“2015 Canadian Social Media Voters’ Pulse”

2015 Canadian Social Media Voters’ Pulse2015

Download Report Now

Yesterday we published the results of the “2015 Canadian Social Media Voters’ Pulse” which analyzes several million conversations on social media related to the 2015 Canadian federal election. This analysis includes tracking of major issues, leader/party chatter levels, leader/party sentiment (negative vs. positive comments), etc.

For the 2015 election, there have been some very surprising results surrounding leader/party chatter levels, leader/party sentiment tracking (negative vs. positive comments), and peaks and valleys around several issues such the Trans-Pacific Parthership, taxes, niqab, middle class, Syrian refugees, crime, foreign policy, small business, economy/recession, Ukraine, strategic voting, environment/climate change, student debt, household debt, KPMG, etc. (We have also been able to compare these results to our data analysis from the last federal election in 2011.)
We discovered many surprising trends in this year’s analysis, but most importantly, several indicators point to a liberal majority.
I look forward to hearing your comments on these results. Media inquiries are welcome.

Top 10 Branding / Presales Mobile Marketing Strategies

Part of a series of Top 10 Branding/Pre-Sales Mobile Marketing Strategies

Top 10 Branding/Presales Mobile Marketing Strategies

In this Chapter

  • The first Top 10 list focuses on strategies that will boost your brand visibility and raise awareness of your offerings:
  1. A1. Inbound Mobile Marketing
  2. A2. Mobile Social Media Marketing
  3. A3. Mobile Niche/Community Marketing
  4. A4. Mobile Viral Marketing
  5. A5. Outbound Mobile Marketing
  6. A6. Mobile Advertising
  7. A7. Augmented Reality Marketing (including QR Code Marketing)
  8. A8. Mobile Coupon Marketing
  9. A9. Freemium Marketing, and
  10. A10. Mobile Video Marketing.

A s you can see, there is a wide range of branding/presale strategies that companies can consider. The key is determining which ones make most sense for your organization. Although these strategies tend to be use for branding and presales, they can also achieve other objectives such as moving people through the sales cycle and closing the sale. Let’s view a visual representation of all ten branding/presale options, followed by a review of each strategy in detail including a world tour of examples.

( Click on the images to view )

1 TO 56 TO 10 

Figure 30: Top 10 Branding/Presales Mobile Marketing Strategies

There are several effective mobile strategies you can consider to brand your offerings and company, as well as move people through the sales cycle.

A1 Inbound Mobile Marketing

Part of a series of Top 10 Branding/Pre-Sales Mobile Marketing Strategies

Inbound Mobile Marketing refers to features, functions and content made available through a mobile website or mobile app. About 13 percent of all Internet traffic is now executed from a mobile device, but in some countries such as India, that number has surpassed 60 percent.[i]

Over 90 percent of brands now have their own mobile app, up from about 50 percent a year and a half ago.[ii] One research study suggests that U.S. consumers are now spending almost twice as much time on mobile apps than on the web. And the amount of time spent on mobile apps could soon surpass the amount of time spent watching TV.[iii] Forty-five billion apps were downloaded in 2012.[iv] Apple alone has surpassed 25 billion app downloads in 2012.[v]

But this doesn’t mean that apps are the only approach for reaching people on mobile devices. Creating a mobile website or mobile app both have merit since about the same proportion of people (50 percent) use their browser or apps.[vi] The advent of the HTML5 standard has really given a boost to providing functionality in any browser regardless of which mobile device your customers are using.[vii],[viii]

Experts suggest that there are pros and cons to both of these approaches and that the approach that makes sense for your organization will be determined by several factors: the target market you are trying to reach, user experience, which smartphone features you want to incorporate and whether or not monetization is a factor.[ix] In many instances, creating custom apps for different mobile platforms makes sense because of performance advantages and the ability to take advantage of built‑in features available on each platform.

But I believe the debate between whether to build a mobile app or a browser-based HTML5 website is now moot. Since 13 percent of all traffic is already coming from mobile devices and Forrester Research projects that number to surpass 20 percent in 2013, every company must now have a mobile-optimized HTML5 website.

Furthermore, given the importance of capturing real estate on these all-important new mobile platforms, building an app for all major platforms likely makes sense for every organization as well, since it opens up an entirely new channel to reach customers. The advent of middleware to enable developers to develop an app once and then immediately make it available on all major platforms has given this approach a boost.[x]

When first launching a mobile strategy, many companies are tempted to make all their products available via mobile. This strategy may be less than ideal due to the cumbersome navigation required to provide access to everything. As an alternative, companies could consider simply highlighting products and/or services more appealing to mobile users.

Target, a department store chain, has taken the approach of featuring select products on their mobile app based on the category, availability of discounts and user rankings. Target also decided to focus on other kinds of service offerings such as managing gift registries, buying gift cards and looking up store locations.[xi]

Creating a mobile strategy involves more than just building an app. Consider integrating your brand with other mobile apps or with mobile ad networks. For example, P&G supports a third-party app called Sit or Squat that can help people find the nearest public bathroom. And since P&G sells toilet paper under the brand name Charmin, the association with this fun app makes sense.[xii]

An important aspect of creating an effective inbound mobile marketing strategy is providing utility and convenience for your target audience in a way that is directly tied to your brand. In fact, 90 percent of consumers who have downloaded apps from large retailers rate them as “useful” or “very useful.”[xiii]

REI, a ski equipment manufacturer, created an app to provide customers with personalized Ski and Snow Reports. This provides great utility for skiers and paves the way for REI to hone in on target customers.[xiv] Domino’s app enables customers to track their pizza order using Domino’s Tracker, a great feature for those with hungry kids waiting for their dinner.[xv]

The Venetian and The Palazzo resorts in Las Vegas have enhanced the guest experience with their Pocket Concierge app which has a turn-by-turn navigation function to guide visitors to their hotel room as well as nearby stores, restaurants, restrooms, exits, ATMs, night clubs and other facilities.[xvi]

Purina’s Petometer app enables its target audience, pet owners, to set dog walk reminders, suggest dog exercises and track details about the walks with their pets. It even has a calendar to track grooming and vet appointments. Boondoggle’s Winter Wake‑Up app functions as an alarm clock, but with a unique twist. It monitors your local weather and if snowy or icy conditions occur during the night, the app actually wakes you up earlier to account for addition commute time.[xvii]

These apps all have one thing in common – they provide clear utility for target customers.[xviii] This is critical since 80 percent of apps never surpass 1,000 downloads and 26 percent of apps are opened once and then never opened again.[xix] Providing practical and helpful utility for customers should help overcome these dismal results.

Elmer’s Products sells school supplies to children and their parents. To provide utility, its first app simply helped customers decide which of its glues best suited the project at hand. Elmer’s then created a photo-sharing app called Elmer’s 1st Day to enable parents to store, format and create slideshows that capture the magic of their child’s first day back to school.[xx]

Enabling sharing via e‑mail and Facebook provides even more brand exposure, achieving top-of-mind brand awareness during the crucial back to school season. This is a clever strategy, since females, one of Elmer’s key target markets, rate photo-taking as their most important phone function. Teachers, another of Elmer’s target markets, can also use the app to share school photos with parents.[xxi]

The Nike+ Running app provides plenty of utility for runners: key statistics about progress, history of accomplishments, GPS‑enabled weather reports and access to music. A lot of consideration has gone into providing runners with everything they need to succeed. This has resulted in over seven million runners using this service, a competitive advantage and a market share increase for Nike.[xxii]

QR NIKE +Watch the Video: Mobile App Utility – Nike: The Nike+ Running App has several features that make it invaluable to runners.[xxiii] <goo.gl/FhFa0> (Duration: one minute)

Fancy Feast launched its new cat food line by immersing its brand in its prime target community – devoted pet owners. The MorningPurr alarm clock app lets cat lovers personalize it with an image of their cat and a recording of its meows to awaken them. This strategy works well, as most cat owners feed their cat first thing in the morning – an ideal time to reinforce the Fancy Feast brand.[xxiv]

In addition to creating a corporate mobile branded app for your organization, you could consider campaign-specific apps.[1] Craft brewer New Belgium created an app for its Joy Ride campaign where they gave away 2,500 bikes. To enter the contest, customers had to engage with its brand by taking a photo of a New Belgium product.

The app had a beer calculator that determined how many beers you earned based on how far you rode your bike and the BeerFinder then directed you to the nearest bar. To avoid its campaign apps from becoming obsolete, New Belgium combined all its campaign apps under a single app umbrella to increase the likelihood of long‑term usage.[xxv]

Creating apps to engage specific market segments for specific product offerings may also be compelling in some sectors. For example, many auto manufacturers are creating a separate custom app for each line of cars. For example, Audi has apps for its A6, A7 and A8 models and Mercedes-Benz has an app for each line as well.[xxvi]

Mobile Website/App Analytics

Analytics is one of the most important aspects of building an effective evolving mobile website and/or mobile app strategy. Imagine the ability to track every click, page view, app notification, app launch, download, order, pinch and zoom. Imagine what that might tell you about the effectiveness and usefulness of every page, paragraph, feature and attribute of your inbound marketing strategy. This would be more powerful than market research, since it is based on actual customer usage patterns. This provides tremendous value in determining what has worked, not worked and the best path forward. Technologies to achieve this goal already exist today – organizations should take advantage of them.[xxvii]

Value Proposition Tactical Tips

The success of your mobile app strategy will be determined by your ability to address three simple questions for your customers.

  1. How will it save me money?
  2. How will it save me time?
  3. What’s in it for me?

Inbound Mobile Marketing Best Practices

  •       Provide utility to your target market.
  •       Standardize the branding for your mobile-optimized site as “m.xyz.com” where xyz is your domain name. Alternatively, build intelligence into your site so that it can sense if someone accessing xyz.com is doing so from a mobile device, and automatically display a mobile-optimized site.
  •       Integrate smartphone features that will increase the usefulness of your app (e.g., GPS location, camera, accelerometer, etc.).
  •       Consider that most users are right-handed and therefore buttons such as buy and search may generate a better click rate if positioned on the lower right corner.
  •       Conduct user testing to determine if your website is easy to use or confusing, specifically for achieving certain user tasks.[xxviii],[xxix]
  •       Use tools such as heat maps to analyze and improve conversion rates, referrals, abandonment rates, etc.[xxx]
  •       Conduct A-B testing to determine which website designs are most effective.[xxxi]
  •       Conduct mobile app and website analytics to track user behavior and adjust your strategy accordingly.[xxxii]

QR MOBILE WEBSITE BEST PRATICESWatch the Video: Mobile Website Best Practices: Mobile Website Best Practices by Mobile Marketer.[xxxiii] <goo.gl/c5cJx> (Duration: three minutes)

QR GUIDE BY GOOGLEWatch the Video: Mobile Website Best Practices: Mobile Website Best Practices by Google.[xxxiv] <goo.gl/P3jK7> (Duration: 49 minutes)

Challenge Question

Mobile Utility Strategies: What features and functions could you provide via a mobile app or mobile website that would attract your target market, provide value and utility, have a positive impact on your brand and potentially move people through the sales cycle?

[1] For the remainder of this section I will refer generically to the term app, but the functionality discussed could be achieved either with an actual mobile app or a browser-based HTML5 website.

[i] Steven Musil. “Mobile Internet traffic gaining fast on desktop Internet traffic.” CNET. December 3, 2012. Accessed December 15, 2012. http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57556943-93/mobile-internet-traffic-gaining-fast-on-desktop-internet-traffic/.

[ii] Jason Gurwin. “Building a Mobile App Is Not a Mobile Strategy.” Harvard Business Review. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/11/building.

[iii] Kim-Mai Cutler. “Time Spent In Mobile Apps Is Starting To Challenge Television, Flurry Says.” TechCrunch. December 5, 2012. Accessed December 8, 2012. http://techcrunch.com/2012/12/05/flurry-mobile-apps-television/.

[iv] Matt Holden. “Over 45 Billion Apps Downloaded This Year.” Online Casino Archives. September 17, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.onlinecasinoarchives.com/technology/2012/09/17/45-billion-apps-downloaded-year/.

[v] David Murphy. “Apple’s App Store Hits 25 Billion Downloads: How Many Per iPhone?” PCMAG.com. March 3, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2401122,00.asp.

[vi] “comScore Reports June 2012 U.S. Mobile Subscriber Market Share.” comScore, Inc. August 1, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2012/8/comScore_Reports_June_2012_U.S._Mobile_Subscriber_Market_Share.

[vii] “HTML5.” Wikipedia. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML5.

[viii] “BII REPORT: HTML5 Is The Future Of Mobile Apps, But It Won’t Come Fast.” Business Insider. December 16, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.businessinsider.com/bii-report-html5-is-the-future-of-mobile-apps-but-it-wont-come-fast-2012-12.

[ix] Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry. “HTML5 Will Replace Native Apps – But It Will Take Longer Than You Think.” Business Insider. January 9, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-01-09/tech/30606532_1_android-app-store-html5.

[x] “IBM Worklight – Mobile Application Platform.” IBM Corporation. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www-01.ibm.com/software/mobile-solutions/worklight/.

[xi] Brendan Gibbons. “Mobile Commerce: Four Good Examples.” Practical Ecommerce. March 18, 2010. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/1740-Mobile-Commerce-Four-Good-Examples.

[xii] Jason Gurwin. “Building a Mobile App Is Not a Mobile Strategy.” Harvard Business Review. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/11/building.

[xiii] Bill Siwicki. “Shoppers would rather use smartphones to consult store associates, survey finds.” Internet Retailer. December 6, 2010. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.internetretailer.com/2010/12/06/shoppers-would-rather-use-smartphones-store-associates.

[xiv] Chantal Tode. “Nike+ expands mobile strategy with Android app.” Mobile Marketer. June 25, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/content/13173.html.

[xv] Rimma Kats. “Domino’s Pizza heats up mobile ordering space with Kindle Fire app.” Mobile Commerce Daily. July 16, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/2012/07/16/domino%E2%80%99s-pizza-heats-up-mobile-ordering-space-with-kindle-fire-app.

[xvi] Chantal Tode. “The Venetian, Palazzo launch on-site directions app to enhance visitor experience.” Mobile Commerce Daily. July 17, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/2012/07/17/the-venetian-palazzo-launch-on-site-directions-app-to-enhance-visitor-experience.

[xvii] “Boondoggle Winter Wake-up app Casemovie.” YouTube. Uploaded by BoondoggleAgency on December 14, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkThJFKL1pk.

[xviii] Rimma Kats. “Purina engages pet owners via interactive mobile app.” Mobile Marketer. June 10, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/content/10156.html.

[xix] “First Impressions Matter! 26% of Apps Downloaded in 2010 Were Used Just Once.” Localytics. January 31, 2011. Accessed February 1, 2013. http://www.localytics.com/blog/2011/first-impressions-matter-26-percent-of-apps-downloaded-used-just-once/.

[xx] “1st day, A Celebration of the 1st Day of School.” Elmer’s. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.the1stday.com.

[xxi] Chantal Tode. “Elmer’s creates photo-sharing app to drive engagement beyond back-to-school shopping.” Mobile Marketer. July 5, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/content/13243.html

[xxii] Chantal Tode. “Nike+ expands mobile strategy with Android app.” Mobile Marketer. June 25, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/content/13173.html.

[xxiii] “The New Nike+ Running App.” YouTube. Uploaded by insidenikerunning on June 26, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/FhFa0 or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46hEaFKa638.

[xxiv] Chantal Tode. “Fancy Feast supports new line launch with mobile app.” Mobile Marketer. June 27, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/content/13191.html.

[xxv] Lauren Johnson. “New Belgium Brewery taps mobile for social media engagement.” Mobile Marketer. June 5, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/content/12981.html.

[xxvi] Rachel Lamb. “Should luxury marketers develop an app-per-line experience?” Luxury Daily. July 5, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.luxurydaily.com/should-luxury-marketers-develop-an-app-per-line-experience/.

[xxvii] “Tealeaf CX Mobile – Discover What’s Working, What Isn’t, and Why.” Tealeaf, an IBM Company. Accessed February 1, 2013. http://www.tealeaf.com/products/mobile/cxmobile/index.php.

[xxviii] “UserTesting.com: Quick Tour.” YouTube. Uploaded by usertestingcom on March 12, 2012. Accessed February 1, 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMyeAsHaq78.

[xxix] “cAPPtion: UsabilityHub Review.” YouTube. Uploaded by BarbaraEMac on June 9, 2011. Accessed February 1, 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgb3TAZBxEA.

