Tag Archives: marketing

Using Mobile Marketing To Improve Your Business’s Visibility

Mobile marketing is a new way to reach a massive audience. Take some time to get to know more about how you can use mobile marketing by reading the pointers below.

When you consider what to include on your mobile page, remember that it’s important to say as much as you can with as little copy as possible. Mobile device screens are small, so droning on and on about a product just to get more keywords in is annoying to readers. Mobile marketing requires you to stick rigidly to the focus of the topic in a concise, yet thorough, manner.

TIP! Put your customers first. Understanding the wants and goals of your customers is the basic premise of mobile marketing.

Create a mission statement in tune to your purpose on how you can stay on track when doing social mobile marketing. If you have a clear definition of your principles, it’s easier to create a marketing plan that fits them.

You can gain an advantage by keeping an eye on what your competitors have been doing. You need to be discernible from the competition.

You need to have a home base if you are developing a mobile platform that will stand alone. You should want people to visit your webpage or keep them coming back to it. Do not ever base everything completely on a mobile marketing campaign.

TIP! Keep mobile marketing content messages brief and to the point. Make sure the messages you send can be absorbed quickly and understood by your customers.

Keep in mind that there can be different levels of mobile customers because of various outside influences; also note that once the entire market changes then customer base changes as well. Changes in technology can have a dramatic effect on your business, so stay up to date on all of the latest advances in technology.

Almost everyone is familiar with the idea of offering free apps, but not everyone understands just how easy it can be to develop one that meets the needs of your business. By offering visitors your own custom-made apps, you could significantly increase the success of your mobile marketing plan. There are many choices to make about app features; the possibilities are endless.

The most successful mobile marketers at some point started small, and over time implemented bigger and better strategies. This should be your strategy as well. Begin with simple texts and calls, then expand your campaign to include things like video content and social networking. Try everything you can to reach potential customers.

TIP! Use a mobile marketing strategy that keeps you visible and relevant. If you wish to stay competitive then be up to date with new technology and releases on a daily or weekly basis.

Although lots of people use their phones for Internet text, not all know the different kinds of abbreviations used online. If a person can’t understand your ad, you might lose a customer.

Allow message recipients to leave feedback about your mobile marketing communications. This offers an excellent opportunity to connect more effectively and interact with your customers. You may have people not being as receptive as you would like, but keep in mind that any information from a consumer should be treated as valuable input.

Cross-platform compatibility is essential in attracting more customers when taking on a mobile marketing campaign. If not, you risk losing customers due to technical problems.

TIP! Avoid sending messages to people at inconvenient hours of the day. Even though a person may like what you have to offer, nobody wants to hear about it at ridiculous hours.

Keep in mind that mobile users have a more difficult time navigating webpages. Your mobile marketing proposal should be simple, and if it is simple on a computer, those using a mobile device will have an easy time viewing it.

Split test the mobile capabilities your site. Testing is as essential to the mobile world as it is on traditional websites because this lets you see what works. The better of the two trial pages you create, as deemed by its success, should be your final choice, no matter how emotionally invested you may be in the other. Then use the one that gets the most conversions.

If texting is part of your mobile marketing plan, clearly disclose how often you intend to text your subscribers before they subscribe. It is very easy to screw up an SMS strategy because of how it notifies consumers. It can seem like you are being pushy. Therefore, make sure that only your opt-in customers receive your SMS texts, and never send more than the maximum number of messages specified in the opt-in terms. This is a great way to build up your brand loyalty.

Mobile Devices

Your mobile website should include maps and directions that are easy to use with a mobile device. There are a lot of people that rely on mobile devices for getting navigational directions. Create an easy way for your customers to reach you. Check that the maps and directions you provide display well on different mobile devices and work properly with mobile searches. Consider using an external link to a known site, like Google maps, for your customers.

As a method of enticing customers and expanding your branding, try QR codes. Your customers can use your QR codes to instantly access special promotions and discounts. All they need to use your QR codes is a cell phone. QR codes make it easier to market your products to your customers in a quick way with information they can use.

