Consumers use their mobile devices to comparison shop, get directions to a business, or make reservations at their favorite restaurant. But often the communication from brands stops there.
Businesses of all kinds should be better engaging via mobile with their customers. After all, engaged customers are your most valuable asset: optimising engagement can help you outperform the competition.
QR codes often get slated for being ugly and unpopular with consumers, but they still frequently crop up on ads and billboards so marketers must still see some potential in these little pixelated squares.
Often the problem with QR codes is that they are badly implemented, while it’s all too easy to find examples of codes that are impossible to scan.
However, when marketers take care over the user experience, the technology can be put to good use, with Toyota being a notable example.
Having previously highlighted six examples of QR code campaigns that actually worked I thought it would be worth trawling the internet to see if any new case studies had cropped up.
While strolling around Farringdon the other day I was handed a copy of the new Argos catalogue by a cheery store employee.
Having already reviewed several of Argos’ digital products, including its mobile app, I thought it would be interesting to see how the company integrates digital elements into its catalogue.
Print has long been the backbone of Argos’ business and no doubt still is, yet as times change digital will become a more important revenue stream.
So, here’s a quick look at how Argos is adapting to the changing times...
The high street’s struggles with ecommerce and the digital age have been well publicised in the past 12 months as a number of previously dominant brands have gone to the wall.
And in general the brands that have thrived are those that were quick to adapt and integrate digital technologies in-store, such as John Lewis and House of Fraser.
In our report How The Internet Can Save The High Street we detailed some of the new tactics and strategies that retailers should be trying to take advantage of, such as click-and-collect, mobile search, apps and QR codes.
QR codes are a much-maligned technology - particularly by us – however they can be used in-store to allow customers to access additional product information and reviews.
Just 11% of European consumers have scanned a QR code in an outdoor advert, according to a new a survey by CBS Outdoor.
This is despite the fact that the study showed that more than half (54%) of respondents are aware of what QR codes are for.
It does need to be taken into account that outdoor advertising refers exclusively to billboards and posters, with press ads not included in the survey.
The Interactive Europe 2013 report also found that 75% of urban audiences now own a smartphone, up from 56% last year, so the opportunity for targeting them with mobile and interactive ads is huge.
Overall though, the report found that awareness of interactive advertising technology remains quite low.
In digital marketing terms QR codes seem to have been around for ages, yet it’s still much easier to find examples of brands using the technology badly than it is to highlight instances that deliver a decent user experience.
A few months ago I flagged up a Toyota print ad as a good example of how to use QR codes to deliver a fun and engaging mobile experience and I’ve since been on the look out for similar campaigns.
As with all new technologies it is quite easy to dismiss QR codes as a passing fad, particularly as user uptake has been quite slow.
However a survey published today by Nielsen shows that 18% of UK consumers regularly use a QR or barcode scanner, so there may be life in the old dog yet.
Marks & Spencer certainly seems to think so, as it has placed a large QR code in the centre of its Mother’s Day window display in Brixton (you can scan the same code above), and potentially in its other stores around the country.
Almost a quarter (24%) of UK shoppers used their mobile while in-store to compare prices in the run-up to Christmas, according to a new survey from Foolproof.
The process, known as ‘showrooming’, means that retailers have to come up with new ways to encourage customers to make a purchase in-store.
Alarmingly for some retailers, the survey of 1,000 adults also found that 40% of showroomers, or one in 10 of all shoppers, bought items from a competitor after comparing prices on their phone.
Unsurprisingly the habit is more prevalent among younger shoppers, with 39% of 18-39 year olds actively engaging in showrooming over Christmas compared to just 18% of shoppers over the age of 40.
Last week I looked at the way advertisers were using QR codes in Sport magazine, and the results were far from impressive.
It seems it’s still commonplace for marketers to link mobile users to desktop sites and few of the adverts included a call-to-action or instructions on how to scan the QR code.
However among the badly executed campaigns, Toyota stood out as a brand that had clearly thought through the entire user journey and considered they type of content that mobile users would find engaging and useful.
We've previously blogged eight best practice tips for using QR codes in marketing, so I thought I'd see how Toyota puts these into practice...
Linking Mobile is attempting to use transactional QR codes to take the affiliate model to offline marketing channels.
The codes have been printed onto 100,000 leaflets advertising the Accident Advice Helpline (AAH), which have been distributed across London by promotions company Double Bubble.
Rather than paying up front for cost of printing the hand-outs, AAH will be charged using a cost per acquisition (CPA) model, and Double Bubble with also be paid per registration.
In this case, the 'acquisition' is based on how many customers fill out a form after being directed to a mobile site via the QR code.
Taco Bell is using augmented reality (AR) and QR codes to build on its social marketing campaign for the launch of Doritos Locos Tacos.
The new taco, which comes in a nacho cheese Doritos shell, was launched yesterday after several weeks of promotional activity on Twitter and Facebook.
This included a Twitter competition last month, which asked people to retweet the name of the product and drummed up a serious amount of buzz in the process.