Monday, November 19, 2007

The Year for Wireless

The Year for Wireless For Merchant Retailers. Prepaid Cellular - Bill Payment Services.

Research, analysts and rumors say 2007 is going to be the year of wireless. The sentence probably assumes a different meaning in different places, but no matter where you hear it… it doesn’t lose its relevance.

Wireless is (in Asia and Europe) and is becoming (in the North America) a part our everyday life. With mobile phones we can check our bank account, take and send pictures, purchase a plane ticket, pay the parking fee, watch the goals of our favorite football team and (even!) get in touch with other people. Although, from a linguistic point of view it might sounds like a paradox, wireless connects our lives. "Connecting People."

Let’s explore in detail the characteristics of this media that make it so appealing.

Wireless Communication Is…
Personal. A mobile phone is a very personal object. People like personalizing it with ring tones, screensavers and logos and rarely lend it to others, not even family members. But most of all, the phone number is like an ID card, it identifies an individual, providing marketers with the possibility of a precise message targeting like never before.

Direct. Wireless communication is person to person, or, in this context, it’s a company-to-person communication. There is no intermediation: there is no press, no distributor, no retailer between the brand and its consumers. What you say is what they get, almost immediately.

Immediate. It depends on the number of messages you send out and on the traffic level on the carriers’ networks, but it’s usually a question of minutes, even seconds. As soon as you send out a message, users receive it. It has a point of no return, but you can also take an impressive advantage by the speed of this communication, delivering the right message at the right time (and to the right person, of course…).

Reliable. You have the chance to know and monitor when a message is delivered. It can be an expensive solution, and it will double to cost of your campaign (because you pay also for the communication from the user’s mobile phone to your system) but it if you really want to know it, well… you can.

Two-way. Like on the Internet, wireless allows a two-way communication: you can talk and you can listen to your costumers, and you can even engage them in a relationship with your brand through a direct and personal interaction.

Measurable. Wireless provides you with means to monitor your campaign with extreme precision. You can quickly measure the response rate and also the response time, and you are therefore able to immediately evaluate and adapt your messages and marketing strategies.

Furthermore, analyst points out (in "Mobile campaigns and alerts boost last minute travel take-up,") wireless communication, using SMS, is quick and silent and can be very effective in capturing hot leads and initiating a dialogue with (shy) consumers who don’t like to give away personal information to sales representatives.

It’s a lesson we learned the hard way with the Internet, but it’s better to sound obvious and repeat it: wireless, like any other media, is not the marketers’ panacea.
Wireless Communication Is Not…

A mass marketing tool. Technically speaking, it allows you to rech a mass audience. But it wouldn’t make any sense to do it. It would be too expensive and, most of all, because you would ignore the advantages of a personal communication channel. Wireless allows brands to deliver a message that is closer to the concept of personal selling rather than that of advertising. This kind of message is usually far more persuasive and effective than an advertisement designed to appeal to a large number of persons. So, think about it, and don’t waste your money.

Only about wireless advertising. As we learned at school (but we tend to forget), marketing is not only advertising. Wireless is not only a means to deliver a promotional message, it’s a channel that also allows brands to build a dialogue with its prospects and deliver a service to its costumers.

For complex offers. An SMS has a limited length, 160 characters. That’s the technological limit but also your audience’s attention limit. If what you want to say is longer than 160 characters, the message will be split in two parts: people will be less likely to read both and might also miss the point of what you wanted to tell them. So learn to think short.

A no man’s land. People are sensitive and privacy is an issue. An unsolicited commercial message could harm forever the relationship between your brand and your audience. Use wireless only to contact people who granted you the permission to do it and always prefer pull to push communication.

A stand-alone media. The "secret" to wireless success is in the integration of the communication with other media.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Prepaid Cellular Services going for affection!

Prepaid Cellular Services going for affection!

With substantial growth expected to come from the prepaid wireless market, national carriers are beginning to pay more attention to the one-time red-headed stepchild of the coveted postpaid customer.

Analyst Fedor Smith of Atlantic-ACM said that as wireless has become more ubiquitous, the expectations of some prepaid customers have risen. They now expect to be able to access the same services that postpaid customers can use, including various messaging services and data services.

"They are upwardly mobile in terms of demand and expectations," Smith said. He added that while the low-cost, basic voice prepaid customer still dominates the market, a more sophisticated prepaid customer also exists—often falling into the urban youth category between the ages of 18 to 26 years old.

"A lot of them want a basic phone with five-cent per-minute calling. … That’s a market that’s always going to be there. But there are consumers who want more. … They might not have a lot of credit or cash in the bank, but they can still afford to buy high-end sneakers. It’s not that they don’t have any money—they don’t have any credit or reliable cash flow per se."

A recent study from J.D. Power and Associates found that prepaid customers spent about $38 per month on average when they bought additional airtime.

Wireless retailers cannot ignore the trend of flattening of postpaid growth and the competition’s focus on the prepaid segment as an engine for continued growth.

Businesses must never stop innovating and continually add value to there business process to maintain & enahance the competitive position.

To learn how to innovate your business for the wave of the future!.

This is a must read on.
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Monday, November 05, 2007

Wireless celebrates twenty-four years - now's time for prepaid cellular services -bill payment services to celebrate solutions with merchant retailers

Wireless celebrates twenty-four years - now's time for prepaid cellular services -bill payment services to celebrate solutions with merchant retailers

No one contemplated picture messaging 20 years ago at Soldier’s Field when the first wireless call was made Oct. 13, 1983.

Before the shimmering waters of Lake Michigan, the stately music of a marching band and the restless balloons and wind of Chicago, Bob Barnett, president of wireless carrier Ameritech Mobile placed a call to the grandson of Alexander Graham Bell in Berlin, Germany.

In the call, Barnett said unlike Bell’s grandfather, who placed a call from the other side of the room to Watson, he was placing the call from the other side of the world.

So recalls Scott Erickson, vice president of international business development for Lucent Technologies Inc., who witnessed the call in that "cold and bitter day with sunshine." Lucent is an offshoot of American Telephone & Telegraph Co., which provided the gear for the network that included the Autoplex System 100 base station.

To add to the dramatics fitting this stadium-held first call, said Erickson, the voice of the Chicago Cubs, Jack Brickhouse, announced the first call as he would the first pitch of a World Series game.

Barnett’s call was the first call of trillions that would cross the waves by more than a billion subscribers around the globe. He recalled that wireless was still a novelty, the device cumbersome and the appeal elitist.

Erickson said the growth of the industry defied pundits, analysts and experts as 20 of the largest U.S. cities launched services within 18 months, and the media suddenly became gung-ho and grabbed onto the phrase personal communications services, which has stuck ever since.

He said the technology provided people the power to call not just a location but an individual, the ultimate invention to flatter the ego of humans and encourage their wandering spirits.

Today, industry has migrated from mere voice reception to voice quality, from the elite market to the critical mass, from first generation to third generation.

Erickson recalled a magazine owned by Stuart Crump, who warned that the technology would change the world as we know it.

"He said it would change the lives of businessmen and consumers and the way we do business," said Erickson.

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