Teaming the Cloud and Mobile Marketing

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According to a report released by Pew Internet, about 58 percent of adults in the United States have a smartphone as of January, 2014.

With so many people using smartphones, it makes sense that more and more businesses are using mobile marketing to reach out to their target audiences.

However, mobile devices have limited computational power and battery life, and they may not be able to run heavy applications. The solution to this problem is to combine mobile marketing and Cloud computing.

Here is a look at how Cloud-based mobile marketing can help your business achieve better results….

What is Mobile Marketing?

Mobile marketing is a form of marketing that involves communicating with consumers via mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets and others.

It can be performed in a number of ways, including SMS, MMS, mobile Internet ads, mobile apps, social media marketing, Bluetooth marketing, check-in services and others.

This type of marketing is relatively cost-effective, and it allows businesses to promote their brands and products to a large number of people. It has been proven to be an effective marketing method, helping many businesses achieve high response and sales conversion rates.

What is Cloud Computing?

According to an article entitled “What is the Real Impact of the Cloud?” the term “Cloud computing” can be traced back to 1996. Although it is not a new technology, it only began to see widespread adoption in recent years.

Basically, Cloud computing refers to the act of accessing and storing data and programs on the Internet. It offers virtually unlimited storage, and it enables users to perform a wide range of computing tasks anytime, anywhere.

Using a Cloud service can help businesses reduce IT costs, because it does not require the purchase of costly equipment, and it is sold on demand, usually by the minute or hour.

Benefits of Teaming Mobile Marketing and the Cloud

When mobile marketing is combined with Cloud computing, data processing and storage will be moved from mobile devices to the powerful centralized computing platforms that are located on the Internet.

This will give your target consumers better access to your marketing materials and apps, allowing you to get your marketing messages across to them more effectively. They can get information about your products or services, interact with your company, download mobile apps and make purchases with minimal interruption.

By providing a more pleasant mobile experience, you will be able to attract more new customers and retain existing ones.

Additionally, cloud-based mobile marketing enables you to track your customers’ responses instantaneously, so that you will have a better understanding of their preferences and behaviors, as well as the effectiveness of your marketing strategies.

Such information can help you make the appropriate changes to get better marketing results and achieve greater customer satisfaction.

As people around the world are becoming more reliant on mobile technology, it is a good idea to start combining the Cloud and mobile marketing now.
Cloud-based mobile marketing is the way of the future.

About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from social media marketing to Cloud computing.

Targeting Women with Mobile Marketing

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Honing mobile marketing strategies to target women is not only beneficial to businesses that exclusively sell women’s products; it can also help other businesses boost their sales and profits.

If you want to get the most out of your mobile marketing campaigns, you should try to make your website more appealing to female mobile users.

Importance of Having a Mobile-Friendly Website for Women

Time Inc. and Nuance Digital Marketing conducted a study to show why it is important for businesses to target women with mobile marketing.

Compared to men, women are generally more active on social media, and they have a greater tendency to engage with brands.

Also, mothers use mobile devices and social media more than any other group of consumers, and they like to recommend brands to their relatives and friends.

According to the study, 60 percent of women regard the mobile phone as the most essential device in their lives, compared to just 43 percent of men. About 72 percent access social media networks on their mobile phones and 55 percent use their phones to shop.

Men also make purchases with their mobile phones, but women tend to rely more on their phones to perform shopping-related tasks such as creating shopping wish lists, finding discounts, collecting coupons and sharing photos of purchases.

Since women are more likely to use their mobile phones for shopping purposes than men, it is a good idea for businesses to make their websites more mobile-friendly to women.

Create a Website that Appeals to Female Mobile Users

Content

Some business owners think that women do not care about technical specifications or they prefer to read flowery descriptions of products.

However, in actuality, women are somewhat similar to men when it comes to looking for product information or shopping advice.

The written content in your website should be concise and persuasive, and you should include a clear call to action and provide guidance for navigating your site. It is important that you have some articles or blog posts that cater specifically to women.

For instance, if you are selling health insurance, you can post articles such as “Health Insurance Guide for Women,” “Why Women are Paying More for Health Insurance?” or “Getting Health Insurance While Pregnant”.

You can make your articles or blog posts more appealing to women by using a friendly and conversational voice in your articles, which women are more likely to respond favorably to.

Design

Unlike men who prefer compartmentalized content, women tend to experience websites in a holistic manner.

If you want your website to provide a pleasant experience for women, you should use more white space and fewer boxes and dividing elements. Displaying images and videos of women on your website can also help you attract more female visitors.

