Monday, May 22, 2017

3 factors which can optimize mobile marketing



Being able to distinguish the hype from the hope has been difficult and has deterred many marketers from making the appropriate investments in mobile marketing.

Mobile marketing can be integrated into every stage of the purchase funnel, from product research, to shopping and ordering, to feedback and recommendation to peers.

Advertising on mobile

Marketers in a study by the Mobile Marketing Association could improve their ROI by increasing the portion of their advertising budget focused on mobile.

The study also found larger creative formats and videos in native social feeds helped achieve marketing goals more quickly and were worth premiums paid in lower frequency situations.

Marketers should carefully consider the frequency of such messaging, because these ads became annoying after several exposures so the ROI deteriorated in high-frequency campaigns.

Mobile-optimised search marketing

Many marketers reported that approximately half of their paid and organic search volumes come from mobile devices.

Search programs that incorporate local-based information are particularly beneficial.

Mobile-optimised websites

For many marketers, half or more of their companies’ website visits come from mobile devices.

Given the advances in responsive design and the complexities with managing a separate mobile-specific website, the trend appears to be to develop one ‘mobile-first’ website that dynamically delivers a customer experience tailored to screen type.

Astute marketers will continuously test and optimise the experience visitors have on the mobile-friendly sites, perhaps through the use of AB or multivariate testing tools.

Mobile-messaging

With smartphones always in reach, marketers are using text, messenger and in-app messaging to communicate with their consumers.

These messages can be viewed as an unwelcome intrusion, so be careful to limit the use of this channel to highly relevant communications.

Automation tools can be used to manage these interactions to optimise frequency and deliver within a known context of location and previous customer interactions.

Email optimisation

Over half of marketers’ regular emails are read on mobile devices. Most automation systems are able to deliver emails in a mobile-friendly manner, but for optimal results, go a step further down the funnel with your mobile optimisation – since most emails are sent to drive a click to a digital destination, that web-based content should also be optimised for mobile.

Social sharing

Consumers love to share positive experience on social. Facilitate that behaviour with well-planned photo opportunities integrated in your offering and promoting hashtags to amplify the brand.

Cross-device identity management

Since consumers and business customers interact with brands via multiple devices, creating a seamless user experience regardless of device makes requires knowing who the user is in each user interaction.

Mobile apps

Marketers are beginning to focus on fewer and more functional apps, often designed to engage with recurring customers.

Investments have been made to tie these apps to transactional systems such as flight bookings, reservation and loyalty programs.

SaaS products are increasingly incorporating accessibility via mobile apps to give customers the ability to use their systems when away from their desktops.

The report offers up a top 10 action plan for marketers to ensure they have the basics covered for keeping up their mobile efforts.

1. Implement mobile advertising campaigns that use location-based data

2. Create video and high-impact graphics for promoted social posts

3. Develop a mobile-optimised responsive website

4. Create an app that delivers functional utility for existing customers

5. Continuously test and optimise the website and app user experiences

6.Execute permission-based messaging programs that are highly relevant

7. Optimise your email and landing page systems for mobile engagement

8.Link user identities across devices to provide a seamless experience

9.Encourage photo-based social sharing of customer experiences

10. Test one new emerging capability every year

The full article offers further insight and results into how marketers can best optimise their mobile marketing push in all stages of the funnel, and includes comment and opinion from marketing leaders from big brands

Source

Sunday, May 21, 2017

comparing sms vs e-mail communication



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Both SMS and E-mail are very common, convenient, fast and efficient way of communication. There are so many similarities between these two forms of communication. Both forms of communication can be and are used in many businesses to make it grow. SMS marketing and E-mail marketing can be used very effectively even better sometimes than direct marketing. Another factor is that you might be able to do SMS marketing and E-mail marketing with less money than other forms of marketing. It is very personal to send a message than E-mail and it is a very good way to maintain a good relationship with your prospective customers to attain their loyalty. Customer loyalty is very important for the success of your business.

If you compare SMS to E-mail, there are many differences as well. In both ways of communication, you can type in the message in your computer or in your mobile phone and send it to multiple contacts at the same time. One of the differences is that if you are sending SMS, there is more possibility of the person actually reading the message than when you send E-mail. You always tend to read your SMS than your E-mail may be just for the reason that you always carry around your mobile phone and you tend to read the message and you also have more ability of seeing the message sooner than when you send E- Mail. The effort is definitely less to read a SMS than E-mail.


To read an E-mail, you got to get a computer typically, type in your e-mail address and password and then only you get to read the e-mail. Still the possibility is there that you may not open the e-mail after seeing the subject line. To read SMS, not much effort, as you get a beep sound, you open the message and you can read your message immediately. Of course with the latest forms of mobile phones where you can also read your mails, the process of reading E-mail also has become simpler and fast, but still reading SMS is more easier than reading E-mails. You have the prospect of getting new customers faster when switching from SMS to email .


The only true benefit that E-mail marketing has over SMS marketing is that it does not cost anything to send an e-mail compared to SMS marketing. Sending SMS usually costs money without you have a scheme where you can send free SMS or if you have signed up on certain SMS websites that lets you send SMS for free. If you have the option of sending SMS for free from your mobile phone, it is well and good and if you can send SMS for free from website, then you need to have a computer and internet connection to do this, even though the person receiving The message will be able to read this in their mobile phone without any computer or internet. The person can receive the message just like how they receive any other message.

