Archive for February, 2010
In 2007 Cellular One, previously known as Dobson Communications Corporation, merged with AT&T. As a result of this union, Cellular One will become AT&T in June of 2010.
Moving forward, there will be no new campaigns, migrations, or Short Codes provisioned on the Cellular One Network. Deprovisioning will be handled as usual on the Cellular One network, while more information will follow in regards to current campaigns that are active. Until then, all campaigns that are currently active on the Cellular One Network will be serviced normally.
As Cellular One is already part of the shared short code network on 84444.com, this will have no effect on your ability to reach Cellular One customers from today through the final technology merger in June, 2010.
If, however, you wish to use your own short code with the Advanced Telecom Services’ technology, you will be without Cellular One coverage until June 2010.
Sprint / Virgin US / Cellcom / CellSouth and nTelos USA have been suffering intermittent service issues with their SMS platforms since 3 PM EST on 2010-02-15.
Some MO and MT messages are currently being delayed.
MT messages sent to these carriers are being queued on the SMS gateway and will be passed on for delivery as soon as possible. No messages should be lost during this period.
By Dan Curry
2009 showed huge strides in automotive marketing, Dealers are opening their eyes to more and more marketing options and not going the cheap route as over $20 billion is expected to be spent in 2010 on dealer marketing. The previous is great news but most dealers are beginning to lose grasp on customer retention. We all have heard the statistic that a previous customer is 67% more likely to buy than a new one yet dealers were only seeing half this number at best so what gives?
Coming from a dealership I hate to say this but we have flooded our customers with direct mail and emails to the point they trash it with out even reading your messaging. ( just picture your customer crumpling up your money and throwing it out- this is essentially what they are doing) The days of direct mail are numbered that is clear as day, but what many don’t see is that email is going down the same road in automotive – Check out the stats-
|Email Open Rate
||Direct mail Open rate|
|2008 - 23.3%||2008 – 3.2%|
|2009 - 19.1%||2009 – 2.4%|
-Epsilon, Q3 2008 and Q3 2009 for automotive industry
A Subaru dealer in Florida recently ran into this problem when an existing customer was in for service,his vehicle was 1200 miles over factory warranty and needed $2300 in Power train repair, The service manager took the gentleman to the finance office to see what option he may have on a warranty or new vehicle. The finance manager asked Mr. Smith if he had gotten the 6 reminders they Direct mailed and emailed to him, His reply in anger and confusion “What mailers!, why cant you just send something to my i-phone its always on me and I never miss a message” The finance manager looked at him puzzled with no answer for such a simple question.
Anyone who has ever experienced a similar problem from either side of the desk knows how frustrating these situations can be. Mr. smith brought up a great question thats befuddled the dealer. Why can’t we send something to Mr. smiths mobile phone would be an incorrect question- Why are we not sending Mr. Smith a SMS message to his mobile phone is the true question.
-SMS messaging has over a 94% open rate proving to Mr smith statement of:
“ My phone is always on me I never miss a message”
Mr. Smith is just one Prime example on how a dealer lost out on not only a warranty sale but a future vehicle sale.Although many owners realize regular maintenance will result in more efficient driving and higher resale, many simply feel in the dark about when and where to service their vehicle “I mean, have you taken a look under the hood of your vehicle lately? Americans are proven notoriously reactive people rather not proactive due to busy lifestyles and lack of reminders – Big time executives have assistants for a reason, Do the same for your customer guide them in the right direction and keep them focused there.
-There are numerous ways to make SMS messaging perform for you and endless ideas on usages.
If you want your message read send it by Text message.
Service and Retention examples
Customer Loyalty Programs
Service Text Coupons
Customer Alerts (sales and events)
It’s time for dealers get in the game.
Full-line automakers such as Toyota Motor Corp., General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co., possessing some of the largest marketing budgets in the world, are not new to emerging media. They often spend heavily in all media, including online, video and mobile. According to Advertising Age’s 100 Leading National Advertisers Spending Report 2007, the automotive sector led all categories in advertising spending, topping the charts at $19.80B last year. Automakers’ large budgets and continuous need for innovation in marketing give them both the means and the motivation to test and push new channels and tactics more aggressively than other verticals.
Automotive marketers are also not new to mobile marketing. Brands like Chevrolet, Ford, Jeep, Jaguar and Toyota are all investing in mobile-marketing strategies to create awareness, drive leads to dealers and/or enable “in-your-pocket” exploration and interaction with their products. SMS campaigns that include click2call, which enables consumers to call a dealer immediately, or click2locate, which asks consumers to enter their ZIP code to locate the closest dealer, are meeting with solid success for lead-gen purposes.
As smartphone penetration increases — smartphones make up nearly 6.5 percent of the U.S. market and 10 percent of the global market for mobile phones — and MMS usage becomes more widespread, the ability for consumers to use click2video to view advanced video experiences built for automotive advertising. Until then, auto marketers will continue to use mobile WAP sites to empower users to research and customize their cars and carry their preferences with them as they shop.
