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

Posted by StrategicGrowth in email marketing, location-based technology, marketing strategies, Marketing-changing technology, mobile, Mobile Marketing, Social Media, Strategic Growth Concepts, Virtual Technology.
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4 comments

I had someone ask me today about their business, “If I could do one thing better, what would it be?”.  As a business consultant, I am frequently asked some version of this question, but today it got me thinking that the start of a new year is probably a great time to pass along one of the answers to that question that I give to everyone who asks it of me.  Are you ready?  Here it comes!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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 technology optimization and marketing for increased productivity and profitability, social media marketing, and virtual events production.  Linda is a recognized small business expert with 20+ years of experience in a wide variety of industries.  She is also the Founder of the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan, a mobile industry trade association, and the Co-founder of Mobile Monday Michigan, a mobile industry networking and education organization.

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

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

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

A recent MediaPost Mobile Insider article by Steve Smith makes the bold statement, “friendly reminder to retailers: Your customers are way, way ahead of you when it comes to using mobile as a resource.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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 Technology Optimization and Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and Virtual Events production.  Linda is a recognized small business marketing expert with 20+ years of experience in a wide variety of industries. 

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

ComScore Study Shows Increasing Mobile Use by Consumers; Time for Business to Start Reaching Them Via Mobile May 6, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in marketing strategies, mobile, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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comScore recently released its’ latest report about Mobile Phone subscribers; which phones they’re buying, which carriers they’re using, and which functions they are using on their phones.  Those firms who are still deciding whether or not they should be taking action to get a Mobile presence for their firms should find the study quite interesting.  Below, find an excerpt from the study regarding the use of phone functions.

In an average month during the January through March 2010 time period, 63.7 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device, up 0.6 percentage points versus three months prior. Browsers were used by 30.1 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers (up 2.6 percentage points), while subscribers who used downloaded applications made up 28.6 percent of the mobile audience (up 2.6 percentage points). Access of social networking sites or blogs continued to increase, posting gains of 2.8 percentage points to 18.7 percent of mobile subscribers.

Mobile Content Usage
3 Month Avg. Ending Mar. 2010 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Dec. 2009
Total U.S. Age 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
  Share (%) of U.S. Mobile Subscribers
Dec-09 Mar-10 Point Change
Total Mobile Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Sent text message to another phone 63.1% 63.7% 0.6
Used browser 27.5% 30.1% 2.6
Used downloaded apps 26.0% 28.6% 2.6
Played games 21.6% 21.8% 0.2
Accessed social networking site or blog 15.9% 18.7% 2.8
Listened to music on mobile phone 12.1% 13.2% 1.1

As the study indicates, text messaging is used by over 60% of subscribers, a web browser is used by over 30% of subscribers, and almost 20% are currently using their phone to access sites such as Facebook and Twitter.  And the numbers will only continue to rise!  The mobile phone is how consumers are communicating with each other, and in increasing numbers, with the firms they want to do business with.  To learn more, read the complete comScore March 2010 study.

Those who have not yet implemented a Mobile Marketing strategy for their business need to begin work on one right away – if you don’t, be assurred your competitor’s will be – and then they’ll have a significant advantage over your business!

Strategic Growth Concepts would like to assist you in assessing your Mobile Marketing needs and determining how best to incorporate Mobile into your existing marketing strategy.  The answers are not the same for every firm; for some, it might be text messaging and a mobile website; for others it might be developing a mobile application and a series of mobile banner ads.  We at strategic have the marketing experience and mobile knowledge to help you find the best solution for your firm.  If you would like to schedule a call to learn how Strategic can assist your firm with its Mobile Marketing initiatives, please contact us via our mobile website at www.StrategicGrowthConcepts.mobi, our Internet website, or email at info@StrategicGrowthConcepts.com .

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

Mobile Marketing – What’s All the Hype About? April 10, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in mobile, mobile coupons, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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You’re hearing it a lot lately – on Facebook, Twitter, national business publications, and even in daily news media – Mobile Marketing is becoming THE way to advertise; it’s often touted as the best direct marketing method available today.  So now you’re wondering – “What exactly is mobile marketing?  Are they right? Should my business be using it?  Is it really as effective as they say it is?  Will my customers want to receive mobile messages?  Can I afford mobile marketing?  Where do I begin?”

So let’s answer those questions!

First, what exactly is mobile marketing? 

According to the Mobile Marketing Association, “Mobile Marketing is a set of practices that enables organizations to communicate and engage with their audience in an interactive and relevant manner through any mobile device or network.”

