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Why every small business should consider mobile marketing…

Did You Know?

74% of Smartphone shoppers make a purchase as a result of using their smartphones to help with shopping
, and 88% of those who look for local information on their smartphones take action within a day.

These are some of the key findings from “The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users,” a study from Google and conducted by Ipsos OTX, an independent market research firm, among 5,013 US adult Smartphone Internet users.

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Facebook’s Timeline Goes Live Everywhere–What Does it Mean For Your Business?

Tomorrow is Timeline’s D-Day for Facebook. While the change has been met with mixed reviews from consumers, early trends clearly point out significant increases in both activity and engagement. Social media research firm Simply Measured, released a study this week that shows the shift to Timeline has produced:

1. 14% Increase in Fan Engagement
2. 46% Increase in Content Engagement
3. 65% Increase in Interactive Content Engagement (Video and Photo)

The value of business Facebook pages will no doubt be reassessed by major brands and small business would do well to follow suite in light of these performance statistics.

To read more, visit: http://simplymeasured.com/blog/ and see: March 27, 2012 The Impact of Facebook Timeline for Brands [Study]

Madison Avenue Just Waking Up to Who’s In Charge of Mobile Marketing?

Sometimes it seems like the old guard on Madison Avenue considers themselves a sort of “Supreme Court” on when and whether a media option will get their blessing, and in at least one case, believes their opinion should shape the future survive-ability of that media. 

I’m referring to an article on Papa John’s excellent understanding and upcoming use of Mobile Marketing which appeared in  Mobile Commerce Daily, written by Rimma Kats, Tuesday.  In the article, a Mr. Buckingham is quoted several times with what appears to be a seriously flawed viewpoint on Mobile Marketing and in my opinion clearly  believes that  the advertising establishment will determine the viability of what the New York Times has already admitted is “the most powerful media ever invented.” 

My response appears (submitted yesterday and yet to be “moderated” by the publication at this writing) below and has also been submitted to Mobile Commerce Daily: 

With all due respect to Mr. Buckingham, I would take issue with the concept that registering or signing-up is a deterrent to engaging the customer.

Industry statistics repeatedly confirm that a value-added offer in exchange for simple contact information reliably increases participation and engagement.

The mobile ordering process naturally requires the customer to provide some information be submitted using the mobile device whether to claim the offer, pick-up the pizza at the store, or pay in advance for on-site delivery.

Executed appropriately, the submitted information triggers the offer, engages the consumer (who reads 97% of all text messages they have opted to receive within :30 minutes) and gives Papa John’s an extended opportunity to connect with the customer, offering more specials and increasing engagement with the brand.

Papa John’s has no doubt discovered that 33% of Smartphone users are engaged in watching TV simultaneously—nothing to do with high traffic locations, but a natural response to well-placed TV spots (which further mandates a shift in the creative development platforms for television advertising.)

To suggest that, “The success of the recent Millennial Media IPO will attract more attention and credibility to the sector,” intimates that somehow the advertising community’s endorsement will determine the acceptance of mobile advertising.

This time the consumer has arrived and embraced the media, know what to do with it and are significantly ahead of traditionalists in the advertising community. If anything, the advertisers are being trained by the consumers this time.

“The eyeballs,” are on mobile savvy advertisers like Papa John’s. They get it and are profiting from it ahead of their competitors.

Believing the agency world will dictate the success or failure of this media is ludicrous.

Branding Trends for 2015?

Is 2015 the year to take action in managing your brand position differently than you ever have?  The argument can be made that some research started much earlier indicates some change may be necessary, some stronger in the last couple of years, and some that still need some additional review. The argument may also be made that moving away from traditional branding is still not a safe strategy.

But the truth is that the time may be now or never. Let’s look at what has happened to your company’s ability to control your brand’s position in the competitive marketplace, and whether another look at how/when you choose to do it is worthy of re-examination.  

What is Constant: Branding is all about creating the position you want to own in what I trademarked in my first book  as “The Marketplace of the Mind.” That is the rock solid component that will never change for one reason: The mind is where we profile the offers, the competitors and everything we know and think about a provider before we make a purchasing decision. Historically companies could repeat messages of importance (the brand positioning statement in most cases) that would connect what they believed would resonate with the prospect/client and the products and services the company had to offer.  In most cases, enough repetition would cement that position in the prospect/clients mind.

Of course there were many other factors, but online behavior wasn’t one of them.

What Has Changed: One factor in business branding today has changed. In fact it has done a one hundred and eighty degree change. I’m talking about a behavior that the majority of us have embraced: writing reviews and reading feedback online before we make a purchasing decision.

Today in most surveys, an excess of 80% of potential customers/patients/residents believe these online  reviews above the recommendations they receive from family and friends! Submitted by people they don’t personally know!!!!

These reviews cover everything from service, to quality, to employee moral, to speed of response, to fairness of fees, to cleanliness, to promises made vs. kept, to scope of services or menu items, to level of staff experience, to a company’s ability to recover from an error, to speed of response. Increasingly these reviews are not only written, but are showing up as videos on YouTube, where more than 50% of all online search now begin according to Goggle.

Bottom-line: Your brand control has been transferred to your customers and prospects. It wasn’t something you intentionally did, but consumer ability to share their impressions and profile you online has become so easy and believability so willingly accepted, that your customers now control the fate of your brand.  Know what is most important. Deliver it to your customers. Solicit their positive feedback.  Use positive feedback to market your company. Respond rapidly to negative feedback and solve the problem to the customer’s satisfaction. If you do, your ability to control your company’s brand position will look more like it did in the past.  

Final Thought: Companies with a five-star reputation have a built-in advantage, regardless of the size of their competitor’s companies.