Uncategorized Archives - Mobivity

Our Most Successful Clients

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There are common traits when looking at those locations that succeed with mobile.

First is the consistent use of the Mobivity platform. For instance, blasts leading to increased opt-in clubs and redemption.

Second is the regular monitoring of statistics to gauge results and to make modifications, if necessary.

Third is interaction with Mobivity’s account managers who are providing ideas, insights, and tips for you to be more effective.

Fourth is the creation of repeatable campaigns that boost overall daily sales.

Listen While You Work

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The times are unrecognizable for some given customer use of mobile devices and all the ramifications – showrooming, price checking, instant scan of reviews, and more.

Still, for SMBs and others, a fundamental hasn’t changed – the need to listen.

A post on inc.com asked the question, “Why pay customers to talk about you when they will do it for free?” http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/5-ways-to-make-customers-ambassadors-without-a-referral-program.html

The piece is about referral programs, but the more pressing point made is how businesses of any size have information at their fingertips.

The first tip was to monitor who’s talking about you, then get in touch.

Granted, an SMB’s core job is to make sandwiches, dry clean clothes, or turn out lattes that bring us back for more.

But in these days of social networks, the job is incomplete without a review of the chatter on Facebook, Twitter, or elsewhere.

The Inc. article says that businesses must take the next step and interact with those who are talking. That’s critically, important, of course, but for many SMBs who are overwhelmed, listening is all that can be accomplished.

That’s fine. It’s better than having your head buried in the sand – or whole wheat bread and a wide variety of condiments.

There are certainly other ways to get feedback. Try striking up a conversation. The customer might actually look up from his or her device and see value in voicing an opinion or like the fact that you care enough to ask.

Then there are other communications channels, including opt-in mobile programs. The conversation takes many shapes – if an offer is redeemed or you can fill a room after sending out information about an open house, you have information. Other times, there’s an avenue for the customer to answer a survey or respond to a one-off question.

There is ample proof that we’re listening less in our own homes. In a connected society, we’re more disconnected. That’s certainly not good news for the family unit.

But in business, not listening is a recipe for disaster.

Informing and Incenting Your Employees

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Upselling and asking customers to join a loyalty club often aren’t on the minds of employees. They come in, do what they believe to be their core job, and that’s that.

SmartReceipt addresses this problem with the inclusion of messaging when employees clock in and out.

A large quick service restaurant boosted sales of a new product by running reminders of an employee incentive program through SmartReceipt. Managers saw a substantial increase in employee involvement and overall interest in pushing the menu item.

Ask us about additional successes and how you can get started.

Twitter Vs. SMS To Bring More Customers, More Often

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We could point to tens of thousands of examples of individual locations seeing value in the development and nurturing of an SMS permission-based database.

Of course, there are marketing alternatives. One is Twitter, a service that promises that it can help an SMB “connect with potential customers and increase your follower base.”

Follower bases are good, but what about the more customers, more often need?

Twitter encourages SMBs to create a presence on the social network, then to integrate it across all marketing channels.

It recommends that businesses feature their @username on their website and ask customers to follow them. Further, Twitter suggests SMBs import an email contact list to follow and interact with customers. Also, it encourages businesses to join industry-related conversations and connect with influencers through hashtags.

Through a lead form, it offers a marketing “kickstart” with supposed easy tips, templates and a content calendar.

Twitter has dedicated account for SMBs (@TwitterSmallBiz) as well as a blog

https://blog.twitter.com/small-business.

• Have you followed an SMB on Twitter?

• Have you gone into a brick and mortar or bought online after seeing a tweet from an SMB?

• Do you know an SMB that is using Twitter and seeing success?

• Is there an SMB that replaced a permission-based SMS club with Twitter and grew sales and loyalty?

Twitter says that it has 255 million active monthly users with 77% of the accounts outside the U.S.

There are 326 million mobile users in America, according to CTIA – The Wireless Association. comScore says that 75% text on a regular basis. Multiple studies report that approximately one-third of mobile subscribers are interested in joining a text club from a brand or business.

