Check this out…between the iPhone and iTouch, Apple products are dominating in almost every market they have entered.  I cant wait to see how much these figures grow when the iPhone comes out on Verizon this February.


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Mobile Marketing is here to stay!

We found a solid write up on the effectiveness and importance of mobile marketing.  Here is a clip, but definitely read the full article at http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=70606174973&topic=16866

As the followers of my blog will certainly agree, mobile marketing is no fad.

Rather, I believe that mobile marketing will – and must – become a central part of every successful marketing and visibility strategy, and I think it is well on its way to becoming just that.

However, the integration of mobile marketing into existing marketing strategies on a large scale will not happen spontaneously.

Instead, it will come about through a concerted effort to educate companies and other organizations about the benefits and unique qualities of mobile outreach.

This is not to say that the mobile marketing industry will somehow foist preferred tactics on unsuspecting businesses. The integration of mobile marketing will occur – and is occurring – naturally, organically.

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Keeping In Touch with Your Restaurant Clients

Jose at myrestaurantmarketing.com wrote a good article on keeping in contact with your customers.  This was part of the reason we found restaurants could use the capabilities offered through mobile technology.  The ability to directly contact customers in an effective manner that created a one-on-one relationship and improved customer retention.

Here is a clip from his blog, but check out the full post at: http://myrestaurantmarketing.wordpress.com/

Many of you will shake your heads when reading the title of this blog. After all, you are in the restaurant business, not in the email marketing business, right?

However, let me tell you something that may shock you: you are in the sales business. If you don’t sell your food and beverages, nothing else counts so you need to apply the same marketing and sales techniques than the rest of the business use.

Email marketing is one of the most effective communication and promotion vehicles in the Internet. 90% of Internet users and 56% of all Americans use email on a regular basis (source: e-marketeer Aug. 2006). Restaurants can benefit from email marketing because it’s fast, direct, cost-effective, and builds loyal relationships with your clients. Restaurant email marketing is, perhaps, one of the lowest cost marketing vehicles available to the restaurant industry to book tables and build customer relationships. High quality email campaigns can deliver effective messages that drive action and clients to your restaurant.

Email marketing can be a tricky proposition. People hate email spam and often they delete any email that they don’t think is useful or interesting to them. For your email campaigns to be truly effective, they must be managed properly and conducted in a professional manner. This article provides restaurateurs with some practical tips for conducting effective email marketing campaigns that maximize their return on investment.

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Independent Restaurants and Bars Capitalize on Mobile Technology

MenusGoMobile Gives Restaurants and Bars a New Way to Promote Themselves

Thanks to MenusGoMobile.com, beginning today, independently owned restaurants and bars will now have affordable access to iPhone application technology.  For as little as $50 per month, restaurants and bars can receive their very own iPhone application that is available for their customers to download directly from the iTunes Store.

As analysts predict that Verizon will likely sell 9 to 12 million iPhones on their network this year, coupled with the millions of existing iPhone users on the AT&T network, a great opportunity presents itself for independently owned restaurants and bars to engage with this group like never before.  MenusGoMobile, a Hermosa Beach, CA based marketing company, is set to provide these businesses with a way to do so.

The application, available on menusgomobile.com, allows for independently owned restaurants and bars to integrate their menu, featured items and specials, contact information, including a GPS locator, a tip calculator, photos and video, as well as a social networking portal that gives users of the application the capability to share featured items and the application itself through social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter.  The application also lets businesses directly communicate with their customers via push notifications.  Push notifications are similar to text messages, which can be sent by restaurants and bars to anyone who has downloaded the application.  MenusGoMobile also allows their customers to send push notifications and change their application content in real-time through their Content Management System (CMS), which is available to customers after subscribing through menusgomobile.com.

“This is really a new way to look at marketing,” says co-owner Tom Dunbabin.  “Previously it would have cost these businesses thousands of dollars to reach these smart phone users.  Now, for less than a print advertisement, these businesses can keep in contact with their current and new customers wherever they are.  In the past these customers would have had to remember to visit a restaurant or bar’s website, Facebook, or Twitter, but having this technology available allows our clients to always be in the palm of their customer’s hand.  Especially in today’s world, having this kind of access is a must-have.”

Restaurant and bar owners in the United States can purchase their own application from menusgomobile.com.  The company provides various subscription packages to suit any budget, and currently they are offering a free first month to all new clients.

 

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Coupon Addiction and New Media

Check out this blog by Joel Cohen at http://www.restaurantmarketingblog.com.  He’s a great resource for restaurant marketing tips.  I especially like this one about coupon addictions related to social media and mobile technology.  While we do make it possible for our customers to offer discounts through their mobile application, we don’t think its necessary.

Restaurant Marketing: Is Social Media & Mobile Turning Customers Into Coupon Addicts?

Restaurant Marketing: Are a number of the social media platforms, mobile technology platforms and POS systems encouraging you to do more discounting? While I appreciate their product innovations and there are other ways to utilize these programs other than discounting, I ask you these questions…

Why discount your product? Why prostitute your bottom line?  If you need to discount to keep the doors open, then you need to change your strategy. The best way to get away from couponing is by delivering a great WOW experience.

Take caution because it’s easy to fall into the trap. Don’t let the new-fangled social media or mobile programs that encompass discounting turn you and your customers into a coupon-class addicted society. You CAN think differently.

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How to lose customers

Here’s a problem i’m sure we’ve all run into… You hear about a new restaurant so you jump online to get more info.  Cool, they have a website.  You click on it and immediately get turned off from ever checking that place out.  The information you need is buried so far inside and sometimes it isn’t even there.  Or maybe the owner paid his jobless son way too much money to make a worthless site, but instead of admitting he had no business doing so, he decided to overload it with poor resolution photos.  So now you are not only hungry with no place to go, but blind from looking at that e-garbage.