[xxx] “Crazy Egg Explainer Video.” YouTube. Uploaded by demoducky on February 13, 2012. Accessed February 1, 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3f-2WG7ONc.

[xxxi] Optimizely A/B Testing Live Demo with Q&A.” YouTube. Uploaded by Optimizely on September 14, 2012. Accessed February 1, 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHO8EOlNpjE.

[xxxii] “Tealeaf CX Mobile – Discover What’s Working, What Isn’t, and Why.” Tealeaf, an IBM Company. Accessed February 1, 2013. http://www.tealeaf.com/products/mobile/cxmobile/index.php.

[xxxiii] ”Making Mobile-Friendly Websites: Best Practices in Action.” YouTube. Uploaded by GoogleMobileAds on November 11, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/P3jK7 or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCDW55gjbPc.

[xxxiv] ”Making Mobile-Friendly Websites: Best Practices in Action.” YouTube. Uploaded by GoogleMobileAds on November 11, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/P3jK7 or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCDW55gjbPc.

A2 Mobile Social Media Marketing

Part of a series of Top 10 Branding/Pre-Sales Mobile Marketing Strategies

( Click on the image to view )


Figure 31: Mobile Social Media Marketing

Combining social media with mobile marketing is like social media marketing on steroids – a very potent combination.

The year was 2009 and my daughter and I were driving home one evening. Unfortunately, I ran out of gas on the highway. My 11‑year old daughter was shocked to learn that our only (low‑cost) recourse was grabbing the gas can from the trunk and walking to the nearest gas station. She promptly posted a comment on Facebook with her iPhone, something to the effect that her dad was a loser.

Well, by the time we reached the gas station fifteen minutes later, she already had 17 likes on Facebook! In that moment, I was begrudgingly struck by the amazing power at our fingertips when combining mobile with social media. This changes everything.

Social media participation has skyrocketed in countries around the world and much of that is occurring on mobile.

  • Facebook has surpassed one billion users.[i]
  • Users spend over 12 billion hours per month on the site.
  • Over half a billion people are using Facebook from their mobile devices monthly.[ii]
  • Mobile users already account for 45 percent of Facebook traffic.[iii]
  • Over 140 million active Twitter users send over a billion tweets every three days.[iv]
  • Mobile users already account for 55 percent of Twitter traffic.[v]
  • People watch four billion videos per day on YouTube.
  • YouTube gets over 200 million video views from mobile devices daily.[vi
  • LinkedIn has over 190 million users.[vii]
  • LinkedIn mobile page views are up over 400 percent.[viii]
  • Qzone, China’s biggest social media site has over a half billion members that have uploaded 150 billion photos – “enough to encircle the earth and the moon 30 times if printed out”.[ix]
  • China’s QQ instant messaging service has over 700 million users.[x]
  • In Canada, 18 to 34‑year‑olds spend the equivalent of one month per year on social networks.[xi]
  • About half of these mobile users access social media sites daily from their smartphones.[xii]

We live in a social media intensive world and smartphones are fast becoming the doorway to that world.


Facebook is a potent branding tool that can no longer be ignored. People are now spending more than twice as much time on Facebook as on Yahoo! and the AOL Media Network; and more than three times as much time as on Google, MSN/WindowsLive/Bing or YouTube.[xiii]

One of the biggest focus areas to date in Facebook marketing is the creation of fan pages. Coca‑Cola became the first retail brand to surpass 50 million fans.[xiv] But an interesting aspect of fan page marketing is often ignored. Rather than simply focusing on marketing to fans, companies should focus on marketing to fans’ friends. Starbucks now has over 31 million fans, but the friends of those fans total more than 700 million. Therefore, through interactions such as fan check‑ins, the Starbucks brand becomes visible to friends of fans.[xv]


Facebook Likes: Another simple measure of branding visibility is the number of Facebook likes you can attain.

There’s no shortage of creative ways to get Facebook likes both online and in the real world. A Singapore TV channel has a reality show about customer service in restaurants. They set up a Tip Machine with 10,000 one‑dollar coins that people can release by providing a Facebook like. Coins released travel down a fun-to-watch path and the restaurant with the most tips wins the cash. Tippers get a chance to win a trip to Bangkok on the luxurious Eastern & Oriental Express train service and the TV station gets significant social media exposure on Facebook.[xvii]

Visa found an interesting approach to engage fans during the 2012 London Olympics. Visa’s Facebook campaign generated 28 million cheers from Olympics’ fans around the world wanting to inspire their favorite athletes. This resulted in great brand exposure for Visa.[xviii]

Social media sites like Facebook can be used to engage customers directly in decisions about a particular product or service. Mattel even asked Facebook users to vote on whether Barbie and Ken should get back together after a seven-year split from each other. Fans could place their votes on Ken or Barbie’s Facebook pages or at BarbieAndKen.com. Furthermore, all of this media hype was timed to occur by Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2011. The good news for fans is that the iconic couple got back together.[xix]

QR SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENTWatch the Video: Social Media Engagement Innovation – Mattel: Mattel used a social media strategy to generate buzz for its Barbie and Ken dolls.[xx] <goo.gl/H44xE> (Duration: one minute)

QR FB VIDEOSWatch the Videos: Facebook Marketing Tutorials: Facebook’s official site with several tutorials and webinars about how to market on Facebook.[xxi] <goo.gl/tFom8> (Durations vary)

USHUAIA HOTL QRWatch the Video: RFID/Facebook Marketing Innovation – Ushuaia Hotel: Ushuaia Hotel provides RFID wristbands to guests to enable them to automatically post photos or likes to their Facebook profile – a powerful social media marketing strategy.[xxii] <goo.gl/PudtS> (Duration: three minutes)

Facebook Analytics

ComScore has teamed up with Facebook to provide an analytical tool called Social Essentials which can analyze and quantify the marketing impact of your social media marketing activities.[xxiii] It is important to use analytics to understand your audience demographics, brand engagement, propensity to buy, purchasing frequency, reach and frequency of your marketing messages, etc.

Other Social Media Sites

Although Facebook is by far the most popular social media site, marketers cannot ignore Pinterest which is currently the fastest growing site with year-over-year growth of more than 4,000 percent.[xxiv] One reason for this growth is Pinterest’s focus on sharing content via mobile devices. Pinterest enables retailers to display product photos and Pinterest users can pin photos to create photo collections, potentially leading to brand exposure and viral marketing success.

A similar strategy can be implemented on Instagram, another fast growing mobile photo-sharing app. Those targeting a more technical audience may also want to consider Google+.

QR PINTEREST GUIDEWatch the Video: Pinterest Social Media Marketing: Pinterest can be used to augment your social media marketing strategy.[xxv] <goo.gl/z9Bca> (Duration: three minutes)

Social Media and QR Code Marketing Integration

Now imagine integrating social media marketing with QR code marketing. Glamour magazine ran a mobile barcode campaign with an integrated social media component that resulted in over half a million QR code scans. Readers were encouraged to scan QR codes that would automatically generate a Facebook like for various companies.

By liking the Gap, readers were rewarded with 40 percent off any regularly priced item. This resulted in the Gap and other advertisers generating 50,000 more followers. But an even bigger impact may be in reaching friends of friends. Almost one‑fifth of those that participated shared the deals with their friends.[xxvi]

Integration between a mobile strategy and social media strategy is critical for many different kinds of organizations, especially those in the B2C space. Bully Boy Distillers created an interesting mobile campaign and linked it to social media as well as physical locations. Clues for a private event invitation were placed on Facebook, Pinterest, Flickr, YouTube and Twitter. Thousands of QR codes were also placed on coasters in several bars and restaurants in Boston to link to event details on Facebook and a microsite.[xxvii]

Rewards as Incentives

Consumers seem to be more willing to make a visible social media connection with a brand when there is a reward involved. As an incentive for customers to engage with the Red Bull brand on various social media sites, it offered a free four‑pack of its energy drink. This achieved significant brand exposure for Red Bull.[xxviii]

The Melting Pot restaurant encouraged customers to take photos of their favorite meals and post them to social media sites to win prizes. The Melting Pot achieved its goals of raising brand awareness and driving more foot traffic to its restaurants.[xxix]

Marketers should consider how every mobile transaction can generate social media awareness and conversely how social media awareness could lead to a mobile transaction. This is especially true for luxury brands, since over 80 percent of consumers want to engage with these brands via mobile and social channels; consumers are open to showing an affiliation with luxury brands.[xxx]

Mobile Social Media Marketing Best Practices

  •       Consider how every one of your mobile marketing campaigns could have a social media spin.
  •       Encourage social media interactions by offering single click social media options such as liking you on Facebook, automatically generating a tweet, automatically pinning a photo on Pinterest, etc.
  •       Sign up for a Facebook business account to market and brand your offerings on Facebook.[xxxi]
  •       Sign up for and exploit other popular social media sites being used by your target market in your country.[xxxii]
  •       Specific tactics can double your social media interaction and response rates.
  • Post on weekday evenings (not Wednesdays) or weekends rather than during week days. This is dependent on the product; Thursday is best for clothing while Monday is best for general retail products.
  • Do not post content more than once or twice per day.
  • Use emoticons such as :D and :P.
  • Post photos, not videos or links to other content.
    • Encourage visitor interaction and engagement by challenging visitors to:
    • Think of a caption for your photo
    • Fill in the blank
    • Answer Yes/No or True/False questions
    • Like or share your post, and
    • Answer a question posed at the end of your post.[xxxiii]

Challenge Questions

Mobile Social Media Marketing Strategies: What social media sites are used by your target market? How could you integrate your mobile marketing and social media marketing strategies to achieve specific and measurable results?

[i] Darrell Etherington. “Facebook Tops 1 Billion Monthly Active Users, CEO Mark Zuckerberg Shares A Personal Note.” TechCrunch. October 4, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/04/facebook-tops-1-billion-monthly-users-ceo-mark-zuckerberg-shares-a-personal-note/.

[ii] Sherli Looi. “Facebook Now Great Value After IPO Flop, Flood Of Insider Selling.” Forbes. August 16, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2012/08/16/facebook-now-great-value-after-ipo-flop-flood-of-insider-selling/.

[iii] “Understand Mobile Trends and Consumer Behavior.” comScore, Inc. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.comscore.com/Products_Services/Product_Index/MobiLens.

[iv] “What is Twitter?” Twitter for Business. Accessed November 4, 2012. https://business.twitter.com/basics/what-is-twitter/.

[v] “Understand Mobile Trends and Consumer Behavior.” MobiLens. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.comscore.com/Products_Services/Product_Index/MobiLens.

[vi] “YouTube Marketing Tactics.” JoshRimer.com. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.joshrimer.com/.

[vii] “The Most Popular Countries on LinkedIn.” ZoomSphere. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.zoomsphere.com/charts/linkedin/countries/all.

[viii] Marissa McNaughton. “Social Network Stats of the Week: LinkedIn Mobile Pageviews Up 400%, #RLTM Scoreboard.” The Realtime Report. November 4, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://therealtimereport.com/2012/08/07/linkedin-reaches-174-million-members-revenue-up-89/.

[ix] Josh Ong. “Picture this: Chinese Internet giant Tencent’s Qzone social network now hosts over 150 billion photos.” The Next Web. August 9, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://thenextweb.com/asia/2012/08/09/picture-this-chinese-internet-giant-tencents-qzone-social-network-now-hosts-over-150-billion-photos/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheNextWeb+%28The+Next+Web+All+Stories%29.

[x] “Tencent QQ.” Wikipedia. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tencent_QQ.

[xi] “Newad reveals the results of a pan-Canadian survey on the habits of 18-to-34 year-old adults.” NewAd. July 6, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.newad.com/140-presse-room/newad-reveals-the-results-of-a-pan-canadian-survey-on-the-habits-of-18-to-34-year-old-adults.html.

[xii] “Understand Mobile Trends and Consumer Behavior.” comScore, Inc. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.comscore.com/Products_Services/Product_Index/MobiLens.

[xiii] “July 2011 – Top US Web Brands.” NielsenWire. August 31, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/july-2011-top-us-web-brands.

[xiv] “Coca-Cola Is First Retail Brand to Pass 50 Million Facebook Fans.” Exposure by Design. September 5, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://exposurebydesign.com.au/coca-cola-is-first-retail-brand-to-pass-50-million-facebook-fans/#.

[xv] Gregory Ferenstein. “To Spread Your Brand On Facebook, Don’t Target Your Fans – Target Their Friends.” Fast Company. July 26, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.fastcompany.com/1769125/facebook-comscore-study-social-essentials.

[xvi] “How To Add Facebook Like Button to Blogger (Blogspot).” madTomato. March 12, 2011. Updated May 05, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.madtomatoe.com/how-to-add-facebook-like-button-to-blogger-blogspot/.

[xvii] Quinton O’Reilly. “Singapore’s biggest tip jar turns your likes into $1 tips.” SimplyZesty. August 24, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.simplyzesty.com/advertising-and-marketing/singapore%E2%80%99s-biggest-tip-jar-turns-your-likes-into-1-tips/.

[xviii] “Visa’s Go World Campaign Generates More Than 28 Million Cheers Prior to London 2012 Olympic Games in 11 Weeks.” Visa Inc. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://investor.visa.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=215693&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1719502&highlight=.

[xix] Erica Swallow. “How Barbie & Ken Were Reunited by Social Media.” Mashable. May 5, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://mashable.com/2011/05/05/barbie-ken-social-media/.

[xx] “Ken & Barbie Fate: Online Vote.” YouTube. Uploaded by foxprovidence on February 8, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/H44xE or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AI4VPDMLw5Q.

[xxi] “Facebook Marketing.” Facebook. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/tFom8 or https://www.facebook.com/marketing.

[xxii] “Hotel connects Facebook with tech wristbands for social media crazy clubbers.” YouTube. Uploaded by tnooz on July 29, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/PudtS or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPnktJ0lKKE.

[xxiii] “Products & Services Overview.” comScore, Inc. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.comscore.com/Products_Services.

[xxiv] Lauren Johnson. “How Pinterest is flipping the merchandising model for mobile retailers.” Mobile Commerce Daily. June 28, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/2012/06/28/how-pinterest-is-flipping-the-merchandising-model-for-mobile-retailers.

[xxv] “A Marketer’s Guide to Pinterest.” YouTube. Uploaded by MDGadvertising on April 19, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/z9Bca or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfyByLwiIe8&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL5CC6544695378DFF.

[xxvi] Rimma Kats. “Glamour sees 512,339 reader engagements via social, mobile bar code campaign.” Mobile Marketer. November 8, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/software-technology/11437.html.

[xxvii] Lauren Johnson. “Bully Boy ties social media to mobile via out-of-home campaign.” Mobile Marketer. June 21, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/software-technology/13144.html.

[xxviii] Lauren Johnson. “Red Bull leans on mobile advertising to drive summer sweepstakes entries.” Mobile Marketer. July 5, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/advertising/13242.html.

[xxix] Lauren Johnson. “The Melting Pot marries social and mobile via Foodspotting partnership.” Mobile Commerce Daily. June 29, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/2012/06/29/the-melting-pot-marries-social-and-mobile-via-foodspotting-partnership.

[xxx] Rachel Lamb. “82pc consumers want to engage retail brands via mobile: study.” Luxury Daily. July 18, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.luxurydaily.com/82pc-consumers-want-to-engage-retail-brands-via-mobile-study/.

[xxxi] Zach Browne. “Set Up Your Company Facebook Page in 8 Easy Steps.” Facebook. May 17, 2010. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.facebook.com/notes/zach-browne/set-up-your-company-facebook-page-in-8-easy-steps/390097811748.

[xxxii] Melinda Emerson. “How a Diner Gets the Most Out of Social Media.” The New York Times. September 28, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/28/how-a-las-vegas-diner-gets-the-most-out-of-social-media/.

[xxxiii] Todd Wasserman. “Sorry, Marketers, You’re Doing Facebook Wrong.” Mashable. September 28, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://mashable.com/2012/09/28/marketers-facebook-wrong/.

A3 Mobile Niche / Community Marketing

Part of a series of Top 10 Branding/Pre-Sales Mobile Marketing Strategies

Community marketing involves the creation of, or participation in, online communities. The goal is to initiate and build relationships with your target market while providing exposure for your brand.

