Archive for December, 2009

5 Killer Mobile Marketing Strategies for 2010

December 31, 2009

Marketing to consumers’ cellphones has long been viewed as something of a holy grail by businesses – prized but always beyond reach. Recently however, new mobile technologies have gone mainstream, making the elusive goal of an always-on connection with customers firmly within reach of even the smallest business.

Consider that:

  • There are four times the number of cellphones in the world versus PCs (4Bn vs. 1Bn) and 20% of all U.S. households are now “mobile-only”
  • Over 130 Billion texts are sent each month, up from practically nothing in 2000
  • Gen Yers (18-29) say their phone is the most important device they own
  • According to multiple analysts, Mobile Marketing and Advertising will explode from just a couple hundred million dollars in revenues in 2008 to $3 – 5 Billion by 2012.

What may be less apparent, though, is how various mobile technologies are ready to leap off the inventor’s table and into your marketing toolkit as a small business owner. If, like many other small businesses, your greatest fear is “not marketing effectively” and your greatest pain is “poor sales” then check out these five top mobile marketing trends you can latch on to today to grow your business.

1) Text message marketing goes mainstream

According to the Mobile Marketing Association, text message marketing is already the most widely-used form of mobile marketing, but you would be hard pressed to find it in use on Mainstreet U.S.A. That’s going to change in 2010, but first an explanation.

Think of text message marketing as you do email marketing, except instead of collecting an email address you collect a mobile phone number. Like email marketing, you create campaigns at a website and only send them to customers who have opted-in to receive your message. But unlike email, you don’t need fancy graphics, just up to 160 characters of plain ‘ol text. So even the most non-technical and non-marketing savvy small business owner can pick it up in just a couple of minutes. Your customers will instantly read your message 97% of the time.

Text message marketing for business use has been around for several years now, especially at youth-friendly establishments like fast food joints, hip clothing stores, and the nightclub scene. Already, a Comscore study shows that 25% of mobile phone users participate in at least one (and up to 10) SMS marketing program monthly.

But I expect 2010 to see far greater adoption due to:

  • Adoption of Texting across generations – Texting is now engrained in our way of communicating, with the average American sending/receiving almost twice as many texts than phone calls
  • Acceptance of mobile coupons – A recession-weary public hungering for discounts is latching on to mobile coupons as the ‘killer mobile app’ due to their convenience. More consumer-packaged goods companies, restaurants, and grocers are launching mobile coupons each month.
  • Proven ROI – Texting is proving its chops versus email and social media. On average, texting gets seven times the response rate versus email (7% vs 1%) and reaches twenty five times the number of users as does Twitter.
  • More small biz friendly offerings – Owners need easy-to-use and affordable texting providers if they are to be successful. Thankfully, providers are recognizing it’s not always about catering to the Fortune 500 and are starting to offer price points as low as $10 or $15 per month.

The uses of texting are as varied as those of a swiss army knife: promotions, coupons, alerts, staff messages, sweepstakes, trivia, and voting. Whether you’re a barber shop, video store, or yoga studio, see what texting can do for you in 2010.

2) Texting will be offered by local media (e.g., newspapers)

With newspapers and magazines rapidly declining in circulation, it was only a matter of time until they sought to add new marketing techniques such as Mobile to their offerings. Money Mailer, which traditionally direct-mailed packets of coupons to households, is selling a mobile coupon that gets placed into their iPhone application.

Local print publishers are also getting in the game. For example Metro U.S., a local magazine publisher in cities across the U.S. is using text messaging to enable its “readers to instantly interact with the print.

And in 2010 some of the largest media brands in the world such as Conde Nast will be teaming up to create mobile versions of their content in order to generate more advertising revenues.

3) Retailers will move beyond mobile marketing to enhance the overall shopping experience – raising consumers’ expectations of what they can do with their phones.

After several years of experimentation, big brands are poised to make mobile a significant – and permanent – part of their spend in 2010.

