Business Owners - New Shocking Trends That Will Make Or Break You 2014


If you are a business owner or an organization that caters to commerce via the web, take note. These are the alarming trends that you must be aware of if you plan on staying competitive in the future. This information could change your marketing strategy for the new year.

Do you own an ugly website that is not optimized for use with mobile devices? Now is the time to start thinking about these trends which speak for themselves. If you fail to pay attention now, you will risk losing your position in the market. Use these facts wisely, and then act on it accordingly.

If you are a retail store owner, a proprietor of a service based company, or you are responsible for your company's marketing efforts, stop what you are doing and take the time to read each and every oneof these facts. This is critical information you must know in this day and age if you desire to stay competitive.

Now then... let's take a look at what's going on in the world of your consumers, the people that you serve each and every day that make your business profitable and sustainable. Here are the shocking facts!

56% of adults are using smartphones at the close of 2013. That's more than half of your customer base. If you're not serving up your company's presence in an easily viewable way on a smartphone or mobile device, they will bounce (leave) immediately after discovering your site.

75% of Americans take their smartpones with them to the bathroom. While sitting on the can, you can potentially have the undivided attention of your target market! But can your website hold their attention while they are held captive?

27% of companies worldwide planned on implementing location-based marketing in 2013. That means optimizing your website to gain placement in local searching. Is your site optimized for placement in your local market? This is a critical area you must master to remain competitive in your town's market area.

Retailer apps with "store mode" gather 5X more more engagement than regular sites. This means you need a mobile web app that is optimized for veiwing on a smartphone across all platforms. Is your boring traditional website going to cut the mustard when your competitors have mobile apps developed to display their wares to your customers? You must compete in this category.

Mobile devices out-populated the entire human population by the end of 2013. That means your customers own multiple smartphones and tablets that they use for browsing and shopping purposes. Have you tapped into this alarming trend?

46% of "showroom shoppers" still made their purchases in-store in 2013. What does that tell you about the remaining balance? I'm sure you canfigure that out.

Price comparisons weremade on a daily basis by your customers in 2013 by use of smartphones and tablets. Consumers don't need to pick up a newspaper or hit the stores by foot to find the deals they are looking for. You must know your competition, and be able to stand out on the web or you will lose out.

Consumers spent 6X more time browsing retailer web apps in 2013 than what they did in 2012. If you're not set up with a mobile-friendly site, you will have a high "bounce rate" (customers immediately leaving your site after arriving) for your online audience.

25% of marketing executives see mobile devices as the most disruptive force in their industry as of 2013. If the big shots are preparing for this trend, what should small businesses do? Take note immediately before ending up on the losin end of the marketing war.

65% of US shoppers do their research on a smartphone, tablet, or PC before they make a purchasing decision. So you've got a great website... you've won half the battle. But what about the mobile device market? Are you prepared?

54% of consumers would prefer using touchscreen devices right in your store to assist their shopping experience. Is your store equipped with tablet stations to assist them? The trend in small business is to equip retail areas with tablets that have custom catalogs via a proprietary web app, and more are popping up as we speak.

48% of consumers use (or would like to use) their smartphones while shopping in your store. Do you have a poster or sign displaying your webapp to greet customers when they arrive at your location? Those that do keep the attention of thier customers long after they have left the premises. This can prove to be quite profitable.

Nearly 50% of shoppers feel that they are more informed than your store sales associates. You can work with this trend by providing customers a way to allow them to continue learning about your products and services (i.e. a web app), or stay in the dark and let your sales staff argue with them to prove who knows the facts better.

80% of smartphone owners want more smartphone optimized product information while they are shopping in your store. In 2014, you had better serve them with most slick, user-friendly web app possible. This will alleviate the demand on your sales staff to assist your customers.

Within 5 years, half of all smartphone shoppers will be using mobile wallet apps to provide payment for your goods and services. Is this in your future business plan?

Time spent using mobile apps is now challenging television. Your customers are now spending 127 minutes per day on mobilel apps compared to 168 minutes watching television. Are you tapping into this trend by providing the best mobile experience for your business?

24% of consumers used a mobile device to browse Black Friday deals over Thanksgiving in 2012, up from 14.3% in 2011. The numbers are not in for 2013, but it will be highly likely that the percentage has taken another hike.

4 out of 5 consumers have used a smartphone to shop as of 2012. The number is on a steep incline, and this has become the norm. This year, you probably will struggle to find a person who has not used their smartphone to shop at least once.

