Earlier this week I got an email from Steve Chipman, the co-founder of Media Funnel letting me know about a blog post he wrote regarding ways ski resorts could use the Media Funnel system. While we all know why companies blog about things like that, I let the down my “you’re marketing to me” guard and took a quick look. Needless to say, I was impressed with what I saw. While I try not to do too many posts like this, I think the occasional exploration into technologies that help resorts improve their marketing and/or make it more efficient are worth some attention. Here’s the 3 minute interview:
SlopeFillers: Ok, tell me about Media Funnel. What it is, where the idea came from, who is benefiting from it the most?
Steve: We came up with the idea for MediaFunnel two years ago when we realized Twitter was going to be increasingly adopted by businesses over time. At the time, there was no easy way to involve multiple employees without sharing a username and password across multiple users.
Plus, we anticipated that some businesses would need a level of editorial control – so we created a contributor role, modeled after WordPress’s concept of a contributor, which is a person who can add content, but who can’t publish content to the world. Companies who benefit the most from MediaFunnel are: those that want to involve many employees in the social media engagement process; those who want to support customers who log customer service issues on Twitter and Facebook; and those who want to engage customers and guests via both SMS text and social media.
SlopeFillers: You mentioned some of this in your blog post, but how do you see ski resorts getting the most out of Media Funnel?
Steve: Ski resorts can leverage the natural tendency for guests to use their mobile phones between runs. With the SMS interface to MediaFunnel, a resort can communicate in real time with guests and can also take positive guest comments and “forward” them to social media channels, such as Twitter and Facebook – in order to boost the resort’s social media marketing presence with “natural” content that comes straight from skiers who are on the slopes.
SlopeFillers: Going off that last part of your response about “guest comments”,. what are a few specific methods you would recommend to resorts for gathering these comments?
Steve: Resorts can promote the SMS number in several different ways: on their Web site; on a trail map or on anything else that’s visible to guests. The resort can provide a special offer in exchange for text comments, such as entry into a drawing for a lift ticket voucher or a drawing for a gift certificate to a mountainside shop or restaurant. MediaFunnel provides a report of all mobile numbers for a given campaign, from which a random drawing can then be generated.
SlopeFillers: When it comes down to it, for a resort with a tight budget this is another thing that will cost money, take time to learn, and doesn’t have guaranteed results. What does MediaFunnel have in the way of training and support that would help resorts quickly get started and make the most of their use of the system?
Steve: MediaFunnel takes just a few minutes to set up and we have text tutorials and YouTube videos on setup and features. Our team is also available for live, online help with setup via GoToMeeting, at no extra charge.
There’s a Standard Plan that comes with a 30 day trial and there’s also a Free Plan for organizations with two or fewer users and two or fewer social media accounts (one Twitter and one Facebook account, for example). The Free Plan does not include Twitter brand monitoring. The URL is: http://mediafunnel.com/pricing-plans/
We’ve made MediaFunnel extremely affordable. The Standard Plan is only $1 per user/channel (combination of one internal user and one channel) per month. With either plan, even during the Standard Plan trial period, we do charge for SMS usage, since that comes at a cost to us. The cost per SMS number is $2.95 per month and SMS message credits can be purchased in blocks. The entry level block is 100 messages and this costs $5.95. So, the total financial exposure for trying out MediaFunnel, with SMS, is only $8.80.
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