  Large players like Starbucks have been experimenting with services like Foursquare since early 2010, giving in-store discounts and rewards to users for checking in to their stores.  The GAP recently launched a one-day 25% off promotion to Foursquare users checking-in at GAP locations.  Add to the list the Wynn Las Vegas Hotel, the City of Chicago and Tasti D-Lite and it would appear that location-based marketing is being taken very seriously by major marketers across categories.  And it all seams completely understandable.  After all, isn’t the goal of marketing to be timely and relevant?  It would seem that LBS is an ideal means of achieving both.

Recently released LB applications such as the Shopkick are making news by taking shopper rewards to entirely new and location-specific levels, literally allowing shoppers to earn rewards simply for moving through various areas of a participating store.  And with retail giants such as  Macy’sBest Buy, Sports Authority and American Eagle Outfitters and Simon Property Group testing it, Shopkick is getting some serious attention.

And in what is perhaps the ultimate sign that LBS has arrived, Facebook recently launched its own home-grown location service, Facebook Places, allowing users to share not only what they’re doing but also where they’re doing it.

All this activity and interest around LBS begs the question, if in fact marketers follow Forester’s advice and wait on the sidelines, do they run the risk of missing the “LB boat” entirely?

Making Location Make Sense

What most agree on is that location-based marketing services are still relatively new to the mainstream and largely misunderstood by the public and marketers alike.  To that end, organizations are forming to foster discussion, education and understanding about LBS.  One such organization, the Location-Based Marketing Association of Canada hopes to not only better define LBS but also share with marketers the unique opportunities the technology represents.

In response to the Forester study, Association Founder and President Asif Khan said “What they failed to highlight was the explosive recent growth of such services. Foursquare alone has over 2.5 million users and has experienced 28% growth in just the last month, according to RJ Metrics. More and more people are beginning to utilize location-based services and as Smartphone adoption increases globally, the numbers will only continue to increase.”  Khan also points to the introduction of Facebook Places as having the potential to immediately introduce upwards of 500 million users to the concept of location based services.

As for marketers considering location-based marketing, Khan believes that those who “move to embrace LBS early-on will reap enormous rewards from proximity marketing, including attracting more first-time customers, encouraging more repeat business and increasing sales.  I also see huge opportunities for cross-brand promotion for companies that have multiple brands like Gap and Old Navy.”

Forget technology. It’s about “return on relationships”

Techno-Anthropologist Clay Shirky is quoted as saying that “Communications tools don’t get socially interesting until they get technologically boring.”   To that end, Khan sees the use of LB reaching critical mass in 18-24 months.  “I think Clay is right” said Khan. “I don’t think it’s about technology at all.  At least, I don’t think people care about which app they use.  They only care about the size and relevance of the deal.   For brands and retailers engaging with these tools, the real measurement of success will not only be ROI, but Return on Relationship (ROR).

As for the future and the continued evolution of location-based technologies, Khan suggests that the very context in which we consider the term location will also evolve.  “Today, we think of location as only the physical space.  But I see a time where we will be in virtual spaces and augmented reality where brands and content will live as well.”

Full disclosure:  Retail Prophet Consulting sits as a current member of the advisory board for the Location-Based Marketing Association of Canada.

Three mobile web marketing tips for the holiday shopping season August 27, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in local marketing strategies, marketing strategies, mobile, mobile coupons, Mobile Marketing.
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Bryce Marshall, Knotice

The ways shoppers make purchasing decisions in retail stores are undergoing a seismic shift. The shift is not driven by changes retailers are making to in-store promotions, store layout, retail design or packaging, however. It is driven by shoppers who have discovered that their mobile device offers a comprehensive tool set for making informed and confident decisions on what products to buy, which to pass on, or where else to make the purchase.

At the beginning of 2010 Motorola released the results of a fascinating study conducted during the 2009 holiday shopping season. Among the insights was one particularly interesting nugget: Worldwide, 51 percent of shoppers used their mobile device to help make an in-store purchase decision. The adoption rate of mobile devices generally — and smartphones specifically — continues to grow at a torrid pace. It’s common sense that mobile devices will be more vital to shoppers during the 2010 holiday season. In fact, using the mobile tool set to help make purchase decisions is no longer an emerging shopping behavior. It’s established shopping behavior.

