Posts Tagged mobile marketing
QR codes, they show up in magazine ads, maps, food packaging, posters, leaflets, business cards, emails, websites and even on the sides of buses. They’re everywhere, however, a lot of people still don’t know what they are or how to use them.
Simply, a QR (Quick Response) Code is a two dimensional barcode. These codes are square in shape and made up of black and white squares. It is capable of encoding large amounts of data, such as a link to a video or website, contact information for a person or business, marketing promotions etc. An example (my personal favourite) of QR in action is McDonald’s using them on packaging in Japan so consumers can access nutritional information and review the amount of calories, fat, and carbohydrates in their meal. (Although if you’re eating McDonalds whilst concerned about watching what you eat, then perhaps you’re in the wrong establishment). The code fits on the packaging better then lines of text and allows the dietary information to hide from anyone who isn’t overly eager to be reminded they’re eating rubbish. All users have to do is to take a picture of the code on their smart phone with a QR reader (free from an app store) and they will be directed to the desired information. A QR Code is a hard link between the physical world and virtual. A business could create offline magazine ads with a QR Code linking to their website with the information on that landing page changing every day.
A few brave souls in the UK have tried to crack it, most notably Pepsi, last November, by printing codes on 400,000,000 cans (and some great off-line shots of Kelly Brook) with very limited success. People simply didn’t know what to do and the explanations offered, whilst helpful, weren’t enough to get over the education chasm.
At present QR Codes are not in widespread use in the UK yet, but all the required technology is in place and ready to be exploited for it to flourish. The platform is mature and is effectively used by companies and consumers predominantly in Asia. QR Codes are perceived to be cutting edge (even though they have been around since 1994) and are so easy to use, as well as versatile, that they provide instant value to individuals and companies alike. This technology has the opportunity to play an enabling role in mobile marketing strategy for product sales, information access and customer engagement but if a half naked Kelly Brook can’t get people taking a photo i don’t know what will.
The email marketing channel will remain as vibrant and attractive to any organisations irrelevant of what their consumer and prospects databases may currently consist of. The additional offerings such as SMS/TEXT, mobile apps and of course social media will be a top priority of leading Email Service Providers in order to further the reach of these fast growing marketing channels for users and customers of their broadcasting platforms.
The introduction of Gmail and Hotmail’s priority inbox, as well as Yahoo’s view ‘email from contacts’ only in your address book will significantly change the idea of carpet bombing to a hefty list with the hopes of returning a small but valuable response rate. The Priority Inbox functionality that was introduced into these webmail applications in 2010 analyze incoming mail, giving it a ranking and sorting it into four customizable sections, what the user then deems as “Important” messages from an established contact or regularly engaged with brand will determine future deliverability to inboxes and bulk folders. This type of feature being introduced into various webmail’s will force senders into building a good reputation that includes regular customer engagement as the key to successful email marketing with a high return on investment. This may lead to reduced sending volumes but does protect the recipients and overall the future integrity of the email channel. The focus on cleaner data, the use of dynamic elements and essentially relevant content on a 1 to 1 relationship with users will become the key drivers for successful brand building and client retention in 2011.
Mobile apps will fast become a transactional point of sale for mobile smartphone users. The use of Android, Nokia (Ovi) and Apple mobile apps for customer email acquisition and customer retention will play a large part in overall marketing strategies. The mobile marketing channel has come a long way in the past three years; mainly due to the uptake in mobile smart phones. Where we once were limited to 160 character text messages with a costly ‘reply to’ call to action; we are now looking at rich content messages with clickable links and images leading to mobile friendly web pages. This opens the door for the transaction that every marketer is essentially working towards. For the first time you are able to literally get your hand into the consumers pocket. This can be a somewhat touchy relationship and a wrong message at the wrong time could mean the end of your texting relationship with the recipient. With email, you could get around to your emails at some point and filter them to your desires, with mobile, your handset bleeps in your pocket and you need to give it your immediate attention. Having said all of this; an email platform having sms/text capabilities will be a part of the decision process when choosing an Email Service Provider in 2011.
I predict a dramatic uptake in facebook.com email that may shake the very settled foundations of the industry’s best practices, the traditional Email Service Providers and the long standing loyalty of their existing webmail users. This will naturally cause a substantial increase in comparing and closely monitoring the adoption rate and response rates at Facebook.com and all existing ISP’s. Facebook email will be taken very seriously and promotion and presence on their site will be at the top of organisations priorities list which will knock on to a frenzy to get email subscribers to “like” brands and pages. I think we can all agree that 500+ million users is enough to secure the resource and financial investment in what will surely be a social presence with a future return on investment.
Merry Christmas and may 2011 be a prosperous and unforgettable year.