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Dreams of an engagement ring lure Houston-area couples on Sat.


Saturday afternoon in Houston is the latest TreasureText event, the-brand-building mobile scavenger hunt sponsored by jewelry stores around the country using ATS Mobile’s interactive SMS text technology.

Several hundred engaged couples will be participating in “Ring Race 3 – Houston” starting at 12:00 p.m. CDT at Town Green Park and traversing through The Woodlands. The event is sponsored by Thomas Markle Jewelers, and contestants will be competing for the first prize of a $17,000 Hearts On Fire engagement ring.

For the last several weeks, Top 40 radio station KRBE 104.1 FM had been inviting listeners to register for the event, or win a guaranteed spot in the race by tuning into the Roula and Ryan morning show.  Registration was also available via Facebook.

Be on the lookout, TreasureText events will continue this spring/summer around the country including at Austin, Tex., San Antonio, Omaha, Albuquerque, Billings, Mont., and Chicago.


Miami Research Associates use text message marketing

Logo MRA

Florida-based, Miami Research Associates (MRA) is the largest privately-owned multi-specialty clinical research center in the United States.  Its mission is to share clinical research expertise in partnership with the pharmaceutical industry.

Established in 1996, MRA delivers best-in-class clinical research services through a highly trained, experienced and dedicated staff consisting of 25 board-certified subspecialty physician investigators, 45 ACRP certified clinical research coordinators, seasoned nurse practitioners and registered nurses, research pharmacists, exercise scientists, registered dietitians, and a team of certified technicians (radiography, laboratory, PSG, DEXA, and sonography).

MRA uses ATS Mobile’s SMS text message service to communicate with potential participants in their studies, as seen on one of its recent Tweets:

We need #healthy #males ages 21-55 for a #research #study #earn $2,200! #paid #participate #miami TEXT the word FB to 84444

Text message marketing allows MRA to instantly communicate a message and provide a link to a website page, and build a data base of users who have interacted with the company.


SMS text interaction helps collegiate enrollment directors engage with students

In our ongoing discussions with higher education administrators in admissions departments around the country, the same message reverberates from staff members at schools of all sizes; the challenge is greater than ever to successfully attract, recruit, and retain students on their respective campuses.

Whether it’s the ongoing turbulent economic landscape, continuing demographic shifts, or the greater use of technology to provide online alternatives to individuals seeking college degrees, it’s a consistent challenge facing those responsible for enrollment management at schools nationally. 

If there is one common denominator for (virtually) every individual on campus, or for the future students that these educational professionals are eying to become the newest members of the next freshman class, it’s a mobile phone. 

Ever see a student without one?

There’s not a better way to disseminate a specific marketing message than directly to the desired recipient, no matter where they are. 

Utilizing options for text messaging or downloading apps on a smartphone provided an easy entree for ats Mobile to build out a SMS text-based engine that disseminates questions and answers to build towards a cumulative point total, while allowing its client universities to engage their brand with a host of targeted groups including prospective and current students, and alumni.

The SMS text game titled U-Mobile combines the options for learning, information gathering, and quizzing, wrapped up into the fun of playing an interactive mobile scavenger hunt with a prize, such as a steep discount at the bookstore, attached as an incentive. 

Compete, have fun, win, and connect.  It all adds up to a unique way to brand your school, help achieve your department goals, and it’s wrapped around a mobile game.

Entrants to any U-Mobile event are listed in the real time program dashboard allowing schools to simply log in to know who is interacting and by date/time, and by securing opt-in permission from a consumer can simultaneously send broadcast text messages to all members of a specific list from the same dashboard.

U-Mobile, another mobile tool available to higher education administrators to assist in enrollment management. 


Wealthier, Higher Educated People Are More Likely to Own An IPhone

A May 2013 Princeton Research Associates survey showed the demographic differences between IPhone and Android owners. According to the study, the biggest demographic differences between IPhone and Android owners involve income and education. Compared to Android owners, people who own an IPhone are more likely to have an income of $150,000+ and to have graduated from college+.  In addition, the survey showed differences in age, gender and race.

A May 2013 survey shows the demographic differences between Android and IPhone users.

A May 2013 survey shows the demographic differences between Android and IPhone users.


Younger, Wealthier People Are More Likely To Own A Smartphone

According to a recent study from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, younger and wealthier groups have the highest smartphone penetration.

smartphone ownership by age and income


People within the ages of 18-29 are most likely to own a smartphone. In addition, people with an income of $75,000+ across all age groups are also most likely to own a smartphone. The same report also showed that 61% of all American cell phone owners are now smartphone owners and 56% of all American adults are now smartphone owners.


American Smartphone Ownership Reaches 56%

According to a June 2013 report by the Pew Research Center, a majority of Americans own a smartphone as of the end of May 2013. Specifically, the report showed that:

  • 56% of cell phone owners say that their phone is a smartphone.
  • 58% of cell phone owners say that their phone operates on a smartphone platform common to the U.S. market.


Changes in smartphone ownership from 2011-2013.

