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“The Boost Marketing Debacle” August 17, 2010

Posted by prepayit2520 in Uncategorized.
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I’ve been in the communication business for over forty years, I’ve owned paging companies, worked for Motorola, and now own a prepaid company. I’ve been a partner in a MVNO I’ve had failures and successes. What amazes me is the arrogant attitudes and policies from major companies from time to time. But what is totally unbelievable is Boost Mobile and their replenishment and rationalization program currently being implemented. Boost is a cellular product powered by Sprint and the problem is the “plan” currently is nothing but monopolizing the ability to sell the sprint product. I’ll explain, boost has reduced the distribution of their replenishment pins from several distributors to a few and if one didn’t understand that would not seem to be a problem. Therefore I’ll explain further, over the years the prepaid business has grown considerably and many factors have contributed to this growth.( ISO’s) Independent Sales Organizations have been a intricate part of the phenomenal prepaid growth. Here is where part of the  problem lies, long before Boost was remotely a factor as a matter of fact they didn’t even exist,  ISO’s were busy building the prepaid business developing their customers, marketing materials, setting up stores, finding good providers, adding new prepaid offerings, purchacing equipment and developing friendships etc. all of this with their own money, hard work and time literally building virtually thousands of locations selling the prepaid offering’s. Just as a reference they helped companies like AT&T, Alltel, Tracfone, T-Mobile, Verizon really way to many to mention sell millions of pins virtually at relatively no expense to the cellular companies. ISO’s built the re pore and have taken care of the customers that have been selling cellular replenishment for the past 10 years. Now here is the main problem, remember earlier i mentioned several ISO’s well the number is approximately 91,  Boost is reducing their distribution numbers from over 100 to 12 master distributors. The remaining 91 ISO’s are being forced out of the ability to sell Boost replenishment pins. now this wouldn’t be a problem if it was all going to Boost Stores but their not. What they are doing is forcing the ISO’s to switch from providers they’ve been with since the beginning and forcing them to do business with one of the chosen 12. In addition this policy is also forcing the stores to change prepaid providers ill regardless whether they know them or not without any regard to the stores wish and with total disregard to the ISO’s that have developed and have taken care of the stores for years and have built the enormous amount of pins being distributed by both groups. i hope some MVNO or another provider realizes the opportunity that Boost is creating and introduces a product into the market place that totally out preforms the Boost product which by the way is terrible except in major metropolitan area’s. It’s sad that a company such as Sprint Prepaid Group (BOOST) is doing this to the companies that virtually put them on the map. i feel that they (BOOST) will ultimately realize what a huge marketing debacle this truly is and will reverse this totally ridiculous policy. In my opinion I’m really surprised there has not been a class action law suit brought against BOOST. This article is my opinion and I’m basing it upon what is happening now. I’ve always been told you reap what you sow and what Boost is sowing is not ethical.

R.C.Tinder

Effective Advertising with Digital Media June 2, 2010

Posted by prepayit2520 in Uncategorized.
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Is digital media an effective way of advertising ?  Lets just compare and you come to your own conclusion.  Many small business owners are struggling with how to get their message out to as many people as they can effectively.  The on going question is how do you accomplish this daunting task?  Lets look at the options,  visual media with major networks is extremely expensive and for the most part have priced themselves out of the small business persons reach,  most experts admit that in order to have an effective campaign you must have the ability financially to stay with campaign for six months to a year on average.  Regretfully many small businesses can not withstand that type of financial commitment there fore they are unable to effectively participate in these type of major network advertising campaigns.  Cable television at this point would seem to be the next viable option,  and in many cases it is,  as long as you understand there is a difference between affordability and effectivity.  The costs are far more reasonable with this medium however,  how do you choose which channels are the best fit for your business.  Another problem is with hundreds of channels available and with TIVO this becomes a crap shoot. Of course all media has ratings but are they really accurate or just a sales tool,  i think their a little of both. Radio can be effective but again they for the most part have priced themselves out of the market as well, the market I’m referring to again is small business.  Radio has much of the same problems as television, and that is which radio station is the best fit for my business,  and you have to assume that out of the hundreds of stations available how do we know which one will be the most effective one to advertise with.    The only way is to assume that all of your targeted potential customers listen to a certain type of music or talk radio.

That question kind of makes us all become media pro filers, and that is we guess who and which type of client will listen to what type of station. Where we are sold on drive times again leaves much room for error which means a loss of advertising dollars. This in itself really doesn’t make for good rational thinking. Really if they don’t hear your ad your losing money period and a unheard ad is gone forever.  Print media again is expensive and is becoming far less effective with the availability of the Internet.  Niche magazines again can be effective when trying to target a certain audience but again can be extremely expensive.

  Putting together a combined package makes a little more sense. Digital advertising makes much more sense because of several reasons first, the panels or digital hi-def boards are usually located in high traffic areas such as restaurants, airports, fitness centers, convenience stores, truck plazas, package stores, hospitals, retail stores etc. Digital companies can give you consistent traffic counts, the ads are high definition for optimum viewing, they are captive, repetitive and consistent. With a few companies you can even do animation.  However the most appealing aspects of digital advertising is you can target your campaign, you can change locations, and it is extremely cost effective. 