Making your website more mobile-friendly to women does not have to be an extensive web design overhaul. If your website is well-designed, it should be appealing to both men and women.

All it takes to make it more female-friendly is a little tweak here and there.

About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from social media marketing to Cloud computing.

Educate Yourself Online on Career Opportunities

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With advancements in technology and social platforms, everything from Facebook to LinkedIn and other social media sites can help you get a job or advance your current career. Even online video sites, such as YouTube, can help you meet your career goals.

As of 2013, YouTube had more than one billion users and four billion views each day. This number has only grown and has no end in sight.

Use this, and other video sites, to your advantage when it comes to your career.

3 Ways Online Video Sites Help Your Career

Videos are naturally a better way to get a job than just sending out a resume simply because the employer can actually see you, hear what you have to say and relate to you. Paper resumes just don’t have the same personal feel that an online video can provide.

So, how exactly should you use these online video sites to help you with your career?

  • Showcase your personality – Employers love to see passion in people, people that can laugh at themselves and people who are friendly. Most likely, you have a great personality that any employer would love to have. In your video, be yourself! Don’t be drab and boring, but instead try to bring life to the camera. Act as though you’re on an interview and having a conversation with the viewer, not just sitting in your living room in front of a webcam.
  • Be creative – Make a video that will stand out amongst the rest. Highlight your strengths while also making sure to state why you’d be a good fit for the job. Be specific in the type of video you create. In other words, create separate videos for each specific job instead of just one all-encompassing video (though, ideally you’ll have both). Think of the video from the employer’s perspective – would you want to watch what you just created? If not, rethink your goals and strategies for the video.
  • Use video sites as a learning tool – Video websites – including YouTube, Hulu, Vimeo, Ustream, Howcast, Vevo and more – aren’t just for posting your own videos, but they can also be used as a learning tool in helping you advance your career or further your education.

According to the article “YouTube’s Education Channels Offer Wealth of Lessons,” YouTube offers a variety of quality educational videos, including lectures from respected professors and short “crash course” style videos on a variety of subjects.

Who knew that YouTube and other online video platforms could not only help land you a job, but also help you gain knowledge and further your education?

Next time you get the urge to watch music videos or cute laughing baby videos, try giving an educational video a try.

You’ll probably end up fascinated, and you’ll definitely learn a thing or two in the meantime!

About the Author: Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer living in Charlotte, North Carolina. New to the city, she enjoys house-hunting, trying new restaurants and spending time outdoors with her husband and daughters. She writes on topics including social media, careers and personal finance.

Furnishing the Right Mobile Marketing

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Similar to other types of businesses, furniture retailers have to stay up-to-date with the latest technological advances in order to stay competitive.

Mobile technology has come a long way over the past decade, and it is now possible for consumers to obtain information about the products they wish to buy and make purchases with their mobile devices.

According to a Forbes article entitled “Fifty Essential Mobile Marketing Facts”, about 81 percent of smartphone owners have used their phones to do product research and 50 percent have made purchases with their phones.

An increasing number of furniture retailers are using mobile marketing to attract more customers and boost their sales, and they are getting great results from their efforts.

Provide Helpful Information for Customers

Home Depot was one of the first furniture retailers to realize the great potential of mobile marketing.

It launched its first mobile site in 2010, and it has made many improvements to it over the years.

In order to provide a more convenient in-store shopping experience for its customers, the company implemented a set of location-based mobile functionalities to enable shoppers to access store inventory on a real-time basis, get real-time pricing and find out the locations of products in any Home Depot store.

Additionally, its mobile website has more than 1,000 how-to videos, which are all displayed on lightweight pages that can load quickly.

Mobile technology also enables Home Depot to communicate with its target consumers on a more personal level. It can get feedback from its customers instantly and send appropriate offers based on their mobile profiles.

In the meantime, whether customers are interested in living room furniture, kitchen furniture or home office furniture, a major retailer like Walmart can provide personalized information and advice for them.

Help Customers Make Decisions

With so many choices available, consumers may have trouble deciding which furniture pieces are most suitable for their homes.

IKEA understands this challenge that consumers face, and it created a catalogue app that allows its customers to see how its products will look in their homes.

Customers have to download the app onto their smartphones or tablets, and use phone symbols to point their cameras on the pages of the catalogue to unlock interactive activities, short movies and photos that can be mixed and matched.

Since they can see how different IKEA furniture pieces look in their homes, they will be able to select the right products before they buy.

Monitor the Effectiveness of Marketing Campaigns

Ashley Furniture is another furniture retailer that is reaping big rewards from mobile marketing.

