Category: Location based advertising

21 Top Marketing Mistakes Small Business Owners Make

The analogy between proximity marketing and a business is similar to the relationship of body and food. Marketing is the heart of the business. Every business is different so each business has to offer marketing and development, which fits each unique business’s need. There are many ways of developing and marketing for any business, but first let’s find the true concept and definition of marketing.

Marketing definition:

“Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large”.

1- Thinking advertising is marketing:

The biggest mistake most of the business owners make is to think advertising and spending money is the only location-based marketing way exist. This group only focuses on advertising, which when the desire result is not achieved at the end of the month, they complain of how much money they wasted away. Advertisement is merely one of many ways of marketing.

2- You don’t enjoy what you do:

As stated above Marketing has many ways and approaches. The main marketing for your business is to love what you do. Nothing is better than your “Love what you do” attitude since it brings out your creativity, shows your talent and tells everyone how devoted you are to your business. Your daily positive attitude defines the successful future of your business. The love of your business construe in your daily interaction with new clients, employee’s moral and making important and effective marketing decisions. To be a good marketer for your business, first rule is your love for what you do.

3- Don’t have a good business plan:

What is business plan?

“A written document describing the nature of the business, the sales and marketing strategy, and the financial background, and containing a projected profit and loss statement”.

Having a business plan is like having a map. Many businesses start their business ignoring this very effective tool and get lost in the middle of the road. Every business plan states the exact details of the business’s concept and outlines clearly the marketing strategies, profit and loss, demographic, place of business, finances and targeted niche market. In order to make a solid business plan:

A) Know your business inside and out

Knowledge of your business is important to know the answer to all the categories of business plan. If you do not know the concept of your product or service, business plan and the pillar of your business does not exist.

B) Study, analyze and scrutinize

When you know the back and forth of every detail in your business, you can access all the required information needed to project your business in a business plan. In order to access all this information you need to study, analyze and scrutinize every file and information in libraries, city records and valid informative site on the Internet.

C) Print it and have it accessible

When you put all the info together and created your fully detailed business plan, print a copy and keep a file handy and accessible.

Your projected analysis for the business works as a map to your success. Don’t drive to an unknown destination, not having a map on hand.

4- Don’t have any plans:

Marketing and developing its strategy is vital for every business. Marketing works as fertilizer to boost the lawn of your business. Even more importantly, marketing acts like sun to shed light and direction to your business for finding leads for the potential clients. Marketing is like having your open sign on in the dark street. I think I emphasized enough and you understood how important marketing is for any business, small or large.

5- Not analyzing the market for correct pricing.

Every business offers products or services. Then producing and providing the products and services involves certain cost and fees. Setting the price according to the market is very important and cause for a major failure for small businesses if done without market awareness. The root and source to find a perfect price is your business plan. It is necessary for every small business owner to investigate:

A) The demographic income of the targeted niche and audience:

The business plan states the average income of the targeted audience and the niche market. Set prices based on the factual statistic and spending ability of potential clients.

B) Market needs and economy balance:

An involved business owner is always aware of the market needs and the economy balance. Based on your niche market, be on top of the factors of change in economy that can impact your client’s ability to spend. If you deal with bankers and investors, keep up with stock market news and its daily changes and adjust your prices regularly.

C) Competitive market prices:

A business person is always on a lookout for its competitors and is aware of their side of story. It is necessary to know your competitors and adjust your prices based on their offering and similar services.

D) Demand of the product or service:

Investigate the demand before putting the price tag on your product and service. You can find this information through the data in your business plan. Balance your prices based on the market demands;

  • If you projecting a good volume of sale, price it lower than competitors.
  • If the demand is lower and the project of volume is slow, price higher to accommodate the distance between each sale.

E) Uniqueness of the product or service:

A unique product and service in the market attracts more attention. Price it higher than other regular products.

F) Acceptable profit margin range in the area:

Profit margin’s acceptability is always decided based on the market and economy as well as the market demand for the product.

  • Consider a big city. If you have a product or service that is unique, but projecting a high volume of demand, based on the economy and your targeted niche, the profit margin should set higher than normal.
  • In a small community, If you are investing on a product with limited demand, go conservative on your profit margin.

6- Not having any budget

Many small business owners make a big mistake and do not place any budget for daily, monthly or yearly marketing plans. Whatever the profit and loss data projects on your business, it must include certain amount of budget for marketing plans that are realistic and traceable. Unfortunately small business owners mostly have no budget and deduct the cost of marketing plans from their profit data. This particular budget assignment is very effective in the future of business growth. Increase the marketing budget with business slowly reaching the peak of demands for your product and services.

7- Spending money on non-traceable ads

As the market changes, so as the marketing plan, pricing and target audience. Invest and assign marketing plans that are traceable. Traceable marketing means follow-up charts to analyze data.

The worst mistake of marketing is to spend money on a plan that cannot be traced and measured. This marketing mistake is wasting money or in other terms is shooting in the dark.