Source

Saturday, May 20, 2017

6 sms marketing tips to improve business



SMS marketing can boast some untouchable numbers when it comes to open and response rates. With an amazing 98% of all text messages getting opened, compared to just 22% of emails – there really is no doubt that if you want to send your customers a message, the best way is via an SMS text message.

And when it comes to retail, SMS marketing is the perfect way to market your shop or website. They work together seamlessly to boost sales, build brand awareness, customer retention and help build and develop your small retail business into a huge worldwide brand.

So to the six ways that SMS marketing can help your retail business


1. Text customers with your special offers – Do you regularly have sales and offers on? The let your customers know by text! With SMS marketing you can virtually guarantee that your message will be read, so let them know that you have a sale on, when it finishes, how they can take advantage of it and most importantly how much they can save.

2. Purchase and delivery information –
When a customer makes a purchase, send them a message to say thank you. Then let them know when their item is to be delivered – going that extra mile with customer service always pays off.

3. Get more store visits – Sometimes getting customers through the door is the toughest task, so text your customers an offer that can only be used in store.

4. New stock and products landed – Keep your customers updated if you have new ranges or products in, let your customers know – send them a link or get them to come in store.

5. SMS loyalty programs – Customers like to feel special, and by sending them exclusive offers by text message – you will certainly make them feel special. So start an SMS loyalty program and allow customers to sign up – word will soon spread.

6. SMS surveys – Feedback is always important, it’s a great way to discover what you are good at and where you can improve. So after a purchase, send your customers an SMS survey and see what they think of you.

So if you are retailer or have an online website, give SMS marketing a go, your customers will love it and I am sure you will soon start to see the benefits.

Source

Friday, May 19, 2017

importance of sms for a successful mobile marketing campaign



As we entered the new millennium, few would have predicted how the rapid uptake of smartphones would cause a monumental consumer shift that has had ever reaching consequences for markets and businesses globally. Teenagers now possess more computing power in their pocket than most businesses would have had across entire departments just 20 years ago.

In the past decade, smartphone penetration has almost certainly accelerated the growth of social media; it has changed the way we communicate with our friends and family and given us access to virtually limitless information anywhere, anytime. The result? Fundamental shifts in the way consumers expect to interact with brands, businesses and each other.

It is now nearly impossible to think about marketing or communication of any type, with your customers as a one-way street, thrusting messages upon them hoping one will resonate. Arguably, the most successful out-of-home (OOH) campaigns now rely on user engagement via mobile. Retail is being forced to embrace smart devices as part of the shopping experience. Banking relies heavily on one-time passwords and mobile apps. All of these touch points represent a conversation with your brand.

So, we know mobile is fundamental to any business or communications strategy, but what is fundamental to mobile? The answer is simple – SMS. Now, I know you’re probably thinking, “Of course I’d say that”, but the numbers stack up, and even Coca-Cola – arguably one of the biggest consumer brands of all time – has been known to spend up to 70 per cent of its mobile marketing budget on SMS.

Why? Over 95 per cent of SMS messages are read within three minutes of being received. There’s no junk mail filtering, your messages are getting through and aren’t being lost in an email inbox. You’re not relying on app push notifications, which can be disabled. In essence, it’s the most simple, reliable and effective method of getting a message to your recipient. Furthermore, in the age of the smart device, you can push WAP links to customers, turning SMS from a 160-character message to a doorway of interactivity that will allow them to consume your mobile content.

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Let me give you one of my favourite examples. SMSGlobal have clients all over the globe – banks, airlines, insurance companies, retail chains – but this one really is quite close to my heart… pizza! Aside from it being one of my favourite foods, it’s a great example because it is also a very competitive market. Our client was one of the main players in the takeaway market, which is traditionally rife with discounting and aggressive sales promotions. With over 100 stores nationwide and a significant customer database in play, we helped them develop SMS marketing campaigns over the course of 12 months to huge success. By the end of the campaign, tracked sales through the use of mobile coupons were up 150 per cent over other marketing channels.

SMS marketing has proven to boost company sales, and even consumers themselves are aware of their revitalised spending habits. According to a Millward Brown Digital report from 2013 based on more than 1,500 consumers in eight countries, 59 per cent of respondents prefer SMS and push campaigns over other forms of mobile marketing, including video advertising, banner or standard display ads, and email. In 2013, 63 per cent of respondents stated they had agreed to receive SMS messages from businesses, compared to 57 per cent last year and 47 per cent in 2011.

The study showed that consumers plan to increase their current use of the mobile phone. They said that after reading an SMS or push message, respondents were more likely to be pro-active – 22 per cent redeemed the deal featured in the message,14 per cent shared the message with their friends and family, and 13 per cent made a purchase. More than 54 per cent made a successful purchase on their mobile phone in the last 12 months.

Consumers are demanding more from brands and SMS is helping them meet it. If SMS isn’t in use or on your businesses radar, it should be. Simple and effective messaging can go a long way to increasing efficiency and engagement while simultaneously decreasing costs.

Source

Thursday, May 18, 2017

3 risks associated with text messaging



Let’s face it, texting is simple, concise and compatible with virtually every mobile device, operating system and wireless carrier. This makes it extremely accessible when an employee wants to communicate with their colleagues, customers, or prospects in a time-crunched, connected society.

