How mobile phones are saving local restaurants

At risk of losing their businesses in these tough economic times, some local restaurant owners have turned to mobile phones to find new life. In fact some struggling owners have turned, what looked like certain ruin, into thriving businesses with these simple yet ubiquitous devices.

Rosati's Pizza
Rosati's Pizza
Scott Fender, owner of a small business named , had been sending consumers in the area his menu and offers for over 5 years via a shared mailing campaign. However, as competition grew fiercer among restaurants in his market and as standard marketing methods grew more and more ineffective, he needed a new marketing channel to grow his business.

It was then that Mr. Fender started to solicit locals to get free coupons to his restaurant by signing up for his mobile phone list. According to ABC news, Rosati's Pizza received hundreds of new customers after their first promotion.

Another local chain of donut shops sought to increase revenue by offering latte's to customers. They also turned to mobile marketing and after their first campaign they reported a 21% increase in store traffic. However that wasn't the most beneficial part of the campaign, the company boasted. They also reported that 17% of participants forwarded, or showed, the message to a friend. In research conducted after the campaign, 35% considered themselves more likely to buy lattes and coffee from them in the future.

What has most of these businesses shocked and delighted is the immediate growth that seems to follow these types of campaigns. For example, the Couch Tomato Café offered a valuable coupon, good for only seven days, to get new customers to subscribe to their mobile marketing list. That Friday they estimated that they "had about 70 extra orders compared to an average Friday."

So what exactly are these local businesses doing? I'm sure you've seen advertised on television or heard radio companies asking you to text some word, or keyword, to a 6 digit number, or short code. The act of sending these keywords get you on a list that companies can then use to send you coupons through text messages.

In fact, some local restaurants have leveraged these lists in many other ways and have received spectacular results. One business disclosed that they use their mobile phone list to drum up business on slow nights or when they had tables that went unreserved. Others are holding weekly giveaways to keep customers interested and hopeful of winning prizes. They text out the winner each week and offer coupons to the rest. Some fast food establishments send out a coupon 30 minutes before lunch time. Others are allowing customers to text in their orders.

Perhaps the most creative use we came across is what one local business called "the customer is always right" poll. The owner sends a text to his list with a poll asking his customers what kind of specials or dishes they would like to see that week. He then takes that information and delivers what his customers want. "Polling customers this way is a brilliant maneuver," says a local marketing expert "Not only does it deliver what the customers want but it gives them a sense of ownership and connection to the establishment. That kind of bond you just can't buy."

These mobile marketing tactics certainly haven't been monopolized by small businesses. In fact, large corporations like Mc Donald's, Pepsi, the Super Bowl, ELLE magazine, and many others have been employing these strategies for many years. We suspect that the recent development of low cost tools and services have fueled this expansion from large corporations to small businesses, like Rosati's Pizza.

With the ever increasing popularity of mobile phones, and the recent explosion of smart phones like the iPhone and Droid, I'm sure we've just seen the beginning of this trend.

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Apple versus Creative Labs

Creative Labs Zen Mozaic EZ100
Creative Labs Zen Mozaic EZ100

When it comes to shopping for the gadget labs, two brands easily come to mind: the ever-popular Apple and the cool line of Creative Labs. But which of the two can be deemed as the best gadget labs in the market today?

It really depends on what you are looking for in your gadget. Here is a simple guide to help you out. sleek and stylish, this has actually been its best selling point compared to other gadget in the market today.

While the Apple boast of huge memory capacities, sleek designs, great quality and durability, it still has not been able to meet the other cool functions that most Creative Labs are known for drag and drop saving options are the special add-ons that make Creative Lab definitely stand out.

While Creative Lab has been able to produce a wide variety of cool accessories for its gadget, Apple, as well as other companies have produced an even bigger amount of accessories that are tailor-fit for Apple Gadget.

From ice boxes with speakers to alarm clocks turned speakers, every Apple Gadget fan will be delighted with what's in store nowadays. In fact, Creative Lab has even come out with a new whole line of Creative Lab Gadget speakers.

Click here to read more about Apple Electronics versus Creative Labs

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Apple iPad Finally Launched!

Apple CEO Steve Jobs showed the new iPad to the press audience
Apple CEO Steve Jobs showed the new iPad to the press audience

After several months or years perhaps of being immersed in so many rumors about the Apple tablet PC, finally the most awaited and probably the most coveted product of the year is real and it's here!

