Sunday, May 15, 2011

QR codes combine traditional and mobile marketing

The future is mobile, there's no doubt about it. The question is not anymore how do we get people to our website. Challenges for marketers are more complex than that nowadays. People are carrying small computers with them all the time so the first question is how do we reach these people? During the last decade volume of print and outdoor advertising has been decreasing and digital marketing has been the king. Some predictions are saying that use of mobile web will outscore traditional desktop web usage in 2-3 years...Now it's good time to think which kind of mobile services you're offering.
"Mobile channel will boost traditional marketing again."
People in cities are on the move all day long. They receive hundreds of advertising messages in the street, in magazines and newspapers - in bus, train or plain. This trend raises many questions to solve. How do you use these opportunities to get their attention? What is the call to action? How do you want them to engage with your brand? How do you measure if the message has been right? How do you handle the content between mobile sites or applications and your website?

Today advertisers are using company domain names in TV, radio, outdoor and print ads. Most of the ads are missing a good concept and clear call to action. Therefor the overall user experience is poor. What other options you have? Use unique URLs and measure them! I recently heard a radio ad by Shining Center and converted to their website.


Because the company and domain name is in English, they wisely used Finnish domain lasintummennus.fi in radio with call to action. Unfortunately it seems that they are not measuring this unique domain name, although it would be very easy to do. When redirecting unique URLs you simply ad tracking code for your web analytics system. Then you know exactly how many people reacted to your ad.

How about mobile users? When done properly, your online service should identify if people are accessing the site with mobile device. The content should be served and displayed in mobile phone or tablet friendly format to visitors. With mobile phones you can add cool location based (GPS) maps and directions, plus unique numbers or discount codes to measure instant conversions to phone channel or physical point of sales. Like in web, you should always plan and measure the final goal of the visit.
"QR codes are hyperlinks of the physical world."
Another option is ever increasing Quick Response code. Much under appreciated QR codes will brake through also in Europe, sooner or later. I wrote an article about QR codes and cross-channel measuring two years ago. Since then I have seen just couple of attempts in Finland to use the code. I guess we would need a major media company or brand to start using the codes and raising the awareness. This video is an excellent example how you can program, teach and use the QR codes (don't mind about Swedish speak).


You can use QR codes in newspapers, magazines, business cards, brochures, outdoor ads, stores, presentations, TV, website, social media, mobile sites and applications...the possibilities are almost endless. QR codes offer amazing possibilities for concept design! You can program QR codes so they include:
  • discount codes
  • downloadable contact information
  • calendar events
  • link to mobile applications
  • predefined phone numbers, text messages or emails
  • link to videos, maps, websites or mobile sites (with tracking code!)
To summarize this post: mobile channel is hot, start using it - traditional marketing is back, combine it your web & mobile strategy - plan goals and the user experience, measure cross-channel actions! 

Check out couple of examples of QR codes from the presentation below (page 14).



View more presentations from mertanen

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