Skip to content

Top 5 Business Trends 2012 Business Trends That Will Affect the Way We Do Business This Year & Beyond

January 19, 2012
Here is a great article that I found about Marketing in 2012 and where it is headed.  SMSsaving.com can help you with the Mobile aspect of your claim and make sure you are getting the most for your advertising dollar!
Some of these business trends are sources of good business opportunities; others are trends we need to incorporate into our small business practices to stay competitive and keep or grow our market share. Here are five business trends that small businesses can profit from in 2012.

1. Cloud Computing

Small businesses can directly benefit from the cloud computing business trend by using cloud-based applications to cut down on the expense and trouble of doing the same thing themselves. Using someone else’s mail servers through the Internet can be much more cost-effective (and hassle-free) than setting up your own email server in-house, for example, – especially if you don’t have a dedicated IT person or department.

(There are disadvantages of cloud computing for small businesses, too, but they are outweighed by the advantages in my opinion.)

But with increasing numbers of businesses looking to contract out business processes, small businesses are also well-positioned to benefit from the cloud computing trend by picking up some business. It’s not size or location that matters with cloud computing, it’s expertise.

2. Social Media

Social media is one of those business trends your small business can’t afford to ignore. Facebook isn’t just something that kids are using any more and social networks are increasingly becoming business networks as people’s social/personal/business lives converge. Simply put, if that’s where they are, that’s where you need to be if you want to sell more widgets.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to get heavily into social media marketing this year (although if you do it properly, it can be a real sales booster). But you do need to at least start developing a social media presence for your small business. If you’re just starting out with using social media for business, my advice is to choose one social media tool and work with it over time. For instance, you might put up a Facebook fan page for your business and try to engage customers and get them interested in your products and services.

3. Mobile Marketing

Remember when people used to carry around a laptop and a phone? It’s something we’re seeing less and less of because increasingly, what people used to do on their laptops, they now do on their phones. You don’t need a separate computer to browse the Web, work on documents or play games because phones are computers.

One implication of this business trend is that you need to be sure your business is mobile friendly. Are your web pages etc. available in mobile versions so they look good on phone screens? Another implication is that some of the desktops/laptops in your business may be redundant or replaceable with phones.

And a third is that it’s time to develop a mobile marketing strategy. Using mobile devices to research products is becoming common consumer behavior (see The New Reality: Christmas Shoppers With Mobiles) and you don’t want your business to be left off-screen. Here are 8 Ways to Make Mobile Marketing Part of Your Marketing Mix.

4. Rise of the Phone App

This business trend is also consumer-driven and closely related to mobile computing. Above, I said the phone is a computer. But it’s also so much more, thanks to the public’s insatiable appetite for phone apps. Business-wise, phone apps are replacing everything from mileage log books through credit card readers. An iPhone app called Square, for example, lets you accept credit card payments by plugging a card reader into your iPhone. (The iPad can also be used as a POS system.)

Your small business can benefit from this business trend by using phone apps to eliminate some of your other office equipment and supplies. You might also benefit by creating and selling your own phone app. The Amazon App is an (in)famous example of a shopping app; it scans bar codes and comparison shops, letting customers know if they can get a better deal through Amazon’s website or not.

5. Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate social responsibility isn’t just for big businesses; small businesses, too, can reap great benefits by being perceived as good members of the community. It matters to consumers; a 2010 survey by Toronto-based advertising agency Bensimon Byrne found that 66 percent of Canadians said that corporate reputation has a significant impact on the brands they choose (Chris Atchison, Being a good corporate citizen helps small guys competeThe Globe and Mail). And it matters to other businesses, who want to make sure that their suppliers are as green and socially responsible as possible and appropriate to their own corporate images.

The benefit? Besides being a good thing to do it itself, it allows small businesses to compete with larger companies and can significantly improve the bottom line. If you don’t already have a corporate social responsibility strategy, this is the year to get one in place and start publicizing your work for good causes

www.SMSsaving.com

January 19, 2012

www.SMSsaving.com

Social Media: What to Expect in 2012, Posted by: Angela Denby

January 3, 2012

In 2012 we can expect to see businesses of all sizes adopting many different social and mobile strategies.  As the popularity of the smart phone continues to soar consumers are interacting more and more with businesses via their phone.  Is your business taking advantage of this mobile generation?  SMSsaving can help you get your mobile campaign started!

 

Technology exploded in 2011. With the increased number of smartphones, iPhones becoming available in Verizon Stores,  and iPads, Nooks, ebooks & Tablets becoming more known and popular, social media also increased.As we say good-bye to 2011, we look forward to what’s to come in 2012.

