Howarth Timber Building supplies – building success with SMS

Howarth Timber are much more than just timber. They are over 175 years worth of trading experience, knowledge and expertise. They are now the UK’s largest privately-owned timber company which can be dated back to the 1840’s! Once trading as a one man company, they have now grown into one of the leading lights in the forefront of their industry.

But not only do they lead the way in their timber and building supplies, they lead the way in the way their business markets themselves to their customers.

They market themselves through SMS which is the exact sort of forward thinking that has lead them to become one of the UK’s biggest and best timber specialists company. So we decided to grab a coffee with them and discuss their SMS ventures…

1 – What do you use mobile marketing for?
“We use mobile marketing to push our monthly promotions which are both in our branches and online. We also use it to make customer’s aware of any quick fire promotions, trade days and breakfast mornings. We have found it particularly helpful to make customers aware of any branch issues; e.g. if their phone lines are down or if there are roadworks outside a branch but the branch is open as usual.”

2 – Would you recommend it to other businesses?
“Definitely. We’ve had a brilliant response from mobile marketing and have found that people are more likely to react quickly when they receive an SMS.”

3 – How does it compare against other marketing channels you use?
“We tend to use mobile marketing as an extension to our newsletters. Both mediums have their own benefits and we’ll often link through from an SMS to one of the newsletters.”

4 – What were your results? Did it go well? Have you got any stats you could share with us?
“For example, we have garnered a good response from sending out SMS messages to make customers aware of training courses within our branches. People are able to react quickly and call the branch via the phone number included in the SMS and so we’ve found the list of attendees for these courses fill up quickly. Also the click through rates for URLs included in SMS messages are always high.”

5 – Have you got any tips for businesses who are new to SMS?
“Don’t overload recipients with too many SMS messages. It’s easily done but it’s more likely to force people to opt out than engage them.”

6 – And how have you found Text Marketer in service and our platform?
“Text Marketer has been incredibly easy to use and we’ve had a lot of support from our contact at TM as well which has been appreciated. Being able to have a unique ID and being able to schedule SMSs in are functionalities that we were particularly interested in. The website is user friendly and clean looking, I can’t sing it’s praises enough to be honest.”

So if you want to follow in the footsteps of Howarth Timber and see your business grow into an industry leader that lasts the test of time, why not sign up for your free mobile marketing account… And maybe in 175 years we could be doing a case study on your business!

Ad Trends from MWC 2018

The following is a guest contributed post by Ignasi Prat, CMO at Tappx

Mobile World Congress reached its conclusion last week and again proved to be the beating heart of imminent and future technology. As a Barcelona based company, we at Tappx are most definitely biased towards MWC being the major global show for all things mobile related, which these days is every kind of tech.

At this year’s Mobile World Congress, there were of course the usual smartphone launches, but this year’s show also went deeper into the two major technologies shaping our mobile future: 5G and Artificial Intelligence. Each of these technologies has its own incredible scope and likely impact, but when combined, they are set to superpower and transform industries; and one of these is the global ad industry.

5G – the fifth generation mobile wireless standard – is fast becoming a reality. 4G was a great improvement in terms of data speed download, which has delivered a sizeable and beneficial impact for users, and how they consume content across their smart devices. 5G is all about the user experience and is set to open up a whole new world of possibilities, as everything will be connected with an ever-growing flow of data, serving an exponentially growing number of connected devices – whether that’s connected cars, homes, or any other examples that people can’t imagine quite yet.

Why marketers should be excited by the focus at MWC on 5G is because it opens new doors for marketers, where new devices can provide new advertising opportunities and deliver new ways and channels to reach customers, where each one has their own idiosyncrasies and nuances.

5G is going to be faster, potentially much faster: compared to typical 4G download speeds of up to 150 megabytes per second, 5G promises up to an astonishing 20 gigabytes per second. But more exciting for mobile marketers is that 5G also promises a decrease in latency (ie the time between when an order is given and when it takes place). The drop is from 50 milliseconds for 4G, to between 1-5ms for 5G. This has a direct impact on the advertising industry, because faster data transmission and lower latency will permit new streaming capabilities, such as 4K video advertising, and immersive 360-degree videos or Virtual- (VR) and Augmented-Reality (AR) ads.

Prior to MWC, Apple unveiled its ARKit project that aims to boost the creation of AR content (at least for iPhone 8 and X users), Google has countered with ARCore. This ARms race will be a boon to mobile marketers as it opens up a new creative horizon for advertising and for creating 5G-enabled immersive experiences. It also gives content creators a new channel – with all the opportunities and challenges that go with it – to come up new types of content to appeal to audiences, but it’s up to mobile marketers to reach those audiences, to monetize the content and make it work for brands. We might not have all the answers, but we’re excited by the prospect of new message formats, acquisition metrics and creative fun we’ll have.

The other side of all the connected devices and content on display at MWC is data. It isn’t just the ‘new oil’ of the 21st century, but data is the fuel that powers technology. The days of marketing based solely on intuition or small data samples are history. Instead we have a wealth of data about consumers, telling us more than we could have ever dreamed of. But as the amount of data gathered grows exponentially, we need to ask the question – what’s the best method to identify data, build insights, and apply to our advantage? Enter AI.

It’s Artificial Intelligence that’s transforming the mobile advertising industry into the current mobile adtech industry, where smart machines trading ads in real-time are significantly more efficient than human ad operations. The increasing role of AI across the entire advertising industry, and its capability for solving challenges facing advertisers and publishers, can empower advertisers to serve relevant content, to hyper targeted audiences, in the correct context. Everything in real-time.

What Mobile World Congress tells us as mobile marketers is that the future of the ad industry is exciting and promising. The arrival of 5G and AI will open new opportunities to deepen and interrogate the relationships that advertising has with people and ways to use these technologies to move customers along the buying journey. Our challenge – as ever – is to get on top of these trends first.

The post Ad Trends from MWC 2018 appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

Starbucks Adds Three Shots to Its Digital Marketing

Starbucks wants to grow its digital marketing and sees even those averse to Starbucks Rewards as a big opportunity

By Kelly Shermach

Of the 75 million monthly Starbucks customers, only 15 million have been active in Starbucks Rewards in the past 90 days. Starbucks wants to have digital relationships with the remaining 60 million because virtually all the company’s comp growth comes from the digital relationships with Starbucks Rewards members. In fact, more than one-third of all Starbucks sales are connected to Starbucks Rewards, with mid-to-high single-digit growth quarter over quarter.

Successful 1:1, personalized offers “drive a high level of incrementality that has not slowed,” Starbucks CFO Scott Maw told attendees of the UBS Global Consumer and Retail Conference on March 8.

In 2018, Starbucks plans to do engage non-Starbucks Rewards coffee quaffers in three ways. Returns are expected as early as 2019.

  1. Open Mobile Order & Pay to all customers through an app that will capture contact information and deliver in-app and other marketing. This will move new customers into the personalization engine and feed some MSR growth. But if consumers opt not to join the program, Starbucks will still track spending, frequency and other behaviors. Already Mobile Order & Pay has opened to a small group of non-MSR customers. Maw said it will achieve full roll-out by year end.
  2. Reactivate MSR customers who have not visited in more than 90 days. Marketing has had some success in this effort, but Starbucks is going to make richer offers like bigger discounts.
  3. Require Wi-Fi users to sign up. This strategy is still in investigatory mode. The plan is to require customers to submit their email addresses once to use free Starbucks Wi-Fi, then automatically connect their devices every time they enter a store. Consumers get convenience; Starbucks gets email addresses.