8- Do not trace the result

Many businesses have assigned a budget for the traceable marketing plan but sadly do not follow-up on the result and do not trace it. This is just the same as spending wasteful money on non-traceable.

9- Think in a closed box:

Each business is unique. Even if the business offers a same product as other business few streets down the road, the two are still unique and different in many ways. The biggest mistake small business owners make is to follow other businesses’ footsteps. Marketing and its strategies should not have any limitation. Think of marketing out side of the box and do not limit the marketing strategies to a cliché approach others do. Be creative and design a plan unique and suitable for the very business.

10- Don’t know what plans to set:

Everyone is familiar with the word marketing. The first conversation when opening a new enterprise is “Lets do marketing!” But do we all really realize the core meaning of it?

I compare marketing strategies and its unique approach to our fingerprints, which is distinctive. Many understand the word marketing but are not familiar with how to set the strategy and the game planning related to the business.

It is a big mistake not knowing how to set the strategies while being fully aware of marketing important role in the business. Since setting the marketing plan requires research, analysis and knowledge of he market, hire a professional researcher and marketer to create the necessary game plan.

11- Assuming the product or service will sell itself:

One of the biggest marketing mistakes is to assume your product or service is going to sell itself. This assumption is misleadingly translating marketing into advertisement. I have met many small business owners who declared that quote-to-quote “I don’t spend money on the marketing, to me I only rely on word of mouth”.

Word Of Mouth is the strongest way of marketing. So what this small business owner was under impression that he does not do any marketing because he thought marketing was spending money on advertisement. So he was counting on the most effective marketing, the word of mouth. Word of mouth consists of two factors:

A) Product or service:

People have to like the product or service to continue talk about it and refer their friends.

B) Customer service

Another major difference between businesses is the level of customer service. I didn’t say the level of good or bad. What I mean is each business owner or employee that has been fully trained to look after a client as a customer service has his or her own charm. This specific charisma and character make the business unique to others and is a major influence for word of mouth.

Let me give you an example of how powerful the word of mouth and spreading the word is to any business. While ago, I worked as a junior manager in an up-scale restaurant. The general manager identified his target niche as young professionals in downtown area. So he hand-picked few employees in the same age range as the targeted niche to use public transportation and talk about the restaurant among each other. His decision, although was not directly traceable, but yet had an amazing effect. How did I analyse the result and witness the proof?

The restaurant offered comment cards, asking “How you hear about us?” and many without any surprise responded via word of mouth in public transportation.

Even if the business owner is avoiding any advertisement cost, they still rely on spread of word about their service and product via the community and the word of mouth marketing.

12- Don’t know the target audience:

To plan and set a marketing strategy, any small business has to have a direct target niche as an audience. Analyze everything about the niche audience. The list certainly is not limited to the audience’s income, age, interest ratio to the product, sex, education, commitment ratio and their loyalty.

13- Don’t know the competition:

The best way to analyze the market is to get familiar with the competition and rivals. It might sound cliché but as the Godfather movie suggested, “Keep you enemy close“. Or if I may rephrase ” Keep your competition close and be aware of their moves”.

This is especially important for small business owners in small community to have a good relationship with other competition. To share my experience in the same restaurant I used to manage, the general manager always encouraged me to go to other local restaurants and dine. He even offered to pay the bill. All I had to do was to analyze everything from the greeting, staff knowledge, manager’s presence, client’s relation and the overall quality. My report helped him to understand his competition strengths and weaknesses.

14- Hiring wrong person to do marketing:

Many small business owners out of desperation and lack of networking, hire wrong people to do their marketing. As we said earlier, every business has unique offering and services so must focus on unique planning for its marketing strategies.

It is the small business owner’s responsibility to hire a professional firm who can relate to the business’s need and offerings.

A good reputable marketing firm whose focus is to promote books and authors in not a good fit for a small local bistro.

15- Underestimate the value of existing clients:

A good businessperson always knows the value of the existing clients;

The best way of follow-up with the existing clients is to create informative data about them. Many small business owners lack this very important source of information. To avoid this mistake, keep a record of every client’s information. If the information requires certain personal data, keep it in a safe and secure place.

A client whom already has experienced your product and service knows about the quality of it. Always do follow-up calls and do not be afraid to ask how they liked the product or service. Even if the client responses back with dissatisfaction is a perfect opportunity for the business owner to fix the problem.

Gain a new customer is costly. I am gong to explain this by an example:

Nancy enters Joe’s café because of a coupon she found in a local magazine offering 10% discount. She solely relies on a menu attraction, prices, quality of the food and customer service. Joe the owner spent lots of money and time for marketing after analyzing the community needs, price affordability and the targeted niche market.

Joe has three ways to collect emails or phone calls for follow back:

A) placing a note pad in front of the cashier’s desk asking new clients to write email or contact info for special promos.

B) Placing a glass bowl by the cashier’s desk offering the weekly draw of free lunch from dropped business cards.

C) Offering comment cards and asking for contact info.