During our last company Skype meeting we started compiling a list of ideas for 2012′s social media, so I decided to do a little research myself and share my top 11:

1.   Social media will be incorporated into corporate websites

Many businesses have added social media links and information to their websites that consumers now look for these links. Visiting a companies Facebook page or Twitter profile has become as important as reading reviews on the business, and corporate websites have noticed this. 2012 will be their time to join the fun.

2.  An increase in social media usage on mobile devices

CNet.com reported that, “In April, research firm Gartner reported that over 296 million smartphones shipped worldwide last year. This year, the research firm expects that figure to jump to 468 million. Next year, smartphone shipments could jump to over 630 million, the company said. But all those figures pale in comparison to Gartner’s expected 2015 shipments. The research firm said that by then, 1.1 billion smartphones will ship worldwide.”

3.   An increase in personal support

In 2011, individuals began reaching out to others through social media websites. Their problems, issues and causes were spread through outlets like Facebook communities; this has become an accepted outlet to share experiences, find others who support the same causes or have the same problems as you. This type of viral support will only increase in the years to come.

4.   Social media budgets will grow

Now that businesses have seen how social media has effected the world, they realize how important their own social media presence is. Websites like, Facebook and Twitter, are such a large part of everyday life for so many people that it’s hard to picture life without this social connection.

5.   Social media advertizing will grow

With so many people skipping TV commercials, businesses will look to take their advertizing where the people actually are: social media websites. Some companies will create in-house positions and others will outsource to get their information to the public (via blogs, reviews, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other outlets relevant to their business.)

6.   Social gaming will grow

A serious increase in gaming was noticed when social media sites added game options to their website. For example: Farmville, Family Feud and Bejeweled on Facebook. People started playing games with their friends on their smartphones, like the popular game, ‘Words with Friends’.

Plus Manatank.com reported yesterday that the Xbox 360 dashboard has included new social media features:

“There’s also new social network integration and the idea of leaving ‘beacons’ for your friends so they know you want to play a certain title. At the touch of a few buttons, gestures or voice command its now easier than ever to post to Facebook and Twitter, improving the social aspects of the Xbox 360.  Microsoft is also planning to roll out newer apps over time including Youtube.”

7.   News will be increasingly social

Many people get their news on social media sites, so a large number of news outlets have Facebook and Twitter Accounts to keep people updated. Most of the these news accounts allow readers to comment, ‘like’, retweet and discuss news stories with others. This will only increase in 2012 and more people will want to voice their opinion.

8.   Creating websites that are compatible with mobile devices

With the increase in smartphone owners, iPads, Tablets, Nooks and so on, companies will have to make sure their website can be accessed through these devices. People often access their favorite websites from their smartphone or tablet while at work, in the airport, waiting at the doctors office, etc. If they can’t access your businesses information, your businesses loses out.

9.   Election campaigns + social media

It all started around the time of President Obama’s Presidential Campaign – an increase in Facebook pages geared toward the election and candidates popped up everywhere. These days it seems as if every public figure has their own Facebook account to keep the people informed – including our President.

10. Your social media footprint will grow

With the recent addition of Facebook’s Timeline, people can now look back through your Facebook “life”. Not only that, but your gaming profiles, Yelp! profiles, Twitter, Flicker, Myspace, Linkedin, YouTube,  etc. all increase your footprint. The more social media sites that are introduced and you create an account for will continue to increase your social media footprint.

11.  Facebook will surpass 1 Billion people

“Where does that more than 1 billion Facebook users come from? The countries with more than 20 million people and Facebook penetration below 20% will add most of this growth in 2012. Add the potential growth of other countries and you get to a cool billion or 1.1 billion even. And that does not include China.” –Dreamgrow

Original Post

Two-thirds of smartphone owners shop from their mobile devices

December 13, 2011

Two-thirds of smartphone owners shop from their mobile devices, study says

By Sandra M. Jones
Chicago Tribune

(istockphoto)

CHICAGO — When many Americans enter a store these days, they have three things: a wallet, a shopping list and a smartphone.

Until recently, smartphones did little more than help shoppers find a store location or take a photo of a product to share with friends. A few sophisticated shoppers showed off their shopping apps for checking inventory or comparing prices, but they were few and far between.

Not this year.

As mobile shopping activity increases, the pressure on physical stores to compete instantaneously with online retailers is growing.

Two-thirds of smartphone owners shop from their mobile devices, according to a report released Wednesday from Chicago-based digital research firm comScore Inc. And one of the most common shopping activities is comparing prices, a feature that threatens to take a cut out of bricks- and-mortar stores’ sales and profits.

“Mobile phones are empowering consumers to find the best prices on the things they want and to compare among merchants,” saidMark Donovan, a senior vice president at comScore. “We’ve been able to do that on a PC for a long time.”

Indeed, 30 percent of smartphone shoppers research product and price details from their cellphones, and 26 percent scan bar codes to compare prices among various retailers, comScore said. That figure is expected to grow as more shoppers rely on the smartphones as their personal shopping concierge.