Proprietary Communities

One of the best examples of a mobile community marketing strategy is the Nike+ Running app, mentioned earlier. Runners can join a community of like-minded people locally or globally. This enables runners to connect with community members virtually or in the real world by finding runners in the same area with a similar schedule and skill level. Community members, friends and family can monitor your progress and even give you real‑time audio encouragement during your run – “Go Tom go!”[i]

QR NIKE APPWatch the Video: Community Marketing – Nike: The Nike+ Running App brings together a community of like‑minded runners.[ii] <goo.gl/16qK8> (Duration: one minute)

Harley-Davidson formed the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.®) with the tagline “Hit the road with nearly one million of your closest friends.”[iii] Harley was successful at forming 1,400 H.O.G.® community chapters around the world. Harley dealerships also create strong community ties to riders by inviting customers and prospects to opt in to a mobile text messaging club.

Customers receive text updates about community gatherings, rides, special sales, events and member-only deals. Following one mobile message campaign advertising a special sale, Central Texas Harley Davidson reported the best sales day in nine months.[iv]

Dole created an online community called the Salad Circle to provide exclusive offers and recipes to community members.[v] Prizes were used as an incentive for people to join the community.[vi]

Panera bread created an interesting strategy to try to build a community and engage with current and future customers. They actually create three branded radio stations on Pandora called “Cool it Down, Hot Summer Classics and Fresh Hits.”[vii] Such an interesting approach to building a community.

Another powerful approach to building communities is through the use of teleconference calls. Teleconference calls can be a great way to get people talking to each other – prospects, customers, employees and business partners. There are many free teleconference services that you can use to get started.[viii],[ix],[x]

Existing Established Communities

Many companies are capitalizing on existing community sites such as Craigslist[xi] or Kijiji[xii] that operate in cities around the world, or national community sites such as TradeMe in New Zealand “where Kiwis Buy and Sell.”[xiii] These community sites can be used to sell goods and services. Many other global, national and regional community sites exist for specific hobbies, interests, sports, product categories and demographic segments.

Mobile Niche/Community Marketing Step-by-Step Guidance

  1. Leverage existing community sites or create your own.
  2. Find communities relevant to your offerings and/or target market.
  3. Enlist your employees to play a leadership role in these communities.
  4. Participate as a valued community member and build your reputation and brand.

Mobile Niche/Community Marketing Best Practices

  •       Be authentic.
  •       Provide value to the community; don’t blatantly sell.
  •       Focus on meeting the needs of the community. Address this question for them – “What’s in it for me?”
  •       Focus on achieving objectives that make most sense for your organization such as education, generating donations for a cause, branding, moving people through the sales cycle, social media impact and sales.

Challenge Questions

Community Marketing Strategies: What niche communities could you build to position your organization as a leader with your target audience? What existing communities could you participate in to position your brand and offerings to gain visibility in the marketplace?

[i] Chantal Tode. “Nike+ expands mobile strategy with Android app.” Mobile Marketer. July 25, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/content/13173.html.

[ii] “Nike Plus GPS App, Athleticshop.nl.” YouTube. Uploaded by SneakertomWEBSHOP on April 26, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/16qK8 or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bV0VhMXZuTI.

[iii] “Harley Owners Group.” Harley Davidson USA. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.harley-davidson.com/en_US/Content/Pages/HOG/HOG.html.

[v] “Dole Salads.” Dole. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://salads.dole.com.

[vi] Lauren Johnson. “Dole bolsters email database via mobile ads.” Mobile Marketer. February, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/advertising/12162.html.

[vii] Rimma Kats. “Panera Bread taps mobile ads to drive YouTube page viewership.” Mobile Marketer. June 20, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/advertising/13138.html.

[viii] “FreeConferencing.com.” FreeConferencing.com. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://freeconferencing.com.

[ix] “Free, High Definition Voice Conferencing.” FreeConferenceCallHD.com. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.freeconferencecallHD.com.

[x] “FreeConferenceCall.com.” FreeConferenceCall.com. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.freeconferencecall.com.

[xi] “Craigslist.” Craigslist. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.craigslist.com.

[xii] ”eBay Classifieds (Kijiji) – Post & Search Free Local Classified Ads.” eBay Classifieds. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.kijiji.com.

[xiii] “Buy online and sell with NZ’s #1 auction & classifieds site – Trade Me.” Trade Me. December 9, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.trademe.co.nz.

A4 Mobile Viral Marketing

Part of a series of Top 10 Branding/Pre-Sales Mobile Marketing Strategies

The Mobile Social Media Gift Economy

Before crafting a viral marketing strategy, it’s important for you to understand the nature of the mobile social media gift economy. Many organizations offer free products or services online, and in many cases it’s just free information. The intent is to provide something for free with the expectation that it could lead to an actual sale in the future.

Offering something of value for free could have a number of benefits.

  •       Drive higher traffic levels to your blogs, websites, mobile apps or social media sites, fulfilling the basic marketing tenets of both reach (exposing the largest number of people to your products) and frequency (repeating the information often enough for them to assimilate your branding and marketing messages).
  •        Improve your brand presence in the marketplace and instill trust in potential           clients.
  •        Provide an opportunity for prospects to try out your product or service before deciding whether or not they want to buy it.[i]

For example, someone selling an online book might consider giving away a free chapter or a free summary article. Prospects that read the free chapter could then make an informed decision about purchasing the book. Effective strategies incorporate a close connection between the free offering and fee offering.[ii]

Fee Offering/Type of Firm

Potential Free Offering

Small business consulting service A ten‑minute free consultation
Research report Highlights of the research
Stock brokerage firm Investment newsletter
Automobile dealer Used car valuation service

These free offerings benefit both the consumer and the company. This initial touchpoint assists in laying the foundation of moving prospects through the sales cycle – awareness, liking, preference and product purchase. As part of your mobile marketing strategy, determine whether or not you could make free offers to achieve some of the objectives described above. This free offer could then be made available on your website, mobile website, social media sites and mobile app. Providing utility to your stakeholders is key.

Valuable Resource

Valuable Mobile Marketing and Commerce Resources: Subscribe to Mobile Marketer Daily[iii] to keep abreast of the latest mobile marketing trends and subscribe to Mobile Commerce Daily[iv] to keep abreast of the latest m-commerce trends – great examples of the gift economy in action.

There are many innovative examples of supporting the gift economy and the best examples are ones where there is a close tie between the freebie and the organization’s offering. A simple example mentioned earlier is an app that provides information on where the nearest public washroom is, brought to you of course by Charmin, the toilet paper people.

The key to a successful freebie is choosing something that helps to attract your target market. A simple example is a bank that offers a free mortgage calculator. Homeowners who are about to refinance their homes or first-time buyers who are about to purchase their first home will likely only use this calculator. This is a direct hit on the target market of the bank’s mortgage division.

Another example of a free offer could be in the form of a limited usage trial. For example, a translation service could offer free translations for up to one page of content, but anything more than that would have to be paid for. Making this type of a free offer has another advantage; customers get to sample your work and make an assessment of the quality of your work. The downside is potentially wasting time on work that does not lead to follow‑on paid work.

What types of free offers are not likely to be effective? Imagine a free offer of a t-shirt for everyone who downloads your mobile app. You will probably get thousands of people taking you up on your offer, but most of them will likely never become one of your paying customers. In this case you are attracting people that are not part of your target market, which doesn’t make sense.

Another free offer that is worth discussing was first mentioned in my book Strategic Internet Marketing published in the mid‑nineties.[v] It was an interesting free offer from Crestar Bank. They introduced a figure called Dr. Finance who would answer any question about mortgages, loans, investments, insurance and much more. There was absolutely no charge for Dr. Finance’s services.

In a recent search however, there appears to be no evidence of free help from Dr. Finance. The benefit they obtained from this free offer likely did not outweigh the costs, employee time and risk involved in providing this consultation service, not to mention queries from countries they didn’t even serve.

Perhaps Crestar would have been more successful if its experts wrote several articles for distribution as an electronic booklet to all that requested it. Although the initial workload may have been significant, the booklet could then be redistributed several thousand times with very little ongoing cost or effort required.

Gift Economy Tactical Tips

The examples above lead us to some specific tactics that will improve your likelihood of success. Select a free offer that:

  •       Will be of direct interest to your target market
  •       Will not be of any interest to people that are not part of your target market
  •       May require some effort up front, but minimal effort on an ongoing basis, and
  •       Can be provided to thousands or millions of people, but ideally with a zero incremental cost for each additional person that requests it.

This advice should help you select a free offer that will fit into the mobile social media gift economy and provide your company with business benefits on an ongoing basis.

Challenge Question

Gift Economy Strategies: Are there free giveaways that your company could offer – products, services or information – that would give you an innovative competitive edge and help you achieve your branding, marketing, sales and/or viral marketing objectives?

Mobile Viral Marketing

“Viral marketing, viral advertising or marketing buzz are buzzwords referring to marketing techniques that use pre‑existing social networks and other technologies to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of viruses or computer viruses… It can be delivered by word of mouth or enhanced by the network effects of the Internet and mobile networks.[1]

Viral marketing may take the form of video clips, interactive Flash games, advergames, ebooks, branded software, images, text messages, e‑mail messages or web pages… the creative nature of viral marketing enables ‘endless amount of potential forms and vehicles the messages can utilize for transmission’ including mobile devices.”[1]

Mobile marketing using techniques such as free offers via e‑mail, text and/or mobile apps can be used to achieve viral marketing impact. Let’s consider some examples to bring this concept to life.

IKEA uploaded furniture showroom photos on their Facebook page and gave away items to the first person who tagged himself/herself on any of the items in the photos. Photo tagging created a viral effect, reaching thousands of friends of friends who tagged the photos, all hoping to get free IKEA furniture.

Allure magazine partnered with its advertisers and ran a QR code marketing campaign. By offering up $725,000 in free merchandise they were able to generate viral marketing success with half a million scans, 25,000 registered customers and a great deal of branding visibility.[1]

QR code extrait 3Watch the Video: Viral Marketing Innovation – TNT: A great example from  Belgium – creating a staged event to generate viral marketing excitement.[1]   <goo.gl/FwaFg> (Duration: two minutes)


extrait 3 qr code 2Watch the Video: SMS Social Media Marketing: Integrating SMS text marketing with social media marketing can help you achieve viral marketing impact.[1] <goo.gl/kEVLa> (Duration: four minutes)

[i] Adapted from content written by Jay Linden for the book by Tom Vassos, Strategic Internet Marketing (Indianapolis: Macmillan Publishing, 1996).

[ii] Tom Vassos, Strategic Internet Marketing (Indianapolis: Macmillan Publishing, 1996).

[iii] “Subscribe to Mobile Marketer newsletters for free.” Mobile Marketer. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/newsletter.

[iv] Dan Butcher. “News Corp.’s Clear Channel, GE unveil mobile-optimized storefronts.” Mobile Commerce Daily. March 11, 2010. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/news.

[v] Tom Vassos, Strategic Internet Marketing (Indianapolis: Macmillan Publishing, 1996).

A5 Outbound Mobile Marketing

Part of a series of Top 10 Branding/Pre-Sales Mobile Marketing Strategies

Outbound Mobile Marketing involves obtaining opt‑in permission from customers and prospects and then proactively reaching out to them. This is also referred to as push marketing.  There are many different platforms that can be used to send out push notifications including SMS text, e-mail, in-app notifications, Apple Passport notifications, Twitter and social media messages.

Outbound marketing may be even more powerful than your Inbound mobile website and/or app strategy because you have more control over the frequency of communications and resulting brand impact. In fact, many apps only get used once or a few times for a few minutes and then never used again; not a great formula for long‑term success.

To create a successful outbound strategy, organizations must totally change their mindset from blasting messages to everyone on their list, to personalized messages tailored to individuals at the right place, in the right context, at the right time and for the right purpose. Furthermore, the term right, means right for the customer, not just right for the organization trying to sell something. It could be a timely reminder of something, a discount for something important, a valuable piece of information, etc.

Push notifications can be especially effective if they are customized to each individual and leverage the phone’s sensor input capabilities (e.g., GPS). Think of the power of receiving a smartphone coupon for Pampers® diapers, but only if you have a baby, and only when you are standing in the diaper isle at Walmart. Very powerful.

But more than any other strategy discussed in this book, a push notification strategy also carries the biggest risk of annoying customers and hurting your brand. Proceed with caution: opt-in is mandatory; simple opt-out is critical; transparency of the frequency and nature of the notification is important; and moderation is key.

The frequency of push notifications must not be overwhelming, but it really depends on their purpose. For example, most people would not typically want frequent notifications, but on the other hand, may be perfectly happy with frequent notifications from a fitness service such as Fitocracy to remind them to work out every day. Also, consider a quiet time so that you do not wake up customers with text messages or app alerts in the middle of the night.

The key is providing value for customers – not just focusing on blatant sales. Not only is it important to follow this advice, but Apple’s guidelines actually stipulate that “apps cannot use Push Notifications to send advertising, promotions, or direct marketing of any kind.”[i]

Learn from what’s working and adjust your strategy accordingly. When creating your outbound marketing strategy, consider the push method that is likely going to be the most effective to reach your target market. To help you prioritize your outbound marketing strategies, I have created the Outbound Mobile Marketing Impact Scale.sm This scale varies considerably based upon your country, target market (e.g., B2C vs. B2B, age, etc.), marketing objectives and the price/margin characteristics of your offering.

The Outbound Mobile Marketing Impact Scale is being presented here as a point of reference; you must determine which outbound method will work best for you. For example, LinkedIn may have a big impact reaching a business audience, but much less impact reaching a consumer audience. A personal voice call may be ideal for a high‑priced B2B item, but less practical for a low‑priced B2C item.[1]

It’s interesting to note however, that technology is enabling personalized voice conversations, even for many lower priced items. For example, some McDonald’s restaurants have outsourced their drive-thru order-taking function. When you drive up and place your order, you might actually be talking to someone at the other side of the country or on another continent. The completed order is then electronically transmitted to the pickup window.

Retailers are even experimenting with wireless speaker-equipped shopping carts that could instantly connect a customer with a call centre for shopping advice (e.g., find out which aisle a particular product is located in).[ii] The cost of this level of personalized support could be reduced by actually connecting customers with a remote call centre, anywhere from Bangalore, India to Halifax, Canada.

The following two impact scales consider the differences between the B2C and B2B markets. Both scales should also be viewed in the context of the sales cycle: branding, presales, closing the sale, executing m-commerce transactions and providing customer support. For example, a costly phone conversation may not make sense in the early branding stages, but could be critical during the commerce transaction phase. Strategies that have bigger potential for making a difference are listed higher on the Impact Scale.

The Outbound Mobile Marketing Impact Scale

The B2B Outbound

Impact Scale

The B2C Outbound

Impact Scale

  1. Phone calls (i.e., voice)
  2. SMS text messages
  3. App alerts
  4. E‑mail messages
  5. LinkedIn messages
  6. Twitter tweets
  7. Facebook messages
  1. SMS text messages
  2. App alerts
  3. E‑mail messages to an adult audience
  4. Facebook messages
  5. Twitter tweets
  6. Phone calls (i.e., voice)
  7. E‑mail messages to a teen audience
  8. LinkedIn messages

Figure 32: The Outbound Mobile Marketing Impact Scale

The Outbound Mobile Marketing Impact Scale highlights the potential effectiveness of various proactive push mobile marketing approaches. SMS text marketing and alerts directly from mobile apps can be powerful approaches for reaching customers and prospects. Phone calls score high for B2B markets and high‑priced items. E‑mail marketing can reach both B2C and B2B markets, but its effectiveness depends upon the demographics of the market you are targeting. The key is determining which approaches make most sense for your organization.

Instant messaging has some interesting potential but a significant disadvantage – it requires knowledgeable employees able to engage in real‑time chat conversations with customers. An SMS text or e‑mail message however, can be sent to thousands of people at once.

As well, consider that posting to Facebook walls or tweeting may have much less impact than direct messages to friends and followers. For example, your Twitter impact may be greater by sending direct messages to followers, rather than public tweets that many followers are likely to miss. Let’s delve into SMS text and e‑mail marketing strategies in more detail.

SMS Text Marketing

An SMS text campaign can be one of the most powerful outbound marketing strategies because of the priority that people place on incoming text messages as well as the ubiquity of SMS.

There are a number of interesting facts about text messaging that support its potential importance as part of the marketing mix.