Bragged as the "magical device at an amazing price", Steve Jobs said at a press launch in San Francisco, California. During his kind of peer-to-peer conversational speech, he mentioned how amazing the iPad will be to browse the web. But did it really level up to the expectations that were pointed out in the rumors? Or are there some things that the iPad lack to the disappointments of many?

Well let's take a look at some of iPad's notable features which Steve Jobs himself presented to the press audience.

SCREEN: 9.7-inch IPS LCD screen. The LCD provides the backlighting, but most of the technology is IPS, or In-plane switching. This gives it a stronger viewing angle than most screens. You can tilt the screen anyway you want and the interface moves with it.

RESOLUTION: 1024×768 pixels (132 pixels per inch) which brings out vivid colors of pictures and landscape images.

SIZE: 0.5 inches thin; 1.5 pounds (1.6 pounds for 3G), the lightest so far.

DIMENSIONS: 9.5 inches x 7.5 inches x 0.5 inches

CHIP: 1 GHz Apple A4 chip. They went in-house instead of going to Intel.

MEMORY: Three models with 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB solid state hard drives.

INCLUSIONS: Accelerometer, Microphone, 30-pin connector, Compass, full capacitive multi-touch, Bluetooth 2.1, 802.11n Wi-Fi, 3G access on higher-end models

BATTERY LIFE: 10 hours at full blast. On standby, it will last over a month.

PRICE: an amazing $499 starting price for 16Gb RAM

ipad-3g

You can definitely do anything with this amazing device, but wait here are some few "essential" things it lacks:

No camera: no front-facing camera for video conferencing or back-facing camera for taking photos.

No multitasking: You cannot run multiple apps at the same time.

No HDMI Output: You can’t plug your iPad into your TV.

No USB port: You can’t plug in your favorite keyboard into the device…or anything else, really. It will plug into your computer via the same cord you charge iPhones and iPod touches with.

Well, I hope Apple will eventually add these features up to the iPad before its' going to be really available in the market in either June or July of this year.

Click here to read more about Apple iPad Launch, Apple iPad

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Web Address Overpopulates Humans in the Globe!

net-users-map-simon-wright

Microsoft's Bing have determined over a trillion web pages and Google have indexed over a trillion unique web addresses. And there are only about 6.7 billion people on earth. That's fairly 150,000 web addresses per person on earth! Wow, imagine how huge the internet has become since 1969?

According to InternetWorldStats.com (IWS), the top 5 countries with the most internet users are:

1 - China (298,000,000 users, or 22.4% of their population)

2 – US (227,190,989, or 74.7%)

3 – Japan (94,000,000, or 73.8%)

4 – India (81,000,000, or 7.1%)

5 – Brazil (67,510,400, or 34.4%)

Australia comes in at 25th, with 16,926,015 internet users.

In another website, this statistics was translated this way: If you get to spend just one minute reading every website in your whole life, you’d be kept busy for 31,000 years. Without any sleep.

And Bing was a little bit more conservative when it said, "an average person would need six hundred thousand decades of nonstop reading to read through the information."

Interestingly, Mark Higginson, director of analytics for Nielsen Online, said the global online population had jumped 16 per cent since last year and still he said that "with the rates of India and China still quite low, there is ample room for growth in the coming decade.

Click here to read more about Sizing the Internet, Web Addresses Dwarfs Global Population.

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World Map of Social Networks Shows Facebook Dominance

worldmap

It's almost the end of 2009 and we have yet to see who leads the race track in the most popular, the most effective and the most functional innovations of the year.

In the social networking world, It's Facebook again! After taking its toll in the world wide web since 2004, Facebook has proven to be most prominent social networking site in five years. With over 350 million users worldwide, Facebook continues to rise its fame in the industry.

This is evidenced by an Italian writer, blogger and photographer Vincenzo Cosenza's visual mapping of the social networking sites used worldwide. He gathered his data from the most recent traffic data (December 2009) as measured by Alexa & Google Trends for Websites.

The world map of social networking sites, deliberately identifies the dominance of Facebook anywhere in the globe as compared to other social net sites. It is seconded by Facebook clone Vkontakte.ru, which has blocked Facebook from establishing its name. Vkontakte.ru is the most and perhaps the only popular social net site in Russia.

Other social networking sites that have remained its control over certain countries included Hi5 in Peru, Portugal, Romania, Thailand and Mongolia; QQ is still ahead of everyone else in China, with an expected estimated increase of users to 840 million in 2013.

Click here to read more about World Map of Social Networking Sites, Most Popular Social Networking Sites in 2009, Facebook dominance.

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