Entries tagged with “Social Media”.

Mobile technology seems to be in the news quite a bit today.  Instagram, a social photosharing, site was  acquired by Facebook.  AisleBuyer, a line-busting mobile commerce application, was acquired by Intuit.  Best Buy is looking at mobile strategies to combat the phenomenon of “showrooming,” in which consumers come to the retail store to look at the product, then make the purchase from Amazon, or eBay or another eCommerce site.  Mobile commerce, mobile payments, mobile social.  It seems that mobile is everywhere.  What does that mean for merchants?  What should merchants be looking for in the mobile revolution?

Something that often gets overlooked with the introduction of a new technology is that of strategy.  Merchants often rush to the new technology that promises convenience, increased conversion, and cool factor.  But the question that we should be asking is, “Why?”  Does mobile even make sense for me?  Consider a traditional, independent bookstore.  They have a storefront and inventory.  They get foot-traffic and have a traditional Point of Sale (POS) system that is integrated into their inventory management system.  What would a mobile acceptance channel add to them?  On the other side of that coin, consider a crafter or a locksmith.  Often, these professionals operate in the field – at craft fairs or in parking lots.  They have traditionally accepted cash or checks.  Recently they’ve begun to use either a “knucklebuster” or an IVR system to accept payment from debit or credit cards.  For them, mobile payment acceptance makes sense – they can increase their conversion rate (and sometimes their average ticket size), cut back on “bad” transactions with real-time authorization, and add convenience for themselves and their clients.

Another factor that must be considered is security.  Just because a payment is mobile, that doesn’t mean that security goes by the wayside.  In fact, some (including myself) may argue that security becomes more important.  Encrypted card readers are just one layer, albeit a very important layer, of protection for the payment process.  Choosing a service provider with a demonstrated history of compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is another important step in protecting mobile payments.

Mobile payments are an exciting innovation in the payments world.  They offer significant advantage, but as with any tool, they must be managed appropriately in order to recognize the maximum benefit.

Dr. Heather Mark, PhD.  SVP, Market Strategy

Many people today that consider themselves to be internet savvy might believe that they are too clever to fall for an online scam.  They know that they should not respond to pleas for help from Nigerian princes that need to move furniture for their long-deceased, well-meaning philanthropist great uncle.  They know that any job posting that requires respondents to send their bank routing information is likely not legitimate.  They know that a bank will never send an email asking their account holders to “verify their passwords” by clicking on a link.  But do they know that they shouldn’t click on that link that promises a sneak peak of the iPhone 5?

According to a recent survey by the Ponemon Institute (in collaboration with PC Tools), the answer is “no.”  The temptation is just too much, even for seemingly savvy internet users.  “Almost half (47%) of US respondents identified an online survey with a prize as either a scam or an attempt to get you to buy something later. However, when presented with the test scenarios, more than half (55%) of US respondents indicated they would be likely to provide their personal information to redeem a prize after completing an online survey,” said Richard Clooke, Online Security Expert, PC Tools.

A recent article on CNet emphasizes point made by the survey. Last spring, a number of Facebook users were scammed by a link that offered a look at the new iPhone 5.   According to Elinor Mills, the author of the article, “People who normally ignore all the other scams involving purported free software or naked celebrity photos clicked that fake news link and even completed a captcha on a second site, which reposted the scam to their own Facebook stream. That probably says more about how fanatical people are about Apple products than anything else. But it did raise the question–what does it take to lure someone to click on something that seems fishy?” It would certainly appear that the old cliche “everyone has their price” is analogous to this situation. If scammers can target the right prey with the right bait, people seem to disregard their concerns about fraud.  Target techies and Jobs-o-philes with a promised look at a future Apple product and they’ll likely click away.

The moral of the story – “think before you click.”  Many people associate internet scams with malware and Trojans, but sometimes scammers are looking for more specific information about users so that they can launch more targeted and sophisticated attacks later on.   For example, in the scam listed above,  scammers could perhaps garner email addresses.  Those addresses could then be used in phishing attacks later on to get more sensitive data from individuals.  It’s important to remember not to let your guard down when it comes to cyberscams.

Dr. Heather Mark, Ph.D.

SVP of Market Strategy

As information sharing and technology are updated at an increasingly rapid pace, it is critical to maintain a competitive edge by keeping customers informed of new solutions to their problems. 

 When rolling out new services or products, it is important to have a clear, straightforward message that can be shared quickly on what the benefits of your new services are.  Some of the more popular and important ways to stay in touch with your customers are through social media, blogs, newsletters, email and your website.  These tools can help a company reach many people more quickly and cost effectively than traditional marketing channels. 