  • Over five billion smartphones and feature phones globally can send and receive SMS text messages.[iii]
  • Four trillion SMS messages were sent globally in the past year.[iv]
  • One and a half trillion texts were sent in America last year (tripled in four years).[v]
  • “18 to 34‑year‑olds now use text messaging (58 percent) as often as their mobile device’s telephone feature (55 percent).”[vi]
  • About 97 percent of text messages are opened.[vii]
  • 90 percent of text messages are opened within three minutes.[viii]
  • Many text messages get read often mere seconds after they are sent.
  • About 70 million Americans are frequent text users.
  • By 2016, usage of SMS text and mobile instant messaging apps is expected to triple.[ix]

Celebrity Cruises sends weekly text messages to opt‑in customers to encourage them to purchase a summer cruise deal, a simple example of text marketing.[x] Coca‑Cola understands the power of SMS marketing, dedicating 70 percent of its mobile marketing budget to this area versus just 20 percent to mobile web and ten percent to apps.[xi]

Politicians are even using text marketing campaigns to drive voter turnout and engage people in their election campaigns.[xii] But the future of these campaigns is even more interesting. Imagine the ability to send out a mobile political message on Election Day at the exact moment that a voter has entered within range of their polling station. Talk about the ability to deliver a message at the exact moment someone is about to make a purchase decision.[2]

A variation of an SMS text marketing campaign could be a live interactive instant messaging conversation with a customer. This has some interesting marketing potential but also has a significant disadvantage – it requires a knowledgeable employee able to engage in a chat conversation. Contrast that with an SMS text message which can be sent to thousands of people at once. Alternatively, an automated text message could be sent to a single customer once certain criteria have been met. For example, SMS text messages could be programmed to automatically be sent to customers on a particular date (e.g., their birthdates) or when they come with a certain distance from your retail store.

SMS Text Marketing Best Practices

  •       Consider a wide range of uses for SMS: discount coupons, commerce transactions, appointment reminders, delivery notifications, etc.
  •       Be sensitive to when your push notifications go out – some people actually sleep with their phone right beside them and your text message could wake them up – not good.
  •       Ensure that customers have agreed to opt in to receive your communications and coupons.
  •       Integrate your SMS text strategy with your web and app strategy.
  •       Ensure you are addressing your customer’s “What’s in it for me?” factor.
  •       Track the ROI of each of your campaigns.
  •      Conduct analytics to better understand what worked and what didn’t work and adjust your strategy accordingly.[xiii]

SMS TEXT MARKETING OVERVIEWWatch the Video: SMS Text Marketing Overview: General overview of the importance of SMS text marketing.[xiv] <goo.gl/nkqcn> (Duration: four minutes)

QR SUMOTEXTWatch the Video: SMS Text Marketing Scenario: SMS text marketing retail scenario with SumoText.[xv] <goo.gl/x8hEH> (Duration: four minutes)

QR RESTAURANTS MARKETINGWatch the Video: SMS Text Marketing – Restaurants: SMS text marketing can be a very effective way to reach out to your customers, especially for deals to drive instant traffic. Watch how restaurants are successfully using this strategy.[xvi] <goo.gl/uwmXJ> (Duration: four minutes)

E‑Mail Marketing

An outbound mobile e‑mail approach is also a very viable marketing strategy; especially if you are targeting an older demographic that is still very much inclined to using e‑mail. In fact, e‑mail open rates have increased in the past year. One important aspect of a mobile e‑mail marketing strategy is that you must consider the differences between receiving e‑mail on a mobile device vs. more traditional desktop or laptop environments.

Consider the use of e‑mails that are triggered by a customer’s action since they are 75 percent more likely to be opened and over 100 percent more likely to generate a click-through to other content. “Triggered e‑mails include welcome, thank you, abandoned shopping cart, anniversary, birthday, purchase confirmation and saved cart.”[xvii]

Mobile E‑Mail Marketing Best Practices

  •       Select a comprehensive, secure e‑mail publishing platform to manage your e‑mail subscription lists, newsletters, content for your autoresponders, social media integration, etc. (e.g., MailChimp, AWeber).[xviii]
  •       Double or triple the click-through rates on your e‑mail marketing campaigns by sending them from six to eight pm or after midnight.[xix]
  •       Ensure that customers have agreed to opt in to receive your communications.
  •       Follow up every abandoned shopping cart with an e‑mail to trigger a purchase transaction.

E-Mail Marketing Best PracticesWatch the Video: E-Mail Marketing Best Practices: Overview of e-mail marketing best practices.[xx] <goo.gl/SRIkG> (Duration: three minutes)

Personalized Marketing Communications Through Analytics

Personalizing mobile marketing messages can be a powerful way to build customer loyalty. It’s also a great alternative to offering price discounts and coupons. While many companies focus on distributing mobile discount coupons, more savvy retailers will send a mobile message about a new pair of “peep‑toe shoes that match perfectly with the cocktail dress you bought last week.”[xxi] Effectively executing this strategy requires sound data mining, market segmentation and personalized mobile campaign strategies.

Mobile Outbound Communication Best Practices

  •       Be opt‑in.
  •       Be net and to the point.
  •       Be consistent with your brand.
  •       Create and communicate your privacy policy.
  •       Don’t overwhelm the user with too many messages.
  •       Be tailored to your customer’s preferences and actions.
  •       Be designed correctly with good readability on multiple mobile devices.
  •       Absolutely ensure that your links point to mobile-optimized content rather than a website that must be pinched to zoom.

Outbound Mobile Marketing Best Practices

  •       Delight your customer with each interaction – each interruption is an opportunity for them to decide if they want to opt out.
  •       Select content and offers that address your customer’s “What’s in it for me?” factor.
  •       Make a persuasive and compelling call to action such as a deep discount, contest, new product launch, special event or freebie.
  •       Use micro segmentation or one-on-one personalization strategies rather than sending the same content, messages and offers to everyone.
  •       Combine customer behavior analytics from different sources to create a single view of your customer – from the web, in‑store, e‑commerce, mobile and even social media analytics.
  •       Integrate with social media to reach more people and achieve viral impact.
  •       Provide an incentive for customers to share your message with their friends, family and social network.
  •       Provide customers with complete control over the type and frequency of the information they receive – allowing them to select the specific city as well as categories of products they are interested in makes it more relevant to them.
  •       Use location-based information to make your outbound notifications even more compelling.
  •       Use analytics to target customers (e.g., a product offer that addresses a new customer need such as pregnancy-related products).
  •       Use analytics to make your targeted outbound marketing strategies even more powerful such as an accessory offer that matches a previous purchase (e.g., “a shoe retailer who has captured its best customers’ shoe sizes and favorite colors and then uses mobile to push that information to a female customer’s husband before Mother’s Day”).[xxii]
  •       Use A‑B testing for almost everything you do and dynamically react to learnings.[3]
  •      Track all campaign results including ROI, click-through rates, opt‑outs, sales, etc.[xxiii]

Challenge Questions

Outbound Marketing Strategies: What type of outbound marketing strategies could you apply to your business? What approach could you take to provide value to your customers to get them engaged with you for the long term?

[1] Most countries have Do Not Call (DNC) legislation in place. Ensure that you obey the DNC laws in all countries you are operating in.

[2] In many countries, advertising is not actually allowed on Election Day, so this may not be possible. However, other options may exist, such as supporters offering rides to other voters to encourage them to vote.

[3] A-B testing is the process of simultaneously making two different offers, measuring the results and then adopting the strategies that are more effective. Ongoing A-B testing can be used to continually improve your marketing impact and effectiveness.

[i] “App Store Review Guidelines.” Apple. Accessed February 1, 2013. http://maniacdev.com/2011/05/tutorial-ios-push-notification-services-for-beginners/.

[ii] Matt Richtel. “The Long-Distance Journey of a Fast-Food Order.” The New York Times. April 11, 2006. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/11/technology/11fast.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0.

[iii] Rimma Kats. “Paramount Pictures targets movie-goers with SMS campaign.” Mobile Marketer. June 25, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/messaging/13172.html.

[iv] Chantal Tode. “Coca-Cola SMS-enabled vending machine changing future of mobile payments.” Mobile Marketer. June 17, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/commerce/10231.html.

[v] “iZigg Mobile Marketing at it’s (sic) BEST!” YouTube. Uploaded by j3solutionsrock on June 26, 2010. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1bRj7JxOQI.

[vi] “Newad reveals the results of a pan-Canadian survey on the habits of 18-to-34 year-old adults.” NewAd. July 6, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.newad.com/140-presse-room/newad-reveals-the-results-of-a-pan-canadian-survey-on-the-habits-of-18-to-34-year-old-adults.html.

[vii] Gene Sigalov. “Fast Fingers: When It Comes to Marketing, Text Trumps Email.” The Small Business Playbook. Accessed December 24, 2012. http://www.thesmallbusinessplaybook.com/fast-fingers-when-it-comes-to-marketing-text-trumps-email/.

[viii] “Conversational Advertising.” MobileSquared. June, 2010. Accessed December 24, 2012. http://www.mobilesquared.co.uk/pdfs/singlepoint_june2011.pdf.

[ix] Lauren Johnson. “Mobile instant messaging usage expected to triple by 2016: study.” Mobile Marketer. June 22, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/research/10266.html.

[x] Tricia Carr. “How luxury brands can trigger mcommerce during summer sales.” Luxury Daily. June 22, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.luxurydaily.com/how-luxury-brands-can-trigger-mcommerce-during-summer-sales/.

[xi] Steven van Zanen. “Making the case for SMS marketing over email.“ Mobile Marketer. July 18, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/opinion/columns/13323.html.

[xii] Chantal Tode. “Romney campaign elects mobile to drive voter turnout.” Mobile Marketer. January 11, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/advertising/11866.html.

[xiii] Steven van Zanen. “Making the case for SMS marketing over email.“ Mobile Marketer. July 18, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/opinion/columns/13323.html.

[xiv] “Inbound Mobile Marketing.” YouTube. Uploaded by BizInApp on July 1, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/nkqcn or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nxYhWuUPE4.

[xv] “SMS Marketing – SUMOTEXT.” YouTube. Uploaded by sumotext on March 4, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/x8hEH or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGYA8H5XgLs.

[xvi] “How Restaurants Make Money Using Text Message Marketing – iZigg Mobile Media Marketing.” YouTube. Uploaded by MobileMediaMktg on October 24, 2010. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/uwmXJ or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJ_BrYKbsVs.

[xvii] Rachel Lamb. “Email abandonment rate up for lack of mobile-optimization: study.” Luxury Daily. June 25, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.luxurydaily.com/email-abandonment-rate-up-for-lack-of-mobile-optimization-study/.

[xviii] “Email Marketing Software.” AWeber Communications. Accessed December 24, 2012. http://www.aweber.com/?411508 Disclaimer/disclosure: This if my affiliate link. (Note: Other free email management software is available, but often doesn’t include features such as autoresponders to automatically reply to subscriber queries. Do your research.)

[xix] “Email Open, Click Rates Seen Lowest During Work Hours.” MarketingCharts. July 25, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.marketingcharts.com/direct/email-open-click-rates-seen-lowest-during-work-hours-22731/mailermailer-email-click-rates-by-time-scheduled-in-2011-july2012png/.

[xx] “Internet Marketing Boston – eMail Best Practices.” YouTube. Uploaded by billenross on April 11, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/SRIkG or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CHRKItIQ-s.

[xxi] “Get ready for considerably higher mobile marketing budgets in 2012.” Mobile Marketer. January 13, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/strategy/11886.html.

[xxii] Dan Taylor. “Why A/B testing is essential to your startup’s campaigns.” The Next Web. August 4, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://thenextweb.com/entrepreneur/2012/08/04/why-ab-testing-is-essential-to-your-startups-campaigns/.

[xxiii] Dan Gesser. “Smart push notifications make for smarter mobile marketing.” Mobile Marketer. June 20, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/opinion/columns/13129.html

A6 Mobile Advertising

Part of a series of Top 10 Branding/Pre-Sales Mobile Marketing Strategies

Many companies are under currently underspending on mobile advertising. Even though adults are spending ten percent of their daily media time on mobile devices, mobile ad spend only makes up one percent of total spend. This is likely to change, however, as both mobile search ad impressions and mobile ad spend have surged over 300 percent.[i]

In creating your Mobile Advertising Strategy, consider placing ads on search engines, mobile websites and in applications (in‑app) – both yours and/or other companies’ apps. A logical starting point for your mobile ad strategy would be to consider placing mobile search banner ads.

Mobile search volume is likely to surpass desktop search volume by 2016. Many companies are also generating returns on their in‑app ad spend which is poised to triple to $7B by 2015.[ii] The key to in‑app ad spending is ensuring that you are selecting apps that clearly reach your target audience.

Mobile Ad Objectives

A mobile ad strategy can potentially achieve a number of different objectives. Southwest Airlines launched a mobile ad campaign with the specific objective of building its opt‑in e‑mail list,[iii] whereas Dole’s objective was to build an online community.[iv] Fast food chain Subway ran a mobile ad campaign to “promote its Fiery FOOTLONG™ subs and to build up its consumer database.”[v]

Lipton decided to place audio ads on the musical app called Spotify to drive YouTube video views featuring musical group Lady Antebellum.[vi] Taco Bell focuses its banner ad strategy on driving in‑store traffic to its restaurants for new product launches. Taco Bell’s banner ads raise awareness of the new product and the store locator feature helps customers find their nearest restaurant.[vii]

Energy drink maker Red Bull focused its mobile ad objectives on driving attendance to its real‑world extreme sporting events. For one event, it successfully reached its target market of young males in Quebec, generating four million ad impressions and ten percent of event registrations via a mobile ad campaign. More than a quarter of the attendees also engaged with the app during the live event and over ten percent agreed to continue communications with Red Bull after the event, providing further branding opportunities.[viii]

A mobile banner ad can even be created to add an event to a customer’s calendar, and alerts can then be used to remind the customer of the event. These examples demonstrate that there is a wide range of potential objectives that could be achieved with a mobile banner ad strategy. Selecting the most effective strategy will be determined by your business objectives and the nature of your offerings, industry and target market.

Mobile Ad Target Market Reach

When Clinique wanted to promote its line of lip balms, they ran mobile ads on Glamour magazine’s mobile site to reach its target market of young, trendy women. The ads pointed people directly to a landing page for that product where an order could be placed. To encourage shoppers to click on the ads and place an order, they offered free shipping on orders over $50.[ix]

Targeted banner ads can also be placed on social media sites. CM Photographics generated nearly $40,000 in revenue directly from a mere $600 advertising investment on Facebook. Facebook ads allowed CM Photographic to target their exact demographic, 24 to 30-year-old women about to get married.

They identified prospects by targeting Facebook users with their relationship status set to engaged. Almost 60 percent of the users directed to CM Photographics’ website from the Facebook ads became qualified leads and expressed interest in more information.

Mobile Ad Smartphone Sensor Integration

Banner ads are even more powerful when they exploit the instrumentation and sensor input capabilities built into most smartphones. For example, location-aware ads (e.g., using GPS, Wi‑Fi, etc.) can present local information that is immediately relevant.

Beer maker Blue Moon created a location-based mobile ad campaign to encourage purchasers of movie tickets to consider going to a nearby bar or restaurant before or after the movie. Since Blue Moon does not sell beer online, it makes sense for them to drive traffic to locations that sell Blue Moon beer.[x] The ads became more effective because they were location-aware.

You can actually target your banner ads to people at the exact latitude and longitude that you are trying to reach. You can target ads to specific people that only use a certain type of smartphone. You can target surfers in one country that are specifically searching for content in another country. For example, a large Canadian bank is targeting consumers located in the U.S. that are searching for Canadian content. They are doing this to reach Canadian snowbirds (i.e., Canadians that spend a good portion of their time visiting the U.S.)

Click-to-Call Ads

Fifty-seven percent of mobile searches generate a phone call compared to only seven percent for desktop searches. Therefore an interesting strategy to consider for mobile ads is creating click-to-call ads. This can be a powerful approach for generating results from your mobile ad strategy.[xi] Consumers are surprisingly old-fashioned when it comes to products that interest them; they are happy to simply place a call to talk to someone.

Furthermore, with the phone number imbedded in the ad, customers can simply tap to call. This is especially valuable for products and services that are more likely to sell if there is someone available to answer the customer’s questions. This could include simple questions such as “Are you open?” “Is the product in stock?” “Does the product do this?” and “What are the dimensions of the product?”

HSBC created videos of its emerging market economists and then used click-to-call to enable customers to immediately connect with these experts. Analytics were then used to track the demographics of users that were most responsive to these ads.[xii]

Google now has a Pay-per-Call mobile advertising option where you only pay for ads that generate a phone call to your company.[xiii] Since users of this option are often in transit and about to make a purchase decision, it can potentially result in a higher close rate and therefore a higher campaign ROI.