Joe has three ways to accumulate client’s information and follow-up with them. So everyday he goes through all the information and creates a secure data.

Nancy finds the place charming and the food great but not a good customer service. It is Joe’s responsibility to follow-up and gain back Nancy’s business once again to avoid spending all the money and time all over to attract another new client.”

Existing clients are the perfect way to promote every business. Send special offering, communicate with them and even ask them to share your business with their friends. Respect the boundary between proper communication and spamming.

16- Not offering giveaways and novelty items:

One of the most effective ways to attract clients is to giveaway your product or service for free.

A) Test run: Offer a monthly test run of your product and service and giveaway a free sampler. People love to get samplers. It gives them information about your business and its quality.

B) Propose monthly contest: Proffer a monthly contest and giveaway prizes based on participating in your business. People love contest and it excites them to know they can win something. If it didn’t work, Lottery and Casinos didn’t exist.

C) Give out novelties like mugs, pen, key chain, notepad, calculator, shirts and hats with the business information printed on it.

17-Wrong niche:

As a business owner recognizing correct niche market target is necessary for further marketing planning and budget assignment.

To explain this better lets picture a shoe store that carries high-end fashion shoes for women. The first thing that comes into the mind, high-end fashion niche is only younger generation and teenagers. A good business owner will explore the possibilities to analyze further more into the data from business plan to understand the local community needs.

If selling high-end, then its higher quality and higher prices. A teenager on a student living budget cannot be a direct and only target niche. So the correct niche is a professional and higher income spender who is more interested in quality without considering the price tag.

This example clears how a business owner distinguishes the certain target audience by analyzing the local market data from business plan. With enough knowledge in market research, the business owner avoids wasting the marketing budget on a wrong niche.

18-Not participating in community:

“Every big things has small beginning”

Regardless of the geographical target of any business, whether global or corner store in a small village, it all begins with local community.

Who are the first people you would share news with in your everyday life? Family and friends are the strongest link to marketing and spreading the word. It starts from friends and family and spreads to their friends and family and before you know it, is a snowball effect and cumulative.

The local community is the test run before spending a time and money on a dead-end marketing plan.

19- Do not own an informative and representative website:

Internet plays a great deal of connection in people’s life everyday. Many customers use the Internet to search and review local businesses. No matter what kind of business, it requires an informative and user-friendly website. A good business website is a gateway that welcomes customers to enter and experience the business offering.

Many small business owners making mistake and assume their line of business does not need a website. With daily development of technology, people get more connected via Internet and do their shopping online. Search engines get stronger everyday by developing codes and programs to bring up the exact and precise inquiry.

20- Do not appreciate the value of the Internet:

With a vastly growing competition on the Internet and the increase in demand for business development, simply having a website that offer information is not enough. Popular search engines are only producing websites in their search result, which have better ranking. Many small business owners simply making a big mistake by avoiding the presence on the Internet and ignore the growing highway to success. Every business must have an informative website and optimizes the business on search engines, social media and popular relevant forums. This subject of Internet marketing and its highly effective marketing plans is a lot of subject to cover in this article.

21- Expecting too much in short time:

Do not expect too much in a short time. There is always cause and effect but it requires proper time period to produce best effect. A seed needs time to open the surface and grow to a strong tree. But it requires water and good fertilization. Marketing is the water and fertilization to the business. It takes time for a good marketing plan to spread the roots and make a strong holding ground.

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What is location-based advertising & why is it the next big thing?

What is location-based advertising?

Location-based advertising hinges around the fact that wherever we go these days we always carry a mobile with us. And most of us quite happily share our location data with the various apps we use.

This presents an opportunity for advertisers to personalize their messages to people based on their current location. In real time.

Using a person’s location data, gleaned from their mobile device, advertisers can send different messages to people depending on where they are.

Google pin location-based advertising

Imagine you’re walking through a fishing village somewhere in the West Country. You’re browsing on your phone and you see an ad for 30% off pants at H&M. Great. There isn’t an H&M within a hundred miles of where you are. Ignored.

But imagine you see the same message while walking down Oxford Street, and imagine the ad is specific to the Oxford Street branch. Suddenly you’re much more likely to pay attention.

This is a very simplified explanation, and there are plenty of opportunities for brands to get much more creative than that, but the basic principle is there.

Why is it so effective?

Part of it has to do with changing attitudes. As I mentioned above, consumers are becoming more relaxed about their data. But there are a number of other reasons why this channel is proving so effective.

Let’s take a look at those reasons in greater detail.

1. It’s personalized

We already know from various studies that personalized messages enjoy greater engagement than their generic counterparts, and location-based personalization is no different.

By personalizing ads to people based on their location, you are much more likely to show them something relevant.

I’m reminded of walking down Petaling Street in Kuala Lumpur several years ago. I couldn’t move for people trying to sell me sunglasses. Nothing odd about that in itself, except for the fact I was quite clearly already wearing a pair on my face.

There is simply no point making blanket offers to people in the hope they might want what you’ve got.

Finding out what they’re interested in and then personalizing your message is a much more sensible approach.

