Why I Didn’t Write This Article

Why I Didn’t Write This ArticleThis article was not to be about mobile technology. It was supposed to be about how to use mobile technology. This article was not for businesses “thinking” about mobile technology. This article was supposed to be about business that know it’s a smart move to make and are looking for ways to get it done. This article was supposed to be about businesses that can see the future clearly and realize that for an investment which is comparatively small in contrast to what they currently spend on more costly yet less effective forms of advertising, that they could effectively put a stranglehold on their local market. This article was supposed to be about businesses that have the desire to break ranks from their “me too” advertising practices which formerly have only been exercises in “doing what the other guy is doing” and getting not much reward. This article was supposed to be about what business that want to know how, with very little effort, they can neutralize their competitors advertising efforts, make them spend more to get less and do it right under their noses leaving them without a single clue as to why their customers are not coming around they way they used to. This article was supposed to be about businesses who spend thousands on billboard advertising but don’t have a website ( with an actual case study of one that is doing so) and why this is absolutely insane if not a sure recipe for insolvency. This article article was supposed to be about how not to be a business that puts up a social media page with no clue of how to make it work, then complains about how social media doesn’t work or is a waste of time. When I was in college, my comp prof taught me that I should always directly address my audience and in such a way as to make my words resonate with my audience’s desires. I am a technology marketing consultant. I have some clients and I want more; but recalling just now, that college lesson, and getting very few calls tells me I don’t have a very large audience to address so it’s probably not worth it to write this article at all. About The author: Bryan Jackson is a mobile technology consultant, web developer and owner of Local Touch Mobile a mobile marketing, web design and social media positioning company. He is currently building and promoting his new brand which allows small local businesses to inexpensively retain and acquire new customers through digital coupon marketing.

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Your Business is Probably Invisible

Everyone knows who “we are!” Yes, you’re an established company with perhaps years of sales history and a customer roll that is longer than a country mile.
 
All good you say? Well hold on, while your business may very well be well know in your local community, established and respected, something else is taking place that you may not have paid much attention to or given much thought.
 
People are more mobile than ever. Job transfers, family circumstances ; birth, aging and even death affect how people move and relocate.
 
This means new potential customers are coming into your city or town on an almost daily basis. Many of them will not have a well established network of friends or relatives but what they will have is a need.
 
A need for products and services, anyone of which you may be in the business of providing . When the time comes to make a buying decision and without the aforementioned “sources” to rely upon about who is a good doctor, attorney, contractor, plumber or even the best place to get mani-pedi, they are going to rely on and have come to trust, despite the ramblings of those who say “it doesn’t matter”, they are going to make their buying decisions based on their findings.
 
And who is this reliable and trusted source. Of course it’s Google.
 
As far as small local businesses go, such a well known and trusted authority is almost incredibly the best kept secret around.
 
For small businesses that are smart enough to realize that it’s more than worth it to be properly listed and searchable by Google, a sizeable (profitable) amount of their business can be and is directly attributed to the fact that they are well positioned and listed with Google and other reputable directories For them, this is money in the bank.
 
The fact is, if you have not taken the time to isure that your business shows up in Google Maps and related directories, you’re handing over profits and customers to your better positioned competition and believe me, they are grateful to you for it.
 
Without ensuring that this very simple but important aspect of your businesses public face is not up to date, you are essentially invisible to Google but much worse, to anyone who doesn’t know that you have been in business for 30 years and have the best contracting service in town. None of that will matter to new potential clients who don’t know you and don’t know you exist because you simply have not taken time (and free) step to be visible to Google.
 
And before you begin your rebuttal with “we have a website – we’re online” , I don’t care what your web designer told you – Just having a website is not enough.
 
Some of the big Web design players can dazzle you with slick commercials full of happy faced smiling actors telling you how your new website will attract customers magically to your business but without a solid Google presence, your business’s information might do better scrawled on the wall of a bus terminal bathroom stall.
 
