Tagged: mobile

Customer Engagement is Key

Engage-CustomersGetting more customers means getting more business; this in turn increases revenues and profits. All forms of businesses are directly or indirectly dependant on building loyal customers and it is all about how we strategically plan our customer engagement plans. With changing trends and technologies, businesses tend to automate their customer acquisition and retention strategies, which eventually becomes a problem. The essence lies in making sure that the approach is more customer-engaging rather than technological centric.

Here are the top five tips on how to attract customers and also retain them in the current business environment:

Go Social:

Build your business as a personality and make sure you create and utilize your online social profiles including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pintrest and Instagram. Give each channel a unique definition and strategy. The key is to post real-time behind-the-scenes content (photos, videos etc) to engage with your audience. Use these channels to inform customers of upcoming events, promotions and deals. Posting at least once a day shows that you are engaged. Your social media presence will help increase brand awareness for your business and will give a sense of reliability to your customers.

Go mobile:

The most important aspect of going mobile is building a responsive website i.e. making your website device agnostic, so that your customers could access it from any mobile device and/or operating system. This gives the ease to your customers to access your content from anywhere and everywhere. The second most important step is to partners with mobile search platforms that have the scale, reach and local search benefits to get your business found.

Get Loyal:

Loyal customers are all that your business wants. Focusing on loyalty can help you increase profits up to 80-90%. Initiating a loyalty program that rewards frequent visitors and encourages them to stay with you is the essence of any marketing strategy. Such forms of loyalty programs can encourage customers to spend more with each visit and with each positive experience they can also spread the word about your business.

Email Marketing:

Email marketing is by far the most important and powerful methods for growing business engagement and maintaining relationships with customers. Use standard email marketing tools to send alerts and campaigns to your customer that keeps them engaged. Try to do this at least once a month. Such tools offer email automation, with makes it very easy to send mass messages to customers, which are also traceable so you can measure results of the email click through rate and retention.

Manage Reviews:

All successful business thrives on reviews, so it is critical to have a presence on review sites. All businesses should take the extra effort to provide their complete information on these sites i.e. photos, descriptions, menus, hours and your businesses’ direct contact information etc. Displaying signs on your counter are also a great way to remind visiting customers to share their positive feedback about your great service. Now-a-days, 90% of customers state that their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews, so it is important to keep up with active reviews and comment politely to customers who have had a negative experience.

No matter how small or big your business is, these simple tips will help you organize, plan and kick start your marketing campaign with a fresh perspective and give a new outlook to your business. Try it and see the change.

Try Gamification

Try GamificationWe all love playing games. The activity of playing games has been around for quite some time. From simple board games to the early days of electronic video games, such as MARIO or PONG, the desire to achieve pre-determined goals that comes with playing games is programmed in our genes. The drive is the fact that we would either win or lose. Games also put us in a mode of competition and offer a sort of exhilaration.

This need for exhilaration in our day-to-day working life has made businesses come up with a new phenomenon called “Gamification”. It is as simple as it sounds: incorporating game elements into every-day, non-game activities. This simply encourages people to do certain tasks or achieve certain goals but not like a “to-do” tasks list, but more like a game. The rewards are also simple i.e. players are awarded badges, ribbons and points for completing the required tasks or for achieving specific “check-ins”. So the more you win such credentials, the more the probability for recognition and the movement to the next level. The other side to this is that players can compare their stats with their co-workers and the rest of the online community, thus generating competition.

The whole idea is to have fun and incorporate a healthy environment of challenge and competition. So for instance if a business is incorporating such gamification techniques in simple sales driven teams, as a manager, if you feel your team is not achieving the set targets or is low in motivation, try introducing a badge or point system for your sales team. The more the team members accumulate such points for their targets, the more the distinction and recognition they get. The other element to gamification is to make it public amongst teams, so that it generates the spirit of competition and curiosity, which would encourage people to participate, in-turn benefiting the business to achieve their overall goals.

Gamification is also being used as a great tool for customer engagement. Gone are the days of boring advertisements of “Buy 10, Get 1 Free”. Now-a-days businesses are using the same point system to boost customer engagement and loyalty. Businesses are coming up with innovative ways of tracking customer activities and behavior through the mobile apps technology, thereby offering customized ways to gain more points and perks through Gamification. With the help of this new phenomenon, customers are also becoming brand advocates. They are more engaged, more interested and more involved.

Gamification is becoming a major game-changer in the business and corporate environment. Companies are linking this new phenomenon to the overall business goal. It’s a practice that can certainly deliver impressive returns if done properly. With the advent of new technologies and the internet, businesses now also have the opportunity to run rewards/points programs with their customers on a bigger scale. The key is to design a well thought about gamification plan that helps engage and motivate people, increase brand loyalty and last but not the least, help in overall business growth.

Does your business need a Mobile App?

mobile application dev_small business poolMobile applications are becoming the most preferred way of marketing, connecting and engaging with customers. Developing a mobile or smart device application can be costly, so you need to be sure you do it right the first time to get repeat engagement and results.