This article from neversaidaboutrestaurantwebsites.tumblr.com does a pretty good job covering this issue.  Makes me think that if restaurants moved up in the world of technological marketing and opted for an inexpensive, clean, easy to use, always on your phone app that business could only grow.

How to make a less horrible restaurant website

1. Go to www.tumblr.com or www.wordpress.com or www.posterous.com and follow the mind-blowingly simple instructions.

Optional: If you’re feeling fancy, spend <$20 and register a custom domain. The service you use will include instructions on how to do this in the “help” section.

2. Include the following information about your restaurant on the front of your website:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Hours
  • How to make a reservation

3. Take a photo of your menu and post it as a blog post tagged “menu.” When your menu changes, take a picture of the most recent version and post it as a blog post tagged “menu.”

4. Rest assured that anyone who tells you that you need any of the following things on your website is a nogoodnik and/or simply wrong.

  • A PDF of your menu
  • A song
  • A flash animation
  • Photos of anything other than your food or storefront.*

*Exceptions include animals of two different species being best friends, babies in food costumes or impressively terrifying fish.

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Verizon iPhone to earn Apple “respect” on Wall Street

from AppleInsider.com

The anticipated arrival of the iPhone on Verizon’s network in the U.S. will not only increase sales of Apple’s smartphone, but will also earn the company more respect on Wall Street, one prominent analyst believes.

Yair Reiner with Oppenheimer said in a note to investors on Monday that he believes the market dislikes Apple because Google’s Android mobile operating system is gaining momentum. He said investors are likely worried about the sustainability of the price premium of Apple’s iPhone as handsets running Android become more prevalent.

“If so, the more lasting consequence of an Apple-Verizon deal won’t be the number of incremental iPhones sold, but the scale of competition between iPhone and Android could tip sharply in Apple’s favor,” he wrote.

“If so, Apple’s earnings won’t just rise from the additional Verizon units — they’ll finally get some respect.”

Reiner noted that Wall Street investors typically grant companies with 70 percent earnings per share growth a “premium valuation.” But AAPL stock is valued at just 14 times its EPS, which is equivalent to the Standard & Poor’s average.

“The main risk to Apple is that Android, by creating an equally compelling experience, could make iOS less sticky and restore some bargaining leverage to carriers,” he wrote. “There’s no better way for Apple to blunt this threat than by making headway at Verizon, whose patronage has been critical to Android’s success with both consumers and developers.”

Oppenheimer

The analyst also questioned why Apple and Verizon would finally make a deal now, if the rumors prove true. Numerous mainstream media outlets have independently reported that the iPhone will debut on Verizon in early 2011.

Reiner speculated that Apple has been motivated by a desire to slow Android, though he admitted Verizon’s inspiration is “less clear.” He said perhaps Apple offered an exclusive long-term evolution 4G phone to the carrier, or in an “unlikely” move, perhaps Apple “caved on price.”

“For Apple, having access to Verizon’s network would constitute a significant strategic coup for which it may be willing to make some sacrifices,” Reiner wrote. “But given the near-term advantages the iPhone could confer on Verizon, we think Apple has the leverage to conclude a deal that significantly advances its two key, intertwined goals (preserving the iPhone’s price premium and trimming Android’s sails) without giving up much.”

To kick off 2011, Oppenheimer has increased its fiscal year revenue and EPS estimates for AAPL to $86.4 billion and $19.01, respectively, to reflect the anticipated debut of the iPhone on Verizon’s network. While Reiner believes it could happen in the first half of 2011, the firm has conservatively assumed the handset will be introduced with the fifth-generation iPhone in the third calendar quarter of the year.

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/01/03/verizon_iphone_predicted_to_earn_apple_respect_on_wall_street.html

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Your Website Is Now Obsolete

Websites since their inception have been perceived as the end-all, the “home” of all business online. But what has changed in the past few years is something that most would have not imagined even ten years ago. The newspaper has been traded for the iPad, the restaurant review section for Yelp, and the computer, in many ways, for the phone. People have begun to realize the Internet’s potential and they are beginning to want for not only information, but for interaction, involvement, and a sense that the business’s that they ‘like’ also like them.

Take a company like MenusGoMobile (www.menusgomobile.com). They are a company that specializes in building iPhone applications for restaurants. Within the application you can find a restaurant’s complete menu, their contact information, a GPS locator, video, photos, and all the business’s social networking sites. The application also allows for the ability for the user (customer) to share events, featured items, and the application itself through their own social networking circles. The application has all the information that a website would have except it adds one crucial element that a website does not- interaction. With the application you are able to sent push notifications to your customers that display as a text message on their phones. Any time of the day you have the ability to connect with your customers and let them know what is happening at your restaurant, and the beauty of it is that they don’t have to remember to visit your website, your Twitter, or your Facebook. You are always in the palm of their hand.

Having a website is not enough. Having a Facebook or Twitter page is not enough. Every day people face over 5,000 advertisements, and are in a sense, constantly dealing with an overload of information. In order to separate yourself from the many useless adverts that people come in contact with on a daily basis, you need to place yourself front-of-mind. You need to become a part of their lives. You need to interact and you need to separate yourself from the notion that clicking a button on your website equals an interactive experience. Interaction is a two way conversation and one that is only accomplished by wanting to get to know your customers. Are you reading your Facebook wall and responding? Are you interacting on your Twitter page or are you just posting? Do you have a means to communicate with your customers if they aren’t visiting your Facebook or Twitter page? Answer these questions and you’ll be well on your way to establishing a loyal customer base. After all, no one likes a one-sided conversation.

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