Maybe you’re not getting sparkly card with giant happy faces on them from your competitors who know what you don’t but you can be sure that for every day that you fail to do this one simple task for your business is another day and opportunity for them to take profits out of your pocket and place them into theirs.
 
And before I close, don’t make the mistake of thinking that because you are listed in the “Yellow Pages” that that will be enough. I have a new phone book too. It has been sitting on my printer for the better part of a year now and is only moved when I need to dust. The fact is, I don’t need it and don’t use it.
 
I’m not one known as a betting man but I’d lay down odds that I’m not alone as being among the ranks of those that do not bother with a phone book when looking for and researching products and services.
 
Get with the program. It’s not 1960. It’s 2015. If your business is not online and well positioned in the SERPS, it’s not just invisible, in a modern world, it’s already dead.

Does You Business Need an APP? Good Question, Wrong Order!

Does You Business Need an APP? Good Question, Wrong Order!

I’m not a writer. In fact I really hate to write articles but I’m opinionated and sometimes I just love to jump into the fray by proffering my own opinion about topics that I’m concerned about and appeal to me.
 
When the topic of apps for businesses comes up for discussion, anyone who knows or is aware of the the brand I promote will quickly realize that I’m terribly one sided on the matter.
 
This is why I’ve decided to publish this very article on my blog and for once, I’m going to play fair.
 
Does your business really need an app? It’s a good question and merits serious consideration. The only problem is, it’s a question that should never be asked first.
 
If you are considering an app for your business, the first question (the answer to which determines very quickly if there will be a second question) you should ask should begin with “who” and not should.
 
You need to ask someone if you need an app for your business and that someone must be someone “who” has zero skin in the game.
 
That someone should be an independent analyst . Can’t afford one? Don’t ask me but you had better spend the money to find out or the ink on the books may flow in red tides of biblical proportions.
 
I know I’m not much help but if you can’t afford the independant, you can do the research yourself. Not an easy or time conservative task but the alternative to skipping this step could prove to me much more terrifying.
 
Finally, if you are very brave (and flush with cash) you can just ask a leading app development firm. Maybe I don’t need to tell you that that would be pretty much like asking the fox to guard the hen house but you know.
 
Yes, apps are wonderful things. They can bring value and tremendous branding to your business but before you decide, just remember the advice I’ve given you.When it comes to apps for your business, the first question can never be “should I…” It must always be first, “Who can tell me if I need one”. After that, “Who” better be right about the answer.
 

If Not Now, When?

If Not Now, When?

On Sunday July 12, 2015, I published the following post on he Facebook page of Pennysaverusa.com. Whether it’s approved by admin and made available for public viewing is not under my control, however, it doesn’t change the facts of what I have been trying to get small local businesses to understand.
 
It only re enforces [ and vindicates] what I been extolling since 2013.
 
Isn’t It about time?… It’s 2015 (early Q3 to be exact) and an industry leader has now closed its doors leaving workers displaced, small businesses and most importantly customers out in the cold.
 
Don’t you think it’s about time we used the technology we have at hand to not only insure that something like this doesn’t happen again?
Everyone has a chance to make a change to a better way of doing things and the closing of PSUSA proves that.
 
We have the opportunity to clean up our act, eliminate paper waste while still receiving the benefits of the tremendous value that PSUSA delivered to its advertiser who in turn passed that value on to their customers in the form of money saving coupons.
 
Is anyone listening here?…
 
Since early 2013 I have been trying to get small advertisers to listen. They have not. Many of these small businesses that depended on the store traffic that thier weekly/monthly coupons and offers generated for them have seen that channel evaporate right before their eyes. When will they open them again to see the new vista of opportunity which lies ahead?
 
Nothing has really been lost. New jobs and opportunities are there for the taking if we really want to have them. We have the technology and in fact, it has been there all the time. The only problem has been complacency.
 