QR GOOGLE ADSWatch the Video: Click-to-Call Ads – Google: Google contends that mobile click-to-call ads with phone numbers can result in a six to eight percent increase in mobile click-through rates.[xiv] <goo.gl/xgRw8> (Duration: one minute)

Call‑Me Ads

To eliminate the frustration of being put on hold or the need to go through multiple phone menus, another practical option is the call‑me ad. In this instance the customer simply submits their phone number and a company representative will then call them back in a few seconds or few minutes. Small businesses identify phone calls as the most valuable type of lead. Companies are currently averaging 35 calls per month from mobile devices, but this is poised to jump to 80 by next year.[xv]

Pick‑up‑to‑Call Ads

The built‑in sensor capabilities of a handful of new smartphones may open up even more interesting advertising options in the future. The latest Samsung phone has an interesting feature; if someone gets a text message from a friend, all they have to do is lift the phone to their ear and it’s smart enough to automatically look up the phone number and dial it. Now imagine a pick-up-to-call ad in the future – a prospect sees your mobile ad or text message and simply lifts the phone to their ear to automatically call you.

Mobile Ad Timing

Also consider the timing of your ads for maximum impact. Your ads may achieve better success if they target certain hours, days or months of the year. For example, Disney tends to run a high proportion of cruise ads in the middle of winter to try to achieve the best response rate and branding impact.[xvi]

Mobile Ad Step-by-Step Guidance

  1. Identify your target market.
  2. Determine the best channel for reaching your target market.
  3. Set your campaign objectives.
  4. Determine the type of ad to use (e.g., click-to-call ad).
  5. Determine if you can exploit built‑in smartphone features to enhance the effectiveness of your ad.
  6. Determine the best timing for your ads.
  7. Create your ads.
  8. Launch your ads using A‑B testing to determine which ads are most effective.[xvii]
  9. Track the results.
  10. Adjust your strategy based on what is working and not working.

Mobile Ad Best Practices[xviii]

  •       Be entertaining.
  •       Create a clear call to action.
  •       Turn your ad into a live response platform.[xix]
  •       Place mobile ads where your target market is likely to see it.
  •       Integrate social media in your ads (e.g., Twitter, Facebook).[xx]
  •       Get permission from people to use their location information.
  •       Use location-based ads to drive foot traffic to your nearest location.
  •       Don’t overstep the privacy bounds with your customers and prospects.
  •       Offer incentives to encourage action (e.g., discount coupon, contest with prizes, etc.).
  •       Consider your mobile ad campaigns as part of a complete 360‑degree marketing strategy using multiple marketing channels.
  •       Decide on clear objectives for your mobile ad campaign: drive in‑store traffic, build an opt‑in database, generate app downloads, drive event registrations, build a community, drive brand awareness, drive sales, etc.
  •       Target niche or micro-niche segments with customized content for specific target groups by age, gender, demographics, psychographics, etc.
  •       Create video ads – a recent survey of a social entertainment site found that videos were most likely to spur engagement.[xxi] (See Section A10 in this chapter for more detailed mobile video ad strategies.)
  •       Create ads that incorporate games.[xxii] (Gamification marketing is covered in detail in section B8 of Chapter Ten.)
  •       Use mobile ad networks[xxiii] to effectively target specific demographic segments (e.g., AdMob Network from Google,[xxiv] Spotify, Pandora, social entertainment site airG).[xxv]
  •       Consider advertising directly on commerce sites such as Amazon.com where consumers are ready to buy.[xxvi]
  •       Before placing intrusive ads in places not requested by users, place them where users are requesting information complementary to your offering (e.g., mobile search ads).
  •       Be careful not to cause too much of an annoyance or distraction for consumers (e.g., from people playing games or repeating the same ad in succession).
  •       Link to a mobile-optimized site.
  •       Link directly to the product or service that users are expecting, not just a general page with all your offerings.
  •       Consider the timing of your ads to achieve maximum impact: time of day, week, month and year (e.g., season, graduation season, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc.).
  •       Engage consumers by enabling them to share content with others (e.g., photos, videos, comments, etc.).
  •       Use Google’s AdWord Keyword Tool to determine what phrases people are actually searching on related to your offering.[xxvii]
  •       Build an analytics infrastructure that can track the clicks, calls, leads and sales generated from each ad or channel.[xxviii]

AD OVERVIEWWatch the Video: Mobile Banner Ad Overview: General overview of the pros and cons of mobile banner ads.[xxix] <goo.gl/pOB2A> (Duration: two minutes)

AD BEST PRATICESWatch the Video: Mobile Banner Ad Best Practices: Brief highlights of mobile banner ad best practices.[xxx] <goo.gl/y0wzG> (Duration: one minute)

Challenge Questions

Mobile Ad Strategies: Can you apply a banner ad strategy to meet your business objectives? For your product category, is it important to generate phone calls? What are your priority objectives? How can you reach your target market? Can you exploit built‑in smartphone sensors to make your ads even more compelling?

[i] “Mobile search spend continues to accelerate, jumps 333pc in Q2.” Mobile Marketer. June 29, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/research/13208.html

[ii] Charlotte Miller. “Press Release: In-App Mobile Advertising Spend to Top $7bn in Three Years.” Juniper Research. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://juniperresearch.com/viewpressrelease.php?pr=323.

[iii] Lauren Johnson. “Southwest Airlines builds email database via mobile initiative.” Mobile Marketer. June 26, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/email/13177.html.

[iv] Lauren Johnson. “Dole bolsters email database via mobile ads.” Mobile Marketer. February 11, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/advertising/12162.html.

[v] Rimma Kats. “Subway franchisees ramp up mobile presence via geo-targeted SMS campaign.” Mobile Marketer. July 22, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/messaging/10515.html.

[vi] Lauren Johnson. “PepsiCo’s Lipton bolsters YouTube views via mobile ads.” Mobile Marketer. July 5, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/advertising/13217.html.

[vii] Lauren Johnson. “Taco Bell beefs up mobile advertising play to drive in-store foot traffic.” Mobile Marketer. July 3, 2012. Accessed November 4. 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/advertising/13229.html.

[viii] Chantal Tode. “Red Bull energizes event registrations with mobile, social campaign.” Mobile Marketer. June 1, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/database-crm/12968.html.

[ix] Lauren Johnson. “Clinique boosts mcommerce sales via mobile ads.” Mobile Commerce Daily. June 15, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/2012/06/15/clinique-boosts-mcommerce-sales-via-mobile-ads.

[x] Lauren Johnson. “Blue Moon spearheads location, context via mobile ads.” Mobile Marketer. June 28, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/advertising/13202.html.

[xi] Chantal Tode. “Brands investing more in call-based ads on mobile: report.” Mobile Marketer. June 20, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/research/13140.html.

[xii] Lauren Johnson. “Heineken exec: Mobile is powerful lever for brand building.” Mobile Marketer. June 15, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/strategy/13092.html.

[xiii] “Pay per call search to go mainstream with mobile.” Mobile Marketer. January 11, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/search/11868.html.

[xiv] “Mobilize with Click-to-call.” YouTube. Uploaded by GoogleMobileAds on March 30, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/xgRw8 or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG3ARa6iwNQ&playnext=1&list=PL5EDA764CB5382AE9&feature=results_video.

[xv] Kathy Crosett. “Huge Growth in Call-Based Ads Predicted.” Marketing Forecast. June 26, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.marketingforecast.com/archives/19391/.

[xvi] Lauren Johnson. “Disney bolsters winter cruise sales via mobile ad sweepstakes.” Mobile Commerce Daily. January 11, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/2012/01/11/disney-bolsters-winter-cruise-sales-via-mobile-ad-sweepstakes.

[xvii] Paras Chopra. “The Ultimate Guide To A/B Testing.” Smashing Magazine. June 24, 2010. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/06/24/the-ultimate-guide-to-a-b-testing/.

[xviii] Lauren Johnson. “In-app ad spend to reach $7B by 2015: study.” Mobile Marketer. July 5, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/research/13239.html.

[xix] Lauren Johnson. “Red Bull leans on mobile advertising to drive summer sweepstakes entries.” Mobile Marketer. July 5, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/advertising/13242.html.

[xx] Rimma Kats. “Top 10 mobile advertising campaigns of Q2.” Mobile Marketer. July 5, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/advertising/13241.html.

[xxi] Chantal Tode. “Red Bull energizes event registrations with mobile, social campaign.” Mobile Marketer. June 1, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/database-crm/12968.html.

[xxii] Shira Ovide, Greg Bensinger. “Mobile Ads: Here’s What Works and What Doesn’t.” The Wall Street Journal. September 27, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444083304578016373342878556.html.

[xxiii] Chantal Tode. “Hearst ramps up mobile strategy with HTML5 sites, private ad exchange.” Mobile Marketer. June 28, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/media/13200.html.

[xxiv] “Build a great app business with AdMob.” AdMob by Google. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.google.com/ads/admob/.

[xxv] “airG, share your world.” airG. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.airg.com/.

[xxvi] Carol Kopp. “Amazon Is Hitting Google Where It Hurts.” Minyanville. September 12, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.minyanville.com/business-news/editors-pick/articles/google-goog-amazon-amzn-google-shopping/9/12/2012/id/43925.

[xxviii] Kathy Crosett. “Huge Growth in Call-Based Ads Predicted.” Marketing Forecast. June 26, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.marketingforecast.com/archives/19391/.

[xxix] “What Are Mobile Banner Ads?” YouTube. Uploaded by Mobileinternetshow00 on September 5, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/pOB2A or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4N92MbguMY.

[xxx] “Banner Ad Best Practices.” YouTube. Uploaded by 60secondmarketer on April 19, 2008. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/y0wzG or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIHHt6OzxNs.

A7 Augmented Reality Marketing

Part of a series of Top 10 Branding/Pre-Sales Mobile Marketing Strategies

A Primer on QR Codes

One form of augmented reality marketing uses QR codes. Let’s begin with a primer on QR Codes.

What are QR codes?

QR codes are Quick Response codes that can be scanned and interpreted by smartphones or feature phones. Once the QR code is deciphered, it can automatically perform a wide range of functions such as play a video, generate a text message or link to a website.


Figure 33: QR Code Scanning

Placing a QR code on any electronic or print medium for scanning on a smartphone can open up a world of possibilities for consumers and marketers.

QR MARKET INTROWatch the Video: QR Code Marketing Introduction: A very basic introduction to QR code marketing.[i] <goo.gl/Hk8X2> (Duration: two minutes)

QR INTRO AND TIPSWatch the Video: QR Code Marketing Introduction and Tips: Introduction to QR codes, how to create them and how to use them including basic usage dos and don’ts tips.[ii] <goo.gl/aq2XJ> (Duration: six minutes)

How are QR codes different than UPC codes?

1D UPC1D UPC Barcodes (Universal Product Codes)[iii]

1D1D Designer UPC Barcodes

2D QR2D QR Codes (Quick Response Codes)2D2D Designer QR Codes

Figure 34: UPC Barcodes and QR Codes

Mobile barcode scanning works with a number of different types of two-dimensional (2D) codes such as QR codes and one-dimensional (1D) codes such as UPC barcodes. 2D codes are capable of storing much more data than 1D codes.

What are the demographics of QR code users?

QR codes are very popular in Asia and Europe, and getting more popular in the Americas where total scans are growing exponentially – up over 600 percent.[iv] It’s no wonder that companies are learning how to capitalize on this phenomenon.

QR code marketing can help you reach a target market that is intensely sought after – high income earners. Over one‑third of those that have scanned QR codes have income over $100,000 and 55 percent have income over $75,000.[v] QR code users are predominantly male (60 percent) and most are 25 to 34 years old (37 percent) or 35 to 44 years old (20 percent).[vi]

Where do people typically scan QR codes?

QR code scanning typically occurs in a retail store, grocery store or at home. People usually scan QR codes in magazines, newspapers or on product packaging.[vii] A good time to consider reaching people with QR codes would be when they are waiting for something or in a lineup (e.g., retail store, airport, bank or doctor’s office).

What can you do with QR codes?

What you can do with QR codes is only limited by your imagination; you can do just about anything you can do on a smartphone. A QR code can link to a request form or a registration page, link to a poll or petition, connect to a map and directions to the nearest store, send a PayPal Buy Now link, send a text message, send an e‑mail, add an event to someone’s calendar, send a link to any website to view text, listen to an audio recording, see a photo gallery on Flickr, watch a video on YouTube, update an inventory database to indicate the movement of a product in your supply chain, or download an app. It can even automatically place a phone call to somebody such as a salesperson to take your order.

QR codes on items in your store window could actually enable someone to order your product even when your store is closed. A QR code found on a coaster in a bar could be used by a beer company to show you a funny video to entice you to buy their beer. A restaurant could place QR codes on placemats or coasters to show you photos or videos to get you to try a specialty drink or dessert.

QR Code Usage Tactical Tips

There are several potential applications and use cases for QR codes.

  •         Credit instant loyalty points to your account.
  •         Download an instant virtual discount coupon.
  •         Automatically send a Facebook like for that product.
  •         Create and send a pre-completed e‑mail or tweet on Twitter.
  •         Scan contact data directly into the smartphone address book.
  •         Distribute free digital assets (e.g., mobile apps, e‑books, ring tones, etc.).
  •         Link to anything on the web such as:
  1. A video
  2. Twitter page
  3. Corporate website
  4. How to instruction video (e.g., product installation video)
  5. Employee’s web page (e.g., an insurance sales rep’s web page)
  6. Employee support video (e.g., fan belt replacement servicing instructions), and
  7. Detailed product specifications (e.g., in Japan, QR codes grocery items contain info about when and where the product was grown, as well as best before expiry dates).

Where can I place QR codes?


  Real Estate Signs[ix]







TV Ads[xiv]

Magazine Ads[xv]


Newspaper Ads[xvi]





Business Cards[xxi]





Magazine Covers[xxv]




Figure 35: QR Code Placements

You can place QR codes just about anywhere – the options are endless.

QR Code Placement Tactical Tips

There are several other potential QR code locations such as:

  •    Luggage
  •    Price lists
  •    TV shows
  •    Billboards
  •    Catalogues
  •    Exterior of a jet
  •    Facebook pages
  •    Direct mail pieces
  •    Restaurant menus
  •    Sides of your trucks
  •    Historical site markers
  •    Games (e.g., video links)
  •    PowerPoint presentations
  •    Taxi stands (to call for taxi)
  •    Name badges at a conference
  •    Retail shelves (as shelf talkers)
  •    YouTube videos and webinars
  •    Marketing and promotional materials
  •    Press releases (e.g., link to expert video)
  •    Travel brochures (e.g., video link to a resort)
  •    E‑mails (e.g., to add a meeting to your calendar)
  •    Airport signage (e.g., link to flight status and gate)
  •    Shopping carts or grocery flyers (e.g., weekly coupons)
  •    Books (e.g., video link about the author, link to buy the book)
  •    Exit signs (e.g., tweet about the concert, check out from the hotel)
  •    E‑mail signature files (e.g., link to corporate website, link to video of the sender)
  •    In‑store signage (e.g., tweet this to a friend, save the date for our grand opening)
  •    On every product in the store with a direct link to real‑time inventory systems (e.g., find ut size and colour availability)
  •    On bus shelters so people can access the bus schedule, the real‑time location of the next bus and its estimated time of arrival, and
  •    Directly on all of your products: e.g., food packaging (link to the recipes), food wrappers (link to the ingredients), appliances (link to the manual), etc.
QR CODE MARKETING STRATEGIESWatch the Video: QR Code Marketing Strategies: A basic introduction to QR codes plus a top 10 list of QR code Marketing Strategies.[xxviii] <goo.gl/uSNMD> (Duration: seven minutes; jump to 3:07 for the top 10 list)

QR Code Marketing Strategies

QR Code Marketing Step-by-Step Guidance

Earlier in the book I described a generic ten‑step process for implementing a successful marketing strategy or campaign. Let’s now apply that process specifically to QR code marketing (with some additional steps) and I’ll also share with you some fascinating examples from around the world.

  1. Determine which priority stakeholders you want to reach.
  2. Set your QR code campaign objectives.
  3. Determine how you can meet your customers’ objectives – give them value.
  4. Brand your QR code campaign – be creative.
  5. Create and test your QR codes.
  6. Ensure all the back‑end processes are in place, tested and working.
  7. Publish your QR codes.
  8. Make it easy for your customers to scan your QR codes.
  9. Market/publicize your QR codes.
  10. Integrate with social media to leverage your campaign.
  11. Track your results using QR code campaign analytics.
  12. Optimize your current and future QR code campaigns.
  13. Apply QR code marketing best practices to maximize results.

Let’s explore each step.