In 2008 and 2009 fast food joints like Wendy’s, Burger King, Subway, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and Chipotle launched texting programs, mobile sites, and iPhone apps that enable a consumer to order food for pick-up.

Big box retailers Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Sears, J.C. Penney and Target began sending holiday text alerts and built mobile sites and iPhone apps every bit as powerful as their online cousins. These applications have allowed consumers to order products, read reviews, send gift hints to friends, text early wake-up calls, and conduct a slew of other services typically only available online.

With these experiments having proved successful, look in 2010 for these pioneers to keep blazing trails with:

  • Bar Coded Coupons200 7-Eleven stores in San Diego are testing scannable bar codes on consumers’ phones to get up to one free drink per day. Indeed, in the next two years Juniper Research projects three billion mobile coupons will be issued to phones.
  • Pay by phone – Starbucks is testing Starbucks Card Mobile, which allows customers to pay for coffee in the shop with their phone. Initial tests saw a 60% redemption rate of the coupon component.
  • Integration with real-time data – Ace Hardware is combining weather forecasts with text alerts to hawk more shovels.
  • Building out their profiles in localized smartphone apps – Gap Outlet, Sports Authority, and REI are experimenting with the new crop of local smartphone apps, such as Yowza and FourSquare (see next.)

4) Inventive smartphone applications will dazzle with new ways to engage customers – but ultimately disappoint in 2010

Each month it seems a new crop of mobile applications let consumers check for nearby deals and receive news and promotions to their phone from local businesses. These apps use a phone’s GPS to figure out where the consumer is and serve up your business’ information if he/she is nearby.

Some of these new apps, with colorful names such as Booyah, Whrrl, and Gowalla, even create a game-like environment where consumers ‘check-in’ and otherwise express their affiliation for the merchant in return for discounts. Other applications, such as MobiQpons, Yowza, and Google’s just launched QR codes, ditch the fun and games for a serious focus on mobile coupons.

A bit down the road, ‘augmented reality’ applications like the Sekei Camera iPhone application let a consumer point his phone at any real-world store or object and receive an overlay of rich data about the image. Clearly, not your dad’s rotary telephone!

But before you go rushing to build out your profile on the latest smartphone application, consider that smartphones made up only 25% of all new phone shipments in the U.S. in Q3 2009 and only about the same percentage of subscribers say they surf the mobile web at least weekly. So these hot new applications are attracting the mobile jet-set and Gen Yers but in 2010 will miss the mark if you are looking to reach anyone other than a small fraction of your total customer base.

5) In 2010, you’ll have it any way you want

If you don’t want to participate in another companies’ mobile application than why not have your own in 2010? In fact, about half of business’ mobile campaigns will send consumers directly to a mobile website and less than half to a smartphone application.

Price has something to do with this adoption. In 2009 and earlier, it could cost tens of thousands of dollars for a mobile-optimized website or smartphone application. But these days mobile website tools like Instant Mobilizer and MoFuse offer do-it-yourself tools costing anywhere from free on up to $100 per month or more depending on your needs.

There’s even an emerging crop of companies that let you build your own iPhone or smartphone application, albeit using a template-driven approach. Car dealerships, realtors, small hotel chains and other firms seem to be attracted to companies like MobileAppLoader for the easy set-up, low cost, branding, and potential for better customer servicing these more sophisticated applications offer.

Bonus Trend:  Big and successful Internet companies will increasingly bake mobile into their offerings

Whether you like it or not, your company is going to be on the mobile phone in 2010 – it just may not be under your control. In 2009 many big players began rolling out mobile versions of their successful local, online directories. Expect that trend to accelerate in 2010.

In December, <a href="http://smallbiztrends.com/wp-includes/js/tinymce/plugins/paste/pasteword.htm?ver=327-1235#http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/content/4913.html“>CitySearch rolled out its directory on Google’s Android platform, adding to its iPhone, Blackberry, and mobile web offerings already. OpenTable just announced its mobile offerings surpassed a cool one million reservations. Twitter now allows you to broadcast your location along with your tweets. And Yelp, best known for its polarizing – and highly successful – online ratings of local businesses, is already on Version 2.0 of its iPhone application that’s a hugely popular hit with its mostly urbanized crowd.