And that communication and engagement is being implemented by 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.

According to Jeff Hayzlett, Chief Marketing Officer / Vice-President, Eastman Kodak Company, mobile phones are “the most direct and personal of all media channels these days… They enable us to remain connected 24/7. No need to log onto the Internet or roam around town looking for a hot spot. Mobile devices are always hot. A marketer’s dream is to engage in meaningful two-way conversations with people who are truly interested in their brand, and mobile gives you that direct line of communication — constantly.

There are various types of mobile marketing, including:

  • SMS (short message service)
    • Also known as ‘texting’
  • MMS (multi-media message service)
    • Messages that contain multi-media objects such as images, video and audio
  • Mobile Web Applications 
    • Browser-based web services such as the World Wide Web using a mobile device
    • Utilizes WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) – an open, global specification that empowers mobile users with wireless devices to easily access and interact with information and services instantly
  • Bluetooth (short-range wireless technology; up to approx. 33 ft)
    • Also known as proximity marketing
    • The localized wireless distribution of advertising content associated with a particular place.  In other words, if you have a cell phone in the proximity of a marketing broadcast, you would be able to receive a message or advertisement
  • Location-Based Marketing
    • Delivers multi-media directly to the user of a mobile device dependent upon their location via GPS technology
  • QR Codes (quick-response barcodes)
    • Two-dimensional barcode
  • Voice
    • IVR (Interactive Voice Response)
      • a technology that automates interactions with telephone callers
    • Voice broadcasting calls numbers from a computer managed list and plays a pre-recorded message to the call recipient or answering machine
    • Pay-per-Call
    • ADC (Abbreviated Dialing Codes) dial the code to access voice content
  • Mobile Banner Ads
  • Mobile Website
    • A Mobile-optimized version of an Internet website providing an easy way for consumers to learn about your company ‘on-the-go’.

Next, Are they right, should your business be using Mobile Marketing?  Is it really as effective as they say it is?

According to the Director of Research at Nielsen Mobile, “People look at every text message they get”, and 97% of them do so within 15 minutes.  Can you think of any other advertising medium where you are almost guaranteed that every person targeted will see your message?

Kodak’s Hayzlett says, “Mobile marketing is quickly growing beyond the experimental and is showing tangible results. Two examples are Barack Obama’s unprecedented mobilization of supporters during his presidential campaign, and the incredibly successful American Idol reality show, where over 20 million mobile users text their votes each week.”  

An additional recent example of mobile’s results is the spectacular fundraising efforts for Haiti which were driven by mobile donations.  Almost $5 million dollars was raised in less than 48 hours via text message contributions, and to-date, more than $30 million has been raised via mobile.

Some industry statistics may help to clarify the effectiveness of Mobile Marketing for you:

  • According to industry estimates, by 2013 the U.S. will top 100% per capita penetration of mobile phone use
  • SMS is typically read within an average of 15 minutes after receipt, and responded to within 60 minutes
  • While 65% of e-mail is spam, less than 10% of SMS (texting) is spam
  • A survey of 2,400 moms reveals that the single most important tech gadget in their lives is the cell phone
  • A Nielsen study indicates more than half of mobile data subscribers (51%) who saw a mobile ad responded to it by sending a text-message, clicking on it, or calling a specific number.
  • In analyzing the mobile audience, Nielsen found that teens were the most likely to recall seeing some type of mobile ad (46%) compared to 29% of users overall.  Asian-Americans and African-Americans were among other demographic groups with high recall rates, at 42% and 40%, respectively.
  • 88% of all mobile subscribers have a text enabled phone. 51% have received SMS marketing messages, and 25% have opted in to marketing messaging from a brand.
  • 14% said they are already open to mobile advertising so long as it is relevant to their interests

Will my customers want to receive mobile messages?

A new survey published by Compete.com indicates smartphone owners are very receptive to mobile coupons.  The survey, which looked at the time of day most smartphone owners use their devices, as well as what mobile advertising concepts they’re most interested in, found that usage during commutes to work and while watching TV were the highest by far.

To find out their receptiveness, the survey asked smartphone owners how interested they were in receiving various types of mobile advertising.  The results were quite interesting, indicating consumers were most interested in receiving grocery coupons (36%), scanable barcodes (29%), offers to save and pursue at leisure (26%), movie theater offers (26%) and promotion/coupon ads (21%) via SMS (text) when passing by a retailer.*

Can I afford mobile marketing?

