Government Funds Mobile Industry

I love when the government helps our business. For the second year, the United States Postal Service (USPS) is running a Mobile Barcode Promotion where they provide an upfront 2% discount on commercial Standard Mail® and First-Class Mail® that includes a 2D barcode on it. I think it’s very exciting to see the government participating in building awareness of emerging technology and supporting the growth into the mobile frontier.

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E-mail vs SMS

Often times when I’m speaking to new clients, and talking about the true power of SMS marketing they reference their e-mail list.  Perhaps I’m just too close to these forms of marketing but is it not common knowledge that most reports say that the open ratio on e-mail marketing is below 15 or 5 percent?  Listen, I know it was hard work to build that e-mail database, and chances are you did it yourself so there is also a bit of pride that goes along with it.  Please just understand that it’s not the best way for you to put butts in the seat, or hands on the counter.  It’s just one tool, that peaked a long time ago. Continue reading

Scalability

In Telecommunications and software engineering, scalability is a desirable property of a system, a network, or a process, which indicates its ability to either handle growing amounts of work in a graceful manner or to be enlarged. – Wikipedia. Scalability is important in Mobile Marketing in many ways, but there is only one we will focus on today. Continue reading

“Be Like Water…”

Without getting into the vast details, we have a business philosophy here at Mobile Card Cast that is simply to, “Be Like Water.”  It stems from a Bruce Lee quote where Lee goes on to explain how water can be anything.  Put water in a cup, it becomes the cup.  Put water in a tea pot, it becomes the tea pot.  Take into consideration that water is essential to life, and also is one of the strongest forces that we are aware of on our planet today, and you have yourself a rather deep and perhaps complicated philosophy in just three little words.  Be like water.

I think our philosophy can be adopted by many businesses, no matter the size.  It would be hard to argue that being everywhere is not a good thing in a growing business, so long as you can support the effort.  To me, this is where mobile factors in.  Think about your business, are you limited?  Are you NOT, like water?  Perhaps you have a store front, or a warehouse, maybe both… Perhaps you’re on eCommerce website, a service provider, or a content provider…  Are you really everywhere, or at least everywhere you should be?  Maybe you figure, you’re online with a website and that means that anyone can find you and that’s good enough.  Well if that website doesn’t work on mobile phones, my friend, you aren’t anywhere at all.  Now mobile isn’t the one stop solution for everyone to be everywhere but it certainly makes sense for many types of businesses.  Here are some examples:

Plumber (Service Provider): Sure, you’re in the yellow pages, and have a website.  But when the power goes out, and the pipe freezes and breaks, what is today’s consumer most likely to do?  Grab their phone and go to Google.  That’s what.  So if they search for Plumber in their area, and your site comes up, can they get your info? Does it format for mobile?

Daily News Site (Content Provider): You make your revenue one of two ways, the first being advertisers.  You provide your content for free, and your advertisers foot the bill.  Don’t get blinded by an app, at that point your really just telling certain consumers that they’re good enough to consume your content.  The second way you generate revenue is by subscription, if you were a consumer would you pay for content that you could only consume on your desktop or laptop and not on your mobile?  I know I wouldn’t.

Car Dealer (Locational Based): Whether you want to go as far as making sure your inventory, payment calculators, and car features are listed on a mobile site or not, you at least need to have a mobile site that formats for phones with your basic information.  I can personally say that I was shopping for a car and skipped a dealership that I was potentially going to spend north of $30,000 at because I couldn’t get their address when I searched for them on my mobile phone.  Their website didn’t load, and I didn’t go back to Google to try and filter out a phone number or the address, I just moved on down the road to where I knew there was a dealership.  That day a bought a car, true story.

As you can see, many cases for the uses of mobile can be made.  And really this is just the tip of the iceberg as SMS marketing (text message marketing), data basing, mobile content conversion, and QR Codes can round out a mobile campaign that is like nothing else.  Mobile can be a rewards program, lead generation system, and marketing monitoring tool all in one.  Be sure to learn all the capabilities of mobile, and don’t get sold a simple text messaging campaign unless you can rule out the other capabilities of mobile.  If you need help, ask a pro.

In closing, you must picture yourself, your customers, your friends, your colleagues, the people you see on the street as you go to work, the cop sitting in his car on the side of the road, the waitress, the cashier, the receptionist… everyone.  What do they ALL have in common.  I’d bet good money that their mobile phone is within 3 feet of them if it’s not already in their hands.  So if you want to “Be Like Water,” if you truly want to be everywhere…  You need to be mobile.

Mike Batiste

V.P of Business Development

Mobile Card Cast, NY

Ways to use SMS & Mobile Web.