Location data enables you to do that. You can make offers based on where people are.

You can speak to them in a way that is relevant to where they live (people in Yorkshire use different language and have different ‘quirks’ to those in Cornwall, for example).

Yorkshire stereotypes

2. It’s timely 

One of the key strengths of location-based ads is that they are timely. Because location data is served in real time, there is an opportunity for brands to target people at precise moments.

Store beacons, for example, tell shops when you walk through their door. Creepy to some, perhaps, but for retail brands it means they can send people offers that are completely relevant to them in that particular moment.

Regent Street launched its own app in 2014, enabling shoppers to download it and get real-time offers from shops as they get near.

The scheme proved a success for retailers because people are more likely to enter a shop if they see a particular offer in a specific store, but also because it gives consumers better visibility of relevant deals in the moment they’re looking for them and ready to buy.

3. It’s targeted

Long gone are the days of generic display ads. With the amount of data available for marketers there is no excuse for not targeting your messages.

46% of people say they use ad blockers because ads are ‘often irrelevant’, according to an IAB UK study carried out last year.

If ads are properly targeted, they are almost certain to be more relevant and therefore much less likely to be blocked or ignored.

Localised ads provide a natural opportunity for targeting because people in different geographical locations behave differently, or at least have their own unique quirks.

Or on a more specific scale, whether someone is on a high street or a beach resort, whether they’re out shopping on a Saturday afternoon or out with friends on a Friday night, will determine what type of ad they would be more inclined to pay attention to.

Article source:

Top 4 Location-based Marketing Trends for 2017

Location-based marketing is gaining importance since businesses want to reach their customers on time and at the right place by using contextually relevant, personalised, and multi-dimensional marketing solutions. With multiple location-based technologies such as iBeacon technology, geofencing, NFC, and so on, at hand, retailers need to intelligently gear up for 2016. So, we bring this list of four location-based marketing trends that retailers must watch out for before making this year’s marketing strategy. Let’s start:

1) Mobile app optimization will gain prominence

Mobile-app-optimisationImage source:

This year, we will see businesses specially focus on integrating location-based technologies like iBeacon with their own mobile app. Consumers expect an app to be completely loaded with utmost features. Location-based technologies provide businesses with an opportunity to add exciting elements to their mobile app in order to drive business profit and provide a seamless shopping experience.

Mobile app optimisation will become a core practice with businesses aiming for engaging and relevant app functions. For instance, in retail, a retailer would include facilities like cashless checkout via a mobile app by using beacons. In fact, Juniper Research predicts the number of mobile transactions is projected to reach $3.2 Trillion by 2017. Retailers can also integrate iBeacon technology with the app to deliver contextually relevant content to consumers on time, which can in turn increase sales. According to a study by Research Now, 72% of consumers agree that receiving a relevant offer on their mobile device while shopping in-store significantly influences their chances of making a purchase.

2) Location-based technologies will gain strength on the security front

Location-technologies-become-secureImage source:

Most businesses are a bit wary of using location-based technologies because of the security concerns surrounding them due to the amount and kind of information needed from a user. This year will see consumers win over this fear. Consumers would gain more information about how location technologies work, as businesses will be more transparent about how they will use the information collected. For instance, with beacons, one of the primary security myths has been that beacons can collect information about consumers without their permission. Contrary to this myth, beacons are incapable of tracking consumers as long as the consumers don’t enable location services on their mobile device. Moreover, users are also required to grant permission to each app before access to information. Therefore, in the case of beacons, users can control their privacy by granting or rejecting permissions to a particular app.

In addition, beacons can assist in keeping our personal items much more secure since they enable us to track any object, once attached to it. They can be used at home to track personal devices, at workplace to track employees, in inventories to track expensive equipments, and so on. For example, if a business requires asset tracking, beacons can prove to be a cost-effective solution to keep expensive assets secure.

3) Businesses will focus more on Relationship Marketing

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Relationship Marketing is going to be a major trend this year as personalized, data-driven marketing is becoming increasingly important. The crux of Relationship Marketing, as the name suggests, lies in focussing on building strong loyalty and long-term customer engagement rather than on quick and short-term customer acquisitions. Businesses can earn both loyal customers and brand advocates in this way.

Businesses will strive to build a relationship with a consumer by personalizing their outreach efforts. In fact, a survey by Accenture reveals that nearly 60% of the US consumers want a more personalized shopping experience with real-time promotions and offers. Hence, personalization will be a key differentiator among brands as we move forward.

A great way to incorporate customer personalization, is to leverage iBeacon technology. Beacons help businesses collect relevant data based on consumer behavior to personalize content keeping each consumer’s needs in mind. In retail, a brand mostly builds a relationship with a consumer by rewarding him/her via their loyalty programs for the time and money spent. Today, consumers’ decision to interact with a brand is often based on being rewarded. Retailers will now focus more on ensuring the success of loyalty programs by intertwining them with consumer preferences and needs in the coming time.

