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Adding Group SMS text messages to your marketing or communications plans

 Finding ways to leverage SMS or Text marketing is always a challenge on how to do carefully selected text messages to targeted audiences.  Messages like getting a key message out to your sales force or you need to change a location or time for an event and to grow customer engagement. Broadcasting text alerts to your subscribers and have it also push to your Twitter, Facebook and website visitors in one stroke is a valuable tool to consider. Mashable recently covered this subject.

” Christina Warren  from Mashable blog has done a very good outline of a way to easily do this.

This post is part of Mashable’s Spark of Genius series, which highlights a unique feature of startups. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here. The series is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark.

Name: TextMarks

 Quick Pitch: TextMarks group text messaging services turn any mobile phone into a powerful marketing tool.

 Genius Idea: TextMarks makes it easy to create SMS marketing campaigns by letting users send a text message with a custom keyword of your choice to 41411. You can also use TextMarks auto-post service to send out SMS messages to subscribers and also update Facebook() and Twitter().

As the Red Cross’s efforts in raising money for Haiti proved, text messages can be a powerful way to engage others and to spread information. It’s not just about joke-of-the-day subscriptions or other nonsense that you see at 2AM on TV — real money and real causes can be publicized through text.


TextMarks is a service that makes it really easy to set-up a mobile campaign to broadcast messages or updates to users that opt-in to your service by first texting a keyword. 

What we like about TextMarks is that the service is easy to set-up and affordable. You can try out the service for free and send unlimited ad-supported messages each month, and ad-free plans start at $9.95 a month. For small businesses or small groups like churches or clubs, that’s a really nice option. 

We also like that you can update Twitter and Facebook with the same messages you send out to other users. That way, if you’re using messages to keep people updated with scheduling information or other time-sensitive info, the message can go out across all of your social channels.”


Do free promotion offers work? Follow the line to Dennys

Here is a photo that I took of the Denny’s Free breakfast crowd from the road as I was leaving today.

By the looks of things at my local Denny’s the Free Breakfast  promotion announced during the Superbowl was a sell out.  I drove into the parking lot to go to another business and could not find a place to park in three parking lots!  The crowds were pouring out of their cars, like they were going to the state fair.  The line was out the door and around the building.

 So give them credit for gaining trial.  Customer Engagement at it’s finest.  Customers using texts, blogs and emails all about the promotion is a social media strategists dream.   What about retention, I am not so sure.  Quality service, is in the hands of the wait staff and cooks.  Will people stand in line for free food? Yes… they will.  Will they come back and pay?… Denny’s will need to report of that.  ROI… priceless…

Critical Thinking Techniques for Marketers key for 2010

Critical Thinking Techniques for Problem Solving and Decision Making  

Guest blogger: Mike Kallet is an expert at teaching Critical Thinking in the US and abroad. (by disclosure he is also my brother-in-law) His point is that most people in companies, government and education have been trained to think, but are not trained to lead others to think or use Critical thinking, 

 “Thinking” is the foundation for Problem Solving, Decision Making, Creativity, and Innovation.   “Critical Thinking” is a way of thinking and looking at situations in what we call “manual” mode, as opposed to our everyday “automatic” mode. Often asked is what is critical thinking , why it is important, and what are the critical thinking techniques that you can immediately implement when solving problems, making decisions or tasked with creating something innovative.”  

Critical Thinking Skills can be applied to:
• General problem solving and decision making
• New product ideas and creation
• Improving Productivity
• Short and long term business strategies
• Competitive strategies
• Managing people and situations
• Improved development processes and quality
• Improved operational efficiency
• Crisis Management
• Revenue generation and cost reduction strategies
• Customer care improvement
• P&L Management


With the Benefits of
• Faster and higher quality decisions
• Creative solutions to problems and strategies
• Higher productivity and quality
• Being better prepared to tackle daily problems
• Avoiding mistakes and recognizing opportunities
• Leading others to “Think” 
For more information about critical thinking, HeadScratchers or one-day, on-site and open enrollment Critical Thinking Workshops, visit www.headscratchers.com





  Critical Thinking Techniques for Problem Solving, Decision Making and Creativity

Is your product being blogged? 12/1/09, New FTC Guidelines go into effect.

Is blogging one of your new strategies for marketing of  your products?  If so, then you need to review who is blogging, are they being compensated or given product to try?   The issue is disclosure.  If you are paying, or giving trial product, then you fall under the new FTC changes and you need to be sure you have issued new guidelines to your marketing team and the the bloggers you are working with.  These Federal Trade Commission changes affect how you represent your product, when posting product reviews or blogs.