In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, 97% of Americans who own a smartphone use it to send or receive text messages, demonstrating that mobile messaging is one of the most widely used features. However, even though texting is easy, reliable and intuitive, if it’s used for official business communications, it can create tremendous risk for a company.

Text messages can be problematic


When you think of the countless regulatory, legal and general risk and brand management challenges that companies must manage today, you might think email and other ‘official’ communications on social media accounts and corporate websites are the only content types that need to be archived or supervised. Nevertheless, text messages must be considered too because in many instances they are used to conduct company business. Sending text messages between mobile devices is now one of the key ways that employees connect with each other and customers, and these records need to be maintained for completeness.

One alarming thing is that companies don’t give text messages the same level of recordkeeping attention they give other forms of digital records. Many don’t have an archiving solution in place for the retention and oversight of text messages, which causes problems and significant risk when facing a regulatory examination, open records request, an investigation, e-discovery event or litigation.

Compliance, legal, IT and risk and reputation professionals across a variety of litigious and regulated industries are now realizing that proactively archiving text messages is necessary to alleviate anxiousness about risks arising from their records retention and oversight practices not keeping up as employee use increases. They need to meet the challenge of accurately identifying specific sources of additional risk with this form of communication as it gets leveraged by employees within their business. Text messaging without proper governance is a major gap that can no longer be ignored.
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The following circumstances have organizations worried about recordkeeping challenges surrounding text messages:


• Text messages must be kept in a searchable format that cannot be tampered with, destroyed, or otherwise disposed of by anyone on purpose, or accidentally. Text messages must also be produced quickly for e-discovery, public records requests, and regulatory examinations.

• A company may operate a tremendous number of phones through contracts with one or more carriers, and erroneously assume text records are kept by carriers. However, carriers don’t keep text messages for very long, and they aren’t obliged to provide records of them, either. The responsibility for retaining and producing requested text messages lies with the organization that creates the records.

• Organizations can no longer say ‘we didn’t know’ as an excuse to avoid archiving and oversight of text messages. Several well-publicized cases involving text business messages that have been lost, altered, or mishandled in the public sector, financial services, and other industries have alerted us all to the fact that these types of messages must have oversight. Companies that aren’t yet retaining text messages will find they have plenty of technology options to help them start.

Following email and social media, SMS/text messaging is perceived as the next source of the most compliance risk by compliance professionals in the financial services industry. The Smarsh 2016 Electronic Communications Compliance Survey Report revealed that when SMS/text messaging is allowed for business communications, only 32% of firms said they have an archiving/ supervision solution in place. In addition, nearly 40% of respondents said they have no or minimal confidence in their effectiveness to prohibit the use of text messaging.

The three business risks of text messaging


Now that we have discussed the circumstances that have organizations worried about text message recordkeeping challenges, let’s take a closer look at risks, and the potential impact they can have on a business:

Legal risk


Text messages can also be requested as part of an e-discovery or litigation event, since texts are often considered relevant electronically stored information (ESI) within an organization. Many courts compel the production of texts in civil litigation, if a mobile device is believed to possess relevant text messages.

While other forms of electronic communication, including email, are relatively straightforward to collect, archive, and extract, text is different. Companies must now figure out how to collect and preserve data from numerous devices, operating systems, and device ownership scenarios. It does not matter if an employee uses a corporate-issued device, a personally owned device, or a combination of the two for business-related texts. All devices are fair game for discovery in litigation if they contain relevant business communications.

If a company’s legal team cannot find and produce text data in real-time, and respond quickly and completely when asked to search and produce specific text messages for discovery events and litigation, the organization may face legal consequences related to data spoliation, missing records, or failure to produce requested data—not to mention high legal fees.

Reputational risk


The use of text messaging without the proper monitoring protections in place can also leave a company susceptible to brand problems. Most businesses know the importance of brand reputation, since those with a strong track record tend to attract the best employee talent, and are perceived as providing more value to customers. Customers may also be more loyal and likely to recommend a company if it has a trusted reputation.

The supervision of electronic communications is critical for companies that want to find and mitigate any potential reputation risks, even if they aren’t directly related to compliance or legal issues. Emails, social media accounts and corporate websites are often monitored, but text messages must be brought into this perimeter to further reduce risk. Currently, most companies do not monitor business text messages sent and received by their employees.

When a company manages its brand by monitoring text messages and other electronic communications on a regular basis, steps can be taken to quickly assess potential threats, and mitigate actual problems when they occur.

Regulation risk


In highly regulated industries, text communications need to be retained and supervised. For instance, financial services firms are required by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to archive and supervise electronic communications used for business purposes, including text messages—and recent surveys show firms lack confidence that they can meet those requirements.

Similarly, state governments have seen recent rulings that reinforce how text messages are classified as business records. Essentially, any highly-regulated industry that has recordkeeping requirements for business communication must archive electronic messages, no matter what platform they are on—and that includes mobile devices.


Don’t get left behind


Archiving, monitoring and producing text message data needs to become a core part of your overall electronic communications risk-based surveillance preparedness. Organizations of all sizes need to put the right policies in place, and implement automated text archiving and supervision as soon as possible—before it’s too late.