1. Determine which priority stakeholders you want to reach.

Stakeholders could include:

  •       Prospects
  •       Customers
  •       Shareholders
  •       Alliance Partners
  •       Channel Partners
  •       Meeting Attendees
  •       Trade Show Attendees
  •       Employees, for example:
  •               Sales reps
  •               Retail clerk
  •               Delivery drivers
  •               Warehouse personnel.

2. Set your QR code campaign objectives.

A key step for creating a successful QR code campaign is to select objectives that address your business requirements.

  •      Generate sales.
  •      Focus on branding.
  •      Generate PR visibility.
  •      Generate Facebook likes.
  •      Generate website traffic.
  •      Improve customer support.
  •      Improve customer service levels.
  •      Generate mobile app downloads.
  •      Move prospects through the sales cycle.
  •      Improve employee workflow processes.
  •      Introduce an entirely new business model for your company.

Clothing retailer Express has implemented a broad range of QR code strategies. Codes in‑store and on store windows encourage registrations for its loyalty program. QR codes on hardcopy mailers provide video content and encourage product purchases. Express also provides an equivalent SMS text option to extend its campaigns to feature phone users.[xxix]

Boston Market created a QR code marketing campaign to enable customers to enter its Summer at its Best sweepstakes. The goal was to drive repeat in‑store traffic with the enticement of a dream vacation to Hawaii. The QR codes were sent to registered VIP members, placed on banner ads and also in print at the restaurants.[xxx]

Budweiser placed QR codes right on Bud beer labels. The Track your Bud app actually shares a story about your beer by telling you where it was brewed and where the ingredients came from. It also provides you with a personal video connection to the brew master and the heritage of your local Budweiser brewery. Budweiser is successfully overcoming the perception that it is a giant brewery that doesn’t care as much about its beer as a local craft brewery might.[xxxi]

Home Depot uses QR codes in their stores to link customers to project guides, How To videos and information about pertinent accessories for cross-selling. They also have links to videos from designers such as Martha Stewart who discusses kitchen designs. These strategies are intended to move customers through the sales cycle.



Figure 36: QR Codes on Wine Bottles

The QR code on this bottle of Portuguese wine directs consumers to Adegga, a social wine discovery community for wine lovers. Prospective customers can read other wine lovers’ comments about this wine.[xxxii] But linking customers directly to a wine community is risky. What if there are comments from people that don’t like this wine?

It could have been a bold move by the owners of a winery who are confident in the quality of their wine; it demonstrates that they are not afraid of a high level of transparency about their wine. Unfortunately there are no reviews or tasting notes for this wine at Adegga and nobody has made it a favourite. The link simply points to other wines from this winery.

Now let’s consider potential powerful approaches for wine bottles (also applicable to other products) to achieve both marketing and sales objectives. A scan of this QR code could instead link to:

  •      A video review of this wine by a wine critic describing its refined taste, what food it complements and why it’s the best wine in the under $20 price range
  •       A video of the wine maker describing the making of this wine, and/or
  •       A specific site to order a case or two of this wine.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Russian government created an innovative mobile app using geo-location technologies and augmented reality to show people the horrific accidents that have occurred on the very streets that they travel on every day. It has been successful at meeting the objective of increasing road safety awareness in Moscow.


Figure 37: City of Moscow QR Codes

The city of Moscow implemented an innovative and shocking marketing campaign by placing these QR codes throughout the city to encourage citizens to download an app to learn about road safety.

QR MOSCOWWatch the Video: Public Sector QR Code Innovation – Moscow: Learn about how the Russian government created an innovation mobile app to increase road safety awareness in Moscow.[xxxv] <goo.gl/SKVAy> (Duration: two minutes)

One powerful approach for moving prospects through the sales cycle is customer references. A video of an enthusiastic satisfied customer talking about how happy they are and how they achieved specific objectives can quickly close a sale or at least move prospects through the sales cycle.

Many of the QR code objectives discussed focus on sales and marketing, but their potential goes far beyond that. QR codes can also be used to reengineer business processes. For example, a purchaser of an airline ticket could be sent a QR confirmation code to their smartphone. That code could then simply be scanned at the airport to quickly get the traveler through security and onto the correct plane. QR codes could also be used to track the shipment of products through the supply chain so that employees and customers could get access to real‑time information about the location of a particular item.

As you can see from these examples, QR code campaign strategies can vary significantly depending on your objectives, regardless of whether you are a retailer, realtor, winery, brewer, auto dealer or government institution.

Use Multiple QR codes to meet Objectives

In many instances it makes sense to create multiple QR codes, each with a different objective. An auto dealer could have a QR code on their entry door that links to online reviews of their dealership. Each of their sales reps could have a QR code on their desk and on their business cards that would transmit all of their contact information to clients.

Each car could have a QR code with links to detailed product specs, expert reviews, customer reviews, etc. A QR code in a magazine advertisement could link to a YouTube video for a particular automobile. Clearly, QR codes can address multiple objectives for a single company.[xxxvi]

A realtor creating an advertisement or brochure for a particular property could consider having seven different QR codes instead of one, each serving a different purpose. The first code could point to detailed house specifications (e.g., price, square footage, number of bedrooms).

Other QR codes could point to a photo gallery on Flickr; a 3D virtual tour; a YouTube video intro of the home and/or the realtor; a map where the home is located; an automatic like button on Facebook; and finally a QR code that would actually place a direct phone call (or text or e‑mail message) to the realtor.

QR REALTORSWatch the Video: QR Code Marketing Strategies – Realtors: Tutorial for realtors on generating QR codes and executing a QR code real estate campaign.[xxxvii] <goo.gl/pC6aT> (Duration: 36 minutes) (Note to realtors: also review these additional endnotes for more videos on QR code marketing for realtors.)[xxxviii],[x




Figure 38: Transportation Security Administration (TSA) QR Codes

The TSA uses QR codes on airport signs to meet a simple objective – help educate people on airport security procedures. But the poster designer mistakenly used a stock photo of a QR code, sending people to the website of a TSA critic!

3. Determine how you can meet your customers’ objectives – give them value.

It’s unlikely that your QR code campaign will be successful unless you are also meeting your customers’ objectives. You need to determine how your customers might answer this question – “What’s in it for me?” In many cases, customers are trying to meet very specific objectives such as saving money or time, buying the right product or service, obtaining free content, getting entertained or receiving education.

Determine which needs you could address with your QR code marketing strategy. In the absence of a salesperson, simply consider what top three questions your customer might have that require answers. Your QR code could be at the ready to help the customer make a more qualified decision to purchase or achieve some other objective.

Best Buy, one of the pioneers in QR code usage, has QR code labels on many of their retail store shelves that link to product specifications and expert product reviews. Since they have many products in the same product categories, they also offer a convenient QR code product comparison feature that enables customers to select multiple products and view a side-by-side comparison. This is a direct benefit to customers because it aids in the decision-making process and minimizes the risk of buying the wrong product.

QR BEST BUYWatch the Video: QR Code Marketing Strategies – Best Buy: Best Buy’s in‑store on‑shelf QR codes enable customers to compare two products.[xli] <goo.gl/TvQ1k> (Duration: one minute)

A QR code can be call to action or it can simply encourage people to try a QR code to see what’s behind the door. Consider aligning your QR messaging to your customers’ objectives. Be clear and concise about what it is you are offering, both before and after they scan the code. Consideration should be given to where the customer might be in the sales cycle and what approach might best encourage the completion of a sales transaction.

4. Brand your QR code campaign – be creative.

Zoo Music posted animal pictures made up of QR codes throughout the city. By scanning different parts of the animal, a different song would play from that particular artist. Due in part to the branding visibility, CDs from these alternative music artists flew off the shelf.[xlii]


Watch the Video: QR Code Branding – Macy’s: Using a creative designer QR code, Macy’s branded its in‑store merchandising app as Macy’s Backstage Pass because it gave people an inside view of videos of the designers, fashion advice, insider tips and beauty secrets.[xliv] <goo.gl/r5Hvq> (Duration: one minute)

QR LEGOWatch the Video: QR Code Branding – Lego®: Lego® actually used Lego® building blocks to create the QR code for their marketing campaign.[xlv] <goo.gl/kf4uX> (Duration: three minutes)QR RESUMESWatch the Video: QR Code Branding – Resumes: Check out this innovative QR code resume – an innovative branding approach.[xlvi] <goo.gl/kO8I2> (Duration: one minute)5. Create and test your QR codes.

QR codes are not perfect and the more information you try to pack onto a QR code, the more likely it will generate errors when someone tries to scan it. Therefore, you should minimize the amount of information included. One way to do that is to shorten any web URL address that you want to point to, using a tool such as Google’s goo.gl[xlvii] or bit.ly.[xlviii]

While having the right amount of information per code is essential, remember that you are not limited to just one QR code per product or service. Again, keep top-of-mind the before scan and after scan objectives of your target audience and make sure what you are trying to achieve in the scan makes sense.

Once you are ready to create your QR codes, there are many free online sites that can instantly generate your QR codes such as Kaywa[xlix] (used for the QR codes in this book), QRstuff,[l] Zxing,[li] Scanlife,[lii] QRrei,[liii] Kerem erkan[liv] or QRrage.[lv] Likify.net[lvi] can be used for campaigns to generate QR codes for getting likes on Facebook. Then test your QR codes on a variety of phones to make sure they work as planned.

QR Code Creation Best Practices

  •      Ensure that the usage terms for the online free or fee QR code Generator that you use allow unlimited scans (some may be limited), do not route the link request through the vendor’s server and always allow for commercial use. Otherwise usage could be restricted once you get your QR codes printed and out in the marketplace.
  •      When pointing to a website, the QR code must point to a mobile-optimized website.
  •      Ensure the experience is fast by transferring less than 500KB with your code (or an appropriate size based on the infrastructure available to your typical customer).
  •      Print using maximum resolution and test it in the environment it will be in to ensure that it works well.

6. Ensure all the back‑end processes are in place, tested and working.

Next you must make sure that all your back‑end processes are in place, tested and working before you publish your QR codes and launch your campaign. This could involve training retail store clerks or other employees that may have to take action once a QR code is scanned. Not paying attention to these details could result in dissatisfied customers and a negative impact on your brand.

QR CHILI PUNCH OBILEOops!Watch the Video: QR Code Marketing Misstep – Chili’s: Punch Mobile Marketing describes why Chili’s QR code campaign didn’t quite go as planned.[lvii] <goo.gl/iDXvy> (Duration: four minutes)

7. Publish your QR codes.

Where? The short answer is, everywhere you can: business cards, brochures, print ads, TV ads, posters, corporate letterhead, etc. If you are using QR codes that require Internet access (e.g., link to a website), they must not be located where the Internet is inaccessible (e.g., on a subway or airplane). The Home plus subway example mentioned earlier is an exception, since Wi‑Fi is available in Korean subways; that’s not the case in most subways around the world.

Furthermore, the QR codes must be readable; placing them behind a dirty storefront window or on a dirty bus will not likely work. It is truly amazing how many different places you can publish your QR codes.[lviii]

Companies should place QR Codes where they are most likely to reach their target market. Mandarin Oriental places QR codes in the rooms to enable guests to quickly download its mobile booking app.[lix] Red Bull successfully printed QR codes on flyers to drive attendance to its Crashed Ice! event.[lx] Elmer’s has QR codes on its Elmer’s glue bottles and on in‑store displays to enable instant downloading of its photo-sharing app.[lxi]

Porsche placed mobile codes on its vehicles to provide prospects with more information, encouraging them to research the vehicle if there’s no sales rep around or they prefer to self‑serve.[lxii] Allure Magazine launched a successful Free Stuff Giveaway campaign that generated almost half a million scans. The campaign was a branding success with 25,000 registrants.[lxiii] Another company created QR code temporary tattoos that could be used by employees at trade shows.[lxiv]

The Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel launched a unique marketing strategy by getting its waitresses and waiters to wear QR codes. Customers that scanned these codes were delighted to learn about an upcoming pool party and Enrique Iglesias concert. This strategy was also fully integrated with the hotel’s social media, web and radio marketing campaigns. A contest for a free weekend group party package, including private jet transportation and a yacht excursion generated excitement and visibility across multiple channels.[lxv]

Kellogg placed QR codes and an SMS text option on its Crunchy Nut cereal boxes. This resulted in 40,000 QR code scans, 6,000 text messages, 38,000 video views and 50,000 page views. In the future, Kellogg can also deliver offers, contests and coupons via QR codes.[lxvi]

Random House promotes its children’s books by placing QR codes on over 50,000 children’s menus in over 100 restaurants. This is a good strategy for reaching its target market – children and their parents. The menu placement has the added advantage of a captive audience in a relaxed environment with time on their hands while waiting for their food, rather than on a busy street where people are hurrying by.

This strategy has provided a positive brand association for the participating restaurants such as T.G.I. Friday’s and Round Tablet Pizza. The net branding benefit to Random House was over 100,000 views per month.[lxvii]

The power of QR codes lies not in the code itself, but in the creative ways that marketers use them to generate buzz and branding impact. One music band created a music video that briefly flashed a few hundred QR codes on the screen. One of those QR codes linked to a contest prize, but you end up linking to a lot of other content from this band before getting lucky enough to capture the QR code linked to the prize.

pic tokyo building qr

Wow!Figure 39: The Tokyo N Building QR Code

It’s hard to miss this QR code on the side of a building in Japan. The Tokyo N building actually has a QR code spanning the entire side of the building.

Scanning the code actually gives passersby information on the vendors that are located within the building. You can even view the tweets occurring from inside the building at the time – ”Ten percent off shoes today. Come on in!”[lxx]

qr nyWatch the Video: Public Sector QR Code Innovation – New York: Central Park in New York became the World Park when QR codes were situated throughout the park turning it into an outdoor mobile museum. Links to trivia questions and famous video scenes from movies that occurred at that exact spot made this a unique branding success. At an empty band shell, the QR code linked to a music video from a past symphony event.[lxxi] <goo.gl/HA7Pk> (Duration: four minutes)

QR TAG HeuerWatch the Video: Magazine QR Code Marketing – TAGHeuer: Brief demonstration of a TAGHeuer watch QR code campaign in Glamour magazine.[lxxii] <goo.gl/N7iAg> (Duration: three minutes)


Watch the Video: QR Code TV Advertising – Axa Insurance: Axa Insurance in Belgium used an innovative TV commercial to get prospects to download its home insurance app. Viewers scan the QR code to make a surprising discovery about what caused a house fire.[lxxiii] <goo.gl/JOImj> (Duration: two minutes)

8. Make it easy for your customers to scan your QR codes.

Macy’s made it easy for customers to download its QR code reader. Customers simply have to text the word reader to Macys (62297) and the correct QR code reader is automatically sent directly to them. Macy’s also provides free Wi‑Fi in its stores to ensure that customers have online access.[lxxiv]

9. Market/publicize your QR codes.

A tiny QR code on a poster may not get noticed, so consider marketing strategies to raise the visibility of your QR codes. You could send your QR codes to all your prospects, customers, employees, channel partners and shareholders in your annual report, via e‑mail, on giant billboards on the side of a building, in advertisements, etc. Another powerful approach for generating free publicity is through the use of guerilla marketing techniques.


Wow! Figure 40: QR Code Haircuts – Unilever Clear Shampoo

Unilever had explicit objectives in mind for its Clear shampoo QR code campaign – branding and sales. They wanted to convince people that Clear wasn’t just about healthy hair, but about having a healthy scalp too. They sent guerilla troops out into the streets of Bangkok with haircuts in the shape of QR codes that pointed to the Clear mobile site – thousands scanned it.

Unilever then convinced a local TV celebrity, Terng Pradon, to get a QR code haircut. This celebrity endorsement ended up everywhere, including on a magazine cover which generated thousands of more visits to the Clear mobile website. Without any media investment at all, traffic surged 400 percent. The campaign claims to have reached ten million people through PR.[lxxvi]

QR GUERILLA UNLIVERWatch the Video: QR Code Guerilla Marketing – Unilever: A description of the marketing impact of Unilever’s QR code haircut guerilla marketing strategy for Clear.[lxxvii] <goo.gl/V49KR> (Duration: two minutes)
QR TRAINING BEST BUYWatch the Video: QR Code Training – Best Buy: One approach to increase the scans of your QR codes is to create a YouTube video to explain to people what they can do using your QR codes. Here is a sample video of Best Buy explaining QR code usage to customers.[lxxviii] <goo.gl/W83ck> (Duration: two minutes)

10. Integrate with social media to leverage your campaign.

QR codes can be used to integrate with social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. QR codes can generate a Facebook like, make someone your Facebook friend, link someone to your Facebook Fan Page, get someone to follow you on Twitter, automatically send a tweet on Twitter, etc. By implementing these strategies, your campaign will reach far beyond the individuals scanning your QR code; it may reach all of their Facebook friends or Twitter followers as well.