Many of the most-trusted marketing tactics cannot adapt to the mandatory mobile contexts of time and place. And those trusty tactics cannot get down to specific increments of minutes and seconds — or meters and footsteps — like mobile interactions can. For consumers, the mobile Web unlocks the power to interact with, find, or demand the content they want at exactly the time and place they want it. The mobile Web fills the gap between layers of static, broadcast or stationary media. It fills the gap between the online and offline experience… and between Web stores and physical stores.

Here are three smart mobile Web tactics retailers can use now, and for the busy 2010 holiday shopping season. 

1. Provide the best of online in the store.

This is the clearest and most immediate opportunity for a lot of retailers, manufacturers and packaged goods providers. Consumers want the kind of detailed information found online to help make informed purchase decisions. For example, one large manufacturing company is making the great content from its website available to the in-store shopper via the mobile Web. The goal is easy access to the right amount and type of content. Not providing all of the information available on the product, just the right information to help a customer decide against a competitor’s product or prevent them from walking out of the store because of a lack of information.

The mobile Web, apps and SMS are great ways to get valuable content in the hands of in-store shoppers. Mobile solutions do not eat up valuable in-store shelf space and are more scalable and cost-effective than interactive solutions like kiosks, computers and video displays. Mobile solutions are perfect because the shopper provides the hardware.

2. Provide the tools to search, find, and motivate.

Right now consumers leverage mobile devices to search for information or make purchases while they are on-the-go. They seek convenience when busy or a diversion from boredom. They want smaller and smoother interactions. On-the-go shoppers have simple needs: Find a retailer, know what to buy, know it will be convenient, use a coupon. Apps and the mobile Web fill a potential gap in traditional media scenarios because with mobile search, location data, driving directions and coupon delivery, every shopper has the tools to locate and buy.

3. Embrace cross-channel behavior, don’t fight it.

A traditional failure by hybrid retailers, one that drives customers crazy, is the counter-intuitive division between online and physical retail operations. The organizational limitations of the retailer prevent a brand from embracing consumers’ cross-channel preferences. Right now many consumers use the traditional Web to research products, or create a shopping/wish list, all while intending to buy at a retail store. They use online tools but don’t buy online. Marketers can embrace this online-to-offline migration by creating mobile solutions that combine virtual and physical experiences in a consumer-centric mashup. For instance, allow online browsers to create a mobile cart or shopping list, then forward it to a mobile device via SMS, or access a shopping list via a personalized mobile Web page or app. Shoppers can quickly reference product information, SKUs, pricing and store location information — all of which ensures a seamless and profitable cross-channel retail experience.

On-the-go shoppers are looking for information right now. They are ready to make a purchase decision right now. They simply crave convenience, direction and purchase confidence. Deliver these experiences in every mobile interaction and your shoppers will be grateful now, and this winter when it counts the most.

Bryce Marshall is the director of strategic services for marketing firm Knotice.

Bank of America & Visa Testing Mobile Payments for Consumers August 20, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in mobile.
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As U.S. retailers and consumers are becoming more and more aware of the capabilities of Mobile Technology and the benefits it can provide, they are continuing their exploration into the many segments of Mobile that are still untapped in the U.S. marketplace (Europe, Asia and other parts of the Global community are far ahead of us in their adoption of Mobile technologies).  Mobile commerce / Mobile payments is one of those untapped opportunities that is finally being explored by the major players in the financial industry.  The story below details a study that is soon to be underway by Bank of America and Visa regarding consumers use of their Mobile devices for making purchase payments.

However, it should be noted that this technology is already available from a multitude of vendors in the U.S. and is being used by a number of U.S. based firms in some test markets – particularly in the fast-food industry.

Should your firm be interested in exploring the use of Mobile payments for your business, please contact us via our website, or email at Info@StrategicGrowthConcepts.com; we’ll be happy to arrange for you to work with the Mobile services vendors most appropriate for your business.

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Christina Warren, Mashable

Soon, some New Yorkers will be able pay for their purchases with their smartphones rather than their credit cards.

Bank of America and Visa are working together to launch a new test program that will bring digital wallet capabilities to smartphones.

The program will start in New York in September and run through the end of the year. Visa is planning on rolling out a similar test program with US Bancorp in October.

Users in the test program will be given small chips to insert in their smartphones. These chips emit radio signals over very short distances and can communicate directly with point-of-sale systems in stores. By waving their smartphones near cash registers, users can automatically send payments and banking information.

