QR Code E-mail Marketing

QR codes have become quite pervasive over the last few years and have been used in many ways to help consumers connect to an application, event, marketing program, sweepstakes and many other interactive ways.  So what is a QR code and when did this begin you ask?

From the contributing editors at Wikipedia, www.wikipedia.org, QR codes have actually been around for almost 30 years.  A QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) first designed for the automotive industry. More recently, the system has become popular outside the industry due to its fast readability and large storage capacity compared to standard UPC barcodes. The code consists of black modules (square dots) arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be made up of four standardized kinds (“modes”) of data (numeric, alphanumeric, byte/binary, Kanji), or through supported extensions, virtually any kind of data.  It was invented in Japan by the Toyota subsidiary Denso Wave in 1994 to track vehicles during the manufacturing process.

You know what they look like, but here are some ways they are being used!

Today QR codes are used for much more than their original purpose in the vehicle industry. They are used all over the world in retail, entertainment, and a variety of other commercial markets. With smartphone technology, QR codes can be easily placed on products to allow a potential customer to learn additional information in order to make a purchase. A picture of the QR code is taken with a smartphone and converted into data using a QR decoder application. QR readers can be found in all of the app stores.  This provides the smartphone user with additional information, such as different options for a product, where they can be purchased, a link to a company website, etc. Similarly, QR codes can also be placed on advertisements, whether they be in a magazine or newspaper, on a poster, or in a mailing, to encourage a possible patron to learn more.

E-mail continues to be a powerful force in generating sales and branding for businesses.  Traditionally, email marketers embed hotlinks to customers who are automatically rewarded with a discount or some other benefits by clicking the link.  This became pervasive because most consumers were interacting with e-mail on their PC’s.  With the rapidly growing smartphone and mobile market technologies, marketers are looking for new ways to bridge the gap between the PC and mobile devices to keep up with this changing consumer behavior.

Embedding QR codes that launch interactive mobile experiences within traditional email messages enables marketers to not only add an interactive element to relatively static email content but also create new touch points to communicate with their audience. The process is quite simple, intuitive and seamless.  The recipient views the email on his or her PC screen and, intrigued by the call to action to scan the QR code, picks up his or her phone and snaps it, which immediately launches a specific microsite, video, or other interactive content.

Not only is the recipient rewarded with this rich and engaging content and perhaps a coupon, but the marketer can now engage the prospect or existing customer to open a line of communication to create another touch-point for ongoing interaction.

And the revenue will follow………….

Webman

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Game On

Everyday I receive an awesome photo from my friends at www.photobotos.com.  Love those guys – some of the best images I have ever seen.

Sharing with you a great photo from last week – Check it out!

Now that is awesome – Well done Photobotos 🙂

For more of the story go to http://www.photobotos.com/golden-eagle-attacking-fox/

Enjoy the evening.

Webman

Indoor Location Based Services

With the continued growth of smartphones, location based services have become pretty useful.  From finding a restaurant or ATM in your present location to turn-by-turn directions based on your actual location, these capabilities have now been baked into our everyday lives.  On your iPhone or iPad, you have the option to turn these location based services on or off, and just about every app is trying to learn where you are to improve relevance, whether for news, directions, are your friends nearby etc..

With most of the great outdoors pretty well mapped, indoors is the final navigation frontier. Nokia has announced “In-Location” an alliance of 22 companies with the goal of driving and unifying industry innovation in mobile indoor positioning.  Founding members include: Broadcom, CSR, Dialog Semiconductor, Eptisa, Geomobile, Genasys, Indra, Insiteo, Nokia, Nomadic Solutions, Nordic Semiconductor, Nordic Technology Group, NowOn, Primax Electronics, Qualcomm, RapidBlue Solutions, Samsung Electronics, Seolane Innovation, Sony Mobile Communications, TamperSeal AB, Team Action Zone and Visioglobe.

Nokia announces In-Location, 22-strong industry alliance for mobile indoor positioning

Accurate indoor positioning opens up plenty of possibilities for new mobile services. Consumers can receive directions to the right products and personalized product promotions in nearby shops; using real-time navigation inside a building; finding the precise location of assets and people; and even increasing security in emergency situations. For facility owners and local service providers this could enable, for example, increased local customer identification; enhanced product placement; and better customer satisfaction by deploying resources when and where needed.

Brick and mortar retailers are working overtime to make sure that their businesses are not disrupted by the rapidly emerging mobile commerce phenomenon underway.  How will they continue to get people into their locations in addition to providing them with the best possible on-line shopping experience?  What is it going to take to make sure that their very image conscious brands are perceived as technology leaders in a world of Newism?

What is Newism?  One of my favorite web-sites for emerging retail trends is www.trendwatching.com. They are on the forefront of many of the newest and most creative ways brands are interacting with consumers and how consumers are interacting with brands.  Newism is a consumer trend whereby “New” is the thing to do.  (Who knew I was a poet?) The ‘new’ has never been hotter. For consumers, the very notion of the ‘new’ has become a positive one. Given the obsession for new technology – see the upcoming releases of the iPhone 5 and the iPad Mini, we have become highly conditioned to expect new.  New products can be tried easily with little if any risk. New means interesting, new means cool, new means (more) experiences, new means first, new means “I am awesome.”

So how cool will indoor location based services be?  How will this impact retailers and consumers? Time will tell.

Webman