Tag - Mobile Marketing

Google Plus – Not Just Another Social Network

Have you created a business profile on Google Plus?  Before you roll your eyes at the prospect of signing up to yet another social network, there are some compelling reasons to promoting your brand on Google Plus.

Like other social networks, Google Plus allows business to setup a business profile.  But that’s where the similarities end.  Google insists that Google+ is a “social layer”: not just a destination site, but something that Google has added as a layer across many of its properties.  In addition:

  1. Google Plus has over 250 million registered users – a pool of potential customers too large to ignore.
  2. It’s Google – the number one search engine in the world.  And as stated by Google CEO Larry Page, Google Plus gives business owners the upper-hand by allowing them to tap into the search engine traffic. 

Unlike some other social network sites, learning Google Plus can be a little more involved.  So what are some of the components that go into making Google Plus unique?

Circles

You can group people into different circles.  The best part is that the people you add to a circle don’t need to be on your friends list.  You can add anyone to any circle.  You’ll then receive updates from anyone you’ve added to one of your circles as a news feed – similar to the ‘follow’ in Twitter that allows you to read the update of others.

Hangouts

Hangouts allow you to have a video conversation with people in your circles.  You get to meet that want to meet.  It’s one of the most unique (and according to Google) best features on Google+.  Hangouts allow you to have multi-person video or group video chatting and stop paying Skype for group video conversations.

+Mobile

+Mobile allows you to take videos or photos of your mobile device and upload it immediately with geo-location. And you decide if your media should be private or public.  Google location services provide a list of public location that you can choose from, similar to Foursquare.

Sparks  

Sparks allow you to start up a conversation about pretty much anything that interests you.  Enter any of your interests into Google Plus and it will return article that you may want to read about your topics of interest.  According to Google, you’ll no longer have any reason to use bookmarking sites such as Delicious, Digg, and StumbleUpon once you have Sparks.

Huddled

Huddled is group conversation feature that allows you to chat with groups of people.  It’s similar to chat features on MSN, Skype, Blackberry Messenger, and others too numerous to name here.

+1 (Plus 1)

People can say they ‘Like’ something in Goggle Plus by +1′ing it. (Plus 1). +1′ing has been going on for a while now, but until recently your +1′s could only seen inside Google Plus. Now your +1’s can be seen outside of Google Plus in a place we all want to be seen: Google Search!  That has tremendous marketing potential for any business.  What marketer doesn’t want to get free Word-of-Mouth advertising?

Conclusion

So what is Google Plus, then?  Think of it as a combination of several popular social media and/or web services in one box, such as Facebook, Twitter,  Yelp, Pinterest, Instagram, Digg, plus other popular services you’re probably already using on a daily basis. If you’re already using any of those services, the learning curve for Google Plus should be a short one.

QR Codes Bring Your Coupons to Life

Using QR Codes on Your Print and Mobile Coupons

QR codes are a great way to provide more information about a product or service, or to provide customers with a redeemable coupon. Most businesses long ago realized that couponing is a win-win situation for both consumers and businesses – consumers save money while sales are generated for your businesses. If you haven’t already, your business should consider QR codes on your print and mobile coupons? So how do QR codes and coupons go hand in hand?

QR codes are appearing everywhere, from brochures to the actual products. They are a great way to provide more information about a product or service, or to provide customers with a redeemable coupon. Several advantages other advantages over the traditional paper coupons are:

  1. Easy
  2. Convenient
  3. Green
  4. Create loyalty
  5. Easily tracked
  6. Can be shared

QR codes have the ability to enhance virtually any static marketing piece from billboard, print ad, bus stop signage, etc. In addition, a QR code is a powerful and easy way to capture your mobile audience. Embedding them with mobile coupons, you can drive both in-store and online sales.

Consumers love the ease, immediacy and convenience of simply taking a quick snapshot to access interactive content. Meanwhile, marketers enjoy the ability to track user access, interaction and effectiveness of the campaign. Again, engaging mobile users through QR codes also provides the perfect opportunity to solicit mobile numbers to continue the conversation with future offers.

Brand engagement will only increase as phones get smarter and scanning becomes easier with more and more apps become available to capture any QR code quickly.