Maw said Starbucks believes it can continue to grow comps in the mid-to-high single-digit range quarter over quarter as it starts and builds relationships with customers outside Starbucks Rewards. And the coffee retailer anticipates 10% year over year Starbucks Rewards growth from its triple-shot strategy. In the most recent quarter, Starbucks Rewards accelerated membership by 11%.

“Starbucks is a leader in digital marketing and continues to strengthen [its] digital flywheel vision, encompassing rewards, personalized offers, ease of payments, and fast and convenient ordering,” says Margaret Meraw, president of Effective Execution Consulting and member of the Customer Strategy Network.

She predicts success will yield “a natural progression for non- or inactive [Starbucks Rewards] members to add the benefits of the program to their Starbucks experience.” That benefits Starbucks through additional customer insight around the offers that best drive business growth and customer satisfaction.

Maw acknowledged that Starbucks needs to expand Rewards offerings to keep the program engaging and suggested the company may introduce lower level rewards. Already Starbucks Rewards members receive an 8% discount on every purchase. The retailer will attempt to grow comps through the program this year by  using data to predict consumers’ next likely product, increasing personalization in gamification and trying more in-app suggestive selling.

Kelly Shermach is a Business Reporter at The Wise Marketer


The post Starbucks Adds Three Shots to Its Digital Marketing appeared first on The Wise Marketer.

3 Ways to Spot a Liar In an Interview (And What to Do About It)

Let’s be honest (which, we admit, may be slightly ironic for an article about lying) and confess we’ve all been tempted to lie in an interview.

But most of us also know telling whoppers will get us nowhere fast, and so, we give it to a recruiter straight — for better or worse. Unfortunately for recruiters and hiring managers, not all job candidates are so scrupulous.

So how can they spot and liar? And what should they do once they do? Sharlyn Lauby, president of ITM Group Inc. and founder of HR Bartender, has some expert advice for exactly how to navigate this tricky situation.

First, “if a candidate is truly lying, it’s important for the company to realize it prior to the person being hired,” Lauby says. “If the candidate lies about their knowledge, skills, or abilities, they could be placing the company and themselves at real risk.”

To spot a liar in an interview, Lauby suggests paying attention to three key factors:

How to Spot a Liar in an Interview

1. Check for consistency.

Over the course of the interview process, consider asking the candidate the same question multiple times to see if you get the same answer each time. “For example, ask, ‘Are you able to work nights, weekends, and holidays?’” Lauby says. “If a candidate says ‘Yes!’ during the first interview but hesitates during another one, it’s a red flag that the company should try to get an honest answer.”

2. Watch out for too-good-to-be-true stories.

You know the saying: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. “This isn’t to say that incredible candidates don’t have great stories to tell,” Lauby says. “But if a story sounds too good to be true, a hiring manager can ask some follow-up questions to make sure the candidate can explain the story in detail. For example, if a sales manager exceeded their sales goal by 500 percent, he should be able to provide specifics. In fact, he should want to.”

3. Study body language and tone.

According to Lauby, “short answers and fidgety body language might be an indicator that a candidate is uncomfortable responding to certain questions, such as, ‘Why did you leave your last employer?’” But that’s not always the case—so be careful when studying a candidate’s body language and tone.

“[Nervousness] can also be a sign the interviewer isn’t doing a good job of making the candidate feel welcome,” Lauby warns. “Hiring managers need to learn how to make candidates feel at ease, so they are open [and honest] with their responses.”

If you feel you’ve got a liar in your midst—or your office, as the case may be—your first step is to ask clarifying questions and for specifics to see if the candidate is able to back up any inconsistent or wildly positive past experiences, Lauby says. “For the body language situation, offer to give the candidate a tour,” she suggests, “and then resume the interview. See if that helps [the candidate to relax and open up]. Or have the candidate speak with another manager and see if he or she gets the same vibe.”

The important thing to keep in mind, Lauby says, is “the hiring manager [should be] absolutely, positively, totally, completely sure that the candidate was lying” before discounting or dismissing a job candidate. “I understand being suspect about a response,” she says, “which is why hiring managers should ask probing questions to get additional information. And don’t forget all of these questions need to be legal.”

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5 Key Marketing Metrics for Social Media Your C-Suite Cares About

If you meet any social media marketing manager, they’ll tell you, one of the most important facets of their job is to be able to analyze data and make quick decisions. I have to say, analytic reports have become my friend over the last several years. Having the capability to take an in-depth look at the results of any campaign allows me to make informed decisions on whether we need to make slight adjustments. Key marketing metrics drive everything that my team does, and ultimately those metrics need to be reported all the way up the ladder.

In this blog, I thought I’d give you a sneak peek at the metrics I report on, what I consider when compiling the data, and a few tips for driving results that your c-suite cares about.


I know a lot of us like to think followers isn’t all it’s hyped up to be, but at the end of the day, the number of followers you have is important in the game of perception. As humans, we look to others for social proof. If everyone is following a brand, they must be worth following, right?

Followers = Perception of Influence

What to consider:

Everyone likes to see a graph chart that leans up and to the right. Be sure to tell your metrics story visually.

Determine how many of your current followers are within your target audience criteria. If a large percentage of your audience is within your targeted personas, be sure to let your c-suite know that the social channels are one of their preferred channels of communication. This will keep social top of mind as a communication platform worth investing in.

Are there industry influencers interacting and following your brand? If influencers are following you, consider ways to collaborate and/or tap into their social following to increase your brand recognition. Sometimes who is following you can be as important as how many are following you. Be sure to keep a current list of “who’s who” that’s following you.

Are you seeing an increase in new followers within your targeted personas? If yes, that can help inform your social strategy moving forward. Double down on the content that is resonating. If you aren’t, perhaps it’s time to pivot and re-evaluate how you can create more engaging content.


  • Follow industry influencers, customers, and partners. Not only does that give them an opportunity to follow you back by way of a follow prompt, it allows you to keep a finger on the pulse of conversations happening in your industry.
  • Share consistently across your platforms. Posting new content frequently keeps you top of mind.
  • Share content that is fun and informative. Offering content that educates helps you become known as an authority on the subject.
  • Participate in live chats around your industry. This gives you a chance to provide your unique point of view and gain exposure to new audiences.


As social marketers, we should always be monitoring social media engagement. How frequently your followers are liking, sharing, retweeting, and commenting on your social posts is a leading indicator that people are finding your content valuable enough to engage with and/or share with their social following. And while content sharing on social channels is amazing, you’ll also want to track if people are clicking through to view and interact with your content.

In addition, social channels are transitioning from traffic to engagement channels for a lot of brands. According to Sprout social, 35% of people prefer social media to any other channel for customer support. Social offers a unique platform to interact with customers in real time.

What to consider:

Platform algorithms prioritize engagement. The more engagement your posts have, the higher organic reach you’ll have. If your ultimate goal is to drive new leads and conversions, the more reach you have, the better.

Potential customers use social media to interact with brands. Trends show that social media users are increasingly looking for more personal, 1 on 1 connections. Actively monitor conversations so you can answer questions about your products, provide offers to encourage users to pull the trigger, or just happily engage in conversations on industry best practices to increase brand exposure.

