Marketing Technology Landscape January 21, 2014Posted by StrategicGrowth in local marketing strategies, location-based technology, marketing strategies, Marketing-changing technology, Mobile Marketing, Social Media, Virtual Technology.
Tags: advertising, email marketing, marketing, Mobile Marketing, Social Media, Video Marketing
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What is your New Year’s resolution for your business in 2011? December 29, 2010Posted by StrategicGrowth in email marketing, location-based technology, marketing strategies, Marketing-changing technology, mobile, Mobile Marketing, Social Media, Strategic Growth Concepts, Virtual Technology.
Tags: bluetooth, cell phone, email marketing, location-based technology, marketing, mobile commerce, Mobile Marketing, mobile phones, QR codes, small business, Social Media, Strategic Growth Concepts, virtual events
I had someone ask me today about their business, “If I could do one thing better, what would it be?”. As a business consultant, I am frequently asked some version of this question, but today it got me thinking that the start of a new year is probably a great time to pass along one of the answers to that question that I give to everyone who asks it of me. Are you ready? Here it comes!
Resolve for 2011 to fully embrace technology and to completely integrate it thoughout every aspect of your business; from your marketing, to how you work with and interact with clients and staff, to how you manage your administrative tasks and actually operate your business, etc.
What I mean by this is: integrate and take advantage of all the benefits that today’s technologies have to offer, including: webinars and other types of virtual events (including virtual environment events), social media, mobile technology (and I don’t just mean mobile marketing), cloud computing software options, video, email and any other type of technology that will help you increase efficiency, productivity, and profitability.
Those that don’t choose to embrace technology will be left behind very quickly because 2011, I believe, will be a ‘game-changing’ year for how business is being conducted. If you continue to do business as you always have, you will very quickly become irrelevant.
Think about your business in a new way, for example:
- could mobile technology enable your customers to order and pay for your products or services via their cell phone?
- can you use social media to interact with your customers and potential customers on a more in-depth level so you can be certain you’re providing the products and services they need?
- will location-based technologies enable you to more effectively target potential customers?
- do you have an email marketing program to keep clients, vendors and staff aware of what’s going on in your business? If not, why not?
- can you make your field staff more productive by dispatching them with tools provided by GPS mobile technology?
- can you get more immediate response to special offers by sending them directly to your existing customers via their cell phones?
- can cloud-computing technology allow you to access information from wherever you are as long as you have some sort of mobile computing device or a computer available?
- can you be more available to your staff for those decisions only you can make if you’ve embraced the use of a SmartPhone or tablet device?
- can you cut down on travel costs, and yet increase the number of people that you can effectively interact with to present your products or services by engaging in virtual sales and training programs?
- can bluetooth or QR code mobile technologies help your firm in the manufacturing or supply chain processes?
- can mobile marketing technologies make your marketing more effective?
- would video technology help you more effectively communicate the benefits of your product or service?
- can mobile technology help you increase the viability of the leads you receive at the next trade show you participate in?
- can participating in virtual trade shows help you decrease travel costs for your staff, and the ‘down time’ that results from that travel, while increasing the number of viable leads you receive?
- could social media, mobile and virtual technology increase your ability to recruit new employees with higher rates of effectiveness?
So far, I’ve not found one business that I’ve spoken with or worked with that would not be positively impacted by increased integration of technology in their business. Given that, I now challenge you to consider how technology can help to improve your business – and as a result, your life. If you would like some assistance in evaluating your business and the options available to you, please contact us, Strategic Growth Concepts is here to help!
Here’s to increased efficiency, productivity and profitability in 2011!
The author, Linda Daichendt, is Founder, CEO and Managing Consultant for Strategic Growth Concepts, a marketing / management consulting firm focused on start-up, small and mid-sized businesses. Areas of specialization include: mobile technology optimization and marketing for increased productivity and profitability, social media marketing, and virtual events production. Linda is a recognized small business expert with 20+ years of experience in a wide variety of industries. She is also the Founder of the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan, a mobile industry trade association, and the Co-founder of Mobile Monday Michigan, a mobile industry networking and education organization.
