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Smartphone Adoption Continues to Grow in the US

CTIA recently released a new infographic that demonstrates the immense growth of wireless devices throughout the United States and North America. They expect growth of up to 324M by 2019. There’s 227 Million Smartphones in North America right now and steadily growing.n

What is even more interesting and exciting is the rapid growth of wearables. It seems like just a couple of years ago that the world was so unfamiliar with the concept of mobile devices that are wearable. And now they are the “it” thing to have and understand. Where will mobile health go next?

“There will be 157.3 million US mobile phone search users this year, eMarketer estimates, representing just under half of the population. Next year, mobile search will reach the masses: 177.8 million smartphone users of any age will search via mobile browser or app at least monthly, equating to nearly 55% of all consumers in the country.”

 

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227 Million Smartphones in North America in 2014 and expected to grow 1.4X.

That’s about 324 million smartphones by 2019.

According to CTIA, the Wireless Subscriber Connections was at 158.7 million smartphones and other active devices, including feature phones and tablets as of December 2003. And by December 2014 that number has jumped up to 335.4 million smartphones and other active devices. However, users may have more than one wireless device, so this number is not equal to individual subscribers.

 

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50% of sales executives stated that failure of an organization to keep product knowledge current was a major setback for the sales teams, according to a study by Microstrategy. And one out every two sales personal state that limited access to key information makes closing sales a challenge.  Moving to mobile strategy can help any company solve internal issues.

To maximize the performance of a sales team and drive revenue growth at a faster rate, more companies are leveraging mobile tools. Mobile applications, for example, have become integrated into many enterprise selling solutions in order to make the sales team more efficient by giving them access to information no matter where they go.

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5 reasons sales teams should use mobile selling solutions:

1. Increased Productivity

Sales teams work more efficiently when utilizing mobile selling solutions. Whether they receiving SMS alerts from the CRM system to keep track of hot leads or a mobile app to have mobile access to presentations, there are variety of mobile tools to increase sales team productivity.

2. Access to Information

Having the right information at their fingertips helps your sales team quickly take action. Access to the most up to date and impactful content at any time, regardless of location or device, makes it easy for the marketing to connect with on-the-go sales people.

3. More Flexibility

Mobile tools bring more flexibility and convenience to your sales team. Using SMS or a Mobile Website to look up prospect information with a few clicks gives them greater access to key information. Sales people can move seamlessly through a conversation and adapt it to meet prospect needs, and impressing them with multimedia such as video.

4. Better Tracking

Understanding the value of sales content is essential for the marketing team, that is impossible to track without a system in place. Marketers want to know what content the sales team is using and which pieces are producing the best results. The best mobile selling solutions have reports integrated to provide marketers with key data about content usage  to help them create  the most relevant collateral. Reporting also allows the marketing team  to track the true ROI of their content.

5. Connecting a Disperse Sales Team

The boom in disperse sales teams has created communication issues and imbalance in some companies. Using a mobile selling solution such as a tablet application helps sales teams to share information and insights into the sales experience. Whether it is feedback on a sales presentation or accessing a customer database at any time, anywhere.

 

The results of using mobile tools: your sales team becomes more effective with customer engagement, develops a deeper understanding of customer needs, and creates a memorable experience by addressing the needs of prospects even while on the go.

 

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From the National Restaurant Association:

 

SMS marketing – a short-form version of text messaging – is a powerful marketing tool. But even with open rates approaching 100 percent, and offer-redemption rates of 10 percent to 30 percent, the content of your messages is ultimately what drives customers to come back to your restaurant.

 

Here are some guidelines to improve SMS Marketing in Restaurants:

1. Watch message frequency and mix. Sending one to two messages a month is the most effective way to stay fresh in your customers’ minds. Boost your effectiveness by alternating incentive blasts (i.e., offers redeemable for discounts) with notification blasts. Incentive blasts bring your guests back into the restaurant. Notification blasts help you build your relationship with guests.Some of the most effective notification blasts:

  • Live music schedules for upcoming weekend
  • Reminder of upcoming events
  • Holiday greetings
  • Interesting content on your website or social media

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2. Spice up the verbiage. Make the text blast engaging and fun to read. This keeps customers excited about receiving offers from you. Stay consistently creative with the wording and you’ll capture their attention and increase open rates and redemptions.