When done right, engagement helps companies build relationships with current customers. At the end of the day, loyal brand advocates will be one of the most valuable assets to any social media team. Keep your customer advocacy team in the loop. Top engaged community members may make great candidates for case studies, engagement, and rewards programs. When reporting to your c-suite, those referrals can show how social is informing several programs within the marketing department.

Social Engagement

Share of Voice and Sentiment Analysis

One of the metrics I keep close tabs on is how many mentions we’re getting in the social landscape. That’s great, but what I really need to know is know how our brand is performing against our top competitors. An easy way to calculate that: Your Brand Traffic / Total Market Traffic = Share of Voice

Something to keep in mind, one brand may have more mentions, but a lower positive net sentiment. My goal is to always maintain a positive net sentiment of (+10%) with a high level of social mentions. Monitoring both mentions and sentiment over time can provide valuable information for crisis communications, support, and campaign intelligence.

What to consider:

Triggers can be set up to notify you of any negative sentiment terms used with your brand. That way you can respond as quickly as possible to avoid escalation.

Get your c-suite active on social media. Consider building out a content sharing plan to encourage their sharing of branded content. Something I’ve had great success with is gamifying social engagement with a leaderboard. Each week I present a social snapshot of who had the most mentions related to the brand on social media. It’s been a fantastic way to encourage social engagement and increases the number of positive social mentions associated with the brand.

Engage and collaborate on content with influencers as much as possible. Their audience reach can really make a difference in your share of voice.

Keep SEO in mind when drafting content, especially blogs. People tend to share blog titles across social channels, which can hit your negative sentiment if the blog titles have negative terms like “don’t, problem, challenge.”

Leads Generated

In order to map out, track, and score leads that come in through your social channels, as well as, revenue that’s driven as a result of your campaigns, you’ll need to invest in a marketing automation platform. Utilize tracking parameters in every URL posted to ensure you can measure the leads generated from social marketing campaigns.

What to consider:

It’s important to measure which campaigns have the highest lead conversion rate, but you also want to consider how many of those conversions became quality leads that drove to pipeline. At the end of the day, you’re going to want to continue investing in the channels that provide the biggest ROI.

Consider where in the buyer’s journey your audience is. Top of funnel channels may be great for garnering awareness and brand trust, but may not be your best bet to invest in paid campaigns. Be sure to measure a ratio of pipeline to spend to get a clear understanding of how content is driving results on each of your social channels.

Different content drives different responses. Your social strategy will need to include several types of content to stay relevant and prompt engagement.


Calculating pipeline will differ depending on how your team measures and allocates pipeline throughout the various marketing programs within your organization. At Marketo, we utilize two allocation methods. First-Touch Pipeline (FT Pipeline) which allocates the entire opportunity to the program that sourced the primary contact for a deal. Within our social team, we tend to pay more attention to Multi-Touch Pipeline (MT Pipeline). This approach allocates the pipeline and revenue across all the marketing programs that successfully influenced any person attached to an opportunity.

What to consider:

As a rule of thumb, we like to see a ratio of multi-touch pipeline to investment greater than 10X.

Not every social channel will be great for new lead generation. Rather, some channels may be better utilized for deepening and nurturing existing relationships.

Some leads take time to convert. Think about social media efforts as a long haul approach, especially if you measure MT pipeline.

When it comes to metrics, it’s easy to drown in data and questions. Don’t give up! Start by digesting the key marketing metrics that your c-suite cares about and go from there.

Are there any metrics that your c-suite is obsessed with? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

The post 5 Key Marketing Metrics for Social Media Your C-Suite Cares About appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

Do We Trust Anything Anymore? Surprising New Data From SXSW

Events kicked off today for SXSW — a multi-day series of festivals and conferences in Austin, TX — with a jam-packed, star-studded lineup of interviews and panels on the convergence of interactive, film, and music.

Among those sessions was the “SXSW Report on Trust: Gov’t, Tech & Media”: a discussion with journalist Dan Rather on the annual Trust Barometer, which is a flash poll of SXSW attendees conducted with the help of communications firm Edelman to measure trust in future technologies, media, government, and business.

Rather was joined by a panel that included WP Engine’s Heather Brunner and Edelman Digital’s Jess Clifton, to discuss the results of the poll. The conversation was moderated by Edelman CEO Richard Edelman.

Here are the findings that stood out.

Live From SXSW, Day One: Do We Trust Anything Anymore?

The Majority of SXSW Attendees Trust the Media

What the Survey Results Say

The Trust Barometer indicates 61% of SXSW attendees trust the media (compare that to the global average of 43%), with a scant 14% believing that media is “broken beyond repair.”

However, the panel was sure to make a distinction between the media as a collection of reporters, publications, and news applications — and social media platforms.

“Social media and search [are] not media,” said Clifton, during the panel discussion. “Social platforms are not media publishers. It’s a community that’s publishing content, and we have to delineate.”

Apparently, the audience polled was able to make that distinction, with 98% responding that “media” meant journalists.

That could explain why 84% are more trusting of traditional media outlets, while a significantly smaller percentage is trusting of search engines (44%) and social media (20%).

That low faith in social media could be tied to the ongoing allegations of it being weaponized to spread misinformation by outside agents. Nine out of 10 members of that same polled audience seemed to have significant concerns in this area, saying they’re worried about false information or fake news being published with negative intent.

That aligns with new research from MIT which shows false news is 70% more likely to be re-tweeted than accurate information. While at first glance a high rate of trust in the media may come as surprise, the distinction between traditional sources of news (and those who report it) and the platforms used to share it is crucial.

Trust in Business, Government, and Future Technology Is Down

What the Survey Results Say

While the Trust Barometer surprisingly indicated that trust in the media is up, the audience also reported a declined level of faith in business (31% — 21 percentage points lower than the global average). Government is even lower, with 26% of respondents saying they trust it, which is 17 percentage points lower than the global average.

There wasn’t a great deal of context around these results discussed, though many of them echo the overall sentiment discussed around the trust in media and concerns about social platforms and search engines. The latter two are often managed by publicly-traded businesses, falling under the category that 31% of respondents say they trust. 

What was even more surprising, considering the interactive nature and enthusiasm at SXSW, was the fairly low percentage of the audience polled trusts future technology. The lowest was blockchain technology, which garnered only 27% of attendee trust.

That was followed by autonomous vehicles at 33%, with the same percentage reporting trust in virtual reality (VR) platforms.

While blockchain and self-driving technology do raise concerns about security and safety (a Reuters/Ipsos poll from January indicated two-thirds of Americans are less-than-thrilled about the idea of riding in an autonomous vehicle), the wariness of VR is not quite as easy to explain.

It could come down to the idea many don’t see the practical relevance or applicability of VR. That might also explain why it has yet to become truly mainstream (we’ll be covering a SXSW session on that very topic next week), and why some marketers question its usefulness in campaigns and communications. 

Self-driving technology and blockchain were designed to solve problems — like traffic management and driver safety — as well as the security of transaction-related information. VR, it seems, originated largely in entertainment, but hasn’t reached a price point that makes it accessible to all interested consumers.

Where We Go From Here

While most content creators are not frequently considered traditional journalists or members of the press, the panel emphasized that brands, and those responsible for their messaging, play a crucial role in this widespread distrust of the social platforms often used for marketing purposes.

Consider the changes to Facebook’s algorithm made earlier this year, for example, to surface less content from brands in the News Feed and more from individual users’ friends and family. Since those changes took effect, people are actually spending less time on Facebook — an aggregate drop in usership by about 50 million hours each day.