Email Marketing @ Mail Chimp Goes Forever Free September 27, 2009Posted 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.
Mobile Marketing Drives Customer Loyalty; and Now is Working in the Shopping Mall Industry June 18, 2009Posted by StrategicGrowth in email marketing, mobile, Mobile Marketing, Social Media, Strategic Growth Concepts.
Tags: advertising, customer loyalty programs, demographic targets, email marketing, Fashion Show at Tyson's Galleria, General Growth, loyalty programs, mall owner, marketing, mobile advertising, Mobile Marketing, Mobile Marketing Association, retail, retail marketing strategies, ROI, shopping mall marketing, small business, SMS, Social Media, social media strategies, South Street Seaport, Strategic Growth Concepts, Water Tower Place
As someone who spent many years in shopping mall management and marketing, I still have a keen awareness of strategies which drive consumer traffic and behavior in the shopping center environment. As with retail in general, the name of the game is consumer loyalty, and malls have been utilizing email and membership card-based loyalty programs for years. But now, mobile technology has provided a new spin on the shopping mall loyalty program and General Growth is the first national shopping center development/management firm to debut this cutting edge technology on a national basis.
The article below details the the new General Growth program and the strategy behind it. For small businesses reading this article, these same strategies could be employed on a smaller scale to develop your own customer loyalty program to increase sales. Further, this type of program can be enhanced by the integration of supplemental Social Media strategies to encourage interactivity between the members of the loyalty program and the organization. The more “connected” the members of the group are with each other and with ‘the brand”, the more likely they are to be loyal customers and frequent users of “the brand”.
I encourage you to read the article and consider ways in which these ideas might be applied to your business. Should you be interested in learning more about mobile marketing and/or social media and how these tools can help grow your business, please review the mobile section of our website, mobile marketing and social media articles within this blog, or contact us directly via the website or email at email@example.com for a FREE initial consultation.
Nation’s No. 2 mall owner turns to SMS for retail traffic
By Mickey Alam Khan, Mobile Marketer Daily, June 18, 2009
General Growth Properties, the nation’s No. 2 mall owner, has introduced what it claims is the nation’s first national mall-based mobile advertising network.
Working with mobile marketing firm Mobisix, the troubled mall giant has extended its email-based The Club program to include The Club Mobile, an alerts service that relies on SMS. General Growth’s marquee properties include Water Tower Place in Chicago, Fashion Show at Tyson’s Galleria outside Washington and South Street Seaport in New York.
“This program is also unique in that it is driven by consumer-controlled preferences and data and analytics decisions to ensure consumers receive only the most relevant offers, and according to their opt-in rules they establish,” said Michael Foschetti, managing director of Mobisix, Charlotte, NC.
Consumers who sign up online with mobile number and other preference data at http://www.theclubmobile.com will receive discounts and offers via regularly scheduled text messages. Those who sign up stand a chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree.
The goal of this loyalty program is to incentivize registered consumers and drive foot traffic to the more than 200 regional shopping malls with 24,000-plus retail stores that Chicago-based General Growth owns or manages in 44 states nationwide.
Mobisix’s messaging platform powers The Club Mobile, delivering targeted, personal offers based on consumer-controlled preferences, data and analytics.
Here is what Mr. Foschetti had to say about The Club Mobile and mobile’s growing potential in driving retail traffic during these tough economic times:
What’s the thinking behind The Club Mobile?
The Club mobile is an innovative new-media platform for retail brands to target specific audiences with highly relevant messages and drive store traffic.
In these economic times, the more innovative ways we can use technology to inform the consumer of events and sales while utilizing the club the better.
The Club is a strategic extension of General Growth’s email marketing platform, The Club, and offers the similar value to on-the-go consumers and consumers that prefer to receive opt-in messages to their mobile phones versus email.
Who is the target?
Early adopters of The Club Mobile cross all demographic groups and comprise age groups 13-65.