Other than delivering marketing messages and announcing special sales and promotions, the company is also using mobile technology to monitor its marketing performance in real time.

By doing so, it can make quick changes to its marketing efforts to get better results.

Mobile marketing is cost-effective and easy to implement, and it has helped many furniture retailers achieve their marketing goals.

Those that have not adopted this form of marketing should do so as soon as possible.

About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from social media marketing to Cloud computing.

Is Your Website’s Graphic Design What it Should Be?

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With so many businesses turning to the web and creating stellar websites, your company should be doing everything it can to stand out among the digital crowd.

A website with a quality graphic design layout not only draws attention, it also keeps visitors interested longer.

In order to get you thinking about website graphics, here are a number of reasons why graphic design is important to your company website:

Consumers Respond to Professional Websites

More and more consumers are turning to the web for almost all of their shopping needs.

In fact, according to Statista, a leading statistical website, there are roughly 200 million online shoppers in the United States. By 2018, that number is expected to rise by an additional 50 million.

What does this have to do with graphic design?

Well, these online shoppers respond to professional looking websites when it comes to purchasing goods and finding services online.

With the right graphic design, you’re cutting through the competition by creating a website that consumers are more likely to respond to and engage with.

Quality Design Creates Brand Recognition

Your company’s website is a representation of your brand. Mediocre graphic design sends a negative message to your visitors and gives the impression that your company is a wayward business and not an established brand.

Luckily, an informed, professional graphic design layout can turn your company into the brand you’ve always wanted with just a few straightforward design elements.

Graphic Designers Add Value to Your Website

If you decide to take a professional approach to your website’s graphic design, then chances are you’ll need to hire a dedicated graphic designer.

As the following article shows, although schedule flexibility is just one of “3 Advantages to Getting Your Graphic Design Degree Online“, hiring a professional is your best bet.

With a professional graphic designer on your team, you’ll add a great look to your website that attracts a diverse clientele. All of this is to say that if you have the right graphic designer working for your website, the partnership will add value to your website and your brand.

Design Consistency is a Difference Maker

A website that’s not consistent from one page to the next is only taking away from what the business is trying to get across.

This includes content consistency, brand consistency, and graphic design consistency. With quality graphic design comes consistency in the appearance of your company’s website.

The design itself will draw consumers in, but the design consistency will keep them immersed in the pages of your website.

So, if your website looks like it’s a different site from page to page, then a well thought-out graphic design layout can help tie everything together.

Great Design Grabs Attention

Everything above speaks to one main point: graphic design, when done correctly, is a real attention grabber.

When a graphic designer brings their skills to the table, it will help your website transform from a stagnant site to an immersive, eye-catching, attention-grabbing online destination.

With graphic design on your side, your company can truly express itself through an attractive website layout.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including website design and technology.

Market the Heck Out of Big Data

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Big data is all the rage these days.

Unlike many (or most) things in the world of the Internet, big data isn’t going anywhere. If anything, it’s only going to get bigger.

What’s great about big data is that it is basically an enormous gift to everyone and anyone who understands it and knows how to use it advantageously.

Marketing teams everywhere should really get in the big data game. Here’s why…

The following article discusses the importance of big data: “The Internet of Things: Big Data is About to Get Bigger.” Big data came about as a direct result of our digital world and way of life.

There is so much information out there that savvy marketers get their hands upon to really drive results and actions.

Know Your Customers

One of the biggest things that big data hones in on deals with customers. Big data lets marketers know the following about customers:

Who are they? Where are they? What do they want? How can they be contacted? When can they be contacted? What influences them? What keeps them coming back for more and more? What makes them loyal?

It also helps marketers spend marketing and advertising dollars wisely by showing how well efforts perform. Plus, the data is always available for being tested, measured and analyzed.

Information from customer behavior is one of the biggest forms of big data that marketers can and should use.

This information includes metrics (behavioral, attitudinal, and transactional) from a variety of sources like marketing campaigns, social media, loyalty programs, online communities, websites, points of sale, etc.

Big data helps to measure how effective all marketing programs are and can help marketing teams adjust accordingly.

Another major benefit of big data is that it helps measure the financial health of an organization.

What’s This Mean for Marketers?

Basically, any marketing team not already making use of big data is missing the boat.

But it’s not too late to get in the game. That’s the cool thing about big data – it’s not going anywhere.

The worst part about big data is that it is such an enormous entity and undertaking it can be difficult to know where to begin.

The most important thing to remember is that you need to find the big data that matters the most to your business, organization, product, or brand.

And then you need to know how which tools to use to analyze that data.

