Chicago, IL, August 25, 2010 – Cellit, a leading provider of mobile marketing solutions, has been honored by Inc. Magazine in their annual ranking of the fastest growing businesses in America. This year’s Inc. 500 rankings were based on measured revenue growth from 2006 to 2009 for U.S.-based, privately held companies. Cellit’s revenue growth was an astounding 1186%, placing Cellit at #262 on this prestigious list and #10 for Chicago based companies.
Founded in 2005, Cellit has grown from its roots of providing on-demand real estate info via its House4Cell platform, to powering nationwide mobile campaigns for clients including IKEA, Subway, Blue Man Group, Cirque du Soleil, the Tribune Corporation and countless small and medium sized businesses. With a precision focus on customer-relationship-management through the mobile space, Cellit provides mobile solutions to clients that are quantifiable, cost effective and immediate.
“I am fortunate to have surrounded myself with an incredibly passionate, bright, and motivated team,” said David Wachs, President and Founder of Cellit. “Building our company on the three pillars of industry leading technology, superior strategic guidance, and proactive customer support has enabled us to grow – and even flourish – during these difficult economic times.”
In addition to Cellit’s inclusion on this year’s list, two of Cellit’s clients were also recognized in the rankings: GPS Insight, a provider of GPS tracking, navigation and messaging technology to fleet based customers, and ModCloth, an online retailer specializing in vintage clothing, accessories and décor. Both were early adopters for mobile technology, and have integrated the Cellit platform into the fabric of their business.
“We needed reliable, simple SMS text messaging communication between our customers and their drivers, and the capability to send urgent alerts in real time. There is no substitute for the type of mission critical, profoundly reliable service we receive every day from Cellit,” said Robert Donat, CEO of GPS Insight, whose company was #281 in the survey.
“Our customers are tech savvy and on the go. Mobile helps us connect with them when they want, how they want and wherever they are. ModCloth’s text messaging efforts produce instant engagement and feedback from our most loyal customers.” said Crystal Smith, SMS Coordinator at ModCloth, whose company was the #2 ranked company with 17,191% growth.
Cellit’s growth during this otherwise turbulent economic period is a reflection of the explosive interest in mobile technology and its impact on the consumer, combined with Cellit’s continued investment in systems and staff. Since 2005, Cellit has increased staff by 700%, launched 620,000 mobile campaigns, and sent over 33 million messages.
“As a company, Cellit sets incredibly high expectations, and we’re especially honored to be recognized for our achievements in becoming an industry leading mobile technology provider,” said Wachs. “Based on our growth during the first half of 2010, we’re already looking forward to submitting to the Inc. 500 for 2011.”
About Cellit, LLC
Headquartered in Chicago, Cellit was founded on the premise that mobile technology can be accessible to all by combining engineering expertise with world-class customer service and marketing support. Cellit develops innovative and cost-effective self-service solutions for mobile marketing, as well as custom mobile solutions for some of the world’s largest brands. With clients including Taco Bell, Subway, Zumiez, IKEA, and Cirque du Soleil, Cellit has a reputation for delivering groundbreaking custom mobile applications in record time. More information on Cellit can be found at their web site: http://www.cellit.com.
TMCnet featured an article on Cellit’s partnership with Quincy. Read more here:
Quincy, Cellit Launch Weather Alert Service, Cellit Climate
Chicago, IL, August 19, 2010 – Cellit announced today the successful launch of their automated weather alert system, Cellit Climate. In partnership with Quincy Newspapers, Inc., Cellit launched the service in Quincy’s eleven designated market areas.
“Beta testing” since October of last year, Cellit Climate leverages a proprietary, rules-based engine to deliver select National Weather Service alerts to the mobile phone. Since Cellit believes over-messaging the user can be annoying, and sending alerts after hours can disturb the recipient, the Cellit Climate system was designed to send alerts based on level of importance preferences established by the subscriber.
The system is technically advanced and flexible, allowing for a completely personalized experience. Subscribers can restrict weather alert delivery to certain parts of the day to avoid receiving unnecessary, late night messages. In addition, while other mobile weather services offer generic alerts, Cellit Climate provides specific details to better inform the subscriber, such as the effective start and end time for the alert and specific counties to be affected. Personalization features even allow subscribers to select which type of weather (snowstorm, tornado, thunderstorms, etc.) alert notifications they receive.
“It is critical for our broadcast partners to provide timely, accurate weather information to their viewers by every and any channel possible, including the mobile channel,” said Brian Bauer, VP of Operations for Cellit. “However, due to the uniquely personal nature of text messaging, it is also necessary to filter these alerts to meet the preferences of the recipient. Cellit Climate distributes weather alerts to Quincy’s viewers when they want them on their mobile devices. Cellit Climate pulls directly from the National Weather Service on a 24-7 basis, delivers hundreds of thousands of weather alerts within minutes of being issued.”
Cellit Climate is an add-on service for Cellit Studio, Cellit’s flagship campaign manager. Cellit Climate was developed to specifically support local news outlets in their broadcast television, radio and newspaper advertising space. Each message can include contextually relevant supplemental advertisements, such as an advertisement for tires during a snowstorm.
“We work closely with our news partners to ensure we are providing high value content to their audiences on their behalf,” said David Wachs, President of Cellit. “As these messages can potentially save lives, we are proud to offer an engine that delivers alerts quickly and accurately, while also serving as a revenue generator for our client.”
