I'm sitting here in the mezzanine level of the Grand Ballroom in Collingswood, New Jersey, waiting for my turn to get up in front of the crowd and talk about Building Brand Value.
It's interesting to be in the balcony of this restored Scottish Rite temple watching the proceedings. Between you and me, I feel a bit like the Phantom of the Opera, lurking in the shadows waiting to pounce.

The speaker before me is talking about . I was relieved he didn't introduce himself as a social media “expert” because whenever I speak on that subject I open with, “anyone who says they're a social media expert is lying to you.” That's because the industry moves so fast and the technology changes so quickly that most of us can barely stay abreast of the particular areas of social media that interest us most, let alone understand the whole enchilada. Search Engine Optimization (), for example, is just a small portion of the online world but is so dynamic that it requires constant study and experimentation.

And now, as if social media and marketing technologies weren't complicated enough, the explosion of smart phones has opened a whole new 's box. On the one hand, being able to reach consumers and potential consumers whenever you want and wherever they are is an incredible opportunity for . On the other hand, the burgeoning mobile environment requires a whole new understanding and skill set.

Imagine my surprise when I met with my old friend Marcos the other day and asked him for his business card. “I don't carry them anymore” he said. “Just text my name to 65047.” I did as he instructed. A few seconds later all his contact information arrived as an SMS message on my phone, ready to be copied into Outlook, friended on Facebook, and followed on Twitter.

“Now that you're registered I can send you anything,” he went on enthusiastically, “updates, promotions, special deals and coupons. And because it's all opt-in people can cancel whenever they want so there's never any spam. My company has just two employees but we're using the most sophisticated out there.”

The minute I got back to my office I went online, looked up the company and signed up for my own mobile account. Now, when I speak at conferences or meet people at events, I tell them to text “Turkel” (my keyword) to 65047. They get back an instant message from me with my contact information and their cell phone number automatically goes into my database where I can let them know where I'm speaking, announce my new blog post or tell them anything I think they'll find valuable.

Best of all, it's an easy and inexpensive way to add mobile marketing to your promotions arsenal with almost no barrier to entry. If you're in the cruise line, airline or hotel business you can expand your programs by sending special offers to your customers at the very last minute. If you're in the restaurant business, you can offer specials – two for one, say, or a free glass of wine – at the exact moment when you have empty seats. If you run a CVB, you can issue deals when you see your stakeholders' RevPAR dropping. Bloggers can announce their latest post in real time. Bakeries can let people know when the muffins are fresh out of the oven. Heck, you can use the technology to tell your softball team when you're practicing or tell your friends when you're going to the beach. The opportunities are endless; those are just the first few I came up with. Talk about yield management – now you can reach your customers right on their phones with time-stamped promotions.

All you need to do is click here and visit the Momares.com site. The trial is free, the process is simple and after just a few minutes you'll be a mobile marketer too. If you type in the promo code TURKEL, Marcos will add an additional 50 messages to your account for free. And if you send me an e-mail with your new keyword, I'll text you back and be your first .

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