One must wonder if that’s due to the phenomenon that Edelman called “self-sourcing,” in which many consumers only engage with the news and information that aligns with what they already believe — a sentiment echoed by Henry Franco, HubSpot’s brand marketing associate, when YouTube began labeling state-funded content.

“It all boils down to psychology,” he said at the time. “People tend to believe what aligns with their existing values.”

And that, said Edelman, can make some content creators “more inclined to be in the thought bubble.” So, what is a brand to do to address this issue?

“The intersection of humanity and expertise is what people are looking for,” said Brunner.

“A guide for that,” she added, is asking, “What’s right for your employees? What’s right for your customers?”

That begins, she explained, by building advocacy from within and building trust among your own team and employees. That trust is mirrored in the content the brand and employee advocates broadcast externally.

“If [employees] trust the business, they’re going to be more bought-in,” Brunner said, “and bring that level of authenticity to your customers.”

Rather weighed in here, agreeing brand consistency across all facets of communication is key.

“You can’t be one thing with your employees,” he said, “and another one with your clients and customers.”

I’ll be here throughout SXSW to cover the latest events, announcements, and insights. Feel free to weigh in on Twitter with questions, or let me know which news topics interest you the most. 

Getting your customers to opt-in and collecting data

Collecting customer data has always been an important part of any business, being able to send your customers important news, sales and offers by email or text has always been a valued method of communication by every business.

With the new GDPR rules and regulations hot on everyone’s lips at the moment, opted-in customer data has just become even more valuable to businesses. So we thought we would take a look at how you can get your customers to opt-in.

Side note – all your existing customers data should already be opted-in. You will need to be able to provide proof that a customer has opted-in and explain to them clearly why you are taking their email address or mobile phone number. For more details please read of GDPR post here

In-store and social media promotion 
Get your customers to text you and opt-in. Tell them what they are signing up for and maybe give an incentive…

Get a tick box added to your sign up form or shopping cart
Ask for your customers mobile phone number in the sign up process or shopping cart checkout, and then at the end of the form/basket, have a tick box stating that they are allowing you to send them exclusive offers and news by text message.

Run a competition to get opt-ins
Sometimes the smallest of things can just feel a little too much effort for some people and they end up not bothering – but if there is a prize at the end then hey presto! So why not either run a competition asking your customers to opt-in and one lucky opt-in winner will win a prize (why not jazz it up by using a SMS Web Page).

Or you could offer every customer who opts-in a 10% off code – might seem like an outlay at the start but in the bigger picture, who will have a larger database of numbers that you can further market to in the future.

Add a Form-2-SMS section onto your website 
One of the easiest ways to get customers to opt-in is by placing an SMS Form-2-SMS section on your website. Simply have mobile phone number field and ask your customer to sign up to your exclusive marketing messages filled with great news and offers.

We have already got the code written for you – checkout our Form-2-SMS page here

Here are just some of the ways you can get your customers to opt-it and sign up for your marketing messages, there are plenty more ways and some are highlighted in this free eBook – How to collect your customers data.

First Look: Urban Airship Expands its Platform to Revolutionize In-App Engagement

Ahead of the weekend, MMW learned that Urban Airship has big plans in the works.

Fast-following the announcement of AI Marketing Orchestration for cross-channel messaging coordination, Urban Airship has unveiled what it calls the industry’s first in-app automation engine.

So how does it work?

In-app messaging is a proven lifeline for apps to engage all users, but limitations in triggering and delivery timing meant there was always the possibility for messages to be seen as irrelevant, annoying or interruptive. With Urban Airship’s new in-app automation engine, brands can create rich, interactive in-app messages that instantly display based on customers’ multiple behavioral and lifecycle events with automation logic included in the app itself. This ensures messages are seen in the exact moment that matters most to each individual — in-session, in-context and on specific screens.

Marketers and mobile app product owners can now use Urban Airship’s marketer-friendly UI to fully customize native templates or custom HTML for different rich, interactive message layouts, define automation logic, edit messages and view their performance.

The company says that this skips the uphill battle of getting developer resources during app update cycles for instant in-app messages, saving marketers time and expense, and offering new levels of flexibility to address key onboarding and engagement opportunities.

“The vast majority of customer journeys today are self-directed, and digital offers consumers effortless, limitless choice, so it’s more important than ever to engage people as they learn about brand offerings and features — it’s their point of maximum influence,” said Brett Caine, president and CEO, Urban Airship. “We’re on a mission to disrupt the status quo of digital customer engagement, making it easier and more automatic to use customer data and drive action across all digital channels.”

The post First Look: Urban Airship Expands its Platform to Revolutionize In-App Engagement appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

Social WiFi now in the largest shopping center in Central Europe

Manufaktura Shopping Center recently added Social WiFi’s services to its promotion and communication practices, thus transforming its existing WiFi infrastructure into a marketing analytics tool.

“We are planning to utilise the possibilities of Social WiFi to the maximum. Manufaktura is not only a shopping center, but also includes entertainment and cultural facilities. Smart WiFi will allow us to promote both our tenants and, what is equally important to us, Manufaktura and its events and attractions. Additionally, Social WiFi has been integrated with our TripAdvisor profile, making it easy for visitors to provide their opinions about our venue, which is Lodz’s tourist destination”, says Monika Długosz-Łempicka, Manufaktura’s Marketing Director.

Manufaktura at nighttime

How does it work? After entering the shopping center, the customer logs into the WiFi with either their email or social media account, while the service displays personalised content on the screen. After leaving the venue, the visitor can still be contacted thanks to Social WiFi’s messaging system, social media integrations, targeted mailings and remarketing ads resulting from cookies included as part of the login process.

Moreover, after the visitor leaves Manufaktura they will receive a request to click a smiley face that corresponds to their level of satisfaction. It is also possible to introduce a survey which will, for example, ask what new brands would the customers want to see in the centre. Gathering reviews and suggestions makes it possible to increase the quality of customer service and to better address the consumers’ needs.

Artur Racicki, Paul Webster and Karol Nowalski

“We are proud of working together with Manufaktura. It is a reference point for the Polish retail sector. From now on, Social WiFi will act as a new tool in the hands of Manufaktura’s marketing department, allowing it to effectively communicate the tenants’ offers to the customers and conduct sales campaigns targeted directly to them”, says Artur Racicki, CEO Social WiFi.

The post Social WiFi now in the largest shopping center in Central Europe appeared first on Social WiFi.

Consumers Sell Personal Data, Knowing Exactly How It Will Be Used

I took the SAT for the first time in sixth grade, to test into a selective extracurricular program. When the results came, my mother reviewed them, then secreted the paperwork away in the locked file cabinet she kept in her bedroom. I asked what I’d scored. She said that was personal information. I was the person to which the information referred, but my mother wasn’t keen to share what she knew.

By Kelly Shermach

Marketers make the same move as a regular business practice, and with the expansion of digital channels and data science, they have ample access to consumer data, enabling them to personalize product and service offers. Data-driven marketing yields higher responses than one-size-fits-all executions, but consumers have reason to shudder at the approach. Their social media posts and mobile device locations, not to mention data from Acxiom, Experian and the like, trigger savvy marketers who may need to show more sensitivity and transparency in their data collection and use. has developed a technology protocol and mobile application through which consumers can receive requests for personal data, then sell it to marketers and researchers.