3. Keep messages succinct. Keep text blasts simple and fun to get your point across. SMS marketing limits you to 160 characters (including compliance language). Use as many as you can, and avoid allowing your ideas to flow into a second message. Succinct messages improve the chances your customers will read and respond.

 

4. Mix up your offers. You can be spontaneous with the offers you send or cycle through a list of incentives that work well for your restaurant. Having several offers ready to go is handy and can make planning ahead easier. One advantage of SMS marketing is the speed with which offers can be changed and delivered. You can use these messages to get rid of excess food supplies or make room for an upcoming food order, for example. If your food provider runs a special on an item, focus your next blast on that item to take full advantage of the special pricing.

5. Keep incentives exclusive to mobile VIP members. When a customer opts in to your Mobile VIP Club, it’s because they like your restaurant and want to receive future offers. These are your most loyal customers. Providing them with exclusive offers will show them that you are grateful. These loyal customers can also help drive more people to your database by generating word-of-mouth buzz about your restaurant.

 6. Incorporate Facebook and your website into the SMS Marketing Campaigns. Pushing customers to your social media pages and website helps you build ongoing relationships and grow your social-media footprint. This will help you reach the maximum number of customers with your promotions and offers, greatly increasing your ROI.

7. Incorporate website links in a SMS Campaign. If you have too much information to fit into a text’s 160-character limit, then link to a website with details. Integrating links not only helps you bring customers to your restaurant in the short run, but helps you track where customers are coming from (if you use tracking links such as bit.ly).

 

This article was originally posted on Restaurant.org

 

 

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Mobile innovation is moving at incredible speeds

It’s pushing technologists to work double time to satisfy the needs of the public.

 

The Bad News: There aren’t enough developers out there to tackle and test out every wild idea that bubbles to the surface

The Good News: The community has become more tech-savvy and it’s an exciting space to be in.

Text message infographic, sms infographic, benefits of text marketing, mobile innovation
Click to view the full infographic

 

What You Need to Know About SMS

 

1. Mobile is Permission-Based. This means that you cannot spam random phone numbers with promotional text messages – even if you think the person would be interested. Your audience must choose to opt-in to receive SMS (text messages) from you. This can be done a few different ways:

Texting a Keyword to a Short Code,

Entering a phone number and agreeing to terms on a website form,

Verbally signing-up over the phone with a support/staff member, or

In-person printed form.

In all cases, the user will receive a confirmation text message that reads something along the lines of “You’ve just opted in… reply YES to confirm.”

 

2. Highly Personal. You are sending a message to someone’s personal phone. This is the device that he or she has at hand for most of the day, which is great – but it can also be intrusive if you don’t deliver the right kind of content. Be thoughtful and selective about the messages you send to your contacts. Just as you have learned to segment your email campaigns, the same concept should be applied to SMS.

 

3. Opting-Out. At any time, your contacts may text the word STOP to opt out of receiving text messages from you. This is a built-in compliance mechanism that protects consumers. Once someone has chosen to opt-out, he or she will receive a message confirming that opt-out. To opt back in, he will have to go through the same process as previous (texting in, or web form, etc). By delivering quality content at a consistent frequency (not too often), you will prevent opt-outs.

 

4. Integration. Since reporting and customer relationship management are such high priorities, one of the best ways to track what’s happening with your contacts is by integrating the mobile messaging portal with your existing systems. When you connect the messaging portal with your CRM system, then you can create a complete view of each customer as well as view reporting in either platform. True Dialog has a pretty robust API that allows our clients to make this easy to setup.

 

Mobile innovations continue to grow, but can only keep up as fast as the people are requesting.