There just doesn’t seem to be any rationale for using Twitter and not text.

Revenue Flowing Faster to New Marketing Channels, But Integration Is Key

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There were many findings within a recent advertising report from the Internet Advertising Bureau that used the word “momentous.”

We learned that U.S. interactive advertising revenues for 2013 hit an all-time high of $42.8 billion. The report said that this “momentous” figure marks an increase of 17% from 2012’s landmark revenues of $36.6 billion. We were also told that digital exceeded broadcast television advertising revenues ($40.1 billion) for the first time ever.

And for the third year in a row, mobile achieved triple-digit growth year-over-year, rising to $7.1 billion during full year 2013, a 110 percent boost from the prior year total of $3.4 billion. Mobile accounted for 17% of 2013 revenues, whereas it was 9 percent of revenues in 2012.

But with all these findings come many questions. Here are just a few:

– Is the shift in dollars signaling a time when those of us in local will make an all-in bet on one or more channel (digital and mobile, for instance), and eliminate any marketing spend on others (radio, TV, for example)?

– Are consumers making – or will they make – a distinction between one channel and another? Or will they instead change how they use a channel, perhaps combining TV and a tablet for a two-screen, enhanced experience?

– Is it possible that these trends will be reversed? Or, said another way, can we expect so-called traditional media to adapt to meet consumer interest and to drive hyperlocal business through one-to-one digital and mobile extensions to its content?

Other numbers from the report:

– Digital video, a component of display-related advertising, brought in $2.8 billion in full year 2013, up 19 percent over revenues of $2.3 billion in 2012. As a result, it also increased its share to become the fourth largest format, directly behind mobile.

– Search revenues totaled $18.4 billion in 2013, up 9% from 2012, when search totaled $16.9 billion.

– Display-related advertising revenues in 2013 totaled $12.8 billion or 30 percent of the year’s revenues, a rise of 7% over $12 billion in 2012.

– Retail advertisers continue to represent the largest category of internet ad spending, responsible for 21% in 2013, followed by financial services and closely trailed by automotive which account for 13% and 12% of the year’s revenues, respectively.

Randall Rothenberg, the IAB’s president and CEO, acknowledged the “momentous” shift as well as cross-screen activity that speaks to multi-channel consumer use: “The news that interactive has outperformed broadcast television should come as no surprise,” he said. “It speaks to the power that digital screens have in reaching and engaging audiences. In that same vein, the staggering growth of mobile is clearly a direct response to how smaller digital screens play an integral role in consumers’ lives throughout the day, as well as their critical importance to cross-screen experiences.”

Added David Silverman, Partner, PwC U.S., which conducted the study for the IAB: “Our survey confirms that we are fully in transition to the post-desktop era. Triple digit advertising revenue growth from mobile devices contrasted the more tepid 8 percent growth from traditional computer screens. This is simply a reflection of the change in how and where consumers are viewing their information—on the go!”

And then there was this from Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President, Research, Analytics, and Measurement, IAB: “Digital marketing generates large reach and many possibilities to create impact across consumers’ purchase consideration processes, both critically important to advertisers as they seek marketing investments that have value.”

Through interviews conducted for my Mobilized Marketing book, and subsequent to those, it is evident that many who are succeeding at hyperlocal are integrating channels rather than eliminating them.

An example is Ford which saw a 15.4% lead conversion simply by adding a mobile call to action to TV spots. Viewers were asked to text in their zip code to learn of local loan offers in the area. Each who responded was asked if he or she would like to be contacted by a local dealer. Leads were handed off to eager salespeople in minutes.

Another example of “old school” still working is the fact that yard signs being used by local businesses to promote mobile text clubs. I looked at a dozen or so locations doing this. What I saw was that 96% saw increases in the number of opt-ins. All but two had double-digit growth and one third saw a boost of at least 50 percent.

Old and new are meeting all the time and not just on the ground. This week, I heard a 70-something ask a flight attendant to explain what “airplane mode” was for his mobile phone. She told him that he could keep it on “and play games.” While he thought that was interesting, he and his wife worked on a printed crossword puzzle or two for most of a three-hour flight.