An important component of the chosen solution is the ability to archive the text messages alongside all your other electronic communications content — including email, social media, websites, instant messaging and collaboration platforms — to give compliance, legal, and risk and reputation professionals the ability to supervise and produce these records in one place, with a common user and administration interface. When a company has access to these content types with a single comprehensive archiving solution, conversations can be monitored from a broader and more holistic perspective. For instance, conversation threads can be followed easily when a discussion starts on social media, moves to email, and concludes in text messages.

Businesses that recognize the benefits of comprehensive archiving will reap the rewards almost immediately when they implement it by allowing their employees to take full advantage of the productivity that text messaging provides while staying compliant and managing the risk out of it. Others that leave text messages out of their electronic communications compliance strategy, or implement multiple point products to try and address it, will lag and be playing the odds – at a time when compliance examinations, litigation procedures and the importance of brand reputation and risk management are more central than ever to business success.

Source

avoid these mistakes when trying to send bulk sms messages


"Common mistakes in bulk sms "

Small business owners making the same mistakes over and over again when trying to send bulk SMS messages to their customers.These mistakes are obviously hurting their ability to connect with customers and prospects! Yet, they keep making these mistakes over and over again.

Let me be blunt – If you’re making these mistakes it’s costing you money – lots of money.

Today, I’m going to expose these mistakes to the world… and show you exactly how to fix these mistakes.

Before long, you’ll be able to send bulk SMS messages to your prospects and customers, and get a great response!


Five Major Mistakes Owners Make When Trying to Send Bulk SMS Messages


Mistake #1 – Not using bulk SMS messages for marketing.


I’m a marketing guy… I love marketing. It’s a puzzle for me.

How do you reach out to prospects and customers, and get them to engage with your company? How do you get a prospect to buy for the first time? How do you get a current customer to buy again?

One of the most effective ways I’ve found is with mobile marketing… specifically by sending bulk sms messages to different groups. I’ve found success… but I’m not the only one.

Big companies like Coke, Dunkin Donuts, Wendy’s, and thousands of others are using SMS messages to market… but many small business owners just won’t!

It drives me crazy. I think every small business should be using SMS messages for marketing… but they don’t.

If you’re on the fence at all about marketing with bulk sms messages, let me ask you to do one thing… look around. Seriously, look around and track how many different businesses you see using SMS message marketing.

You’ll start to see them everywhere.

My car wash uses them, my barber… the grocery store I go to… the local bar, the fast food joint up the road. I’d be hard-pressed to find a single industry that doesn’t have at least one business using mobile marketing.

Mistake #2 – Not using a professional SMS texting platform to send text messages.


This is a huge mistake many business owners make when first getting started with sending bulk SMS texts. They want to save a little money… so they start collecting phone numbers from customers and prospects.

Then they start texting from their own phone.

Some may even go out and buy a new phone just to send messages.

What they don’t realize is this is just fraught with danger. Have you ever lost your phone… or had it stolen… what happens then? Someone else has your customer list!

How do you backup your data on the phone?

What happens once you get 1,000 or 3,000 or 5,000 numbers on your list?

Simply plugging phone numbers into a phone doesn’t meet the legal requirements for sending marketing messages over SMS… are you tracking everyone who wants to be unsubscribed?

Here’s a quick story.

I recently interviewed a nightclub owner who was promoting his events with bulk SMS messages. He did it with a phone that had 5,000 customer numbers in it. Every weekend he sat down and started sending messages to his list.

It took him hours and hours to send everyone a quick text.

Then he ran into a real problem.

The cell phone carriers started blocking his messages! They viewed his messages as spam. He kept sending the same message over and over again. What’s worse, he didn’t track unsubscribe requests very closely… so some people were complaining about his messages. It was a mess!

Eventually, he realized he needed a professional bulk sms platform to send messages. It saved him hours of work, and he didn’t have to worry about complaints and tracking customer signups and unsubscribes – the system did it all for him.

Just imagine all the revenue he lost… while trying to save a few bucks!?!

If you’re going to send bulk SMS messages, sign up for a professional bulk SMS platform. I’m partial to my company Betwext.com, we have a great SMS marketing platform… but there are dozens out there.

There are some basic things you want to look for in a bulk SMS service…

You want a dedicated phone number (don’t share numbers)

The ability to pick your keywords

A system that lets people automatically sign-up… and unsubscribe.

A scheduling system helps if you really want to use the power of mobile marketing

A system that doesn’t cost an arm or leg!


just keep a few of those items in mind when you start looking for your own bulk SMS system.

Mistake #3 – Not sending interesting bulk SMS messages.

 its essential to understand that  your merssaging has to be properly targeted and  be interesting enough for consumers. For example among tons of messages,every message suffers from low attention span, therefore its imperative that a consumer needs to click on your message and it better be interesting if you wish to increase interaction


Too many marketers feel like they have to send out a message every chance they get… so they rush to send a bulk SMS.

Business owners don’t think about the message they are going to send. They just send any old thing… and frankly it’s boring – useless – and a waste of time.

Suddenly, customers and prospects start to unsubscribe from their sms list, and the business owner doesn’t know why!

The solution is simple… give people what they want, when they want it.

You wouldn’t try to sell a breakfast burrito at dinner time. Most people are not thinking about work on a Sunday morning. And, you’re probably not thinking about your weekend plans on monday!

