Recently, I was interviewed by Boston based Semper, LLC for a case study in their TechCreative series. The case study, titled “With A Recognized Social Media Leader At Its Helm, A Marketing Solutions Provider Helps Clients Reach Mobile Customers” really focuses on the combination of two of my passions; technology and marketing.
It was an honor to share both my story, as well as the history of interlinkONE, my marketing services company Grow Socially, and interlinkONE’s QR Code generation and tracking application, QReateandTrack.com with them. They did a wonderful job with the case study, and I am very excited for everyone to have the chance to read it now that it has been published.
I invite you to read the case study, and please leave comments or share this post throughout your social media channels.
Thank you for your continued support, and thanks to Semper, LLC for showcasing both my and interlinkONE’s achievements in marketing and mobile.
Whether you market for a company or do marketing in accordance with owning your own business, are you truly getting it?
Sure, marketing is not exactly rocket science, but it does take coordination, time, effort and the ability to adjust to changing dynamics in the marketplace. Without being able to change and adjust to changes in the world of consumers, you could find yourself stuck at the train station as the train pulls away.
For many involved in marketing in 2015, mobility is and will continue to be a key.
With that in mind, are you mobile enough to take your marketing efforts to new levels this year and beyond?
Things Are Changing
If you take the time to breathe in all that is going on in the marketing world these days, you’ll know the mobile marketing is here to stay for the foreseeable future.
No matter what product or service you market, albeit it home furnishings, ADT in Georgia, life insurance, legal services or hundreds of other items, you can’t be mobile enough in today’s fast-paced world.
While traditional marketing means still work in many situations, they are quickly being overtaken by the world of mobile marketing.
Mobile Marketing is Proving More Secure
Look at this following example and see what your best opportunity is to reach this customer:
You sell security systems in Atlanta and you have an interested customer (Debbie) who is interested in a system for her new salon that is opening up across town.
As part of your pitch, you send her a traditional marketing message via regular mail, you email her (with her approval of course) and you text her (again, with her approval) about some possible security system options.
In more cases than not, your traditional approach (letter in the mail) will be set aside or even discarded sooner rather than later.
You can of course try the email route, but many of those ultimately end up being read and ignored, deleted or making their way to a spam folder.
With a mobile marketing approach, however, you can instantaneously have your product and/or service on the lips of this consumer and potentially many more.
Delivery Presentation is Key
While getting your mobile message out there is obviously important, how you present it is equally if not more critical.
Make sure your mobile presentation is:
- Short and sweet
- Clear and easy to follow
- Easy to view and no broken links
- Provides point of contact
Mobile marketing should be a part of your overall marketing strategy now and for the foreseeable future.
If it isn’t, you’re marketing missed opportunities galore.
About the Author: Dave Thomas writes for a variety of websites on topics such as marketing and small business.
If you’re a business owner or consumer and you have not tapped into mobile marketing, what are you waiting for?
As a larger percentage of the public is quickly discovering, mobile marketing is advantageous for both the business and the client.
For starters, mobile marketing can instantaneously put the business owner and the consumer in touch, something that can’t be done with more traditional marketing methods such as regular mail, flyers and even email.
Meantime, mobile marketing is a great way for consumers to take advantage of deals while they’re either browsing online for products and services are actually physically in the stores.
With that in mind, what is your mobile marketing strategy for 2015 and beyond?
Credit Cards are Prime Example
One of the biggest industries out there is the credit card industry.
Ironically, a booming mobile marketing play in recent years and moving forward could take people away from carrying plastic in their wallets and purses. As a result, it is important for credit card companies to stay in touch with the latest technological trends.
Whether the provider is one offering Citibank Card Application Reviews or countless other products and services, such providers need to remain on top of their marketing games in order to keep customers as satisfied as possible.
