According to the RTP WhitePaper Integrating Mobile Across All Touch Points, Smartphones will Influence $689 billion in Retail Store sales by 2016. They currently influence approximately $159 billion in total sales revenue and with 100s of billions of dollars at stake the inconvenient truth is that retailers need to contend with shopper behavior changes and the challenges of this new dynamic environment. Not to mention, mobile marketers have yet to unilaterally codify benchmarks for success.
As shown in the below chart, only 50% of the brands polled have mobile web sites, less than a third use mobile technology currently and less than a third leverage mobile for customized promotions/offers through customers’ devices; the quintessential example of MISSED OPPORTUNITY.
Overlooking mobile as a means to engage with customers is a travesty and could be the catalyst in the demise of a retailer or brand.
Sound severe? Well it is, and here’s why:
When asking consumers about their most recent shopping trip, Deloitte found that 72% of smartphone owners indicated they made a purchase on that day, compared with 63% of shoppers who did not tap into their devices within the same period.
The moral is smartphone-toting consumers appear more likely to make a purchase than those who do not own one or do not use it to assist with in-store shopping.
We have entered into a brave new digital world where contextual content can be experienced, any time, any place—creating more opportunities than ever beforefor marketers to reach, engage and measure consumers.
Sophisticated shoppers respond to the “pull” advertising model whereby consumers request product info and pull it through the delivery channel.
Age, gender, income level, location, region, country, etc. are paramount and vital to delivering the right piece of information to the right individual. Using business intelligence to guide marketing decisions will enable retailers and brands to respond to these hand raisers.
The ScanLife platform captures vital metadata such as Handset OS, Location and Demographics via smart code technology.
Easily enabling retailers and marketers to deliver contextual and personalized experiences based on parameters such as language setting of device, time of scan, location, etc.
To learn more, please email sales@ScanLife.com
This year at Mobile World Congress, there was a sense that a new chapter was turned: smartphones penetration had shot past the 50% threshold and tablet penetration has reached 1 in 4 adults in the US. Android and iOS updates, which determine much of nowadays’ user experiences, were challenged by smaller but no less ambitious players, namely RIM, Windows, Ubuntu, and –surprise surprise – Mozilla, which managed to sign up 17 different operators to its Firefox OS. Moreover, countless companies introduced their mobile wallets and payments solutions, and NFC-powered e-ticketing systems. Tons of promising technologies, each with their strengths and drawbacks, as our CEO Mike Wehrs explains in this Mobile Marketer article.
Clearly, the mobile landscape has entered the mass consumption phase: for consumers this means that a world of choices is about to open up to them. For the 72,000 visitors who swarmed the Fira Gran Via in Barcelona, it meant that the stakes were higher than ever.
For marketers however, this is a double-edged sword: on the one hand the majority of people now interact with, and can be reached through their mobile devices. On the other hand, when targeting their audience, they will have to factor in the increasing diversity of behaviours and touch points, underpinned by the multiplication and ubiquity of these mobile technologies.
In some ways, this mobile technology boom is akin to the television boom of the early 2000s, when the multiplication cable TV channels, each focusing on a theme, meant that marketers could more easily identify and target specific segments. It also meant that they could no longer broadcast an advertisement confident that it would reach a wide audience.
Sure, many of the technologies on display at Mobile World Congress will take months, even years to take on; and many will disappear almost as instantly as they appeared on stage.
Regardless, mobile as a marketing channel has been propelled from “nice-to-have” to “must-have” grade.
The good news is that when it comes to execution, mobile engagement campaigns follow the same principles (i.e. call-to-action, context based and value-adding content, etc. For a detailed review of mobile engagement principles and best practices, click here) regardless of the technology. We therefore strongly believe that mobile engagement platforms which can process any digital triggers (QR Codes, NFC, images, etc.) allow marketers not to be distracted by continuous shifts in the technology landscape, while preparing them for tomorrow’s challenges.
For expert advice on how to integrate mobile engagement tactics to your marketing campaigns, contact us or visit www.scanlife.com
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In the long list of industries transformed by the slow but steady digitization of our societies, retail probably tops the charts. And now the mobile channel promises to complicate matters further.
eMarketer’s latest mobile commerce projections (Jan 2013) gives us an idea of the volume of sales achieved directly through mobile devices.
