Category Archives: Uncategorized

Students Hitting the Books to Learn About Mobile

The proliferation of mobile throughout the world is not easy to miss. There are billions of mobile devices being used across the globe and new technologies like mobile coupons and QR codes continue to present endless opportunities for brands and businesses. Because of the remarkable value of the industry, mobile marketing professionals are increasing in number. So why not start to train younger generations for success in the industry now?

That’s exactly what Rutgers University in New Jersey is doing.

This year, Rutgers launched a program for students to receive a Mini-MBA in Mobile Marketing within the school’s highly ranked business school. The program will teach students about mobile technologies, effective tools, best practices in the industry, rules and regulations, and tracking redemption and ROI for mobile environments—all pieces of knowledge that will no doubt prepare students for a career in the mobile marketing industry.

The mobile landscape is constantly changing and sometimes it’s hard for marketers and mobile marketing professionals to stay up-to-date and informed. Up until now, everything we have learned about mobile has come about through trial and error. Now, the combined efforts of mobile marketing professionals around the world has created a defined set of principles, strategies, and tools that work in the mobile industry and that will help businesses successfully integrate mobile into their marketing mix.

Now that we have set the foundation, it is only natural that these principles and practices will start being taught within the world of academia. Rutgers Mobile Marketing program is yet another illustration of the growing adoption of mobile and the huge amount of progress that has been made in the industry thus far.

Rutgers took the first step the right direction for mobile education, and I believe that soon many more universities will follow suit.

Infographic: Mobile Coupons & Why 20 Percent of Smartphone Users Redeem Them

This infographic by Microsoft Tag deals with the growth of mobile coupons, including engagement rates, preferred methods and general statistics.

The folks over at Microsoft Tag have put together a new infographic detailing the explosive growth in mobile coupons, along with some interesting usage stats and predictions.

Consider this — a full 20% of smartphone users currently acquire and redeem mobile coupons on a regular basis, with that number expected to grow to 30% by 2013.  In addition, a full 10% of ALL mobile phone users redeem mobile coupons on a regular basis, growing to 16.5% by 2013.  These are pretty powerful numbers when looking at the big picture, and even more powerful when you look at the engagement rates mobile coupons generate.

People love saving money, and having the ability to acquire, store and redeem coupons directly from a device we all carry around with us everywhere we go is a powerful thing.  Take a look at the graphic below and see if it falls in line with your own usage of mobile coupons.

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How to Get Your Customers to Love You

Don’t you love it when you walk into a store that you frequent often and the owner greets you by name? No one can deny a certain sense of excitement when they are recognized and acknowledged. A positive and personalized interaction with businesses is what keeps customers coming back each time.

All businesses, no matter the industry, need and want loyal customers. Getting a customer to buy from you is the first step, but even more important is getting them to love buying from you.

Businesses can do this by continually providing them with value. Customers value top-notch products, relevant deals and outstanding customer service. You can get customers to know and love you by developing a relationship with them—customers want to know that they can count on you. If they choose you, amongst the competition, as their go-to business, you better not disappoint them or you better bet they will move right on to the next one.

Here’s where mobile loyalty comes into the equation. If you’ve ever wondered why mobile marketing has taken off in such a big way, it’s because it allows business to interact with their customers in a way like never before.

Say you’re the owner of a sandwich shop and you want to find a way to drive more traffic into your business and increase your ROI. Which is more personal—putting a print ad in the local newspaper or sending a text message out to your customers offering them an immediate deal? Without a doubt, the text message.

Businesses must know how to profile their customers. Get personal with them. Find out their interests, needs, and wants. Personalize their experience and you can guarantee they’ll love buying from you.

Multimedia: Overcoming the Burden of Complexity

Using multimedia to promote a product is a no brainer, especially when the concept and technology behind the product can be a bit difficult to grasp.

