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?

Donna Vieira
Posted on in Inspiration

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.

Make Your Website Mobile Friendly

John Foley, Jr.
Posted on in Inspiration

If you want to boost your mobile presence, start with a mobile friendly website. An increasing number of people are accessing the Internet on mobile devices. If your site doesn’t display well, visitors won’t stay. They’ll leave – and you’ll lose their custom.

A mobile friendly website lets people know that you’re in touch with what modern web surfers want and that you care about tailoring their visit to your site to their preferred browsing method. A mobile-ready version of your site will allow you to connect with your customers no matter how they browse.

If you’re running a specific event, a mobile website is perfect for those who are en route. If you’re running a promotion, making it available on mobile will grab the interest of busy customers on the go. And if you want to run a location specific promotion? A mobile website is a must.

As well as clear navigation and content that fits well on a mobile screen, take the time to enhance your mobile site with content that looks good on a small screen, such as eye catching pictures or videos.

It’s time to go mobile and meet your customers where they are.

Mobile Apps Educating Teachers and Students

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The classroom environment has changed dramatically in the last few years.

Dog-eared workbooks and paper registers are being replaced as teachers and students alike embrace smart phones and tablets, with some schools providing devices for use in the classroom, while others embrace a “bring your own device” philosophy.

The growth of mobile devices and mobile apps in the classroom is good news for teachers and students, encouraging a more interactive and responsive learning environment and helping teachers to deliver lessons more effectively.

What are some of the ways in which mobile apps can improve the learning process for teachers and students?

Mobile Apps Allow Teachers to Deliver More Engaging Classes

One of the advantages of using mobile apps in the classroom is the ability to create more engaging materials for students, delivering lessons in a way that encourages involvement and discussion.

Mobile apps mean that teachers can deliver multimedia such as video, images and slideshows direct to students’ mobile devices.

Apps also make it easier to involve students by using chat apps for group discussions, both in the classroom and out of it, and delivering interactive quizzes that students can answer in real time.

As well as making the materials more interesting and encouraging student involvement rather than passive learning, delivering materials via apps makes it easier to make them available anywhere, any time. This is a real boon for students who have missed a lesson or who want to brush up on what they’ve been learning.

Mobile Apps Make it Easier to Track Student Progress

Mobile apps are revolutionizing the way teachers keep track of their class and their students’ progress.

By using mobile apps, teachers can access a wealth of information on each student such as statistics on grades and performance.

Grade tracking and reports are not only useful for teachers, but can be sent to parents or to the students themselves to show them how they are doing and help isolate areas where they need more support.

Mobile apps bring a real time element to student assessment, with teachers able to see at once how students are doing in quizzes administered via apps and add instant notes during assessments and group activities instead of relying on memory.

Using apps this way gives teachers the chance to respond to student’s needs in real time until waiting until a later grading session to see who is getting it and who needs extra support.

Teachers can also compile portfolios for each student, which is great for tracking and also offers students a visual record of how their school year is going, encouraging improvement.

Mobile Apps Make Online Learning More Straightforward

As “Who Teaches Distance Learning Classes?” points out, a vital part of distance and online learning is being able to access materials and submit assessments online.

Mobile apps make this process a cinch, allowing teachers to upload materials for students, and making it easy for students to upload assessments, which their teachers can then grade using one of the many available grading apps.

Mobile apps work well for courses that are entirely distance learning based, but also have practical applications for physical classes.

Teachers can supplement in-person teaching with back up materials delivered via mobile apps and students can do some of their learning and assessment outside of the classroom environment, encouraging flexibility for students and teachers alike.

When it comes to delivering a better education, mobile apps can make a big difference, creating a more flexible, interactive and enjoyable learning environment for students while giving teachers’ instant and useful feedback.

About the Author: Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on subjects as diverse as Cloud computing, mobile apps, marketing and education.

5 Benefits of Mobile Marketing

Donna Vieira
Posted on in Inspiration

Mobile is the next big thing in marketing, and it is here now. Why should you mobilize your content? Here are five reasons!

  1. QR Codes on Direct Mailers. When you mobilize your content, you should have QR codes for people to scan. Using QR Codes on direct mailers has become a popular trend because now you can encourage people to take further steps towards using your products or services. With your direct mailer QR Code, you can send people to all types of mobilized content that will give them more incentive to take action. Offer a mobilized coupon, event registration form, survey or a mobilized purchase form. QR Codes that send people to mobilized landing pages allows your audience to take these actions quickly and easily from their phone. By using a straightforward, mobilized format for your content, it will spike response rates and impress and your audience.
  2. Interactive Marketing Opportunities. Having mobilized content allows for users to interact directly with your company and submit information right to your database. Offer incentives for customers to supply their email address, or give surveys that can be easily taken right from a phone. You can add these opportunities on any type of printed piece- trade show posters, direct mailers, brochures and more. Use your mobilized content as a tool to compile information and better service for the needs of your consumers.
  3. Smart Phone Prominence. You have seen the statistics by now. Smart phone numbers are through the roof. Mobile marketing isn’t a niche anymore; it is a massive segment of the population.
  4. No More Zooming and Scrolling. Smart phone website viewing can be a hassle. Zooming in to read microscopic text and then scrolling left to right to read just one line is awkward and unpleasant. Having mobile optimized websites, landing pages and content alleviates this problem. A mobile optimized site is designed to be read on a smart phone with minimal scrolling and no zooming necessary. Give your eyes a break!
  5. Get the Word Out! A mobile website is a great way to get out all the information you want to bring to your potential customers. And a mobile website also allows you to have additional pages, or sites, devoted specifically to particular services or products. Different QR codes can lead customers to different pages. Be creative! The possibilities are endless.