In 1994 a matrix bar code, now known as the QR code, was developed by Toyota as a way
to track vehicles in the manufacturing process. It wasn’t until 2011 that QR code marketing became a widely used tactic among marketers. It’s intriguing that these small, static visual blocks are now a new technology utilized by businesses to offer a way for consumers to receive additional virtual information about promotions. But, these handy codes are completely foreign to a majority of mobile device users. Slowly, but surely, they have caught on with the consumer and proven to be a top resource for target consumers. 
According to a recent report from Nellymoser, QR codes have jump started response rates from consumers and are now shown to have the highest response rate among direct marketing tactics.
QR codes have no limits on location, which is a no brainer advantage for any business. They can be found in magazines, on tv and in flyers just to name a few.
Most importantly, they are not limited to connecting consumers with a company’s website; however, when it does, it needs to direct to mobile websites – which loads quicker and provides the most relevant information. They can also direct consumers with a call-to-action via videos, sweepstakes, a social media page and even an eCommerce site. Regardless of where one can find a QR code, it proves that consumers are actively engaging with their devices simultaneously with another medium.
Nellymoser’s report also found that codes promoting mobile coupons or a chance to enter a sweepstakes have a higher response rate.
With the increasing success of these scan able blocks, businesses of all sizes, including one of the largest: Target (see our recent blog regarding this topic), are being integrated into a well designed mobile strategy.
It was announced this October that Target will be using QR codes to make shopping for this years hottest toys a breeze. Starting on Oct 14th the stores will feature the 20 hottest toys of the 2012 season on their main isle. Each toy will feature a unique QR code that allows a sneaky parent to quickly scan the toy to purchase and ship to any US location for free. This allows parents to purchase surprise Christmas gifts without having to hide them in the shopping cart. The toy doesn’t even have to be in stock at your local store. You can scan the code on the empty peg and the hottest toys of the season will be on their way to your house. It’s a revolution in holiday shopping. For anyone who has ever had to hunt the toys isles for the year’s hottest items the ease of scanning a code will come as a unique reminder of how mobile technology is making our lives easier. Whether through text messaging, mobile websites, or QR codes, mobile technology is proving to be at the forefront of marketing enhancement strategies.
Multi-channel marketing has once again been highlighted as the best way for firms to find success. While traditional advertising utilized just one channel in its marketing endeavors, internet campaigns, mobile strategy and wide platform use all have to be employed in the modern day if brands are to reach out to as many customers as possible.
For those developing mobile strategy, there are several components that easily slot together, helping to create a well planned and innovative marketing campaign. QR codes, mobile advertising, social media use and text marketing can all be used together to create a powerful combination of platforms, with brands being able to optimize the number of consumers that they reach.
Utilizing as many channels as possible is essential to reach an active audience. Not all consumers have smartphones, which means that text marketing remains an important method of contacting people, especially if the target audience falls into categories that are not likely to be surfing the web on the latest gadget. Likewise, augmented reality and QR codes are great tools for drawing the real world and the digital one closer together, with active interaction being able to take place between consumers and brands. Product launches are a great example of how marketers can utilize all channels, with SMS used to contact customers, social media enabled to create a buzz, and optimized mobile platforms used to offer videos and content.
For brands who want to succeed in their marketing, a multichannel approach is becoming increasingly important. By embracing as many platforms as possible, more consumers can be reached.
For more information on how you can integrate the third screen into your mobile, register here for our free webinar, “Integrating the Third Screen to Get In Your Consumer’s Pocket”, this Thursday, September 20th.
It started with the invention of the television. Then there was the personal computer. And now the “third screen”, the mobile device, has confirmed that we are, undeniably, screen obsessed. This increase in the availability of entertainment and information has brought about a generation of mobile multitaskers – 86% of people are regularly using their mobile phones while interacting with another screen. This sort of “consumer ADD” can cause an advertisers message to be ignored, unless one properly goes about integrating medial channels with multiple screens to create an engaging brand experience.
Integrating Media Channels – Mobile
Integrating mobile into your existing traditional media campaigns is easier than you may think. While third screen apps are a great option for those with a generous budget, there are several options that are affordable and still highly effective such as QR Codes and text marketing.