The upshot? We receive lessons even at 33,000 feet. This one is one to remember — one size does not fit all.

(article first appeared on Street Fight Magazine – http://streetfightmag.com/2014/04/23/revenue-flowing-faster-to-new-marketing-channels-but-integration-is-key/)

Federal Judge Sees TCPA Law As Clear and Unambiguous

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A Pennsylvania federal judge has brought clarity around the issue of text messages, automatic telephone dialing systems, and the Telephone Communications Protection Act (TCPA).

On March 20, District Judge Michael M. Baylson granted summary judgment to Yahoo, saying a plaintiff failed to prove that Yahoo’s text messages fit the law’s definition of computerized, unsolicited phone calls.

The judge dismissed the class action against Yahoo Inc. because the plaintiff did not show that Yahoo’s opt-in text service qualified as an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS).

“(The plaintiff) has not offered any evidence to show that Yahoo’s system had the capacity to randomly or sequentially generate telephone numbers … as required by the statutory definition of ATDS,” Judge Baylson said.

Because Yahoo’s service was not an ATDS, Judge Baylson said he did not have to consider whether the messages could be considered advertisements or marketing messages.

Judge Baylson said that the arguments did not get “at the crux of the issue,” which was whether the system had the capacity to “use a random or sequential number generator to store or produce telephone numbers and then send a text message to those numbers.”

The upshot of the ruling is that the FCC can’t impose its interpretation of an ATDS because, according to the judge, the law is clear and unambiguous.

The plaintiff filed the suit after he bought a mobile phone with a recycled number and began receiving texts from Yahoo alerting him to new email messages, even though he did not have an account, his complaint alleged. The previous owner of the phone number had apparently signed up for a Yahoo Mail service that allowed a user to receive SMS alerts.

The case was Dominguez v. Yahoo Inc., case number 2:13-cv-01887, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

As you may recall, TCPA was in the news last fall when new TCPA rules from the Federal Communications Commission went into effect regarding the requirements for prior written consent necessary to send text marketing messages. The changes affected those using an automated telephone dialing system.

Mobivity follows the best practices in the industry and is a leader in compliance. Clients with questions can contact their account coach. Others can reach us via info@mobivity.com.

How Super Bowl Advertisers Fumbled The Ball With Mobile

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By Jeff Hasen
Mobivity Chief Marketing Officer

Butterfingers were all over Super Bowl XLVIII, starting when Peyton Manning let the first snap go through his hands, continuing with a spot for the aforementioned candy, and capped by the group of high-spending advertisers that let another one get away.

Yes, you’ve heard this one before. This was going to be the year of the meaningful mobile call to action extension of a TV ad. Ummm, no.

Long before the fourth quarter, I had lost hope. No, not for the Broncos – afterall, the Seahawks are my championship-starved hometown’s. I was Hopeless in Seattle that anything had changed.

Advertisers came to entertain, not engage. The second screen and willingness by tens of millions or more to act on mobile were totally ignored.

I asked Sean Bartlett, Director of Mobile Strategy & Platforms at Lowe’s, for some perspective.

“I’m going with preserving creative integrity,” Sean told me.

But can’t we have “creative integrity” that includes a mobile call to action?

“Yes, though most are brand anthems, not direct response,” he said.

Ironically, the closest we came to an ad with 2014 behavior in mind was after the game when few outside Seattle were watching.

Playing on its supposed ability to save us 30 percent, esurance invited viewers to tweet #esuranceSave30 to enter a contest to win the $1.5 million the brand saved by having the ad run once the “contest” on the field was over.

It was reported that the esurance ad generated over 1.2 million tweets, impressive given the late hour, lopsided score, and the fact that only 22 percent of smartphones owners have the Twitter app. Contrast that with what could have been a text message call to action that could be responded to by all – and followed up with a request for mobile users to join a loyalty club. Hundreds of thousands, if not more, could’ve been there for ongoing dialogue with the brand.

