Internet Marketing

SMS Marketing Will Be Important For Tour & Travel Companies

download (1)The tourism sector offers a wide array of services to their customers. The entire vacation experience is made up of different parts and customers are out to enjoy every minute of it from accommodation and commute to gastronomic delights.

Providing customers with high level of service is of vital importance in this industry and will influence the success or failure of the business. A strong company maintains focus on building great customer relationships and this is one thing that SMS services can reinforce.

For more than a decade, text messaging has been used by bigger businesses in increasing customer engagement. Along with a variety of marketing tactics such as email integration, SMS can be used to deepen customer relationships and increase sales.

People receive plenty of text messages in a day. SMS marketing allows you send personalized messages to your target audience to help customers distinguish your services from competition.

Texting is a popular form of communication and businesses should maximize its potential in attracting new clients and building awareness. Here are some ways SMS can benefit businesses involved in the tourism sector:

  • Send booking confirmation and reminders.
  • Notify customers of last minute itinerary changes, flight cancellations, and weather updates.
  • Inform customer of special offers and promotions on special events, hotel accommodations, plane tickets, family or group vacations, and travel transfers.
  • Provide frequent travelers with mobile coupons and text rewards.
  • Send travel safety tips.
  • Spread information about new travel spots and popular destinations quickly and easily.

Need a boost during off-seasons? SMS services help you keep your customers engaged especially when there is a decline in travel activity. One way to boost customer engagement is to send interesting content that is related to their travel preference and history.

You can take this further by providing travelers with in-depth look of what the destination is like and what they can expect to find. Similarly, you post eye-catching pictures on your website and social media sites to fan customer’s interest and entice them to visit.

Text messages are cost-effective and provide an easy way to communicate with potential and existing clients. SMS platforms let you include pictures, links, audio, and video clips on your text messages. But this is just one way to reach your target market.

Today’s travelers are becoming increasingly mobile and integrating SMS with other channels such as social media can help augment your market reach. Companies that go over and beyond in providing customer service will not only survive off-seasons but the cutthroat competition as well.


Internet Marketing

Know More About The Concert Promotion Tips

download (2)If you want to attract a crowd to your concert, you must promote it properly. This applies to clubs churches and other venue owners, and PR firms as well as bands and other talent. Whatever your role in the process, the following concert promotion tips will help you to attract larger audiences.

Concert Promotion Tips For Venue Owners
Venue owners can do many things to enjoy better turnouts for their events.

    • Strategic scheduling. One of the first issues you should address is scheduling. You should be aware of any competing events that are taking place on any given date. You should also keep in mind things like holidays and anything else that might affect turnout. If you’re booking a popular rock band, don’t schedule it on the same night that an even more popular band is in town. In general, the bigger the act, the further in advance the date is scheduled. This gives you plenty of warning for big name acts that could prevent your own show from being a success.


    • Press releases. Make sure you send out press releases to local media well in advance of the date. Don’t overlook the value of sending concert information to free local publications. Most cities have free weeklies that many people read for entertainment news. In addition to event listings, these papers often publish interviews and stories about local concerts.


  • Your venue website. Your venue website should have a professional look and be easy to navigate. It should also provide links to performers’ websites. They should provide you with this, but even if they don’t it’s worth it to do a few minutes of research. Nowadays, almost every performer has either a website, a Facebook page or music posted on sites such as Bandcamp, SoundCloud or other such sites. This is especially important for acts that are not widely known. You should also use social media to promote concerts. Be sure to remind your followers several times about upcoming performances. Some people purchase concert tickets far in advance while others wait until the last minute.

Concert Promotion Tips for Performers
Today, musicians, comics, and other talent must be very proactive about promoting their concerts. Venue owners will, hopefully, do their part in publicizing your event. However, the bulk of the responsibility lies with the artist. You are, after all, seeking to not only have a successful concert but attract more fans and build your brand.

    • Send out press releases and CDs. Send out press releases to the media in the city in which you’ll be performing. You should also send out sample CDs to music reviewers and local DJs. This can result in having your music played on local radio stations and perhaps a chance for an interview before your concert. Many bands schedule concerts to coincide with album releases. If you’re doing this, sending out previews of your album is a good way to get press coverage and, hopefully, airtime for your CD.


