SMS marketing Abused

Sms marketing first became popular in Europe in the early 2000s and spread all over the world, the reason why it is used frequently by firms is that it reaches the consumer directly, through the mobile device. It is currently used all over the world as a mean of quick way to spread news! Nevertheless it is also known to be used as spam advertising.

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In Lebanon we see a a lot of companies using SMS marketing to announce promotions, new openings, special offers, holiday wishes, discounts etc.. But at some place they are really getting annoying! We get the idea that companies like to maintain and even enhance their relationship with their customers, but I think sending 5 sms in less than a week is too much!! Here you can know what I mean exactly.

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They Invited  me to a special formule on the occasion of labor’s day, wished me happy palm Sunday, convinced me to join their  special dinner nights, karaoke nights,  benefit from buy 1 get 1 free oriental formule!! YES that’s what they did, and within less than a week.

I had to respond to such spams that made my phone ring every now and then.

I’m talking about “Ward W 3asal” restaurant; although I’ve never heard about it, all I know it’s located in Dbayeh! (The only good thing mentioned in the SMS).

Dear “Ward W 3asal” marketing management team (I doubt you have one) seriously enough SMS! you are ruining your image by sending daily sms, I appreciate the fact that you are remembering your customers ( stop it! I am not one) and wishing them happy holidays, but believe me after using this strategy, I won’t be visiting you, neither will your prospects customers. Instead of spending this budget in sending sms, make the use of social media.

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The list of sms screenshot

Here are some random sms I have received from various companies this month, but they were not annoying , I don’t know how all these restaurants/malls/stores are getting my number, is it only me? Or they are sending to huge number of customers?

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Another Retail Investment

Yet another investment in the retail business in Lebanon, I’m talking about Beirut City Center,this  huge investment by Majed el Futaim holdings. A mall that contains around 200 stores, which has become the latest trend in the country, where its echoes were spread around through word of mouth.

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But the question that many of us are asking, Is the city capable of withstanding additional malls? After ABC Achrafieh and Dbaye, Citymall , Azadea’s  investments in Le-Mall Dbayeh and Sinelfil, not forgetting  Beirut Souks and Beirut Mall, BCC came to say “ I have it all”, from the fashion, to taste and entertainment!

Although location plays an important role in consumers’ choices, moreover having such close malls would more likely lead to market saturation, but not in this case! Why? Simply because the positioning of each mall is different.

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So if we asked the question is the competition increasing? Not to the extent that some are thinking.

From a marketing perspective, each of the following malls has somehow different target markets, and their positioning differs. We can’t compare Le Mall to ABC, or Beirut Souks to Beirut Mall. I think the only competition will be in the field of entertainment (mostly cinemas), where we already started to see some malls introducing their competitive advantages (having luxury cinema seats). Regarding the competition in the retail stores, it is somehow lower, since different stores are available in different locations.

Here’s a simple example; Le Mall and ABC Dbayeh, almost  100 meters apart from each other, yet the completion is at its minimum, (not a single store available in ABC Dbayeh is available in Le Mall)

I think such investments are implemented after conducting huge market research, and even official deals with upper management.

Coming back to BCC! its positioning is somehow different from the rest of the  malls, yes it does have it all, and it  will provide a huge experience in fashion, taste and entertainment. Not forgetting their huge marketing campaigns (guess the C) and their slogan which is catchy and simple “the center is you”. Beirut City Center indeed is the new trend in the Lebanese market!

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“ Arkhas Sa3r mnt7adda”, the New Advertising Campaign of Spinneys.

Recently what has really become noticeable is the advertising campaign of spinneys “arkhas sa3r mnt7adda” where a print ad is spread all around Lebanon, showing two hands up for a competition holding a product in their hands, the issue is not the advertising itself (though I see it clear and visually appealing along with its headline) but rather the concept that spinneys has thought about. Spinneys contemplated a great way to gain the attention of the public and for the purpose of widening its target market, and letting customers more engaged with small details (comparing prices) so anyone will definitely be interested in getting paid 10 times the original price, and go for this competition.

 Although this concept is used in some Gulf regions and specifically Dubai, where the same case is done for the electronic appliances, for me I’ve never seen  any company who ran a similar campaign in Lebanon.

I think this campaign would be a competitive advantage for spinneys against its competitors, such as le Charcutier and Tsc plus, but it depends on  how will they communicate  with their customers, and for how long they will launch their campaign, knowing that Spinneys is known for its limited offers.

Overall Spinneys is doing great with its advertising campaigns , depending more on occasional advertising (independence day offers, Christmas, teacher’s day, back to school, valentine’s), not forgetting their major tv commercial which they were changing their positioning depending on their legacy and heritage, taking spinneys  back to 64 years, which seemed to be a tentative claim. http://brofessionalreview.com/2012/11/18/spinneys-juggling-its-brand-position/ you can read a blog about the tvc here.

For me I will try to find some merchandise and compare prices, and let you know what happened , meanwhile I would like to know if anyone did.

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The Reason Why I Prefer Dunkin Over Starbucks

Yesterday I was at Starbucks coffee downtown, working on a project with my colleague, we were doing most of the work on the laptop, with all the typings and the required research. After working for an hour, the laptop’s battery was almost dead and needed to be recharged, but unfortunately the charger didn’t fit the electrical socket, since it was wide. We asked the baristas if they had some types of plug boards that could fit the socket, they couldn’t provide one, thus we were obliged to leave the place and continue our work at Dunkin Donuts Beirut Souks, the closest coffee shop available, hoping that they might have the required plug. It was an awkward moment to enter Dunkin holding our Starbucks paper mugs. We just finished the coffee outside and entered the shop by asking if they could provide a plug board for the charger! Apparently they had one!! And that “like a boss feeling” when we set the charger and continued our work after ordering some donuts. Thank you Dunkin Donuts for solving our problem!Image

Ali Died. Died Alone in the Rain…

Ali Abdallah; a homeless human being that spent his time in the streets of Hamra was the victim of the cold weather yesterday.  A foundation page on Facebook was created that was aimed to support the poor who suffer from similar causes. You can follow and like the page here http://www.facebook.com/TheAliAbdallahFoundation
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 Let’s thank  God for what we have. 

