Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Push Technology and Your Mobile Marketing Campaign

Push Technology and Your Mobile Marketing CampaignPush technology refers to sending direct messages or communications to a push capable client (i.e. a mobile device) from a centralized broadcast (messaging) server. Whereas with pull technology the client requests specific data from a server and the server responds by sending data to the device (eg. For website browsing) instead, push technology allows a user to ‘opt-in’ to certain messages that will be sent directly to their mobile device. Push messages can be sent using a variety of methods. The most common push technology is Short Message Service (SMS), which is used to send text messages from one mobile device to another. Then there is Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), which uses both SMS and Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) to deliver multimedia messages. MMS is used particularly to send pictures and video from one mobile device to the next. By using these tools you can actually broadcast a message that can activate applications or alerts on a mobile device.

The Apple Push Notification Service is a service created by Apple that was launched with iOS 3.0 in 2009. Push notifications require an active Wi-Fi or cellular connection. They are basically an easy way for iOS apps to provide instant alerts and related information to users. Push notifications allow different apps to notify you of new messages or events without you needing to actually open the application. This is similar to how a text message might make a sound and pop up on your screen. Push technology is a great way for apps to interact with users in the background, whether it is a new email or someone tagging a picture of you on Facebook. Whenever an event takes place that causes an app to send a notification, the notification is pushed to the user by one of three options: sound, on screen alert, or badge. Most apps that support push notifications allow users to select which of the three notifications (if any) they would like to use to make them aware of updates. In addition to pushing messages to the screen, push notification also allows apps to display a number or ‘badge’ on the app’s icon. For example, the Mail icon will show the number four if you have four unread messages.

Local and push notifications are great for keeping users up to date with relevant content, whether your app is running in the background or inactive. They also have great marketing potential as they allow for communications to go directly to a customer’s mobile phone from a centralized server. This has a wide array of benefits as it can boost your overall marketing strategy, while reducing the costs of communication. It is also possible to personalize the messaging, since most mobile devices have a single owner who will likely have it with them all day. The notifications also forces a certain level of interactivity, as the owners are likely to view the new messages and updates as soon as they come in.

Finally, messages can be broadcast directly to multiple customers at the same time, in a very targeted manner, which reduces the number of uninterested customers who would likely be receiving your messages. BlackBerry Messenger and WhatsApp are all mobile-platform messaging applications that are used to “push” a message to your friends. As more and more companies begin adopting push technology to push information to their customer’s mobile devices the possibilities for an effective mobile marketing campaign becomes even more exponential. If your mobile marketing campaign isn’t already using push technology you should consider using it right now.

Marketing As a Conversation

If you ask 20 different experts to define marketing, you’re likely to get 20 different answers. Marketing is the process of educating people about your products or services. It’s how you go about building your brand. It’s what takes place before the sale. Marketing is conducting research to learn about your prospects and customers. It’s the activity that keeps the company looking to the future rather than focusing just on today.

The truth is, marketing is all these things and more, which can make it seem like a complex, difficult activity for small businesses with limited resources and no formal marketing training. At its most basic, however, marketing is a conversation. Specifically, it’s a conversation between you and your prospects and customers that needs to accomplish three essential goals:

  • Determine your ideal customer – those who have a legitimate need for your product or service and have the financial resources to purchase it.
  • Identify your ideal customer’s most important challenges, issues and concerns in regards to your product or service.
  • Help them understand how your product/service/solution addresses those concerns better than anyone else while offering the best value for their money.

Do these three things well, and attracting new customers – which is one of the primary goals of marketing – gets a lot easier. Which means you can spend more time actually delivering your product or service and less time struggling to get people interested in it.

Taking the Mystery Out of Marketing

When you start looking at marketing as a conversation, it raises a number of questions. Who should you be talking to? What should you say? How do you say it in a way that motives people to engage with you? What tools and technologies should you use to engage people in conversation?

The process of answering these questions takes much of the mystery and complexity out of marketing. More important, it helps to resolve perhaps the biggest mistake that most small businesses make – trying to market their product or service to the whole world rather than carefully targeting their audiences. No business can be all things to all people. Answering these marketing conversation questions enables you to deliver a targeted, focused message that makes the best use of your time and limited marketing dollars.

Approaching marketing as a conversation also resolves another common marketing blunder – talking at your customers rather than with them.

Conversation implies a two-way dialog. You talk while the other person listens. Then they talk while you listen. If you discover a mutual interest, the conversation continues. That’s why the Internet and social media have caught on so quickly as marketing tools. When used properly, they make it easy and cost-effective to engage prospects and customers in two-way dialog.

During this two-way dialog, listening is by far the more important part of the process. Today’s B2B customers don’t want to be sold; they want someone to help them make the right buying decision. They want someone who will educate them about the questions they should be asking in order to make the best buying decisions. They want someone who will act as a trusted partner rather than just a vendor. In order to become a trusted partner, you must listen closely to your customers, and listen well!

If you’re not getting a good return on your marketing efforts, go back to the starting point and figure out who you should be talking to. Take the time to dig in and uncover their most pressing problems and concerns (by asking a lot of questions and then listening). Then engage them in a conversation about how you can help resolve those challenges in a cost-effective manner.

When you hold the right conversations with the right people, marketing becomes much easier and lot more effective. That’s an outcome that every small business would like to see.

Jeremy Durant, Business Principal at Bop Design
Bop Design is a San Diego Web Design and Marketing Agency
Bop Design is a boutique marketing communications firm. We express your business’ values through branding, advertising, print design and custom web design and development. We also help attract your ideal customer through affordable seo services and search engine marketing. Our focus is on small businesses that want an external team of marketing specialists to help give their brand an edge in the marketplace.

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