    • Your band’s website. Having a good website for your band can help you reach out to more potential fans. While it’s helpful to have social media pages and music posted on sites such as SoundCloud, you should also have your own website. Here you can post as much information about yourself as you want, including photos, videos and, of course, upcoming concert dates.


    • Social Media and email. Be sure to remind your followers about upcoming concert dates on a regular basis. In addition to social media pages, a good way to do this is through an email list. If you don’t already have a mailing list or newsletter, it’s not hard to start building one. You can collect email addresses at every live event as well as online.


    • Videos. Videos are one of the best promotional tools for musicians. These can either be music videos or footage from prior gigs. While you can post sound files as well, a video gives people a more multifaceted look at your act. Footage from a show where audience members are dancing and having a great time is a powerful ad for future concerts. Another great thing about videos is that people love to share them on social media.


    • Posters. Posters are a traditional, pre-internet tactic for promoting concerts that should still be employed nowadays. This is an especially effective strategy for concerts held in cities or downtown areas with lots of foot traffic. Posters should be artistic and eye-catching. Most of all, however, they should convey the essential information about the concert venue and date. You should also list your website on posters. If you’re touring and don’t have time to poster far in advance, you could hire someone to do this remotely. One place to find reasonable freelancers to poster for you is on You simply send freelancers in different cities the template for the poster and they will post them for you.


  • Promote at the concert. Don’t neglect the concert itself as a chance to do more promoting. While it’s too late to promote for that show, you can use this as an opportunity to connect with new fans who may buy your albums and show up at future concerts. Be sure that you have a table with albums and promo material such as t-shirts and bumper stickers.

The Challenges of Promoting a Concert
Promoting a concert today is a challenging task, so the more concert promotion tips you can find the better off your event will be. Not only do you have plenty of competition but it’s often hard to get people to come out for anything these days. At the same time, plenty of successful events do take place every night of the year. To promote today, you must combine a variety of online and offline tactics. You have to provide fans with plenty of advance notice while also reminding them close to the concert date. The above tips will help you attract a larger crowd to your next concert.

Internet Marketing

Tips to Success Guarantee On marketing trick

download (3)Raising awareness can require a lot of thought for individuals that are just now discovering how important it is to raise awareness. When individuals are able to successfully increase awareness, charities will begin to see an increase in the number of donations, non-profit organization make their presence and services known and events will become more popular than ever. When individuals make awareness for their event or organization, they are encouraged to follow these key tips that will make them more successful than ever.

Be Informative

When raising awareness, whether it is in the form of a homemade flyer or professionally designed brochure, it is vital to include information about the business and/or event. Pamphlets for events should include fun things for a variety of target populations, such as kids, teens and adults so that everyone will find the event appealing.

Pamphlets and flyers that aim to promote businesses should also include what the business does, an about us section, and any ways that the business contributes to the community, such as sponsoring a local soccer team.

Vibrant Colors

Flyers should have vibrant colors and pictures to catch the average person’s eye. Businesses are encouraged to make logos and pictures vibrant and full of life without being overwhelming to the senses. For example, a picture of children playing soccer with a beautiful blue sky is a better choice than neon colors for professionals.

Designers often specialize in creating logos and catchy pictures that can be printed in color. Brochure businesses are usually experienced in printing and have in home designers to assist businesses.

Holding Events

Events are a great way to create awareness for organizations, diseases and non-profit organizations. These can be anything from simple soup and sandwich lunches to full-blown block parties, complete with bouncy houses and carnival style games.

At events, make sure to hand out pamphlets from a professional that specializes in brochure printing services to inform participants about your business or organization.

Whether your event is big or small, taking the time to look into professional brochure printing and design services can help your organization to pass out at the event, or they can increase your visibility for your event.


Social media pages and accounts remain some of the most popular sources used to raise awareness. First, they are cost effective. Making a page or account on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram is free and easy. Maintaining those same pages is also easy.

Facebook has installed a feature that lets business pages’ schedule posts so it is no longer necessary to log in every day.

Businesses and organizations can also hire specialists to manage their social media accounts for them. Specialists can help by creating pictures and other graphics that social media users will love. Marketing agencies know the key tips to increasing the number of followers, likes and shares on a page. Many marketing agencies also provide consultations and other services to help business owners manage their own social media pages more effectively.