TIP! When delving in mobile marketing, you need to understand the basics of mobile devices in order to have your site and ads set up correctly. Conduct extensive research on the most popular mobile devices; this allows you to see things from your target market’s point of view.

Have relevant content. It’s easy to go overboard when entering the mobile marketing arena. Be sure your messages have a purpose. Approach things from your customers’ perspective and send out messages they would judge as interesting. Fill the needs and wants of your customers to ensure that they stick with you and continue to buy your products.

Promote your new mobile marketing campaign as a means of gaining access to exclusive offers and special savings. Advertise your deals on a host of different platforms to reach a wider audience. If people truly believe that your mobile campaign will help them, there is a good chance they’ll sign up. Let them know it will be fun and they will be better informed.

You can always improve your advertising. Be sure to look at the competition and see what is proving effective for them. Use the advertising tips discussed here to gain a competitive edge in your market arena.

Article source: http://bobsmlmblog.com/index.php/using-mobile-marketing-to-improve-your-businesss-visibility-5/

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Top Benefits And Tips For Mobile Marketing

Some industries absolutely must use mobile marketing to survive, but using it well can be difficult. There is so much to learn both on the marketing side and the technical side. Read on to learn how you can easily and effectively integrate mobile marketing into your business plan.

Older cellphones cannot properly display the same sites as newer smartphones or tablets, so your links need to lead to different sites for different phones. If you use a flash player on your website, only provide the cellular link.

TIP! A picture-to-screen feature can boost your mobile marketing campaign. Utilizing a picture-to-screen campaign allows customers to utilize their mobile phones to take pictures.

Do not send too many offers on mobile platforms. Stick to the essential ones. With this you know that your customers will not tire from your messages and look for to see all you have to offer.

It is important to have your own dedicated short code. The price tag is higher, but this will help to protect your brand. Doing this will also protect you legally.

Every successful mobile campaign should have a home base. Your mobile presence should be about driving people to the home base, or keeping in touch with people who already visit your home base. Do not ever base everything completely on a mobile marketing campaign.

TIP! Check out the things your rivals are doing, you will get advantage when it comes to social network marketing. You must be unique from your competitors.

Remember who you are talking to if you are going to make phone calls, they are people whose lives you are interrupting. Realize that is an issue and act accordingly.

Mobile Web

Check to verify that your mobile web site works on every popular mobile web browser in use. It’s important that your messages work no matter what type of phone your customer is using. It’s going to be a lot easier for you to use a simplified message, rather than trying to make a custom message work across all platforms. Mobile marketing and the KISS principle work well together.

TIP! Usability testing before going live is a must for any mobile marketing campaign that you want to be effective. If you send texts that do not make sense or work, you will not succeed.

Be sure to test mobile websites and ads on multiple mobile devices. Some mobile devices use special browsers, and others have limitations based on their screen size or resolution. Your website and content might look different on each device. Your mobile marketing campaign should be tested on all popular devices, to be sure that it looks right on each one.

Creating a mobile app with lots of helpful information for your target market is a great mobile marketing strategy. Any apps that give users helpful hints or useful information are wildly popular. You can use your app as a lead-generation tool for other products, or sell the app directly for profit.

Mobile Marketing

TIP! You should never send messages to your customers without a good reason. Every message you send should contain information that matters to your readers.

Understanding how mobile marketing works is very important if you want to use it to help your business reach as many people as possible. The points in this article have hopefully given you a better understanding of how mobile marketing can work for your business. Use the pointers presented here as a starting point.

Article Source: http://larne-business-marketing-advertising.co.uk/mobile-service/top-benefits-and-tips-for-mobile-marketing/

The State of Mobile Content Marketing [INFOGRAPHIC]

With all the technology that is now available, content is being consumed in many different ways and on many different devices. While desktops and tablets are big players in the game, mobile devices seem to have a big influence on click through rates and browsing. In 2013, mobile content marketing will generate a large return on investment if done properly.