Here are the three most important questions to ask yourself, before you make the investment:

Do you need a mobile app or a mobile website? This is one of the most important decisions to make while planning a mobile app development initiative. If you don’t have a budget to build an app, don’t do it just for the sake of having an application. If mobile website would work best, go with that. If enhancing your mobile site is easier, do it, because it works across many different Smartphone platforms.

What kind of phones or smart devices do your customers use? While developing an application you need to keep in mind that it should work on all kinds of different platforms. Companies that develop their first app for every platform are not recognizing where their customers are and where their business will fit in best.

Do you actually have the time keep up with a Mobile app? The applications that do best in the market demand users to come back over and over again, and that requires ongoing up gradation of new content. If you can’t do that, you won’t get repeat visitors and your app will end up failing. So its important to have the time and budget for ongoing mobile app maintenance and management.

Even if you think you have a great idea for a mobile app, you have to always look at the pros and cons involved in developing an app. Whether it’s a developer or a app development company, it’s easy to forget about what you’re really trying to achieve with the app because you become so focused on the actual look and feel. The best applications don’t just look good, they actually solve a problem or simplify life for the mobile consumer.

So think before you act and always plan with an open mind. Mobile apps are a way to the future but they also require time and money investment, but if you are ready to take up the challenge and feel confident about the final results, then go for it!

GaN is changing the WORLD

Gallium nitride or more popularly known as GaN is a wide band gap semiconductor material generally used in bright light-emitting diodes ever since the 90s. GaN is developing rapidly around the globe to transform many aspects of modern day life. The material has special properties that are also been tested and used by the defense and military of many countries around the world.

We might not know but we do come in contact with GaN in our day-to-day lives. A simple instance is the answer to the typical mobile user “Can you hear me now?” The efficiency and resistance to heat and electronic interference of microwave amplifiers built with GaN enables broader and far more reliable cellular coverage, while reducing the need for cooling fans required by older cell phone tower technologies. In fact according to a South Korean company that makes GaN-based radio frequency and microwave components, U.S. carriers could save approximately $2 billion per year by using GaN technology for their wireless infrastructures.

Another popular example is the Blu-ray disc: As we all know Blu-ray discs can hold more video and audio data in comparison to the traditional DVDs. The data packed into the Blu-ray discs are in the form of tiny groves or pits. The tiny, highly accurate Blu-ray laser beam – powered by GaN-based violet laser diodes – can accurately read these hyperfine pits or groves. GaN technology enables higher resolution for the crystal clear imagery modern movie viewers have come to expect.

GaN is rapidly propelling innovation across numerous industries around the world. Product manufacturing start-ups and large enterprises looking to innovate and conceptualize new products would be way ahead of the game if they understand the true potential of using GaN within their development and business model. We are heading towards an era where future innovators, investors, engineers and scientists will be finding new ways to apply GaN technology into our iPhones, iPads and other digital devices, bringing the networked world to consumers’ fingertips more quickly and effortlessly.

Celebrating Creativity in Communication

The world’s biggest celebration of creativity in communication happens every year at The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity held in Cannes, France. It is the most popular and prestigious festival and has become a prominent global meeting place for advertisers, brand marketers, advertising and communication professionals. Over 9,000 delegates from 90 different countries attend seven days of workshops, exhibitions, screenings, master classes and high-profile seminars by industry leaders. Every year there are over 28,000 entries showcased from all over the world and the winners receive the famous Lion trophy presented at award ceremonies throughout the week.

Last week, four agencies won two Grand Prix each: Creative Artists Agency for Chipotle; R/GA for Nike; and Crispin Porter + Bogusky and Digitas, who teamed up on American Express. The other winning campaigns focused on themes like the environment, tourism, politics, technology, packaged goods and the world’s most unlikely mosquito repellent.

Here are the 14 Ad campaigns judged to be the best:

# 1. 2012 Titanium Lions Grand Prix and 2012 Cyber Lions Grand Prix (1)

Agency: R/GA, New York — Client: Nike
Yet another triumph of product development for R/GA and Nike, the FuelBand accelerometer, worn on the wrist, tracks and translates one’s activity—whether walking up stairs or skateboarding—into “Nike Fuel” points as a way to motivate fitness.

#2. 2012 Film Lions Grand Prix and 2012 Branded Content & Entertainment Lions Grand Prix

Agency: Creative Artists Agency, Los Angeles — Client: Chipotle
This stirring stop-motion environmental spot told the story of a farmer who builds his small operation into a giant industrial machine, then has a crisis of conscience. Its breathtaking visuals were transcended only by the gorgeous cover of Coldplay’s “The Scientist” by Willie Nelson.

#3. 2012 Promo & Activations Lions Grand Prix and 2012 Direct Lions Grand Prix

Agencies: Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Boulder, Colo., and Digitas, New York — Client:American Express
In 2010, AmEx introduced Small Business Saturday, an effort to devote the day after Black Friday to driving sales at smaller companies. CP+B and Digitas won two Grand Prix awards for adding new tools and initiatives.