Something to Take Home

Give individuals something that they can take home with them to remember your business by. This may be a personalized mini football, or it can be something that people can easily fit into their wallet, like a flyer or business card. A brightly colored business card will stand out every time a potential customer opens their wallet, reminding them that your business is there if they need you.

It is something that can make or break a business. It can make an event the most popular weekend activity, or it can make it seem like a ghost town. How well a business or event planner raises awareness about something can easily lead to businesses being more successful than ever?

Internet Marketing

Know The Power of the Theme Song

“I never called my work an ‘art’ It’s part of show business, the business of building entertainment.”

-Walt Disney

Music, especially Disney music has been a consistent inspiration for my soul and work ever since I can remember. I am not sure if The Walt Disney Company specifically wanted “When You Wish Upon a Star” to be a the “Disney theme” that it has become, or if the idea of that just grew out of their main fans?

I believe it to be a bit of both.

It’s tremendous popularity, continued radio play at the time, various versions, etc… didn’t happen by accident. It even spawned a jazz version!

It’s important, because it put a musical stake in the ground, and is a tremendous statement about what I am going to coin: The Music of Reassurance.

I believe that having a musical theme assists the guest with even further orientation as to what, exactly, is a company’s mission statement.

Music touches the heart and the emotions in ways that other mediums just can’t.

As well, the fact that this musical piece is tied to a very successful animated feature film makes that much more culturally significant.

I think that having just one musical theme is very important, vs. having several. If you have many themes, this can lead to confusion. Sometimes, a company will attempt to do this, and rarely does this exist to enhance the mission statement.

Indeed, The Walt Disney Company has many musical tunes that are thematic and emblematic of what their mission is. But, “When You Wish Upon a Star” has risen to be the master (and fairest) of them all. It takes incredible focus, and the ability to laser in on the expectations of your guest to then, in turn, deliver consistent product after product that drives our mission statement so passionately.

If done correctly, this music has the power to be heard, and reverberated throughout the world, sung and played to soothe the stresses of everyday life.

In closing, I believe that we can all be glad that “When You Wish Upon a Star” exists.

Here are, what I find to be some of the more powerful words from the song:

“Like a bolt out of the blue

Fate steps in and sees you through

When you wish upon a star

Your dream comes true”

Just as the fairy godmother turned Pinocchio from a puppet into a real live boy, so to would the listening of this song make one think about their place in life, and how to be a better human being.

Every time I hear this powerful ballad, my heart opens up and it propels me to be even more creative, and also, think about being a better person to my fellow man.

What this says to me is that if you keep at your dreams, really focus, and don’t give up, you can everything your heart desires.

To see what we are all about, visit the epic, fantasy, entertainment company Pazzaria Productions today!

Internet Marketing

Why The Social Media Doesn’t Work in the Industrial Revolution

It’s a given today that Social Media doesn’t work for many companies. Upon further analysis, it rarely has nothing to do with Social Media… it has to do with marketing and using it as if you were still living in the Industrial Revolution.

Around the turn of the Century we left the Industrial Revolution behind us… some are sad and many are happy. We welcomed in the Internet Revolution with open arms and were anxious to see how the Internet could change our lives for the better. It has in many ways… but it has also brought its own set of issues with it.

The Industrial Revolution was awesome for what it stood for… mass production, innovation in technology relating to computing, new companies entering markets to give us more choices and a whole host of other really great aspects. It also, unfortunately, gave us marketing agencies and firms that adopted the concept of “broadcast messaging, campaigns, mass media, radio advertising, TV advertising, and lots of printed materials.”

These agencies were firmly in control of marketing and tight control over what we were “allowed” to hear/see and what we weren’t. We also had news sources that told us what they felt was important for us to know and we had to go along with it since there wasn’t any other means to validate it unless you were physically there. We, the consumer, were at the mercy of these giants and the messages they wanted us to receive.

Fortunately, the Industrial Revolution has died and this kind of “spray and pray” media that made ad agency executives incredibly rich has died (or is rapidly dying) with it. Social Media, a key component of the Internet Revolution, has essentially taken control away from these dominant groups and given it back to you and me… the customer.

The customer is now firmly in control today and there is no sign we are ever going to give it back. This is a good thing… and a bad thing for companies today.