This high-tech mobile marketing magic may sound overwhelming, especially. But it’s actually very easy to implement. There are a number of free online QR code generators that are simple to use. You just drop in the text, URL, content or action to be performed, and copy and paste the resulting image into the marketing profile of your choice, whether an email, newsletter or onto a mobile site. 

Mobile Loyalty Programs

Reward Customers with Mobile Loyalty Programs

Build Customer Loyalty With Your Mobile App

Mobile Loyalty Programs

Loyalty cards have proven to be great for business. They allow your company to better understand the behavior of your customers, while giving the customer an incentive to make a purchase by offering some form of reward. Consumers often carry several loyalty cards from a variety of establishments – including supermarkets, gas stations and their favorite restaurants.

But carrying a wallet full of loyalty cards can be inconvenient for the customer. A mobile customer loyalty program that allows customers to treat their phones as a mobile loyalty card can be the answer.

According to a report from Maritz Loyalty Marketing, 73% of smartphone users are interested in interacting with loyalty programs through their mobile device. The study also found that over 90% of smartphone users are likely to download a loyalty program’s application, suggesting that mobile apps offer an opportunity to drive increased program enrollment. Making mobile loyalty programs an important and growing marketing channel for business.

What a mobile customer loyalty program can do for your business

Mobile loyalty programs allow you to easily see the behavior of your customers and then tailor text message campaigns to get the best possible return on your investment. For example, you can target a customer who has not visited within specific date ranges and send him/her targeted text messages with special offers meant to gain additional business. You will be able to easily monitor and review the effectiveness of each text message campaign.

How mobile loyalty programs workMobile Loyalty Program Mobile App

Mobile loyalty cards simply require the user to download an app to their phone. It works purely on the customer’s mobile number. And  the card is usable even if the customer has not brought their mobile phone with them. There’s no loyalty card to lose and only one number to remember – making it simple and easy for your customers to use.

The easiest and most convenient way to introduce your mobile customer loyalty program is with an attractive point of purchase display in your establishment. Some of the most effective displays are kiosks that entice customers to enter their mobile number and join your mobile loyalty program; or posters with QR codes that link to a website or social media site that allows the customer to download the app to their phone. Once the customer is registered they can begin receiving rewards immediately.

At sign up, customers can also choose whether to accept mobile offers to their mobile phones or to opt out of getting messages. Make sure you have the customer’s permission before sending text messages through your mobile loyalty program. This prevents any possible legal action for sending spam texts.

Increasingly, mobile apps are proving to be an effective channel for acquiring and engaging customers. The question then becomes, what is my company’s best strategy for creating a mobile app that will meet my ultimate goals of increasing sales and building customer loyalty?

One option is to partner with other similar businesses to share a mobile app. “App sharing” via companies such as Seamless, Chowhound, and GrubHub, is especially prevalent in retail establishments and the restaurant/food delivery industries. But is it effective?

Your business may be one of hundreds of other businesses trying to conduct business using that app. These arrangements are similar to the online shopping malls that populated the internet in its earlier days. But online shopping malls proved largely ineffective for most businesses and they have largely been abandoned as an effective way to acquire and retain customers.

A second option is creating your own mobile that fits into your marketing plan, increases sales, boosts customer loyalty and builds your brand. What are some of the advantages of creating your own company’s mobile app?

* Part of your main system. A shared app may not sync with your already established computer systems, such as accounting.

* Building your own brand. with a shred app, you’re building the brand of the company that owns and maintains the app; not yours.

* Makes it easier for customers to find you. You may be just one of hundreds (even thousands) of businesses sharing the app.

* Your business info can’t be accessed by others – you can’t control who knows your business with a shared app.

* You’re tempting your customers with other options with a shared app. Do you really what your customers reading about your competitors when they are making a buying decision?

* Locally-based. You know who your customers are, what they like, and where they are located. Do you want someone in Boston ordering a pizza from your Las Vegas restaurant?

* You control the entire process. If something is not working you can easily change it. Changes are difficult – if not impossible – if you don’t own the app.

If your business doesn’t have an effective mobile customer loyalty app in place, what are you waiting for? Your competition does.