The rapid pace at which consumers are latching onto price-comparison apps has caught most retailers off-guard. Only one-quarter of major retail chains offer their own mobile apps, and just over one-third of retail chains have a mobile website, according to online marketing firm Acquity Group.

While retailers’ mobile acumen has improved from last year — when 12 percent had a mobile website and 7 percent offered apps — they still aren’t moving fast enough, said futurist Daniel Burrus, chief executive of Milwaukee-based Burrus Research and author of Flash Foresight.

Smartphones, or cellphones that access the Internet, make up 75 percent of all phones sold globally, Burrus said. And that number will approach 100 percent within the next two years, he predicted.

“For the first time in history, we have our primary computer with us at all times,” Burrus said. “Our smartphone is becoming our primary computer. Before that it was our laptop, before that it was our desktop, and before that it was the mainframe.

“This big shift is happening, and retailers need to wake up to it. It isn’t a fad.”

Amazon.comInc. raised the ante last week when, for the first time, the world’s biggest online retailer said it would give shoppers a 5 percent discount, up to $5, if they used Amazon’s Price Check app from a physical store. The deal was good only on Saturday and could be used on up to three qualifying items.

The Amazon Price Check promotion is just one more thorn in the side of brick-and-mortar retailers, who complain that Amazon already has an unfair price advantage because the online retailer isn’t required to charge sales tax.

Amazon isn’t the only company offering a price-comparison app. Apps such as eBay’s RedLaser, ShopSavvy and Google Shopper allow consumers to find price information online while shopping in physical stores. But Amazon’s promotion is likely to expose more smartphone users to the process.

SMSsaving can help businesses with their mobile marketing.   We provide many services from Text Message Marketing to Mobile Websites.    Let us show you how we can help.

Ways to Use SMS Text Messages for Business

November 17, 2011

Here are some great examples of how businesses and other organizations can use Text Messaging and Mobile Marketing to their benefit.  SMSsaving can help your business implement all of these tools and more.  Please contact us with any questions

 

Written by: Chathri Munasinghe | Posted on 06 August 2010.

1. News/Updates – Important and time sensitive customer updates can be sent directly to your opt-in client or customer using SMS! Plus, people like knowing stuff first. Send your customers updates about product launches, product updates or events. Consider a news text like a micro-newsletter with bite-size updates.

2. Emergency Notification – SMS is a great way to notify your group or team during an emergency. Send critical updates during natural disasters, last minute event location changes or just before your company’s all-hands meeting.

3. Promotions – Travel agents are using texts to their customer databases to highlight special offers and promotions, which can be tailored to individual preferences. Send a message with a unique discount code for customers to redeem. The exclusive code creates incentive to stay on the list for future promotions.

4. Contests – Launch a text messaging contest to your database with a text-to-win campaign. Try sending out a follow up text about the winner of the contest so customers will continue to enter for upcoming contests.

5. SMS Coupons – Use SMS coupons to give out specific coupons or coupon codes for a customer loyalty program. Also when coupled with in-store promotions, texting becomes a strong vehicle for small businesses with newer clientele.

6. Customer Service – Many offer customer support and problem resolution via text. Customers are also able to check order status, track their packages and receive back order notification alerts.

7. Events – Implement a text messaging marketing strategy to promote weekly meetups or networking events. Send out key logistic information like changes of venue or detailed parking instructions.

8. Non-profits & Causes – In Spain on the eve of Election Day in 2004, demonstrations were banned 24 hours prior to an election. Instead, protested rallied via text messaging, utilizing the country’s 94% mobile phone penetration rate in Spain. Start to rally volunteers who are mobile warriors supporting your next cause.

9. Lead Generation – Gyms worldwide are using mobile marketing to generate leads through stronger databases, send out new membership promotions and offer updates on new classes and class cancellations.

  In today’s mobile society only SMS saving can help you reach your customers when you need them most.

Original Link http://www.businessblogshub.com/2010/08/ways-to-use-sms-text-messages-for-business/

The Adoption of Mobile Coupons

November 10, 2011

Here is a great article that speaks to the adoption of mobile marketing. www.SMSsaving.com can help you with all of your mobile marketing needs.

Infographic: Customers Embrace Mobile Couponing

Jackie Micucci
Wednesday, Nov 02, 2011 at 3:00 PM
Everybody loves a bargain. Mobile couponing proves just that. While the coupon format may have morphed from pieces of paper shoppers cut out of the weekly circular to digital scans they store in their trusty smartphones, their popularity continues. Chew on these stats: 20% of smartphone users redeem mobile coupons and that number is expected to increase to 30% in 2013. If you want to know more about how this mobile marketing segment is growing take a close look at our infographic below.

mobile marketing and tagging
Learn More about Mobile Tagging at Microsoft Tag.