The good part is we now have “vocal and engaged” customers who have the microphone in their hand and can tell anyone they want what they think. They can share insights to help others learn about your product/service and their experience working with you. This is information we were never exposed to when the agency behemoths had control. We have been “information liberated” with the birth of the Internet Revolution.

The other good part is now we can find anything we ever wanted to know about with just a few clicks on our computers or mobile phones. We have more knowledge at our fingertips than we could ever possibly use in 10 lifetimes. And if we want to purchase something, we can find 50 places (or more) that sell whatever it is we are looking for and even deliver it to us with the same few clicks… no more need to get in the car and drive all over town looking for something. We, as consumers, are empowered and we love it.

The bad part is the noise. Unfortunately, now that we are now in control, have access to all kinds of information and products, and can make choices from hundreds of options, companies are still behaving like they are still living in the Industrial Revolution. Now, more than ever, they continue to blast us with their information (pushing to us). We don’t just see the advertisement in the Sunday paper, we get 50 e-mails telling us to buy it from them because we happened to search on the item and now everyone wants to sell it to us. “Spray and Pray” is still alive and a key strategy for far too many companies today. For them, it didn’t die with the death of the Industrial Revolution.

Companies who still behave (including marketing) as if we are still in the Industrial Revolution are getting no benefit from Social Media. By using the same old techniques the agencies used decades ago… blasting us with enough ads and propaganda in hopes that you will remember them and buy their product or service… they are actually doing the opposite of turning off their audience. They must not have gotten the memo that the Industrial Revolution is over… the customer is in control and can tell us what they want and don’t want. We don’t want to be told what to buy… we can figure this out nicely for ourselves in the Internet Revolution.

The really sad part of this story is that companies use Social Media as simply another “delivery vehicle” for their Industrial Revolution approach. They believe that blasting us with their messages far more frequently and on more channels than they could have ever afforded to do when they paid their agency geeks millions of dollars is still working… it’s NOT. Social Media is FREE… all channels and frequency of messaging is without cost… just the personnel needed to send the blasts. The same “broadcasting, campaigns, advertisements, and propaganda” are still being sent out… only through Social Media channels instead of the radio, TV, newspaper, direct mail, and other traditional sources. It’s not working…

Companies that choose to still live in the Industrial Revolution are finding FAILURE in their use of Social Media. It’s failing because Social Media doesn’t work for companies who are acting the way they did when they were in the Industrial Revolution. It is a tool designed for the Internet Revolution.

When companies use Social Media to HELP THEIR CUSTOMERS improve their lives or business, the content is valued. When they share stories that benefit their customers and customers offer additional comments to add further insight, this is of value… and how Social Media can be a powerful tool for a company. Finding ways to help your customers save more time by interacting with your Social Media and digital channels is of great value. These are the OPPORTUNITIES for companies that live in the Internet Revolution and have left the Industrial Revolution behind.

Which Revolution is your company participating in today? When you analyze your marketing activities, are you communicating like you still live in the Industrial Revolution by “spraying and praying” or are you “helping” your customers improve their lives? Do the analysis… see which Revolution you are actually living in today and you might have just solved the mystery as to why Social Media isn’t working as well as you were hoping. It works when you help… not when you sell.


Internet Marketing

The Step Ahead In Marketing

There is an increased focus on marketing your product or service today. In the ever changing market scenario “out of sight is out of mind” hence there lies the entire race in making your brand known. One such step ahead in this direction is Experiential Marketing. It lays emphasis on the thinking process of the customer. Now one might ask how that is possible. It depends on the identification of demands of the customers. In simpler words one fine day if you log on to your favorite shopping App and you nonchalantly seem to browse the things you might like.

Next thing you know your Facebook or any other social media page displays the choices you have been surfing the other day. It is quite plausible as the apps are integrated on a common platform. So this is an example of experiential marketing. In experiential and event marketing, planning is very important. Major aim of this technology is to generate awareness about one’s product and service to the audience. These platforms are known to generate a more feasible and reliable result oriented strategy for the brand. Its success is heavily dependent on the coordination between various marketing tools and the available online media.