SoLoMo Digital Marketing Restaurant

SoLoMo Digital Marketing: Trending for Restaurants

Restaurants Need to Get Onboard Fast With SoLoMo

SoLoMo Digital Marketing Restaurant

No, it’s not a new fancy dish causing a rush through restaurant doors but rather, SoLoMo digital marketing, has been trending in social media and overall marketing campaigns for restaurants and bars. For restaurant owners that have not yet heard this buzz term, it’s time to learn about it and jump on the fast moving train. SoLoMo is an acronym for Social + Local + Mobile, and its principles should definitely not be overlooked for digital marketing campaigns. Implementing a coordinated and integrated SoLoMo strategy can have a major impact on your restaurant business and here are some of the reasons why:

Social

Restaurants are social! People want to try new restaurants, often based on what they hear from their friends and other trusted sources on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. In addition, people love to share their own dining experiences and photos, and that’s like getting free marketing! According to recent market research, nearly three out of every four customers (72 percent) have used social media to make restaurant or retail decisions based on comments and images that have been shared by other users.

Furthermore, location-based social networking websites, such as Foursquare and Yelp, enable customers to use their mobile devices and smartphones to “check-in”, write a review, vote and rank businesses, leave comments, invite friends, like, re-tweet and discuss experiences. The more social media users continue to share experiences in real time and the more sites that your restaurant is introduced to (and that you participate in), the more you increase your social media footprint.

Smart restaurateurs have already moved their social media marketing strategies beyond simply gaining likes and followers. They realize it’s about quality, not quantity. The key to success is identifying and engaging key influencers, remembering that engagement is a two way street and when customers engage you, whether fans or critics, you must respond.

Local

According to SmallBizTrends.com, one in every three searches has local intent. Therefore, location-based marketing is essential to any bar or restaurant’s marketing strategy. Geo-location offers that go out based on the location of an individual, will be particularly relevant in attracting the new customer, maybe a visitor or tourist looking for a local experience or deal. In addition, proper search engine optimization (SEO) will make it easier than ever for local restaurants to target consumers on the go and draw them in for a purchase when they happen to be right around the block.

Mobile

There are more than 91.4 million smartphones in use in the U.S. and 1.08 billion worldwide. Smartphones have most of the same capabilities of a computer, from checking and sending emails to viewing websites, and surfing the net. What’s interesting part is that almost 50 percent of all smartphone users are the most frequent restaurant goers! When looking for restaurant ideas and recommendations, there’s a very good chance your customers will be searching for you on their mobile device.

mobile and digital marketing restaurantIn today’s “instant and mobile” world, people are looking for and wanting information instantly. To get that instant information, they access the web via their smartphone or other mobile devices.  The newest mobile trends for restaurants are:

– Re-tooling their websites so they work properly on mobile devices

Customizable mobile apps

The shame is that a large number of restaurants and bars are behind the curve in understanding the importance of creating mobile content. Digital coupons and other offers sent directly to consumers cell phones, mobile apps, Passbook or text messages will continue to expand local restaurants’ reach and hit their target markets very directly. Your offer gets right into their hands –via the device they’re holding.

Mobile marketing offers restaurateurs the opportunity to target diners not just by demographics but by location as well. Mobile also evens the playing field between the big and small business, allowing any brand from a mobile food van to a well-known national restaurant franchise to inform consumers of their latest offers, nearest locations, and phone numbers. Remember, SoLoMo is “instant and mobile” and that is what consumers are looking for.

So how can you speed up your SoLoMo marketing strategy? Here are some ideas:

1) Focus on the social networks.

With so many social networking sites available, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. Your best bet at the start is to focus your social media marketing efforts on a few channels, rather than too many different platforms. Perhaps start with some of the big hitters like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Foursquare and Yelp.

2) Reward a customer check-in.

Local check-ins can help boost your restaurant’s local search visibility. Maybe offer your customers a discount on their next meal or a free appetizer by frequently checking-in at your location on Foursquare, Facebook, Yelp or Google Places.

3) Invest in a mobile-friendly website and customized mobile app.