If you know what you want the data for, it should be easier to determine how you will collect and use the data.

Once you know your objective and how you’re going to get there, then the world of big data is your oyster.

About the Author: Dana Rasmussen writes about marketing trends for a variety of publications. The concept of big data scares her as much as outer space.

Mobile Marketing and the Insurance Salesperson

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Not so long ago, phones were primarily used for calling one another.

Now, mobile phones are much more than just normal phones.

They’ve morphed into devices, able to offer us so many capabilities, including cameras and shopping and information at our fingertips 24/7; most of this exists to make our lives easier.

The health insurance field has not overlooked this component of marketing, and many of these companies are using mobile marketing in gaining the coverage of parents and their children.

It also helps that children (dependents) can stay on their parents plans longer these days, through college and into the work world.

What are some ways health insurance companies are going mobile?

With apps, texting and sensors, health insurance companies can reach their clients far and wide. This is a great marketing tactic, as many of these clients are students out on their own for the first time.

As the article “Health insurance for students” shows, students can still be covered under their parents’ plans, but the companies still have to keep up with technology. Agents should know this and keep up with ever growing technology.

Mobile marketing for healthcare is exploding.

There are currently more than 13,000 health and medical apps, and with the real time capabilities of mobile interaction, patients can be in touch with providers or other medical caregivers any time of any day. Customers can also receive reminder texts and information via email and text.

Health insurance companies do know this, and you’ll hear their advertisements all over the web, from Hulu to Pandora to Facebook and more.

How does a mobile presence help college kids?

Since many of these young adults are away from home for the first time, it’s up to them to remember appointments and payments and other health care information.

With mobile marketing and technology, that can all be integrated into one. Parents will appreciate the interactive healthcare company to help out their kids.

With different apps and interactive websites, health insurance companies can allow patients to access information right away, from reading QR codes to chatting online with an agent.

No waiting on hold on the phone or waiting until business hours to have questions answered. The better your mobile presence is as a health insurer, the more credible and desirable your business will be.

All of these conveniences make health insurance companies more desirable. It takes some of the pressure (and worry) off of the parents, and allows the kids to have a bit more responsibility. As long as it’s on their phones, they probably won’t mind.

It’s important for students to have health insurance.

With the ability to stay on their parents’ plans longer, many of them are keeping insurance now. Accidents happen and people get sick, regardless of age.

As an insurance agent, make sure you stay in the mobile technology market.

As a parent, make sure your questions are answered regarding your children’s health care coverage.

Maybe you can even get some of them answered on your mobile!

About the Author: Heather Legg is a writer covering topics related to healthcare, education and social media.

Your Invention Needs Mobile Marketing

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Marketing new inventions is a lot like marketing anything else.

The goal is to spend as little as possible to get your message in front of as many people as possible through the mediums that will give you the most exposure to the most people in a way that is most useful and where they are most likely to respond.

For example, businesses began using vanity phone numbers – numbers whose corresponding letters spell the name of a business or service – because they were easier for people to remember when they weren’t in a position to write things down, like on highway billboards.

But the world has gone mobile in a different way – and inventors need to evolve.

According to the Pew Research Internet Project, nine out of 10 Americans have mobile phones, and nearly 60 percent of them are smartphones with Internet access.

Sixty-seven percent check their phones for alerts or messages even when it doesn’t ring and 44 percent of them sleep with their phones. You can advertise your invention on that thing they sleep with.

Hottest Categories

As the following article shows, if you’re thinking, “How do I invent something” or “What should I invent?” consider that some categories were designed for mobile marketing – and if you’ve already come up with an idea in one of the following categories, you’re in luck.

As many as 86 percent of smartphone users rely on their phone especially for services pertaining to:

  • Coordinate meetings
  • Learning about businesses or restaurants
  • Learning traffic or public transit information
  • Prepare for emergencies
  • Checking out sports scores

Mobile Friendliness

In a previous generation, your invention would have needed a press kit. Today, it needs a website.

That website, however, must be mobile friendly. Since so many Americans use the Internet mostly or exclusively from their phones and tablets, you have to make sure that when they pull up your invention’s home on the Internet, it looks right on their phone. Your invention’s mobile site is not just a smaller version of your desktop site.

Responsive web design, or RWD, is just one way to make sure that your website’s content translates correctly to mobile devices without requiring users to scroll or resize.

Where Are You Marketing?

Mobile marketing is a lot like real estate – location is everything.

Whether you’re marketing to customers in the U.S. or overseas will play a major role in your strategy.