We gathered research from our corporate blogging platform client, Compendium, and email marketing software client, ExactTarget, to show the impact of mobile marketing over the past couple of years and what is yet to come. When all the data was put together, there were some startling findings:

  • Open rates on mobile devices have increased by 300% from October 2010 to October 2012.
  • Mobile email creates twice as many conversions as social activities or search.
  • Mobile may not mean “on the go.” 51% of US mobile users browse, search, and purchase on mobile devices at home.
  • Web visits on a mobile or tablet device are highest on Thursday at 15.7%.
  • SMS marketing messaging is becoming more popular, with 31.2% of agencies using this tactic to increase click through.

What is the state of mobile content marketing? Get in the game, or lose the opportunity for click throughs, conversions, and engagement.

Mobile Content Marketing Infographic

‘Ooohh, Shiny!’

alex-headshot-revised3I love new, shinny toys. I love to upgrade. I’m an early adopter, and have to have the latest and greatest…

I’ve been a business owner my whole life, and have a much larger list of what I’ve done WRONG than what I’ve done RIGHT. I’m constantly obsessing over how to grow my business; do I need more advertising, is the messaging right, will I get a higher open rate if I sent simple text emails instead of HTML, and on and on.

It’s easy to lose sight of business fundamentals as we’re approached by new opportunities to spend our money, uhem…’invest in higher ROI and more measurable small business marketing solutions.’ I’ve tried them all. Some work, some don’t…but few things have stuck around over time. When I need a good laugh, I open up the scrapbook and take a stroll down the ‘advertising/marketing’ expense column of my P&L and reminisce about all of the dollars I spent trying to grow more dollars. Nice.

Then I had lunch with a buddy of mine years ago, and when I expressed my frustration with this schizophrenic world of advertising/marketing, he looked at me with a calm grin on his face and said “Alex, the key to growing your business is relationships. You need to make more of them each day, and invest in the ones you’ve already got. Simple as that. If you stayed in touch with everyone you’ve ever done business with, what kind of impact would that have on you right now?”

There’s me: deer in headlights. So simple, and obvious…dammit! But that has little to do with the shinny gadgets and widgets I love to spend money on. Now what!?!

At the core of every successful business is a good CRM (Client Relationship Management) tool – a way to help organize and manage those relationships that are the life blood of business growth. Different industries have different solutions, but the premise is the same: know who your customers are, and treat them as an important part of your business growth by investing in a relationship with them.

  This is not an easy thing to start, but once you’ve made the investment and committed to making it a part of your growth strategy, you’ll never run your business the same way again.

6 Steps to Build Brand Loyalty

How do you build an enduring brand with loyal followers?  As marketers, how do we focus on mastering loyalty marketing initiatives, and stay relevant and consistent with an amplified global competitive landscape?

One of the biggest challenges facing marketers is gaining and retaining customers.  According to Mark Di Somma, what customers need at first is awareness, authenticity and excitement over the brand in order for a brand to gain top-of-mind.  But once customers are passionate about a brand, they need different things.  They don’t need to be sold to, according to Di Somma, nor do they need to be reminded that they’re making the right choice every time they buy.  They need to feel rewarded in order to make the decision to lock-in and stay loyal to a brand. Often at times, marketers offer no real sense of reward and ignore their loyal customers.  So how do you sustain the appeal for those who believe in your brand – establish brand loyalty.

Brand loyalty is built on the foundation of every interaction your customer has with your service.  The key to brand loyalty is to always meet or exceed expectations with every customer encounter.  When customers become loyal, they not only buy your product/service, they become emotionally attached to your brand.  They may recommend your brand to their friends and family, develop an emotional connection, and act as a brand evangelist.  These recommendations known as “word-of-mouth” marketing, continue to be most effective, as they can articulate the value proposition of your brand, and address an emotional connection that resonates well with others.

