Online and Mobile Marketing Trends

Online and mobile marketing tools have changed dramatically in the last year or two … finally allowing small businesses access to these revenue-generating miracles.  Strategies like search engine optimization (SEO), local search results, video marketing, opt-in email lists, SMS (text) lists, mobile coupons and QR codes — were previously available only to larger companies, as part of their expensive marketing campaigns.

But the game has changed.  Small businesses now have a huge opportunity, and in many cases, a definite advantage in achieving the coveted Page One position in the search results.  Several factors have contributed to this shift.

First, Google made the decision to begin providing highly targeted local search results, and they followed through on that decision by creating over 25 million web pages for their Places project.  Yahoo and Bing followed suit.  This created the “local space” that now exists on the first page of search results.  Without that decision, local results would still be competing for screen real estate with the national brands (a losing battle!).

Consumers have eagerly embraced the local landscape:

  • 70 percent of all searches have local intent
  • 80 percent of local searches result in an offline (as opposed to online) purchase
  • 62 percent of local searches result in a phone call or in-person visit

Second, mobile devices are the fastest growing technology in history.  Millions of smartphones are bought daily, and the internet traffic from these devices is expanding exponentially.  This is a huge game-changer.  Just look at these statistics:

  • Global searches from mobile devices more than doubled between the third and fourth quarters of 2010.
  • Google reports 50% of new internet connections globally from mobile devices.
  • One third of mobile search queries have local intent
  • One third of overall restaurant queries were from mobile devices in January
  • 150 million smartphones on the network, a 50% increase since January 2011

These numbers are astonishing!  This trend will pick up speed as 3G becomes 4G (then what?), and more consumers begin to use their phones for internet browsing and research.

If you are a business owner, this is an unprecedented opportunity to position yourself for incredible growth in the next year or two.  You need to take action now: to learn, understand and implement these powerful strategies.  When you do, you’ll streak past your competitors … and they’ll be left wondering what happened!

We’ll explore these strategies here in the blog.  Feel free to leave a comment, or ask a question.  And be sure to get your copy of our special report, The #1 Strategy Every Business Must Implement Now.  Just enter your email address in the sign-up box to the right of this page.

Instant Customers with Text Message Marketing

Pop Quiz:  What type of marketing can be used to get customers into your business at the drop of a hat?

Hint: print ads require too much lead time; online advertising requires your customers to be actively searching for you; emails may not be delivered or read promptly (or even at all).

Answer:  text message (SMS) marketing allows you to craft a compelling offer (discount, freebie, special of the day) in the morning, and create a customer stampede in the evening!

Permission-based text marketing is the wave of the future.  We all love our phones and carry them with us everywhere.  Nearly every phone is capable of receiving texts.  Most text messages are read within 30 minutes.  Imagine if you could build a database of customers eager to receive a few text messages offers from you each month.  No other form of marketing has the immediate response rate or measurable ROI that text marketing has.

Here’s how it works:

You offer ‘something cool‘ to anyone who will sign up to receive your text messages.  Something cool = deals, discounts, coupons, free stuff, buy 1 get 1, information, use your imagination.

Your customer texts your keyword to an SMS short-code.  They receive a reply message telling them they have opted in (subscribed) to your messages.  Legally, you are required to explain exactly what messages they will receive and how many messages they’ll get per month.  They’ll be informed about how to opt-out of your campaigns, specifically be replying with the word STOP to any message you send them.  You are now permitted to send targeted messages a few times per month giving them more cool stuff.  Believe me … they will LOVE it!

I’ve created a brief demo to show you how it works:

Text the word KGMDemo to phone number 72727.

The number 72727 is a short-code, which is a special number that sends the contents of your text message to a database.   These short-codes are strictly regulated and very secure, so do not worry about spam.  Simply respond to any message with the word STOP, and you’ll be automatically removed from the database.  The KGMDemo will send you a series of 6 text messages so you can see a few of the possibilities.

Try it now!

One of the most powerful features of text messaging campaigns is the ability to segment your list based on your customer preferences.  You might have one promotion/list for lunch diners, another for dinner and a third for happy hour and other events.  This allows you to create different keywords for different lists so you can send highly targeted offers only to the customers most interested in receiving them.  There are endless possibilities for segmenting your customers, and your database becomes a marketing asset that costs very little to create and maintain.

On an ongoing basis, you’ll decide which segments of your business to grow – and create special offers to entice those customers to visit more often (and increase their spend).  You can reward customers who come in during slow times, move inventory quickly, and keep your business in “top of mind” so that your customers think of you, even without a special deal.

One final piece of advice: never take a loss!  Be careful crafting your offers.  Make sure you offer something that you can live with, even if the offer is used more than once.  Always define the terms and expiration dates clearly.  This will ensure that your customers are happy, and your business remains profitable.  Win, win!


Your Customers Are Searching For You Online: Can They Find You?


Here’s a video I made for you about local search. It shows you how to gain that coveted Page One position in the search results.
If you haven’t explored the nuances of Google Places, check out this video.
When you’re ready to create your very own Google Places listing, get started here:

QR Codes

QR codes (quick response codes) are an amazing way to encapsulate information into a scan-able image that can be deciphered by most smartphones. QR codes are similar to the bar-codes that you find on most products in the bookstore, grocery store, etc.
With QR codes, you can turn almost any information into a scan-able image: a website address, telephone number, email address, video link, Google Maps location, social media link, or anything else you can think of.

Here’s an example of a QR code.  If you have a smartphone, open your scanner and point it at this image.  See where it takes you!


QR Code

QR Codes provide valuable information




Read on to discover all the uses of is cool technology.






The first time I saw a QR code was at the Santa Barabara Zoo.  Every section of the zoo has a brief printed description of the animal, and also a big QR code.  When you scan the code on your mobile device, the code points your smartphone to a video on the internet.  The video plays on your device, and provides you with more information about the animal and its characteristics, habitat, etc.  Video is dramatically more effective than text.

Just the other day, I saw a QR code in the Wegman’s menu magazine.  If you don’t know about Wegman’s, it is the coolest grocery store on the planet.  Anyway, their QR code is printed in their monthly magazine, and when you scan this, it takes you to an online video that demonstrates how to grill vegetables.  Do you see a pattern here?

QR codes most often are printed — generally in print media, or an environment where there is foot traffic (like the zoo).  Another strategy is to print a code on your website to make a mobile task easier — embed your phone number or email address into a QR code, then use a “click to call” message, so the mobile user doesn’t have to type in the phone number, email address or other info.  All they have to do is click.  Sweet!