4) Industries will witness major investment in IoT

Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the industry landscape rapidly by connecting inert devices to the internet since it gives businesses a great opportunity to customize the user experience based on his/her location. It is growing at a fast pace as is evident from Research firm IDC’s report stating that the worldwide IoT market will grow to $1.7 trillion by 2020 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.9 percent and the number of “IoT endpoints”, i.e. connected devices such as cars, etc, will grow from 10.3 billion in 2014 to more than 29.5 billion in 2020.

Specifically IoT in retail is expected to grow from $6 billion in 2013 to $27.5 billion in 2018, with a CAGR of 35.7 percent. Many retailers are already planning to utilize the immense data generated from IoT to boost their business not only via smarter supply chains, but also by tailoring their marketing strategy for consumers. In fact, retailers are predicted to invest $2.5 billion in IoT over the next five years, according to Juniper Research. This would include investment in hardware like beacons and RFID.

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How Location-Based Marketing Will Evolve in 2017

location-based advertising and marketing technology has seen tremendous growth and improvement in 2016.

Location intelligence is a massive industry. It allows consumer obsession with mobile devices to create significant amounts of data and insights that drive critical decision-making for a wide range of businesses.

But since the space is still nascent, marketers should expect evolution in the year ahead. Here are five predictions for location intelligence in 2017:

1. Location intelligence companies will consolidate
As location intelligence comes into its own, there will invariably be consolidation. No industry or sector can avoid this when there are this many competitors in an exploding industry. It reminds me of when I was part of the early mobile infrastructure-building that led to Quattro Wireless (acquired by Apple) competing against AdMob (acquired by Google) and Millennial Media (acquired by AOL) while many others disappeared or were bought for small change.

In the year ahead, we’ll see some location-based marketing companies team up while others drop off entirely. Ultimately, only a handful (likely just three) of the major players will endure. What will these survivors have in common? Unique assets, differentiated location-based technology and transparent ways of doing business.

2. Clients will demand more transparency
There’s a lot of talk about transparency in location intelligence on the client side, but when push comes to shove, many agencies and marketers currently look the other way.

In 2017, clients are going to demand more transparency from their location intelligence providers. They’ll want to understand how data is being collected, how it is being verified and what the consumer’s role is. Walled gardens will come under pressure to open up, and transparency will help marketers better gauge the accuracy and precision of the data they’re working with. Companies that haven’t moved on to programmatic ad buying will be called out.

3. Publishers will rely on real-world attribution to prove out their value
Over the past 20 years, analytics for digital ad measurement have focused on digital results (including web traffic, ecommerce conversion and data collection). But even though we live in an Amazon world, 92 percent of commerce still happens in physical brick-and-mortar locations, so measuring digital impact is nowhere near sufficient.

Newer attribution products allow publishers to prove their value offline by measuring how successful digital ads are at driving consumers into stores.

A flurry of publishers and platforms will scramble in 2017 to implement sharper real-world attribution tools to show advertising partners how digital ad inventory can drive foot traffic into brick-and-mortar stores. This will open up a new way for marketers to measure results and learn about where their consumers spend their time in the physical world.

4. Location will become much more than a check-the-box strategy
Marketers are missing a massive opportunity to impact their business if they don’t take location seriously. Data is only as good as the insights derived from it and the business decisions made from it.

In 2017, marketers will realize that it’s no longer sufficient to just “check the box.” The smartest brands and companies will turn good quality data into smart, actionable consumer insights and business strategies. These leading brands will want to have more ownership of and expertise in their own location data.

5. Everyone will shift more toward mobile (and more toward location)
Location is mobile, and as Benedict Evans at Andreessen Horowitz put it, “Mobile is eating the world.”

The consumer shift to mobile is very real and something that marketers need to optimize around in order to increase sales in a competitive landscape. Yet many marketers still haven’t wrapped their minds around how rapid acceleration towards mobile impacts their business.

The key point that many miss: Thanks to mobile, advertisers can get a real understanding of consumers based on the places they visit in real time. Location is the cookie of the real world, and companies can use mobile location data to target consumers and measure success, constantly refining and optimizing campaigns with daily data insights.

Companies can no longer afford to ignore the power of location data, and industries that are slow to adopt location intelligence will be trounced by their competitors.

Marketers enamored with the idea of “the next big thing” oftentimes get so caught up trying to identify it that they accidentally overlook critical tools capable of changing their business.

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Learn Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing is set to explode in the next few years. In fact by 2014 it is estimated that mobile internet will overtake desktop internet, existing marketers, brands and businesses realize this and are turning to this effective method rather than other marketing methods such as email marketing campaigns. Sales of popular android and iPhones have skyrocketed and have become a popular method to access the internet and to use social media. Businesses and brands recognize this and are trying to connect with users offering enticing discounts hoping this will be relayed via social networking.