Both male and female audiences have expressed significant interest and are representative of our subscriber base. Retail brands across categories will express an interest in learning more about the database.
Can we be sure it’s the nation’s first mall-based mobile ad network?
There are several SMS services out there within the retail space, but none to our knowledge that were launched on a nationwide basis among so many malls all at once.
This program is also unique in that it is driven by consumer-controlled preferences and data and analytics decisions to ensure consumers receive only the most relevant offers, and according to their opt-in rules they establish.
This program is larger than just one brand. It is a media network that many brands can choose to participate in based upon their unique marketing needs from national to local.
Why text messages to mall-goers? Any research backing receptivity to such messages?
Retail has always strived to find channels to get one-on-one with customers.
It’s also an industry that stands to really benefit from strategic applications, and on a larger, more macro scale, of mobile marketing.
Getting an offer in the consumer’s hands in that last mile to the sale and getting them in-store is happening today across the mobile and retail spectrum, and in highly successful ways.
Many brands are seeing success with mobile, but in some cases just cannot grow their lists large enough to really move the needle.
The Club Mobile, for retail brands, will really complement the brands’ existing mobile marketing programs and add another layer of micro-targeted activity to the mix.
Significant research was tapped to gauge consumer receptivity to mobile marketing messages within retail, and as long as consumers are in control – how often they get messages, what types of messages they receive and easy opt-out process – very positive feedback was found.
The Mobile Marketing Association’s research indicates approximately one in 10 U.S. consumers are highly interested in mobile marketing, and that is underscored among youth audiences and related to offers and coupons. Both play strongly to General Growth’s program.
When will those who register to The Club Mobile get the text offers?
The maximum number of offers that a consumer will receive is eight per month, or two times per week.
Can mobile help mall retailers? What can mobile offer that other channels don’t?
Yes, we believe it can enhance retailers’ existing mobile marketing efforts and more.
Mobile provides a powerful and efficient one-on-one communication channel for retailers to reach a specified customer base.
Mobile experiences incredibly high open and read rates that result in significant response rates. It also enables retail brands to continue to adapt for efficient and green marketing practices – accountable to ROI and the environment.
Let Your Voice Be Heard by Your Customers May 28, 2009Posted by StrategicGrowth in email marketing, FaceBook, Social Media, Twitter, Web 2.0.
Tags: email, email marketing, Facebook, marketing, MySpace, phonevite, podcasting, Social Media, Twitter
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Technology keeps evolving and providing small businesses with additional ways to communicate with our target audiences. Now there is an Application that will allow you to record a voice message and have it distributed directly to your connections via Twitter, Facebook, or MySpace, as well as email and telephone. It’s less complicated than developing a podcast or a video, and yet highly effective at communicating a message – even while on the move – and it provides distribution options including direct-to-telephone which cannot be achieved thru other methods.
This type of application has many potential uses for small business, including:
- send an email invitation to a seminar with an actual voice invitation from your company’s CEO
- it lets a public relations manager in the midst of handling a company crisis convey a message to all necessary staff at the corporate office at one time and they can listen to it at their convenience
- your CEO can dictate a new corporate policy for immediate implementation and distribute it via email (or telephone)
- you can describe a new product or service to all your Twitter, Facebook and/or MySpace contacts
- many, many additional uses that can benefit your company.
Read the article below from Mashable for a complete description of the application and how it works.
by Ben Parr, Mashable
When you need to send a voice note or a dictation to multiple contacts, Phonevite has always been a strong option. However, while it does have an iGoogle Gadget, Phonevite has mostly been limited to voice-to-phone sharing.
That was until today, when Phonevite opened the social media floodgates of its voice services. Starting today, you can not only send voice messages to your friends via phone, but you can also share recordings via Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, email or just embed the audio directly to your website.
Once you have made a voice recording (either via a recording browser app or via phone), the recording will appear in your recording inbox. Now, however, you’ll see five small icons at the bottom for each of the key social services and embeds which you can use to distribute your content easily.