The only SMS call to action came in a familiar way – viewers were asked to vote for the game’s MVP.

Surprisingly, Fox didn’t augment its coverage with mobile content during the game. Given the fact that we had to endure hours and hours of numbing babble leading up to kickoff, one would think the network would use its Fox Sports Go iPad app to show us different angles, engage with analysts, and be involved in a mini Fantasy Football contest that would’ve kept interest despite the lopsided score.

Yes, there were Shazam prompts, but there was nothing new there. I still question whether Shazam is the right vehicle on the loudest of days of television watching.

Looking at a few of the spots:

– Ford failed to “double down” with back-to-back commercials without extending the new Fusion intro to mobile

– At the top of the telecast, Mountain Dew’s Kickstart commercial was so 1975. It was good creative with no hint of mobile.

When the game ended, and the fireworks went off around me in Seattle, all I could think of was the Radio Shack ad that said ‘The 80’s called and wants its store back.”

Well, it’s 2014 and I want my second-screen experience – and the untapped engagement possibilities that come with it – to come to Super Sunday. Without it, the only thing super are the Seahawks.

How Mobivity Brings Businesses More Customers More Often

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The following is an executive Interview conducted by the Droid Report with Jeff Hasen, CMO of Mobivity And Author Of Mobilized Marketing:

Droid Report: Mobivity is an award-winning provider of proprietary mobile marketing technologies and solution which you were appointed as Chief Marketing Officer during summer of this year. Can you tell us more about your role and some insight on Mobivity’s upcoming marketing initiatives for 2014?

Jeff Hasen: Mobivity’s mission is to bring businesses customers more often. The company’s expertise is in local engagement via mobile for individual locations of a large corporation like Chick-fil-A down to the Mom and Pop entities that can thrive with mobile solutions. Our mobile loyalty messaging via SMS taps into the ubiquitous activity and interest of smartphone and feature phone users. Our innovative mobile loyalty Stampt™ app that QSR’s and local businesses use to incent customers with paperless “punch card” that rewards for multiple visits. My role is multi-faceted, with a big emphasis on education and identifying and evangelizing the proof that mobile works.

Droid Report: As a top Chief Marketing Officer on Twitter, you recently tweeted the following about the revamp of Stampt last week, “@jeffhasen Proud of revamped http://stampt.com – our #mobile loyalty #app that enables businesses to turn consumers into loyal customers #mobivity .“ What are some app features that inspire loyalty?

Jeff Hasen: According to Deloitte, retailers who take meaningful steps to drive consumer loyalty are 88 percent more profitable than their competitors who do not. Other studies show that customers belonging to a loyalty card program visit a business twice as often and spend four times as much money. With Stampt™, businesses replace paper stamp cards and attract new customers when the 100 nearest locations with Stampt are presented. Sales are enhanced through push notifications of the latest offers.

Droid Report: C-level executives have been bullish about the business of digital. A recent McKinsey Global Survey indicates that engagement through social-media channels before, during and after a sale is a top priority. The survey also reported by comparison, companies have been slower to adopt digital approaches to engaging employees, suppliers, and external partners. How do you feel about Mobivity’s digital customer-engagement practices?

Jeff Hasen: Mobivity’s clients win because the solutions are permission-based. Consumers have raised their hands and said that they want to engage with particular brands. The key is relevance. That’s why daily deals are waning – instead, permission-based mobile programs that address an individual’s needs and wants provide a great ROI. It’s because the communications are one-to-one rather than one-to-many.

Droid Report: Do you feel confident in adapting digital strategies with the pressures that exist for marketing today?

Jeff Hasen: Absolutely. Marketers need to fish where the fish are. Smartphone penetration now exceeds 50 percent. You will be hard-pressed to find consumers who aren’t multi-tasking while watching television or shopping. In many ways, what used to be passive is now interactive. And savvy marketers provide value to eager mobile users.

Droid Report: As mobility matures, the industry expects a tipping point for organizations in 2014. CMOs today have also been adjusting to the new reality of the critical role of the CIO and Information technology equating to marketing success. Marketing executives have pressures to better optimize for Android mobile and other mobile devices. What are your thoughts on the transitioning impact on CMOs within different mobile areas?