Verizon ran a QR code contest for a smartphone via Facebook. They also added an incentive – if your friend bought a Verizon mobile phone you would get a free smartphone. The promo was a branding success with visibility on 25,000 Facebook profiles. The promotion also generated $35,000 in revenue in a single week with minimal investment.[lxxix]

QR CODE FB TW INTEGTRATIONWatch the Video: QR Code/Facebook Integration – Diesel: Diesel used QR codes to encourage customers to post a Facebook like for the jeans they were trying on in the store.[lxxx] <goo.gl/CKLBf> (Duration: one minute)

11. Track your results using QR code campaign analytics.

To truly optimize your QR code marketing efforts, you should implement analytics with every campaign. What you measure will be dependent upon what your QR code does. You could measure a wide range of things such as the number of people that scanned your QR code, the click stream paths on your website, the number of downloads of your app, the number of people that scanned and then called you, the number of store visits, the number of sales generated, etc. It is important to analyze this data to determine the effectiveness and ROI of each of your marketing campaigns.

An appealing feature of QR codes is that different ones can be used in different publications and different places, enabling companies to track the performance of every QR code in every ad in every marketing channel – a very powerful method for determining ROI.

Tracking your QR code scans is an important step and it’s easy to do if you used the URL shorteners mentioned previously (bit.ly or goo.gl). To track the number of people that scanned your code, simple add a “+” to the end of the URL. For example, if you want to determine the number of visits to goo.gl/yU4MG, you simply key in goo.gl/yU4MG+ to see the campaign results.[1] Voila, campaign analytics for QR code scans.

QR Code Analytics TutorialWatch the Video: QR Code Analytics Tutorial – Google: Tutorial on “How To Use Google Analytics[lxxxi] Goal Tracking For QR code Campaigns.”[lxxxii] <goo.gl/LLQrP> (Duration: eight minutes)

12. Optimize your current and future QR code campaigns.

As you measure your results, determining what is working or not working will help you optimize your results as you proceed. Rather than viewing a QR code campaign in isolation as just enabling a single transaction, consider the bigger picture of how this single transaction could be part of the ultimate goal of building long‑term relationships with customers. Move from a transactional focus to a relationship focus.

13. Apply QR code Marketing Best Practices to maximize results.

  •       The QR code must work (i.e., not packed with too much data or be placed in an area without wireless connectivity if required).
  •       The QR code should point to a shortened URL such as those from bit.ly or goo.gl.
  •       Simply add a “+” to the end of your shortened URL to get detailed analytics about the number of times your QR code was scanned.[lxxxiii]
  •       Test the code using multiple devices or test using online tools.[lxxxiv]
  •       When linking to a website, make sure you are pointing to a mobile-optimized site.
  •       Consider QR code campaign techniques that have proven to generate the most interaction: contests, sweepstakes, sample offers and promotional discounts.[lxxxv]
  •       Combine a QR code scan with GPS location information to provide an even more customized result for customers.[lxxxvi]
  •       Point to casual and personable video content for impact. For instance, a QR code on a storefront that points to a website with all of your offers may be much less powerful than a video of the store manager welcoming customers into the store and providing some background about himself and his store, and whispering a secret code for an instant discount.

Challenge Questions

QR Code Marketing Strategies: Would a QR Code strategy help you achieve your business and marketing objectives and if so, how would you apply it? What would your objectives be? Where would you place the QR codes? What strategy could you use to generate free publicity?

Augmented Reality


Wow!Figure 41: Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality is like having an instant Wikipedia page for everything your camera points to. Check out the top augmented reality campaigns this year.

Augmented Reality Marketing

In addition to QR code marketing, there are many other forms of augmented reality marketing that do not require a QR code. Instead, they often require a dedicated augmented reality app such as those from Blippar or Layar. Organizations are starting capitalize on these augmented reality apps, but they are still making missteps in their approach.

Organizations should first ensure they educate users on downloading the required apps, standardize on a particular app for all their augmented reality campaigns, invest in content that engages the user and create an app that has specific objectives in mind.[lxxxix]

Furthermore, linking augmented reality apps to social media can open up entirely new capabilities and streams of information to enhance the app. For example, an augmented reality app could show you photos from Flickr that were taken nearby, since most photos contain geotagging which identifies the exact location of the photo. Or, you could even see the exact location of who is tweeting nearby and what they are saying.

Augmented Reality AdvertisingWatch the Video: Augmented Reality Advertising: Mobile augmented reality can be a powerful tool to link the physical and virtual worlds.[xc] <goo.gl/IjgVt> (Duration: one minute)
TEDWatch the Video: The Augmented Reality Transformation: Augmented reality integrated with a phone’s ability to recognize images opens up all kinds of opportunities to transform education, customer support and entertainment in the future, as we can see from the TED Talk.[xci] <goo.gl/200CU> (Duration: eight minutes)

Augmented Reality Campaign Analytics

To truly optimize your augmented reality campaign or app, you should implement augmented reality analytics. You can measure all kinds of things including the number of people that accessed certain information, the click stream path through your app, the number of downloads of your software, the customer evaluation and the rating of your app.

For augmented reality apps being used to view products (in a store, at home or elsewhere), you could even potentially track the percentage of people that viewed a particular product and whether they bought it or put it back on the shelf. It’s important to analyze this data to determine the effectiveness and ROI of your augmented reality campaign or app. Analytics intelligence could help you to adjust your current and/or future campaigns.

Challenge Question

Augmented Reality Marketing Strategies: Would an augmented reality strategy help you achieve your business and marketing objectives and if so, how would you apply it?

[1] This works with bit.ly addresses as well.

[i] “QR Codes – Mobile Marketing for your Business.” YouTube. Uploaded by sirspeedycorp on October 28, 2010. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/Hk8X2 or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgaxrDywZLQ.

[ii] “How to use QR codes for your Business.” YouTube. Uploaded by JigsawSocialMedia on August 11, 2010. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/aq2XJ or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7lwFu3JKLQ&feature=related.

[iii] Judd Wheeler. “Mobile Barcodes (QR Code and Microsoft Tag) Primer.” The Mobilists. June 2, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.themobilists.com/2011/06/02/mobile-barcodes-qr-and-microsoft-tag-primer/.

[iv] Lauren Johnson. “Mobile bar codes see 600pc year-to-year growth in second quarter of 2011: Scanbuy.” Mobile Marketer. July 21, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/research/10505.html.

[v] “More than 1 in 3 U.S. QR Code Scanners has a Household Income of $100k.” comScore Data Mine. August 12, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.comscoredatamine.com/2011/08/more-than-1-in-3-u-s-qr-code-scanners-has-a-household-income-of-100k/.

[vi] Sarah Radwanick. “14 Million Americans Scanned QR Codes on their Mobile Phones in June 2011.” comScore, Inc. August 12, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2011/8/14_Million_Americans_Scanned_QR_or_Bar_Codes_on_their_Mobile_Phones_in_June_2011.

[vii] “14 Million Americans Scanned QR codes on their Mobile Phones in June 2011” comScore, Inc. November 15, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/.

[viii] “BuySellQRCode – All About QR Code Marketing.” BuySellQRCode. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://buysellqrcode.com/.

[ix] Joe Spake. “Practical use for QR codes in real estate.” Memphis Real Estate Buzz Blog. March 14, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://blog.spake.com/2011/03/14/practical-use-for-qr-codes-in-real-estate/.

[x] “QR Codes: The Missing Link between Mobile and Offline?” GamingDM News. May 5, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.gamingdm.com/blog/2011/05/qr-codes-the-missing-link-between-mobile-and-offline/.

[xi] Derek Johnson. “SMS Marketing with QR Codes.” Tatango. May 27, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.tatango.com/blog/sms-marketing-with-qr-codes/.

[xii] “QR Code T-Shirts Must Deliver the Goods.” Quick Takes from WikiThreads. October 2, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://wikithreads.com/tshirtsandembroidery/qr-code-t-shirts-must-deliver-the-goods.

[xiii] “WTF QR CODES.” WTF QR CODES. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://wtfqrcodes.com/.

[xiv] “WTF QR CODES.” WTF QR CODES. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://wtfqrcodes.com/.

[xv] Rebecca Happy. “10 Ways to Use QR Codes.” Rebecca Happy’s Blog. June 14, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.rebeccahappy.com/10-ways-to-use-qr-codes/.

[xvi] Ben. “Using QR Codes To Get Email Signups From Crazy Busy People.” MailChimp. July 5, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://blog.mailchimp.com/using-qr-codes-to-get-email-signups-from-crazy-busy-people/.

[xvii] Nick Ford. “Catchy QR Code Stickers!” QR Codes Anywhere. October 20, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://qranywhere.blogspot.ca/2011/10/contour-cut-stickers.html.

[xviii] “Marketing With QR code Labels and Stickers.” YouTube. Uploaded by stickybusinessTV on April 26, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2g8sLnMDGfo&NR=1.

[xix] Mark Brill. “The Problem with QR Codes.” The Future of Mobile and Mobile Marketer.January 9, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://txt4ever.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/the-problem-with-qr-codes/.

[xx] “Innovative Marketing with QR Codes.” QR-Codes.com. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://qr-codes.com/innovative-marketing-with-qr-codes/.

[xxi] “Why use QR Codes and/or SocialTAG for your business card; here is a very good example…” QRScanTag. May 12, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://qrscantag.wordpress.com/2011/05/12/why-use-qr-codes-andor-socialtag-for-your-business-card-here-is-a-very-good-example/.

[xxii] “Chinese City!N adds QR Codes to its SNS Service.” All About Mobile Life. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://mobile.kaywa.com/qr-code-data-matrix/chinese-cityn-adds-qr-codes-to-its-sns-service.html.

[xxiii] “Category Archives: QR code.” QRilize Blog. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://blog.qrilize.com/category/qr-code/

[xxiv] Jason Allen. “QR Codes: Chapter Next.” Haft2. September 26, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://haft2.com/haft2know/2011/09/26/qr-codes-chapter-next/.

[xxv] “World’s First QR Code Talking Comic Book Cover.” 2d Code. Posted by Roger on February 27, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://2d-code.co.uk/comic-book-qr-code-talking-head/.

[xxvii] “Reality Check Your Marketing.” Reality Check Your Marketing. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://1stdegreemarketing.blogspot.ca/.

[xxviii] “QR Codes: What They Are and How to Use Them.” YouTube. Uploaded by sitepronews on November 23, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/uSNMD or http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=br039gDRD7k&NR=1.

[xxix] Lauren Johnson. “Express takes bigger plunge into mobile with QR codes, SMS.” Mobile Commerce Daily. June 27, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/2012/06/27/express-furthers-mobile-commerce-stride-with-qr-codes-sms.

[xxx] Rimma Kats. “Boston Market relies on QR codes to drive summer foot traffic.” Mobile Commerce Daily. June 21, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/2012/06/21/boston-market-relies-on-qr-codes-to-drive-summer-foot-traffic.

[xxxi] Bert Padilla. “Budweiser’s ‘Track Your Bud’ QR Code Campaign.” QR Code Tracking Done Right. May 11, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://orangeqr.com/budweisers-track-your-bud-qr-code-campaign/.

[xxxii] “Adegga.com – Get and Share wine recommendations and tasting notes online!” Adegga. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.adegga.com/.

[xxxiii] Peter Renton. “QR Codes Coming to Wine Labels.” Lightning Labels Blog. March 18, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://blog.lightninglabels.com/2009/future-technology/QR-codes-coming-to-wine-labels/.

[xxxiv] Corina Mackay. “Augmented Reality: 5 Ways it Can Change Your World.” Social Media Examiner. September 20, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/augmented-reality-5-ways-it-can-change-your-world/.

[xxxv] “Moscow – Ministry of Internal Affairs – Road Safety.” YouTube. Uploaded by Leo Burnett Worldwide on March 9, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Iod7ssaTBT0.

[xxxvi] “Tracking Analytics for QR code Scans.” YouTube. Uploaded by ThinkTankTuesday on March 8, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFCqZSk2E40.

[xxxvii] “Training Wheels: QR codes.” YouTube. Uploaded by c21socialmarketing on April 29, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/pC6aT or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gdqowwap_4.

[xxxviii] “QR code Best Practices.” YouTube. Uploaded by homesandland on April 11, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEAxiPPyMDI.

[xxxix] “QR codes and Real Estate – Best Uses and Practices.” YouTube. Uploaded by KelvinHughes on April 29, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HR4rd80vdig.

[xl] Fred Trotter. “The Transportation Security Administration’s QR code flub.” O’Reilly Radar. January 3, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://radar.oreilly.com/2012/01/tsa-qr-code-flub.html.

[xli] “QR codes in Best Buy (In-Store Compare to functionality).” YouTube. Uploaded by launchmedia2010 on October 13, 2010. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/TvQ1k or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVUHXKmd6Cc.

[xlii] “Zoo Records ‘Hidden Sound’.” YouTube. Uploaded by Leo Burnett Worldwide on June 22, 2010. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwURImYOK1Q&feature=autoplay&list=PLAD93FD3D6BABB02E.

[xliii] “Macy’s Backstage Pass Returns This Fall to Enhance the Consumer Shopping Experience.” Novelas y mas. August 8, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://novelasymas.com/macy%E2%80%99s-backstage-pass-returns-this-fall-to-enhance-the-consumer-shopping-experience/.

[xliv] “How to Use Macy’s Backstage Pass.” YouTube. Uploaded by macys on February 18, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/r5Hvq or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMYIrQ3Wy80.

[xlv] “QR Lego.” YouTube. Uploaded by Redmobiletv on May 17, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/kf4uX or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5aASznITyo&feature=autoplay&list=PLAD93FD3D6BABB02E.

[xlvi] “Un QR code sur un CV.” YouTube. Uploaded by Maxime Delmas on May 5, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/kO8I2 or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xs7tLBSENx4&feature=autoplay&list=PLAD93FD3D6BABB02E.

[xlvii] “Google Url Shortener.” Google. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.goo.gl.

[xlviii] “bitly – Do More with your Links.” bitly. Accessed November 4, 2012. https://bitly.com.

[xlix] “QR Code Generator and Management with Tracking, Analytics and Support.” Kaywa AG. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://qrcode.kaywa.com/.

[l] “QR Code Generator: QR Stuff Free Online QR Code Creator And Encoder For T-Shirts, Business Cards & Stickers.” QRStuff. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.qrstuff.com.

[li] “QR code Generator from the ZXing Project.” Zebra Crossing. December 18, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://zxing.appspot.com/generator.

[lii] “QR Code Generator and Manager – Barcode + QR Reader Apps.” ScanLife. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.scanlife.com.

[liii] “QRREI Portal.” QRREI.com. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.qrrei.com.

[liv] “KeremErkan – QR code and 2D Code Generator.” KeremErkan. December 18, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://keremerkan.net/qr-code-and-2d-code-generator.

[lv] “QR Code Generator.” QrRage.com. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.qrrage.com.

[lvi] “Likify.net – Give your real life objects a share button.” Likify. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.likify.net

[lvii] “Restaurant Mobile Websites Best Practices: Chili’s Mobile Marketing Grade.” YouTube. Published by Sara Petersen on June 1, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/iDXvy or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcWKzxi-KrM.

[lviii] “37 Examples Of Using QR codes.” YouTube. Uploaded by bannersonaroll on July 28, 2010. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGYqxVrJN-s&feature=related.

[lix] Rachel Lamb. “Mandarin Oriental details mobile marketing prowess.” Luxury Daily. July 1, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.luxurydaily.com/consistency-is-integral-to-maintaining-mobile-consumer-interaction-mandarin-oriental/.

[lx] Chantal Tode. “Red Bull energizes event registrations with mobile, social campaign.” Mobile Marketer. June 1, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/database-crm/12968.html.

[lxi] Chantal Tode. “Elmer’s creates photo-sharing app to drive engagement beyond back-to-school shopping.” Mobile Marketer. July 5, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/content/13243.html.

[lxii] Rachel Lamb. “Porsche draws dealership visitors with model-specific bar codes.” Luxury Daily. July 12, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.luxurydaily.com/porsche-draws-dealership-visitors-with-model-specific-bar-codes/.

[lxiii] Rimma Kats. “Allure magazine gives away 25,403 free products via mobile bar code campaign.” Mobile Marketer. August 4, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/media/10617.html.