The decentralized exchange operated through blockchain technology will deliver accurate data, validated by platform partners.

“Blockchain provides for communication and contracts between data buyers and sellers,” says Mat Travizano, founder and CEO. “Once a user accepts an offer to purchase access to their data, the user’s data is transferred from the device directly to the buyer.”

The buyer also will pay out some of the profits that data can generate to the people it describes. According to a recent story in the New York Times, the median household is due $20,000 annually for the data it produces that is used by marketers, product development, artificial intelligence training and more. Wibson transactions will built booties of Wibcoins, a proprietary currency that can be traded on cryptocurrency exchanges.

“This is a big change in the way marketers build profiles today. The marketer will have access to higher quality data,” Travizano says, “and Wibson will provide access to characteristics that were, for many marketers, unavailable previously, even if they were working through the biggest advertising platforms.”

In the alpha phase, only Wibson and academics are buying data. But later this year, marketers will join, defining their desired audiences, intended data use and compensation for relevant data.

Kelly Shermach is a Business Reporter at The Wise Marketer

The post Consumers Sell Personal Data, Knowing Exactly How It Will Be Used appeared first on The Wise Marketer.

Be an Inclusion Rider: Elevate Women In Tech

I will never stop doing my part to make the tech industry more welcoming for women, especially in technical roles. With all of the intense discussion surrounding the subject of equality in the workplace, this is a great time to look at five easy steps you can take right now to make a change for women in tech. At the Oscars on Sunday, March 4, Frances McDormand ended her speech with two powerful words: inclusion rider (take a second to Google it if you haven’t yet.) It is a Hollywood industry term, but anyone can be an inclusion rider—let’s explore how.

“We come in peace, but we mean business” – Janelle Monae, 2018 Grammys

1. Encourage Technical Curiosity Early and Often

I grew up preferring video games and LEGOS to dolls. I enjoyed books and puzzles over playing house (and so did our CMO!). Don’t get me wrong. I still had a super cool pink Barbie car, but in my mind, Barbie was on her way to work and then home to study. My mother encouraged prioritizing my studies over everything else, and my relatives had the wisdom to ask what I was reading just as often as they commented on my appearance. I was a 90s kid, so there were no coding classes available to me. But there were ample opportunities to problem-solve in epic video games such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Need for Speed.

If you’ve got young girls in your life, get them involved with organizations such as Girls Who Code, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, or the Anita Borg Institute for Women & Technology. These organizations are fantastic to foster growth and development. Demand for technical skills in areas such as IT (big data, NoSQL, and Apache Hadoop), design (Node.js), and research & analysis (Tableau, Python) have grown exponentially over the past several years and show no signs of slowing down. We are at the forefront of incredible breakthroughs in AI, medicine, and VR. Now is the time to support inclusive workforces to keep driving innovation and problem-solving.

2. Challenge Assumptions and Encourage Resilience

We need to carefully watch the stories we tell ourselves. Have you ever questioned whether women are more ‘naturally inclined’ towards soft skills rather than technical aptitude? Global research has overwhelmingly proven that this is patently untrue. In fact, women on average earn higher grades in high school and college.

That being said, I can relate to this limiting belief. I used to tell myself that I was terrible at math and that learning the subject was utterly hopeless. It wasn’t even gender-related, but it was a false assumption nonetheless.

However, I distinctly remember one T.A., Ryan, at UC San Diego who refused to accept this negative self-talk and treated me as any other person wanting to learn and better myself. Ryan patiently helped me practice each step and new concept until I could mirror his speed and efficiency in solving equations.

At Marketo and previous companies, I have had countless mentors that never assumed I was less competent because of my gender. Rather, they went out of their way to bring me up to speed on relevant technical concepts, openly shared their knowledge and prepared me for technical meetings so I could run them on my own. They advocated for me and gave generously of their advice, time, and experience. I can confidently say that I have had a balanced group of trusted advisors and mentors. I wish the same for women in any role—technical or otherwise.

Something I’ve learned along the way is that success in any field requires resilience. There is no such thing as an overnight success. Although it is undoubtedly easy to glamorize or gloss over a successful person’s hard work, it always includes late nights, weekends, and sheer grit from many frustrating failures and dead ends.

3. Assess Your Environment

Many tech CEOs, including our own Steve Lucas, have included diversity as one of their missions, making significant strides in balancing their executive teams and hiring across the board. For women at Marketo with C-suite aspirations, this gives us inspiration and hope, but more importantly—role models. We have put a stake in the ground and feel comfortable being vocal about our mission to drive conversations and action around diversity in the workplace.

You may not be a CEO or hiring manager, but you can still drive change by considering your current workplace.

  • What type of office do you work in? Are all people comfortable stepping up for a promotion, even if they only meet 10% (or none) of the criteria? Women tend to self-select out of going up for a promotion if they don’t check every box. If you know someone like this, you can encourage them to step up and make a case for their aptitude. Push them to see what you see: their potential. After all, doing things you can’t do is how you get to do them.
  • Do people feel comfortable negotiating from a place of problem-solving, rather than being perceived as ‘rude’ or ‘demanding’? Send them this video on negotiation. It forever changed my perspective on the subject. Then send them a copy of my favorite book on negotiating.
  • How are your meetings conducted? Does everyone get to say their piece, or do some people get interrupted or talked over? If it’s the latter, this article from Harvard Business Review provides interesting context and tactics on how to handle interrupting colleagues.

These are all seemingly small areas that add up to helping people grow their confidence and thrive. Learning how to observe potentially adverse workplace behaviors so you can help solve with some tactical guidance, fosters an inclusive environment.  As a bonus, your own voice will grow and get stronger.

4. Pay it Forward and Share, Share, Share

You may think that you aren’t far enough in your career to help others, or that the only people who are in a position to pay it forward are C-levels, but that simply isn’t true. Even if you’re in your first year of work out of school, you can help college and high school students prime themselves for the real world, a skill that is bizarrely relegated to dusty career centers teaching principles from 1985.

I recently had the opportunity to speak to a group of incredibly bright young women at San Francisco State University. I didn’t possibly think I’d have anything useful to say (hello imposter syndrome!), but there I was, drawing out the sales/marketing funnel and giving practical advice for evaluating job opportunities and navigating the interview process. At least two of the young women from that session have since begun to pursue technical sales roles.

You’ve also probably gathered by now that every other sentence out of my mouth is “I have a book you should read.” But I also love all types of content (blogs, essays, video, etc.) and follow a wide range of thought leaders in the MarTech space. If you are looking for similar inspiration, I highly recommend our own Jill Rowley, Marketo’s Chief Growth Advisor. I have followed Jill on social media for years, ever since I saw her speak at Oracle several years ago. She models the mindset of ‘helping’ vs. ‘selling’ and making every interaction unique and relevant—two principles that have been instrumental in building my sales career.

5. Men: All of This Pertains to You

I fully realize that some men feel uncomfortable spending time alone with a woman at work, including going to dinner, taking business trips, etc. But this is an antiquated mindset that ultimately damages a woman’s career prospects. Everyone needs a mental reset here, where we view each other as people, act as advocates, and hold each other accountable for building skill sets.

I’ve already mentioned this, but I’ll say it again, louder for the people in the back: I would not be where I am today without a balanced group of mentors and without the business trips and dinners where valuable career advice and stories are exchanged. Same goes for every senior woman I look up to.