Jeff Hasen: Mobile marketing cannot live on an island. No marketing channel can. Successful programs begin with the identification of business objectives. Then strategies and tactics are built to meet or exceed the objectives.

Droid Report: Ensuring data quality is also considered another important area with data having to derive personalized results relevant to the consumer. Innovation could add a lot of value to such areas. What advice would you give to CIOs today to become a facilitator and not an obstruction?

Jeff Hasen: Security and privacy are of utmost importance. CIOs need to be cautious and follow best practices, but also realize that as businesses’ constituencies have gone mobile, organizations need to adapt with the times.

Droid Report: Juniper Research forecasts mobile location-based services revenue to reach more than $12.7 billion by 2014. There was an interesting insight from you via your website relaying, “ I have no quibble with the assertion that indoor location-based services will mature in 2014. There is value for mobile users.” Growth of mobile adoption has been spurring a plethora of marketing channels. Do you feel this to be excessive and significant pressure for CMOs and marketers to become even more diversified with having the right knowledge, strategies and expertise?

Jeff Hasen: Significant pressure, yes. Excessive pressure, no. As much as some marketers might want to do what they’ve done for years, they need to work on more than direct mail pieces and mobile web sites. More commerce and decisions are being made via mobile devices and this trend will only accelerate in 2014.

Droid Report: Mobilized Marketing: How to Drive Sales, Engagement, and Loyalty Through Mobile Devices from Wiley Publishing is the book you had authored last year. Your book offers examples from more than 130,000 campaigns for readers. Is there any advice you may have on executing an effective mobile strategy?

Jeff Hasen: With mobile, everything and nothing has changed. Businesses still need to sell stuff. It’s the how that’s different. But we all need to follow proven marketing principles – map to business goals and determine what in the marketing mix fits best to achieve those.

Droid Report: Jeff, you are also an instructor in the Rutgers Mini-MBA program. You also co-created the certification program for the Mobile Marketing Association and actively train marketers and others on mobile’s definitions, techniques and benefits. What would you like to see accomplished through your “Moments of Trust” lessons?

Jeff Hasen: I’ve been talking about “Moments of Trust” for more than a decade, long before the mobile device became so important to us all. These are touchpoints for a business and a consumer that drive sales and loyalty. It used to be said that you could lose the battle for public opinion in two hours. It is more like two minutes these days when consumers can use mobile devices to post to Facebook, Twitter or text and influence others. In many ways, I don’t see them as smartphones or feature phones. Instead, I see them all as megaphones that can make or break a brand.

Droid Report: (DIY) mobile marketing technology has been popular with both big and small businesses, with easy-to-use app builders compatible with the Android platform. Motorola has even unveiled its own DIY smartphone ‘Ara’ project with Phonebloks last October. Mobile devices and DIY tools appear to offer great opportunities and capabilities. What are your thoughts on its future?

Jeff Hasen: I don’t believe that DIY tools and small and medium sized businesses were made for each other. SMBs wake up every day to make sandwiches, dry clean clothes, and the like. These business owners need to be sensible when it comes to mobile. I believe core products and services are permission-base databases built through SMS opt-in, a mobile loyalty program, and simple mobile web sites that show hours, location, and featured products. Often times, a company like Mobivity is needed for coaching, expertise, and the technology.

Droid Report: Is there anything else you feel Android users and the Android market should know?

Jeff Hasen: Yes. Mobile works. A quick service restaurant franchisee in Dallas says that each SMS opt-in is worth $10 a month in incremental sales. A four-location pizza operator has more than 10,000 unique Stampt users – 50% of his customers – and sees mobile loyalty as a differentiator. There are tens of thousands of successes. Mobile has long past the “nice to have” phase for businesses who need more customers more often.

