Recently, my wife and I moved to her hometown of South Boston, VA. South Boston, to a race fan is a well known town. To folks outside of the area, people think I’m talking about a rough area in Massachusetts. South Boston, Virginia is the home of the South Boston Speedway, a 4/10ths of a mile paved oval track that features some up and coming drivers as well as some local regulars. Daytona 500 winner Ward Burton, as well as current drivers Jeff Burton(Ward’s brother), Jeb Burton(Ward’s son), and Denny Hamlin, all got their start tearing up this little hometown track.

You are probably wondering what the heck does this have to do with Mobile Marketing? Ok. Now that the little background story is out of the way, allow me to entertain you with 5 ways these seemingly different activities are very related.

1. Mobile Apps – On NASCAR’s big tracks, under the bright lights, billions of dollars change hands. For years, businesses have had to have a ton of money to have a mobile app developed, hosted, and maintained.

This has changed. Just like little local racetracks do great things for a small town, now it is very affordable to have an iPhone and Android app for your small business.

2. Text to Win! – At large Sprint Cup races, there is usually a screen at the track where people can enter a keyword like “RACEDAY” and send it to a 5 digit number. They are then entered into a contest, sweepstakes or a newsletter of some sort. This has mass appeal generally intended for a national audience and costs the big sponsors tens of thousands of dollars to capture this information.

More and more, local companies have the ability to send out their daily or weekly specials to their customers using this method. Schools and activity centers use it for weather related closings and delay broadcasts. It is a very effective way to reach nearly everyone on your list in under a minute! If you are near the town of South Boston, text WOSSTG and send it to 41242. World of Sports and Spare Times Grill use this service here in town  as it is a very quick and simple way to reach their customers who have opted in. How do they get folks to opt in? Owner Jay Burnett is offering a year of Free bowling to one lucky winner, and in a few months he will offer another great prize for signups and existing users.

3. Social Media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Google+, Pinterest, WhatsApp.. Why does every driver have social media profiles? It translates into more money! The more popular you can make your social brand not only allows for great interactions with fans, but it creates more shares, which in turn, generates massive revenue!

Five years ago, most businesses were happy to have a web site up for their online presence. Now, in 2015, if you aren’t on at least two of the big networks, you are losing money to the competition down the street. More and more companies are offering to manage your online brand, and again, what was a luxury investment for the big international brands, is easily afforded to local bars, restaurants, family fun centers and more!

4. CAUTION! – When an accident happens on the track, the yellow caution flag and lights come out. It tells everyone to slow down, make a pit stop, and regroup and plan for the rest of the race. Maybe it’s new tires, adjustments, fuel or all of that, it is a good time to re-evaluate where you are at and how to improve. The driver cannot do it by his or herself. They need a Crew Chief, and a pit crew.

Is it time you slow down in the race of life and re-evaluate where you are at in your business? Do you have time to run your business and still update your web site, get a mobile app, send out text messages, and build relationships on two, three, or maybe more constantly evolving social networking sites? Maybe sitting down with alocal online marketing consultant would be beneficial. Most of the time, the planning is free and virtually painless.

5. Checkered Flag – Ahh, the finish line. Racers get so excited when they win a race, they do burnouts, back flips, and climb the fences! It is an exhilarating feeling to accomplish something you work so hard for. Until the next day, when you need to start preparing for the next race.

Celebrate your victories, your successes, your accomplishments. Your business and your employees need the occasional “atta boy”! Maybe this week, you find an hour to set up a social media page or profile for your company. Maybe it’s an hour updating your web site. Maybe you can schedule a sit down with an expert to make that proverbial “pit stop”. These are all bringing you one step close to winning your “local race”

Because just remember, in racing, “If you ain’t first… you’re last

 

Jay Vics is the founder and Owner of Jay Vics Inc., a local mobile marketing consulting and development firm in Virginia and North Carolina. Their flagship services, JVI Mobile and JVI Social have been utilized by dozens of “Mom & Pop” businesses for the last three years. It is a great way to market your local, hometown business. For more information visit JVI Mobile and JVI Social,