Sheryl Sandberg and Rachel Thomas, cofounders of Lean In, said it best in a recent interview: Men’s networks are primarily male and women’s networks are primarily female. Because most men are senior leaders, it’s crucial that men offer mentorship and access to their networks to close the gender gap in leadership roles. I invite every man reading this to extend their hand to one junior woman at their company and #MentorHer. Include her in your team lunches & dinners, introduce her to your mentors, and make sure she’s at the company happy hour. Ask lots of questions about her ambitions. Then help her come up with a plan to achieve them.

Think about who you can help, in your workplace or your personal life. I guarantee that they are just within arms’ reach. All I ask is this: for every person that you help, ask them to then pay it forward to at least one person, creating a domino effect. Then leave a note in the comments with your thoughts!

The post Be an Inclusion Rider: Elevate Women In Tech appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

4 Signs You've Found an Informed Candidate

In the search for top talent, every recruiter prefers an informed candidate. Why? Informed candidates make the hiring process easier by asking smarter questions, doing the necessary research on the company, and tailoring their expectations to the role they’re applying for.

So how can these job-seeking unicorns be spotted?

Here are a number of indicators that will show you that you have an informed candidate in your application pipeline — for more, download the Ultimate Screening Checklist.

1. They Came as a Referral

Every year, employee referrals top the list as a source of new talent for employers — in 2016, 30 percent of all hires were a result of employee referrals, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.

This is no accident: employee referrals are one of the most reliable sources for informed candidates. One reason for this is that your employees share your goal in wanting to recommend a good candidate — it makes them look good, brings in their friend or acquaintance to the company and sometimes even gives them a bonus for a successful referral.

In addition, referred candidates are often better informed because they have a friend who can fill them in on the ins and outs of the company, both before the interview and during the onboarding process. Referred candidates also save hiring time in the long run: multiple studies have shown that referred candidates have a higher retention rate — a 2015 study in the Quarterly Journal of Economics showed that in high-tech jobs, referred candidates are 26 percent less likely to quit.

2. Their Resume Is Tailored to the Job Description

In today’s digitized job application process, candidates can send out a flurry of job applications with just a few clicks of a button. High-quality candidates, however, will spend time tailoring their resume to fit the company and the specific job description. One place to look for this is in the candidate’s statement or objective section.

Statements that are bland and can apply to any job show a lack of thoughtfulness, while a statement that clearly is aligned with the goals of the company and the role that is being asked for is a clear sign you have an informed candidate on your hands. In addition, the presence of relevant industry keywords shows that they are familiar with the industry and know how to use the terminology.

3. They Understand the Role

Having an understanding of the role that they’ve applied to saves time for both the candidate and the employer. The applicant’s resume and cover letter, as well as the questions they ask during the interview, are the best places to see that they have thought about how their experience qualifies them for each specific aspect of the role. At the same time, it is your duty as an employer to follow best practices for writing a job description, and make the duties and expectations for the role as clear as possible.

4. They Ask Intelligent Questions

Before coming in for an interview, any competent candidate should have done their research on the company — if they have, it will likely show in the questions they ask you. Asking informed questions shows that they have both invested time in bulking up their knowledge of the company and getting to know the company on a deeper level. Bonus points if they bring up recent company news or product developments!

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Wow your customers with our amazing new SMS Web Pages

We are extremely excited about our latest service here at Text Marketer as we really do think, this is a huge game changer! A product that you and your customers will really, really, really love!

There has always been this war between email marketing and SMS marketing. People weigh up the positives and negatives and then look at their response rates etc. and generally they end up doing a bit of both. Email marketing of course has lovely images that can capture your customers imagination. However the open rate and response rates are so poor with email marketing that your customers are highly unlikely to even see your nice images.

Whereas SMS marketing is the complete opposite. You can almost guarantee every customer will see and read your message, pretty much instantly. However the message is purely text, so no nice images to entice in your customers to your products or services. Well we here at Text Marketer have basically combined the two… drum roll please…

Introducing SMS Web Pages
Get the amazing response and open rates that SMS has to offer, combined with a completely bespoke designed SMS Web Landing Page for you to wow your customers with.

And of course with everything Text Marketer, it’s simple and easy to use. Quick – nothing to download or install. And of course… Low Cost!

It’s so easy to use we have got it down to 6 easy steps until your customer has it on their mobile phone…

1 – Select your desired template
2 – Upload your images and write your text
3 – Change your background colour of your SMS Web Page
4 – Change font style, size or colour
5 – Add a call to action button
6 – Preview and press send – easy peasy lemon squeezie!!!

Here are a couple of screenshots to wet your appetite – but for a full instructional guide please click here.

SMS Web Pages

So why not start wow’ing your customers with our beautiful SMS Web Pages. Sign up today in minutes for free and with no contracts to sign – you would be a fool not to give it a go!

Docent Health Selects mPulse Mobile to Scale and Deepen Their Personalized Healthcare Journeys

On Thursday, the official word was handed down that mPulse Mobile, a leader in mobile health engagement solutions, and Docent Health, the industry powerhouse in helping health systems manage and grow customer relationships, have solidified a new partnership.

We’re told that Docent Health recognized the value of interactive and targeted text messaging as an effective method to maintain a trusted channel of communication with patients at scale and turned to mPulse to incorporate their innovative mobile engagement technology into their communication strategy to drive engagement, retention, and customer advocacy.

Docent Health leverages multiple messaging capabilities from mPulse Mobile. By using a combination of real-time conversations, pre-scripted communications and responses, and rules based messaging triggered by a wide range of use cases e.g. time, date, recurrence and consumer profile, Docent Health is able to get consumers the right information at the right time and develop strategic campaigns that support patient engagement and growth strategies.

The result, today’s announcement highlights, is a Docent Health designed messaging solution that achieves mission and growth oriented goals yet retains the sense of human touch and individualization that is so important in today’s consumer-centric world.

“At the core of Docent Health’s approach is connecting with patients early in their decision making process, building awareness and conversion with prospective patients and continuing to build activation, loyalty, and advocacy throughout the customer relationship,” said Paul Roscoe Chief Executive Officer, Docent Health. “With the mPulse Mobile engagement solution, our customer-centric approach is extended and enhanced with the use of micro-targeted, personalized, and interactive text messaging.”

With 71% of Docent managed patients opting to have text messaging as their primary communication channel, Docent Health can scale interactions to the tens of thousands of patients they serve. Once embedded in their best-in-class experiences, Docent Health is driving a market-leading 46% click-through rate on links to key resources. This means digital communications are directly translating into patients feeling better supported; improving both patient education and customer engagement.

“Healthcare companies recognize the need to meet consumers where they are to improve patient activation and achieve their health and business outcomes,” said Chris Nicholson, Chief Executive Officer, mPulse Mobile. “Docent Health is a true innovator in raising the bar on delivering amazing patient experiences with integrating mobile engagement into their patient journey design.”

Healthcare providers and payers have been improving health and business outcomes with mPulse solutions for years and, more recently, innovative healthcare experience companies like Docent Health have turned to mPulse Mobile to fully realize the advantages of interactive text messaging to create powerful, tailored touchpoints that improve the consumer experience, drive engagement and streamline operations.

To learn more about Docent Health and mPulse Mobile at the upcoming HIMSS18 conference:

The post Docent Health Selects mPulse Mobile to Scale and Deepen Their Personalized Healthcare Journeys appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

Could this be the oldest B2B Loyalty program in the world?