If you are a consumer, you have the answer in your hand. You look at it every single day at least once without fail and the majority of us sooner than every hour on the hour.
 
Advertisers. The answer to your dilemma is in your customers hands and right in front of your face. You can literally pick back up right where PSUSA left you off.
 
So now the only question that remains is, will you (all of us) take advantage of the technology that is sitting there under utilized or will we remain in the dark, wanting and wishing for better days gone forever yet ignoring brighter days that lie ahead.
 
That is my question. Will there be an answer? Only time will tell the story and reveal what we desire and value most.
 
If you are a consumer and want to continue to receive the great offers that will no longer be arriving at your door each Sunday, get on my list at http://noappdeals.com and allow me to have a reason to continue approaching advertisiers and encouraging them to offer you their value.
 
If you are an advertiser, wake up and realize that your saving grace is and for a very long time, has been available to you if you want to move forward.
 
It’s not up to just me. I have provided a simple and effective solution – It’s up to you and me. It’s up to all of us!

Foolish Technology Assumptions That Will Close Your Small Business

Preface – If you are a marketing consultant to small businesses, there are days that make you wonder why you even care. It’s so easy to get into the business of selling clueless small businesses on marketing that puts money in your bank account while emptying your potential clients , selling them marketing that only works for blacksmiths and wagon wheel builders that sometimes the temptation becomes extremely great.
 
But keep the faith and remember – There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know’
 
 
We have come up with our list of the top 10 reasons small businesses don’t see the value in using modern technology despite the fact that it is not only cheap, relatively easy to implement and absolutely vital to their survival. To be clear, there are many more reasons “why”, we just listed 10 we feel are among the most important ones and therefore carry the greatest threat to small business insolvency.
 
1) On using modern marketing technology – It’s not really that important because people really don’t care?
 
Google tends to refute that claim and they have staggering figures to back it up. They are a multi-billion dollar company. Maybe they have a small clue about the future of business – Think?
 
2) We don’t see other businesses in our industry using it?
 
You can follow the leader if you want but when the blind lead the blind, well you know.
 
3) We don’t understand it?
 
You don’t understand the complex inner workings of your car but you still know how to drive one don’t you?
 
4) We have plenty of customers!
 
News flash – your current customer base is growing older by the day and will eventually die. Your future customers are still in grade school. You will not reach them with what you’re not doing now.
 
5) Social media is for playing games and chatting not for business.
 
“Michael, senators don’t have people killed” – “Now who’s being naive Kay?” (Line from “The Godfather” 1972)
 
6) A few bad reviews on sites like Yelp don’t matter.
 
Angie’s List, Consumer Reports many other highly regarded review sources have millions of followers and subscribers. Businesses live or die by what they say.
 
7) We have been in business for many years without this “technology” stuff
 
You bought stock in Blockbuster Video didn’t you?
 
8) We can’t afford a website
 
You can get one free from hundreds of places, even Google. Next excuse please and let’s be frank here – you don’t have one.
 
9) Print advertising, TV/Radio and Billboards – They are working just fine for us.
 
Working fine because you obviously have money to burn, are an “anti-green”, shoot in the dark, throw darts with your feet, hear no evil- see no evil marketing master – Good luck, you are really going to need it.
 
10) We are just local. Everyone in town knows who we are.
 
We won’t touch this one. We just don’t have the space. Maybe we should have ranked this one at number 1 or 2 but this type of thinking spells receivership with a capital R.
 
 
Take away – If you have a small business, medium size business or even a large business, you are reading this and as of this, the beginning of Q3, you have yet to implement even a small slice of modern marketing technology in your business, your mindset and your business is headed in the wrong direction unless being “out of business” is where you plan to be in the future.

You Don’t Need an “App” but You Do Need an Offer

 

It’s astounding! The “app” craze is now in full effect and has reached fever pitch.