But what is new in mobile marketing is not the activity initiated by auto marketers; it is the growing use of mobile marketing by auto dealerships. Dealers are looking for more efficient and streamlined ways to communicate with prospects and improve the sales experience, and mobile holds promise, particularly for younger audiences.
Cars2go offers mobile couponing and bi-directional communication and transactional capabilities between dealers and customers, streamlining the car-buying process for consumers and dealers alike. The prospect Texts a keyword ( DC lexus) to a short code (50123) to recieve a text reply giving them more information, coupon as well as a link to the dealers gosite ( mobile ready website) giving them the access to search dealer inventory right that instant, with the option to click2call or email.
According to Nexteppe, “dealers can use mobile marketing as part of an integrated campaign by displaying new and pre-owned inventory on a WAP site and using SMS for inventory. They can also issue updates, maintenance reminders and inform customers about promotions and financing deals….the response has been overwhelming.” This solution was recently tested in a New York Toyota dealership.
- Service Reminders: consumer alerts via text message to remind them of upcoming service appointments, etc.
- On-the-lot marketing or SMS integration in print ads: customers visiting a lot after hours or those accessing print promotions can input a model code by SMS to automatically receive more information, including text description of vehicle, color, link to WAP brochure, etc. They can also request that information be sent to them via email, and choose to be contacted by a sales representative via phone.
- Customer satisfaction surveys: automatic surveying of the sales experience via mobile.
Although these systems are just rolling out, there is much to be excited about in mobile marketing these days as the auto industry embraces mobile not just for branding purposes, but also as a mechanism for overhauling the dealer-consumer experience via real-time, mobile communication.
Mobile money maker
Consumer is a king. He is the beneficiary of the competition among the businesses to sell more and earn more. Every other store is out with sale, discounts or offers. But, is the consumer really looking at the stores? Do they have time to check out with every store for the best deal? Are they aware of the happenings in the market, at the first place?
If not, what can business houses do to reach them and keep them informed? How can they be made aware about what your business is all about? How can a business house expand his scope of contacts with prospective buyers?
Mobile marketing: a tech-savvy solution
Mobile marketing techniques and associated tools like premium SMS, bulk SMS, mobile coupons, etc. are turning out to be the new generation marketing and advertising tools. The widespread network of mobiles is an effective means to reach the consumers and update them about the latest marketing news.
Mobile marketing has its own advantages like reaching a vast user base, saving the time that other conventional methods demand and doing away with any time constraints. It is the best solution so far that fulfils the requirements of both, the consumers as well as the businesses. Consumer gets the information and businesses get to reach the consumers.
Text message sweepstakes
Wooing consumers with mobile advertising and text message sweepstakes is the ‘in thing’. One after the other, business houses are gearing up to avail the advantages of mobile marketing. Text message sweepstakes are the rage amongst the new generation of mobile users who form an important segment of the consumer class. This is mainly because it offers two main advantages- one each from business and user perspective.
- Business perspective: The best way to build a database of consumers
Offering an attractive text message sweepstake can enrich a business with a huge reservoir of database of consumers. Automated computerized database management system will gather the information about the participants in the text message voting and contests by using short codes. By gathering data about the participants, a business house can create a database of the prospective leads. Working on these will allow businesses to concentrate mobile advertising on the segment that will fetch maximum returns with minimum efforts.
- User perspective: Easy to enter contest from cell phone
A user of a cell phone has freedom to enter a contest from her cell phone. She does not have to wait to reach the store or buy a literature to raise her chances of winning text message sweepstakes. Mobile advertising and mobile marketing is a round the clock feature that put the user at her convenience to use services. A consumer can ‘open sesame’ by sending a text message and keying a few short codes.
Indeed, mobile marketing and mobile advertising is becoming more user friendly than we could ever imagine.
Mobile marketing to aid humanity
Hitherto, it was thought that premium SMS service is used only for mobile marketing and game shows on television. Sadly, it took an unfortunate tragedy like the earthquake in Haiti to prove otherwise. As every dark cloud has a silver lining, the upheaval in Haiti has highlighted the human side of mobile marketing. USA donated over $30 million to Haiti earthquake victims and a major chunk of it was garnered through premium SMS service. Red Cross alone raised $27 million through premium text messaging service.
Simple and quick method
Probably, this was the first time in the history that such a huge aid donation was raised within such a short time; and that too it involved no physical efforts but a few presses of a mobile keypad.
It involved a simple interactive bulk text messaging from the aid collector agencies. They collaborated with mobile marketing services for sending premium SMS. Mobile users across the US received a text message asking them to donate to Haiti earthquake victims. All that mobile users needed to do was to reply by a text message if they were interested to donate. $10 was charged to their mobile bill for the month. It was as simple as that.
It took a few seconds per mobile user to key in the reply, from wherever they are, and whenever they wanted. This simple and quick method invoked the sea of humanity and resulted in the deluge of donations.