57% of consumers surveyed said they would not recommend a business with a poorly designed website that is not optimized for mobile viewing and shopping to their friends.

53% of consumers say they have stopped an in-store purchase because they found a better deal online using their smarphone. The only way to combat this behavior is to provide the best mobile optimized website for your customers use.

44% of smartphone owners look for coupon opportunities on their mobile devices to take advantage of special deals and pricing in your store. 17% of consumers have already used mobile coupons at least once as of 2012.

These are enough facts to shock you into the reality of the 2014 consumer mindset, and should more than convince you of how imperative it is to make mobile marketing a focus of your advertising and sales efforts. If you remain unconvinced, which is nearly impossible if you are serious about serving the needs of your customers, stay tuned for part two. I'll have another slew of facts to open your eyes.

Considering all of this information, you might be overwhelmed. But you don't have to solve all of your high tech marketing marketing challenges all at once. Here are a few easy steps you can consider taking to get you on the road to conquering mobile marketing in 2014 and prosper your business.

1. Evaluate Your Website - Pick up your smartphone and pull up your company's website, and take a look at what your smartphone weilding customers are seeing. If the formatting is horrible and it doesn't present well, have an expert evaluate what can be done to have it optimized for mobile viewing. This is your lowest-cost action item on your high tech to-do list.

2. Identify Areas Of Improvement - Even if you have a mobile website, what easy improvements can be made for your customer's experience that won't break the bank?

3. Ask Your Customers What THEY Want - Find out what things your customers would like to have on your mobile website that would streamline their shopping and purchasing experience. Post a sign in your store, hand out a survey to buyers, or post a message on your website asking for ideas. Your customers might have ideas which could have a great impact in increasing your sales.

4. Get A Local Expert - find a local web developer that is experienced in creation of mobile web apps that can work with you in person and coach you to the next level. Beware of online services that claim to provide cheap instant solutions. You might waste your hard-earned money, because many online "consultants" are only out to get your money with no personal interaction or coaching.

Last but certainly not least, if you are located in the Central Missouri area, let me give a shameless plug for Web App Concepts, a locally-owned team of web app developers that can provide you with a complete web app solution for your business at a rate the heavy duty consultants cannot compete with... all while providing a superior prodcut to boot!

Get in touch with me via email at "" for a free recommendation and evaluation of your current mobile marketing needs.

Carlton Flowers
Partner, Web App Concepts LLC

p.s. Ask about our high-profile web app recently developed for the Missouri Chamber of Commerce "GovWatch" program! See it here --->

How To Make Money With A Blog - My Secret Source!


One of the biggest struggles people have who are active bloggers is finding the best way to monetize the traffic that it generates.

If you have an active blog and you just haven't found the best way to generate money from your work, I'm about to reveal the best source that I've found to date that pays out the largest margins for affiliate orders... and it's super easy to implement. Read this carefully, and take action!

People often ask me, "how can I make money with my blog site?" I've gotten so many inquiries about this recently that it is necessary for me to write this article to explain the details in full.

I've been blogging for over 5 years, and I've tried several methods. I had great success with Amazon for a period of time, making as much as $500 per month. But the percentage paid for referral traffic is low, from 4% to 7%. But my new source is even easier to use, and pays much better.

The source I am using pays a considerable amount of money when people click through and purchase the specials listed on my rotating banner, and the best part about this company is the fact that they give extreme discounts on brand-name merchandise that is in high demand.

The company that I now use in place of is called Moolala. Visitors to your blog site receive anywhere from 50% to 90% off the price of merchandise offered in stores and online, and they can only get these deals through this referral source.

The deals listed on the Moolala website are normally time-sensitive, ranging from 1 day to a week or more. This gives visitors a sense of urgency to purchase. Once the deals are gone, the deep discount disappears. It is very similar in nature to Groupon, but you get paid well to refer the participants.

For example, there was a recent deal on a smartphone/iPod external charging pack that retails for $40. It was offered for $8 on Moolala, and the referring affiliates were paid $3 for every purchase they brought. That's an unheard of 37.5% comission paid on the already deeply discounted purchase price. That's unheard of in the world of affiliate marketing.

There's an added bonus to the Moolala discount service. You can build your own affiliate matrix and earn income up to 4 levels of depth for others who take advantage of the affiliate program. This could turn into serious income for your blog site.

There are affiliates earning several hundred to several thousand dollars per month using this monetization source. That is significant. The most important thing you can do when you build a blog site that is generating traffic is to connect it with the most profitable source for converting that traffic into money.