 

A very clever set billboard in Beirut!

Nowadays billboards are one of the most common used advertising tools, using them in Lebanon would have a great advantage on marketers and advertisers, a country where traffic has become part of our culture, using billboards would definitely help those marketers to deliver their message thorough billboards to increase their market audience.
Being stuck in traffic is the daily routine of almost all Lebanese students, and people who have early working hours. All through my way, what really grabs my attention are the billboards set all the way from my home to Hamra Street, where the university is located. But a really amazing set billboard that always grabs my attention most is the one facing “Burj el Mur” on the “Charles Helo” highway.
Traffic lights make cars stop at least 5 minutes, what makes traffic even worse, is the green light which sets on for only 1 minute and therefore every 1 minute you precede only 1 meter! What a better thing to do than to watch this huge “Bank Med” ad placed on the top of the building. If you notice the picture, you find nothing attractive but this huge billboard. You can easily read every single detail written on it. I think this could be considered as one of the cleverest set billboards in Beirut region. They have chosen a very successful location to place this billboard, but it could have been inadequate without this “sweet traffic” on the entrance of Hamra street, Thank you traffic!  

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Yesterday I was at Hamra street walking and enjoying the crowd, this famous street that holds the traditional lifestyle mixed with the latest floats of routine. I was hungry and searching for some snack shops to eat, suddenly I saw a billboard written on it “Garo” and under it inscribed with small letters “Basterma, Soujouk, Makanek” , An Armenian snack house in the heart of Hamra Street, felt me great! I was eager to enter the snack and taste its sandwiches.   

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A very simple, calm, and a cozy place filled with the odor of basterma and soujouk. But who was behind this snack house? A very friendly, old, and modest man whose name is “Garo”.
He just welcomed me and asked my name as if he used to know me a while ago, then he asked me: “so Sarhad what do you want me to prepare for you?” I was impressed with his approachable treatment and replied: “I like to eat soujouk Mr. Garo” he replied intensely “okay, but don’t tell me Mr. Please! Just call me Garo” Indeed he was treating people as his friends and not customers.  

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The most interesting part was the way he prepared the sandwich, setting the soujouk in the bugget bread, then adding the tomatoes and pickles, and filling them with his special sauce, doing all these and singing at the same time. I just got full only by seeing him working with maximum passion.
When I was done with the “soujouk” he didn’t let me go, until they took a photo of us together, it’s has become a tradition to take photos with all his customers, so that during my their second visit they see their photos hanged on the walls of the shop.
You have to meet “Garo” in some way and taste its famous sandwiches, This man whose aim is beyond operating a business, he’s seeking of making friends instead of customers.
Ps: Don’t forget to check my photo with him once you’re there. 

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“X, Y and Z” are Letters in the Alphabet

Exactly last Monday I was assisting   the recruitment team of the university in an orientation exhibition where most universities of Lebanon were present. Students were passing by and collecting the needed information based on their interests and field of studies. Suddenly a student came and asked the lady of the university beside me to explain more about the university, since the guy never heard about it, once the lady finished the explanation the guy asked: 

“Sorry but you didn’t mention for whom this university belongs to?”
The lady replied “what do you mean by for whom?”
The guy said “I mean who is behind it?”
The lady pretended she didn’t understand and replied again: “It’s a normal university, with a president, faculty, staff and students. who’s going to be behind it?” Read the full post »

You Have Your Lebanon and I Have my dream

He was indeed a wise man, to write something back in 1920s, that applies to our current situation. I’m talking about Khalil Gibran’s “You Have Your Lebanon and I Have My Lebanon” famous writing that I remembered today, behind the political crisis that we’re living it recently. I’m not going to talk about politics or about the Achrafieh bombing, neither about the people who were holding Brazilian flags during the funeral, nor for the people who tried to storm the government headquarters. For me these people do not represent the civilized class, they don’t even deserve to be word of mouth in filling our article’s lines. All I want to say this is not my Lebanon.

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His Health

Beauty for man is Care Center that provides heatlh care for men through advanced skin and body care services. It is one of the few care centers in Lebanon that specializes its service only for men.The website includes all the detailed information as well as the care services that the company provides, supported by by the social networking websites such as Facebook, twitter, linked-in, etc… What the company is doing through its website and the social media is a great way of attracting customers and introducing this “service based” company to the public, a noticeable thing are the posts and the tweets on the Facebook and twitter that were related to men’s health (ex the easiest way to make six packs, burn fat with 9 different ways, etc..), this is a good way to grab user’s attention and make the user more interested.

“Beauty for Men” services

Talking more about the marketing strategies of the company,the center being unique by its service ; it makes the client more confident and more aware, since he knows that the service provided is specialized for men. The motto also elaborates the company’s mission which is “your smile is our award” this means that its main target is to obtain a full customer satisfaction. It’s strategy is appeared also through their facebook and twiiter pages where they are more concerned with their clients’ health then the business itself (this is shown by the posts and the tweets about some health tips)
Regarding the challenges that they are facing is the market entry of new beauty centers that are specialized for men, but this would be somehow difficult since they have a reputable welfare, and have their premium customers.
A suggestion would be to have more dynamic marketing plan by increasing  its reputation in the market through tv ads, bilboards, and sponsorships.

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