Advertisements and endorsements
Amidst the plethora of text messages that the mobile users receive everyday, it was very likely that they neglect or delete altogether the message for the help. So, in order to pump up the visibility and response to the message various mobile marketing campaigns, advertising on national TV and celebrity endorsements were undertaken.
First Lady Michelle Obama turned spokesperson for the Haiti earthquake victims. She appealed to the people on a television show ‘24’. The National Football League play-off games were also used as a platform for the appeal. Unbelievably, it resulted in almost half a million donations per hour via text messaging service during the games.
Crucial tool in critical situations
Premium SMS service and other mobile marketing tools like mobile advertising, mobile marketing campaigns, bulk SMS, etc. are proving to be very handy during critical times, owing to their wide reach, easy usability and anytime application. It has already proven beneficial in strengthening the bond of humanity. It has crossed all the barriers of cast, creed and color to amass huge help through premium SMS donations to Haiti.
Since April 16, 2007, whenever children leave for their high school, many parents’ hearts skip a bit. Probably, it skips a bit almost every hour until they are back. Most of us may still remember that it was a day the tragedy at Virginia Tech took place.
A gunman ‘Cho’ went berserk at an early morning hour that day at Virginia Tech killing 32 people including students and faculty members. Surprisingly, this happened in two separate incidents, though the gunman was the same. He initially shot a few students at the West Ambler Johnston Hall and then after almost a couple of hours went to the Norris Hall at Virginia Tech campus to kill professors and students.
Could this tragedy have been avoided?
The question that obviously comes to mind is that, could this tragedy have been avoided had we adapted emergency text messages service? Could text message solutions like bulk text messaging have saved precious lives?
This topic and other solutions for the safety of children at school were discussed vigorously in the aftermath of the massacre; but still, the debate is yet to be concluded. Rather than concentrating on what had happened and how it could have been avoided; it is better to look out for some effective solution implementation that can avoid such tragedies from happening again.
Mobile marketing to the rescue
Mobile marketing provides a clue to emergency text messages that can serve an effective technical solution at the time of such tragedies or disasters. Emergency text messages cannot eliminate the tragedies, but can certainly stop the death toll from aggravating.
Taking the same gory incident into consideration, the death toll could have been certainly avoided, had there been some mobile marketing technique like emergency text messages in place. Such service can notify students and faculty immediately wherever they are. Time to time it can inform the whereabouts of the assassin, thereby helping the students and the faculty to decide the course of action. It could have warned the students from coming out of their classrooms and falling prey to the brutal killer.
Bulk text messages, like the ones used in mobile marketing can reach vast targets within a fraction of a second. It does not require any physical contact between a sender and a receiver. Further, the technology is so easy to operate that school children can also send emergency text messages in case of emergency.
It is high time that emergency text messages and bulk SMS is tailored to suit emergency situations. It is information that is crucial in avoiding many ghastly tragedies and disasters.
With more and more people beginning to use their mobile phones for services that extend far beyond just voice messages and conversations, mobile phones are becoming an effective tool of mobile marketing for saving money. One of the significant ways of saving money through your phone is through the use of mobile coupons.
A mobile coupon is an electronic ticket that can be exchanged for a financial discount or refund when buying a product. A mobile coupon is primarily issued by manufacturers of consumer packaged goods or by retailers, to be used in retail stores as a part of sales promotion, especially through mobile advertising.
Mobile Coupons Benefit Everyone
Advantage to the Consumer
A print coupon can get lost in so many different places. On the other hand, since mobile coupons are stored in a device that you carry with you 24/7, it is nearly impossible that you would lose mobile coupons. Another advantage to consumers is the fact that everyone has text message functionality on their phone…compared to being on a computer where many do not have printers.
Mobile coupons also help you save time as you are able to search for discounts even when you’re waiting in lines or using public transport. Also, you can look for mobile coupons so that you can conveniently save money on every purchase. Mobile coupons can be tailored to suit your personalized and customized tastes.
Advantage to Mobile Advertising
There are a whole lot of benefits for the advertisers as well. They can promote mobile coupons anywhere! Not just in print or online. As long as the call to action is clear, the coupon can be obtained by the audience.
Mobile coupons also promote interactive marketing. Mobile advertising gives the opportunity to ask consumers if they are interested in receiving future mobile offers or coupons. Also, as advertisers use text message for marketing or sending coupons, they save a lot of money on printing.
Advantage to the Environment
With coupons sent to mobile phones, there is no paper and no garbage to pollute the environment. Also, when you’re not printing out coupons, you’re saving trees. And when you’re using a small device instead of a big computer to search for online coupons then you are also saving energy. If you are not happy with the mobile coupons, you can simply delete them.
The Future of Mobile Coupons
There are quite a few things that we can expect to happen with the future of mobile coupons. We might see a rise in the number of businesses that are marketing to their customers with mobile coupon offers. Additionally, we might see the growth of numerous mobile marketing applications designed to increase the efficiency of delivering and redeeming mobile coupons.
Finally, we will most likely see a considerable growth in the interactive capability of mobile coupons as this area of web technology develops.