At Couch & Associates we build a loyal customer base which we hope results in brand advocacy, by continuing to engage and deliver consistent brand experiences to our customers. To deliver compelling value across the customer lifecycle, we developed FIREFLY, a loyalty marketing initiative that defines a clear strategy for how to engage with customers along different stages of the buying cycle.

To help ensure your customers will remember your brand, we’ve outlined six (6) steps to build brand loyalty:

1)    Establish brand storytelling – Create stories that communicate the personality, values and experiences of your brand.  Genone Murrary, Course Director in Internet Marketing at Sail University, argues that companies should base these stories by analyzing and understanding the personality, values and experiences of your customers.  Create a brand story that connects with your product/service and target demographics.  Don’t equate your brand story with a list of products, services or prices.  Build your brand story by determining what sets your company apart from your competitors and what establishes a unique identity for you (unique selling proposition – USP). Create brand storytelling and experiences both in-person and online.

2)    Connect with your customers – Be present at touch points which matter most to your customers and provide an emotional connection.  As brands are battling for higher affinity, connect and engage with your customers on a regular basis.  Increase awareness amongst your customers.  Provide your customers with value and motivation and create a community that builds buzz around your brand.

3)    Anticipate their needs – Don’t start selling to your customers, listen to their needs and focus on what your customers want. Your customers are looking for the next experience, so offer them additional value or incentives (i.e. loyalty cards or programs), as these customers are typically more profitable and will most likely reciprocate by staying loyal to your brand.

4)    Deliver on promise – Make it a habit to deliver happiness every step of the way.  Show your customers that you truly care by surpassing their expectations.  Offer something new or exciting and stay true to your brand mission and promise.

5)    Be consistent – Consistently delivering the same message and performance through all lines of business is reassuring and helps keep your brand top-of-mind.  Being consistent helps re-affirm your customers’ trust and credibility in your brand, and helps provide clarity of distinction from competitors.

6)    Deliver personalized experiences – Digital marketing enables us to connect with customers in different ways.  Drive a strategy of conversational marketing that orchestrates one-to-one seamless messaging across all channels.  Profile, segment and analyze your customer base and past buying patterns and create personalized, two-way interactions with your customers that are relevant and customized. Don’t group your customers as stats. Keep your focus on building customer relationships.

To establish brand loyalty you must live by your company’s core principles and go above and beyond customer expectations.  Go the extra mile to set your brand apart from anyone else.  Determine your company’s inside advantage.  Find something uncommon about your offering, and find a way to become well-known to your core customer base by offering a differentiation. Kevin Roberts from Saatchi & Saatchi describes the goal of marketing as the creation of “loyalty beyond reason.”  Marketers should focus on creating more brand loyalists and “brands that create an intimate emotional connection that you simply can’t do without.  Ever” Your existing customers are the most valuable to your business, so start to create an emotional connection and reward them.

As a marketer, how much effort should you invest in growing brand loyalty?  Do you believe that if you attain brand loyalty, everything else will naturally follow?

Click here to find out more on how Couch & Associates brand loyalty marketing initiatives can help keep your brand top-of-mind with your existing customers.

Article Source: http://www.technicallymarketing.com/index.php/2013/03/21/6-steps-to-build-brand-loyalty-stay-top-of-mind-with-your-customers/

Asking Successful Power Questions

What questions do you ask prospects during your sales presentations?

In Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Red Book of Sales, one of the sections I like the most is the one on power questions. He goes in depth on how to engage your potential client with questions in a way that no one else is. These power questions will make you stand out among others.

When you are trying to close a deal, you need to be able to make the potential client stop, think and engage with you. That’s what power questions do.

What Gitomer says is true: “You become known by the questions you ask”.

Here are Gitomer’s 7.5 power question strategies known to result in success:

1. Ask the prospect questions that make them evaluate new information

When you think about it, the goal is to get the prospect to think outside the box and break away from the normalcy of their day. You want to ask them questions that no one else is asking. They probably have sales people coming through their door every day, so how are you going to break away from the monotony of sales questions and really impress this prospect?