Remember, when you send bulk sms messages to your customers and prospects, the majority of them will see the message within 10 minutes.

So, send them something timely, interesting, and useful.

How about a car wash discount after a major dust storm… or a pizza coupon on a Tuesday at 5 pm… or a offer for Friday night theatre tickets on Thursday afternoon.

Do you always need to send a discount, special offer, or coupon?

NO – you can keep people informed about cool things with your business…

Here’s an idea… If you run a restaurant, create a secret menu item (like an appetizer or dessert), then let everyone on your mobile marketing list know about it! And ONLY share it with your mobile marketing list.

Tell them they have to use a secret codeword to order it!

Want to take this offer to the next level?

Take a picture of the item, and send it via MMS message… so they not only read about the item, but see it too!

Like I said keep it interesting.

Mistake #4 – Not including a call to action in EVERY SMS message.


This is a huge mistake many business owners make.

A few weeks ago we had a phone call from a paid subscriber. They had been sending bulk SMS messages to customers, but didn’t get a single response.

We were perplexed. We asked them about their product, and their customers. We asked about where the names came from… and how they were added to the list. It was all on the up-and-up!

We had our IT team dig into their account to see if there were delivery issues… nothing was wrong.

We were stumped…

Then we looked at the bulk SMS messages the business owner sent.

What he sent out was the name of the business… that’s it. No phone number, no link, no message. He thought by simply reminding people he was around, he’d get business.

Talk about a boring and useless message… what’s worse, he never included a call to action.

Never once did they say call us.

Never once did they say click this link.

Never once did they ask their customers to take an action.

All of the sudden their poor results made sense.

The business owner was expecting sales to skyrocket just by reminding people he was in business… once he started thinking about the customer… and giving them a reason to take action did he see the powerful results of sending bulk sms messages!

So, don’t forget – always include a call to action when you send bulk sms messages.

Mistake #5 – Not giving customers and prospects a reason to be on your SMS list.


This last mistake is a simple one… and it’s all about thinking like your customers.

If you run a business, you are in business to serve your customer’s problems. So use that to your advantage and always be helping your customers.

Give them a reason to join… and more importantly stay on your sms marketing list.

Here’s an example…

One physical trainer I know sends inspirational messages to his customers and prospects daily!

Every so often he includes a recipe for a favorite, tasty, and healthy meal. Then he’ll text out a free “do-it-at-home” workout routine.

He engages with his customers over and over again… but he’s always giving them something they need… something they want.

Maybe you give them information, or a coupon, or breaking news… it can be anything. But make sure they really want it!

Now, I’ve gone through and highlighted 5 major mistakes business owners make when trying to send bulk SMS messages. Is that all the mistakes?

Not by a long shot.

There are dozens and dozens of other mistakes business owners make… but I’m out of room for today.

But before I go…

I promised to share with you the right way to do things…

Like I said earlier… if you’re on the fence about trying to send bulk SMS messages to promote your small business keep an eye on what others are doing! For more information, we wrote a special report just for you… “The Ultimate Guide to Mobile Marketing”

Remember, bulk SMS marketing is a very powerful tool that many small businesses use to grow sales. It’s a cost-effective way to communicate with your prospects, customers, VIPs, and even employees!

Source

3 killer disruptions across mobile messaging market in 2017

"sms aggregators in dubai"
vectramind''s synapse is one of the leading SMS aggregators and enterprise mobile solutions 

Mobile messaging today has become the the hottest emerging marketing channel. Ask any transformation-driven company which technologies they're exploring for delivering quality customer care, and many will probably tell you that mobile messaging applications look most appealing. 

Mobile messaging apart from being an extreme cost effective tool, is also an excellent medium of customer care . As apposed to email, which might be missed by a consumer, 80% SMS are read withing 10 minutes of delivery. The sheer convenience and almost real time tool makes it the most effective channel to ensure loyalty and c customer acquisition. 

 Analysts predict that 35 percent of customer support will take place on mobile devices by the end of this year, which is certainly possible. But it is no certainty because several technical hurdles stand in the way. At the end of the day, mobile messaging is still in its early stages. It’s relatively unproven in customer-care circles. And coupled with that challenges remain  in adopting mobile messaging specially when it comes to security and systems integration.

However All of this will change in 2017, however, and here are three technological disruptions and  innovations that could accelerate mobile messaging apps for customer care this year:


No 1 : Chat bots By now, we’re all familiar with chat bots, those automated (sometimes animated) personalities on websites that respond to frequently asked questions we pose about products or services. The next step in the evolution of mobile messaging apps will be to assimilate these capabilities for customer care. There are two basic ways in which this could materialize. The first is a model that WeChat, Line and KakaoTalk are using, where brands use those platforms to create their own, customized self-service hubs for FAQs. This basically enables organizations to lighten the load on call-center agents for inquiries that can just as easily be handled by an automaton.

No 2 : Artificial intelligence Most of us use some form of AI in our daily lives whether we realize this or not.  Many consumers first experienced AI on web and social media sites that watched how they window-shopped online and suggested products they might like to view. Reccomendation engines are another example of AI application

More recently, AI has shown up as core technology in intelligent assistants such as Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana and Google Assistant. For mobile messaging apps to deliver great service at scale, they will have to integrate AI capabilities and serve them up on just about every mobile and connected device. AI can play a huge role in helping to tear down the language barrier confronting many customer-care organizations today.