This sort of technology has existed in Europe and Asia for the better part of a decade, but mobile-based purchases have yet to really take off in the U.S.

As smartphone and mobile usage continues to climb, however, it looks like U.S. consumers might finally join the revolution. In addition to the Bank of America/Visa program, AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Discover Financial Services are also working together on a joint mobile payment system.

Startups like Square are also jumping into the mobile and micro-payments arena. Likewise, PayPal has been ramping up its mobile offerings. Both the iOS and Android versions of PayPal Mobile include Bump technology that allows users to easily transfer payments by waving or bumping their devices. In our discussions with PayPal, the company has also indicated that it is very interested in working with other partners to make it easier for businesses to collect payments using PayPal from mobile devices.

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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.

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.

Top 10 B2B Uses for Mobile Marketing August 9, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in B2B, marketing strategies, mobile, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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9 comments

One of the questions I’m often asked when making a presentation or being interviewed about Mobile Marketing is “can it be used in a B2B environment, or is it only useful for B2C sales?”.  My answer is ALWAYS the same; Mobile Marketing will be just as productive for B2B purposes as it is for B2C.  In fact, recent studies indicate B2B mobile marketing will grow from $26 million in 2009 to $106 million in 2014. Forrester

To help you see the many ways Mobile can be utilized in a B2B environment, I thought I would provide 10 B2B Mobile use tips to help you get started with incorporating Mobile into your company’s overall marketing strategy.  The following are ideas for ways in which Mobile can be utilized as part of a B2B marketing/communication strategy:

  1. News/Updates – Important and time-sensitive customer updates can be sent directly to your opted-in clients using SMS (text) messaging. Further, people like being ahead of the crowd and being among “the first” to know something; send your customers updates about product launches, product updates or upcoming events. Consider a news text like a micro-newsletter with bite-size updates.
  2. Emergency Notification – SMS (text) messaging is a great way to notify your employees or customers during an emergency. Send critical updates during natural disasters, last-minute event location changes or just before your company’s important meetings.
  3. Special Promotions – Communicate with your distributors or franchises via SMS with the details about special promotions they can offer to customers.
  4. Employee Assignments – Dispatch employees to their next customer location via text messaging; provide them with location info (and a link to a map), provide customer details, and work-order information.
  5. Presentations – Communicate with your audience during in-person or webinar presentations, conduct polling.  Send out a question and ask for responses from attendees who have pre-registered their phones.  Or, used another way, ask the question verbally and have them respond via text messaging to a specific short-code.
  6. Customer Service – Many companies offer customer support and problem resolution via text. Customers are also able to check order status, confirm appointments or reservations, change reservations, track packages and receive back-order notification alerts.
  7. Events – Implement a text messaging marketing strategy to promote weekly meetups or networking events for members, or remind employees about upcoming meetings. Send out key logistic information like changes of venue or detailed parking instructions. You can even take event registration information via text!
  8. Customer Payments – Use mobile technology to allow your field-service reps to take customer payments via mobile; get immediate payment, protect customers credit card information, and manage payments risk-free!
  9. Lead Generation – Offer something of value in exchange for signing up to your ‘opt-in’ list; provide potential customers a link to a white-paper, a special discount, a video, or other standard B2B strategic tools in exchange for adding themselves to your prospect list via Mobile opt-in.  Use Mobile to gather additional info about them as part of the ‘opt-in’ process so you can effectively target customers during future Mobile campaigns.
  10. Trade Shows – Use Mobile at trade shows to exchange information with prospects; allow them to enter contests, request and receive company information,  or see a video about your product or service.  Send text alerts to attendees about your next presentation so they’ll have time to get there before it starts!

These are just a few of the many ways Mobile technology can be used for B2B purposes.  If you would like to explore the use of Mobile for your company’s B2B needs, Strategic Growth Concepts can help!  Contact us via our website or email at Info@StrategicGrowthConcepts.com to learn more about the many ways Mobile can help you increase revenue and productivity for your company!

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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.

Restaurant’s Response to Yelp Review Causes Lost Customers and Media Backlash August 4, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in Social Media, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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Social media, for some a marketing opportunity unmatched by any medium to come before; for others, the worst thing to happen to their business.