In order to do just that, credit card providers should:
- Offer top-notch services – With all the competition in the credit card market, consumers do have a wide array of options to choose from. Those credit card providers offering first-rate customer service (see more below) are likely to stand out from the crowd. Services include low annual percentage rates and monitoring of customer accounts to look for things like identity theft and unauthorized charges;
- Care about their customers – One of the most rewarding (literally) ways to keep customers around for years to come is offering them winning customer service. Along with traditional phone calls and interaction through the mail, credit card companies can turn to social media as a viable tool. With their Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest pages and more, such companies can inform consumers about special deals, trends in the credit card industry and much more. The bottom line is to always keep growing (see more below);
- Evolve with technology – Face it; you’re more than likely not going to stop consumers from wanting to use technology that makes browsing for and buying products and services quicker and easier. As a result, credit card companies must be at the forefront when it comes to real-time interactions with customers. As noted earlier, this is where social media and even mobile marketing can play large roles.
As mobile marketing continues to move forward, credit card companies are wise to position themselves and their businesses at the front of this race to gain consumer dollars, not lagging behind.
About the Author: Dave Thomas writes for a variety of websites on topics such as marketing and small business.
As more people purchase mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, they use them to do research on products and services and to make purchases.
Companies that want to capture this market must learn a special kind of marketing process called mobile marketing. Hiring experts in the field, or mobile marketers, will give them the edge.
But how do you find the best mobile marketers?
Mobile marketers must learn special skills focused solely on mobile advertising.
Mobile marketers must understand all of the aspects of this field, which include location-based services, texting and mobile purchases. They must have specific skills that allow them to understand design, analytics and marketing.
At the same time, they must develop more advanced skills such as programming and the ability to build mobile sites or applications.
Some of the most sought-after skills include:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Search engine marketing (SEM)
- Google Analytics
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
- Salesforce CRM
- Microsoft Office
Marketers learn these skills through online courses or in classroom settings in a certificate program.
Choosing the Best Qualified
Companies looking to hire mobile marketers want the best qualified candidates.
Having a general knowledge of marketing or a marketing degree is not enough. Job candidates must have a thorough knowledge of the mobile industry and know how to create and utilize a mobile site or app to achieve the business’ goals.
Many mobile marketers are people with a strong background in marketing who have since completed courses specifically on mobile marketing and received a certificate.
Because they are often full-time employees, they may opt for online courses that work around an already-packed schedule. Several industry organizations and online schools now offer this course along with community colleges and schools.
Choosing the Best Program
For those interested in pursuing an education in mobile marketing, they want to find the best courses available.
While online classes are popular because they are convenient, they are not any easier than classroom study. The key for students is to find online courses that will prepare them for work in the industry when they have finished.
The article, “How Instructors Create Engaging Online Courses”, discusses what to look for in online programs, which includes mobile marketing.
Discussion opportunities are one area the article states is important.
Since you aren’t able to interact with the teacher and other students in a live classroom, there should be ample opportunities to have online discussions where the teacher is involved as well as other students. Presenting different ideas and opinions is a building block to a student’s learning.
Every course should present you with some type of certification so that your work will be recognized when you seek a job.
It shows that you have studied mobile marketing specifically and learned critical skills needed for a job in the industry.
The need for mobile marketers is expected to continue to grow, and it is an area that can be hard to fill.
A well-educated, certified mobile marketer can make a big difference in the success of a company, so managers should look for the best candidates and job applicants should seek the certification that will give them the edge.
About the Author: Joyce Morse is an author who writes on a variety of topics, including SEO and human resources.
The digital world is fueling ecommerce, which is exactly why more and more consumers are setting their sights online to make their next purchase.
And, health insurance providers are catching on to the online trend by promoting their insurance plans and products on the web in order to reach a massive consumer base.
Here are just a few ways health insurance providers are marketing their services online and how you can take advantage of the ecommerce:
Marketplace for All
With the introduction of the Health Insurance Marketplace, healthcare pricing is now more upfront than ever before. This is good news for both health insurance providers and consumers like you.