No 3 : Augmented reality All efforts at automation and AI aside, human interaction and intervention may still be necessary to completely resolve a customer’s problem. Bots and AI have limitations, and many customers still prefer speaking with live support agents instead of automated IVR's and Chatbots
Also  getting on the phone to address an issue can be cumbersome and time-consuming. Emailing back and forth with a representative takes far too long. Even an instant message conversation can be frustrating, especially if customers feel like the agent is following some sort of service script that sounds completely irrelevant to their issue. This is virtual reality comes into the picture 
Sometimes the problems are more complex in nature and difficult to resolve, particularly given hardware failures. Such situations might need the intervention of a  visual interaction, and integrated AR capabilities within messaging apps could certainly fit that bill.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

5 unknown facts about mobile marketing

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Mobile marketing is that one trend that, if ignored, could actually put you out of business. Puts me out of business, come on Michael, really? YES. I am that serious. A number of companies that still don’t have a mobile marketing strategy are astonishingly large. Jump on this train or be left behind!

Some statistics
  • Over 80% of internet users have a smartphone
  • Text messages have a 99% open rate
  • Over 50% of smartphone users grab their phone the second they wake up
  • By 2019, mobile advertising will represent 72% of all digital ad spend (according to Marketing Land)

The best way to approach mobile marketing is to adopt a policy called “Mobile First.” This means that any marketing you do needs to be thought of and be started with a mobile mindset. Assume your customers and prospects want to interact with you via their mobile devices; whatever marketing tactic you are getting ready to deploy must work beautifully with mobiles.

For those businesses that are looking to get their feet wet with mobile, here are some mobile marketing 101 tips to get you moving. They are in chronological order of which I recommend you nail down the first before moving onto the next.
  1. Mobile websites
  2. Mobile text message, picture, or voice messages
  3. Mobile e-mail marketing
  4. Mobile apps

Mobile Websites

Plain and simple—your website must look and act flawlessly on mobile and tablet devices. More than 50% of people say that if your website does not work well on mobiles, they will NEVER, I repeat, NEVER, return to your website or business again.

The easiest way to make sure your website is always amazing on mobile is knowing that it was designed in a language called “mobile responsive.” This means that regardless of the device they are on, the website will respond to them. Whether they have a 60-inch TV monitor or an iPad, the website will realize that and will adjust to make it look great.

Action to Take: Redesign your website using a mobile-responsive theme.

Mobile SMS Marketing

SMS marketing is a form of sending marketing messages (promotional and rapport-building) to your customers and prospects’ cell phones. They can be in the form of a picture, video, audio, or text.

In the statistics above, I mentioned that text messages have an open rate of 99%. When was the last time you sent an e-mail that had a 99% open rate? Sending to three people does not count :) No business is getting 99% open rate. In fact, the average e-mail open rate is around 25%. So if you send 100 e-mails, only 25 will open the e-mail. If you send 100 text messages, 99 out of 100 will read the text message. Does that convince to consider this?

The great thing is that getting started with SMS marketing is actually quite simple.

Step 1: Sign up for an SMS tool where you will store and send the text messages.

Step 2: Start asking for MOBILE phone numbers everywhere.

I call out mobile because on all the signup forms you are using or opt-in forms on your website, you should specify mobile versus simply saying phone.

Two quick ways to start to build your cell phone numbers:

Send an e-mail to your database offering an incentive if they opt in to receive text messages.

Create a mobile keyword signup where people can text into a keyword and be automatically opted in.

Step 3: Craft some great content.

Unlike e-mails, where sometimes sending a daily e-mail is OK, it is not OK with mobile marketing. Craft some content where you are sending 2-4 messages/month to start with. At least 50% of your messages should be NON-promotional. Keep the audience engaged. Don’t just spam them with offers. Thank them for their business; send birthday messages, happy holiday messages, contests, and member-only specials just to name a few.

Mobile E-mail Marketing

Adopt the “Mobile First” strategy that I described above, and assume that your prospects will be reading your e-mail on a mobile device. Similar to a responsive website design, your e-mails should be responsive. Many e-mail tools have this option but just as many do not.

My favorite tool for e-mail marketing is Infusionsoft.com. It allows you to send beautiful e-mails and do some very advanced things to increase conversion.

Mobile Apps

When people hear “mobile marketing,” they usually think, “I need an app.” While that may be true, your efforts should be focused on making sure that the #1-#3 things above are firing on all cylinders before you consider this strategy.

There are two strategies when it comes to apps:


1. Design your own app

The price to get an app produced has come down substantially. There are many services where you can get an app live for $50/month. The secret sauce to creating your own app is to make sure it is something that will have utility to your audience, something they will use on a regular basis. Think about the flashlight on the iPhone for example—that has utility.

Once people start to download your app, you have the ability to start to market to them, monitor their location, and push messages to their phones. There are quite a few things you can do here from a marketing standpoint.

2. Use other people’s apps to market

The lion’s share of the apps that have been created was done for marketing purposes. You can push marketing messages on other people’s apps (both locally and nationally if your market is national). The investment levels normally start off around $500/month.