2. Ask questions that qualify the needs of the buyer

Getting a good understanding of what the prospect goes through on a daily basis is so important. It’s about getting them to actually acknowledge their own needs and really break down to the core the specific things they want to accomplish. That’s what qualification is all about. Anytime you can get the prospect to be very clear about their needs and goals, you can hold them accountable for those goals later on down the road.

3. Ask questions about improved productivity or profits

This is where you are getting the prospect to really think about their day-to-day. The idea is to get a feel for the operations of their business. It establishes the relationship and the environment that we want to create with this prospect. Sometimes they will share information that really shows you what kind of business owner they are or what type of boss they are, and that will really help you with the sale.

4. Ask questions about company goals or even personal goals.

Imagine you’re a business owner and someone sits down with you and asks you, “Where do you see yourself in 10 years? How many locations do you hope to have 5 years from now?”  Those are questions that will make you stop and think. You don’t have an immediate response to those questions because no one else has asked them. Even though those questions may not have anything to do with you or your business directly, they are the kinds of questions that build that relationship with the prospect. It demonstrates that you really care.

5. Ask questions that separate you from your competition, not compare you to them

You don’t want anyone to think that you are the same as, or even just a little bit better, than your competitors. You want prospects to think of you as entirely different than the competition. We can accomplish this by asking the right questions. You can’t force a buying environment–it needs to be created with the participation of the prospect. Make sure your questions are a whole lot different than what other sales people are asking.

6. Ask power questions that make you customer or prospect think before giving a response.

Questions that make your prospect stop and think  prove that you’re getting through to them. Going back to the question “Where do you want to be in 10 years?”, this is the type of question that  they don’t have the answer on the tip of their tongue. No one has asked it before, so they can’t just spit out some automatic response. They really have to stop and think about it.

7. Ask power questions that create a buying atmosphere, not a selling one.

Power questions expose the prospect’s needs and get them to shop YOU. You are asking them questions like, “What do you like about our service?” After you ask a question, be silent! Get them to say what they’re thinking. The silence exposes their feelings and their shopper mentality. You get them using the creative side of their brain, exploring your product, and you just sit back and let them talk.

7.5 A critical success strategy is to enhance your listening skills.

As the customer is giving their answers to your BRILLIANT questions, write them down.  Writing your customers answers proves that you care, preserves your data for follow-up, keeps the record straight, and it makes the customer feel important.

When the customer sees that you are actually taking note of the things they are saying, you build the relationship and create the buying environment.

Keep in mind, none of this is stuff that will come naturally to you. It takes practice and it takes preparation, but these are very important elements that you absolutely MUST be hitting in your sales presentations.

Mobile Marketing Budgets to Balloon in 2013

Budgets for mobile marketing will get bigger next year, according to a new study run by Strongmail and presented by eMarketer.

The study in question suggests that 70% of marketers will ramp up their mobile budgets in 2013.

“A lot of brands have spent far too much money on mobile applications,” Scott Forshay, a mobile and emerging technology strategist for emarketing company Acquity Group, tells Mashable.

The time for greater emphasis and financial backing on mobile marketing has finally come.

This year, mobile ad spending in the U.S. is expected to reach $2.6 billion. That includes spending on display, search and messaging-based formats. And another estimate shows mobile advertising on smartphones will be a $5.04 billion industry by 2015.

“Of that $2.6 billion spent, $2.5 [billion] of that was probably wasted,” Forshay admits. “Probably the biggest error brands have made as they venture into mobile is that they think mobile is the same thing they’re doing for the website, just down to a 4-inch form.”

“Mobile users are not tethered to a desktop. They need timely information to drive them into stores with positive purchase intent,” he says, adding that marketing on mobile devices “will need to be timely, personal and contextually relevant (people expect their phone to be customized to who they are), in order to work.”

