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What is your New Year’s Resolution for Your Business in 2012? December 11, 2011

Posted by StrategicGrowth in Mobile Marketing, Social Media, Strategic Growth Concepts, Video Marketing, Virtual Technology.
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4 comments

This is an updated re-print our our resolution article from 2010. We had a lot of requests to update the article and re-distribute it. We hope you find it of value.

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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 close of one year and the start of another 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 2012 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 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 2012, I believe, will be a ‘game-changing’ year for how business is being conducted.  Mobile technology in particular is having significant impact on the way we live and the way we conduct business today. If you continue to do business as you always have, you – and your business – 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 (think smartphone or tablet anyone?)?
  • can RFID mobile technologies help you manage your warehouse more efficiently?
  • 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?
  • can you get more people to engage with your website or product videos by enabling them to reach it via QR code technology?
  • 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?
  • could the use of mobile technology increase lead generation at trade show events your firm participates in?

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 2012!

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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, as well as the Executive Director of the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan (MTAM), a trade association for Michigan’s mobile /w ireless industry.  Linda is a recognized small business expert with 20+ years of experience in a wide variety of industries. 

Linda is available for consultation, and can be contacted at Linda@StrategicGrowthConcepts.com.  The company website can be viewed at http://StrategicGrowthConcepts.com .  MTAM’s website can be viewed at http://GoMobileMichigan.org .

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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.

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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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.