One of the more interesting emerging concepts is Google’s recent use of bar code stickers. The 800 lb Gorilla just mailed 190,000 of its most prominent local merchant’s fancy bar codes they can stick on their front windows. When scanned by a phone with a bar code scanning application, the bar code calls up that business’ Google Place Pages listing – which can incorporate a mobile coupon.

These mobile offerings typically use GPS to find nearby stores and restaurants, help consumers make real-time reservations, post mobile coupons, share feedback with friends, and submit reviews. What they won’t do is give your business maximum control over your brand and marketing since it’s someone else’s site. However you cut it though, these mega-sites are here to stay and are becoming a must-have for on-the-go savvy consumers.

2010 promises to be a breakout year for how small businesses use mobile marketing technologies. With the proliferation of low-cost, powerful smartphones, ubiquitous and fast high-speed connections, the exploding use of the mobile web, and the ubiquitous nature of texting, you now have many choices to be in the pocket of your customers. Perhaps the biggest question is where to start?

Steven Roddy

The Marketing Model

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Make Your Business Famous 6 Types of Customer Marketing

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December 31, 2009

6 Types of Customer Marketing http://bit.ly/5r7D3N

How to Market Your Business To Motivate Your Customers

December 30, 2009

Marketing Your Business Effectively To Motivate Your Customers

December 24th, 2009 by Stacy Karacostas

I flew to St. Louis for the Glazer-Kennedy Info Summit. This is a 4-day event about how to create and market information products (think ebooks, teleseminars, coaching groups, membership sites, live seminars and more).

This is the second time I’ve made it to this event, and once again I took home a ton of fantastic ideas. So for the last month I’ve been going through my notes and getting started on some of the new products and services I was inspired to create.

Of course, there’s ton of information on marketing and small business success in general. So I thought I’d share a few of the killer tidbits of business-building wisdom I picked up.

Today, I’ve got a really interesting way for you to look at your target customer and why they buy. This comes from the copywriting workshop Dan Kennedy presented on the first night…

According to Dan, you can put your customers in one of 6 categories…

1) Slight Edge Buyers – These folks are always eager to do better. They’re constantly looking for ways to improve and get a slight edge over the competition, or bring just a little more to the table. If you sell information in any way, shape or form (consultants, speaker, authors and coaches take note) these are generally your best customers.

2) Junkies and Addicts – These people are passionate about or have a deep interest in a subject or subjects, and/or a strong attachment to a particular author(s). So they buy everything on the subject, or everything that author puts out.

3) Reinforcement Buyers – Unlike the last two categories, these people aren’t really looking for new information. Instead, they want to buy things that reinforce the opinions and conclusions they already have…Sometimes because this gives them the courage and conviction to finally move forward with their ideas.

4) Unplugged Joiners – Some people are joiners who feel compelled to always belong to or be a part of something. So if they are unplugged from one thing they go in search of something else right away. This is why “recent expired lists” are so valuable in newsletter business…Because if they’re subscription or membership to one thing just expired they may very well be itching to “belong” to something else. Also in this category are the chronically unsatisfied, the legitimately disappointed, the people looking to move-up, and the lonely.

5) Desperate/Life Raft Grabbers/Magic Pill Buyers – This group of buyers is typically confronting new or unexpected adversity, sudden change or marketplace disruption. So they’re desperately in search of a solution. Also in this category are the perennial losers who buy lots of stuff but never use any of what they buy.

6) Life Event Driven Buyers- As life changes, so do your wants and needs. This has a tremendous impact on this type of customer. A couple great examples of folks in this category would be anyone going through a mid-life crises, or whose kids just went off to college. These events weren’t surprises, but they definitely impact what and why someone will buy. This is one reason why baby boomers are such a hot target market.

Chances are, whether you sell products or services, you have clients from a few of these categories. Which of these do you recognize in your business?

