Mobile Marketing Campaigns to Inspire You

Mobile Marketing Campaigns to Inspire Ideas for Your Company @ http://snipr.com/l84a4

Included in this article are case studies of recent mobile marketing campaigns implemented by several well known brands. Items of note in these campaigns are:

•the integration with other aspects of their marketing program
•the results tracking and analysis
•the multi-faceted mobile approach that the firm’s utilized to maximize the marketing capabilities being presented to marketer’s today

Changes to SBA 504 Loan Program Will Allow Businesses To Refinance Existing Debt, Expand, Create New Jobs

WASHINGTON – Small businesses seeking to expand will be able to refinance existing loans used to purchase real estate and other fixed assets as a result of permanent changes to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 504 Certified Development Company loan program. The changes were authorized in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

 

The permanent changes will allow small businesses to restructure eligible debt to help improve their cash flow which, in turn, will enhance their viability and support growth and job creation. The 504 loan program can be used to purchase business real estate or fixed assets, such as heavy equipment or machinery, and expand current development projects.  Read the complete news release from the SBA HERE.

11 Benefits of Using Mobile Marketing to Grow Your Business

Small business owners and marketers are always in search of high-impact, cost-effective methods of increasing revenue.  As any marketing expert will tell you, the highest impact method of increasing sales is to gain additional business from your existing customers – they already know your product or service, they hopefully have already had a positive experience with your company, and it’s much less expensive to market to existing customers than to large demographic groups in an effort to gain new customers.

Msg notification screen - horizontalHowever, even marketing to an existing customer base can be costly – particularly in today’s economy when advertising costs are continuing to increase and positive results from an advertising campaign are harder to achieve.  In such an environment, business owners and marketers are seeking ways in which they can designate specific targets for campaigns, increase customer response, and carefully track the results of every campaign in order to maximize ROI.  Mobile Marketing provides the ability to achieve all of these goals.  Below are some of the top benefits of utilizing Mobile Marketing to promote your business:

  • Immediacy
    • Mobile campaigns are easy to create and execute; messages are delivered to recipients within seconds.
  • Affordability
    • No need to pay for postage, printing or air time, just a nominal per text message fee; prices are very modest and they decrease as volume increases.
  • Distribution 
    • Reach out to people all over the world. Delivery is almost always guaranteed, unlike email, direct mail, and other forms of advertising.
  • Response Rate/Effectiveness
    • The average respose rate is approximately 15%, versus 2 – 3% for other advertising mediums such as direct mail.
  • Personal /Targeted
    • Content is targeted to individuals who have opted to receive them; the medium provides the ability to customize the brand message to a diversified audience.
  • Mobility/Reachability 
    • Messages reach recipients wherever they are. No need to be by a TV, radio, computer, or mailbox; phones are within our reach 80% of every day.
  • Interactivity
    • Provides the ability to reach customers ‘on-the-go’ and create highly effective two-way communication.
  • Marketing Campaign Integration
    • Provides the ability to integrate new, innovative forms of advertising/promotion with existing strategies to enhance their interactivity and impact.
  • Quantifiable
    • Campaign results can be tracked thru downloads, page visits, customer opt-ins, and a variety of other methods as well dependent upon the mobile marketing method being utilized.
  • WOW Factor
    • The mobile marketing medium is still so new the largest percentage of potential customers have not yet seen it firsthand, this allows your firm to establish itself as a leader in your industry and insures your messages will achieve higher impact with their target audiences.
  • Viral Potential
    • The ease with which mobile marketing messages can be shared increases the potential for your message to be shared with new audiences/potential customers at no cost to you.

Should you be interested in learning more about mobile marketing and the ways in which it can help grow your business, please review the mobile section of our website, mobile marketing articles in our Marketing with New Technology blog, or contact us directly via the website or email at info@strategicgrowthconcepts.com for a FREE initial consultation.

Please complete our Mobile Marketing Survey

We have been asked to develop a variety of programs related to Mobile Marketing, and therefore would appreciate you taking the time to complete this brief survey.  It should take less than 5 minutes to complete.

The Institute for Green Business Certification, Inc. (IGBC) Announces a Newly Created Division Designed for Small Business

ecologogreensealrecycled   The Institute for Green Business Certification, Inc. (IGBC) announces a newly created division designed for small business www.USGreenBusinessCertification.org .

IGBC is believed to be the oldest accrediting organization to certify business practices using a comprehensive 38 page Audit with over 220 questions that is becoming a model for what it means to be a green business. The IGBC Audit evaluates the green initiatives of a business in 10 major categories: Waste Reduction, Recycling, Reduction In Office Material Usage, Purchasing, Energy Saving, Water Conservation, Pollution Prevention, Reduction In Chemical Usage, Proper Handling Of Pollutants, and Reduced Emissions.