This is most important. Every bar and restaurant needs a mobile-friendly website designed for the mobile web browser. Surprisingly, though,a Restaurant Sciences industry study reveals that 95 percent of independent restaurants do not have a mobile website, and only about half of chain restaurants have some sort of mobile site. If your restaurant does not already have a mobile-friendly site, it’s critical that you do so soon.

Next, invest in a customizable mobile app. Customized mobile apps incorporate a number of features that can increase sales, improve service and increase customer engagement. Nowadays there are mobile app options for custom apps that can meet just about any budget. The number of people who use iPhones, iPads and Android devices continues to grow at a phenomenal rate and that growth won’t be slowing down any time soon. Restaurateurs who are first to realize the benefits of leveraging this technology will gain a tremendous advantage over their competition. Imagine being the first (and possibly only) restaurant in the neighborhood to have your phone number, directions, location, menu ordering, events, and specials in the pocket of every person in the community with your app!

With proper implementation of SoLoMo digital marketing, you can provide your customers with positive experiences full of relevant messages, value, benefits, and rewards. Get into the SoLoMo mindset and watch your business and customer relationships grow!

hispanic market, spanish-speaking, mobile marketing

Hispanics and the Mobile Marketplace

Hispanics: A Very Tech-Forward Consumer

hispanic market, spanish-speaking, mobile marketing

U.S. Hispanics, a community of 53 million and making up 17% of all Americans, are rapidly becoming a big part of today’s mobile marketplace. This is mainly because Hispanics are less likely to own a home computer than the average American. They instead over-index on using mobile as their gateway to the web.  According to the Zpryme 2012 Hispanic Mobile Consumer Trends Study:

– Nearly 1 out of 4 (24.2%) Hispanics own 20 or more mobile apps

– Will spend over a half-billion dollars on mobile apps this year

“Hispanics are not only powering the growth of the mobile device and entertainment industries, they are shaping it. From the purchase of a new Apple iPad to chatting with friends on Facebook, advertisers must understand how to carve brands to be more culturally relevant to the Hispanic mobile consumer”, explained Jason S. Rodriguez, Zpryme CEO and Director of Research.

Digital savvy Hispanics are clearly demonstrating noteworthy metrics over non-Hispanics in the digital space:hispanic woman, hispanics, hispanic mobile market, spanish speaking

– The vast majority (72%) own at least one mobile device, according to a recent Nielsen Mobile Media Marketplace study.

– These early-adopters are also 24% more likely than non-Hispanics to buy a new smartphone.

– Hispanics are 8% more likely to be the first to purchase tablets. One speculation is that this may stem from the fact that Hispanics are 10 years younger than  the rest of the U.S. population with 77% under the age of 45 vs. 57% of non-Hispanics.

– U.S. Hispanics also spend significant amounts of time on their mobile devices in order to connect with family and friends here and in home countries.

– According to the Zpryme 2012 Study, “Hispanics will increasingly influence mobile technology markets in the U.S., and by 2017 Zpryme predicts that one out of every five tablets and smartphones in the U.S. will be purchased by Hispanics.”

When reaching out to this segment with marketing and advertising efforts, the messaging and content must remain culturally relevant to be effective. Simply repurposing elements originally meant to be consumed by a non-Hispanic, just does not work for this audience. It is worthy to note that Spanish is, by far, the most spoken non-English language in the U.S. with about 72% or 38 million people ages 5 and older, choosing to speak Spanish at home, according to this market research study.  It is essential for marketers to understand that language is a powerful tool, connecting this valued consumer to their community, culture and country of origin. Hispanics, even those who are bilingual, will often choose to consume Spanish-language media for content they can’t find anywhere else, including news, cultural content, sports and music.

So here is a group that is digitally savvy, young, open to new brand opportunities and socially connected. Furthermore, they are a demographic that clearly adopts technology products at a faster rate than the general market. According to the Selig Center for Economic Growth, the U.S. Hispanic market’s purchasing power is at $1.2 trillion, “larger than the entire economies of all but 13 countries in the world.” This massive demographic is a marketer’s dream and worth too much to ignore. Hispanics are positioned to drive a significant share of the demand for mobile technology in the U.S.  Companies without a targeted Hispanic mobile strategy will very likely miss out on the most digitally engaged U.S. demographic.  It is time to get on board with this emerging market segment!