This time though, I believe things are different. Most of today’s senior marketers and retail business leaders have seen how the online channel has gradually eaten both their sales and margins; and they’re not going to let it happen again… In fact, retail marketers could be credited with some of the boldest experiments to date: my previous article shows great examples of how the most resourceful marketers can extend considerably their reach through the online channel.
A couple of interesting case studies have since hit the headlines.
The first comes from Seattle-based retailer Hointer, which targets men who don’t like shopping and use technology to eliminate the hassle of shopping for clothes. The idea consists of displaying only one pair of each model of jean type, and add a QR Code to it. When scanned with the store’s bespoke app, shoppers can chose to try it in the fitting room inside the store. Once the jeans have been tried, customers can either send the jeans back or purchase it on the spot.
The GeekWire video below shows the system in action
Another case study, this time by Procter & Gamble shows how simple tweaks to their print ads can boost significantly their power to convert customers on the spot. This experiment applies to any retailer that has, or will use catalogues, flyers, and other below-the-line collaterals to push their latest promotions. The screenshots below shows how P&G connected their ads to a mobile space where shoppers would find out more about the P&G products, get coupons, watch demos, check out customer reviews, and crucially, purchase the product! (Click on the image for a close-up)
Research by Hitashi shows that the number of people who scan QR codes would be three times as much what it currently is if consumers believed that it would offer them value in the form of discounts, rewards or a more personalized service. Hointer’s and P&G have shown that delivering relevant and personalized experiences to consumers does not take rocket sciencewith a reasonable dose of consumer insights and the will to reach out to them in meaningful ways.
What’s more, these experiments show that the mobile channel can enhance traditional campaigns and open up a new sales channel. Other retailers should pay heed.
For expert advice on how to integrate mobile engagement tactics to your retail marketing campaigns, contact us please visit www.scanlife.com
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So you’ve secured your marketing budget for 2013 and now want to connect with your customers via mobile. Since all research indicates that the majority of them have a smartphone, you know it’s the right move.
Now “all” you need are original ideas. Fear not my friend, as you’ve come to the right place. What follows is a recap of some of the best and quirkiest mobile barcode campaigns, as well as tips and tricks to help maximize your results.
Best 2012 QR Code campaigns
For a review of the best campaigns of last year, we invite you to check the following blog posts:
So now that you’re feeling inspired, it’s always good to pause and consider best practices. After all, one of the advantages of mobile campaigns and QR Codes in particular is that you will be able to measure the results; so you may as well maximize them:
Do’s and Don’ts
In two excellent blog posts, David Moth, from eConsultancy, looks at several QR Code campaigns and dissects their strengths and weaknesses. The first post looks at six campaigns from well-known brands such as Lacoste, Toyota, Police, HMV, Helly Hansen, and Go Entertain. In a second blog post, he analyzes a Toyota campaign, by far the best of the lot. These are a must read for any marketer who aspires to create bold and exciting mobile barcode campaigns. While the author does a great job at analysing the execution of the campaigns, it is important to emphasize the fact that mobile engagement differs from traditional digital marketing in several meaningful ways:
Having established the framework for mobile engagement, here are the 8 commandments of successful QR Code campaigns:
1. Make sure it fits within your business and marketing strategy. It sounds obvious but you’d be surprised how often it seems that a QR Code was slapped on a print material as an afterthought, in a “because I can” sort of way. Don’t waste such an opportunity. Create a new sales channel. Enhance your CRM efforts. Connect with your consumers. Get deeper consumer insights. In summary – execute with a clear purpose in mind.
2. Guarantee your campaign creates real value for your audience. Ask yourself: what value am I bringing to them? Are you sending them to your e-commerce website? Or are you giving them exclusive information or special deals? Are you asking them for their opinion and feedback? Is it content that will motivate them to scan again in the future? If you can’t think of a compelling reason for them to scan, then it’s probably not worth it.