Action Summary
  • Get a mobile-responsive website.
  • Start capturing mobile numbers, and send 2-4 messages/month.
  • Make sure your e-mails are mobile-responsive.
  • Consider getting an app already produced, or advertise on other apps.

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advantages of partnering with vectramind for mobile messaging solutions

Vectramind is the leader in Enterprise Messaging in Dubai, UAE


Businesses today need to communicate with their employees, customers and other stakeholders on a regular basis. Organizations run on mature processes and these processes need information and generate information on a regular basis. Sales, admin, marketing, logistics all need critical information on a real time basis. This information is already available in the servers, ERP systems and other backend MIS. Vectramind works on mobile enabling these key business processes on a real time basis. Companies today require a new media of communication that can be used effectively in order to reduce the overall cost of communication and enhance productivity at work and operational efficiency. The platform is flexible, scalable and cost-effective so that it can mobile-enable a few business processes already running at the back-end in the shortest possible time. The communication platform should create possibilities of sending in automated, manual and scheduled more, SMS from an internet-enabled computer system to a mobile phone in the field. In addition, authorized people with mobile phones should be able to send information to back-end systems via SMS. Benefits of using SMS as a medium of Communication

Advantages of partnering with VECTRAMIND 


  1. Nearly a decade of existence and growth 
  2.  Core focus into SMS – Multiple Industry exposure 
  3. Among the top tier 1 aggregators in UAE
  4. Enterprise partnership with TELCO’s 
  5. Ingeniously built SMS platform and solutions; No 3rd party reliance for service & support 
  6. Single point of delivery to submit messages to multiple destinations/operators. 
  7.  Consolidated reporting platform to check the delivery status for multiple destinations/operators. 
  8.  A range of API’s available to connect to the Gateway. 
  9.  Single point of contact for acquiring short codes for multiple destinations/operators.  Hosted solutions to manage short code based
  10.  Interactive promotional SMS campaigns. 
  11.  24X7 customer support.


Vectramind's easy to use Web interface  and and Quality of Service are unmatched Vectramind provides a high quality of service. Its Servers have in-built redundancy and fail-over mechanism. Vectramind Server is currently connected to multiple mobile operators.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

mobile marketing 2017 : the road ahead




The year’s few successes included commerce and interactive content, but brands are still struggling to unlock mobile’s full potential



Mobile marketing experienced a few growing pains in 2016 as smartphone innovation stalled, questions arose around the importance of apps and marketers realized that putting customers first — and not grasping at the latest technology or channel — is the key to success.

While mobile clearly continues to grow, marketers in 2016 grappled with measurement issues and an increasingly complex landscape as they struggled to unlock its potential. High points such as healthy commerce numbers and a strong reception for interactive content showed that consumers are hungry for mobile experiences that meet their needs. Looking ahead, smart marketers will need to focus on location-based services, personalization and reducing friction through mobile services as they take a consumer-first approach to marketing.

“Two thousand and sixteen was pretty light when it came to major advancements, we did not see many, if any revolutionary steps but rather a number of micro evolutions,” Michael Becker, co-founder and managing partner at mCordis and The Connected Marketer Institute, told Marketing Dive.

“While mobile is a powerful current driving through marketing, in 2016 many are increasingly realizing that putting people before is the true force that is driving market success,” he said. “It is people’s behavior, needs and interests, at an individual level, that marketers must learn to understand and serve.”
http://www.vectramind.com

Growing up


There is no doubt that mobile marketing is still an important piece of forward thinking. Marketers are expected to increase their spend on mobile ads by 45% this year for a total of $45.95 billion, according to eMarketer. Mobile’s share of overall ad spending is also growing, and by 2019 could account for more than one-third of total ad spending in the U.S.

More broadly, the global market for mobile marketing is on target to grow at a compound annual rate of 28.1% between 2016 and 2021, reaching a total of $98.85 billion by the end of the forecast period, according to Markets and Markets.

Despite the overall positive trend, there were also signs in 2016 that the mobile market is maturing. The growth in adoption leveled out from its previous steep trajectory, with the global smartphone shipment growth rate expected to be just 0.6%, down from the previous year’s growth rate of 10.4%, according to International Data Corp.

With smartphone penetration levels reaching saturation, marketers will need to focus more on strategy as the perception wanes of mobile as the hot new thing.

There also were indications that marketing apps may have peaked. No longer are all marketers expected to have an app. Instead, more integrated mobile experiences are proliferating, such as communicating with a brand from within a messaging app via a chatbot or accessing the information and even services offered within an app from Google search results.

While these developments are exciting, they are also contributing to an increasingly complex mobile landscape. As a result, marketers – many of whom are still trying to figure out mobile — are feeling overwhelmed by the growing number of ways to engage smartphone users and are unsure about where to invest.

The right moves


Despite the challenges in mobile, there were a number of new tactics and techniques that drove excitement in 2016 and promise to take engagement to the next level.

One of the biggest mobile success stories in 2016 was Pokemon Go, which showed how a phone can be used to bridge the online and offline worlds through augmented reality. This strategy is likely to influence marketing for years to come.

The success of Pokemon Go caught many by surprise, as did a broader receptiveness by mobile users to embrace interactive content, which included ads, 360 video, augmented reality and virtual reality.