Moolala is fairly new, and it is growing. The tools they provide are being enhanced to help you earn money. All you need to do is copy and paste HTML code to add banners to your blog site, and you are done. Plus they offer excellent support to help you with the technical aspects of adding banners to your site.

My best advice to those who want to earn money blogging is to focus on putting out quality content on the topics within your niche and build your readership. This way, you don't come accross as a "spammy" site attempting to take advantage of visitors.

If you create the best content and focus on building your audience, people will passively click on the banners provided by Moolala on their own accord. That's the easiest and least aggressive way to turn your efforts into recurring income.

Click on the banner below and you will be forwarded to the Moolala site where you can watch an introductory video that will give you all the details. I invite you to join my matrix now, and start earning with Moolala. I'm confident that it will be as good for you as it has been for me!

Carlton Flowers
Blogging Strategist

Click the banner now, and get started today!

Moolala Banner


Pinterest Advertising & Promotional Strategy - Three Secret Tips That Get Results Fast


Unless you live rent-free under a large rock on a deserted island, you're probably aware of the fact that Pinterest is the hottest new social scene on the Internet today. But as a small business owner, you may be struggling with finding ways to tap into the huge audience that Pinterest has built. Here are three secret strategies you can employ to get immediate exposure and free advertising for your brand.

1. "Join The Club"

Have you ever seen a popular board that is run by a community, rather than a single user? People make contributions to a community board and they tend to generate tons of activity. The great thing about it is the fact that the crowd is already there, and members expect to see new things posted each and every day. Make contributions to the board, along the lines of its theme, and place your brand or logo on all of your pictures. Host the picture on your website, and write a story about it. When users click on the Pinterest picture, they will be redirected to your landing page. Once they are on your site, pitch your visitors with an irresistable special offer or call-to-action for your product or service.

2. Host A Viral Video

Keeping with the idea of participating on public boards, post a video from YouTube of a popular viral video and give your reaction in the comments. Tell your followers why you found this particular video to be so entertaining, funny, touching, moving, or motivating. Make it personal. Again, link the video to your own website landing page and feel free to garnish the surroundings with as many tantalizing advertisments for your business as you can think of. You will generate a lot of traffic, so make the ads effective!

3. Caption Contest Trick

Post a picture of something intriguing or funny. Use a picture that would be a shure-shot for a caption contest. You can borrow funny pet pictures or animal pics from all over the net. Post the picture as it is, or add your brand logo to one corner. Ask your readers what they would write as the caption to the picture. Host the pic on your website, and allow comments to be posted in blog format style. Have a special offer or giveaway prepared for the best caption submitted, or something for everyone who participates!

Three easy ideas, tons of potential eyeballs on your brand. It's quick, simple, and best of all, free. Like these ideas? How about a complete guide that gives you step-by-step instructions on setting up a complete marketing campaign on Pinterest? You could be moments away from dominating your niche and exploding your online audience! Just click the link below the salutation and check out my video special report and see for yourself...

Carlton Flowers
Pinterest Marketer


"Pinterests" - Pinteresting Things Business Owners Should Realize


Business owners, sales professionals, service consultants, and everyone else who works in some type of entrepreneurial profession, there are some "Pinteresting" things you should know about marketing your business with Pinterest. I have made a brief list of "Pinterests" for you that will move you into action.

These are the interesting things you should keep in mind if you aren't yet marketing yourself on the hot new mega pictoria social media site. Enjoy!


  • The bulk of users in this online community have a household income ranging from $25k to $75k per year. This is a fertile target market for your business.
  • 60% of the users have a college education, and the majority of them are females. In households, the women are usually the decision-makers when it comes to purchasing.
  • The average Pinterest user spends 88.3 minutes per day on the website. Couple that with the fact that there are 10,000,000 unique visitors coming to the site every single month.
  • Pinterest is the #7 traffic source on the Internet today. That means you can potentially drive massive amounts of visitors to your website. More traffic is generated on a referral basis than from YouTube, Google Plus, and LinkedIn combined.
  • If you have any type of product or service that can be represented in a nice photo, you could get viral exposure, all for free.
  • Because of the visual nature of human beings, Pinterest is a highly effective way to establish and maintain top-of-mind dominance in your niche for your brand by keeping a regular presence.
  • When you post pictures that link to your website, you get powerful backlinks that add to your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) score. That means you’ll have a better chance of showing up on the first pages of Google when people are searching for your product or service.
  • Pinterest isn’t just for pictures… you can also post videos. The possibilities for generating buzz for your business through videos is endless.

