Laura Marriott (@kanadawomaninus): January 2012 Archives
When one considers the current economic climate, there is little doubt we are becoming a global community defined by constant connectivity and ultra-convenience. Mobile devices are a major factor in this as they are now ubiquitous and one’s device fulfils a multitude of requirements, connecting them to a plethora of information and facilitating all types of interactions. Mobile marketing and more specifically, mobile barcodes play a pivotal role in this new world of enhanced communications and on-demand information.
As the IAB’s Mobile Buyer’s Guide points out, mobile barcodes are an important way of activating traditional media, furthermore they can help boost sales, increase customer engagement, build brand loyalty, and educate an audience. These small black and white squares, reminiscent of ink blots, represent a great opportunity for marketers to bring traditionally static marketing and advertising to life so brands can instantly engage with their target audience. For example, adding a mobile barcode to a print or outdoor advertisement, on pack or at shelf that links to a discount, sweepstakes or provides additional information on a product or service provides an opportunity for the brand to engage with their target consumers 24/7/365. However, to ensure success, the marketers integrating mobile barcodes into their strategies should be mindful of best practices, ensuring that consumers have high quality experiences, conducive to repeat interactions. This positive experience will ultimately lead to increased consumer engagement and customer loyalty, improve ROI and make a significant difference to a brand’s bottom line.
NeoMedia has developed best practices focused on the successful introduction of mobile barcode campaigns globally, to help brand owners and agencies leverage the use of mobile barcodes to ensure the success of all of their mobile barcode initiatives. You can quickly access the best practices on your smartphone by scanning the mobile barcode below using your preferred QR code reader.
Here are some additional tips to use when planning your next campaign:
1. Think Holistically
Integrate mobile barcodes into all digital and traditional media to maximize the consumer experience, dialogue and interactivity, ensuring mobile barcodes are planned as a part of the holistic campaign and not simply an afterthought.
2. Think Value and Ease of Use
Consider content that will compel the consumer to interact with your code, a la giveaways, discounts, free tickets and exclusive access. If your code simply offers the customer a chance to view a TV advertisement or link to a website, it may not achieve the results that you desire. Scanning a barcode should provide the consumer with a brand experience that is exclusive, dynamic and interactive - encouraging them to interact with you again.
It is also important to consider where a mobile barcode is located on the ad. Consumers must be able to find it easily and scan it quickly. For outdoor ads, place the code at eye or arm-level. In a print ad, the barcode should not fall over a fold. Be sure to leave some white space around the code and use a minimum of 1 x 1-inch print specification. For TV or cinema, the code should remain onscreen long enough for the viewer to launch the scanning application and scan the code - a minimum of 15 seconds.
3. Think Reach
Branded or custom QR codes are certainly appealing, but it’s also important to create a code everyone can recognize and easily scan. Producing your code in black and white will increase the number of phones and code readers that can scan it. Also, ensure you use global, open standards (i.e. QR or Datamatrix) to achieve broadest customer reach and maximum impact for your brand.
4. Think Context and Environment
Remember that the consumer who has just scanned your code is mobile. They will be viewing the brand content on a mobile screen and are likely on the go, therefore expecting instant results. Make sure the barcode links through to a mobile-optimized site rather a PC-designed site. Remember that codes that don’t resolve content properly, go nowhere, or deliver the wrong information are the equivalent of a slammed door - the consumer may not try again.
Test the barcode for functionality across a variety of devices and scanner applications before launching. It’s important, especially because the consumers that scan codes are likely tech-savvy and vocal - the kind of consumers you want as brand loyalists.
5. Think ROI
Whatever the campaign, be sure to define goals before integrating a mobile barcode and choose a provider who will enable you to monitor the campaign via a managed barcode management platform.
Mobile barcodes offer an easy means to unlock a relevant, dynamic and interactive experience for consumers. And mobile barcodes are already gaining traction with many high profile brands as marketers begin to realize their value. Indeed, the uses of mobile barcodes are almost limitless, but to ensure consumers continue to interact with mobile barcodes well into the future they must have a positive experience. Essentially, to give your marketing campaign the best chance of success, use mobile barcodes and follow best practice advice!
NeoMedia will be to working with the IAB Mobile Center in the coming year to further educate the market about the best ways to accelerate their member’s mobile barcode efforts. For more info on NeoMedia, visit us at http://www.neom.com.
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