#4. 2012 Film Craft Lions Grand Prix

Agency: BETC, Paris — Client: Canal+
A bear starred as a hotshot Hollywood director—a bit of a diva, a complete control freak but an enormous talent nonetheless—in this hilarious ad for the French cable network. Turns out it was the daydream of a taxidermied bear rug who’d spent many hours lying on the living room floor watching Canal+.

#5. 2012 Press Lions Grand Prix

Agencies: Fabrica, Treviso, Italy, and 72andSunny, Amsterdam — Client: Benetton
The provocative “Unhate” campaign showed world leaders kissing on the lips. Three ads were honored: Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez, Mahmoud Abbas and Benjamin Netanyahu, and Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy.

#6. 2012 Outdoor Lions Grand Prix (1)

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Shanghai — Client: Coca-Cola
Jonathan Mak Long, the 20-year-old Hong Kong design student whose logo tribute to Steve Jobs went viral last year, added a Cannes Grand Prix to his résumé for an Ogilvy-commissioned poster that turned Coke’s iconic white stripe into two hands holding a bottle.

#7. 2012 Outdoor Lions Grand Prix (2)

Agency: Jung von Matt, Hamburg — Client: Mercedes-Benz
The German agency won for “The Invisible Drive,” which used an animated LED cloak of invisibility to make a Mercedes-Benz seem to disappear into white clouds and blue sky, promoting the automaker’s zeroemissions fuel cell technology.

#8. 2012 Mobile Lions Grand Prix

Agencies: Grow Interactive, Norfolk, Va., and Johannes Leonardo, New York — Client: Google
This smartphone app let netizens send Coca-Colas to strangers around the globe via special vending machines, in a nod to the classic “Hilltop” ad (“I’d like to buy the world a Coke”). Now, people could.

#9. 2012 Cyber Lions Grand Prix (2)

Agency: Volontaire, Stockholm — Client: Swedish Institute/Visit Sweden
Sweden turned over its official Twitter account to everyday people in this campaign. Outcry after guest tweeter Sonja Abrahamsson went rogue with offensive posts doubled followers while attracting worldwide attention.

#10. 2012 Design Lions Grand Prix

Agency: Serviceplan, Munich — Client: Austria Solar
This Austrian solar company’s annual report was itself solar-powered, with text and graphics that could be seen only in sunlight—a seamless merging of form and function in a creative take on a typically boring document.

#11. 2012 Media Lions Grand Prix

Agency: Manning Gottlieb OMD, London — Client: Google
This endearingly quirky London billboard campaign for Google Voice Search, produced with creative agency BBH, featured more than 150 site specific ads with phonetic spellings of nearby landmarks ranging from Piccadilly Circus to Leicester Square.

#12. 2012 PR Lions Grand Prix

Agency: JWT, Puerto Rico — Client: Banco Popular
With half the local population on welfare, JWT hired legendary salsa band El Gran Combo to re-record its hit celebrating laziness, “I Do Nothing,” recast as a tribute to hard work. The revamp shot to the top of the charts.

#13.  2012 Creative Effectiveness Lions Grand Prix

Agency: BBH, London — Client: Axe
After a round of product flops, the men’s personal care brand hit the mark with its body spray deodorant Axe Excite. BBH’s “Angels Will Fall” series lifted sales with its calamitous yet crazy-sexy heavenly girlfriend campaign.

#14. 2012 Radio Lions Grand Prix

Agency: Talent, São Paolo, Brazil — Client: Go Outside magazine
This delightfully devious campaign turned local FM radio broadcasts into mosquito repellent with a 15 kHZ frequency played alongside music from 6 to 8 p.m. Inaudible to humans, the sound scares off mosquitos by resembling a dragonfly buzz.

Think different, think Mobile Apps

If you are the kind of entrepreneur who likes to innovate and work with new technologies then Mobile Apps Development is your best gizmo. However, you need to always keep in mind that “Apps are a Trap”, more specifically, money and time consuming. In the increasingly apps-friendly world where Smartphone and web-enabled devices are essential, many business owners can increase revenue, reach new markets and gain awareness by hoping on the mobile bandwagon.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that innovation is the key. So, you need to have a unique idea, a plan of action and an innovative marketing strategy, and once people start downloading your app, it must provide value.

Learning to develop applications for smart phones is a large investment for even the most knowledgeable software developer and/or entrepreneurs.

At Small Business Pool we have some of the most talented mobile app developers in the industry, allowing you to avoid the high cost of staffing this specialized skill internally.

Most importantly, our team knows how to ensure that your mobile development efforts are successful.

So if you are extending your enterprise systems by adding a mobile interface or you desire to jump-start your team’s mobile development initiatives or if you wish to build an innovative new concept for mobile devices then”

Contact us today.

iPhone, Blackberry, Android app development

Mobile applications are transforming the way small businesses acquire new customers, service their clients and manage their operation. The new generation of iPhone, Blackberry and Android mobile devices offer an unmatched level of flexibility and ease-of-use. Irrespective of the size of your company or which industry you operate in, mobile apps enhance your market presence and grow your top line:

Mobile Apps can be categorized:

• Multimedia applications
• Utility applications
• Security applications
• Enterprise applications
• Travel applications
• Internet applications
• Entertainment applications
• Communication applications