 These marketing methods allow you to communicate effectively with a broad customer demographic in the way they choose to receive information.  In addition, they provide an opportunity for you to hear back from your customers quickly and candidly what they think about your products and services. In fact, many new product developments, improvements and advancements are a result of customer feedback or requests for a certain item or service.

 ProPay employs many of these resources to communicate to our customers what is new, what is coming and what solutions you may not already be using.   Checking our site, blog and subscribing to our newsletter are great ways to stay informed on what’s happening in credit card processing.  In addition, you may want to make sure you’re subscribed to receive updates and promotions via email, including our weekly 60 second tip.  You can edit your preferences by logging into your account and going to ‘my account’ then clicking on ‘my profile’ and then ‘change options’.

 Stay tuned for on-going updates on new products and services from ProPay.

Site: www.propay.com

The ProPay Perspective Blog: blog.propay.com

Building a brand takes time, money, and talent. Consumers generally do not recognize a brand image over-night. In fact, studies suggest that consumers require at least three impressions of a print advertisement before they even remember the company name.  A major concern is building a brand that is recognizable, but does not become annoying. When it comes to building your brand online, in the social media platform, what are consumers saying? What is the reach?

An article entitled “How Younger Adults React to Brands on Social Networks” stated that the millennial generation enjoys viewing brands through social media such as Facebook and Twitter and the “older adult generation” is not far behind. These millennial consumers are more likely to “Like” a brand through social media and interact with the content created from that brand; although, they [millennials] do not want to be annoyed with too many posts or tweets. So how often should a brand post relevant material?

The frequency at which brands should post depends on the medium through which they want to send it their consumers. This can be one post a day to multiple postings through a variety of social channels in a single day. Consumers want to know what is going on in their community. For example, if a brand is sponsoring an event, they should tweet or post about the event.  Same thing if there are promotions, coupons, contests, etc. As long as the content is relevant to that industry, posting multiple times daily will help increase brand equity.

The trend of social media and the payment space has rapidly become a hot topic. Such technologies as NFC (Near Field Communication) and Geo-location have been integrated into several apps in the marketplace waiting to for consumers to make use of the technology. Consumers being able to tag a storefront, “Like” it, write a review, and make payment at the store all from the same device is powerful for brand equity.  

ProPay offers a new mobile payment technology that allows Smartphones to be used, not only as a payment device, but also as a social technology allowing merchants and consumers to create dialogue with each other in real time. ProPay Link allows merchants to set up and push to consumer’s events and promotions to their device. ProPay offers several types of mobile solutions, please read about each through this post.

Travis Allen | Marketing Manager

Target marketing, as defined by Wikipedia, is the group of customers that the business has decided to aim its marketing efforts to and ultimately sale merchandise. Effectively targeting the correct market for a company’s upcoming or current product generally will not only help increase sales, but will increase the number of potential customers communicating with each other about the product.  Creating the correct target market takes resources from most departments, but how does a company choose which market is best for their product line and how to effectively drive the marketplace?

Recently, I have been involved in research around ProPay’s Social M-Payments platform ProPayLink (recently known as Zumogo).  The company needed to define its target market for the new, upcoming product.  What were the components we needed to search out? ProPayLink is an application for Smartphone users; therefore we needed to research who used Smartphones, the average income for Smartphone users, what type of Smartphones these consumers used, etc.  Compiling this information helped in the decision factor for the target market and therefore we were able to create the marketing strategy for ProPayLink.

Once the target market has been decided, the next step is to effectively drive it to the marketplace. I have become a big fan of a few select initiatives to take the product to consumers; let me share them with you:

Create a social atmosphere. Social media has become integral in the buzz about any new product offering.  Create multiple channels of social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Blogger); update regularly and respond to any questions/concerns in a timely fashion.  “By monitoring online conversations about your brand, industry, product or related services, you can strengthen product development, customer service and a variety of other core business functions,” (Defining Social Media Engagement, Mashable.com).

Beta launches work wonders. Your product was made for success; place the product out in the field and test how the marketplace takes to it.  This is the best environment to create positive feedback to take back to developers, marketers, product development, etc. and change/update what consumers are looking for.

Continually update. A product is never finished. It needs to be continually updated and refreshed to keep your target market interested.

Creating the most effective target market for your business’s products can and will be time consuming, but eventually bring consumers to the table. ProPay continually enhances its products for our merchants and offers them a variety of devices to allow their customers to pay.

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Twitter: @propay @zumogoapp