Those who have read previous articles on social media on this blog are aware of Strategic Growth Concepts position that social media is meant to provide an opportunity to effectively communicate with a business’ customers and potential customers.  Using social media correctly enables a company to gather opinions from consumers, to shape consumers’ opinion, to share information, and to interact in a way that not only enables their business to grow, but also makes consumers feel that they’ve had a role in helping the business to do so.

However, using social media incorrectly can cause a myriad of problems, not the least of which is the loss of customers and a potential public relations nightmare over which a business will have no control.

Unfortunately a pizzeria owner in Scottsdale Arizona is now learning  about this the hard way – though she doesn’t yet seem to be learning the lesson.  Below is the story.

As most of you are likely familiar, Yelp is a social media site that enables consumers to provide reviews of businesses they interact with, and to provide opinions about things like customer service, a business’ facility, it’s products and for restaurant’s – ratings on the food that is served, pricing, atmosphere, etc.  In recent months the site has garnered a lot of national attention and a signficant increase in consumer participation.  Many articles have recently been written in national publications and the blogsphere about the need for business owners to be aware of the potential that consumers are rating their business on Yelp and similar sites, and that other consumers are paying attention to these ratings – very close attention.  Further, many articles have also been written advising business owners to become familiar with the sites, and to learn how to effectively interact with consumers using them so that any negative situations have the potential of being turned into positive ones.

It appears the previously referred to Scottsdale Arizona restaurant owner hasn’t read the articles, because she did the exact thing that business owners are warned not to do; she took the occasion of a negative review on Yelp, responded very inappropriately  to the customer via the site, and now because of the tenor and content of her response, the whole incident has become a media firestorm and a public relations nightmare!

Joel Latondress, the customer, wrote a Yelp review of the pizzeria, Amy’s Baking Company, that indicated dissatisfaction with his experience when eating at the restaurant.  When Amy’s Baking Company’s owner responded, she attacked Latondress personally, likening him to a tramp and a loser and telling him to “Do us a favor and keep your ugly face and your ugly opinions to yourself.”  Click HERE to read the complete story and see a video by a Phoenix area publication.

Owner Amy is now dealing with the repercussions of that decision.  Not only has the incident garnered an incredible amount of national press, but consumers are now responding with extremely negative reactions to Amy’s response to Latondress and vowing to never visit her restaurant.  Therefore, one negative review has now lost Amy’s Baking Company thousands of potential customers because of an inappropriate response.

Could this situation have been handled better and received a different result?  ABSOLUTELY!  If Amy had done her homework and been aware of the appropriate way to use social media (as well as had a bit of common sense), she could have responded to Latondress’ posting with sincere empathy for having provided him with a less than positive experience during his visit.  She could have invited him back with a substantial discount, or even for a free meal, to provide the restaurant with an opportunity to change his opinion to a positive one.  She could have shown concern that her business did not meet his expectations as a customer, and vowed to improve.  At the very least, she could have apologized for his dissatisfaction and asked for an opportunity to change his mind at some future date, expressing her concern as the business owner that all of her customers be left with a positive experience after visiting her facility.

Any of these responses would have resulted in, at the very worst, one negative posting being on the site if Latondress had decided not to enable the restaurant to have another opportunity to change his mind, and that would have been the end of it.  Instead, Amy’s owner has taken the negative experience of one customer and turned it in to a nightmare, for herself and her business, one which the whole world is watching.  Personally, I’ll be surprised if her business survives, and reading the postings that are continuously being added to her Yelp site, it appears that a majority of consumers would prefer that it didn’t.

Let this be a lesson to all business owners, CONSUMERS ARE GOING TO BE TALKING ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS ON SOCIAL MEDIA.  Therefore, do everything you can to insure they have a positive experience to talk about; and if by chance they report a negative experience, use common sense and basic customer service skills to do everything you can to turn that situation into a positive.  Don’t end up like Amy!

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  7:37 P.M. 8/4/10:

I have been monitoring the community forums on Yelp to keep up-to-date on this situation.  Unfortunately, it appears Amy is unreceptive to all the advice that is apparently now coming her way about the way to interact with customers on social media.  Below is a quote from her that ran in the Phoenix NewTimes and was re-posted in the forums:

“Based on Amy’s most recent comment on the New Times article, she is very clear that no one should feel bad for her.” Julia T.

Amy B says:

If you are all so ignorant and naive to believe that my restaurant will close because of your ridiculous comments then you are all in for disappointment.

