Smart Phones – Making Them Work for Your Business With Inexpensive Marketing

So here we are in the age of technology with so much going on it’s sometimes too much to think about. With the integration of smart phones into our world we simply cannot ignore their benefits when it comes to marketing our businesses!

Now don’t start freaking out here, you don’t need to know much about technology such as building applications and such to maximise the marketing effects these gadgets can have on your business. It’s just simple yet effective promotion of your business that is proven to effectively generate hot sales leads for your business as well as boost your other marketing efforts.

Most businesses these days have a website; if you don’t then you need to get one ASAP! Websites are a great interactive and informative tool for customers who are looking for your products and services and they are like a shopfront for your business. Many businesses spend huge money in driving traffic to their websites to generate more sales and increase their online presence. Many businesses simply have not considered how smart phones can be a great source of traffic to their website but this is something we simply cannot overlook with so many people owning and using smart phones on the go daily.

We all want to get our company information out there, that’s why we list our businesses with yellow pages, online directories and much more. Imagine getting all of your company details sent through to thousands of people within your region or country daily with all of your business details right there at your fingertips! Again, smart phones can achieve this for your business.

How can smart phones do all of this for you? Well its simple, through the power of SMS marketing we can now send through a marketing promotion directly to someone’s mobile phone. Now of course they wont all be smart phones but for the majority that are, we have more than just SMS marketing taking place here.

You can actively plan your SMS marketing campaign to cover more than one area of your marketing. Which in effect can either save you money on other forms of marketing, or simply bring you more business and marketing at an extremely low cost.

Using smart phones for building more traffic for your business website

With the technology of smart phones you can now send an SMS message promoting your business, products and/or services and also include in that SMS message your website which will promote more traffic to your website, with the simple click of the link on the SMS message you will have more traffic coming through quickly to your website every time you utilize SMS marketing.

Smart phones sharing your business email

These days many people prefer contact via email, its free, easy and accessible. You can include your email address in your SMS messages as well which allows people to contact you directly via email in regards to your products and services.

Smart Phones and your phone number

Including your business phone number in the SMS will allow the smart phone owner to simply click on that number to dial it. With such simple functionality you will find that your incoming calls will increase quite dramatically.

So now that you can see quite simply how easy it is to utilize this technology to effectively market your business you need to simply think of a promotion or product / service you would like to get out there for your business. Something to catch peoples eye and get them clicking on your website directly from their phones, emailing you on the go and calling you with just one click.

This inexpensive way of marketing simply isn’t being used as much as it should be; it seems Australia has fallen behind the times a little with this whole technology thing especially with small businesses. But now you can see that you don’t need to get too technical, it’s simply a matter of understanding how to use technology to your businesses advantage.

You don’t even need to actively put this into place yourself. You can simply enlist the services of a company who specialize in business marketing and can set up an SMS Campaign for your business, with pricing from a maximum of 10c per message which decreases with the amount you order and includes replies of any SMS messages to be sent directly to your requested email address you simply can’t go wrong. You can even get discounts the more you order. But you can start off small with just 1,000 messages just to test the market for your product. You can also select the time period you would like the SMS messages sent over, exact times, dates and number of SMS messages to send. And you don’t even need to lift a finger. You have simply got to love technology these days!

To incorporate SMS marketing into your business really is a simple and inexpensive process. It will certainly make your phones ring hot, your emails fill up with enquiries and potential sales. And your website receives much more traffic and improves its online presence. So get your business that technological edge today without the headache!

Feel Good About Using Direct Mail Marketing and Still Be Eco-Friendly

Direct mail marketing has been around for a long time. The idea that a company can market one on one keeps it a popular form of advertising. It is also an effective means of contact for small businesses in particular. With this being the age of “going green” it is still possible to use this marketing tool and feel good about it.Some people think that direct mail is a complete waste of our natural resources and causes the destruction our forest and many other natural resources. Did you know that mail is made from a renewable resource? The vast majority of paper produced in America today comes from trees grown for that specific purpose. The forest industry ensures that the number of trees each year is increasing, so trees are not a depleting resource. In fact, forest land in the United States has increased by 5.3 million acres in the past three decades.Another interesting fact: studies show more than 70% of Americans shop direct. Direct mail is therefore a green way to shop. If Americans replaced two trips to the mall each year with shopping by catalog, we’d reduce our number of miles driven by 3.3 billion–a 3 billion pound reduction in carbon dioxide and a savings of $650 million on gas alone.The production of household advertising mail consumes only 0.19% of the energy used in the United States. That number is total energy used, from recycling materials to the cost to print. Those are some spectacular numbers.Did you know that mail represents only 2.4% of America’s municipal waste stream?Want an even “greener” direct marketing idea? If you use a direct mail company that recycles left over material for your direct mail marketing that can make a bigger impact on waste production. For those companies that have the ability, try incorporating web-to-print advertising. By printing material as it is needed there is zero waste involved.When it comes to the advantages of using direct mail marketing as part of a well rounded campaign, here is a fact to remember. Direct mail is critical to the economic well-being of communities, businesses and charities throughout the United States. In 2007 it represented more than $686 billion in sales, supporting jobs at more than 300,000 small businesses across the country. With small businesses being the backbone of most local economies that says a lot.Non-profit organizations raised nearly $200 billion from generous donors through direct mail in 2007. Even though the amount raised per person by direct mail marketing is smaller, the total amounts are higher than by any other means. Imagine how many social programs that help those in need would shutter their doors without direct mail marketing?Finally, did you know that more than 80% of U.S. households read some or all of their advertising mail? What other type of marketing tool can reach a consumer with that kind of coverage?
Not bad for a time tested marketing method.The next time you wonder why your business should consider direct mail marketing as part of your advertising campaign, do it. You might end up being pleasantly surprised.