This technology has been known to deliver increased purchases, deeper understanding of the brand, enforce positive word of mouth, time to market is greatly reduced and the brand is able to keep up the pace of the ever changing market dynamics, faster generation of Return On Investment (ROI).

Extensive grassroots networks are thoroughly employed that act in conjunction with the brand and business and drive your sales through the roof. These tactics are initiated by custom matched brand ambassadors- people who are chosen to specifically appeal to your target masses. The brand ambassadors are trend setting people who are instantly accepted by the target audience- they share a common voice with them. They specialize in taking your message to the streets and connecting with the people on a massive scale. Whatever the demographics be, they flawlessly get inside and create euphoria. It creates publicity in order to greatly decrease the branding time necessary to get your product or service established.

For less than the cost of the billboard you are able to get personalized up-close attention given to your customer base. So if you plan on opening a dream venture on a large scale or as small as owning a cupcake place, you know what to do and whom to approach. The businesses need this to thrive in the market place. Experience this to see the results that are helping the businesses around the country to brand them almost overnight and see the ROI soaring through the roof. Don’t forget to thank us when you ring in your first assignment. For the rest we have got you covered so go out there and create that dream which you always had in your mind since a long time.


Internet Marketing

Marketing Necessary for Your Company

Do marketers promise miracles? Webster specifies ‘miracle’ as a very remarkable or out of the ordinary event, thing, or achievement- usually unforeseen. Well, one thing for sure, marketers don’t make guarantees, they create solutions and they ACT on it.

Internet marketers make use of methods depending on market tendencies and put it on properly. The ‘be all end all’, isn’t the internet marketer as well as the techniques used. It is, in fact, the client. All of the techniques used by the marketer is determined by the buyer, and they pattern remedies based on the researched wants and needs of the consumer.

‘The great Albert Einstein once reiterated, ‘genius is one percent enthusiasm and ninety-nine percent perspiration’. Business success, conversely, is ’10 percent product and 90 percent marketing’. Although it is not sure how exact that statement is to the vast majority of marketers around the globe. Conversely, it gives you the thought, ‘are advertising and marketing that necessary?’ Here are a few pointers why it is:

Marketing sells your product or service to the people who know you exist and to those who don’t know you exist.

Marketing helps you build your brand and the image you would like your customers to see it.

Marketing aids in the movement of products and services.

Marketing includes the design of the merchandise suitable to consumers.

Is there any Psychological Trick for Marketing?

What psychological trick can you employ for marketing? Well, cliché as it might sound, being a genuine salesperson. In general, you don’t need any ‘psychological trick’, you just need to understand the psychology of your market – what does your market want, what provides them an excellent customer experience, what sales method do they prefer? By knowing these simple aspects, you can study how to cope with them.

In place of focusing on how to boost your selling, try to center on enhancing services to sell to them – that’s actually one principle of inbound marketing. You assemble yourself first before you go out and then sell. You could make a website of your own, put great content on it, elaborate on your competence, create an attractive portfolio, etc. You can also create profiles on social media platforms (like Facebook, Twitter, Google+), professional networks (like LinkedIn,, Q&A websites and forums (like Quora, Stack Overflow, CNET). You can then post daily updates and if you’ve made amazing content, will be amazed at the amount of traffic and inquiries of potential clients. Now, after you’ve made an online presence, you can then resort to outbound measures – that includes approaching potential clients.

72Solutions Outbound Telemarketing Services is a well-established lead generation service provider dedicated to lead generation, appointment setting, data cleanup and profiling, and outbound marketing. 72Solutions values relationship, we are wholeheartedly dedicated to our services and sincerely devoted to both our clients and their customers.

Internet Marketing

How to Amazing at Growing Business Relationships

We all know that relationships will make or break your business. The definiteness of this fact has birthed an uncomfortable swell of networking groups. This begs the question, why doesn’t networking work? And if it works, why should I subscribe to 50 different networking groups?

Chances are, if networking has failed to yield strong relationships for you yet, increasing the quantity of gatherings you attend won’t get you any, either. I’m not saying ‘stop networking.’ Just start doing it right.

How do you know if you’re networking right?

  • You leave your sales pitch at home
  • You’re asking questions and offering your help
  • You ask for their business card, and
  • Only giving yours if they ask for it

Good networking means making a connection. That alone won’t do any good. The next and most critical step to growing relationships is filtering out the vapid connections from the fruitful ones.