“The cost to become a ‘Certified Green Business’ in the past has been prohibitive for small business because the IGBC process requires inspections by an Environmental Analyst”, said Garry Peterson, founder of IGBC. “Thus we created a new simpler Internet based model at a greatly
reduced cost for small business. The new model utilizes a newly created 21 page Audit”.  For explanation of the complete process please visit www.USGreenBusinessCertification.org

To their knowledge there has been no legitimate certification process in place for small business, and small business represents the vast majority of business in the U.S.   Both Audits are far more than a simple checklist. They become a complete educational outline while educating a Green Work Place Committee and the owners as to the various ways they might become a greener business. To facilitate the process, IGBC and USGB provides a free ‘Green Calculator’ on both websites so the business owner may discover the operational cost savings by becoming a green business.

“Our goal from the beginning was three-fold,” said Mr. Peterson “1. To define and create a recognized set of standards for what it means to be a ‘Green Business’, 2. To provide a vehicle where environmentally aware companies can receive credit for their efforts (as opposed to companies claiming to be green. “Green-Washing”) and, 3. To create a true competitive /
marketing advantage for the business that is truly doing it’s part and can prove it by a recognized third party accreditation.  To the latter, both IGBC and USGB outline a suggested marketing strategy and send out third party
press release to IGBC’s extensive list of green contacts as well as to the list of media outlets that the client is asked to provide, resulting in a large amount of added publicity for the business. This act also spreads the word to the business community of the importance of ‘Going Green’. IGBC carries the highest possible BBB rating and has never had a complaint in over 2100
certifications.

Franchising and Social Media: Integrated for Bottom Line Profitability

BlogTalkRadio graphic  Today’s broadcast of Strategic Growth Concepts for Small Business, featured franchising expert, Paul Segreto of FranchisEssentials discussing social media and its importance to the franchising industry.  Areas of discussion included:

  • The ‘new’ franchise development business model
  • The ways social media can aid in franchise development efforts
  • What are the best social networks for a franchise to utilize and why
  • The importance of integrating social media marketing with traditional marketing
  • The role of women in social media and franchising

The interview with show host and CEO of Strategic Growth Concepts, Linda Daichendt, included a wealth of information providing value to franchises and other small businesses with regard to effective utilization of social media in growing your business.  Be sure to download and listen to the interview at your convenience.

Small Businesses Can Apply for ARC Loans Starting Today

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U.S. Small Business Administration

— News Release —

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Release Date: June  15, 2009   

WASHINGTON – Starting today, June 15, SBA will begin accepting loans for a temporary new program called America’s Recovery Capital.  “ARC” loans of up to $35,000 are designed to provide a “bridge” for viable small businesses with immediate financial hardship – to keep their doors open until they get back on track.

“These ARC loans are another tool in the SBA toolkit which will provide critical support to small businesses struggling to make it through these tough economic times,” said Administrator Karen G. Mills. 

ARC loans are deferred-payment loans of up to $35,000, available to established, viable, for-profit small businesses that need short-term help to make their principal and interest payments on existing and qualifying business debt. ARC loans are 100 percent guaranteed by the SBA and have no SBA fees associated with them.

ARC loans will be disbursed over a period of up to six months and will provide funds to be used for payments of principal and interest for existing, qualifying small business debt including mortgages, term and revolving lines of credit, capital leases, credit card obligations and notes payable to vendors, suppliers and utilities. SBA will pay the interest on ARC loans to the lenders at the variable rate of Prime plus two percent.  

Repayment will not begin until 12 months after the final disbursement.  After the 12-month deferral period, borrowers will pay back the loan principal over a period of five years.

ARC loans will be made by commercial lenders, not SBA directly.  For more information on ARC loans, visit www.sba.gov

For more information about all of the SBA’s programs for small businesses, call the SBA Answer Desk at 1-800 U ASK SBA or TDD 704-344-6640, or visit the SBA’s Web site at http://www.sba.gov.

Mobile Marketing: Could Your Business Benefit?

Multiple phones in hands - horizontalA recent BlogTalkRadio broadcast on our show Strategic Growth Concepts for Small Business focused on “Mobile Marketing” and consisted of an expert panel of nationally renowned mobile marketing industry insiders, including:  Kim Graham Lee, CEO of Vontoo; Matt Silk, Sr. VP of Waterfall Mobile; Kim Dushinski, President/Founder of Mobile Marketing Profits and author of ‘The Mobile Marketing Handbook’; and Michael Becker, Co-founder and VP of Mobile Strategies at iLoop Mobile and co-author of ‘Mobile Internet for Dummies’ and ‘Web Marketing All-in-One for Dummies’.

Our panel provided a wealth of information on the different types of mobile marketing options, best practices, choosing vendors, industry trends, mobile strategies that perform the best, and examples of clients that have utilized mobile marketing effectively.  The consistent theme throughout the broadcast – “just get started, stick your toe in and try it out to figure what works best for your firm”.

Hear the completed broadcast at http://blogtalkradio.com/strategicgrowthconcepts.

For additional information on Mobile Marketing, or to learn how we can help you develop a Mobile Marketing campaign for your firm, please contact us via our website or email us at info@strategicgrowthconcepts.com.  Examples of a wide variety of mobile marketing campaigns can be found on our blog, Marketing with New Technology.

