Apps Offer Sex Appeal in Mobile Marketing, But SMS Still King!

The following is a guest post from franchise friend, Todd Salerno, Vice President Sales, PowerPlay Mobile, a leader in mobile marketing, providing unique technology that businesses rely upon to connect with customers in real time. I first met Todd at last year’s Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference in San Francisco where he facilitated a panel discussion on social media marketing where I was a panelist. Just this past weekend I visited with Todd again – this time at Franchise Expo South in Miami.

In a recent webinar produced by FranSummit and presented by Jeremy LaDuque, CEO at ElementsLocal, we discussed the continued trend towards mobile marketing dominance. We learned that it is projected that by 2014, more people will access search with their mobile device than any other electronic device. That’s less than two years away! With that in mind, and in my continuing effort to provide integrated franchise marketing solutions, I asked Todd to provide some quick insight into mobile marketing. Here’s what he had to say…

“Just to put a fine point on the title of this post, it’s worth emphasizing – while app’s offer sex appeal in mobile marketing, SMS is still king! With 87% wireless penetration in the United States, and still far less than half of US consumers using smart phones, more companies and organizations are using the medium to reach out to existing and potential customers.

SMS is the most effective channel for marketers because of its simplicity, familiarity, and unbiased reach.  Virtually all phones are SMS capable, which means the channel can reach 5 billion subscribers worldwide.  A study by ABI Research finds that consumers worldwide will send more than 7 trillion SMS messages in 2011, indicating a huge opportunity for marketers.  And, according to Nielsen Mobile, the average consumers sends 600 messages per month compared to using less than 200 voice minutes.

So what does that mean for the franchise owner and groups? It means you need to contact customers and potential customers through their preferred communication.  SMS is growing at rapid rate and businesses are starting to take notice.  Many national chains are already utilizing SMS to bring customers back into their stores to create higher sales volumes and keep them engaged.  The best part about it, is that once the business has the consumers opt in for their program, they can keep reaching them.”

About PowerPlay Mobile

With over 30 years of marketing and mobile experience, PowerPlay Mobile helps businesses immediately capture the SMS market. They understand marketing and the power direct connection between franchisees and customers. In summary, SMS works.  The ROI on SMS can be anywhere from 5X-20X greater than traditional media, online display, and  email marketing.  Powerplay Mobile has the ability to:

  • Reach Customers who do not have a smartphone
  • Reach Consumers who you have not engaged with recently
  • Monetize interactions through incentivized offer paths
  • Add the preferred channel of communication for your customers
  • Drive Sales through coupons and deals
  • Create the program you want

Todd Salerno may be contacted by phone at 704-288-0435 or by email at todd@powerplaymobile.com. Be sure to ask him about a free consultation!

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The Digital Holy Trinity – Possibility or Probability?

I was recently asked my opinion of Groupon and I immediately thought of its place within the whole realm of traditional and social media marketing, and how I see its sustainability in small business, including franchising, and if I recommend using group coupon deals at all.

Here’s my opinion, subsequent rant… and a bold prediction!

Groupon and others like it should only be utilized strategically and only for a specific purpose such as generating immediate interest and cash flow for a typically slow period, and to infiltrate a competitor’s customer base. Both of these objectives have been achieved by utilizing a Groupon-type coupon. Further effectiveness is evident as the coupon strategy is enhanced by social media.

Personally, there are so many Groupon copycats that the allure, even from a customer perspective, has diminished considerably from just six months ago. Case in point – I had purchased over 30 Groupons and similar coupons and was happy to use them all. That being said, over the past three or so months I have not purchased a single one. Why? Because before it was one deal per day and I was notified of the same and I could simply decide one way or the other. Now, I’ve got to look at deals, is it family based or not, entertainment or service… just too much of a hassle. Not to mention the bombardment of collateral emails like for Social Escapes by Living Social, etc.