This article will help you to do that. If you’re having problems attracting business, or if you haven’t a clue as to how to keep the clients you have, keep reading. You will leave with an actionable technique to stand out with prospects and clients, and ultimately transform your business.

In order build those kind of relationships, you need to know the 3 things that they are made of.

Three parts to relationships are V – C – P

  1. Visibility
  2. Credibility
  3. Profitability

Visibility means knowing who you are and what you do. It’s the ‘connecting with other people’ that makes you visible. We just talked about it; and it’s just not enough.

When you walk into an office once and hand out a card, you have become visible. But by no means, just by walking in there once, is that company likely to hop on board and buy something. In other words, they are not profitable yet. They’re not profitable yet because you haven’t built up any credibility, any trust.

So how do you build up that credibility? How do you build trust?

  • You have to meet with them several times
  • Get to know them and their business
  • Meet until you know if they are a profitable client for you, meaning in your target market

Once you know that they are a viable client, you need to “touch” them every six weeks to remind them that you are here and that you care.

And that’s where most businesses drop the ball. Luckily for us, I asked my friend, a networking beast, if he could offer and valuable advice. Dan Garzella is president of Multifamily Risk Advisors, a commercial insurance firm in Scottsdale, Arizona.

He broke through as an entrepreneur after waiting tables for two years as a poor college graduate, and built three profitable companies in just over a decade. He not only touches his prospects and clients, he ingrains his brand in their memory with really good popcorn.

We increase sales and visibility by embedding our brand in the memory of our most profitable prospects with something called a ‘memory hook’.

“A memory hook is like the hook in a song. It’s the lyrics that everyone repeats. They work the same in business. It’s the slogan that comes to mind when you hear the word “insurance,” or when you need your carpet cleaned. And it works the same way as if you were marketing to a client.

… as soon as something happens and they need our service, we are the only company that they can think about.

“My Popcorn Kitchen popcorn is great way to create a memory hook. It’s the uniqueness and the quality of the product that create the memorable experience for the potential client that will have them reach out to you. It works. It works extremely well.”

How it works:

“Every six weeks they get a shipment of popcorn-that’s not your normal popcorn, it’s Buffalo Cheddar, Scottsdale Blend, Vanilla and Raspberry-it’s creating a memory hook for that client. Every time that shipment comes, the first thing they think about is, oh it’s that popcorn, oh it’s from Multifamily Risk Advisors.

And then everything you do follows that.

When something happens down the road and they need something with insurance, the first thing that triggers in their memory is the popcorn that we keep sending them every six weeks! Then we get a phone call. From the time that you get that phone call, it’s on your business to be able to prove itself.

As soon we send that out we get thank-you’s, we often get deals. And it’s not as hard to talk to them the next time because they remember you. So when you follow up with them to schedule a secondary meeting, they are more open to it. If a few shipments go by and nothing comes of it, then you just take that person off the list and add someone else.”

In summary:

  • Make a contact
  • Get to know the and their business
  • Find out if they’re a profitable client
  • If profitable, find out how many people are in their office
  • Add them to the “popcorn” list
  • My Popcorn Kitchen brands packages with logo and includes your deliverables in a great display (branded sticky notes, notepads, marketing pieces, etc.)

If you fill out their online contact form, or call My Popcorn Kitchen, they will ask you for everything they need to get your popcorn made, branded, and shipped. They work the flavors and bag sizes with your budget. It’s surprisingly low cost, especially considering the return on investment it provides for entrepreneurs like Garzella.

Building relationships plays a major role in your business’ success, and you’ve just learned a simple plan that works – from the mouth of an entrepreneur who excels at it.

For more on this interview and full Q&A, read How to Use Popcorn Autoship To Stand Out In Business, on My Popcorn Kitchen’s business blog.

How do you “touch” clients and prospects? Share your touch technique, below. I love hearing and sharing business success stories, and we all appreciate them.