Absolutely!  Mobile marketing is an extremely cost-effective medium to use with an exceptional return-on-investment.  While some firms have achieved an ROI as high as 54% or 62%, typical results range between 7 – 15%; still quite high as compared with more traditional media such as Direct Mail which typically attains a 2 – 3% ROI.

And now, Mobile Marketing is very accessible for even the smallest of firms.  Small business owners can implement their own unlimited mobile advertising campaigns – within minutes – for as little as $25 per month, through a service now being offered by Strategic Growth Concepts – and, no contracts required!

Where do I begin?

If you would like to learn more about Mobile, please TEXT the word STRATEGIC to 244326.  This will opt you in to Strategic’s Mobile Club, and notify us to schedule you for a FREE demonstration.  Members of our Mobile Club will be eligible for future special offers, and will receive tips on using Mobile Marketing to benefit your business.  If you prefer not to join the Mobile Club but would still like to receive the FREE demonstration, you can contact us directly at info@StrategicGrowthConcepts.com.

Sources: Babycenter.com, March 2008; Experian via Mobile Marketing Watch, Nielsen: Improved Recall, Comfort With Mobile Ads Study; Luth Research June 2009; *Smartphone Owners Want Mobile Coupons, Mobile Marketing Watch

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Should you be interested in learning more about mobile marketing and how it can help grow your business, please review the mobile section of our website, additional mobile marketing articles within this blog, or contact us directly via the website or email at info@strategicgrowthconcepts.com for a FREE initial consultation.

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

Strategic Growth Concepts Makes Text Messaging Available to Small Businesses April 4, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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Mobile Marketing achieves exceptional ROI and generates substantial incremental revenue

Small business owners can now implement their own unlimited mobile advertising campaigns – within minutes – for as little as $25 per month, through a service now being offered by Strategic Growth Concepts.

As part of our continuing effort to provide our clients with the latest technologies available to enable their marketing efforts, Strategic Growth Concepts has become a Certified Mobile Solutions Provider with a national text marketing solution.

Now, businesses such as:

  • retail stores
  • restaurants/cafes/fast food retailers
  • health clubs
  • salons
  • physicians
  • dentists
  • veterinarians
  • consumer service businesses
  • nightclubs
  • realtors
  • banks
  • consumer media (radio/TV/newspaper)
  • B2B firms
  • and many more

can utilize mobile marketing campaigns to communicate with consumers about:

  • appointment reminders
  • cancellation notices
  • reservations
  • take-out orders
  • scheduling appointments
  • daily specials
  • inventory close-outs
  • special order arrivals
  • expected arrival times
  • event notices
  • information requests
  • contest entries
  • surveys
  • new product announcements
  • changes in operating hours
  • and much, much more!

We’re very happy to make this service available to small businesses so they can now take control of their marketing and get large results with a small monthly investment and very little time.   And, no contracts required!

Until April 15th, Strategic is offering a 50% discount to businesses that sign up to utilize our text messaging services.  To obtain a FREE mobile marketing demonstration and learn how your firm can receive a 50% discount on getting started, please read our complete news release.

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Should you be interested in learning more about mobile marketing and how it can help grow your business, please review the mobile section of our website, additional mobile marketing articles within this blog, or contact us directly via the website or email at info@strategicgrowthconcepts.com for a FREE initial consultation.

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

Ten things you should know about Mobile Marketing February 24, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in mobile, Mobile Marketing, Social Media, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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5 comments

by The Mobile Marketer

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) mobile council has produced a list of the top 10 things it believes markets absolutely have to know about mobile advertising at the moment.

It follows research from the IAB and PriceWaterhouseCoopers that mobile advertising is set to become part of the mainstream marketing mix over the next two years.

