The Hottest Marketing Trends Everyone Should Know About: Mobile Marketing and QR Codes
Mobile marketing and QR codes offer businesses new ways to contact with potential customers and engage consumer interest. Of the two, mobile marketing seems to be the hotter trend, which is perhaps unsurprising considering the rapid consumer adoption of Smartphones and tablets. Whether you’re selling DVDs, craft supplies, or CJ Pony Ford Mustang hoods, you need to keep an eye on these developing trends.
Mobile Marketing and Geo-location
According to the Gartner research group, tablet computers will outsell PCs by 60 percent by 2015. That’s a hefty chunk of the consumer audience logging on with mobile devices, and offers opportunity for serious marketing gains. Trouble is, few companies are really sure how to engage people through their mobile devices. The general consensus is that mobile marketing needs to engage consumers across multiple channels. For instance, a successful campaign might combine a free mobile application or ringtone with a mobile-friendly blog and social media. Ideally, you want to engage the consumer and make them feel a connection to your brand through their mobile devices - devices that your target audience carries everywhere. Mobile devices offer the tantalizing possibility of tracking consumers in real-time. Retail apps already ask permission to access device location information. It’s not impractical to imagine apps that provide coupons and special offers based on consumers’ locations in real-time, including making competitive offers when the audience is actively shopping in a competitor’s store.
QR Codes and You
QR Codes, square bar codes that can be scanned by Smartphone cameras, continue to crop up on products, magazines and store windows. Once scanned, QR codes can provide product information or link to website pages directly from the phone’s browser. According to comScore, 14 million Americans, 6.2 percent of all U.S mobile users, scanned QR codes in June 2011. That’s not a significant slice of the consumer market, but QR code use is still a relatively new phenomenon. Certainly QR codes are helpful. Users can scan in a QR code for, say, Mustang suspensions online, take their Smartphone to their mechanic, and show the mechanic exactly what they’re looking for. Not everyone, however, recognizes the codes for what they are, and some lack Smartphones or camera phones (though this last possibility is becoming increasingly unlikely, as cameras become standard phone features).
Some retailers use QR codes in combination with branded dial codes users can dial directly from their phone keypad to access coupons, special deals and freebies. Dial codes also crop up on television ads, allowing marketers to access the mobile market during those rare moments when they’re offline. How marketers will access the mobile market remains unclear — we’re very much in an experimental period at this time. What is certain is that, barring a sudden reversal in mobile sales, future marketing efforts will need to target the mobile market to ensure success.
Michelle, a guest blogger, regularly writes about mobile marketing trends and how to use this platform to sell anything from pet products to CJ Pony Ford Mustang hoods.