Historically when I speak with clients, or potential clients I like to merely educate them on what mobile is, what the capabilities and feature sets are, and rely on their expertise of their business and day to day operations to tell me how it fits into their life.  Mobile isn’t always for marketing, although it’s certainly a powerful tool in that realm.  Here are a few examples of how some companies use mobile.

Graceland Tattoo: The unique thing about Graceland Tattoo in Wappingers Falls, NY is that the artists that work there are some of the most talented in the country.  To spite the fact that there are 3 other tattoo shops within 10 miles of Graceland Tattoo, the body art specialists are each booked well into 2011.  So how does mobile work for them?  Well they certainly use it in their advertising, both in their radio & print ads, as well as in store.  But mobile serves them best in another way.  When you come in to make an appointment with an artist, they ask you to text GRACELAND to41045, because if someone does cancel an appointment they can easily blast out an SMS to all customers who have pending appointments with the opportunity to bump up to an earlier date.  Rather than calling a few customers and trying to fill the spot, they can easily communicate with thousands of clients.  When you really think about it, the block of time for an appointment is the most precious thing in Graceland Tattoo.  And no block of time should go wasted.  Mobile solves this problem seconds after it arises.  Since Graceland Launched their mobile initiative in early 2009, they have not had an empty chair due to a canceled appointment that couldn’t be filled.  Recently they launched a new mobile website, because they know the importance of having a presence on the internet that formats for phones.

Traditional Site: http://www.GracelandTattoo.com

Mobile Site: http://www.GracelandTattoo.com (you’ll be automatically redirected) or go direct to http://graceland.mccid.com

Just days away from launching is http://www.AngelText.Me referred to as “Angel Text Me.”  Owner Joshua T. has made it a personal mission of his to spread inspiration around the world, across all forms of media and content consumption.  With the low open ratio of e-mail blasts, mobile marketing was the only solution to building a successful business model for Angel Text Me.  Not to mention, the subject matter, “inspiration” works better by being delivered right to a persons hand, or pocket rather than sitting in an e-mail inbox.   Want some inspiration?  Text ANGEL to 88500 or go to http://www.AngelText.Me

One of my favorite uses for mobile has to be the campaign we recently launched with Timex.  The watch industry has a real problem in that years ago the employees who used to work at stores that sold watches, or at a watch store were knowledgeable in the features, capabilities and brands that were sold.  Currently, that’s not really the case.  Watches are sold all over the place, where Timex cant necessarily rely on a store employee to know which watch works best for the different potential customers.  This point of sale problem get’s solved with Mobile. Now the customers can take the power into their own hands, and by either going direct to http://www.Timex.com or texting in, they can receive all the relevant information to any product that Timex sells.  SMS and Mobile web solved this problem and also set Timex up for a simple, yet impressive Q4 marketing campaign.

I’m a realist, and I’m not going to go as far as saying that Mobile enhances everything, because it doesn’t.  However Mobile is the best solution in many cases of marketing, POS, distribution, scheduling, reminders, and many other scenarios.  What’s most important is that you become educated on the capabilities of mobile, and all forms of technology so you can find the best solution for your problem.

As always, feel free to text MikeB to 88500 to get my contact information right on your phone.

Mike Batiste

V.P. of Business Development

Mobile Card Cast

Mobile for Q4 2010

The mobile industry has really upped its game for the 2010 Holiday Season.  Major companies and small businesses seem to have retained all of the mobile hype that was publicized throughout the year and are ready to put mobile on the front lines.  Trust me when I tell you that the hype was all well deserved, I’m incredibly excited to see all of the positive results that come from the Q4 Mobile Marketing campaigns that will happen throughout the US.  Recently, my company Mobile Card Cast received some press about one of our major Q4 campaigns with Timex.  Read that article here: http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/advertising/7441.html

Do you have a Q4 plan?  Does it involve mobile?  It’s certainly not too late, in fact you have plenty of time!

The Passive Step

In a job market full of college graduates and people with a few years experience under their belt, I stood out because I would walk into any office, shake any hand, look anyone right in the eyes and introduce myself.  I am friendly, social, personable and authentic.  Perhaps your office is full of people like this, many are, but when I came out of school I was being compared to others who had less social skills, others who because of technology, acted differently.  My age group experienced the video game boom, dvd’s, real computers that could actually do things, and more and more technology to keep you locked in your room all day.  You didn’t need more than a few real life friends because you may have several hundred online.  Less time was spent outside playing and conversing and more time was spent inside pounding thumbs on a controller or keyboard.   In this group of people, I stood out.

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Does Your Brand Have Mobile Integrity?

Monday June 14, 2010

As the Rye Town Hilton in Westchester County was home to RISMedia’s 2010 Leadership Conference and “The Real Estate Social Media Summit,” the whole placed buzzed of blog-posts-in-the-making for the nearly 1,000 in attendence—as there was an overwhelming amount of information to soak up in 48 hours.