There are many other forms of advertising such as direct mail, e-mail blasts, telemarketing, coupons etc. and i think they all can be somewhat effective however, the most bang for the buck would be adding DIGITAL ADVERTISING to your campaign. There is one thing that all small business owners have in common regardless of financial status and that is, TO SELL UM, YOU MUST TELL UM!

choosing a prepaid products provider May 19, 2010

Posted by prepayit2520 in Uncategorized.
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When choosing a prepaid products provider there are several area’s you should check out thoroughly, one you should get a list of stores that are currently using the proposed provider,  make sure and ask how they are being serviced, are they contacted at least once every 90 days or so just to make sure every thing is running smooth and there are no issue’s.  Make sure that customer service is precise, courteous, effective and eager to help with any issue that may arise from time to time. If time is an issue then Ethernet may be an option other wise make sure that product delivery terminal is fast and efficient. Reporting is a must so making sure that the terminal has a complete sales reporting section, example: shift reports, daily reports, weekly reports, products sold, refunding option, commissions, etc is a very important, in addition  the reporting section is the best tracking feature for product delivery. Terminals have reduced in price over the years but there are still cost involved, most companies terminal cost are usage driven, example:  if the location obtains a certain sells level there are no terminal fee’s. This method seems to the most popular because if a location does not achieve sells goals everybody loses, by the way these sales goals are usually minimal.  Multiple products have become popular just make sure they are all creditable and actually preform the way their presented.  The more products the better anything you can do to get a customer inside your door just adds to the bottom line.  Getting a new customer is easy,  keeping them is the challenge.  Make sure the discounts that are being presented are actually what is being given . There is one given,  and that is if it’s a prepaid product,  prices will change,  just make sure the company always notifies it’s customers with increases and decreases. Finally POS  “POINT OF SALE” advertising material is very important,  if generic advertising is available then take full advantage and use all you can to promote your prepaid offerings. If the provider offers custom POS material then use this any way you can to pull together all of the products under your store branding.  In closing it is also important that the provider you choose is continually looking for new products that help build customer loyalty and retention.

The Best Phone Card May 18, 2010

Posted by prepayit2520 in Uncategorized.
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The best phone card available in today’s market is the “TRUE MINUTES”. this product eliminates all the games being played in the phone card industry. This product works both domestically and internationally either from a home phone or from a cellular phone.

There are no contracts required, no connection fees associated with this product, no expiration date, virtually no hidden fees of any type. Real time online account management is also available.  It also has real time billing history, pin-less dialing feature, speed dialing, you can create your own 800 number and you can create your own international number as well. The reason we feel this product is the best available is due to the fact that over the years the phone card industry has been nothing but smoke and mirrors. Most international products are sold under the pretence that the minutes advertised are the minutes given. This is simply not true. However the True Minutes product delivers true value for the dollar spent. you can simply log on and check your calling destination, look at the price per minute and call, the minutes used will always be the same.  You can not use this product for a year, check the minutes and they will be the same as the last time you used this product. in closing i highly recommend this product, try it you’ll agree it’s THE BEST PHONE CARD.

choosing a loyalty program May 14, 2010

Posted by prepayit2520 in Uncategorized.
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Loyalty programs can be of great value not only for customer retention, but for attracting new customers. When choosing a loyalty program you must make sure certain features apply. First and foremost everyone involved from management to sales clerks must be totally on board and understand totally the reason for implementing your program. You must have a good tracking system for following the progression of your program. Depending upon the type of business many suppliers will participate in buy downs for rewards,  in which this in itself makes the loyalty program that much more effective. In a convenience store environment gaining rewards points must be tiered due to the fact that outside pump sales have far less margins than inside sales plus you want to drive your customers inside. In other words more rewards points for inside sales. Typically rewards points equal one cent, that can also be determined by your margins and products. Loyalty or Rewards card programs are also an excellent tool for assistance in store branding.

A good program can increase store volume by 10 % and in many cases much more, incentives can be put in place where clerks who do the best job of promoting the program are also rewarded. Your goal should be to put out as many cards as possible. customer sign up for the program must also be secure and simple with immediate gratification. Many programs also combine the loyalty card with a gift card program.

This method works extremely well. Coordinating the Loyalty and Gift card can be extremely beneficial in the overall store image.

In closing, a good customer loyalty or rewards program is a must in the competitive retail business world of today.

Prepaid Stations Card Processing March 20, 2010

Posted by prepaidstations in Uncategorized.
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Thanks for stopping buy our blog.  If you run a business and want to increase profits, save money on card processing, offer more services to your customers we’ll have lots of tips for you.  The first thing you should do is fill out our contact form and we’ll send you details about all our services and how they work.  We offer a one terminal solution for offering multiple prepaid products.  Click Here to fill it out.

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