[lxiv] “First Ever Animated Tattoo – By K.A.R.L.“ YouTube. Uploaded by ballantines on July 4, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3qv2dSXQXk&feature=autoplay&list=PLAD93FD3D6BABB02E.

[lxv] Rachel Lamb. “Fontainebleau uses QR codes, Instagram to boost pool party interaction.” Luxury Daily. June 29, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.luxurydaily.com/fontainebleau-uses-qr-codes-instagram-to-boost-pool-party-interaction/.

[lxvi] Lauren Johnson. “Kellogg Co. sees 40,000 QR codes scans via mobile campaign.” Mobile Marketer. June 27, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/video/10309.html.

[lxvii] “Random House Launches QR Code Menus in 130+ Restaurants.” FSR magazine. August 21, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.rmgtmagazine.com/content/random-house-launches-qr-code-menus-130-restaurants.

[lxviii] “Shin-B – Get Up And Go [QR CODE] Interactive Music Video.” YouTube. December 18, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q44Elu6QmME.

[lxix] “N Building.” Network Research. Posted by Garrett on January 27, 2010. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.asquare.org/networkresearch/2010/n-building.

[lxx] “QR codes – Psychology of Consumer Behaviour.” YouTube. Uploaded by dusomeproductions on May 8, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhrMqd_1To4&feature=related.

[lxxi] “The World Park Campaign, a very creative QR mobile campaign.” YouTube. Uploaded by Evelio Areas on June 14, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/HA7Pk or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7JRfz9Jc_M&feature=autoplay&list=PLAD93FD3D6BABB02E.

[lxxii] “Maria Sharapova QR Code Scan in Glamour Magazine.” YouTube. Uploaded by TappinnQRCodeFun on November 8, 2010. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/N7iAg or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-_YtbaIUZo.

[lxxiii] “AXA makes tv ad you can step into.” YouTube. Uploaded by DuvalGuillaume on March 1, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/JOImj or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vWVtpCfLX8&feature=autoplay&list=PLAD93FD3D6BABB02E.

[lxxiv] Depending upon your country/region, you may want to provide additional guidance on QR code usage such as “Go to your app store and search for ‘QR code reader.’ Then, scan it!”

[lxxv] “QR Code sui capelli per Clear.” Beauty Bit. Posted by Estetica.it on August 19, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.beautybit.net/2011/08/qr-code-sui-capelli-per-clear.html.

[lxxvi] “Top 10 QR Codes Of 2011.” 2d code. Posted by Roger on December 31, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://2d-code.co.uk/top-ten-qr-codes-2011/.

[lxxvii] “QR code Haircut.” YouTube. Uploaded by Michael Duz on May 27, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/V49KR or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahSGO6SkG8g.

[lxxviii] “Shopping at Best Buy with Mobile Codes.” YouTube. Uploaded by BestBuyCommunity on August 24, 2010. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/W83ck or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQ0Ww-KOPdA.

[lxxix] Lauren Fisher. “2 stunning case studies show how QR codes can generate revenue.” Simply Zesty. July 30, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.simplyzesty.com/mobile/2-stunning-case-studies-show-how-qr-codes-can-generate-revenue/.

[lxxx] “I LIKE DIESEL.” YouTube. Uploaded by FullSIXes on May 18, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/CKLBf or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OZmbBPym1k&feature=autoplay&list=PLAD93FD3D6BABB02E.

[lxxxi] “Google Analytics – Official Website.” Google. December 18, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.google.com/analytics.

[lxxxii] “How To Use Google Analytics Goal Tracking For QR code Campaigns.” YouTube. Uploaded by OptimizationTutor on November 16, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/LLQrP or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnEl_xiNFnI.

[lxxxiii] “How to Track Goo.gl Short URL Analytics.” TNW – The Next Web. November 21, 2010. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://thenextweb.com/lifehacks/2010/11/21/how-to-track-goo-gl-short-url-analytics/.

[lxxxiv] Kevin Mullett. “Testing QR Codes for Scan-ability.” Cirrus ABS. September 29, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.cirrusabs.com/blog/testing-qr-codes-for-scannability/.

[lxxxv] “Glamour sees 512,339 reader engagements via social, mobile bar code campaign.” Mobile Marketer. January 22, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/software-technology/11437.html.

[lxxxvi] Rachel Lamb. “Pros and cons of mobile bar codes for luxury brands.” Luxury Daily. June 21, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.luxurydaily.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-mobile-bar-codes/.

[lxxxvii] Travis Wilson. “LG Announces The Optimus 3D With Added 3D Augmented Reality, ‘The World’s First’.” ZoKnowsGaming.com. May 11, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://zoknowsgaming.com/2011/05/11/lg-announces-optimus-3d-added-3d-augmented-reality-worlds/.

[lxxxviii] Rimma Kats. “Top augmented reality campaigns from the first half.” Mobile Marketer. September 5, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/software-technology/13696.html.

[lxxxix] Rimma Kats. “5 common augmented reality mistakes.” Mobile Marketer. December 20, 2012. Accessed December 24, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/software-technology/14435.html

[xc] “Mobile Augmented reality from Ad-dispatch.” YouTube. Uploaded by AdDispatch on February 23, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/IjgVt or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbSgBAi81Oc.

[xci] “Matt Mills: Image recognition that triggers augmented reality.” TED. July, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/200CU or http://www.ted.com/talks/matt_mills_image_recognition_that_triggers_augmented_reality.html.


Figure 38: Transportation Security Administration (TSA) QR Codes

The TSA uses QR codes on airport signs to meet a simple objective – help educate people on airport security procedures. But the poster designer mistakenly used a stock photo of a QR code, sending people to the website of a TSA critic!

A8 Mobile Coupon Marketing

Part of a series of Top 10 Branding/Pre-Sales Mobile Marketing Strategies
Mobile Coupon Marketing entails sending electronic coupons to customers using a number of techniques such as e‑mail, SMS text, Twitter or mobile app. “A recent independent survey from ABI Research shows that 63 percent of consumers felt that a coupon would be the most effective incentive to get them to respond to a mobile marketing message… ABI also found that 52 percent of consumers would use mobile coupons for a discount at a local store.”[i] Furthermore, 73 percent wish they could get an instant coupon as they walk past an item in a store.[ii] As a result, mobile coupon usage has almost doubled recently.[iii]Six thousand customers have signed up for Subway Restaurants’ regional My Subway Mobile campaign, with 150 new customers signing up every week. By expanding the promotion nationally, Subway hopes to ramp up to 20,000 new registrants every week. Subway’s incentive is two dollars off or buy one get one free. It also made a promotional family offer during an NFL game, great timing for capturing large orders for the whole family.

Subway has been getting a redemption rate of five to six percent on its mobile coupons – double to triple the redemption rate for its physical coupons.[iv] The redemption rate of mobile coupons should reach eight percent by 2016. This is much higher than the redemption rate of other coupon channels. Moreover, printed coupon redemption rates have dropped by about 40 percent in the past few years.[v]

A&W implemented a mobile coupon campaign for a free burger that resulted in a 20 percent increase in revenue in some stores. The campaign was promoted in the stores, radio and TV. It even went viral on social media resulting in over 50,000 customers opting in to receive A&W coupon codes via SMS text. By building this database and establishing a direct connection with its customers, A&W can now make last minute promotional offers to customers that are near a particular store.[vi]

QR1Watch the Video: Mobile Coupon Text Marketing: Demonstration of a mobile coupon campaign via text messaging.[vii] <goo.gl/9YZj9> (Duration: two minutes)

Retailer Target launched an opt‑in Text to Get instant coupon promotion; enrollment in the program quickly doubled. Five to ten mobile coupons are sent to customers every couple of weeks as well as when they are in the store. Benefits to Target include an increase in sales and improved customer loyalty. More importantly, analytics can be used to push targeted coupon offers to customers for products that they wouldn’t normally buy – a very compelling approach for increasing sales through cross-selling.[viii]

QR MOBILE COUPOS CA SAVE MONEYWatch the Video: Mobile Coupon Marketing – Target: Mobile coupons can save money on a wide range of goods, as we can see from this demonstration at Target.[ix] <goo.gl/O9eo6> (Duration: three minutes)

Mobile Coupon Platforms

In addition to creating their own branded coupon apps, companies can also consider promoting their products through multivendor coupon platforms such as GeoQpons, Shopkick and Thumbprize. The GeoQpons app lets consumers access thousands of coupons, deals and offers from their favorite retailers. This type of platform may be a sound strategy for companies that prefer not to create their own branded coupon apps at all.[x]

Shopkick has created an app that can instantly send coupons to customers as soon as they step into a mall or walk past a particular store. Shopkick doesn’t use GPS to determine their location like other systems. “Instead, it relies on retailers installing small speakers at the entrance to their stores or the mall. The speakers emit an inaudible sound that can be picked up by cell phone microphones. The sound contains a code that identifies the store.”[xi]

Thumbprize is a mobile platform that goes beyond mobile coupons to also manage contests and sweepstakes.[xii] Thumprize is also intended to fully integrate with traditional marketing channels.[xiii] In fact there are several popular readily available mobile coupon platforms in different countries.[xiv]

Coupon Expiry Considerations

An important aspect of mobile coupons is the validity period of the offer. A&W’s mobile coupon was valid for five days, driving traffic to stores rather quickly after the promotion started. Subway’s coupons are valid for two days. Hotel Tonight’s app offers mobile flash deals that are only valid for that evening – it’s now or never. This strategy is a great way for hotels to sell off vacant rooms that are unlikely to rent that evening at full price.[xv]

Some companies such as Dazbog Coffee utilize an even more restrictive time limit for its mobile coupons – 30 minutes! This is a powerful approach to driving in‑store traffic during slow periods, generating business dynamically as needed.[xvi]

The nature of mobile usage is simply different than traditional laptop usage. There is strong evidence that mobile devices are used much more frequently during the latter stages of the sales cycle – when buying decisions are being made. For example, a high proportion of mobile users book hotels at the last minute, even waiting until after they have arrived at their destination city before booking a hotel room.

Last New Year’s Eve, research showed that 42 percent of mobile users actually waited until after 5pm before making their last minute hotel reservation.[xvii] This points to the importance of using a mobile marketing strategy to reach consumers when they are making buying decisions.

Consider industries and services that would benefit greatly by being able to sell off last minute tickets such as airlines, trains, buses, movie theatres, plays, musicals, concerts and sporting events. An empty seat is lost revenue that can never be recaptured. Now imagine a scenario whereby a theatre with vacant seats sends this message to customers that are currently in the mall – “Popcorn and a large pop for only two dollars with every movie ticket purchased in the next 20 minutes.”

Or visualize a stadium with thousands of empty seats for the game that is about to start, sending this message to customers within a one kilometer radius – “Here’s a $20 off coupon if you purchase a ticket to the game right now.” These are potentially powerful last-minute approaches for minimizing lost revenues.

Mobile Coupon Benefits

Companies using mobile coupons can achieve several potential benefits including:

  •       An increase in customer visits
  •       Greener solution than flyers and mailers
  •       An ability to ramp up customer visits during slow periods (e.g., bad weather)[xviii]
  •       Ease of tracking campaign effectiveness and adjusting execution midstream if needed[xix]
  •       Built‑in features such as directions to the nearest store based on your exact location to make them more effective, and
  •       An integration of physical and virtual worlds to enable real‑time offers to customers at the point of purchase.[xx]

Mobile Coupon Marketing Best Practices

  •       Ensure that customers have agreed to opt in to receive your coupons.
  •       Select a coupon expiry that makes sense for your offering.
  •       Use location-aware coupons to reach nearby customers and encourage instant foot traffic and sales in your stores.
  •       Enable a broad range of options for signing up to your coupon program via the web, mobile web, mobile app or even a simple text message.
  •       Create coupon redemption processes that are simple and paperless (e.g., imbed barcodes or QR codes into your coupons).
  •       To manage mobile coupon marketing campaigns, consider using coupon marketing cloud platforms (such as those from Coupons Inc.).[xxi]
  •       Promote your mobile coupon program in multiple places such as your flyers, print ads, TV ads, social media and in‑store signage.

The key to an effective mobile coupon strategy is timing. Change your mindset from sending coupons to prospects midday when they are in the office or in the evening at home, to a Saturday afternoon when they are at the mall or walking past your store. A timely offer for a discounted ice cream cone while they are in the car on a hot summer day would be irresistible.

Challenge Questions

Mobile Coupon Marketing Strategies: Will a mobile coupon marketing strategy help you achieve your business objectives? What are your priority objectives? How can you reach your target market? Can you exploit built‑in smartphone sensors to make your coupons even more compelling?

[i] Mickey Alam Khan. “Mobile coupons work for Subway franchisees.” Mobile Marketer. February 27, 2008. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/commerce/595.html.

[ii] Bill Siwicki. “Shoppers would rather use smartphones than consult store associates, survey finds.” Internet Retailer. December 6, 2010. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.internetretailer.com/2010/12/06/shoppers-would-rather-use-smartphones-store-associates.

[iii] Chantal Tode. “Mobile coupon use almost doubles during the holidays: report.” December 21, 2012. Accessed December 24, 2012. http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/mobile-coupon-use-almost-doubles-during-the-holidays-report.

[iv] Giselle Tsirulnik. “Fast-food chain Subway launches mobile ordering system.” Mobile Marketer. February 6, 2009. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/commerce/2593.html.

[v] Mickey Alam Khan. “Mobile coupons work for Subway franchisees.” Mobile Marketer. February 27, 2008. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/commerce/595.html.

[vi] Chantal Tode. “A&W burger chain drives 20pc increase in revenue with mobile coupons.” Mobile Commerce Daily. June 29, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/2012/06/29/aw-burger-chain-drives-20pc-increase-in-revenue-with-mobile-coupon.

[vii] “The Life of a Mobile Coupon.” YouTube. Uploaded by CellitSMSMarketing on February 22, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/9YZj9 or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrFgb2LrEto.

[viii] Chantal Tode. “Target tests instant offers as mobile couponing program grows.” Mobile Commerce Daily. July 22, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/2011/07/22/target-tests-instant-offers-as-mobile-couponing-program-grows.

[ix] “Mobile Coupons – Next Big Marketing – Free Month.” YouTube. Uploaded by burtkauf on May 3, 2010. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://goo.gl/O9eo6 or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjOSW2TDJNw.

[x] Rimma Kats. “GeoQpons targets on-the-go consumers with localized mobile deals.” Mobile Commerce Daily. June 21, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/2011/06/21/geoqpons-targets-on-the-go-consumers-with-localized-mobile-deals.

[xi] “Shopkick Beams Coupons to Your Phone as You Walk Through the Mall.” Digital Trends. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/shopkick-beams-coupons-to-your-phone-as-you-walk-through-the-mall/.

[xii] “Thumbprize From North Social.” YouTube. Published by northsocial on January 17, 2013. Accessed February 1, 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlHpl46TazE.

[xiii]   “Thumbprize.” North Social. Accessed February 1, 2013. http://www.thumbprize.com/promo#amazing.

[xiv] Stephanie Miles. “6 Mobile Coupon Platforms for Merchants.” Street Fight. April 12, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://streetfightmag.com/2012/04/12/6-mobile-coupon-platforms-for-merchants/.

[xv] Lauren Johnson. “HotelTonight broadens scope with Europe addition.” Mobile Commerce Daily. June 25, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/2012/06/25/hoteltonight-broadens-scope-with-europe-addition.

[xvi] Lauren Johnson. “Dazbog Coffee Co. adds mobile coupons to mix to reward users.” Mobile Commerce Daily. January 12, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/2012/01/12/dazbog-coffee-co-adds-mobile-coupons-to-mix-to-reward-users.

[xvii] Rimma Kats. “Priceline: 42pc of consumers waited until 5 p.m. to book New Year’s Eve mobile travels.” Mobile Commerce Daily. January 30, 2013. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/priceline-42pc-of-consumers-waited-until-5-p-m-to-book-new-year%E2%80%99s-eve-mobile-travels.

[xviii] Mickey Alam Khan. “Mobile coupons work for Subway franchisees.” Mobile Marketer. February 27, 2008. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/commerce/595.html.

[xix] Steven van Zanen. “Making the case for SMS marketing over email.“ Mobile Marketer. July 18, 2012. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/opinion/columns/13323.html.

[xx] Gregg Stewart. “Mobile Coupons Offer Multiple Benefits.” Search Engine Watch. July 24, 2009. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2066449/Mobile-Coupons-Offer-Multiple-Benefits.

[xxi] “Coupons.com Incorporated.” Coupons.com. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.couponsinc.com/corporate/.