In South America, for example, the surest way to reach the most customers is still through SMS messaging. In the United States, the most-widely used social-media sites are Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Globally, Facebook is still number one, but then it drops way off.

Have you ever heard of QZone? You’d better read up if you plan to do business in China. How about VKontakte? That’s the number one social media site in Russia.

Inventors face an especially difficult climb toward success.

They have to first, well, invent the product, which is no small task. But getting it to the people who want or need it can be just as much of a hurdle.

There is no doubt, however, that whether your product is digital or physical, it will need to be marketed in a mobile world.

About the Author: Andrew Lisa is a freelance marketing writer. He covers mobile marketing and social media.

Has Your Print Business Gone Mobile?

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Mobile marketing has taken off and the opportunities are wide open. As a printer, there are some tricks to the technique, but by partnering with businesses utilizing mobile marketing, you can cash in and build your business to the next level.

Not too long ago, the cell phone was still considered a bit of a luxury by many people. Those who did have them used them to conduct business with established contacts and colleagues or saved them for personal use alone. All that has changed now – and is evolving moment by moment. As the everyday man and woman become much more tech savvy, mobile phones are now in the hands or pockets of nearly everyone and the progression of social media on the Internet along with the advent of smartphones, mobile marketing is set to explode- and that means money for Internet entrepreneurs and brick and mortar businesses as well.

Marketers are using a wide variety of technology to reach out to prospects and calls to action are everywhere. From the airport to restaurants to shopping malls, consumers are connecting with business and opting in to receive mobile marketing messages in order to find out about the latest gadgets, get great deals and access limited time offers not available to the public. What does this mean to you, the printer on the corner? Coupons, vouchers, tickets are other printed items will be in greater demand – and your customers will be needing you to provide them.

Mobile marketing means people will be signing up to access their coupons and tickets every hour of the day, every minute of the hour. This ease of accessibility will drive demand and businesses will find printers who are on board to provide the volume. By taking the explosion of mobile marketing into consideration when planning your own advertising and client acquisition strategies, you can be prepared to provide high quality, high-speed product to your clients in response their mobile marketing campaigns.

Take your printing business to the next level of demand and connect with the mobile marketing trend. By showing your current and future customers that you know how to maximize the potential of mobile marketing, your printing business will be as mobile as your clients will!

Big Data’s Ability to Enhance Your Website

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If your company’s website is lackluster, then it’s probably time to take advantage of everything big data has to offer.

Whether your website needs a ground up reboot or you just need to upgrade your landing page, big data makes it possible to enhance your website in a big way.

With worthwhile websites in mind, here are just a few ways big data can help improve your company’s website:

Automated Data Gathering

Regardless of the size of your company, your daily computing activities probably involve juggling data from numerous locations.

Whether it’s CRM software, company and visitor website analytics, email marketing tools, or all of the above, if your company isn’t properly handling its data, then all of that valuable information is useless.

Luckily, big data can help your company simplify the data gathering process by integrating tools that actually automate data collection.

Automated data gathering means your company can pull data from various data-producing locations and compile all of that information into one easy-to-analyze location.

Website Customization

Personalization goes a long way with consumers and big data allows you to customize your company’s website to each visitor’s tastes.

For example, big data’s real-time processing power makes tailored website recommendations a possibility.

With tailored recommendations, return customers who visit your site will be greeted by product and service suggestions based on their previous purchases and online activity. If it’s a customer who is new to your site, big data can even help formulate tailored suggestions in real-time based on current website activity.

Real Time Analytics

What good is data if you don’t have the ability to analyze it?

If you really want your website to grab more customers, then you need as the following article shows to “Stay focused on the big data bottom line” with real time analytics. The real time analytics that big data provides allows your company to monitor and track website activity as it happens.

From seeing how many visitors are on your site at any given time to tracking the pages they are interacting with to identifying which traffic sources led them to your site, real time analytics provides real insight.

In addition, thanks to the monitoring power of big data, you can also use real time analytics to immediately see the traffic changes that take place anytime you make a change on your website.

Big Data Mobility

It’s probably safe to assume that your company has a mobile component to its full-fledged website.

Well, whether it’s just the mobile version of your site or an app designed specifically for mobile devices, big data can help you gather and analyze data from the mobile side of your company’s website too.

Mobile marketing, mobile shopping, and mobile web browsing are gaining popularity fast, which means a large part of your company’s data streams will come from customers using their smartphones and tablets.

With the volume of data from mobile devices on the verge of exploding, big data can help your company manage data from your mobile website and turn it into useful information.

If your company’s website is in need of some data management assistance, then it’s time to give big data a chance.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including technology and data management.