Wednesday, February 29, 2012

QR Code Marketing Provides Product Information to Consumers


Comscore recently released the results of a report entitled, "2012 Mobile Future inFocus," and I thought the results were very interesting. In 2011, QR codes were introduced as a way to combine mobile and more traditional media. These "Quick Response” codes are special type of barcode that can be read by smartphones.

In December of 2011, one of every five smartphone owners in the United States scanned a QR code. Sixteen percent of Canadian smartphone users scanned QR codes during the same period.

Of the smartphone owners in the US who scanned the QR code, 42 percent scanned product packaging and 32 percent used their phone to scan a coupon or a special offer.  Event information was the third most popular reason for scanning QR codes in December of 2011.

It makes sense to me that most consumers would use their smart phones to scan product packaging. If a customer wants to learn more about a particular item or find out about related products, it makes sense to include a QR code on the packaging materials. Making it easy and convenient for buyers to access this information is a key component of QR code marketing.

It falls into the category of knowing the demographic markets that a company is trying to reach, and anticipating their needs. The QR codes can be used to provide appropriate information to consumers, which will in turn help to drive more sales.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cell Phone Marketing Turns Devices into Mobile Billboards


Location-based mobile phone marketing is going to become even more popular over time. Many people consider their phone phones to be an essential accessory and they carry them wherever they go. It makes perfect sense to me that business owners will use this medium as a way to reach out to potential buyers.

To make the advertising messages more meaningful to potential customers, businesses will be able to use location-specific marketing. A company can set up an electronic radius of approximately 300 feet around its entrance. Anyone who has a Bluetooth-equipped mobile phone passing within this area will see a special tile appear on its screen.

Along with the tile, the customer will see a message asking for permission to share an ad. To encourage the recipient to opt in and say, “Yes," a coupon or a special offer may accompany the message. I can see that a certain percentage of consumers will agree to receive the message out of sheer curiosity, and this can be an effective way to extend an immediate invitation to the consumer to go into a store or other type of business to learn more about its products and services.

This strategy can also be used by large retailers who want to drive in-store traffic to certain areas and drive sales. Consumers who are curious about the messages they are receiving through mobile phone marketing are likely to be intrigued once they see the offer and may decide to act on it.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Best Practices for Mobile Engagement in 2012


Mobile marketing is becoming increasingly popular among brands, and businesses must adopt best practices in order to reach customers with meaningful mobile messaging. Best practices for mobile engagement focus on people, instead of processes that keep track of transactions and various types of records. It involves a lot more than simply making a screen available to buyers and calling it a mobile app; instead, the hallmark of this type of technology is that it involves two-way interaction between the customer and the business systems.

Mobile marketing is increasingly focused on the customer's location, and this makes for an immediate, relevant interaction with the buyer from where they are at a set time. This type of system allows a business to anticipate, and then meet, its customer’s needs in a much more efficient manner.

In a sense, I can see that this type of mobile marketing was developed from the idea of placing impulse items near a cash register at a retail store. The retailer is trying to interest the buyer in adding on something to his or her order, and having that person make an in-the-moment decision. Mobile marketing works the same way, since businesses can present offers and suggest alternative or add-on products by sending messages to the buyer’s smart phone or tablet at just the right moment. This trend is likely to continue, since the number of smartphone users in the US and worldwide continues to rise.

Best Practices for Mobile Engagement in 2012


Mobile marketing is becoming increasingly popular among brands, and businesses must adopt best practices in order to reach customers with meaningful mobile messaging. Best practices for mobile engagement focus on people, instead of processes that keep track of transactions and various types of records. It involves a lot more than simply making a screen available to buyers and calling it a mobile app; instead, the hallmark of this type of technology is that it involves two-way interaction between the customer and the business systems.

Mobile marketing is increasingly focused on the customer's location, and this makes for an immediate, relevant interaction with the buyer from where they are at a set time. This type of system allows a business to anticipate, and then meet, its customer’s needs in a much more efficient manner.

In a sense, I can see that this type of mobile marketing was developed from the idea of placing impulse items near a cash register at a retail store. The retailer is trying to interest the buyer in adding on something to his or her order, and having that person make an in-the-moment decision. Mobile marketing works the same way, since businesses can present offers and suggest alternative or add-on products by sending messages to the buyer’s smart phone or tablet at just the right moment. This trend is likely to continue, since the number of smartphone users in the US and worldwide continues to rise.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Mobile Text Marketing Allows Businesses Connect with Consumers


The next logical step in mobile marketing for businesses is to allow customers to interact with the company through their smartphones. Mobile text marketing is a way for businesses and organizations to broadcast text messages from a desktop computer unit. The business would send out a message and the customer will be invited to reply. Once that customer has opted into the program by responding to the text message, the company would be able to send additional promotional text messages at intervals to the customers on its text message list.

One way that I can see this type of mobile marketing working well for business owners is if customers respond to the initial message and receive a mobile coupon in return. This is a great strategy to encourage loyalty to a specific brand, and the business can use the mobile texts to keep in touch with customers and inform about specials, new products and the like.

For companies located near the Canadian border, this type of technology can be directed at consumers in the U.S. and Canada. I can see this would working well, since the business sending out the text messages would not have to duplicate its advertising campaigns to appeal to customers in each country separately. When a business can use one method and reach a larger pool of potential buyers, this is a winning strategy in my opinion and mobile text marketing is a great example.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Where to Use QR Codes for Business

Companies are always trying to create interest in their products or services, and making use of mobile technology can be an effective way to increase sales. Using QR codes for business purposes can be part of an effective marketing campaign, but I'm not sure that all business owners have a clear idea of how to use them properly.

QR codes are a specific type of barcode that can be placed on many types of media. Businesses have experimented with using them on signage, in-store promotional materials, and even on their websites. They are meant to be scanned with a smartphone. After the scan has been completed, the person holding the mobile device can get access to images, videos, a landing page, mobile website, coupons, and other information.

I think that QR codes could be especially effective on printed materials. They can be added to a company’s business cards, letterhead, and brochures quite easily. Since all of these items have limited space to share information about what the company offers, adding QR codes for business means that the company is creating multiple opportunities to interact with its customers.

If the QR codes are linked to a special offer or VIP promotion, they are more likely to be scanned by the customer. Adding a few words of text inviting the prospective customer to scan the QR code to obtain a benefit can increase the number of times the QR codes are scanned, which will ultimately help the bottom line.