Changes in smartphone ownership from 2011-2013.


Mobile Websites vs. Mobile Apps: Which Is Better For Your Business?

One of the biggest debates in the world of mobile marketing revolves around the choice between mobile websites and mobile apps for businesses.  Ideally, all companies would take an integrated approach and have both a mobile website and a app vs. sitemobile app. Unfortunately, this approach is not always possible, especially for small business, because of factors such as budget.

For the companies who must make the difficult decision between mobile apps and mobile sites, it is important to take into consideration the benefits that mobile websites and mobile apps, individually, hold for a business.

Here is list of the advantages of both mobile websites and mobile apps that will hopefully aid you in developing the best mobile strategy for your company.

Mobile Websites: Advantages

  • No Download Required
    • Mobile sites can be accessed via a browser immediately. No download or installation is required for users to access content.
  • Simpler Design
    • Mobile websites are designed with simplicity in mind so that it is easy for users to navigate and find information on the mobile site.
  • Cheaper to Develop
    • Mobile website creation is 85% less expensive than mobile app development.
  • Quicker to Market
    • Not only are mobile websites more cost-effective, they are also more time-effective. It takes considerably less time to develop and market a mobile site than it does a mobile application.
  • Easier to Update
    • The content and design of mobile sites can be updated immediately. There is no need to push for updates like there is in mobile apps.
  • Compatibility
    • The same mobile site can reach all mobile users, regardless of what type of device they are using. All iPhone, Android and other smartphone users access a single mobile site.
  • Reach a Larger Audience
    • Mobile websites allow businesses to reach essentially 100% of their audience. Mobile sites are available to anyone who has Internet access via their mobile devices.
  • Search Results
    • Mobile users can easily find a company’s mobile site via search engine results.
  • Google Analytics for Mobile
    • Businesses are able to track who is visiting their mobile sites via Google Analytics for Mobile and other mobile analytics programs.
  • Opportunities for a Viral Audience
    • It is easy for users to share mobile sites with friends via a link and through social media such as Facebook and Twitter posts

Mobile Apps: Advantages

  • Ease of Use
    • It is very easy for users to navigate through and interact with mobile applications.
  • Usable Offline
    • Users do not have to be connected to a network or wireless connection to use mobile applications.
  • Customizable
    • Once users download a mobile app, they are able to personalize the app based on their preferences and general use of the app.
  • Easier to access data about users
    • Marketers are able to access a wide variety of data about mobile users such as demographics, psychographics and geo-location through mobile apps.
  • Apps can be integrated with smartphone features
    • Mobile apps can be integrated with smartphone features such as the camera, microphone, geo-location and phonebook.
  • Power of the Apple Store
    • Apps are sold through the vast Apple Store.
  • Speed
    • Mobile apps run faster than mobile websites.
  • “Cool” Factor
    • Mobile apps are one of the most recent innovations in mobile technology. Mobile apps also tend to have “cooler” visuals because mobile apps allow for more innovative graphics and effects.
  • Allows you to reach a more affluent audience
    • Mobile apps are generally used by a more affluent audience. According to a study performed by the Shullman Research Center, mobile apps are used by 90 percent of U.S. consumers with a household income of $250,000 or more.
  • Complex Calculations 
    • Apps allow you to take data from a user and manipulate it using complex calculations at a quick speed.

When making this decision, it is also important to consider the vertical or industry that your business is competing in. For companies within specific industries, mobile apps often hold an obvious advantage over mobile sites, and vice versa. For example, radio stations would do much better with a mobile app compared to a mobile website because it is much easier and quicker to stream music on an app. On the other hand, restaurants would probably prefer to use a mobile site because it would be much easier for them to update their daily specials and make any menu changes on a site.

For more information on developing your comprehensive mobile marketing strategy, visit ATS Mobile.

Follow Caitlyn Foster on Twitter and connect on Google+.


Happy Birthday Cell Phone

Marty Cooper made the first cell phone call in 1973.

Martin Cooper, father of the cell phone.

Forty years ago today, April 3, 1973, the very first cell phone call was made.

Marty Cooper, an employee of Motorola, made the first call.  He obviously didn’t think about what he was going to say as much as Neil Armstrong did.  Cooper’s first words on the cell phone were: “I’m ringing you just to see if my call sounds good at your end.”  It was not: “Can you hear me now?”

Cooper made the first cell phone call on the streets of New York City.   The call went to his rival at AT&T, Joel Engel.

“This is a time when there were no cordless phones. And certainly no cell phones. And here’s this guy talking as he was walking along. And I stepped into the street and nearly got creamed by a New York taxicab. So talk about being prescient and seeing a picture of the future,” Cooper told “60 Minutes” correspondent Morley Safer.

Cooper used an early prototype of the Motorola DynaTAC 8000x.  The cell phone weighed 2 1/2 pounds and cost $3,995.  The phone became famous when used by Gordon Gekko in the movie “Wall Street.”

Want to follow Martin Cooper on Twitter?  Might be a good idea.



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