Monday, April 02, 2012

First Race of the Season and Mobile Marketing in Seattle

This weekend I finished my first race of the season and competed in the Lowell 50 Gravel Road Race. I won't go into too much detail here, but you can hop over to the WSI Cycling site and check out my race report for the "nitty-gritty" details. All being said, I was very pleased with my results and ended up taking 5th place in my age group. Normally I race against fellow "large guys" in the Clydesdale division (200 lbs. and over), but being a relatively new race they simply don't have the numbers to justify the category. It was good to see that I can still "hold my own" - even with some of the "skinny guys" and the four of us from the team all had great showing.

Also this week I had the pleasure of presenting for the Washington Bankers Association at their 2012 Marketing Conference in Seattle, WA. This was my first time in Seattle, and was lucky to be able to have some time after my session for a little "walk about" and see the sights. A good friend recommended to bring some GoreTex to keep dry, and I put my parka to good use, as the rain was ever-present during my walking tour of the city.

One thing that I found rather interesting (especially since I was presenting on the topic of Mobile Marketing) was the number of small craft stands, stores and other retail outlets that were promoting their Facebook and Twitter pages.... even using QR (quick response) codes and encouraging people to "check-in" via Foursquare. Check out the image below and how notice the hand-written sign on the sidewalk, plus the sign in the upper window (although I'd suggest they bring it down a bit to make it easier for people to scan the QR code).

In my session for the WBA I talked about how the mobile device is quickly becoming the primary device consumers are using to access the Internet. Whether you're a bank or any other type of business, having a strategy (or at least getting on on your radar screen) to address the marketing opportunities around the mobile device will be time well-spent.

In addition to talking about the social ways the mobile device is changing our lives, I also gave a tour of WSI's Mobile360 SMS messaging system and gave some ideas of how to engage with text messages for things like sending updates, alerts, news and other types of opt-in communications directly to someone's mobile device. While I may be a bit biased, I got the impression the crowd was surprised just how easy creating a text message campaign could be. As a presenter, I just love it when I see "lightbulbs" light up in the audience when an idea pops into someone's head (yes, you can tell).

Hopefully I'll get a chance to re-visit Seattle and take in the sights (when it's a bit warmer). In the meantime, thanks to the city for a taking good care of me. Met lots of friendly people both at the conference and while "out and about" and can't wait to get back again sometime soon.


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