Everything and Nothing Has Changed With Mobile

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Mobivity’s CMO Jeff Hasen was asked by Wireless Week to assess the use of mobile by brands and small businesses. Here is his response:

“Even in 2013, years after mobile marketing has proven its worth, many brands continue to take tepid steps that leave them trailing their competitors and, even more importantly, disappointing and irritating their customers and prospects.

“A common challenge these marketers face is that they fail to acknowledge that everything and nothing has changed with mobile. The savvier brands know that the what is the same – they need to sell more product and build loyalty. It’s the how that is different.

“There is a large opportunity for those who map mobile strategies and programs to overall business goals.

“How large? Just ask mobile users.

“In survey after survey, we see that consumers are interested in joining a permission-based mobile loyalty club. The numbers consistently register at around one-third, which in the United States equals more than 100 million people. The more interesting number to me is how many say that have yet to be approached by a brand that they trust – more than 70 percent feel this way.

“The takeaway? We actually have a large number of consumers who have raised their hands and said that they are interested in being marketed to on their terms. Yet many businesses fail to pay attention to the customer, which, of course, is ill-advised whether we’re talking mobile or not.

“In my Mobilized Marketing book, Michael Bayle, a longtime mobile executive who is now Senior Vice President and General Manager of ESPN Mobile, said that consumers are rewarding brands that provide a positive mobile experience and punishing others who fail to deliver.

“Bayle assesses the situation this way:

“’They (marketers) have two choices – they can either ride the wave or watch the wave pour over them. We can equip them with a surfboard, equip them with the right tools so that it’s just not an investment and a spend but there’s tactically at the end of the day some return on investment we’re collectively monitoring that is better for their brand.’”

“And better for the bottom line, not to mention the customer.”

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The full article is here – http://www.wirelessweek.com/articles/2013/08/magazine-ups-and-downs-ads-going-mobile

SMBs Embrace Customer Loyalty Programs

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NetNewsCheck reported on the big opportunity for SMBs to create and profit from customer loyalty programs. Mobivity’s Stamp was prominently mentioned.

Here’s the article:

By Michael Depp and Eric J. Smith

Small businesses continue to be enamored with customer loyalty programs — with 38% currently offering such a program and another 21% planning to offer a loyalty program in the next year — according to new data from BIA/Kelsey. The findings are broken out from the company’s “Local Commerce Monitor,” its ongoing study of the advertising behaviors of SMBs

Small businesses estimate 17.7% of their total business in the next 12 months will be generated by customer acquisition promotions such as discount deals, daily deals, coupons or similar offers, BIA/Kelsey found. These promotions may or may not be aligned with a loyalty program.

“The data indicates solid interest and intentions in loyalty programs, which are becoming an increasingly important tool for customer retention,” Steve Marshall, director of research for BIA/Kelsey, said in a statement. “Going forward, we believe the proportion of business generated from both loyalty programs and promotions will rise significantly, as SMBs increasingly tailor their offerings to frequent customers and specific customer segments.”

Many of these loyalty programs are relatively unsophisticated, using paper-based methods, such as punch cards.

“In my mind that is driven directly by the fact that over half the programs extant that are being run by SMBs are home grown and therefore not very sophisticated and probably don’t tie in to other systems like CRM systems,” Marshall said in an interview.

BIA/Kelsey found that 54% of SMB loyalty programs are home grown. Just 38% of SMBs with home grown programs have an electronic tracking method.

Only 6% said their loyalty program is provided by a credit card company and is linked to the customer’s credit card. Another 6% offered a loyalty program provided by a third party other than a credit card company, including a new players in the space such as Stampt, FiveStars, Belly and Open Table.

Marshall says that opens up a large opportunity for service providers and credit card companies to enter the space and provide SMBs with more sophisticated platforms that link into a CRM system or a payments platform.

Many SMBs find loyalty programs come with inherent difficulties, with 56% of respondents agreeing with the statement that the identification and/or record keeping requirements of our customer loyalty program should be much simpler.

“That’s another reason why we believe there’s a third-party opportunity here,” Marshall says. “As long as there’s no great pain of implementation — it can be run off their POS and/or links in easily to some kind of CRM or customer list management or email program.”

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