Article Source: http://www.mobilemarketingwatch.com/mobile-marketing-budgets-to-balloon-in-2013-24180/

Groupon Challenged By Startups In Doling Loyalty Cards

New York City baker Eileen Avezzano says she has a better way than Groupon Inc. (GRPN)’s online deals to entice customers to buy her cheesecakes again: She doles out loyalty cards that reward buyers for return visits.

The cards, designed by Cartera Commerce Inc., are digital instead of physical, and are linked to credit cards consumers already use. They let merchants provide a discount, or a reward such as airline miles, every time consumers buy. A shopper may swipe a card, and a retailer will automatically deduct some money off the bill.

Groupon is seeking to raise as much as $540 million selling 30 million shares for $16 to $18 apiece, according to regulatory filings. Photographer: Tim Boyle/Bloomberg

Businesses like Avezzano’s can use the programs to collect data on when customers shop, how often they return and how much they spend — way beyond the scope of old-fashioned paper punch cards. That can make them even more valuable than coupons from Groupon and LivingSocial. About 900 million transactions will be conducted with cards connected to merchant loyalty programs in 2015, generating $1.7 billion in revenue for the providers, Aite Group LLC estimates. That’s up from $300 million in 2011.

“I see them going head-to-head,” said Peter Krasilovsky, a vice president at researcher BIA/Kelsey. “It’s an evolution of the deals space. The goal is to go beyond new customer acquisitions and become part of the integrated business of merchants.”

The digital loyalty program market began exploding around 2010, when startups and venture capitalists starting thinking about how to bring loyalty punch cards into the digital age, Krasilovsky said in an interview. Makers of loyalty-card software have attracted more than $155 million in venture capital, he said.

Gaining Attention

Cartera raised $12.2 million this month in a round of funding led by Venture Capital Fund of New England. Along with Cartera, startups such as Plink LLC, CardSpring and Mirth Inc. are gaining attention in the world of merchant deals.

“We think it’s a massive opportunity,” said Jeffrey Bussgang, a general partner at Cartera investor Flybridge Capital Partners. “Card-linked marketing benefits card issuers and consumers equally.”

These loyalty programs, which reward buyers on top of any airline miles or points their credit cards already offer, are often cheaper than coupon providers, too. LivingSocial and Groupon, the biggest provider of daily discounts, typically take a 30 percent cut of a transaction, versus 5 percent to 15 percent when a loyalty-linked card is used. The competition adds to concerns facing Groupon, whose shares have tumbled 51 percent since its initial public offering in November.

Virtual Cash

Some loyalty programs let consumers get rewards of their choice such as cash back, discounts or virtual currency for games like Zynga Inc. (ZNGA)’s FarmVille. American Express Co. (AXP)’s Zynga Serve Rewards card allows fans to amass the currency when they shop and use it for the online game.

Virtual currencies are seen as a way to attract people in their 20s, said Ron Shevlin, a senior analyst at Aite.

“Zynga has a large portion of players who are highly engaged in their games,” said David Messenger, executive vice president of online and mobile for American Express. “We can connect that online engagement with offline behavior.”

Plink, a Denver, Colorado-based startup, has designed a loyalty program that lets users earnFacebook Inc. (FB)’s virtual currency by dining at more than 25,000 restaurants such as Burger King Corp. and Outback Steakhouse. CardSpring allows clients to build their own Web-based and mobile applications for cards that can deliver coupons, digital receipts and loyalty programs.

Frustrated Merchants

Mirth, whose program is currently in trials in New York, rewards frequent customers with a 3 percent discount on purchases whenever they swipe their cards at participating restaurants.

“A lot of merchants have voiced their frustration with deep discounts and deals,” Jeremy Galen, Mirth’s chief executive officer, said in an interview. “With us, you don’t have to lower your price.”

On June 19, online-payments startup Square Inc. also introduced a loyalty program, letting small businesses offer rewards to customers who swipe credit cards through its handheld readers.