30 years ago Priority Partnership was launched to reward customers for purchasing products, to provide product information, offer product specials and much more. More than likely this is New Zealand’s longest running loyalty program, to the extent that Priority Partnership is now an institution within the farming community.

By Wise Marketer Staff

Today, Priority Partnership members nationwide receive special product and service information through the program, access customised reward specials and redeem from more than 5,000 reward offerings to excite and delight … everything from international travel to the latest technology and even gumboot driers!

Priority Partnership members have been members of the program for more than 19 years on average. They are highly engaged with over 90% annual points earn to spend (earn vs. burn ratio).  Priority Partnership e-communications are also 60% more likely to be viewed by customers than standard marketing eDM communications.

Nufarm’s sales and marketing team now have full 24/ 7 visibility and detailed reporting on their customers purchase behaviour. This is highly important as Nufarm sells via diverse national merchant/ retailer channels.  The available data and insights offer better decision making and closer customer relationships, so Nufarm can continue to grow a better tomorrow with their customers.

Improving efficiency, service and functionality for Nufarm

Originally Priority Partnership was delivered in house by Nufarm then partially outsourced to a 3rd party provider. Incentive Solutions Ltd. (ISL), New Zealand’s largest provider of B2B loyalty solutions, took on partial program management in 2007. With Incentive Control (IC), the loyalty program management platform operated by ISL, Priority Partnership was taken to the cloud at a time when many local B2B programs were still spreadsheet based. The platform enabled Nufarm sales and marketing teams to have access to detailed member and sales information and customized reporting from any location.  Because of the platform, Nufarm now had full program control and visibility at a fraction of the technical and manpower cost.

In the following years, ISL was asked to take over full management of Priority Partnership allowing Nufarm to focus directly on their core business. The ISL team works closely with Nufarm’s marketing and sales teams to deliver regular promotions, members specials and tactical activity to support Nufarm’s customer loyalty and sales goals.

Today a Nufarm customer can purchase from almost any national agricultural and farming supplies merchants and smaller independent retailers to earn their points.

Incentive Solutions collects, collates and cross references data from all available merchants.  The odd, very small, rural retailer may even send faxes which are manually entered. The ability to leverage customer data, develop insights and offerings to better serve customers is an important tool for Nufarm.

As Nufarm operates through national merchant/ retailer channels the Priority Partnership Members Services team and program communications created an important link between Nufarm and their end user customers across New Zealand. As well as working with the merchant channel on data collection and troubleshooting customer and merchant queries.

Nufarm choose to partner with Incentive Solutions because of their market leadership position business performance improvement, sales performance and behavioural change programs. Delivered primarily through business to business incentive programs, loyalty marketing, consumer loyalty and employee reward and recognition programs, Incentive Solutions have over 20 years of experience creating, delivering and managing market leading programs across New Zealand and Australia. Their north American subsidiary, Reward Paths, operates consumer loyalty programs in the USA, Canada and Jamaica.

A New Zealand Farming institution

Nufarm has operations in New Zealand, Australia, Asia, Europe and the Americas and for over 100 years has been serving New Zealand’s farming and agricultural community. Starting out as a fertiliser company, Nufarm now provides a full range of crop protection products for farmers and growers, including herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and plant growth regulators.

The post Could this be the oldest B2B Loyalty program in the world? appeared first on The Wise Marketer.

If You Think Twitter Is Unhealthy, You Can Now Apply to Study It

In a series of tweets sent out yesterday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that the social network would be enlisting the help of outside experts to measure its health.

Acknowledging that the network has become more divisive — abused and leveraged for judgment rather than conversation — Dorsey also spoke to Twitter’s own mishandling of how it has been weaponized. He considered its use for harassment, or for bot accounts created for the sole purpose of tweeting our controversial content.

Twitter needs help, admitted Dorsey — who is now inviting experts to apply for funding to study its health metrics and potential solutions to these issues.

The request for proposals (RFP) comes after more than a year of heightened scrutiny over Twitter — as well as its other social media and online counterparts like Facebook and Google — for the alleged weaponization of the platform and its influence on the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Since then, the social network has continued to not only face backlash, but also address and remedy the issue of harassment, spam, bot presence, and the spread of misinformation and divisive content in a way that many users find less than satisfactory — which HubSpot’s own research has also found.

HubSpot’s research has also found that, in recent months, some social networks have made users feel worse as a result of spending time on them. And while results indicate that Facebook overwhelmingly instills the most negative sentiment, Twitter is directly behind it.

Facebook makes users feel the worst of any social network emotionally after using it

Twitter is the first social network to actively request the public’s help in identifying solutions to these ongoing issues.

And while Facebook has tested some methods of user feedback, like the ability to flag or downvote abusive content, no other networks have gone quite so far as to call for formal proposals.

The announcement coincided with the release of research from not-for-profit organization Cortico on the strongest indicators of healthy use and dialogue on social media:

  1. Shared Attention — an indication that the conversational topics taking place on social media overlap.
  2. Shared Reality — an indication that these conversations are grounded in the same facts (not to be confused with the same opinions).
  3. Variety — an indication that while these opinions may contrast from each other, they are still grounded in the aforementioned shared reality.
  4. Receptivity — an indication that we are “open, civil, and listening to different opinions”.

The deadline to submit a proposal is April 13, 2018, which applicants can do here. Those selected to participate in the study will work alongside Twitter employees on the research, with access to public data and “meaningful funding” for the organization completing the work.

As always, we’ll be monitoring the process as it unfolds.

How Messaging Will Topple Apps

Since the introduction of Apple’s iOS App Store in the summer of 2008, the number of applications on iOS alone has risen from an initial 500 applications to millions in just a few years. Top platforms like Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android offer no end of applications for consumers to play games, look at pictures of cats, and message their friends. From day one, businesses have looked for unique ways to capitalize on the screen in their customers’ pockets. The ease of access in app creation is at an all-time high, meaning you may be one of the many businesses that are taking the leap and building an app to reach your customers. The question remains: How do you distinguish your brand, and make sure that your message is getting through the noise?

The Rise of Apps (And Fragmentation)

While restaurant and retail brands, luckily, haven’t had to fight for their place on the home screen to the same degree as app developers whose creations could be replaced by the next iOS update (RIP, flashlight app), branded apps have taken an increasing portion of marketing budgets over the past few years, with no end in sight. But how is that return-on-investment being measured, and how can a brand tell the difference between creating a more effective way to communicate with their customers, and fragmenting their user base even further?

Finding a Better Way

One of the most common goals of mobile apps for brands is building a more loyal customer base. This is usually achieved by allowing customers to earn points or receive exclusive offers through your app only. The problem, however, is that loyalty apps released by brands typically only see an adoption rate between 10% and 20% of a customer base, leaving a huge portion of your customers out of the picture.

Pair that with the fact that a recent study from Silicon Valley Analyst Andrew Chen showed that “less then 5% of downloaded apps are still in use after 90 days,” and you could be building a communication channel that not only fragments your customers, but also leaves a huge portion of them in the dark from your best deals, new offerings, and company updates. You need a way to reach the customers who didn’t download your app, or those who turned off push notifications and left it forgotten on the third page of their home screen. Luckily, a solution is emerging.