3. Link to a mobile optimized site. If you’re still hesitant on the possibility of linking to your non-mobile-optimized website, then these results from Google will almost certainly make your mind up for you: On the one hand, 50% of people said that even if they like a business, they will use them less often if the website isn’t mobile-friendly. On the other, 74% of people say they’re more likely to return to a mobile friendly site, and 67% of mobile users say that when they visit a mobile-friendly site, they’re more likely to buy a site’s product or service. Do we need to say more?
4. Make a clear call-to-action (CTA). It is crucial that you give information on why it’s worth scanning your QR Code and possibly brief instructions on how to download a QR Code reader. Also, make sure you place CTAwhere they can be seen. If a user sees a QR Code just floating around without any indication on why they should scan, they are highly less likely do so. A compelling CTA can double or triple your scanning and conversion rates.
5. Think about the QR Code placement. Before you place the code on the back of a racing car or on a TV commercial, ask yourself: will people notice it? Can they safely, and comfortably, scan the QR Code? Do they have enough time to scan the QR Code? Will they have a data connection? Remember: mobile engagement is contextual. Turn this into your advantage, not the contrary.
6. Size does matter: The smaller the QR Code, the more difficult it will be to scan it, plus the closer the user will have to be to the code. If you use the ScanLife QR Code generator, you can safely print codes which are 0.75 inch (1.9 cm) large. Moreover, the scan distance to QR Code size will be roughly 7:1 (in other words, a 1 inch code can be scanned from a 7 inch distance).
With other QR Code generators, we recommend you set the minimum to 1 inch (2.4 cm) and keep the scan distance to QR Code size ratio to 10:1.
7. Test your codes. Realizing that the QR Code you printed on all your collateral isn’t working can be a soul crushing experience. We have seen countless examples of embarrassing – and often very expensive – mistakes: a typo in the URL, a QR Code printed on a shiny curved package, making the code too dense etc. At ScanLife, we’ve almost completely eliminated these problems because customers can edit the QR Code content , or the action it triggers at any time, and as often as desired. In addition, our engineers are continuously testing to ensure that ScanLife codes work on all the millions of devices and apps available around the globe. But this is not necessarily the case with other QR Code generators. Whatever the circumstances and QR Code generator you use, test the codes with different apps, different devices, from different angles and distances. Don’t become the butt of a joke.
8. Track the results of your campaign. QR Codes are one of the easiest and most practical ways to measure the impact of your campaign and acquire rich consumer insights. Top tier mobile engagement platforms such as ScanLife, will help you understand who scans, how often, when, where, what happens after the scan, and more. Marketers get a proxy for the ROI of their print advertisement, identify which billboard ad works and which do not, etc. In fact, performance tracking and consumer insights data is one of, if not, the greatest values that modern mobile engagement platforms bring. Don’t miss out.
For expert advice on mobile engagement…
As 2012 comes to a close, it’s always good to take a step back to reflect on the evolution of everything over the past year. 12 months are an eternity in the mobile space and 2012 has been particularly full of innovations and remarkable events. Here are some of the year’s highlights:
SUMMER 2012 OLYMPICS –THE FIRST MOBILE GAMES EVER
The London Olympics have been to Mobile Engagement what Woodstock has been to Rock ‘n Roll: the moment where Mobile Engagement officially joined the mainstream by becoming the focal point of social, m-commerce, location-based experiences, and apps. The ScanLife Mobile Engagement Platform helped bring all of these experiences to life, generating 36% more connections than Foursquare check-ins during the games, according to published LOCOG numbers. Check out the Olympics video and case study to see it all in action: Olympics webpage to download the case study!
APPLE LAUNCHES THE IPHONE 5 WITH PASSBOOK
After months of speculation, Apple finally released its 4G-enabled iPhone 5. Of all its new features, the one we are most thrilled about is Passbook. The proto-wallet stores boarding passes, loyalty cards, coupons, event tickets etc. to display the information in the form of a mobile barcode (QR Code, PDF-417, and Aztec) to be used in a store, concert venue or wherever appropriate. It’s a big first step towards enabling m-commerce, m-payments, and m-identity, and more. This approach exposes mobile barcodes to millions of people around the world and is among the best things that could happen for the mobile barcode industry. Thank you Apple!
NEW APP. NEW FUN.
