Archive for the ‘SMS Research & Development’ Category

The Future of Mobile Connectivity

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

For the last decade there has been a convergence of all kinds of technologies, especially those involving communication.  VOIP, PDA’s, Wi-Fi cell phones, camera phones, touch screens, accelerometers, the list goes on. In many aspects, the features available on a cell phone eclipse those available on either a laptop or a desktop. And as far as anyone can tell this trend is only going to be magnified as the gap between cell phone and laptop continues to narrow. For example, the G1 due out this month and the iPhone (along with all of the copycat phones that have cropped up since its release), are the most recent step towards closing that gap. They both feature full web browsers as well as many other features previously only seen on personal computers.

From the other side, the emergence of “Netbooks” (small underpowered laptops that are very portable and mostly used for internet connectivity) mark the computer’s most recent step towards the cell phone’s portability.

One of the main things limiting the progress of both of these technologies is the lack of an acceptable network for them to tie into. Wi-Fi networks are far too restrictive because by nature they have a small range and are “clunky” to move between (as opposed to cell phones which can transfer between towers without the callers ever knowing).  The phone carrier’s infrastructure, even 3G, is far too slow for “real” web browsing and many of the more bandwidth intensive apps that you find online. This 3G network may be suitable for the current crop of phones, but that is only because they are still very immature when it comes to data connectivity. The highest data rate possible with 3G is 14.4 Mbit/sec (1.8 Mbps). This data rate is becoming unacceptably slow for computers, and phones are on the verge of blowing past that transfer rate in their capabilities as well (at this point the data standard is probably what is holding back better phone development).

Enter 4G. 4G is the successor to 3G (as 3G was the successor to 2G) and boasts data speeds between 150 Mbit/s (18.75Mbps) and 1 Gbit/s (125 Mbps).  4G technology will purportedly be widely available between 2012 and 2015. While this may seem like a long time from now, it also represents a huge step in our infrastructure as a country.  However, first a little clarification: the 1 Gbit/s rate will only be attainable while a device is relatively stationary.  The faster the device is moving (think car, train, plane?) the closer to the 150 Mbit/s rate it will achieve. Now keep in mind 150 Mbit/s is still almost 10 times the average connection speed in the United States (1.9 Mbps). I believe that once this type of service becomes available it is only a matter of time until the idea of a “home internet connection” is completely obsolete. Laptops will come with built in 4G cards like they now come with built in WiFi. This will be the first time a wide ranging technology will be fast enough to seriously upstage local WiFi networks. This will mean connection anywhere you have cell reception at a speed several levels of magnitude faster than anyone is currently offering in the United States. 4G will be capable of offering live streaming full HD broadcasts on mobile devices. The ability to download an entire HD movie in a matter of minutes, stream anything, and who knows what other innovations, both hardware and software, will come from this new found bandwidth.

While this technology may be years from being mainstream, at Brattle we have our eye on this as well as many other technologies in the mobile and web world so that when they do become available, we will be able to hit the ground running and be among the first to offer services that take advantage of the increased capabilities.

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Brattle Consulting Group Launches Text Message Marketing Company SignalSMS™

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

In keeping with our commitment to remain at the forefront of technological advances in our field, Brattle Consulting Group recently launched a new text message marketing business called SignalSMS™.  The new site, www.SignalSMS.com, will allow any business to create and launch an active text message marketing campaign in as little as ten minutes.

Although it is a fairly new concept in the world of business and marketing, text message marketing is growing quickly. SMS (text message) marketing technology can be used to promote brand awareness, build customer contact lists, and provide additional information to consumers. The process begins with a customer texting a keyword (a seven digit message) to a five digit number. In return, they receive a response text containing a coupon, promotional information, link to a photo, or whatever else the sponsoring business has chosen to be included in said response. As they see fit, the purchaser may update and adjust the response text that mobile phone users receive. They may also offer mobile phone users opportunities to “opt in” for future communications such as text alerts. Businesses may place “codes” in their store, on their website, on fliers, in ads, or wherever they choose.

The most prominent difference between SignalSMS™ and other SMS marketing businesses is our usability. Firstly, SignalSMS.com offers the straightforwardness of a short phone call during which any business may register and prepay for a promotional text keyword and shared short code to send the keyword to. This program, SignalNOW™, allows the buyer to designate a maximum amount of text responses they wish to purchase per month, priced per text. SignalNOW™ can take as little as ten minutes and upon completion the user is left with an active keyword and short code, ready to be distributed. (For our enterprise-level clients, we offer the more wide-ranging and customized SignalPRISE™ — visit SignalSMS.com to learn more.)  Beyond the initial ease of getting started, SignalSMS provides comprehensive assistance throughout your entire text message campaign. As we hope you have already experienced through Brattle, we are proud to offer you both outstanding customer service and qualified technical assistance.