Mobile ads will be localized or relevant to the individual user therefore avoiding bombardment of unsolicited ads, in fact already one half of local searches are performed on a mobile device. This creates staggering opportunities for local businesses and individuals to inform mobile phone users of their offers, products or services with immediate results. Mobile marketing will be an opportunity for local business owners to successfully control and manage their own marketing campaigns, Text message marketing providers have created some very easy to use but powerful platforms to do this, their services can include text message marketing, multimedia, email to SMS, SMS shortcode, mobile website tools as well as providing ongoing support.

Many also offer affiliate programs which will increase existing marketers willingness to learn these location-based marketing strategies. Whilst many businesses will be running their own mobile campaigns there will be many who are unable to do so themselves whether that be lack of knowledge, unwilling or able to learn, too busy or for other reasons. This again will provide opportunities for existing marketers or individuals looking for a new career where they can manage campaigns for others. Learning now and becoming knowledgeable with mobile marketing strategies will no doubt keep you ahead of the competition and will be a skill which will be very relevant for the future.

Research from Yahoo suggests that mobile ads are 50% more likely to annoy than website ads, users have indicated that whilst they do not object to relevant, simple ads, they do object to ads which are unsolicited and interrupt their normal everyday activity. This will be an ongoing challenge for marketers and will require them to have a clear understanding of their customers needs as well as tolerance for receiving marketing information. Concise, relevant call to action will be needed for successful mobile marketing. With increasing job redundancies and competitive job vacancies why not take on a new challenge and become a local mobile marketer in your area.

Industry’s most advanced location-based services technology that works on WiFi, Beacons Bluetooth. Proximity MX is a proximity marketing and customer engagement platform that makes it easy to engage, inform and entertain your customers

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Make It Stronger With Video and Location-Based Marketing

Today the hot topic in marketing is video; and tomorrow it might be another component of video. It’s just how the pace goes today with digital.

Change is the name of the game in digital today. As video is diversifying its face more boldly into individual marketing campaigns, the number of users are not only effecting the expected returns but are also playing a huge factor in the manner in which small-medium business gravitate to marketing and directly impacting how Location-based marketing and technology is shaping itself for the present and future. Location-based services (LBS), otherwise referred to as proximity marketing, taps into smart-phones and mobile GPS’, and is becoming the desired highways for local information. So, the more users tap into these location services, the greater they begin to integrate these principles into normal marketing campaigns; and ideally become less foreign to the US market.

* Almost one fifth (19%) of the world’s six billion mobile users are already using LBS. 1
* Navigation via maps and GPS is currently the most popular application, used by 46% 1

It’s not surprising that video and LBS’s basically go hand-and-hand. Considering that all of the LBS’s platform’s data are powered via local GPS and geared towards attracting local audiences or targeted segments. These platforms rely on global positioning for geography. Doesn’t matter if one is using TagWhat, Viddy (now the #1 Free Android App as of 4/27/12), or other platforms like Foursquare and Go Walla; they all provide information to users based on their mobile location. So, therefore when utilizing video marketing, it’s even more crucial that business executive stay fresh with their aligned marketing platforms and campaigns and not be afraid to create highly engaging environments on these location-based platforms or utilizing the many services of Location-Based Advertising (uses tools such as GPS and geo-fencing to locate potential prospects and send them messages) and Blue-tooth/Wifi (this allows data transfer over short distances. If you’ve used a wireless phone headset, it probably was Blue-tooth or Wifi).

Say for example, you’re a consumer retailer or business that interacts with a high volume of event attendees; you might want to explore installing proximity built around blue-tooth and Wifi to increase your audience engagements with highly personal and individualized marketing promotions. So anytime a device comes within your vicinity (300-500 feet), your targeted audiences will receive a special call-to-action encouraging the desire to shop, interact or patronize the brand in a personal manner and in real-time. The returns and quantities of transmissions are not only unlimited but instant. As the main denominator is distance and/or range from the device and the receiving mobile phone. One main benefit is the ability to transmit various file types and formats to devices. Another benefit is the cost of this highly profitable and personalized proximity marketing program; ideally totaling only a few hundred dollars each month and includes executive level reports and in-depth analytics on dwell times, traffic patterns and behavior profiles.

Maybe you’re considering additional marketing ideas, don’t be afraid to venture into the uncharted areas of location-based techniques and tools. Though these marketing techniques are still underutilized here in the US, they’ve been proven to instantly open up stronger communication channels and create uncharted opportunities that might be the deciding factor in your ROI’s.

The benefits are endless; but the returns offer all of the following:

* Its “Real-Time” analytics with detailed reporting metrics to track campaign initiatives and measure the overall success of performance.
* A developed strategy and marketing plan for execution; including creating the aligned elements and areas for creative or design; including mobile and web.
* Help set realistic and actionable goals that are attainable and aligned with the business plans & company’s strategies
* It’s an integrated (multi-channel) marketing tool that is used to increase consumer experiences, boost customer interactions and delivers instant returns.
* Real-Time Marketing with rich generated user-content for better customer engagement
* A cross balance between paid media (PPC, Display & Banner), earned media (Social & Consumer Interaction) and owned media (Content, Web/Mobile & etc).
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How To Create A Great E-Commerce Website

Running your online business successfully is a hard nut to crack. There is a lot of competition and users are becoming fussier day by day. There are various factors which are critical for the success of your e-commerce store. In order to provide visitors with an excellent user experience, it is of paramount importance to create an engaging platform.