Beyond that, coupons and promotions will be very geo-specific. Actually, social media is becoming very geo-specific which will drive the geo-specificity of coupons and promotions. Facebook has a distinct advantage over many others as they have both Facebook Places and Facebook Deals. Further, they have finalized or are close to finalizing a deal with Foursquare whereby it works hand-in-hand with Facebook Places. As it is, Foursquare populates into Facebook (and Twitter). And mobile phone usage will continue to drive check-ins and geo-specific marketing. Customer Review sites are jumping on the bandwagon and offer check-ins as well.

Where I believe Facebook will prevail as the leader, is the community feature. Basically, a captive audience where fans can realize all, including coupons and promotions, check-ins, customer reviews, sharing information, posting comments, etc. The push to a more mobile-friendly Facebook is already occurring. If you can think it, Facebook is probably working on it. If not, they’ll buy it. Long-term contracts? Facebook deems them as not being necessary. They really don’t need to as no one really competes with Facebook.

Now that Facebook has become more business-friendly, the sky is the limit. I project you’ll see Facebook go after LinkedIn or develop something similar. Twitter could be a possible acquisition. MySpace? That will be interesting especially as Zuckerburg feels the under 13 crowd should be on Facebook. With MySpace, he’d give them more reason to do so… or maybe justification. Foursquare? Some type of merger would be practical. How about the rumors that Apple is stockpiling their cash for a run at Facebook? Now THAT would be very interesting!

On the other front is Google. Certainly, they are a search powerhouse. And, with their acquisition of YouTube, they now have the top two search engines. Yes, YouTube is used for search even more than Yahoo and Bing. But, Google has not done well with social media. Think GoogleBuzz and GoogleWave. So, at what point does Google and Facebook realize they’ve each cornered their own parts of the market. Maybe even covering the whole market? Would that then create the possibility of a Google-Facebook merger? Just think of THOSE possibilities! And, now that Microsoft has purchased Skype, maybe the celestial landscape will include Skype… albeit with an improved mobile application.

So, the winning combination in one way, shape or form is… Search, Social, Mobile. I like to call it the Digital Holy Trinity!

*This post was originally posted on this site May 2011.

Author’s note – As for Google +, it remains to be seen what happens with Google’s latest attempt at social media.  I, for one, believe it will also fall by the wayside as their other attempts within social media have in the past.


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Integrated Franchise Marketing For Franchise Success At All Levels

Integrated Franchise Marketing (IFM) is a term we use at franchisEssentials to describe a comprehensive approach to achieving multiple goals and objectives within start-up, emerging and mature franchise organizations. IFM directs its focus on creating or improving brand awareness for the franchise organization at local, regional and national levels, driving revenue for franchisees, and generating genuine interest in the franchise concept itself.

The key to IFM is the development of a comprehensive marketing strategy that benefits the entire franchise organization, and is in line with the goals and objectives of all parties to the franchise agreement. It includes coordination at all levels to deliver concise, consistent messages that ultimately ensures positive results at franchisee and franchisor levels including:

Franchisee Level

* Local brand awareness
* Increased sales
* Improved communications with corporate office
* Improved communications with fellow franchisees
* Improved profitability
* Increased business value

Franchisor Level

* Regional & National brand awareness
* Increased royalty revenue
* Improved communications with franchisees
* Improved franchisee validation
* Increased interest in franchise concept
* Improved profitability

IFM works within traditional marketing methods and processes through and in conjunction with a very wide spectrum of non-traditional marketing and today’s unique, innovative tools and technology including the many aspects of social media, mobile, and email marketing. In addition, IFM encourages a cohesive, team effort at all levels of the franchise organization through information sharing and process awareness, enhanced by a solid educational approach.

As we are at the halfway point in 2010, and understanding that making things happen in the third quarter is crucial to overall success for the year, there’s no time like the present to develop and implement a plan that will help all within your franchise organization achieve their goals and objectives.

For more information about utilizing Integrated Franchise Marketing (IFM) within your franchise organization please contact Paul Segreto by email or by phone at 832.838.4822.


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