Many people are caught in a tug-of-war between wanting to learn about a product, but remaining reserved because they do not fully understand it. Many sales professionals are caught in a similar predicament—trying to sell a product or service but not being able to express it in a way that is explicatory and convincing enough to the consumer.

Having some sort of visual can help overcome that barrier.

We recently launched a new technology called the Loyalty Rewards Kiosk, which can be installed in a business’ location and allows a consumer to opt-in to their text marketing campaign by simply entering their phone number into the pad, as well as keep track of each time a customer “checks in” to that business. We can then “reward” loyalty based on how many times they check-in over a given period of time.

Easy to understand, right?

Not really.

Many people will have to read that paragraph over a few times in order to fully grasp the idea behind the Loyalty Rewards Kiosk. That’s where multimedia comes into play.

Multimedia components like video, audio and infographics help to better explain complex ideas.

Our client in Spokane, Kyle Williams, overcame the challenge by putting together a fantastic animated video explaining what the Loyalty Rewards Kiosk is, how it works and how it can benefit businesses— because sometimes an explanation just isn’t good enough.

People like being able to see, touch and feel the products that they’re trying to learn about in order to fully understand what they’re all about. Take a look at this video and let us know what you think.

Startup Funding by the Numbers [INFOGRAPHIC]

This infographic by Vocus’ Social Media Strategy Tool provides insight on the numbers behind startup funding, including venture capital, angel investments, IPO, and more, and defines the jargon that goes along with it.


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Deck the Halls with Mobile Offers

The holidays are approaching, so if you haven’t fine-tuned your brand’s mobile strategy, you better start now.

With tablet and smartphone penetration increasing, more consumers will be ditching the long lines of shoppers and instead making purchases at home on their mobile devices.

Just last year, only 17% of consumers intended to make a purchase on their mobile devices, according to ForeSee Results. However, eMarketer predicts that percentage to increase to almost 50% this holiday season.
A recent study by PayPal predicts that about 60% of consumers will be engaging in “couch commerce” this holiday season—a term they coined to signify shopping from home, and one that will create a gold mine of opportunity for brands and mobile marketers.

The downward spiraling economy is forcing many people to cut back on their spending this holiday season, which correlates to one fact: people will be hunting high and low for discounts.

Mobile coupons reach consumers on the one device that they are connected to all the time—their cell phones. Brands can leverage mobile marketing to reach consumers who are frantically looking for those deep discounts and exclusive offers. Mobile coupons can be sent to consumers at just the right time—while they’re scrambling to finish their holiday shopping.

Also with mobile commerce innovations like the Google Wallet, brands are able to employ mobile marketing as a way to provide discounts and product information to holiday shoppers at the point-of-sale.

The holidays aren’t just like any other time of the year—it’s the time when almost everyone is shopping. Black Friday is only a little over a month away and holiday deals are already beginning to surface.

Don’t get a late start on the holidays like everyone else. Now is the time to polish your brand’s mobile strategy and target shoppers with holiday discounts before the season is over.
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Poll Results: Who Do You Text the Most?

Last month, the SMS Masterminds team asked text messagers who they text the most. Now, we’ve got the results for you.




Significant Other






Other Family Members



Success Begets Success

I wanted to share a great testimonial from one of our clients after our 2-day training last week at our headquarters in San Luis Obispo, California.

He is a sharp guy with a long successful career with a Fortune 500 company. He decided to strike out on his own and start his own business. Recognizing that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, he has joined the SMS Masterminds to benefit from our support and guidance as he strives to conquer part of New York.

After the training, Frank wrote to the SMS Masterminds:

“I wanted to say thanks to all of you for your efforts in the last couple of days. I recognize quality when I see it.  I know now that what I paid for was well worth the investment. If I fail, then it’s all on me. You guys have clearly laid out the road to success and I know now that I will succeed. Thanks Again.” ~ Frank in NY

There are many skills required to build a business. In my experience, smart entrepreneurs will build a team to supplement the skills they lack. Although sometimes costly, investing in the right resources often means the difference between success and failure.