2012 will be known as the year when scanning mobile barcodes became fun. The ScanLife app now includes new social features: users can like what they’ve scanned and share their favourites with their networks – a great way to create gift wish lists. Users can also create an electronic contact card in the form of a QR Code right from the app: enter your details et voila! You can share your contact details in one scan with the “QRcard” feature. The app is now sexier too: iOS users can choose over 20 themes. Dreaming of the beach? We have a cool summer theme – palm trees included. If you’re more of a sports nut we have an entire pack dedicated to baseball, basketball, football, and more. On the other hand, Android users are enjoying a whole new user interface with The Hub. The Hub is the first thing you see when you open the app, and it gives you easy access to everything in ScanLife – your history of scans, live scan activity from around the world, the ability to customize your scanner screen from Settings, and of course the scanner itself from a super cool animated iris. All of these new features are just the beginning in a major evolution to make it easier than ever for users to discover and share information.
Intrigued? Try it out yourself:
THE MAJORITY OF MOBILE USERS OWN A SMARTPHONE. WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR YOU?
2012 marks the first time when the majority of mobile users possess a smartphone in the USA and Europe. This fact has profound implications for businesses: smartphones now serve as the most common starting point for our digital lives across devices with nearly 100% of smartphone owners using their device to go online every day, 85% of smartphone owners seeking local information and 1 in 5 make a purchase after finding that information. As a result, mobile is evolving into a channel in its own right. The table below shows the most popular mobile tactics businesses use to engage their customers, according to research by eConsultancy.
Several factors explain the prominence of QR Codes as a mobile channel. For one, they’ve become a highly effective medium when executed properly. Research by Nellymoser shows that average response rate is 6.4%, versus only 4.4% for Direct Mail and the 4.3% for catalogs, according the Direct Marketing Association. Indeed, as our own trend report shows, 2D barcode scanning increased 71% during 2012.
THE RISE OF MOBILE-SAVVY RETAILERS… AND CONSUMERS
Retail is perhaps the domain where Mobile Engagement has had the greatest impact. Research by eConsultancy shows that the number of consumers who have made a purchase on mobile since 2011 have more than doubled, from 12% to 28% in the US and 13% to 25% and in the UK. For retailers and brands, this trend brings unprecedented opportunity to connect with shoppers. For example, Tesco, which pioneered the concept of virtual store during 2011, extended its virtual stores in Q1. As a result, their app is now the number one shopping app in Korea, with nearly one million downloads since it was launched last April. The most impressive of all is Chinese retailer Yihaodian, which opened 1,000 virtual stores located in iconic areas of Shanghai, Bejing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. The video below shows what a virtual store looks like.
The ubiquity of mobile has also caused the “showrooming” effect, which is the tendency consumers have to go to a brick and mortar store to do for merely research and then purchase the goods online. In fact, in the UK, 43% of respondents said they had used their mobile to compare prices and look at product reviews while out shopping (up from 19% in 2011). Among US consumers, the number has increased from 20% to 50% year over year. Our whitepaper, “The Showrooming Effect. How Retailers can use QR Codes to Create Opportunity”, outlines several ways to tackle this obstacle.
SCANLIFE UNLEASHES A SMARTER MOBILE ENGAGEMENT PLATFORM
To help brands create more relevant mobile experiences, the ScanLife team worked around the clock to launch dynamic new features:
1 – Mobile Landing Pages with Analytics
To aid our customers in understanding post-scan behaviors, we’ve added another valuable piece of business intelligence to the ScanLife platform: any ScanLife business customer that creates mobile landing pages from our platform can now view click-tracking data generated from those pages. Learn what this means for your business now.
2 – Language Detection
We already have codes that change dynamically based on the operating system or number of scans. Now we are thrilled to announce our latest innovation which uses language detection to deliver content that is unique to the language of the user’s device. Find out how it can be used here.
3 – Designer Codes
In April, ScanLife released custom design functionality, where marketers can create a custom design code, with their logo embedded, in seconds. But wait, it gets better: our QRcheck™ technology automatically verifies the readability of the code. If it doesn’t meet a certain level of readability, it will automatically warn the creator. Discover more now.