On-screen QR Codes during television ads can be used to drive consumers to your brand’s mobile website where they can receive an exclusive offer, get more information about a product or service, or even interact with branded entertainment. With a QR code strategy it is important that you have a true mobile website to ensure a user interacts positively with your brand.
If your brand has not yet adopted mobile web technology, you can still integrate the third screen through text marketing. Whether your existing advertising is on TV or online, you can include language to prompt consumers to text in to a short code to opt-in to an SMS program. This can be anything from a one-time offer to registering for a customer loyalty or rewards program.
For more information on how you can integrate the third screen into your mobile, register here for our free webinar, “Integrating the Third Screen to Get In Your Consumer’s Pocket”, on Thursday, September 20th.
A new study has revealed that Android is leading the market in the number of users who scan QR codes. Quick Response (QR) codes are increasing in popularity, enabling consumers to scan the barcode images with their phone and be taken immediately to a pre-formatted email, a download, or a mobile website. Although many people might think Apple would lead this market, ScanLife has shown that 53 percent of all scans are made by individuals with smartphones using Android.
The survey was conducted to find out how consumers interacted with QR codes during the second quarter of 2012. ScanLife said that the promise of video content was the leading reason for scanning barcodes. Other popular reasons were app downloads and social media opportunities, followed by loyalty programs and contents.
Mike Wehrs, ScanLife’s president and chief executive said, “More than 50 percent of smartphone users have scanned a bar code so the behavior has become relatively mainstream. Now the technology can work even harder by delivering relevant experiences based on all of this metadata like time of day, language, or location. This is now where we see the next phase going and that is where it gets really powerful.”
The latest research has shown that QR codes are becoming an indispensable marketing strategy that companies must start to use if they want to help engage customers with their brand. Moreover, in a modern world where brand innovation and identity remains vital to long term success, mobile marketers must ensure that barcode strategies are integrated into their advertising.
In recent months, QR codes are enjoying tremendous popularity. The term “QR codes” refers to quick response codes, and an increasing number of consumers are utilizing this modern day form of marketing. If you’re looking to promote websites and want an instant follow-through from advertising literature, using QR codes could be the ideal way to interact with customers in a modern and trendy way.
The Most Innovative Mobile Marketing
QR codes are increasing in their prevalence and can now be spotted on everything from fashion items and billboards to television programs and magazines. These small square boxes of black and white can easily engage with consumers, especially those who want to be in vogue with the technological times. Any individual with a QR reader on his or her phone can instantly scan the code and follow the QR to its destination, whether the process downloads an app, sends a text, or opens a variety of mobile websites.
The use of QR campaigns is still in its infancy, and for every three or four people following instructions by text, around one person will scan a QR code. However, if this means that you can increase your marketing response by 25 to 33 percent, this method is worth including in marketing campaigns. With the black and white boxes very inexpensive to create and printing costs nominal in terms of overall marketing budgets, the response rate can cover more than costs, offering you the ideal opportunity to utilize the latest trend to interact with customers and drive increased sales.
Quick Response Codes (QR Codes) have made their way to the US and retailers are utilizing the cryptic little codes in both interactive and mysterious ways.
For instance, look for JC Penny’s to impress this Christmas season with the “Who’s Your Santa” promotion. Send a wrapped gift with a QR Code printed on the “Santa Tag”. When scanned, the gift recipient will hear a personal voice recorded message from the sender. The genius of this promotion is far-reaching; in that, interaction does not end with one consumer but continues on to include many in on the fun. The intrigue of not knowing who sent the gift until the tag has been scanned adds to the excitement.
Old Navy is also banking on the inherent ambiguity of the QR Code as they recently kicked off their “Egg Hunt” promotion. Shoppers scan barcodes found anywhere within Old Navy locations to potentially reveal a prize. The sweepstakes will reward customers with instant wins, or store discounts. Participating customers are also automatically entered to win a Grand Prize of $50,000. This promotion will without a doubt drive traffic to Old Navy.
Heineken used their QR Code campaign “Open Your World” to grab the attention of large music festival crowds. Festival goers created personalized Heineken “U-Code” stickers which they stuck to themselves. Each sticker when scanned revealed something about that person. Some examples of personal messages read “I came from the Global Village”, “I’m not wearing any underwear”, and “Who’s Justin Bieber”. People became walking billboards of sorts. The promotion enhanced the festival experience by providing ways for meeting new people by scanning each other, and created buzz.