5 Reasons Why Every Brand Needs to Think About Mobile First

Mobile is no longer considered a mere supplement to other mediums in a brand’s marketing mix, but instead is being considered a fundamental component. This article presents five reasons why brands need to start putting mobile at the forefront.

The reality is that mobile is no longer about the phone, it’s about being connected. Many predict that mobile Internet traffic will soon surpass that of traditional wired broadband. For enterprise brands and agencies, this trend is proving to be a disruptive force that is completely changing the way that marketing and advertising campaigns are being developed. Here are the five reasons that every brand needs to think mobile first.

1.  Large and Growing Audience:  According to CTIA, there are more than 300 million mobile phones in the U.S., which is almost on par with our current population of 312 million people. From a global perspective, there are more than 5 billion mobile subscribers. The rate of adoption for mobile is incredible, especially as compared to personal computers. In June 2008, Gartner reported that 1 billion people had PCs and estimated that number would reach 2 billion by 2014.

2.  Consumer Demand:  Unlike traditional methods of marketing/advertising such as direct mail, online banners and e-mail, mobile campaigns are based on an opt-in or expressed user actions like browsing or using an application. As a result, consumers are more likely to be engaged and responsive. According to a 2010 Harris Interactive poll, 42 percent of men and women between the ages of 18 and 34 identified themselves as interested in receiving text alerts from marketers.

3.  Ability to Personalize:  Mobile numbers are tied to a person, where an internet connection is not. The demographic, geographic and device-type information tied to a mobile number gives marketers and advertisers the ability to create highly personalized campaigns.

4.  Superior Response Rates: According to an Opus Research report,  mobile marketing/advertising is far superior to that of traditional online campaigns with response rates that are often twice to 10 times higher. In terms of ROI, that’s a staggering number.

5.  Constant Access:  Mobile phones are our constant companions, providing almost unlimited access to the content we crave, regardless of location or time of day. According to a recent CNBC article, 75% of people polled never leave home without their mobile phone.

About the author

Kevin McGuire, is the vice president of product for Motricity, which delivers relevance-driven merchandising, marketing and advertising solutions for mobile operators, brands and advertising agencies. Kevin has been on the forward edge of mobile applications and platforms for over 12 years, leading product, marketing and engineering teams at start-ups and Fortune 500 companies, including Microsoft, Alcatel and Adenyo.

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What Mobile Wallets Mean for Mobile Marketers

What if you could have all your credit cards, gift cards, loyalty cards and mobile coupons all securely located in one place? And what if that place just so happened to be inside the one device that you carry around all the time?

Well, now you can.

Near-field communication (NFC) technology is revolutionizing the mobile commerce sector, allowing consumers to ditch their wallets and instead swipe their smartphones at checkout.

With the recent launch of mobile payment systems like Google Wallet, Isis and PayPal mobile payments, many marketers are starting to realize the effects that this payment transformation will have on mobile marketing.

The integrated mobile commerce initiative will combine mobile coupons and loyalty programs with mobile payments, giving retailers the almighty power to track customer purchasing decisions. Retailers and marketers will have the data needed to answer imperative questions about consumers: Who are they? What is their purchasing behavior? How often are they shopping? How much do they typically spend?

With this type of information at their disposal, retailers can team up with mobile marketers to create targeted, relevant offers and discounts at the point-of-sale.

The innovative technology not only engages consumers, but creates a communicative interaction between them and the brand. The mobile wallet will give marketers the opportunity to interact with consumers at the moment of the transaction, perhaps exposing the consumer to the brand’s mobile application or an instant coupon.

Innovation enriches the customer’s purchasing experience, but even more so do loyalty and engagement. Mobile marketing relies on the notion that consumers are relatively attached, if not completely addicted, to their mobile devices. The mobile wallet creates an even deeper connection between consumers and their phones, thus giving mobile commerce the potential to be a huge driver for mobile marketing.
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