 

Ask any small business owner who has been approached by a application development firm and they’ll tell you that they are thinking apps, but unbeknownst to them, they are not being told the full story. A disclosure which would give them the ability to see and fully understand the total picture.

 

Considering the hyper numbers that are being tossed about concerning mobile app usage and downloads, it’s easy to see how a small business owner can quickly become enamoured with the idea that the implementation of a mobile application is indeed a fast track to greater reach, branding and profits.

 

The concept of throngs of users dying to download their app and the prospect of soaring profits that dances in their heads have been carefully placed in their minds by application developers, whose eyes are clearly are on profits, ahead of client benefits.

 

When we speak of applications, their use and implementation, there are a few things a business should (MUST) consider.

 

Unless you have your own “in-house” team, expect to pay around $26,000. That’s for a simple app with turn around of 4-8 weeks to create. And that’s just the a cost for a single platform like Android.

 

And if you plan on not leaving out iOS users, Windows Phone users and Blackberry users, expect to shell out even more.

 

It should be painfully obvious that few small businesses can afford an expenditure of this magnitude . Especially when there is no guarantee that the campaign will generate even a break even ROI. And if you think your app will be the media darling that gets downloaded by thousands, think again.

 

Next up, on going maintenance cost.

 

Yes you’re going to have to maintain your app and the cost of doing so is not cheap.

 

Consider the industry standard for software maintenance averages 15 to 20 percent of development costs and it will become very evident that you’re facing some very hard numbers.

 

As in the above example, if your app cost $26,000 (again, a very low estimate) to build, expect to pay about $5200.00 per year, per platform to maintain. If you’re still excited about acquiring an app for your business at this point, you may not be a big business but you’re certainly a very rich one.

 

App vs. Mobile Site: An Irrelevant (and silly) Comparison

 

We hear it consistently and constantly. In the forums and on the posts of countless sites dedicated to helping small businesses grow into big ones, “Should we have an app or a mobile site?”

 

We haven’t touched on the subject of mobile site development costs, redesign or recoding current sites to perform properly across multiple devices but there should really be no debate. In fact, if you were to base that decision on cost alone, mobile site implementation becomes a forgone conclusion.

 

Barring that element of the process, what you really need is an offer. A standing offer designed for one purpose and one purpose only which is to get customers off the couch and into your establishment, money in hand and ready to spend.

 

And while that effort can more realistically be achieved with an online platform that works well across multiple devices, be it your own website or a service based solution, offering current and potential new customers something they need (because of your well crafted standing offer) and want, a well designed mobile optimized website or offer delivery service would fit the bill nicely, to say nothing of significantly lower cost.

 

If the truth be told, there are many types of businesses that do not need or require an a full blown website, mobile optimized site let alone an app. And while your business may fall into this category, there is no question that the first order of business should be to develop your offer with the emphasis on delivery platform coming in a very close second.

 

There are many platforms that can assist small local businesses in presenting that all important and unique offer for little or no cost. A few that come to mind are 8Coupons, RetailMeNot and SaveLocalNow to name just a few.

 

All the above mentioned services offer businesses a easy to use platform upon which to create and deliver a strong offer to their respective audiences but and in spite of some of their names which profess “local reach”, they lack what is most desperately needed by small businesses, true local flavor.

 

There’s just no getting around human nature – People love to get great deals and save money and it doesn’t matter if they come by those great deals through a website, mobile site, app or even a local newspaper. People just want deals and love it when they find them.

 

When we look at the trends, we clearly see that more and more people are searching for businesses that “offer” what they’re looking for and finding by way of mobile devices.

 

That said, it stands to reason that for your business to grow, putting your offer where people are looking every day just makes good (smart marketing) sense.

 

It has already been mentioned that there are plenty of services that offer an inexpensive services that allow you to go where your customers are instead of obsessing over the best way get your marketing message out.