  1. It’s an always on medium: Consumers love their mobile phones so much that researchers found when they took peoples phones away for a day they claimed to feel a phantom ‘tingle’ in their pocket that normally proceeds the excitement of a text/call. Stephen Upstone, managing director of European business development, AdInfuse.
  2. Social media is driving growth: IAB research in 2009 found that updating social network sites via mobile handsets is increasing with 25% of all social networkers logging on to check or update their pages. 16 to 24 year olds are the biggest mobile social network fans with 44% saying they have updated via mobile, compared to 17% of over 55s. Amy Kean, senior PR and marketing manager, IAB.
  3. It provides immediate interaction: Mobile phones allow the consumers to interact immediately with advertising. Upon seeing an advert the consumer can text, call or download content instantly. It can help maximise the effectiveness of other media, a short code is a great example of this. Rachel Wright, business development director, Phonevalley.
  4. It’s got a lot to offer: Mobile Marketing is much more than banner adverts within internet content; a wide range of formats can be delivered as campaign components from text links in SMS messages through to full screen static or video display adverts within applications or mobile internet sites. Jeremy Copp, CEO, Rapid Mobile Media.
  5. Application crazy: iPhone users have downloaded over 1 billion applications worldwide to their handset since launch. Applications are not restricted to iPhone however; advertisers can create useful applications for consumers for the majority of handsets. David Fieldhouse, mobile manager, MediaCom.
  6. It’s popular: The number of mobile media users in the UK has reached the tipping point with over 30% of all UK adults accessing mobile media every month and a large proportion of those going online everyday according to ComScore. Stephen Upstone, managing director of European business development. AdInfuse
  7. Smartening up: Over the last 18 months the number of UK Smartphone users (iPhone, Nokia N96, T-Mobile G1 etc) has grown from 3.6m subscribers to 6.3m, a 73% increase, and these users are over three times more likely to browse for News and Information on their phones than non Smartphone users (Comscore/MMetrics). Tim Hussain, head of mobile advertising, Sky.
  8. It’s out of your hands: If you’re not sure if your brand should be on mobile, consumers have already made the choice for you. 0ver 4 million consumers are already using their mobiles to search for information on products and services and search volumes are growing 4 times faster than online. Jon Mew, head of mobile, IAB.
  9. It can reach you: Target through to point of purchase – no other medium allows such precise targeting, from location based services like local search through to in-store Bluetooth marketing you can reach consumers wherever they are and provide relevant and engaging advertising. Paul Lyonette, head of mobile advertising, Microsoft.
  10. Consumers like Mobile! The Orange Exposure study shows 70% of mobile media users find innovative ad formats appealing. In an ad funded games trial 89% said they liked or were neutral to advertisements appearing on the Orange World portal and 88% said they were happy to be exposed to advertising in exchange for free or discounted content. Alex Kozloff, media research manager, Orange.

NOTE FROM STRATEGIC GROWTH:  Worldwide sales of smartphones increased 24% to 172.4 million units in 2009 according to Gartner, Inc.  In the fourth quarter  of 2009 alone, smartphone sales surged 41% from the year-earlier period to 53.8 million devices.  The proportion of adult U.S. subscribers owning smartphones jumped to 17% last year from 11% in 2008 and 7% in 2007, according to new data from Forrester Research.  The number of total mobile phone subscriptions worldwide has reached 4.6 billion and is expected to increase to five billion in 2010, according to the U.N. telecommunications agency.

Should you be interested in learning more about mobile marketing and how it can help grow your business, please review the mobile section of our website, additional mobile marketing articles within this blog, or contact us directly via the website or email at info@strategicgrowthconcepts.com for a FREE initial consultation.

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

Trade Show Mobile Marketing Strategy Leads to a “Jackpot” of Leads January 12, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in mobile, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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5 comments

As someone who blogs regularly on the topics of small business, marketing, using new technology in marketing and mobile marketing specifically, I am always on the lookout for examples of businesses that are using technology to great advantage in marketing their firms so our readers can learn from them.  Recently, I came across an excellent example being used by David Reed of VM Direct that I wanted to share with you.  David has taken the concept of trade show participation to the next level to insure that he maximizes the trade show ROI for his firm.  Please read David’s story below and let us know in the comments if this or a similar idea might work for your firm.

Collect leads at trade shows like hitting a jackpot in Vegas.

I went to an auctioneers convention in Denver Colorado earlier this month. I set up my little booth along with everyone else. And I notice that they’re laying out their pens with their company logos on them. Or whatever vendor fodder they are trying to catch the consumer’s attention with. They are setting out their fish bowls to gather business cards. Or setting out their pad of paper so individuals can leave their information with them. Etc…Etc…Typical tradeshow stuff.

And I watch while the auctioneers take their pens, put their business cards in the fish bowls, and don’t talk to these people at all. Not a care in the world as to why they are there.