Increased competition may further damp analysts’ expectations for Groupon. The Chicago-based company in March reported a “material weakness” in its financial controls and said fourth-quarter results were worse than previously stated because of higher refunds to merchants.

Repeat Business

A survey earlier this year by Susquehanna Financial Group and daily-deal aggregator Yipit showed that about half of businesses that had offered an online deal-of-the-day weren’t planning to do so again in the following six months. Merchants were concerned about a low rate of repeat business from new customers gained through such offers, the survey found.

“We continue to question whether Groupon can sustain its high growth and begin to generate sizable profits while scaling back marketing costs,” Edward Woo, an analyst at Ascendiant Capital Markets LLC, wrote in a May 15 note.

As a result, Groupon’s IPO has been among the worst market debuts for a Web company since the dot-com crash. Closely held LivingSocial, whose backers include Amazon.com Inc., Lightspeed Venture Partners and AOL Inc. founder Steve Case, doesn’t disclose sales or earnings figures.

Both LivingSocial and Groupon have started their own loyalty programs. LivingSocial introducedits first co-branded credit card with JPMorgan Chase & Co. in May. Cardholders can earn points that can be converted into DealBucks and used toward LivingSocial deals.

Rewards Program

Groupon’s Rewards program, which gives consumers points for shopping at participating companies with a registered credit card, was rolled out nationwide at the end of the first quarter.

“We are signing up hundreds of merchants every week, and have hundreds of thousands of customers on this platform,” said Jay Hoffman, vice president and general manager of the Rewards program. “The adoption has been incredible.”

Still, some business owners view rival loyalty programs as a better investment than daily deals.

“With Groupon, it’s a one-time offer — it doesn’t last,” New York baker Avezzano said. Customer numbers at Eileen’s Special Cheesecake have jumped 18 percent since the shop started using Cartera’s loyalty technology a year ago, she said.

Article Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-26/groupon-challenged-by-startups-in-doling-loyalty-cards.html

Leveraging Customer Feedback

No matter what type of business you’re in, you will always receive feedback from customers. Many businesses take the time to listen to customers and collect feedback, but not all know how to respond to that feedback and leverage it to better their business. It’s important to determine the proper protocol for responding to that feedback from customers.

With SMS marketing, the systems in place often allow businesses to receive text messages from customers with feedback. Customers will say exactly what is on their mind (not always good), and we must be monitoring these incoming comments for positive feedback!  Customers may leave feedback on other channels as well, for example by calling, emailing, posting on social media, etc.  Businesses should have a general understanding on how to manage their own PR and respond to and utilize those comments in the proper way.

I’ve outlined some strategies on how and when to respond to customer comments, as well as how we can leverage them:

What Messages to Respond to:

Positive Feedback

  • Obviously businesses can’t respond to EVERYONE who leaves positive feedback, so there’s really no need to respond.
  • Businesses can, however, show their appreciation for certain pieces of feedback (for example on social media) with a quick “Thanks for your feedback!”
  • Save positive comments to share with prospects.

Negative Feedback

  • Only respond if you can do it promptly–a delayed response may cause confusion. Responding to customer feedback 3 months later is pointless–the time has passed, the opportunity was missed.
  • Always offer to point the customer to your business’ customer service phone number.
  • In SMS marketing, if you receive an opt-out request:
    • No need to respond–simply delete that customer from the list.

When Responding to Feedback

  • Identify who you are.
  • Try to avoid ongoing dialog back and forth.
  • Address the need/question in one message, if possible.

Leveraging Positive Comments

  • Demonstrate customer demand for rewards.
  • Have a process in place to understand where customers could be finding problems in their dealings with your business.
  • Use screen shots from time to time to provide an element of value in your emails to your prospects.

Obtaining feedback is one thing, but knowing what to do with it AFTER you receive it, is what will really affect your business’ long term success. By embracing your customer feedback, you can achieve transparency into customer buying behavior and gain insight into future buying behavior.