Social media is an effective mass-communication tool, and Phonevite has tapped into its raw power to dramatically increase the potential of its products. Phonevite is no longer just for voice notes, but for rapidly distributing podcasts, interviews, and calls. It’s up to users and Phonevite, though, to tap into the potential possibilities.
Email Newsletter Programs are Strong Marketing Performers March 23, 2009Posted by StrategicGrowth in email marketing.
Tags: advertising, email, email marketing, marketing
Small business owners are always in search of cost-effective, time-efficient ways to keep in touch with existing clients/customers, and the internet provides us with a variety of ways in which to achieve that. One method of maintaining regular customer contact is the use of an Email Newsletter program. Using such a program enables your clients to maintain an on-going awareness of your firm, so they remember your firm when they finally have a need for a service such as yours instead of seeking out another firm because they forgot about you.
The use of an Email Newsletter program provides a variety of benefits to your firm, including:
- A regularly scheduled communication program to remind your clients/customers that you are available to service them
- A method of communicating new services/products, new staff members with areas of expertise which might be of interest to clients/customers, recent awards or recognition received by your firm, education/information about the latest industry developments
- A communication that is professional in appearance and helps to reinforce your firm’s branding message
- A communication that can link clients/customers back to your website or blog in areas that will be of particular interest to them.
Elements of an effective email newsletter include:
- short, easy-to-read articles
- interesting, attention-grabbing headlines
- special limited-time offers for newsletter-readers only
- information relevant to your industry (statistics and graphs are always interesting)
- communication regarding new products or services being offered by your firm
- company information of interest such as new staff, awards, new offices, community participation programs, etc.
- links to your website or blog that provide greater detail on articles discussed in the newsletter.
Obviously, the use of a professional-appearing Email Newsletter presents some challenges for business owners who do not have HTML programming skills. Luckily Web 2.0 technology has provided us with a variety of resources that enable a small business to send a professional-appearing newsletter with only the most basic of computer skills. Services such as Aweber, Constant Contact and Ennect provide user-friendly, web-based email tools that enable any business owner to develop a professional email program extremely cost-effectively. Added benefits of using such a service are that they insure that you maintain compliance with the anti-spam laws, and they increase the potential that your newsletter will reach the customer’s inbox and actually be read.
Try an Email Newsletter program for 6 months as a test; track who it was sent to, who reads it and which articles they read (the software programs will provide reports), and who you receive additional business from. Compare your cost per person of implementing the program with the revenue you receive as a result of implementing the program to determine your ROI (return-on-investment). Then compare your Email Newsletter ROI with the ROI for other marketing programs you are implementing to determine its cost-effectiveness for your firm. I’m betting it will be one of your top-performing programs!
What Social Media Marketers Can Learn from Email Marketing and In-person Marketing February 28, 2009Posted by StrategicGrowth in Social Media, Web 2.0.
Tags: advertising, email, email marketing, Social Media, social networks
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Are you still trying to figure out the “do’s” and “don’ts” of social media marketing? Be assured, you’re not alone. As the social networking community continues to grow at an ever-increasing pace, marketers and small business owners are challenged with learning how to apply standard marketing principles to this new medium.
One of the challenges of social media is that it doesn’t respond well to “advertising”. Social media marketing needs to be more subtle. It’s about networking to build a reputation as an expert, and then having your expertise sought out. To give you a relevant example, many of you attend networking meetings for your Chamber of Commerce or various trade associations. When you attend those functions do you walk in wearing a sign that says “buy from me”? Or, do you take a more subtle approach by trying to meet new people, learn about what they do, offer a free bit of advice here and there, and build relationships that down the road will result in new business? If you’re like most people, you follow the second option and with that being the case, why would you not apply that same strategy to social networking? You would – and you should!
Additionally, since email marketers have already traversed a path similar to that now being explored by social media marketers, there are a great many lessons that can be learned by reviewing email marketing strategies and the results which were achieved. A recent article by Stephanie Miller, published in MediaPost online publications, explores the email media / social media comparison and provides some interesting lessons to help you improve the results from your social media marketing strategies. This article can be found on our website.