AND THE WINNER IS…
December was another fun month here at ScanLife! Our highlight was been winning the Business award for Mashable’s Innovation Index for 2012. We’re completely honoured and humbled to be recognized among the prestigious group of leaders who are revolutionizing the digital and social landscape around us. You can check out Mashable’s formal announcement here. This award is especially meaningful for our entire team at ScanLife, which is driven by the mission to create new and better ways to transform our lives through technology. We’re grateful to everyone who voted and appreciate your continued support of what we do here.
As we look to 2013, we are more energized than ever to develop new ideas, push the boundaries of possibility, and unlock tomorrow’s innovations.
We wish you a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!
At ScanLife, we’re always excited to see QR Codes used in unique and innovative ways. After great success with their Doritos Los Tacos and MTV VMA campaigns, Taco Bell has continued its tradition of innovative QR Code implementation with the launch of their new Cantina Bell Menu. The quick serve giant has deployed ScanLife powered QR Codes as part of a print campaign that’s running across major publications like People and US Weekly.
The QR Code (pictured above) is the centerpiece of the ad and is literally made of fresh ingredients like lemons and avocados. The code is connecting users to a mobile optimized landing page which delivers all types of Cantina Bell content.
You can even see the making of the QR Code which was no small task!
Once on the mobile page, you can find descriptions and nutritional information on each product as well as recipe ideas from celebrity chefs and the ability to share each item via social media. Users can also find additional options such as a nearest store locator and “tell us what you think” page, where people can easily tweet their thoughts from their Twitter profile.
Kudos to Taco Bell as this campaign is another strong example of using valuable mobile content to engage customers with their brand.
The start of a new quarter is always a good time to take a step back and reflect on the latest developments in the industry. Today is no exception, as we’ve hand-picked the best and most innovative QR Code campaigns from the 2nd Quarter, 2012. It’s fantastic to see examples from all over the globe, and from a variety of industries. Kudos to these marketers for creating amazing customer experiences using this dynamic technology!
A clever blend of m-commerce, social media and fun: PGMobile used shopping trucks with QR Codes on the side to allow New Yorkers to purchase Procter & Gamble products for home delivery. The trucks locations were tweeted by @PGMobile and shoppers could tweet requests to bring the trucks right to their office or apartment block. Learn more about it here.
To promote the popular EURO 2012 Tournament, Coca Cola used ScanLife powered QR Codes on millions of packages throughout Spain. The codes connected users to a mobile series of exclusive videos about the competition and drove downloads of the ‘SmileWorld’ app, Coke’s new mobile social network. Never before has a major brand used ScanLife on a scale quite like this! Find out more here.
Emart, the Walmart of Korea, wanted to launch a lunch time promotion. They came up with the idea of a QR Code, in which its shadow rotates according to the time of the day – like a sundial. As a result, the QR Code only worked from 12pm to 1 pm. Once scanned, the code activated a promotion on Emart’s m-commerce website or in stores. Watch the video below for more:
Americanino, a Chilean fashion brand created a pop-up QR Code event which ‘hypnotized’ young consumers and tried to get them to strip off in public. Those who were bold enough to do so were rewarded with a free Americanino outfit. Check out the video to learn more:
Rockport used QR Codes during an outdoor event involving a box display with people hanging off the edges to show the new line of shoes. The displayed featured codes on the sides that took users to a mobile optimized landing page where they could learn more about the product. Users could then tap to buy the shoes on Rockport’s mobile site. But there’s more…
Volkswagen recently launched a QR code campaign to promote its line of commercial vans – Crafter. The campaign featured a huge structure with a QR Code made with actual boxes of oranges. When people scanned it, they would be directed to a video of how those boxes would fit inside a Crafter. Thanks to this promotion, Crafter increased brand awareness by 224% and sales by 70%. See the video below for more:
Handy, a US-based seafood processor, enabled restaurant owners to enter a 6 digit lot number found on packaging into a trace register widget on the Handy website. They could then download a QR Code for adding to the restaurant menu. Customers would scan the code to follow the fish’s journey from catch to plate. Discover more here.
Global beer brand Budweiser unveiled its new mobile “Track Your Bud” marketing initiative. The campaign integrated QR Codes into producing packaging, allowing consumers to track their specific beer’s history back to one of the 12 American Budweiser breweries. Thirsty for more? Read here.