And then there is me. Promoting an internet marketing system. I had purchased 2 i-Pods to give away at 10 am and 2pm. No pens. No fish bowl. Just a sign that said be here at 10 am and 2 pm for your chance to win an i-Pod. Funny thing is that I probably spent less on those 2 i-Pods as they did on the pens and stuff they were giving away. So 10 am rolls around. I have my system set up. Every one is gathering around because WOW a FREE i-Pod. I pull out my sign that says, “TEXT (my keyword, leaving this out for this post) (your e-mail address) to 69302 for your chance to win an i-Pod.” I start the Jeapordy theme song on my laptop and told them “GO”. To see everyone scramble for their phones was quite humorous. My phone is going crazy because I get a TEXT everytime someone subscribes. My e-mail client is going crazy because I get an e-mail everytime someone subscribes. And they are getting my business card delivered to their inbox because that is the autoresponder I had set up. Those with smartphones are getting my autoresponse business card in their e-mail and accessing it right away. Was kind of mass chaos there for a moment until the theme song stopped. I already decided that the 12th person at 10 am was getting the i-Pod. So I look at my phone, count 12 down and called that individual’s name. They were totally amazed that the system was automated like that. Then they were interested in what I was selling. I spent the rest of the afternoon talking to customers and the other vendors that had set up shop for the day. Word got around and 2 pm was just as crazy.

I collected 198 leads that day. Sold 38 retail accounts. Continue to e-mail campaign the others. And didn’t have to go home with my fish bowl and manually input those contacts into my e-mail marketing system. All for the cost of 2 i-Pods.

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Should you be interested in learning more about mobile marketing and how it can help grow your business, please review the mobile section of our website, additional mobile marketing articles within this blog, or contact us directly via the website or email at info@strategicgrowthconcepts.com for a FREE initial consultation.

Smartphone Owners Mobile Purchasing Behaviors Differ by Device January 7, 2010

Posted by StrategicGrowth in mobile, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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As consumers become more and more dependent on their mobile phones to assist them in their everyday lives, it’s inevitable that they will begin to make purchases via mobile.  In a transition similar to that of the Internet before it, consumers are now beginning to test the capabilities of their mobile device to become the ultimate tool of convenience allowing them to handle the purchase of items they need using mobile technology.  And as it was with the Internet, retailers are now playing ‘catch up’ to make that capability available.  However, as those retailers begin to develop their mobile marketing strategies they can now take advantage of the research offered below.

Therefore, we recommend that all retailers become familiar with the information below and then begin the process of optimizing their websites for mobile viewing. Should you elect not to optimize for all mobile devices, then use the information below to select the the device whose user-demographic profile best matches your target demo’s.

Retailers can learn more about the best ways to use mobile technology to promote their products and services by visiting our website, and if your firm would like to explore using mobile, we at Strategic Growth Concepts would be happy to assist you.  To schedule a free consultation regarding using mobile marketing for your firm, contact us via our website.

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Center for Media Research

According to the Compete quarterly Smartphone Intelligence survey, smartphone owners are more comfortable buying from their handsets, but still have some site functionality problems. 8% of smartphone owners that tried to purchase a product on their device were unable to do so. 45% of those that abandoned the process reported that they did so because the site would not load, and an additional 38% left the site because it was not developed specifically for smartphone users.

Danielle Nohe, director of consumer technologies for Compete, points out that “… smartphone use is no longer limited to an exclusive group of tech savvy consumers. As… people grow more comfortable transacting, site owners must redesign around mobile shopping ease-of-use… ”

Nonetheless, says the report, mobile commerce (m-commerce) is ready to explode in 2010. But Nohe cautions that marketers recognize the differences that vary by individual and device. For instance, he says “We’re seeing notable behavior differences across devices… (as) users of the Android operating system share different characteristics than Blackberry and iPhone enthusiasts.”

Key findings from Compete’s Q3 2009 Smartphone Intelligence survey include:

  • 37% of smartphone owners have purchased something non-mobile with their handset in the past 6 months
  • 19% of total smartphone owners have purchased music from their device, 14% have purchased books, DVDs, or video games and 12% have purchased movie tickets
  • 40% of Android owners and 51% of Blackberry owners would spend $500 or more to buy a product from their mobile phone, compared to 9% of iPhone owners
  • The most popular mobile shopping-related activities are research related: 41% of iPhone users and 43% of Android users are most likely to check sale prices at alternative locations from their mobile phones while they are shopping
  • The second most likely activity is accessing consumer reviews, with 39% of iPhone owners and 31% of Android owners investigating reviews from their handset before they purchase
  • While m-commerce is poised for explosive growth in 2010, consumers are still more likely to abandon mobile purchasing on sites that are not optimized for the on-the-go experience, similar to shopping cart abandonment in the early days of e-commerce.
Shopping Use of SmartPhone Away From Computer (% of SmartPhone Owner Respondents Using At All)
Use of Smartphone % of Respondents
Look up shopping info about item to purchase online 68%
Find address & store hours of preferred store 68
Review a product description 52
Look at 3rd party or consumer review of product while in store 45
Check order status originally placed online 43
Look for retailer or product coupons 43
Check for availability of in-store pickup 40
Check price of in store item as “good deal” 36
Make purchase after seeing item in store 34
Make purchase if product not available in store 28
Make purchase without seeing item in store 28
Check status of rebate submitted 24
Source: Compete Smartphone Intelligence Survey, Q3 2009

Compete’s Smartphone Intelligence combines consumer insights with behavioral data to reveal how smartphone owners are using their phones.