How could you market to them more effectively now that you know what motivates them to buy?

About the Author: Practical Marketing Expert Stacy Karacostas, founder of SuccessStream Sales & Marketing Solutions, specializes in taking the stress, struggle and confusion out of growing your small business. She’s the author of the 2-page marketing plan workbook Putting Your Business on the Road to Success, and The Small Business Website Bible. Stacy also writes the fun and informative Marketing Junkie blog and Bright Ideas weekly newsletter. For more practical, business-building wisdom help yourself to a copy of her free report The 7 Deadliest Small Business Marketing Sins… Are You Guilty?

Posted via web from The Marketing Model

Creative Church Marketing

December 30, 2009
sonbucks1.jpgChristian culture is obsessed with church growth. Churches want badly to “get their numbers up,” so some churches hire marketing teams to assess their fitness (their actual term) and tell them how to be culturally relevant. The goal is to get people in the door and make them come back.

piece_epicAd_1.jpgThey put espresso stands in the lobby and get some ambient lighting so Kids These Days don’t feel like they’re in one of those churches full of dorks. They don’t want to be like those churches with fluorescent overhead lighting cause that’s super lame. Those churches sing hymns and their pastors wear suits, and church marketing statistics say only old people like those. The church marketing stats also say that people decide if they’ll come back to a church within the first three minutes of their visit, so they’ve really gotta work those first three minutes.

marketingworship1.jpgThey want to make their church feel like you’re at a concert, so they have a stage lighting ministry and play the music really loud. The pastor tries to look cool (as we’ve discussed here and here) and uses high school jargon and so he can be relevant. And he wants the worship band to be extra rad. The worship leader tries to get a Fleet Foxes/The Fray/Death Cab vibe going. He holds auditions for the worship team and picks the ones with flat-ironed hair and guyliner. It’s important that they look sincere when they sing, but scarves, vests and grommet belts help. Okay, so. What are some edgy names for an epic sermon series? What will get the most people in the door? We have to get our numbers up and grow this sucker or else it means God isn’t blessing our ministry! Numbers! Tithing! Relevance! U2! Discipleship models! The reformation! Leadership! Authentic! Contextual! Twitter! iPhone! Sick website! Innuendos from the pulpit about sex with my wife! In the world, but not of it!

472489178_f4085e25ae.jpgTheir mission statement sounds solid and they say they’re all about Jesus but some churches seem awfully impressed with themselves. Being hip and raising money for new buildings seems like the focus instead of being broken by the message of the Gospel. But if Jesus loved the sick and the poor and drew near to the brokenhearted, and if he was a servant to the least and walked into their lonely worlds, and if his love went to their dark corners when they did not expect it or even ask for it, is he harder to find in churches where image is king?

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Adland’s 10 by 10 – Top Ten Marketing Mishaps in the past ten years. | Adland

December 30, 2009

Here is a very funny post regarding marketing blunders. You have got to know your demographic and ALL the possible ramifications before you seal the deal on your marketing campaign.

Read and see what I mean:

http://adland.tv/content/adlands-10-10-top-ten-marketing-mishaps-past-ten-years

Posted via web from The Marketing Model

December 28, 2009

If you can find something everyone agrees on, it’s wrong. – Mo Udall

December 28, 2009

Boost Your Sales with Yahoo! Search Marketing http://bit.ly/4HwWRJ

Boost Your Sales with Yahoo! Search Marketing

December 28, 2009

If you are interested in pay-per-click search engine marketing, you definitely need to consider Yahoo! Search Marketing. Yahoo! Search Marketing makes it easy for advertisers to connect you with customers who are searching for what you are selling.

Yahoo! Search Marketing offers many different options for advertisers, including sponsored search, local advertising, search submit, product submit, travel submit, and directory submit. Your ads don’t just appear in the search engine results on Yahoo either. They appear across a network of sites and search engines.