Let’s look at the most important features of your e-commerce business so you can get started on the next crucial stage.

1. Design and layout
A website that offers a poor visual experience is likely to do more harm than any good to your business. It will give your visitors a wrong impression. Even worse, people will not trust you if it does not speak of the quality of your products. To drive more leads, it is pivotal to create not only an enticing website but also ensure it is easy to navigate.

Moreover, due attention ought to be paid to ensure that overall image of the site fits the products or services you are selling. For instance, if you are selling fashion products, the site must reflect sophistication. Similarly, if your business involves selling DIY products, it must be simpler and more functional.

2. Be mobile responsive
World Economic Forum’s recent report shows that the United Arab Emirates is the fastest growing digital market. As much as 80% of the Middle Eastern consumers are shopping on their mobile phones and iPads. Now, it melts down to the fact that only a mobile-friendly website is likely to survive in the GCC region, in particular. In a nutshell, choose a responsive design that can be accessed from any device. Remember that design and usability of the site directly affect the buyer’s decisions.

3. Quality product shots
Unlike real shopping, shopping online is a totally different experience. To generate sales, it is important to make your products resemble the real things as much as possible. This can be achieved by providing high-quality images to visually represent your goods. Furthermore, enhanced features such as zoom options and 360° image rotation will turn users into consumers straight away.

4. Great customer support
Generally, a visitor spends very little time on the website. So, you are responsible for providing him or her with every bit of information and answering any queries immediately. To achieve this, a 24/7 customer support team should be available for a chat or any questions. It will help a lot to convert the inquiry into a sale!

5. Engaging product descriptions
Detailed, to-the-point and snappy product descriptions are important to help buyers make the decision to purchase. Capture the imagination of your customers and write creative descriptions how it can benefit your customer. To alleviate any doubts about your products, include their sizes, textures, dimensions, materials, warranties and colours as well. On top of that, adding a video of your product will do an excellent job!

6. Easy payment process
The biggest conversion killer for your online business is poor payment process. So, make this final process as smooth and hassle-free as possible. Keep it simple and straight-forward. It is also good to let visitors purchase a guest!

Industry’s most advanced location-based services technology that works on WiFi, Beacons & Bluetooth. Proximity MX is a proximity marketing and customer engagement platform that makes it easy to engage, inform and entertain your customers

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The Best WiFi Mobile Marketing Solutions

Smart phone sales have risen by 74.4% each year. Globally they have risen around 21.8%. By the end of 2010 there were 5.3 billion subscriptions, of those 940 million have-potentially access to mobile broadband services. (ITU 2010 estimated)

In the US 38% use their phone for internet access, 34% to access email, 72% for text messaging, 30% for instant messaging, and 76% for just plain old taking pictures (Pew Research Center, 2010).

There are over 1 billion mobile workers on the planet that can actually do their job remotely while away from their desks. The United States is the most highly concentrated market for this work force at 72.2% in 2008 even higher today.

Businesses that do not figure out how to turn their current existing content into a creative mobile environment driven by efficiency and productivity will be in very big trouble in the coming years. Consumers have the time to spare while shopping in malls or sitting in restaurants, going to amusement parks, casino’s, hotel’s or even race tracks. But professionals are accountable to their employers and their priorities are crucial around their companies bottom line. It does not matter what field of business you are in, we all need to communicate in some form or another and the common denominator for the future will always be in a mobile form.

Businesses in today’s market must find ways to increase productivity while lowering over all expenses to stay in business. The days of undisciplined spending and over indulgence on the illusion of profit are over. As a small business you have to find a sort of niche market in order to compete in this environment as well. What people will learn is that with the innovation of Wi-Fi proximity marketing you could start a company to show other businesses a way to create a new revenue stream without any major change in your current business model, just the switch from offline marketing to mobile online marketing via Wi-Fi.

Again you must optimize your existing content to the mobile environment. If you have a Website that’s fine, but if its not optimized for mobile what good is it if one of the biggest markets in the world the mobile market can not see your site on their screens. It may look great on a laptop or desktop but if it can not be seen on a mobile phone you are killing a potential customer base of thousands even millions of new clients. First educating businesses on Wi-Fi marketing and then showing those businesses how to make the work activities of their employee’s better, faster, and easier- as it is critical to successful mobile ventures to deliver ROI.

You must keep in mind how users needs differ when accessing content on their phones rather than a PC or tablet, in this new mobile world you have to stay relevant. You must continue to find ways to reinvent yourself and stay a step ahead of your competitors.

