We all have one: a friend or a relative with the communication clock. There’s that person in your life that has a preset ratio of calls per day passed that is somehow directly wired to the quality of your friendship. Perhaps you are that person. I respect that, but I’m on the other end of the spectrum. I have no clock. Picture this: we’re having a conversation at a family event, say Christmas. I can be halfway through a sentence when we’re suddenly interrupted by something else. I’ll go handle that matter, go home, go to bed, get up the next day and go to work. It is entirely possible for me to go two years without seeing you. When we do talk again, I can literally finish the sentence we were in the middle of when we were interrupted. That’s how unaffected I am. Our friendship isn’t challenged by this gap. I’m not worried that we haven’t talked. I don’t remember how long it’s been. I don’t remember what I had for breakfast this morning.
Then there are the people with the clock. You’ll never talk to them enough. You can identify them in one of two ways: they’ll tell you all the time or they won’t. The latter is much worse! That’s the slow silent guilt version. Like a sleeping lion, that’s dangerous. Leave it alone. The former isn’t much better. Even when you do make contact, you’re reminded that you don’t do it enough. It is constant and abrasive and you can’t win!
Somewhere in the middle is the “correct” amount of communication.
Businesses have to walk this line as well. On one end of the spectrum is the spam mailer. For whatever reason, some version of this is the all-too-common standard. If you could find the computer sending this junk out, you’d probably set the whole building on fire. On the other end, there’s the business that has a great product or idea but doesn’t want to bother you about it. The hope is that the customer will just casually find them on the 3rd page of Google search results. Neither one is particularly helpful.
I’ve been shopping for cars recently. This industry is in particular need of an overhaul. If you’re even lucky enough to find an email address in their unusually bug-laden site, you have no idea who it is going to. Most of them force you to put way too much contact information in an obscure little form. In what has to be 80% of cases, you get an initial blast of unusable coupons, bait-and-switch car prices for cars you aren’t interested in and if you’re lucky, there’s a small note at the bottom of the email from the actual salesman you intended to write. Then it happens: the first daily (if not four-hourly) email blast… you’re on their email server. Good luck, weary traveler. I went to one dealership in Austin where the salesman wrote a clean, graphic-free and link-free response. In the response he offered his own cell number and the freedom to text whenever needed. I’m still talking with him two weeks later. Why? He gave me the option of when and how to contact him. His information isn’t buried in spam. I define the communication clock.
That’s the value of text marketing. It is 100% opt in and 100% opt out. You cannot legally continue sending texts once someone has asked you to stop. At the same time, if someone wants to hear from you, they get what they wan so text marketing provides the company with users that voluntarily engaged in their marketing efforts. They’re almost impossible to ignore, yet not so wildly overused that you feel bothered by it. You quickly and conveniently receive the information that is valuable to you. It’s with you wherever you are. It’s your communication clock. Nobody will bother you more than you want. Nobody will add you to a giant server list on an unmanned computer on an island you can’t find. At the same time, you won’t be forgotten. You’ll get the right amount of relevant updates when you need them.
I had an egg taquito. That’s right.
QR Code Marketing
In 1994 a matrix bar code, now known as the QR code, was developed by Toyota as a way
to track vehicles in the manufacturing process. It wasn’t until 2011 that QR code marketing became a widely used tactic among marketers. It’s intriguing that these small, static visual blocks are now a new technology utilized by businesses to offer a way for consumers to receive additional virtual information about promotions. But, these handy codes are completely foreign to a majority of mobile device users. Slowly, but surely, they have caught on with the consumer and proven to be a top resource for target consumers. 
According to a recent report from Nellymoser, QR codes have jump started response rates from consumers and are now shown to have the highest response rate among direct marketing tactics.
QR codes have no limits on location, which is a no brainer advantage for any business. They can be found in magazines, on tv and in flyers just to name a few.
Most importantly, they are not limited to connecting consumers with a company’s website; however, when it does, it needs to direct to mobile websites – which loads quicker and provides the most relevant information. They can also direct consumers with a call-to-action via videos, sweepstakes, a social media page and even an eCommerce site. Regardless of where one can find a QR code, it proves that consumers are actively engaging with their devices simultaneously with another medium.
Nellymoser’s report also found that codes promoting mobile coupons or a chance to enter a sweepstakes have a higher response rate.
With the increasing success of these scan able blocks, businesses of all sizes, including one of the largest: Target (see our recent blog regarding this topic), are being integrated into a well designed mobile strategy.
Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner, and signifies the beginning of the 2012 summer travel season for many Americans. This year, many travelers are using their mobile phones to research, book, and review their summer vacations. Business owners in the hospitality industry can win big this travel season by using mobile marketing to offer special deals and reservation options.
These Mobile Solutions Can Increase Traffic During Summer
Many big brands in travel have already adopted mobile marketing
as part of their overall marketing strategy to reach travelers in new ways. Courtyard Hotels by Marriott have added QR codes
to their lobbies that allow guests to scan a virtual concierge to find points of interest, restaurant reviews and reservations, and even weather and traffic information around the hotel location. This increases the level of interaction and convenience for many of Courtyard’s guests, adding to the overall guest experience.
Other travel and hospitality businesses can use mobile engagement to increase new visitors and visitor loyalty. Airlines such as American Airlines
have embraced mobile to offer a new channel to their customers during the most competitive time of the year for new flight bookings. These airlines use SMS messaging to alert travelers of changes in flight times, available upgrades, or now boarding alerts. In addition, they can use SMS marketing, mobile websites, or mobile applications to offer exclusive pricing offers to its mobile user base. By doing this, they determine exact ROI through unique coupon codes through SMS messaging, number of redemptions on mobile websites and applications through advanced reporting technology.
Hotels can also benefit from mobile marketing by providing guests on-the-go booking options through mobile marketing. Travelocity recently reported that 60-70% of their mobile bookings
are for same-day stays. This channel is a great way to increase hotels’ occupancy rates and deliver a convenient option for travelers. In addition, hotels can use SMS marketing, QR codes to unlock deals and area information, and mobile websites and applications for booking, reviews, and special offers.
The summer 2012 travel season is the busiest time of the year for most travel and hospitality businesses. Adding mobile marketing to an existing marketing strategy can add convenience for customers and higher bookings for businesses all-year round.
Today, approximately 91% percent of the population in the United States carries a celphone. One in four cell phone subscribers uses their handheld device to access the mobile web. CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) companies have a ready market of customers, and incorporating a mobile marketing strategy in their overall marketing efforts that is familiar to their customers makes good sense.
Results from Mobile Marketing
Mobile marketing to CPG customers can help to build a company’s brand, make customers aware of special offers, and increase customer retention. The ads can be customized so that they are of interest to local buyers. With mobile technology, companies can also implement audio ads with an automated voice service. Mobile response accuracy allows companies to get measurable results from mobile marketing campaigns.
These companies can use banner ads to direct customers to the closest retail location where they can buy products. Banner ads can also be utilized to offer specific deals to local customers. Coupons can be shared with customers through their cell phones as well.
I think the idea of using mobile websites for CPG customers is a very effective one. Cell phone users are likely to use these resources to plan a shopping trip. Modern consumers are always on the lookout for the best deal for products they are buying on a regular basis and I can see how offering coupons or special offers through a cell phone would be an effective way to generate sales.