Internet Marketing

Product Managers Turn A Competitor

As product managers sometimes we have to sit back and just watch our competition execute a fantastic marketing program. Due to limitations that might be budget based, resource based, related to our product development definition, or simply lack of time based there is nothing that we can do to counter what our competition is doing. As their sales then zoom up we kick ourselves for not being able to come up with an effective program to counter their moves. This is no fun. Over at the mobile service provider Sprint this was happening to them. However, then they decided to do something very bold…

Sprint’s Bold Plan To Steal AT&T Wireless Customers

So here’s the problem that the Sprint product managers were looking at. Over at their dreaded competitor AT&T Wireless, the parent company, AT&T, had just gone out an slapped down US$49B to purchase satellite television company DirectTV. Clearly what the parent company wanted to do was use this purchase to create unique communication channels to millions of DirectTV customers in order to convince them to purchase more AT&T Wireless products.

Sprint has been financially struggling for the past several years. They certainly don’t have billions of dollars to go toe-to-toe with AT&T. They would like to get the millions of people who subscribe to DirectTV to purchase Sprint wireless products instead of AT&T wireless products. However, what they needed was a way to get the attention of DirectTV customers. This is when the Sprint product managers got really creative.

What they decided to do was to appeal to DirectTV customers directly. They created a Sprint program where they told DirectTV customers that they would give them a free year of wireless service if they would switch to Sprint. Wow – this is the kind of thing that you can put on your product manager resume. Very clearly this was a direct attack on AT&T Wireless. One of the reasons that AT&T was willing to pay so much to purchase DirectTV was because they assumed that they would be able to convert a lot of those television subscribers into AT&T Wireless customers. Clearly Sprint’s new program was going to cause some problems for AT&T Wireless.

Will Sprint’s Plan Work?

So there’s no question that Sprint’s product managers get high marks for boldness. All of the other wireless companies were just content to allow AT&T to purchase DirectTV and then start aggressively marketing AT&T wireless services to DirectTV subscribers. However, boldness is one thing, but effectiveness is the most important thing. Does the Spring plan have a chance of success?

As expected, AT&T is trying to laugh the Sprint program off. They are saying that it is a desperate attempt by Sprint to get more customers and they point out that the program does come with a number of restrictions. What Sprint is offering is a plan with unlimited talk, text, and up to 2G of data per month for free for one year. This program does not include the cost of a smartphone. After the year is up, Sprint says that it will start to charge customers US$50 / month. AT&T says that they still feel good about their offers.

Cleverly the Sprint product managers have restricted the amount of time that this program will be available to roughly a month. What this means is that DirectTV customers who are probably only now starting to get marketing information from AT&T Wireless will now be put under some pressure to make a decision in the short term. The biggest question is going to be how much of a financial hit this may cause Sprint. If the program is successful, they will be giving away a lot of free service for a year. However, no matter how many DirectTV customers they sign up, they will still have made a splash and ensured that people became aware of the Sprint product offerings.

What All Of This Means For You

The one thing that product managers don’t like to see is when their competition gets an advantage. In the case of the wireless service provider Sprint, one of their biggest competitors, AT&T Wireless’ parent company had just purchased the DirectTV satellite television service and its millions of customers. The Sprint product managers knew that they needed to take action, but the big question was what should they do?

What they decided to do was to make a bold move – this is what our product manager job description tells us to do. They created an offer for DirectTV subscribers. They told them that if they were willing to switch their wireless service to Sprint, then Sprint would give them free wireless service for a full year. This included unlimited voice, texting, and 2G of data per month. After the first year, the subscribers would have to start paying $50/month.

Sprint’s plan is very bold. The other wireless providers were just sitting back and allowing AT&T to start to market to the DirectTV customers. The Sprint product managers shook this process up. The limited time line for their offering means that DirectTV customers will have to make a decision quickly in order to take advantage of the Sprint offer. This means that AT&T Wireless has precious little time to communicate a counter-offer. We’ll have to see how all of this works out.


Internet Marketing

How to Turn Leads Into Qualified Leads

What is Marketing?

In our digitally connected world, getting a potential customer’s attention can be difficult. Marketing is all about having the ability to “grab and hold attention” in order to impart knowledge that inspires and motivates audiences to determine if your offer is ideally suited for them. Think of marketing as a funnel. The Top of Funnel is the first level – Awareness – where you define who you are, what your brand is about, and how you can be a valuable resource for people. How do you achieve this? By leading with content and having it available via different channels, like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and in various forms, like content in articles and newsletters. The Middle of Funnel – Evaluation – is where customers figure out what they want to buy or not buy based on their criteria and what’s important to them. The Bottom of Funnel stage – Confirmation – is where potential customers confirm that they want to be a customer.