For additional information about this study, please visit here.

Mogreet Debuts First-Ever Mobile Video Marketing Platform Across All Top U.S. Carriers November 4, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in mobile, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts, Video Marketing, Web 2.0.
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Hundreds of Millions of Americans Can Now Receive Targeted Mogreet Video MMS Messages From Marketers On Everyday Flip Phones or the Latest Smartphones, Including iPhone, Blackberry, Android and Palm Pre

By: PR Newswire Nov. 4, 2009

Mogreet, the company behind the world’s first mobile video messaging platform, today announced the debut of its game-changing mobile marketing solution, the Mogreet Mobile Video Marketing Platform. Mogreet’s platform can deliver short format videos to more than 200 million U.S. mobile devices, while measuring the effectiveness and ROI of each campaign in real-time.

Mogreet clients routinely experience open rates, video views and click-through rates 15 to 25 times higher than other forms of advertising media. And by virtue of the fact that mobile customers react to text messages in 20 seconds on average — versus hours or days for email — brands see results almost instantly. Marketers also benefit from the inherent virality of Mogreet Mobile Video Marketing, as mobile messages can simply and easily be shared amongst friends, which can result in 5 to 10 times additional reach.

“It’s 1993 all over again … only this time, rather than email, the race is on to harness mobile to build a direct relationship with the end consumer,” commented James Citron, CEO, Mogreet. “The ability to deliver your message in video to just about every mobile phone in the U.S., and not just smart phones with Internet plans, means marketers are not forced to sacrifice reach when they add mobile to their marketing mix.”

“Over 150 million U.S. consumers do not own a smartphone, and most have never seen a video on their mobile phone. With Mogreet, we have designed a way to reach these consumers and enable brands to communicate in rich, engaging media, creating an iPhone-like experience across all major cell networks and phones, ” explained Jay Goss, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Mogreet.

Mogreet is expanding marketers’ reach by harnessing the power of over four-billion text messages sent each day in the United States from consumers of all ages, including adults 35-44 who now send more texts than place calls. Mogreet’s platform has been utilized by leading brands in numerous verticals from hospitality — including the launch of a sixty-property line of hip hotels — to apparel, retail and entertainment, with four #1 box office film releases.

Mobile Marketing Now Aiding Non-profits in Fundraising August 5, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in mobile, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts, Web 2.0.
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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 ASPCA graphicPrevention 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.

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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.

Strategic Growth Concepts’ CEO Interviewed About Mobile Marketing for Small Business July 31, 2009

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We would like to thank Justin Hong, host of the BlogTalkRadio show, ‘The Small Business MBA’ for inviting our firm’s CEO, Linda Daichendt, to be aBlogTalkRadio graphic guest on his show today for a discussion about ‘Mobile Marketing for Small Business’.  Topics discussed included:

  • the benefits of mobile marketing
  • explanations of the different types of mobile marketing
  • the Federal laws that affect a mobile marketing program
  • the results a small business can expect from a mobile marketing campaign
  • the costs of implementing a mobile marketing campaign
  • ways in which small businesses can use mobile marketing to promote their business and reach consumers

Be sure to listen to today’s broadcast by clicking HERE so you can take advantage of the special offer our CEO made available to the show’s listeners!

Mobile Marketing is Topic for Radio Guest Appearance by Strategic Growth Concepts CEO July 22, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in mobile, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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BlogTalkRadio graphicGiven the precarious state of today’s economy, small businesses are on ‘high alert’ for new ways of increasing revenue. While recent technology advances provide a variety of methodologies that can be useful in achieving this goal, there is one that has only recently come to the forefront of marketer’s awareness – Mobile Marketing. This will be topic of discussion during Strategic Growth Concepts CEO, Linda Daichendt’s upcoming guest appearance on the ‘Small Business MBA Show’ on BlogTalkRadio. This show will broadcast live on Friday, July 31, 2009 at 2:30 p.m. EDT. Click HERE to learn the details about the program – and some interesting information about Mobile Marketing.