Want this in a nice PDF format to keep on your computer, or to post and share on social networks? Then click this link to download the Free report! -->

Carlton Flowers
Business Marketing Expert 

Facebook Holdouts In 2012 - Wise Reasoning, Paranoia, or Social Ineptness?


It is the final month of the year 2012, and the global Facebook population is at an astounding 1 billion people. Yet in your community of educated professional people, there are still holdouts.

What are the common reasons for the restistance to participation? Are some of the reasons logical? Are they fear-based, anti-social, or with valid reason?

Whatever the case may be, one thing is for sure. We have experienced a paradigm shift in the way that we as a people communicate and interact in this society, and whether you like it or not, it's called Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg has forever changed the world with the idea he hatched over a decade ago.

But getting back to the topic at hand, the Facebook Holdouts come several different flavors. We'll take an in depth look at each one, and then hold a general discussion. So let's have a look at the variety of the common Facebookless citizens of our world!


The Technologically Challenged Facebook Holdout - this holdout doesn't participate on Facebook because they simply don't know how to. They are either elderly or unplugged from all technology, living off the land somewhere deep in the woods. This type of holdout could care less, because they don't have the wherewithall to figure out any type of technology more complex than a feature phone. They get a pass for not participating.

The Paranoid Conspiracy Facebook Holdout - due to an enormous fear of "big brother" watching every move they make, this Facebook Holdout wouldn't dare post a single detail on such a public forum for fear that the government will use it against them whenever they round up all the people and throw them in concentration camps. Forget the fact that this paranoid individual doesn't break the law in any way. That doesn't matter. But the fear of retribution from posting about posting your favorite cookie recipe is real.

The Ostrich Facebook Holdout - this individual is antisocial and would rather bury their head in the digital sand and not be known. They are happy in isolation, and could care less about interacting with people. Facebook would only be an intrusion into this person's perfect quiet life in isolation.

The "I-Don't-Trust-My-Spouse" Facebook Holdout - Infidelity fuels this holdout's funk with Facebook. With the divorce rate as high as it is, and the growing number of affairs that start on social networks, the IDTMS types not only stay off the network themselves, but they also forbid their philandering significant others from flirting with the Facebook family. Sadly, Facebook forbiddance fails to fend off the frivolous behavior.

Enough about the obvious Facebook Holdouts. We've seen these types, and they are no surprise. But what really gets me are those that don't have an excuse to hold out on the world's largest social community.

What leaves me confused are those who would obviously benefit from having a Facebook profile and interacting with people. This would include business owners, sales professionals of all types, those in medical professions, consultants, attorneys, and others of similar nature.

People with these backgrounds have no excuse to hold out on Facebook whatsoever. It goes against the very purpose of their profession - to interact with people and transact business.

Let me paint a scenario...

It's 1975. A new business opens up in a local town. It's a bakery. The owner has the greatest tasting pastries and breads that any tastebuds could ever experience. He wants everyone to experience his award-winning goods, and is excited to open for business.

But before he opens, he tells the phone company that he refuses to have a listing. He chooses to keep his number unlisted. He also is against signs. He will have no part of any signs being erected on his structure.  He also has a beef with the local newspaper, so he refuses to place any ads for his bakery in the paper. Plus he doesn't own a radio or TV, so he can't see spending money advertising with either.

Do you think this would be a wise marketing strategy for a startup business? Of course not! Sure, maybe this guy could generate a fair amount of traffic from the waft of fresh bread baking in the ovens. But he would be turning a deaf ear to the majority of his market by not making his presence known.

I know what you're thinking... that was a stupid example. But it's no more stupid than a professional or business owner in 2012 that refuses to leverage theirself with a Facebook presence.

It is an undeniable fact that the majority of the eyeballs in this world are plastered on Facebook. It's the new town hall, the new phonebook, the new high-tech hangout. Call it what you want, this is where people now live and play.

But for the Facebook Holdout that can find no credible reason for their refusal, what fuels their fight against the most obvious free marketing opportunity on planet Earth?

Carlton Flowers
Self-Proclaimed Facebook King

Coming Soon: How I Figured Out The Golden Path to Facebook Marketing Success Without A Single  Advertisement!


All Quiet On The Gadget Front - October 2012


If you haven't noticed, my blog activity has been close to dead for the past 30 days. Why? Because nothing excites me except impatiently waiting for the Galaxy Note 2 to arrive in the US, namely with AT&T Wireless.