Why is SMS Not Playing a Bigger Role in Brands’ Marketing Efforts?

Macy's SMS

When it comes to mobile marketing, SMS is a trusted old friend – it has been around longer than other mobile marketing techniques, has a broad reach and, for a well-executed campaign, the results can be impressive. So why do many marketers still overlook SMS?

Part of the problem is image – SMS is often closely associated with feature phones and, therefore, bypassed when brands start thinking about smartphones. There are other issues such as difficulties getting short codes and the need to work with carriers, but with open rates of nearly 100 percent, some big marketers such as Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s are beginning to take notice.

“SMS is an overlooked channel,” said Julie Roth Novack, senior vice president of mobile solutions at Vibes. “It went out of favor a year or two ago with the growth in smartphones.

“In people’s minds, SMS is connected with feature phones but the fact of the matter is SMS is the No. 1 app on smartphones,” she said. “There is this idea that because you are going after smartphone users, you don’t need SMS.

“We have really seen a shift in the past six months, with our retail partners saying that SMS is a critical part of their strategy.”

Short codes a challenge
SMS service providers agree that it has not reached its potential as a marketing technique, often because marketers get so excited about the richer experiences they can deliver via apps and the mobile Web.

There are other challenges, too, such as that marketers need to have a better understanding of how SMS can fit into a broad mobile strategy. Additionally, a certain level of expertise is required to set up an SMS program to insure that the permissions are structured properly and to understand how to work with the wireless carriers.

Perhaps of the biggest challenges are the short codes used in SMS campaigns. Typically, a mobile phone user is asked to text a keyword to a short code initiate a dialogue of some kind with a marketer.

“One of the largest hurdles for brands wanting to leverage SMS marketing is understanding and dealing with the short code process,” said Jared Reitzin, CEO of mobileStorm, Los Angeles. “Since SMS relies on the use of shared or dedicated short codes, brands have to wade through the confusion, ambiguity and complication of short code setup, provisioning, regulation and best practices.

“Until these processes are simplified and made much more affordable, brands will continue to skip SMS as a viable marketing channel,” he said. “Broader use of SMS marketing will come when the barrier of entry is lowered substantially in terms of acquiring and using short codes, in addition to regulatory scrutiny for not only large organizations, but small businesses as well.”

SMS success
In addition to these challenges, marketers often do not know how to market via SMS because of the limited character count and lack of rich media. However, increasingly marketers are understanding that SMS, with its immediacy, broad reach and high open rates, can be an important way to drive users to richer app and mobile Web experiences.

“Through its inherent limitations with character-count and lack of rich media, SMS is better used as a contact point to drive engagement to other relevant channels, rather than being used exclusively to drive a specific action,” Mr. Reitzin said. “The primary benefits of SMS are the immediacy, the nearly ubiquitous reach, and the nearly 100 percent open rate.

“Using these attributes to drive traffic to more engaging channels like the mobile Web or mobile apps is where it’s true power lies,” he said. “Until marketers understand this formula, its full potential will never be fully realized.

The examples of SMS’ success are numerous and growing.

For example, Dunkin Donuts recently sent 7,500 mobile coupons via SMS that offered a latte for $.99, per Mr. Reiztin. The brand supported the SMS call-to-action through local radio mentions and WAP targeting on local-interest sites.

The promotion increased in-store traffic 21 percent and a full 17 percent of participants forwarded or showed the message to a friend for the all-important viral effect.

“The potential for SMS growth has still not reached its apex,” said Jeff Hasen, chief marketing officer of Hipcricket, Kirkland, WA.

“Companies need to have an understanding of their customers’ desires and needs from a marketing perspective,” he said. “SMS isn’t for every brand and that baseline user knowledge is the first step to a successful mobile campaign.

“SMS campaigns are an excellent way to engage with consumers, offering a call-to-action that they can’t pass up. Marketers that can go the next step by making their SMS campaigns relevant and local will see a greater response and return on investment.”

Article Source: http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/messaging/13218.html

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