Time to Begin Planning Mobile Strategies to Aid Holiday Sales July 11, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in Marketing Plan, mobile, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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By Mickey Alam Khan, July 6, 2009

It’s only three months before mobile can expect to play a significant role in searching and shopping for the holidays. Marketers, agencies and vendors should gear up for the traffic and the expectations.

As is customary, marketers are already working on lists for catalog, direct mail, insert media and email drops for the holidays, along with planning print, television, radio and online buys for those with the budget. Mobile should now be included in that media mix.

First it is key to understand mobile’s role in the holidays. It certainly won’t supplant ecommerce or the wired Web. It won’t take away from print, TV or radio’s branding strengths. And it won’t compete with the catalog, mailer, insert or email.

SMS msg on cell in hand - verticalInstead, mobile will give legs to those channels, through mobile advertising, mobile marketing and mobile commerce.

Long on short codes
Let’s start with catalogs.

Each catalog invites users to shop via phone, mail or by entering a SKU number on the brand’s Web site. Perhaps it would be wise to add a keyword and common short code on each catalog, inviting recipients to text and opt in to the loyalty program for alerts of new deals, shipping incentives or discounts during the holidays.

A similar effort with targeted direct mail and inserts – unique keyword and short code – can actually track the piece’s efficacy in case the customer or prospect responds to the call to action.

Mentioning a keyword and short code on marketing and retail email newsletters can also encourage enrollment into the overall loyalty program with the mobile number.

Adding SMS to print, TV and radio will help track the effectiveness of print and broadcast advertising at a time when the sales pitches are at their shrillest. After all, the holidays are the annual Olympics for retail and marketing.

It’s as simple as that: a keyword and short code. But start preparing now. Wireless carriers take their own sweet time approving SMS programs, and with new requirements in place, marketers have to provide every detail about their planned campaigns.

What the carriers don’t want – and certainly will prevent at all costs – is a collapse of their network due to a deluge of commercial SMS messages. Nor do they want to be accused of spam, even if it’s a perception issue.

At any rate, expect holidays 2009 to set a record for holiday-oriented SMS messages exchanged between brand and consumer.

Site to see
Another holiday marketing tool that requires immediate attention is a mobile or mobile-friendly Web site.

With the falling costs of creating a mobile site and the plethora of plug-and-play services out there, retailers and marketers have little excuse to dither on creating a mobile Web presence targeting consumers on the go.

What would consumers on the go like from their favorite brands’ mobile site? Several functionalities including a search engine for merchandise, store locator, gift-finder tool, list of best-sellers and prices, sales promotions, SMS signup, package tracker and, in some cases, the ability to buy from that site.

Smart mobile sites will also include the click-to-call functionality, linking the shopper to the pertinent store.

Obviously most of these functions would work well only on sites customized for smartphones. But it’s a necessary first step to create user-friendly mobile sites for the iPhone, BlackBerry, Palm Pre and more sophisticated HTC, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and Nokia phone models.

A smart accompaniment to the mobile site is the mobile application incorporating some, if not all, the functionality available on the marketer or retailer’s mobile site.

Brands can use their store marketing or other channels such as mail, catalog, print, email or broadcast ads to urge consumers to download their app from the pertinent app store.

Make sure the app is compelling if it is not to be deleted within days of download. Occupying valuable screen real estate on, say, an iPhone, BlackBerry or Palm Pre, is a branding privilege that should not be abused.

Ads up
That takes care of the merchandising and mobile marketing sides of mobile. How about mobile advertising?

Well, now’s the time to make smart buys across leading media sites.

Brands such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Tiffany and Cartier as well as Walmart and Target should be locking up deals with trusted publications including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. They should lock in key positions for their ads to run on those publications’ mobile sites.

These brands can also strike deals with magazine publishers such as Time Inc. or Hearst to incorporate mobile into their multichannel media buys. Mobile ads can run not only with the publishers’ sites but also within their apps as part of sponsorship deals.

All mobile ads, once clicked on, will link to special landing pages with the desired call to action or to the mobile site. As simple as that. It’s been done on the wired Web and there’s no reason why it can’t be replicated on mobile.

Look, it’s very simple: When one in 10 working-age Americans is out of work, when the nation’s mood swings between optimism and pessimism, when the national savings rate is going up, the only way that marketers will get consumers to spend is through marketing and its desired end – creation of desire.