FTC Guideline Update May Affect Your Marketing Program.  The FTC has updated their guidelines regarding endorsements and testimonials. There is a really good video from the FTC that I would spend a few minutes viewing and bring it to your next team meeting.

You may want to get legal advice regarding these guidelines,  review how these guidelines may affect your business, and how you should proceed.  These changes include bloggers go  into effect on 12/1/09.

You can find out all the details and watch a series of videos on the subject at the FTC website.  You can also read about some members of the industry who are talking on this issue at the Performance Marketing Alliance’s site or at Revenews.com. 


Where to find the women consumers in social media.

Mashable again has a knock out recap of info from Information is Beautiful on demographics by site.  This is really valuable to CMO’s in evaluating your teams plans or the agencies next proposal.  It also says to me that if you are targeting men, Digg is one not to overlook. This also gives you a good check list to be sure you are represented on all the main social media platforms.

Here is the Link: http://mashable.com/2009/10/03/women-rule-the-social-web/

Here is a recap: “Women rule social media at least according to an infographic by Information is Beautiful. The stats, compiled by Brian Solis from Google Ad Plannerdata, show that equal numbers of men and women use sites like LinkedIn, DeviantArt and YouTube.

When it comes to sites like Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed, MySpace and Bebo, however, women outnumber men. In fact, there’s only one major holdout for men on the social web: social news site Digg, where 64% of users are male.


TEI- Total Economic Impact and ROI in Social Media for Customer Service

Many of you have emailed me looking for the link to the Forrester information that I discussed at the BMA conference. Dr Natalie Petouhoff,  has done a great job of  proofing the model for customer service ROI, when it comes to social media.

 Here is her deck, that she sent to me and agreed to let me use and put on my blog.


ROI for Social Media? It’s way more..it’s a new way to do business.

How do we think about ROI for Social Media?  A few weeks back I asked for feedback for a talk I was giving and here are my learnings on ROI and measuring Social Media on marketing projects.  After reviewing the info, it changed the way I now  look at Social Media.  Taking it out from being a marketing strategy and tactic to being a real change in the way companies must do business, across all areas or what I am now calling a  TEC- Total Enterprise Change TM due to Social Media .

 An advertisment in Time Magazine this week, brought the point home for me.  The ad was advertising a new bank that wanted to position itself as the honest and straightforward bank.  Listing that they will tell you up front, how long your hold time will be when you call.   Hello… we are in the world of Social Media expectation, so they have missed the big concept. No one will wait any longer for customer service in the social media age, nor except that it is acceptable to wait.  It must be instantaneous and complete end to end and nothing more.

Many large online and offline companies are starting to change their entire business model due to Social Media.  The norm is becoming to say if you do not have Click to talk, video phone access, content scrapes, Twitter, Facebook, Digg, you are now behind the curve. 

Some of my CMO friends have asked, “When will people bore of playing with Social Media and go on to the next big thing”.  This is more than a big thing, it is a big way. This has and will evolve to change the way we live and who we choose to do business with, how we communicate and with whom. 

Think back to what you thought about the internet, well some said it was a craze, a thing that kids played with?  That was the thinking, I remember talking to the heads of ad agencies and being told that the internet would have no impact on advertising…..I could not believe what I was hearing, in those early days.  Now it looks foolish .

So if you’re thinking, I still do not get it?  Here are some examples to grasp the concept.   You have to understand the progression of ways of doing business in our time.  Think of the business progression from  mail, to phone, to typewriters, to faxes, to computers, to email, to websites, to cell phones, to texting, to social media.  It is the next way of how you will and must  do business.  Social Media is no longer a marketing tactic, thus if you are trying to put it into an ROI box, and then measure the ROI, thinking like this will very easily miss the point and you will miss the boat.   Today you could not think to function without email, this too will happen with Social Media. 

Social Media is the way you will conduct business, sell and take orders, service business, train employees and educate groups,  as well as it will be used for marketing.  So this puts the Social Media business transition into all areas of your enterprise, thus not as an ROI, but as a non financial impact item. 

When Social Media strategy and tactics ares used in a marketing program, then you can measure,  but it should be viewed as an impact to the TBE -Total Business Enterprise TM .  Thus ROI will need to account for customer service, operations, sales, call center, retail locations, accounting, IT and marketing, just to name a few.

So if you are still looking for an ROI formula here is what I would look at:

1: Establish a bench mark of pre or current social media off of which this can be based.

SM growth/loss-SM cost=Net SM cash flow. 

SM growth/loss + SM cost =SM Net Present Value,

Which gives you the delta for your ROI% on the return and establishes number of months for pay back.