My husband and I opened this restaurant for Fun and as a Hobby. We paid to keep this place closed for ONE YEAR while I was in Prison.

I sincerely appreciate all of the attention that this is bring to our restaurant. What is that age old saying? “There’s no such thing as Bad Publicity?”

None of you were my customers before that Tramp Joel came into my restaurant trying to Hustle a free dinner out of us. And none of you will ever be welcome in my restaurant!

We have the pleasure of choosing our customers, who in turn always end up loving us and becoming members of our family.
All of your verbal attacks and advice to use a PR Firm or hire some “Social Media Group” only proves my initial impression from the beginning of this entire situation. You are all so willing to advise me to hire a PR firm and you are all sending me tweets and emails offering your services so what is this some feeble attempt to try to “Shake Me Down?” You people have no idea who you are playing with.

If Joel had a valid complaint and truly there was something wrong with his Pizza that night I would have graciously offered him something else, however from the moment he sat down he was trying to get something for free. He wanted to order the $3 olive Tapenade but changed his mind when he found out it the bread was an additional $3. Is his way of trying to support local business coming in on a Saturday night to order a $3 appetizer? If this is the type of customer that you all represent then PLEASE feel free to go to any other restaurant in this State! My husband and I save our energy for our true customers who don’t have a hidden agenda. And as for me being vicious and mean perhaps you should all take a look at the things you are saying and see who is truly being vicious. All I did was stand up and defend my business. Since when become a crime to fight back against negative reviews when they are untrue? My loyal customers don’t care about negative reviews that are being written or the verbal attacks you have launched against us. They are smart enough and classy enough to not lower themselves to your level.

Here is the link to the chain of comments.

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  9-7-10

The following comment was received today from restaurant owner Amy B.

From amy b on Restaurant’s Response to Yelp Review Causes Lost Customers and Media Backlash #

We have actually been very busy, so I suppose your article is incorrect.

Given Amy’s response, apparently her restaurant has not been adversely affected by the media frenzy surrounding her postings, but in this author’s opinion, she also hasn’t really learned any lessons about appropriate communication within social media.  A more appropriate comment, in my opinion, would have been to apologize to Joel and those who were offended by her postings, to reiterate how much she cares about the opinions of her customers, and to list a few of the lessons learned during this ordeal.

I hope for Amy’s sake this article is wrong and she is not experiencing the business reductions that the social media commentary would seem to indicate, but I would find it surprising.

 

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  5-14-13

We are disappointed to see that it appears that almost 3 years later Amy has not changed her behavior, though she has apparently gained an even larger audience – on Reality TV.  http://now.msn.com/kitchen-nightmares-couple-are-posting-angry-comments-on-facebook .  All we can say at this point is WOW! Frankly, am very surprised that this restaurant is still in business, but apparently the people in her community have a high tolerance for horrid behavior.

____________________________________________________________

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.

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.

BP Oil Spill Driving Increased Awareness of QR Codes August 1, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in marketing strategies, mobile, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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Just like donations to Haiti were the driving impetus to making text messaging mainstream in consumer consciousness, it appears that BP oil disaster recovery efforts may have the same affect on QR codes.

Read the following,  QR Codes To The Rescue In The Gulf To Address The BP Oil Spill, for an excellent story on efforts being implemented as part of the ‘Be the One’ campaign that includes the participation of such celebrities as:  Sandra Bullock, Lenny Kravitz, Dave Matthews, John Goodman, Drew Brees, Eli Manning and many others.  The effort is being helped in a ‘big’ way by Reuters.  It should be noted that there has recently been some controversy indicating that BP Oil itself may be behind the campaign, and stories are circulating that Sandra Bullock has pulled her support.  However, the controversy has seemed to increase the awareness of the campaign, and it is our opinion that it likely to spur even greater awareness of QR codes as a result.

We at Strategic Growth Concepts believe that if this campaign achieves the level of awareness that the Haiti campaign did, it will go a long way toward not only helping the Gulf communities, but also toward making QR codes high on the radar of advertisers looking for highly effective, cost-efficient ways of reaching consumers with their message.

If reading this article makes you see the opportunities presented by QR codes and would like to explore this technology to promote your business, please contact us for assistance via our website or email at info@StrategicGrowthConcepts.com.

____________________________________________________________

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 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.

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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2 comments

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.

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!

____________________________________________________________________________

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.