 

When you combine the time tested and proven method of discount coupons with the marvel of modern technology that is today’s smartphone, you have an unbeatable , cost effective “one-two- puch that can take your small local business to total local market domination.

 

 

Resource

 

Want to reach your local market with time tested drawing power of coupons combined with mobile technology?..

 

Download our free report “Grow You Business with Mobile Coupons”

http://rescommgroup.com/?p=777

Digital Coupons From Local Merchants in Your Area Delivered to and Redeemable on Your Smartphone Without the Need to Download Multiple Apps Are Long Overdue

DeLinda Vreeland
DeLinda Vreeland | Rescomm Group

 

On most weekends, he manages to get my coupons to at least within 30 feet of my door. This Sunday, I wasn’t so lucky.

After opening my door and curiously looking from side to side, my normally reliable Sunday delivery of coupons and discount offers was seemingly nowhere to be found.

That was until as I began to close the door my upward gaze revealed what looked to be a slim, milk white object positioned just off center in the road.

“What’s that?” I wondered to myself. No way! Yes way. There laying in the middle of the street, soaked in water and sporting the black tread patterned stripe of someone’s Goodyear radials pressed into the plastic was my bag of coupons. Now wet and ruined yet flawlessly displaying a perfect tire impression everywhere on the bag except the part that has the hole in ti meant for hanging on my door.

I guess I can understand it. You’re 17 and being paid next to nothing to deliver a few hundred of these little plastic bags filled with offers from local merchants that you don’t even frequent or care about.

On top of that, you had to stop playing Halo (or whatever teens do at that hour if not sleeping) and deliver them.

Not much incentive to be sure but none of that really matters to me because all I know is, this weekend I won’t be getting my coupons unless I want to stoop to sneaking over to the neighbors to snatch up their delivery.

Personally, I think it’s time that someone steps up here and just states the obvious.

Wouldn’t it just be easier if you could get coupons from local merchants without having to wait for them to show up in the mail or at your door, having to clip them out or if you’ve used digital coupons before, having to download multiple apps from each individual business in town you deal with just to save money?

Imagine if local merchants in your area simply offered their coupons in digital form, made them available for redemption on your smartphone and didn’t require you to download their app just to get them.

Wouldn’t that save time, paper waste and at the same time, save my smartphone memory for important apps like Dot’s or Clash of Clans?

And with all that taken into account, there’s the fact it would probably encourage more people to shop locally.

The first problem is that local merchants who offer paper coupons don’t understand that technology has made it more convenient for you to get and use coupons when they are offered in digital form.

The second problem is that while there is an abundance of coupon sites on the internet, even if they do offer you digital coupons, they are seldom if ever from local merchants and even if they are, they still require either downloading yet another app or printing them out neither of which is an answer to the question of paper waste or “app” bulge!

Luckily there is a better and more sensible alternative that solves both problems at the same time and puts local businesses squarely into the digital coupon marketplace where they should have been 4 years ago.

A new company has taken precise aim at the problem and come up with a simple solution that not only removes cost hurdle barriers to small businesses but also makes the sense for consumers to use because they need not be bothered with having to cram app after app on to their phone from every local store in town.

The company is noAppdeals and they apparently have found the middle ground between digital coupon delivery and wasteful paper coupon printing, and clipping.

I like my coupons. I like the savings and I like the convenience of having them handy yet taking up no more space than any other of the sites I have bookmarked.

According to the founder, the reason the company was started in the first place wa s to simplify and eliminate the need for constant downloading of space hogging apps. I like where noApddeals is going because their focus seems to be on driving their marketing efforts toward a better mobile experience for both small businesses and consumers.

Just like the Sunday coupon bag I now won’t be getting until next weekend, I realize that a company like noAppdeals is really long overdue.

 

 

About the author –

 

DeLinda Vreeland is Marketing Director and owner of Rescomm Group Mobile Marketing.

 

http://rescommgroup.com/?p=772