‘FastTrac to the Future’ – Detroit Area Entrepreneurial Event

Anyone in Southeast Michigan who’s thinking about their next career move is invited to attend FastTrac to the Future: The First Day of Your Entrepreneurial Adventure, a free all-day conference that will provide a jump-start down the road to entrepreneurship.

Date: June 24, 2009

Time: 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Location: Community Arts Auditorium on Wayne State University campus

Cost: Free, but advanced registration required.

Register: Seats are limited, so register online soon at http://techtownwsu.org/.

An agenda, a complete list of breakout session topics and a link to the registration page can be found at http://techtownwsu.org/.

The program features breakout sessions that will give guidance and free resources to people who think entrepreneurship might be right for them. This could include displaced workers, the unemployed and people looking for alternative employment options.

Local and national experts will discuss the challenges of starting a new business. This highly interactive conference also features Curbside Consulting, where every attendee will have the chance to pitch their idea to an expert in a relaxed, informal setting.

In addition, there are 12 different session topics on entrepreneurship, including:

  • Intellectual Property Do’s and Don’ts
  • Organization Expo—Providing introductions to existing entrepreneurial programs in the community, including the SBTDC, TechTown, Ann Arbor SPARK, Automation Alley and more
  • What’s Your Role in a Startup?
  • Pitch & Comment—A facilitated session where people with ideas pitch to the group and get constructive feedback
  • Money Tables—Providing information on bootstrapping, raising money, and grants, plus a roundtable discussion on funding your idea
  • Entrepreneurial opportunities in clean tech, logistics and medical technology

Attendees will have the opportunity to sign up that day for FastTrac®, award-winning programs for entrepreneurs developed by the Kauffman Foundation. Three FastTrac® programs, which will be delivered over several days or weeks, will be available locally immediately following the event.

The Importance of Ethics for Small Business Owners

There comes a point in the life of every small business owner (or every large business owner or executive for that matter) when they are required to make a decision regarding the role business and personal ethics, and a sense of personal responsibility, will play in their lives.  This thought was brought to the forefront of my thinking recently when I saw a television news account about a former employer who is accused of doing many unethical and fraudulent things that have adversely affected the lives of many people previously affiliated with his firm. 

Now I can’t say for certain whether or not this individual actually did the things he is accused of, and I assume the current investigations being conducted will in time provide that answer.  However, the bigger issue to me is that whether or not he actually committed the acts of which he is currently being accused, he obviously has not conducted himself ethically in the past, or it would not be so easy to assume the worst of him now.  It occurred to me as I watched the news report that many people obviously believe that this man has spent many years taking things which don’t belong to him, and treating employees and franchisees unfairly.  And whether or not the accusations are proven true down the road, it seems to me that had he made a conscious decision earlier in his career to conduct himself in a fair and ethical manner with everyone he came across, it would be just about impossible to accuse him of the charges he is now facing.

It made me think back to the business ethics class I took in college – mind you, only one business ethics class was required for that degree in Management. It causes me to think consideration should be given in today’s business environment, to requiring a more stringent course of study in the area of ethics.  I wonder as I watch the news day after day and listen to story after story of corrupt company executives stealing from companies, taking kickbacks, and causing the loss of thousands of jobs while still getting their multi-million dollar bonuses – where are their ethics and their personal sense of responsibility – and what would be the situation in our country today if they had been forced to take more of those ethics classes and make contractual committments to conduct business in an ethical manner.

And finally today, I was surprised.  I finally had time to watch a movie from beginning to end that I had wanted to see for years, Catch Me if You Can, the story of Frank Abignale starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.  Most of you are probably familiar with the story – Frank Abignale as a teenager became one of the pre-eminent con men in FBI history and was able to steal approximately $2.5 Million while passing himself off as a pilot, a doctor, and a prosecutor.  My curiosity was aroused watching the movie, and though I knew that Frank had subsequently gone to work for a period of time for the FBI, I was interested to see if I could find out how his life had turned out.  I am pleased to say that all of the stories I read indicated that Frank had completely turned his life around and had not only become one of the world’s foremost experts on white-collar crime prevention, he had in fact dedicated himself to a life of service, personal responsibility, and business and personal ethics – and was very proud of that fact.  I came across a radio interview he had done on his website, and as I listened I found myself thinking that if more business owners thought as he did, the world we are living in today might be a very different place.  I believe you might agree if you listen as well.

So in closing, I want to encourage small business owners to take the high road – though times are tough, and resources will be in short supply, and sometimes it seems like the only way to succeed is to cheat – take the high road!  Think about your children potentially seeing you in a news expose 15 years from now and know that isn’t where you want to be.  Though it may take longer to reach “success” – whatever your definition of it – by conducting yourself in an ethical manner; I am confident it will be a much more satisfactory journey and much longer lasting.  And after all, aren’t the best things in life worth working hard for?

SBA to offer Free Webinars on 2009 Recovery Act for Small Business Owners

The U.S. Small Business Administration will present FREE webinars for Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs through ReadyTalk. These sessions will provide information pertinent to small business owners and will share the new developments on SBA’s programs related to The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  The series is scheduled to run on selected Tuesdays at 10:00 and should last about 40 minutes with a Q & A at the end of the program. 

Webinar schedule and registration information is available via our website.