Yahoo! Sponsored Search allows you to create ads that will appear in search engine results on Yahoo and on other sites in the Yahoo distribution network. Yahoo gives you control over your budget with flexible budgeting options, allow you to target audiences across the entire market, and supplies you tools and features that make managing your Yahoo! Search Marketing account simple.

With Yahoo! Sponsored Search, you can get set up in five easy steps. First, you target customers by geographic location. You then choose keywords that relate to your business, state how much you want to spend, create your ad and then review and activate it. Your ad will begin displaying within minutes of approval. When your ad is clicked, you are charged whatever you’ve agreed to pay for each click.

Yahoo! Sponsored Search features include geo-targeting, campaign budgeting, ad testing, campaign scheduling, keyword research tools, bulk ad management, customized performance reports, billing and payment reports, charting, and forecasting.

For local advertising, you can list your business in the Yahoo Directory for free, and then pay a flat fee for an enhanced listing. Or, if you prefer, get top placement with a featured listing. Search Submit enables you to submit your URL’s at no cost so that you are included in the listings. However, you can upgrade to Search Submit Pro and get additional control over your listings, and obtain in-depth reports concerning your listings.

You can also be included in Yahoo! Shopping with Product Submit. Product Submit enables you to have your products featured in Yahoo! Shopping, and you pay for performance by paying for clicks. You can manage your Product Submit account online and quickly and easily update product information and monitor performance. You can also set up an online store with Yahoo! Merchant Solutions.

If you have travel related products or services, you can use Yahoo! Travel Submit to promote your offers. You will get detailed listings of your travel offers, and be featured in relevant areas across the Yahoo network. Yahoo! Travel is a pay for performance program where you pay for clicks received.

You can also submit your site to the Yahoo Directory and pay for sponsored listings. These sponsored listings will not only give you prominent top listings in search results, but it will also get you listed in the directory much faster than free submissions.

Yahoo is a high traffic network. This means that if you take advantage of any of the services offered by Yahoo! Search Marketing, you will definitely increase your web site traffic and sales. Out of all of the pay-per-click services around the Internet, Yahoo! Search Marketing is definitely one that you want to include in your advertising campaigns.

Visit Yahoo! Search Marketing for further information:
http://searchmarketing.yahoo.com

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December 24, 2009

A Step By Step Strategy for Marketing Articles http://bit.ly/75cWur

A Step By Step Strategy for Marketing Articles

December 24, 2009

Article marketing, if done properly, can build an online business exponentially. While if it is not done correctly, can break the business. This is a strong statement but if one really understands the importance of writing articles and marketing articles, then there is a great deal of truth in it. If one follows the following 4 step strategy, one will never go wrong in article marketing.

Step 1: Publish the Article in a Popular Article Directory

The first step is to increase the visibility of the article by posting it to a popular article directory. One must also post the article in other directories. When prospects search for information on Google and other search engines, they will be shown information from these article directories. If the article is relevant and has the necessary keywords, then it will appear at a good position in the search results.

Step 2: Use the Resource Box to Link the Article to the Site

The second step is to direct the reader of your article from the article directory to the website. This is done through the resource box at the end of the article. The resource box contains the details of the author, a brief bio about the author’s expertise in the area and possibly an incentive for the reader to visit the site. The incentive might be in the form of a free gift or more valuable information. Most article directories have a provision for writing an extended profile of the author. This space must be used effectively since many readers would go through the profile before visiting the website.

Step 3: Capture the Contact Info with an Opt In Box

Once the reader pays a visit to the site, one must ensure that one notes his name and email id at least. Do not lose the visitor just because he visited the site only once. Make sure one has a well designed opt-in box which will attract the visitor to leave his email id. Many marketers offer a free gift like an e-book to entice visitors to fill in the opt-in box.

Step 4: Promote the Article Link using Social Media

One of the key ingredients in an online marketing strategy is to develop a personal brand. This is most easily done through social media where one has a group of followers and friends. Whenever one publishes an article online, one could share the link with friends so that one gets traffic for the article and also for the site.

Following the above 4 step strategy will ensure that one is making the articles count in the online marketing efforts.

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