 

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When you compare open rates of text messages to emails, it is clear that SMS is much faster and more effective. While you don’t want to abandon your email marketing efforts, you should consider the impact of offering text as a communications channel for your customers. If you are a restaurant or retailer that sends out special offers all the time, then mobile coupons delivered via SMS are likely to have a higher return rate for you.

 

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SMS Infographic, benefits of text marketing, SMS marketing

 

The demographic reach of text messages is undeniable. You can reach just about everyone in the US (as well as abroad). Whether your core audience includes young moms, college students or people approaching retirement, you can connect with them using two-way dialog text messaging. Leverage those customers with high disposable income who are well educated and want specific information from your company.

 

Text message infographic, sms infographic, benefits of text marketing

For content marketing, text messages are a key way to drive this audience from inquiry to next steps. If you plan your marketing content the right way, then you’ll find that customers will choose your company and opt in to receive text messages from you. Just make sure the content is valuable.

 

What are your plans for reaching customers while on their mobile phones?

 

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Text Marketing Provides We all have one: a friend or a relative with the communication clock. There’s that person in your life that has a preset ratio of calls per day passed that is somehow directly wired to the quality of your friendship. Perhaps you are that person. I respect that, but I’m on the other end of the spectrum. I have no clock. Picture this: we’re having a conversation at a family event, say Christmas. I can be halfway through a sentence when we’re suddenly interrupted by something else. I’ll go handle that matter, go home, go to bed, get up the next day and go to work. It is entirely possible for me to go two years without seeing you. When we do talk again, I can literally finish the sentence we were in the middle of when we were interrupted. That’s how unaffected I am. Our friendship isn’t challenged by this gap. I’m not worried that we haven’t talked. I don’t remember how long it’s been. I don’t remember what I had for breakfast this morning.

Then there are the people with the clock. You’ll never talk to them enough. You can identify them in one of two ways:  they’ll tell you all the time or they won’t. The latter is much worse! That’s the slow silent guilt version. Like a sleeping lion, that’s dangerous. Leave it alone. The former isn’t much better. Even when you do make contact, you’re reminded that you don’t do it enough. It is constant and abrasive and you can’t win!

Somewhere in the middle is the “correct” amount of communication.

Businesses have to walk this line as well. On one end of the spectrum is the spam mailer. For whatever reason, some version of this is the all-too-common standard. If you could find the computer sending this junk out, you’d probably set the whole building on fire. On the other end, there’s the business that has a great product or idea but doesn’t want to bother you about it. The hope is that the customer will just casually find them on the 3rd page of Google search results. Neither one is particularly helpful.

I’ve been shopping for cars recently. This industry is in particular need of an overhaul. If you’re even lucky enough to find an email address in their unusually bug-laden site, you have no idea who it is going to. Most of them force you to put way too much contact information in an obscure little form. In what has to be 80% of cases, you get an initial blast of unusable coupons, bait-and-switch car prices for cars you aren’t interested in and if you’re lucky, there’s a small note at the bottom of the email from the actual salesman you intended to write. Then it happens: the first daily (if not four-hourly) email blast… you’re on their email server. Good luck, weary traveler. I went to one dealership in Austin where the salesman wrote a clean, graphic-free and link-free response. In the response he offered his own cell number and the freedom to text whenever needed. I’m still talking with him two weeks later. Why? He gave me the option of when and how to contact him.  His information isn’t buried in spam. I define the communication clock.

That’s the value of text marketing. It is 100% opt in and 100% opt out. You cannot legally continue sending texts once someone has asked you to stop. At the same time, if someone wants to hear from you, they get what they wan so text marketing provides the company with users that voluntarily engaged in their marketing efforts. They’re almost impossible to ignore, yet not so wildly overused that you feel bothered by it. You quickly and conveniently receive the information that is valuable to you. It’s with you wherever you are. It’s your communication clock. Nobody will bother you more than you want. Nobody will add you to a giant server list on an unmanned computer on an island you can’t find. At the same time, you won’t be forgotten. You’ll get the right amount of relevant updates when you need them.

I had an egg taquito. That’s right.

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