QR Codes are essentially a way to link the consumer to online content. This leaves the opportunities here wide open. The tricky part is getting the patron to feel compelled to take the time to scan the code. It seems that figuring out how to harness the curiosity of others using QR codes is very possible and full of potential.
A new QR code marketing campaign has showcased just how effective this form of advertising can be for companies wanting to develop digital innovations. Twentieth Century Fox has undertaken a new scheme allowing film lovers to buy Ice Age tickets via QR codes snapped on their smartphones. This helps to sell cinema tickets in a modern and mobile way.
QR codes in advertising are becoming increasingly popular. When used in an innovative way, they can grab the attention of tech-savvy individuals and increase sales as a result. During July, Twentieth Century Fox has had QR codes placed on promotional material created by Valpack for their latest movie. By scanning the code with a smartphone, consumers will be able to instantly check theater time slots and purchase tickets to the latest movie in the Ice Age brand on the mobile website. The move is a smart one, especially as figures from Valpack have shown that people utilizing vouchers from the company are 23 percent more likely to have seen films in the theater over the past 30 days.
Bridging the gap between the print and digital worlds is an important step for companies to take. As shown by Twentieth Century Fox, utilizing print and digital alongside each other could be the ideal way to get consumers’ attention from promotional literature to sales opportunities in one simple step. And, with an increasing number of people using smartphones and being aware of the perks that QR codes can offer, marketing with QR codes can have positive results for companies that utilize them.
A recent study by comScore revealed some very interesting data regarding QR code usage amongst consumers. It found that 38 percent of respondents had scanned QR codes placed on product packaging, but that the best performing QR code advertising was placed in newspapers or magazines. Half of smartphone users who had scanned the QR codes advertising promotions had done so from these types of print media.
These types of scannable codes have been part of mobile marketing for several years now. Smartphone users can simply point their phones at a code to scan it in the same manner as a cashier in a store scans a barcode to record the price of an item at the checkout.
Only 10 percent of smartphone users scanned business cards or brochures, according to the survey results. Approximately one-third of respondents reported that they scanned a flyer, poster, or a website using their smartphone.
I can understand why newspapers and magazines would be the most popular media for QR code marketing use among consumers. A person who is reading a newspaper or a magazine is more likely to take his or her time to read through the material in detail. Web surfers, in contrast, tend to skim through what they are looking at. Another reason why print media works better with QR codes in advertising is that this material can include instructions about what these square codes are and how to use them effectively.
Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner, and signifies the beginning of the 2012 summer travel season for many Americans. This year, many travelers are using their mobile phones to research, book, and review their summer vacations. Business owners in the hospitality industry can win big this travel season by using mobile marketing to offer special deals and reservation options.
These Mobile Solutions Can Increase Traffic During Summer
Many big brands in travel have already adopted mobile marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy to reach travelers in new ways. Courtyard Hotels by Marriott have added QR codes to their lobbies that allow guests to scan a virtual concierge to find points of interest, restaurant reviews and reservations, and even weather and traffic information around the hotel location. This increases the level of interaction and convenience for many of Courtyard’s guests, adding to the overall guest experience.
Other travel and hospitality businesses can use mobile engagement to increase new visitors and visitor loyalty. Airlines such as American Airlines have embraced mobile to offer a new channel to their customers during the most competitive time of the year for new flight bookings. These airlines use SMS messaging to alert travelers of changes in flight times, available upgrades, or now boarding alerts. In addition, they can use SMS marketing, mobile websites, or mobile applications to offer exclusive pricing offers to its mobile user base. By doing this, they determine exact ROI through unique coupon codes through SMS messaging, number of redemptions on mobile websites and applications through advanced reporting technology.
Hotels can also benefit from mobile marketing by providing guests on-the-go booking options through mobile marketing. Travelocity recently reported that 60-70% of their mobile bookings are for same-day stays. This channel is a great way to increase hotels’ occupancy rates and deliver a convenient option for travelers. In addition, hotels can use SMS marketing, QR codes to unlock deals and area information, and mobile websites and applications for booking, reviews, and special offers.
The summer 2012 travel season is the busiest time of the year for most travel and hospitality businesses. Adding mobile marketing to an existing marketing strategy can add convenience for customers and higher bookings for businesses all-year round.
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