As part of a new risqué campaign for Axe Body Spray, the most popular bars and discos in Puerto Rico were given virtual peepholes, i.e. QR Codes, which let men to peek into the girls bathroom. The codes resolved to a set of steamy videos and even even steamier clips if shared on Facebook. The results were pretty spectacular. “Peep” the video below for more:
Knowing that patrons typically go out drinking for about five hours, Turquoise Cottage, a bar/restaurant in India, created the “Buddy Stamp” to keep the night both safe and fun. The stamp was comprised of a QR Code that users could scan at various times throughout the night. Now here’s the best part – consumers were delivered different content depending on the time of a scan. A wonderful example of dynamic marketing! Watch the video below for more:
Inspired? So are we. For more information on how to leverage mobile engagement, join our Linkedin group “Exchanging Smarter Ideas on Mobile Engagement“, or check out our website, or simply contact us.
We often hear that “a QR Code is just a QR Code.” While they may look the same, what happens behind the code can vary widely – and that is really where the magic happens. The value of QR Codes is vast, and one area that all marketers love is data – or business intelligence. Never before have marketers been able to get so much intelligence around how people interact in the real world from media like print ads, store displays, and even packaging. The amount of data you can get from a QR Code varies from the basics like number of total scans, up to location heat mapping and representative demographics.
Some online code generators give you the basics, but there is a big catch – anyone can see it! This practice provides detailed intelligence to your competition, like which products or promotions are being scanned on which days, making it easier for others to learn from your success.
To illustrate, you can access the statistics of London’s Open University’s QR Code created on bit.ly: The statistics are simply accessed by going to bit.ly/rJUjnh+ in your web browser.
Like everything else, it is critical to remember to read the fine print in the Terms & Conditions when evaluating QR code generators, and even more advanced solutions. Some platforms turn the data generated by your campaign into public domain knowledge, and others will take ownership of your data for monetization purposes.
To find out more about risks of using free code generators, please download our whitepaper.
To promote the popular EURO 2012 Tournament, Coca Cola has been using ScanLife powered QR Codes on millions of packages throughout Spain. Never before has a major brand used ScanLife on a scale quite like this!
The codes are connecting users to a series of exclusive videos around the event. People can also download the ‘SmileWorld’ app, Coke’s new mobile social network. Below you can watch the TV spot that is currently running in Spain which is getting their fans to scan, and scan a lot!
“Thanks to intelligent QR Codes from the ScanLife platform we are able to constantly surprise our consumers with new content, strengthen our position in the mobile space, and understand what interests our consumers.” said Paco Rodríguez, Digital Manager at Coca-Cola.
So while you’re cheering for your favorite team, scan the Coke can below for some additional video to go along with the game!
QR Codes are great for many reasons when executed well, but let’s face it, they are not the prettiest things in the world. To many, they look like a game of Space Invaders or some kind of bizarre maze.
So here at ScanLife, we carried out a survey to find out more on the topic. Of the 213 respondents that had scanned a QR code, 47% said that they would be more likely to scan a colored QR code, 43% felt it wouldn’t make any difference, and only 10% would rather stick to the classic black and white. In other words, looks matter. An attractive design can grab our attention, and a designer code (colors, logos, etc.) will be more likely to drive scans than a black and white one.
However, the issue is that when it comes to scanning QR codes, some code readers are “more equal than others”, i.e. not all 2D barcode readers will read designer codes easily. As a marketer, the challenge is to reach the maximum number of people while getting the highest response rate. If people are unable to even scan your code, then you’ve instantly lost interested and proactive potential customers. Worse, you’ve frustrated and annoyed them, and they are just as likely to blame your brand as they are the code reader.
To help solve this issue, ScanLife has just launched a custom design functionality, where marketers can create a custom design code, with their logo embedded, in seconds. In addition, our QRcheck™ technology automatically verifies the readability of the code: if it doesn’t meet a certain level of readability, it will automatically warn the creator. You can see how it works below:
We have given QR codes the looks and the brains. Now marketers can focus on the experience.
For expert advice, please contact us.
Mobile barcodes could change the way we discover & share information from the world around us. We welcome your thoughts & ideas on how to make this technology matter - today and in the future.