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Clint Engel

Apps, texts no longer optional

Brad McMullanBrad McMullan
LAS VEGAS - During Furniture Marketing Group's recent dealer Symposium here at the Venetian Resort, Brad McMullan, CEO of TextingLeader. com, offered insights into digital marketing to the buying group's members and supplier partners in attendance.
     If you think you're too small to have an affordable mobile app directing consumers to your business, McMullan wants to you to think again. Here are three takeaways from his segment during a panel discussion on digital marketing:
     ► You need an app for that store. More and more consumers are skipping a traditional computer to access their online destinations, choosing to visit retailers and other locations strictly through mobile applications. McMullan said people now spend more time on their smartphone at home than they do on their personal computers, and by 2018, the amount of time people spend on apps will equal the amount of time spent watching television. It doesn't have to cost a fortune to have your own app. A ballpark estimate from TextingLeader.com: $1,500 a year, for hosting, design and regular updates.
     ► All eyes are on texting. Text marketing beats email marketing to consumers for one main reason: They are read. Out of the 4.5 billion text messages that are sent daily, 98% of them are opened. That compares to a marketing email open rate of less than 10%, McMullan said. Of the political candidates who used texting to get out the vote this past November, 94% of them won, he added.
     ► But don't drive your customers crazy. Texting is a great way to get in front of customers, but needs to be used sparingly. McMullan suggested five or six times a year is plenty for a furniture store.
     "The whole goal of advertising is to be top of mind," Mc- Mullan said. "Whether it's an app or texting, it is not a magic wand, but it enhances whatever you do, and it gives you a competitive advantage if you're first to market."

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