QNI has already seen substantial benefit from the system.
“Our viewers rely and trust in our ability to deliver critical news and information on time, every time,” said Mary Winters, Vice President of QNI’s New Media division. “Every time we have a severe weather event – rain, tornado or snowstorms – our stations receive countless calls and emails from viewers afterward thanking us for the service. We are very pleased to be extending our viewer-station connection via SMS in partnership with Cellit.”
The broadcast television stations and markets currently served by Cellit Climate include: KTIV-TV in Sioux City, IA; KTTC & KXLT in Rochester, MN; KWWL in Waterloo, IA; WAOW in Wausau, WI; WGEM in Quincy, IL; WKOW in Madison, WI; WQOW & WXOW in Eau Claire-La Crosse, WI; WREX in Rockford, IL; WSJV in Elkhart, IN; and WVVA in Bluefield, WV.
About Quincy Newspapers, Inc.
The story of Quincy Newspapers, Inc. (QNI) is a tale of two families and five generations of leadership that nurtured a single newspaper into a multi-media company now employing more than 900 people and serving markets in 14 states. With a history that dates back to newspaper publishing in 1835, the modern company was formed in 1926 with the publication of the first edition of the Herald-Whig, QNI’s newspaper serving the Quincy, Illinois and Hannibal, MO area. QNI prides itself on having news centric operations, with significant ties to the communities it serves. QNI currently owns 12 television stations, 2 newspapers, 2 radio stations and operates another broadcast television station under a joint sales agreement.
About Cellit, LLC
Headquartered in Chicago, Cellit is a leading provider of mobile information systems for the magazine and newspaper classifieds industries. Powering the mobile information systems for leading publications including Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Hartford Courant, For Rent magazine, Employment Guide, and AutoTrader Latino, Cellit has developed best of class systems to deliver a complete suite of solutions, including text messaging, mobile web, and iPhone applications. Information on Cellit can be found at their web site: http://www.cellit.com.
I tell people I text message for a living, and they laugh uncomfortably – not sure whether I’m joking or being serious. However, it’s true: I spend all day thinking about the way people interact with their phones, and how marketers can enhance their consumer’s experience by engaging this ‘new’ medium. Then I go home, and spend the night sending messages to my friends to make social plans, my co-workers to check in on any last minute/late night projects, and yes – even my mom to find out how her flower garden is going (this week: tackling the weeds around the bed of peonies). I compare the iPhone to the Evo; how the iPad impacts the mobile landscape; whether a $5 gift certificate is enough to drive participation in a particular promotion; if a client should offer a buy-one-get-one free offer or a percent off offer – and the list goes on and on.
I’ve recently noticed a rise in opinion pieces about mobile. These articles or blog postings often start with “I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about mobile lately,” and then proceed to make some valid, but well documented and rehashed points about the industry. It’s great that marketers of all stripes, sizes and interests are looking at it and contributing to the growing field of published documents, thought-leadership pieces and best practice manuals. While I really appreciate all the interest and focus on mobile, there seems to be a race to produce and contribute. As a result quite a bit of useless chatter has been created.
Last week I twice read how mobile was at an inflection point, with each author offering differing reasons as to how mobile has reached such point. I believe inflection point is a very specific term, and was shocked to have read about it multiple times. Articles like this, written by someone professing to be an expert, lure decision makers into believing that having any mobile campaign, even if it doesn’t work, is better than nothing at all.
To read about unrealistic expectations and disillusions of such a very promising and powerful medium is especially frustrating. Marketers are spending serious portions of budgets on mobile programs, and in some cases their mobile campaigns are designed to fail from the start.
In an emerging industry like mobile, where nobody has extensive experience, the rules are being defined as we go. However, while people are mentioning that adopting mobile is at an inflection point, the same can be said for the industry from a leadership perspective. It is time that opinion leaders truly emerge into the collective forefront, and distance themselves from the chatter. It is time that organizations bless and condone speakers, and help the uneducated sift through the many individuals, organizations and groups offering their perspectives.
Such a system should encompass three main components:
- Speakers Bureau Certification Program: A semi-informal process that ensures members of the database are qualified to speak on designated subjects (each speaker will list their areas of expertise, ranging from marketing to applications, mobile ad networks, SMS, mobile web, etc), are proficient public speakers and are educated on best practices and industry rules.
- Speakers Bureau Database: An online repository of contact information for endorsed speakers sorted by areas of expertise and specialty. This resource will allow organizations either based in the Midwest, or holding meetings in the Midwest, to quickly and easily identify local speakers to participate on panels, lead sessions and educate their attendees.
- Speakers Bureau Events Listings: Any event featuring a member of the Speakers Bureau Database speaking on the subject of mobile marketing will have their appearance listed on an online calendar.
I have a proposal in front of the Heartland Mobile Council for such a bureau. I spent some time today with Michael Becker from the MMA, and he assures me that the association is working on a certification program to help designate those people with the credentials to speak effectively on the subject. It’s an effort that Cellit takes seriously, as the work doubles when we have to re-educate a client who’s been given misinformation in the past.
I text message for a living, and I know there are others out there in the same situation. You want people like us talking to you, writing articles, and contributing – not the mobile hobbyist or lobbyist.
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