The Measures of Success: Do Your Marketing Materials Meet One of These Criteria?

It’s important to develop a purpose for your marketing materials before you begin creating them. Not only will the planning facilitate effectiveness, but it will also help you measure results in the end.

It might sound remedial, but the outcome of your collateral should be the most important factor, not the collateral itself. Make sure the goal is at the forefront of every phase of production, and don’t try to do too much with a single project. Ask yourself, “Which of these five objectives am I looking to achieve?”

Building Brand Awareness

Successful businesses have stories. When consumers like the stories, the businesses are successful. This is the central dialogue of every effective brand awareness campaign, regardless of style, method, format, or level of complexity.

Look at the growth of the organic food movement. If you walk the aisles of Whole Foods, you will see tales about local farmers, happy cows, and hand-picked produce. People aren’t just buying dinner; they’re buying stories. And it’s the copywriters who cultivate this connection between producer and consumer.

World famous food writer, Michael Pollan, refers to this evocative marketing prose as a literary experience. It makes food choices special, transforming an egg or a piece of chicken or a bag of arugula from nourishment to an intellectual experience with complex aesthetic, emotional, and even political dimensions.

When you develop a producer/consumer relationship with this kind of depth, you help grow bonds with your customers. Just by committing to your story, you’ll begin to sow the seeds of brand awareness that will bear fruit for many years to come.

Supporting Sales

The ultimate goal of any business is to increase sales and revenues. Marketing collateral such as direct mail, catalogs, and point-of-sale brochures can all play a vital role.

The most important aspect of supporting sales with marketing collateral is to begin by considering the sales process as a whole. Don’t try to create a piece that covers the entire process. Instead, figure out which step you want to support, and plan accordingly.

For example, if you’re looking to cultivate new leads, try a direct mail postcard with short, snappy phrases and statements that grab the reader’s attention. Introduce them to the product, and lead them to the next step of the sales process. Instead of trying to sell them a widget directly from an initial postcard, direct them to your website for more information, instruct them to call a 1-800 number for the latest offer, or even ask them to bring the postcard to your store to receive a 10- percent discount.

If you already have the sales leads and are looking to supplement a later phase of the sales process, a different format might work best. Perhaps you have a team of salespeople who need to provide detailed information about your product line. Try a catalog to underscore the important benefits you’re providing, include a call-to-action, and have your sales team leave them behind.

When creating marketing collateral in support of sales, it’s important to define what part of the process you’re looking to support. Can you send a piece of collateral that attempts to do all the work in one shot? Sure. Will it work? Probably not. Should you even try it? There are more effective ways to support sales. Define your goal, and stay focused.

Projecting Thought Leadership

According to the Information Technology Services Marketing Association, nearly two-thirds of all consumers conduct their own research before making purchases. This means most people who are ready to buy already know details about what you’re selling. They’ve read the ratings and reviews. They’ve seen all the articles. They’re educated. But who creates all this information?

In the last few years, we’ve seen an outpouring of fresh and relevant content. From stay-at-home moms blogging about childcare products to multi-billion dollar corporations publishing white papers about the newest software solutions, our collective vision of marketing is changing. With the birth and development of content marketing strategies, we’ve seen companies move away from the traditional sales pitch in favor of posting valuable content and information. They want to be seen as thought leaders, not just salespeople.

Essentially, content marketing places emphasis on providing relevant information to potential and existing customers. The idea is that as your consumers begin to see you as a valuable source of information, they begin to trust you. Trust leads to reader retention and brand loyalty. As you continue to provide useful information to your now eager audience, the consumer begins to see you as a thought leader in your industry, not just someone selling something. And it’s common sense that consumers like to buy things from companies that are trustworthy and consistently project leadership in their industry.

From blogs to case studies and from white papers to editorials, the supply of useful information is almost endless. It seems like everyone has something to say about pretty much everything. So if everyone else is influencing buyers with relevant information, shouldn’t you be, too?

Introducing a New Product or Service

People like the concept of new. No matter what it is, they like being the first to know, the first to try, the first to taste, the first to buy. It’s human nature.

Sometimes companies run into a lack of purpose when it comes to the development of marketing collateral. They often forget that news can sell, and even when it doesn’t, it can open doors that eventually lead to sales potential.

Introducing new goods and services is one of the most important reasons for the development of marketing pieces. Tell your audience what’s new with your organization, and be even more effective by creating a level of exclusivity. Never underestimate the power of telling someone they are part of a select few who can try something first.

Facilitating Internal Communications

It’s common for companies to focus on selling to customers, but one of the most overlooked marketing efforts is actually done internally. Many companies forget to “sell” the business to their own employees, which is surprising because it’s those same employees who are out there “selling” the business.

Everyone needs to be up-to-date. They need to buy in and be on the same page, and traditional marketing collateral can help. Meetings are important, but unless they consistently present a visceral experience, the same information can be conveyed by email or newsletter. And the great thing about using traditional marketing collateral is they won’t interrupt employees from their daily tasks like a meeting will. Plus, you’re giving people the option to read company news on their own time.

Internal communications can be just as valuable as your inventory or hardware. Like servicing computers and fax machines to maximize their potential, opening up lines of communication with your employees is a way to get the most out of your human resources.

Companies that fail to capitalize on this potential are often the ones that fail to view their workers as true resources. Just like database servers and delivery trucks, the people who work for you need maintenance, too.