For providers, it means cost transparency, which not only takes the complication out specific pricing questions, but also gives providers a good idea of where they stand in terms of affordability.
For consumers, upfront pricing means you’ll know exactly what your insurance premiums and deductibles are before you choose your provider. And, because the Health Insurance Marketplace’s backbone is ecommerce, you can compare policy prices from multiple providers all in one place.
Online Quotes and Payments
When health insurance providers take an online approach to their business practices, it gives them the opportunity to provide consumers with online quotes.
Online health insurance quotes are important because they allow you to instantly find the best price for your health needs, even if the provider isn’t listed in the Health Insurance Marketplace.
In addition, ecommerce also allows providers to accept online payments, which is great news for consumers like you.
Online payments and automatic debits are not only convenient, but they’re also a secure way to pay your monthly deductible rather than by phone or mailing a check.
Plan Changes at the Speed of Life
Your healthcare needs can change at any time, so it’s nice to know you can change your insurance plan along with your needs.
Ecommerce and online health insurance accounts provide you with flexibility regardless of how life changes impact health insurance and the requirements that go along with it.
Many health insurance providers allow their customers to easily upgrade, downgrade, and alter their plans online on an annual or bi-annual basis.
So, whether you need to lower your deductible or add coverage for a specialized condition, insurance providers who take advantage of ecommerce allow you to do just that.
Health Insurance for the Mobile World
Another great thing about health insurance providers and ecommerce joining forces is the mobility of the digital marketplace. When customers are better able to connect with their providers, it improves customer satisfaction.
Whether you have a question about your coverage or you need to pay your monthly deductible on the go, ecommerce and online-savvy insurance providers can help you accomplish any healthcare task on a mobile level.
All the pointers mentioned above boil down to one thing: accessibility.
Ecommerce allows you to easily access the ins and outs of your health insurance policy. And, when the digital masses are able to make payments, ask questions, and update their policies online, it improves the quality of the healthcare landscape tremendously.
Whether you are in search of a new policy or you’re happy with the one you have, ecommerce is changing the way consumers and providers look at healthcare.
About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including personal health and budgeting.
Multi-channel marketing has become increasingly important due to the number of ways consumers can find information on products and services. B2B Marketing Insider says that consumers are making purchasing decisions from a variety of sources beyond your business website and sales people. Effectively measuring multi-channel marketing efforts helps you target where your brand message has the most impact. Knowing the most effective channels gives you a better ROI on your marketing dollars.
Collecting Customer Data
The key to evaluating your channel decisions is collecting customer data. This is especially important when creating channel combinations. A TV ad that shows a Twitter hashtag, a direct mailing that includes a QR code, and a radio ad that announces a URL will drive traffic to your retail store or website and generate purchases. But what were the most effective touch points?
Collect all of the channels seen by the consumer to get the best picture of how your campaign is doing. Did they go to your website because they heard it on the radio or scanned the QR code on the brochure? With this consumer data you’ll know how well your brand message is being seen and where you might want to focus your future marketing efforts.
Measuring Revenue Performance
Your baseline is a forecast of revenue. You can then compare the actual revenue received against the baseline. Matched with the above customer data, you’ll be able to tell what percent of revenue during the campaign was the result of offline versus online channels. Your combo channels, such as print brochure with a QR code, become a third channel type to evaluate.
Measuring Consumer Actions
Your channel effectiveness is not only about revenue but about successfully getting a consumer to take action up to the purchase point. For example, a TV ad that displays a URL can drive a consumer to your website. They may or may not purchase something, but if you offer an opt-in to receive a monthly email with special offers, you’ve created a prospect and added them to your pipeline.
Other measurements could include:
- Visits to a specific landing page
- Sign ups for a newsletter
- Views of a certain hashtag
- Consumer surveys completed
These are all ways of measuring the effectiveness of the channels you’re chosen. Being able to evaluate your channel marketing means you can fine-tune your efforts. Put your dollars where they are most effective and stop wasting money on channels that no longer meet your brand’s message.