And when we say qualified, we mean it. Bob Cote, president of Brattle, independently developed the technology and system behind SignalSMS™, which means his complete expertise is at your service. Keeping in mind that more people are now connected via their cell phones than through a home internet provider, it is safe to say that SMS marketing is the next step for promotions, mass-communications, and advertising. For more information about SignalSMS™ and how it can work for your business, visit www.SignalSMS.com or call us at 617.401.8733.

Create a Text Message Marketing Campaign for your Business

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Hey Everyone,

Recently at Brattle we’ve been working on a new project involving text message marketing. I’m really psyched about it, but there’s no way I would have learned about how useful and easy it is without working here. So I decided to do a little experiment. I went on a mission to discover how easy or difficult it is for someone to begin a text message marketing campaign for their business.

For the sake of the experiment, let’s say I own a chocolate shop in a small college town in Oregon. I have been trying to find a way to reach the college kids in town and increase younger traffic to my store. So I tried creating a Facebook group and a MySpace page, and told everyone who joined the group that they could come to the store for a free truffle. A fair amount of people joined, but hardly anyone came in to redeem their truffle.

So I need a way to more effectively communicate with college students. I know Obama used texting to tell people his VP choice, and he has a lot of young supporters, so maybe texting is a good solution.

My first resource is of course Google. I search for “text message promotion for my business.” I got a pretty wide variety of results: how to use texts in your nightclub, how radio stations are using texting, how to save on a texting package from Verizon. Not what I was hoping for. I did however read an interesting question and answer about the effectiveness of text marketing, and found it encouraging given my goal to increase younger traffic to my store.

Next I searched for “text message marketing.” The Wikipedia page popped up, so I read through it – informative, as per usual.

My next step was to start clicking on websites of businesses to explore what promotional and marketing options were available. Most of the sites seemed to offer the same capabilities, so I narrowed it down to a few that described promotions that would work best for my store and websites that were entertaining and easy to understand and navigate.

Finally I was at the last stage in my mission: which company should I pick to start a text message marketing campaign? I would have liked to pick it based on a recommendation from a fellow business owner, but I don’t know anyone else getting involved with this technology. And there aren’t many reviews on these businesses because they’re all relatively new. So I created my own criteria: I’m pretty un-tech savvy, so I want an organization with great customer service so I can ask lots of questions. And I want a business with experience, with notable established clients, so I can see they’re not going to scam me. Lastly, my candy store is not exactly booming right now, so I want to get the most bang for my buck as possible.

Only a few of the sites gave prices. Most of them requested I email them my information and said they would get back to me. But I’d rather just call and talk to a person. So I called a couple of the companies and talked to some associates. The first business I called sent me directly to a recording explaining that all their associates were helping other clients or customers and so I should leave a message and someone would get back to me. That’s not the kind of customer service I’m looking for in a business though, so I didn’t even leave my information. Other places I had to dial two separate numbers to talk to tech/customer support and sales for pricing information. The company I enjoyed the most brought me to someone who answered after few rings and answered all my questions in layman’s terms. However, after doing some research after our conversation, it turned out she wasn’t giving me completely accurate information about the technology.

Thus ended my mission. I would say I was left unsatisfied and disappointed. Thankfully, we’re working to combat all of these issues in our new company, Signal SMS. Signal SMS is a new text message marketing resource for any business or organization that wants to promote their brand, broaden their customer contacts, or increase revenue.

We want to be sure Signal SMS meets all the demands that I, as an interested business owner, set. We will have excellent customer service. All of our departments are in-house, which means you won’t have to dial a separate number to reach sales or tech services. And unless it’s outside business hours, (and sometimes even when it is) someone will take your call. No need to leave a message and wait around for us to return your call. As for building a notable and reliable name for the company, there are already several contracts in the works with a variety of local and national publications, restaurants, real estate companies, health care providers, and more. As soon as these agreements are finalized, we will be proud to publicize who we are working with.

To end, I truly do encourage you to do some of your own research as you’re exploring the possibilities for your company. But I must also highly suggest checking out www.SignalSMS.com and/or calling us directly at (617) 229-7210. We’ll give you the helpful service you want combined with the honest answers you deserve.

Cheers,

Valerie

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