“The takeaway that brands and marketers got from VR’s success in 2016 is that consumers want a more immersive ad experience,” James Malins, VP of cross-channel solutions at Amobee, told Marketing Dive. “Whether that’s rich media ads, 3D ads or a full-scale VR campaign, brands should be looking to do more storytelling with their advertisements to stand out in a fragmented media landscape by commanding audience attention in a creative way that keeps audiences engaged.”

Location measurement, an important unique offering in mobile marketing, made significant advances in 2016, becoming both more granular and integrated across platforms.

The ongoing rollout of beacons is helping marketers get more accurate physical data about their customers while Foursquare teamed up with Nielsen and with Snapchat to help marketers hone in on hyper-local marketing.

And brands such as Walgreens and Starbucks are testing Promoted Places on Google Maps this holiday season, enabling mobile users to click on a pin for a specific location and see available sales and services.

“Location data is incredibly powerful — beyond just using it for understanding your consumer, it should also impact your marketing strategy,” Malins said. “Foursquare’s accurate prediction — within 1% — of Chipotle’s declining sales in 2016 based solely on the analysis of foot traffic patterns is an enormous advancement for mobile marketing, uncovering a more accurate way to understand your consumers and target them more effectively.”

On location


Despite the gains made in location in 2016, there is also significant untapped potential in this area, reflecting marketers’ relative inexperience with location-based engagements.

For example, beacons, which arrived on the scene with great fanfare several years ago, have yet to move beyond pilot deployments in many cases, despite the successes that some have seen delivering contextual marketing for in-store shoppers.

“The problem is that most marketers are overwhelmed by the complexity and don’t know how to really make all the data truly actionable,” Sheryl Kingstone, business applications research director at 451 Research, told Marketing Dive.

Location-based offers will be an important opportunity in 2017 as long as they are intelligent and personalized, she added.

Intuitive buying


Another mobile success story this year was mobile commerce, which made significant leaps forward as consumers became more comfortable not just searching on their phones, but also completing a purchase.

“On Black Friday alone, mobile saw $1.2 billion in U.S. revenue, showing 33% growth year-over-year,” said Jeff Hasen, founder of Gotta Mobilize. “Why? Likely several reasons. Consumers are more trusting of purchasing via their phones. Businesses undoubtedly made the buying process more intuitive and quick and given how much time we spend with our devices, the idea of having to put them aside to fire up a desktop is more foreign than ever.”

In 2017, the opportunity in mobile commerce will be in creating omnichannel experiences with smartphones as a focal point, per 451 Research’s Kingstone. Click and collect will help retailers compete with the growth in digital commerce while branded mobile wallets that unite payments, loyalty and coupons will provide a value-driven experience for frequent shoppers.

“Personalized, context-relevant offers are more effective, and basing rewards on real-world transactions ensures they are calibrated appropriately and promote stronger engagement,” Kingstone said.

Duopolies emerge

Other mobile developments in 2016 were less clear. For example, the mobile ecosystem is increasingly dominated by two giants in the key areas of media and software. While such concentration of power is helping to drive short-term growth, it could present issues down the road.

“Duopolies have emerged, the duopolies of Google and Facebook on the media side and iOS and Android on the device operating sides, which can be seen as an advancement as they’ve helped produce focus and standards,” said mCordis’ Becker. “But they also may be a fail in the near future as they may stifle competitiveness and innovation. Only time will tell.”

Marketers also failed to take advantage of some important opportunities in mobile this year, contributing to a sense of stagnation. One significant shortcoming came in the area of metrics and measurement.

Marketers are investing billions a year in mobile, yet continue to complain that they cannot accurately track and measure their efforts, resulting in an inability to have a clear picture of mobile’s return on investment (ROI).

“Hands down, [the biggest fail of the year is] the fact that, according to Forrester, 67% of marketers say that they can’t measure mobile’s ROI,” said Gotta Mobilize’s Hasen. “More amazing is the fact that only 20% say that they have adequate budget for mobile initiatives.

Compounding the measurement problem was a series of announcements by Facebook that it had been inaccurately measuring activity across a number of its offerings, including video, live streaming and Instant Articles. As the second largest advertising platform, these revelations have left many marketers with questions about how to move forward.

Making a connection


Marketers also failed to take advantage of more organic engagement opportunities on mobile and instead continued to serve intrusive ads, one reason why the use of ad blockers on mobile is growing. While native ads and content marketing are making gains, too many marketers are failing to create quality experiences, risking turning off more consumers.

A case in point is the opportunity that mobile offers to create personalized, contextually relevant experiences, something marketers continued to struggle with in 2016.

“Despite all the discussion around personalization, I personally found no meaningful difference in outreach from brands, especially during the critical holiday season,” said Hasen. “I’m still getting generic newsletters, even from companies that know me and could and should do better.”

Ultimately, marketers recognize that mobile holds significant potential for reducing friction in their engagements with consumers — the trick is finding a way to do so that is valuable to consumers and drives measurable results for brands. Several successful examples from marketers in 2016 promise more marketers will hit the nail on the head in the coming year.

“More and more marketers, including Domino's, Starbucks, Sephora, have put a laser focus on reducing friction,” said Becker. “Starbucks’ mobile order and pay service now accounts for over 5% of revenue; CVS’ answer to this was the introduction of curbside pickup — people order from their phone and associates bring the goods out to their car; Amazon Go’s new store format illustrates a viable future for physical retail.”


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