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The Digital World

In my life, I’ve worked in retail, promotions, I was a DJ on a rock radio station and now I find myself as an Interactive Media Director. Although these jobs are very different, like anything there are some similarities. One similarity is the need for explanation. I would need to explain products and services to the customers of the retail store where I worked as a teenager. Then as a young adult I found myself explaining contest rules while pitching some sponsor information as I worked on the streets as a promotions director. Explanation was a major part of what I did as a radio DJ because, well, if your audience doesn’t understand what you’re saying, they’ll never do anything that you may need them to do. (buy concert tickets, visit the morning show Jock at a car dealer, and all the other crazy things radio stations need to do in order to remain in business.) Most recently I find myself explaining digital media to people, from all walks of life. It seems that everyone needs to know about digital media and new technology, and they need to know for different reasons. A local business owner needs to know about new technologies because they may help him cut costs, or open up a new avenue for marketing to his potential customers. At the same time a person working in sales needs to know about what digital features are now part of what they offer to clients, or what their competitors are offering so they can sell against or around it. At the end of the day, everyone needs to understand what tools and capabilities are out there, and they need to understand for different reasons. Since I’ve been a professional explainer, helping all to understand what’s in front of them for quite some time, I’ll now offer that service to you. Let’s face it, you NEED to know what social networks are, how and why they are used. You need to know what Twitter is and why everyone keeps asking you if you’re blogging. You need to know the difference between and e-mail database of customers and a database of customers who have opted in for you to text message them offers and information. You will definitely need to know the difference between APPs and WAPs and how if at all, it applies to you and what it is that you do. Intimidated yet? Even if you are, there is one thing that all of these elements have in common, and it is the understanding of this common factor that will help you not only understand each individual element, but it will put you in a place, mentally that will help you apply what’s right for you, your business and/or your goals. The common factor is that all of the elements are all located in one place and that location is the Digital World. We’ll start by understanding what that is.

We, as people don’t just live in houses on streets, in neighborhoods that make up towns, in cities of counties that reside in states that make up country’s within continents that make up our world. Within all of that, at any moment we can remove ourselves from that world, and enter the Digital World. I’m not just referring to the kid who sits in his basement and pretends to be a Sorcerer with healing powers while he plays an online role playing game. You are right to say that he is in the Digital World, but so is the business man who has his blackberry 8 inches from his nose while he lay in bed each night. You don’t need to be locked away or positioned in any particular place in the real world, to enter the Digital World. You would only need a point of entry. I assure you that these two worlds do intersect all the time, but for the purposes of understanding we’re going to be looking at the Digital World individually because it is after all very different. To gain an understanding of all the elements that make up the Digital World, you will need to concede to the fact that such a world exists, and people around you in this world are popping in and out of the Digital World all of the time. We as people don’t just live in the real world anymore, we live in both. Almost every single one of us. So I ask you, when it comes time for you to communicate to a certain group of people, to convey a message to them, to advertise, to separate the people of the real world who may be interested in giving you’re their hard earned money in exchange for your product or service, are you taking into account how these people live their lives in both the real world as well as the Digital World? If you’re not, I assure you that you are wasting a lot of money. And not because you aren’t speaking to the right people, but because you’re speaking to the right people the wrong way, or at the wrong time.

To understand the Digital World, let’s compare it to the features that make up our world. The atmosphere of the Digital World is made up of Wi-Fi, wireless, and cell phone 3g & 4g networks. They encompass the entire Digital World, laying a transparent blanket of opportunity to enter the Digital World. The roadways, ship lanes and air routes are the internet. Which creates the ability to navigate through the entire digital world at lightning speed to reach your desired digital destination. A website is a house, business storefront, office or factory, while a blog is a diary or a newspaper article. There is only one thing that the Digital World requires that the real world does not, and that is a point of entry or gateway. Your computer, laptop, netbook, cell phone, smartphone, iPad, etc. is this gateway. It gives you the access to the Digital World that you want. I say, “…the access that you want…” because you choose whether or not to have a cell phone that can access the internet, you choose to own a PC or laptop, the choice is yours. I specifically said that those devices, those gateways give you the access that you “want,” rather than the access that you, “need.” I did this because once you have an understanding of the Digital World you will be able to more accurately know what you need to accomplish the goals you will set.

By Michael Batiste

V.P. Business Development

Mobile Card Cast

Quick Response Codes aka QR Codes

Welcome again to your 10am meeting on Tuesday with your mobile marketing professionals.

This week’s vocab:

Quick Response Code – A quick response code, or QR Code is a two-dimensional bar code that when scanned with a QR code reader will perform an action.  QR code readers can exist as Apps, web utilities, or they can work in conjunction with a camera, which is most common on mobile phones.

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