My impatience and anticipation has caused me to turn a deaf ear to any and all gadget talk as of recent. At first, I thought it was writer's block. But it's not. It is clearly the fault of the upcoming brontosaurus-sized smartphone that Samsung has yet to release into my awaiting hands.

We should see a grand event on October 24th, 2012 in New York City. Whether or not this means the Galaxy Note 2 will be on the shelves in my local AT&T Store is another question. But I'm sure it won't be long until it will be stocked.

I've had a lot of mixed feelings this month regarding my Samsung Galaxy S2 smartphone. It has been my most favorite beloved device of my entire life, and I don't know if I will be sad to see it go just yet. Will I long for the 4.3" size after I get my new Galaxy Note 2 that practically requires a backpack to haul around? I don't know.

The prediction that I have for myself is that I will not mind the huge size, because the Note 2 will replace my need for a tablet. I will probably be more than satisfied thanks to all of the new features, the larger display, and the functional S Pen stylus that comes with the unit.

But I truly hope that the larger 5.5" size doesn't become a burden. I already have a situation on my hands, literally. The 4.3" display of my Galaxy S2 is big enough that I can't reach the upper left corner of the screen with my thumbs while using the device one-handed.

But will this be an annoyance with the Galaxy Note 2, or a blessing in disguise? I mean, let's look at it this way... if the display is more than an inch greater in diagonal size, maybe I won't even attempt to use the smartphone with one hand. This could cut down on a lot of uneccesary acrobatic handling.

Who knows... maybe this will encourage me to only pick up my device when I truly need to peck out an email, important text, or surf the net. That could make me more efficient in other activities I need to be doing without having one hand and half of my brain tied up in my device.

I'm also predicting that my office desk will become a lot less cluttered with papers and sticky notes. With the Galaxy Note 2 and the handwriting recognition software, I shouldn't have any reason to be hoarding paper notes any longer. We'll just have to see if this becomes true once I get the phablet in my hands.

Overall, I'm looking forward to jumping on the Galaxy Note 2 upgrade as soon as I am elible with extra cash in my hands for the down payment of what I would think will end up being $200.

Until then, I'll see if I can kick-start the creative process and actually pay attention to the hot topics in the tech sector. Your comments and suggestions are welcomed!

Carlton Flowers
Lazy Note 2 Anticipator

The Website Traffic Conundrum - Advice To Business Owners


So you are a business owner, and you are trying to increase your sales by offering your products or services on a website. You spent a pile of money paying a designer and a programmer to get your site up and running. The day finally came that your site went live, and after all of the fireworks fizzled, you discovered the fact that you have a little bit of a problem… YOU HAVE NO VISITORS!

The buildup and letdown described in this scenario is a common occurrence with brick-and-mortar business owners that are trying to increase their cash flow with web-based sales. Most will turn to SEO “expert” consultants or other marketing consultants and spend yet another considerable amount of hard-earned money to fix the problem and bring the much-needed traffic to their website. But the fact is, they are overlooking the most effective and cheapest solution to the problem… Twitter marketing.

Twitter just happens to be one of the top social media sites planet earth for attracting and retaining new potential clients within a specific geographical area. There is no other way to accomplish such a feat on any other platform on or off the internet. When properly implemented, a Twitter marketing campaign can start bringing in targeted customers within days of getting started. To tap into the ever expansive reservoir of potential clients dwelling within the Twitter community, follow these simple steps:

1. Create A Friendly Twitter Presence – If you don’t already have an account, get one now. Post your picture so people can identify with you as a person. Make several well thought-out tweets to introduce yourself to the community, and tell everyone about yourself and why you are there.

2. Create An Inviting Profile – Your profile should be clear about your business intent, but it should also let people know that you are a human being who likes to interact with others, have fun, and give back to the community.

3. Link To A Custom Landing Page – Create a special Twitter landing page just for your Twitter visitors. Focus on selling yourself before your products or services. By doing this, you will create long-lasting relationships that will translate into sales from life-long customers instead of one-time buyers.

4. Use To Find New Prospects – Use to find people in your local target market to follow. Introduce yourself and get involved! This will create the bonds that you need to grow a loyal following of new clients for your business.

5. Post Every Day - Don’t let a day go by that you don’t post to Twitter. Give more to the Twitter community than you take by sharing meaningful information and interact with your followers. This will give you the best long-term return for your investment of time!

Next time, we'll talk about the new Internet sensation, Pinterest, and how it can explode your website with a rush of new traffic from your local market area!

Carlton Flowers
Marketing Strategist