Examples could be using video instead of long drawn out articles, audio to summarize market research or doctor dictation, short message or sms systems to quickly and easily read a coupon, special, or up coming event. The ability to send hyperlinks to splash or squeeze pages for more info or a URL directly to a mobile site. How about the ability to take a picture of a QR code that automatically opens up a wifi network to access any pre configured message or content and the ability for data capture all in the same device. The ability to have retail businesses make professional coupons with a bar code that can be changed on the spot.

This is not a business of selling products this is a business of solutions.
The vision should be to explain to businesses how to do their business better, faster and easier. Once you are armed with the vast potential of Wi-Fi mobile marketing maybe you will be able to help someone else become more efficient, more productive, more interactive and most of all make more money.

Mobile marketing is a business being built on educating people of these location-based technologies first, buy from who you want but learn what the possibilities are for business helping business. Mobile devices are here to stay, they are not the story, they’re just the screens. We are on the verge of a new level of life changing technologies, and as a business you can not afford to just sit back and ignore the last frontier of marketing.

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Marketing and the Location Based Services (LBS) Concept

Back in business school, we learned about “The Marketing Concept” as the total company effort to satisfy customer needs at a profit.

Location based services are booming and as marketing professionals, we have real challenges on how to integrate these new technologies to our tool set together with Wikis, Blogs, Social Networks, Podcasts, etc. Are you ready for new ideas like Location Based Advertising?

From a business perspective, I would define the Location Based Service concept as the company’s effort to transform geographical positioning information into valuable and relevant data for a customer, to make a profit.

The Location Based Service concept, like the marketing concept has 3 components

1- Get Geographical positioning information. This can be accomplished in many ways. The obvious way is a GPS device through cellular network, IP address mapping, user input, etc. (will address this in future posts)

2- Transform this data into valuable information. Your kids are calling for a pickup at midnight; would you consider the same situation knowing they are at a friend house or wandering around downtown? Suddenly the geographic layer of information changed the urgency of the pickup completely. What if you try to locate your grandmother suffering from Alzheimer or if you want to know where is your task force at any given moment. What if instead having the pizza place telling you “…another 5 minutes…” you can go to the web and receive a service “Where is my pizza”!! (No doubt this is a nice application, particularly if your teen son came with friends from a soccer game and they are starving…) The number of possible applications is limited to the extent of your imagination (and of course some technical limitations…), but the idea is to generate value for somebody and get paid for that service.

3- Make a profit. It’s amazing how many companies/developers forget that the ultimate reason of putting a business together is TO MAKE A PROFIT. Location Based Services is an expensive business. Usually your current location needs to be relayed to certain application server and most of the time this is accomplished through cellular networks; hence somebody must pay the bill. When you buy a personal locator device – PLD (like zoom back, Leipsic, and others) they have a cellular device included, usually with a SIM Card, to communicate your location – and that service is expensive.

The number of LBS applications is growing exponentially. Just in the last few months I’ve seen dozens of free Location Based Social Networking sites come alive. The question is how many of those will be alive next year. For me the answer is simple, only those with a solid revenue model and clear value proposition will last. Some are betting on valid strategies based on collective user value, wikinomics “prosumers”, “freemium” services, etc. In that case, the keys to success are a) make sure somebody else pays the communication costs and b) be sure your customers generate real aggregated value you can capitalize.

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What Are The Most Popular Location Based Services and How Do They Work?

The increasing use and popularity of location-based services is linked directly with the increasing use and popularity of the mobile phone. Most mobile phones available today have some sort of GPS capability. So localized information, for example an event at the neighborhood theater or a deal at the local florist, is made available to the user in the area through the mobile phone using the GPS capability. With location based services (LBS) you can broadcast your current location in real time to your friends.

A number of social media networks that specialize in this type of interaction have recently sprung up, with the most popular being Foursquare, Yelp and Gowalla. Users can “check-in” to a location such as a pub, restaurant, shop that is part of the social media network, and all the user’s friends on the same network are made aware of his/her movements.

Foursquare was one of the first LBS to appear in the market, and is the most popular with the largest number of users. Users get rewarded for checking into various locations by earning badges and the one who is the most local becomes the “mayor” of the business.

Foursquare users also give tips and reviews of different businesses, so their friends can benefit. A useful benefit of a tip is when it describes how to get a discount or how expensive a particular drink is.

Yelp is another very popular network where the users write short reviews on local businesses. Any person who gets a positive or negative experience at a particular business can share it on Yelp. Then if at anytime another user contemplates going to the same restaurant, he or she can do a search on Yelp to learn about other people’s experiences.

Gowalla is another popular LBS that is extensively used. Gowalla allows users to share reviews, tips, advice and stories about different places. Gowalla is very useful for international travelers as there are specific cities listed, each with its own popular restaurants and places of interest. So if someone was traveling to Atlanta, he/she would visit Gowalla’s Atlanta website, and would be presented with a listing of hundreds of businesses and landmarks featured in Gowalla.

The three networks that have been highlighted are currently, the most popular ones. LBS is becoming extremely popular especially among the 16-30 year age group who want to identify with friends at all times. It seems that there is no place you can hide anymore in this world!

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