Customer Marketing Behavior

Marketing behavior helps you understand your customers’ nonverbal, “digital body language” by noting how they interact with content. It helps you to determine their level of interest and engagement and ultimately leads to person-to-person communication, particularly if you’re a B2B company and not selling online. The benefit of monitoring customer behavior is that it allows you to know your customers in order to better serve them.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is using intelligence in the marketing process to share a message that resonates with a target audience, so that customers gain the information they need to make informed buying decisions. The marketing process includes traffic generation, lead capture and lead follow-up, and to follow up in a way that segments the audience so that people get what they need and find relevant and useful.

The reality of not deploying marketing automation is that you don’t have the bandwidth to follow up with every lead every time, all the time, 365 days a year, multiple years of perpetuity. Follow-up can be manual or automatic in the process of capturing lead information, preferably a combination of both. Key attributes to choosing a good solution are to have a centralized database. Next, create a flowchart to represent all communications with customers that allows updates. Finally, have an intelligent system that can read marketing behaviors, so that you understand a customer’s actions and interests and can send them the most relevant content. Use a system that is highly integrated with all aspects necessary for success, like lead capture, sales automation, and e-cards to recognize and collect revenue online.

Contingency Marketing

Contingency marketing is having the appropriate marketing response irrespective of what your prospects do inside of a campaign, and particularly when they deviate from the marketing path you desire them to travel. The ideal process is a marketing campaign designed to pick up a lead at point A and move them through a process until the customer is happy to talk with you. Contingency marketing is being able to bring the customer back to the original pathway or take them to another relevant path in the process.

To create an effective contingency marketing plan, document your ideal process using pen and paper, for example, a flowchart. Identify ALL derivation points. Create a plan to bring them back to the ideal process, as well as provide a different journey that results in live interaction with you or, better yet, to purchase through your online website.

Marketing Qualifying Lead

A market qualifying lead is a lead or a person with a specific problem and a desire for it to be solved. People will buy if they see that your company, your product and you can help them fulfill their desire. However, they will not buy if they like you and your company, but not your product. They also won’t buy if they like you and your product, but don’t trust your company. These three factors must always be present. If you don’t differentiate, you will spend a lot more time and money with people who are not qualified leads.


Internet Marketing

Great Ideas to Turn Your Customer Holiday Gifts

The simplest way to make your holiday gift a marketing tool is to choose a promotional product with your company’s name and/or logo on it. But for best results, make sure it’s something your client will actually use-ideally, in a setting when they’ll be thinking about buying what you sell. Also make sure it matches your brand and is relevant to your business.

For example, if you sell accounting services to businesses, a high-quality pen set, a pad folio for notes, or a travel coffee mug is likely to be used at or on the way to work when the client is thinking business.
If you are a cyber security company, a tech item would be a great gift.

Personalize it:

A promotional product with your logo isn’t the only way to put your personal touch on a corporate gift. For instance, if you own a graphic design business, you could design your own wrapping paper or gift boxes for your gifts (be sure to add a label that says you designed it!). This way, you’re subtly reminding clients of your talents while they open your gift. If you own an interior design firm, you could make gift wrap or ribbons out of leftover fabric swatch.

Give what you make or sell:

This not only saves money because you’re using your own inventory, but also reminds the client of your quality product. Every time the client drinks a cup of coffee made with your fresh-roasted beans, uses your handmade stationary or puts his iPod in your leather case or holder, he’ll be reminded why he does business with you.

Deliver your gifts by hand:

If your clients are local, make an impact by delivering your holiday gifts yourself. THE PERSONAL TOUCH! Make a brief appointment so you’re not interrupting, and spend the time catching up with the client. Don’t make this a hard-sell sales call, but listen for clues as to how you may be able to help them in the future, and cement your interest in working with them again next year.

Give the gift of time:

Instead of giving a physical gift, take key clients out to breakfast or coffee-something brief that provides a break in their busy days, but also gives you time to reconnect. You’ll stand out from the crowd of social media connections by simply being present in real life, and you’ll be top of mind when the client turns to next year’s budget.