The Future of Enhanced Messaging

This week, we were proud to have a presence at Mobile World Congress to showcase how we’ve been working with Google and their new Rich Communication Services (RCS) standard to improve mobile ordering and marketing messaging for Subway. While RCS may still be in its infancy, the possibilities are near endless, and the ability to pull many functions “usually confined to apps” within a text message could prove to be highly fruitful for brands.

Currently, RCS focuses on finding nearby locations, mobile ordering, and delivering messages that include media-rich options and images. The prospect of an enhanced messaging standard could change the way that brands and customers interact with each other, all while delivering even more valuable insights on your customers.  For the first time in brand messaging history, you could gather delivery and read receipts, allow users to interact with your brand through pre-programmed messages or display rotating images of that day’s chip selection — all within the text message application that customers are already using multiple times per day.

“This is a cutting-edge, exciting opportunity to continue to evolve how we serve our customers,” said Carissa Ganelli, Chief Digital Officer of Subway. “Our goal is to make ordering and receiving your favorite Subway meal as easy as possible. We have been using text conversations to engage our guests and now we are taking it to the next level. With RCS technology and real-time conversations, we are delivering a personalized ordering experience in seconds and in clicks. We are excited to partner with Mobivity and to create a unique on-demand digital experience for our loyal customers.”

Would an app help your business create more loyal customers? Almost definitely. You will be able to reach your most interactive customers right off the bat, and depending on how compelling your offers are, you’ll probably keep them coming back. But with the high costs that are associated with app development, and the decreasing adoption seen across the industry in recent years, the ability to create a rich, interactive experience from directly within the messaging app your customers already use multiple times a day is increasingly valuable as you try to reach them in a more connected world than ever.

The post How Messaging Will Topple Apps appeared first on Mobivity.

Who Is Next In Local Listings Management?

While I did not expect to be the suitor, it is not surprising to see it embrace SIMPartners. has grown from a service that took care of those “caught with a hooker” search results for you to something that is starting to look like a full-service digital marketing solution. Here’s its current Services menu (nice touch btw adding “Directory Management” today):

My best guess is some combination of SIM’s team and its Velocity system (a kind of store finder in a box + listings management solution) was the big appeal. We occasionally run across in the market, and often have found its ability to market its services outpaces its ability to deliver. So getting a team experienced at delivering and another SKU designed to lock in multi-location customers couldn’t hurt.

Perhaps SIM’s focus on Healthcare also had some allure. Yext has also made Healthcare a big priority. My understanding is various regulations for Healthcare providers about how they have to market themselves make this a particularly juicy opportunity.

And for SIM, competing against better-funded SAAS competitors and pesky agencies from all sides was probably tough. Hopefully this was a financial win for SIM employees and founders, but regardless, both companies are likely better off with each other.

Whenever Local Search execs get together, inevitably the conversation turns to industry consolidation. As a group we have been predicting the big Local Search roll-up for years, and it never seems to really happen. But perhaps it is already well under-way and we just haven’t been paying that much attention. Over the past year:

  1. Yext IPO’d with a market cap of +$1B
  2. SweetIQ was acquired by Gannett/ReachLocal
  3. Dex Media acquired
  4. EverCommerce acquired CustomerLobby & Market Hardware
  5. HomeAdvisor acquired Homestars
  6. UpCurve acquired Closely
  7. Brandify acquired Streetfight

And I am sure there were many more. Not all of these were in the local listings management space, but any company looking to service multi-location brands and/or SMBs at scale will need some kind of listings solution. And for those companies looking to go public, the market seems to value the ability to manage millions of locations (see Yext’s current market cap).

As I said in The Yext IPO Is Great|Not Great For The Local Search Industry?:

On the one hand you can say Yext has been eating everyone’s lunch. It is far and away the biggest gorilla in the space and has aggressively used its VC $ to buy market share through both marketing and technological innovation. So surely raising another $100 million or two to continue on that path is going to mean even less lunch for everyone else. But the fact is that the Local space is so enormous that there is more than enough chow to go around for everyone. This is the bull case for Yext, and while it has a big lead, it can’t possibly gobble up the world or even a small percentage of the hundreds of millions of global business locations any time soon. And in fact, companies like Brandify, Location3, SweetIQ and yes, even Moz, should be rooting for Yext’s IPO to be a smashing success as it would validate their business models, increase the appetite for more investment, and (I can hear those hands rubbing and lips smacking) create currency for consolidation.

If I were the betting kind, would put my money on one or more of these companies getting acquired before the end of the year, with an emphasis on those that have either hit a YUGE number of locations under management or have blown through their VC $ and need a way out:

– Chatmeter
– Location3
 Moz (yes Moz!)
– NavAds



The post Who Is Next In Local Listings Management? appeared first on Local SEO Guide.

Best Practices for Lead Source in Your Engagement Platform

Lead source is defined as the method by which a prospect found your product or service, and is an essential part of effective lead management. Lead source ensures that your leads remain measurable across the buyer’s journey. As you track the source of your lead through the funnel, you can quickly determine what is working and what is not in your marketing strategy.

Although it’s best to start with optimized lead sources when you roll out your marketing automation platform, it’s never too late to spruce up your instance. By taking a look at which channels are driving leads, you can categorize, simplify, and provide valuable insight into your program efficiency for years to come.

In this blog, I’ll give you five best practices for developing an optimized lead source.

1. Categorize the Sources of Your Leads

Marketers have a tendency to either over-simplify or over-complicate lead source. Take a look at the various ways leads are coming to your marketing organization. It’s often best practice to align your lead source with your program channels such as tradeshow, econference, webinar, content syndication, web-organic, web-PPC, etc. Lead source should be the first channel that acquired each lead. Ultimately, this will allow you to see the composition of your marketing funnel.

2. Keep the Lead Source Constant

Lead source should be assigned as soon as a lead enters your instance and should not be changed once it is set. Should any duplicates be found within your instance, make sure to use the earliest known lead source.

3. Utilize Lead Source in Your Opportunity Reporting

As well as providing insight into where your leads come from, lead source provides valuable insight into where your most valuable won opportunities are coming from. Once you have a solid lead source structure in place, you can analyze your closed won opportunities by lead source, then by the programs that influenced them using an advanced report builder. With this historical data, you can better predict which kind of content and assets you should send to leads you acquire through each lead source, accelerating the potential for more opportunities won in the future.

4. Separate Lead Source and Campaign Naming

Many companies utilize the first program/campaign name which engages a lead as the lead source. It is more beneficial to keep the lead source as a broader, marketing channel aligned label. Campaign names can often change, and as your instance scales, it can be difficult to maintain campaign naming conventions, preventing ease of reporting in the future.

5. Keep it Simple

Lead source should be a short, concise label for the overall channel that captures your leads. Although you may have many different categories of tradeshows, conferences, or email types, it’s best to keep specifics out of lead source. Instead, consider lead source your general source of incoming leads, and consider using program tags or additional fields, such as parent lead source for more concise roll-ups, or lead source detail for more in-depth drill-downs.

Lead source best practices are best rolled out when your instance is new, but taking a routine check into your lead acquisition channels can provide an opportunity to change things up. Once you’ve defined your channels, you can choose to start anew and leave your previous lead source fields as legacies, or run batch campaigns to roll up old values into more valuable, concise fields. This will empower you to more easily find the ROI of your various marketing program types and find your most valuable lead sources.

When was the last time you evaluated your lead sourcing best practices? Do any of these resonate with you? Tell me about your best practices in the comments.

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