These ideas are basic and require little effort but consultation and working with the brand’s agency or mobile marketing firm. The time has come for brands to recognize that if they want the holiday merchandise to move, they must be as mobile as their customers and prospects. Call now.

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Should you be interested in learning more about mobile marketing and how it can help grow your business, please review the mobile section of our website, additional mobile marketing articles within this blog, or contact us directly via the website or email at info@strategicgrowthconcepts.com for a FREE initial consultation.

Popeye’s mobile campaign garners 54 percent opt-in July 3, 2009

Posted by StrategicGrowth in mobile, Mobile Marketing, Strategic Growth Concepts.
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By Giselle Tsirulnik, June 30, 2009

Popeyes chicken

Popeye’s mobile coupon campaign that promotes the fast food chain’s three-piece chicken dinner has achieved a 54 percent double opt-in.

Popeye'sCox Media is running television spots in Wichita, KS, encouraging consumers to text the keyword POPEYES to short code 74642. Ping Mobile powered the campaign. Already 750 consumers have texted and more than 50 percent have opted in for future communications from Popeye’s.

“This type of mobile advertising campaign was a perfect fit for the Popeye’s stores in Wichita,” said Mike Orr, account executive at Cox Media.

“With the ability to directly engage clients with coupons and offers that provide the client with detailed feedback of what day of the week as well as what time of day that a response was generated from a product placed ad is a tremendous validation of return on investment,” he said.

Consumers that texted in received a message that said, “Show this msg at Popeye’s Chicken & get a FREE 2PC DINNER with ur purchase of a 3 pc dinner & medium drink. Hurry into Popeye’s TODAY offer ends 7/31/09.”

Then consumers are asked whether they would like to join to receive future communications from Popeye’s.

The message says, “Reply YES to join the Popeye’s Chicken VIP Club! U’ll get MORE Xclusive offers just like this one right 2 ur phone! Mx3msg/mo. Std txt rts apply. Reply YES now!”

Consumers that join the Popeye’s mobile VIP Club get the following message, “Success! UR in! To quit txt STOP@anytime. Don’t keep the savings to yourself – tell your family and friends to get in on it too by texting POPEYES to 269411!”

“The strategy for this client was to find a unique and fresh way of promoting their three piece dinner- combining a great promotional offer, with a spontaneous and convenient method of redemption,” said Shira Simmonds, president of Popeye’s mobile service provider.

The results of this campaign show how positive an impact mobile marketing has had on the Popeye’s promotion.

Ms. Simmonds also said that the challenge for Popeye’s was using a newer medium while retaining the traditionalism and authenticity of its brand.

In addition, Popeye’s was faced with finding a way of integrating mobile into their redemption solutions.

Mobile was a perfect tool for the Popeye’s brand because it enabled them to reach out to their target demographic (families) via a medium that is not only accessible to them, but also one that is their most personal and convenient device.

Popeye’s also made sure that the offer was relevant and appealing to the target – a mobile coupon for a discount on dinner provides added-value to families in a time of economic uncertainty.

The fast food chain is distributing its mobile coupons via other avenues as well, including a mobile couponing campaign offering free two-piece chicken dinners (see story).

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While results of 54% opt-in are certainly not standard for mobile marketing, the results ARE typically much higher than most traditional forms of marketing.  Results of 10 – 15% are fairly standard, though many mobile campaigns have achieved a response rate as high as 30%, compared to direct mail which typically results in a 2 – 3% response rate.

Should you be interested in learning more about mobile marketing and how it can help grow your business, please review the mobile section of our website, mobile marketing articles within this blog, or contact us directly via the website or email at info@strategicgrowthconcepts.com for a FREE initial consultation.

Hispanics Online: Young, Mobile and Bilingual July 3, 2009

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The US Hispanic Internet population is growing—in numbers, broadband connections and time spent online. eMarketer estimates that this year there will be nearly 23 million Hispanics online, over 50% of the US Hispanic population.The Hispanics Online report analyzes the trends driving the growth of this young, mobile and vibrant population.

Hispanics make up 12.3% of the US Internet population in 2009, and will increase to 13.9% in 2013.

Like its offline counterpart, this group of Internet users is young—63% are under age 35—and mobile. Some 81% of Hispanics own a cellphone, and for 25% of these adults, their mobile is their primary phone. They use phone features, including Internet access, at higher rates than other mobile subscribers.

Many marketers and online publishers are creating campaigns and Websites in English and Spanish, to reach an audience that switches between languages and cultures.