Who is Mary Meeker?

Who is Mary Meeker?

Some readers of this blog would have seen the series of fairly new Telkom television adverts. It basically shows a bunch of young people being amazed by the lack of technological savvy displayed by some older people when it comes to online awareness. The kids all laugh when an old guy asks “don’t you go to the mall anymore?”. The implication is that your future customers are all shopping online. The company’s use of the medium of television is ironic, of course, but that fact clearly escaped their marketing department. The Telkom ads are pretty good, I must say. They’re rare entertaining gems in a very predictable TV ad world. However, one wonders whether the conclusion is a bit overdone – are all the kids really not going to the mall anymore? Of course they are. A visit to any mall around South Africa will reveal an assortment of top-end hoodies and entry-level cellphones en masse. What’s interesting is that in many cases what got the kids to the mall with its brick and mortar retailers is mobile marketing – proving, once again, that traditional marketing and mobile marketing really do complement each other very nicely. Brands should worry less about the split between traditional and mobile and focus instead of their overall bottom lines. What got me thinking about all of this was an article this week about a very clued-up someone called Mary Meeker from a certain venture capital fund called Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers. She had conducted an ‘exhaustive study’ on Internet trends and presented the findings at a conference in Silicon Valley – findings...

Mobile billing and privacy concerns

The mobile environment has created a few privacy and security concerns, especially when it comes to mobile billing and payments. How can you as a service provider give your clientele peace of mind when it comes to their financial relationship with you? Your clientele needs to know that their personal information won’t become public knowledge. You might think this information is limited to their banking details, phone numbers and address, but it pertains to anything that can make the individual’s identity apparent. For example: photographs, an IP address, voice print and facial recognitions etc. When it comes to mobile billing, your privacy policy should be ethical and strict. It needs to outline exactly what your policies are and what steps customers can take if they feel their privacy have been violated. This policy should be given in print (as part of the contract) when a client enlists your services, and should also be available on your website for public view. Design your services in a way that any information is protected from the moment of collection to use and storage. As mobile services gain more attention, it is inevitable that privacy and security policies of application providers and developers will regularly be reviewed and placed under close scrutiny. It only takes a handful of bad user experiences before the relevant authorities step in and demand anything from changes to your application to fines or compensation for breach of contract. The good news is that user privacy in mobile billing and transactions can be one of your greatest marketing tools. According to the Australian government’s website (oaic.gov.au), a 2012 survey...

Why are SMS gateway services so popular?

Every time new technology hits the market, people love to proclaim that it is the “best thing since sliced bread.” SMS gateway services aren’t the next best thing, but rather the leader of a new technological aggregation era. If you are thinking you have never used a SMS gateway before, think again. Have you ever sent a text message from your computer to someone’s phone? It is pretty convenient, especially if you’re out of air time or you left your cell phone at home. Some mobile operators allow you to send a number of free messages from your computer to a mobile phone daily. Every time you send a message in this fashion, your text is routed through a gateway that is controlled by a SMS gateway provider. The mobile device can’t just automatically receive the communication in the correct way – it needs to be “tweaked” so the device can understand what it’s receiving. What is a SMS? A SMS is a short text message which can be sent over the wireless channel using certain standardized communication methods. The GSM 7-bit alphabet encoding scheme limits the maximum payload length to 160 characters. Companies love making use of texting to keep up with the fast paced world their clientele lives in. People are growing more technologically savvy and never seem to have enough time to get through the day. Mobile communication makes it worth spending money on mobile aggregators and staff to drive and control their wireless communication. With continued innovation in the field of technology, the divide between all sorts of communication devices are shrinking. This helps marketing...

How to take advantage of mobile aggregation services

It is evident that the mobile phone isn’t going anywhere. As people’s demands for greater and better mobile experiences grow, so will the creativity and efficiency of mobile aggregation services. Take advantage of this growing trend and give your clientele more than your competitors can. With mobile aggregation services, you will be able to do the following successfully. Stay in touch with your clients: even if your clientele is interested in what is happening at your company, they aren’t going to break a sweat searching for your latest and greatest. You can keep them in the loop about company news or their latest monthly statement by sending timely text messages to their cellphones. Run and drive promotions: you can send messages to your clientele informing them of special offers and promotions. They in turn can spread the messages to their friends and family thereby creating awareness of your products and services. Advertise via an effective mobile channel: your company’s ultimate goal is to make money. By using mobile aggregation services, you can generate sales leads, drive traffic to your website or get more feet in your shop to increase your revenue. All for less than the cost of an advertisement on television or a glitzy outdoor billboard. Maintain competitive advantage: reach your clientele before your rivals do. If your competitors mainly advertise in mediums that require clients to stop everything they do to watch or listen, or if customers have to wait until they get home from work to absorb the info, you can be sure mobile aggregation services will give you a competitive edge. Create, build, or maintain a positive image: compose...

How supportive is your SMS Gateway service provider?

If you are paying good money for exemplary service/ products, you need to know that you will get your money’s worth.  And when the product and its use is largely unfamiliar territory, you really need to know that your SMS Gateway service provider has your back. Is there any way you can know this before you sign up with a service provider? Unfortunately there is no magic recipe for spotting a “bad” service provider. But, if you take a look at a few basic things, you will get an idea if the relationship will either be a rewarding or a disappointing one. 1. “Getting in contact with us is a breeze” Is it? Does the SMS Gateway provider have a (visible) range of contact options? The more ways you can get in contact with the service provider, the better. They should have a landline and /or cellphone numbers, an email address and physical address. These aren’t only good indicators that the company actually exists, but it also means you can get in contact with them in a way that suits you best. Always verify if the contact details are legitimate – it is easy to fake such details online. 2. “Put us to the test” The words that any client wants to hear! Not all SMS Gateway service providers will jump to the chance to provide test messages, but you can still do it yourself for very little money. Know what the product is capable of before you commit. Test whether you can successfully send and receive messages to and from your targets. 3. “We know what we are...

Make mobile aggregation services work for you

When is the last time you were excited about interacting with your clients? If client communication conjures up pictures of blood, sweat and tears, you will be relieved to know that mobile aggregation services can turn your marketing strategies completely around – without breaking your back or your bank. Send your clientele informative, educational and promotional material via wireless applications. They can receive these messages directly on their phone (e.g. a SMS or MMS) or you can they can follow a link from their phone to a website or online portal where they can subscribe to your products or services. Your marketing strategy will determine what you use and when / how you implement everything. Mobile aggregation services are managed by qualified and competent service providers, so it is not like you have to work out an elaborate plan on how to get things done. This also makes mobile marketing a better choice than email marketing as you can leave everything to the professionals and don’t need to struggle with unnecessary hassles like email servers and the likes. Stay in touch with your clients and maintain competitive advantage. Your text message can reach your clientele before they see the advertisement of your competitor in a newspaper. And because your messages are text based, it is easy for your customer to forward it to their friends and family and spread the word. Mobile aggregation services can also boost your company’s reputation and increase your “visibility”. Clients are reminded more often of your existence, so when they are in need of the kind of services or products you offer; your company...
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