Text message marketing and the music industry

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Those who work in the music industry strive to create and intensify fandom for a particular entity: a band or musician, record label, venue, festival, etc., and text message marketing offers opportunities to engage with potential audiences at any time, from any place.

Musicians' desire to cultivate an intimate relationship with fans undoubtedly stems from the need to feel their art is appreciated. But in an age where it's possible to stream instead of own, to download instead of buy, and to watch the show on YouTube instead of live, this relationship is also vital for facilitating streams of revenue to make creativity financially sustainable. A friendly, relevant text message every so often can connect fans directly to the artists they choose to keep in touch with. 

Imagine: a quick text from Kings of Leon reminds you they'll in Austin next month for Austin City Limits Festival and includes a link to Saturday's schedule. Even if you already knew they'd be at the festival, this message is exciting. You follow the link to plan your day to be at the right stage on time. Maybe they'll text the week before to ask which song you'd like to see live, with a survey-style response option. The week after, you get a link to pre-order the soon-to-be-released album.

Live-music venues are habitually hit-and-miss when it comes to providing quality customer service. Buying the ticket is a guarantee of attendance, and many times the venue doesn't care if you know how much drinks are or the order of bands playing. Show-specific reminders can be texted to ticket holders the day before and include an option to respond with keywords for additional information: "DOOR" for what time the doors open; "TIMES" for the set times; and "DRINKS" to see what drink specials to expect. Having this relevant kind of conversation with patrons could increase perception of venue reliability and maintain interest for future events.

There are many incentives for fans to opt-in: getting discounts on or entering contests to win concert tickets, band merchandise, song downloads, food and drinks, VIP passes, etc. By keeping it relevant and more casual than commercial, mobile messaging has the potential to be a great ally to those in the music industry.

Boost Bowling Revenues with Mobile

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The arrival of summertime brings with it the tradition of many classic, American outdoor activities: barbecues, pool parties and Fourth of July firework shows. But most people can only take so much sun, and when it becomes too much they look for fun ways to beat the heat. Bowling alleys offer all the necessities for a family summer hangout: air conditioning, food, games and fun. With a variety of entertainment options available like movie theaters and water parks, how can bowling centers convince this eager market to seek shade on their lanes? With the ping of a text message.

Mobile marketing offers bowling alleys the chance to increase traffic and build relationships with consumers at any time of year. A mobile website allows people to easily locate your center, view food and game packages and find seasonal deals. By adding text marketing to your toolkit, you can also instantly send personalized offers and promotions, from free games to discounted pizza, to your customer database. This encourages your target to remember you for their entertainment needs on a regular basis.

One of the greatest benefits of mobile marketing is the ability to target a variety of demographics, from families to college students to league bowlers. These flexible, affordable mobile tools are easily integrated into your existing marketing strategy and allow you to meet the current needs and goals of your bowling center through custom, targeted messages, from holiday specials to driving traffic on slower days with limited-time discounts. Having a strong mobile presence not only brings in new bowlers, but also grants the opportunity to build relationships with them as well as strengthen existing ones. 

Student Living: Simplify the Search with Text Marketing

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As a college senior in Austin, TX, I’ve seen bad things happen to good people in terms of real estate. Student living is competitive with limited space and an increasing population. Most houses and apartments have a traditional one-year lease; unfortunately within only a few months of moving in, you begin to receive flyers and emails that it’s time to renew for next year. Just as you’re getting settled into your school and work groove, you have to decide what you will be doing a year from now.

Do I like this apartment enough to stay here? Should I look into a house? A million questions pop up when you begin to consider your options. In the fast-paced student living market, decisions must be made and actions taken promptly. A prime example, one group couldn’t decide whether to keep their beloved apartment or move on, but were given a reality check when a group of guys came knocking at their door asking to see the apartment they just signed for the coming year. When it comes to student living, you snooze you lose.

My best girlfriends knew they wanted to ditch apartment living and find a house, which proved not to be an easy task. Every time they found one they liked, someone had just made an offer. There was nothing in place, such as text marketing, to give them updates on any properties. After actively looking for three months with minimum help from their realtor, they finally found their home through the recommendation of a friend. Because student leases are back-to-back, there is little to no real estate signage on most properties and even less information online. For them, it was all about who they knew.

Finding student living is all about timeliness. College students don’t have time to search real estate magazines; they need instant answers- exactly what mobile marketing offers. By integrating mobile technology into their repertoire, real estate agents, apartment complexes and landlords could easily eliminate the phone-tag games that many students are forced to play. They could find property details more easily, be instantly alerted of new openings, make immediate offers and rest assured they can get the real estate they want. College is hard enough on its own. Finding a place to call home shouldn’t be. 

Empowering Consumers to Empower Brands

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Everyone likes to feel empowered. In marketing, empowering the target of a campaign is a fantastic method to persuade that target to buy your brand or to keep them loyal. The term “empowered-consumer” should not be feared by businesses. Instead, they should be cultivated and tapped into as a valuable sales-boosting resource. En mass, these consumers become a legion of enthusiastic Tweeting, Facebooking, smartphone-wielding spokespeople.

We are living in the age of virality, where the buzz around a brand happens overnight on the Internet. It happens when your Facebook friends share a funny commercial during the Super Bowl. It happens when a hashtag promotion starts trending on Twitter. Harnessing this new type of marketing should be at the top of every marketer’s To-Do list. The consumer is usually socializing on his or her own accord, so how can marketers engage them to take part in this inadvertent advertising?

Person-to-person marketing is nothing new. And in 2013, advertising on social networks is no longer new either. In order to adapt, marketers can combine these two methods by engaging consumers with their social networks, especially the consumers already familiar or loyal to a brand. Here are a few examples of how businesses can empower their customers, who will in turn empower the business.

  • Make it democratic. The best way to empower someone is to show them that their opinion matters. Give customers something to vote on, like a new product, promotion, or slogan, and ask them to share the business’s web-poll with their social networks. Majority rules, so the customer will want their pick to get as many votes as possible.
  • Make it free, or at least seem free. In order for this technique to work, it should only apply to the brand’s target market or brand loyalists. Try offering this group something free in exchange for sharing a link on Facebook or forwarding a promotion to 5 friends.
  • Make it a game. Similar to making an offer seem free, turning one into a game or contest that a loyal customer can win empowers that person. In the context of mobile marketing, this might be a call-to-action for a customer to get their friends to text in a keyword to a shortcode so that the customer wins a gift card.
  • Make it theirs. Once a brand’s product is off the shelf and in the hands of the customer, it is theirs. Ask a customer to snap a picture with their new product and upload it to their social network, like Instagram, along with a specialized hashtag.