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Mobile Marketing with QR CodesSmartphone users are taking over the population. Nielson says that 50% of Americans will have a smartphone by Christmas of 2011. The iPhone, Droid, and Blackberry are becoming deeply embedded into our every day lives. They are the true Autobots from Transformers (or Decepticons depending on how people view technology). Even the TV commercials make smartphones look like robots. Let’s be honest, having unlimited amount of information at a persons’ finger-tips makes life a little easier. So what does that mean for marketers?

Mobile Marketing : A New Channel

As print or interactive marketing mediums continue to grow and evolve, a new channel arrived in 2003, mobile phones.  Mobile marketing is the use of cell phones and other mobile devices to market a brand or message.  As businesses see an opportunity to reach their target audience, mobile marketing is starting to play a crucial role in an integrated marketing strategy. Mobile marketing is commonly used in order to generate customer opt-in databases, increase brand awareness, and drive attendance to specific events and locations. There are barriers to creating an effective mobile campaigns, including wireless carriers’ individual policies, privacy issues, and the slow growing rate of adoption of smartphones in the U.S.

5 Creative Uses of QR Codes

Here are a couple examples of how businesses have used QR codes in their marketing campaigns.  The first example, Hidden Sounds, from Leo Burnett was designed to promote alternative music label Zoo Records in Hong Kong. The marketing campaign carefully place visuals of a variety of animals, composed of download QR codes, that street walkers could take cell phone pictures of the animals and stream new music to their mobile devices instantly. This campaign resulted in sold out records, extreme street credit for Zoo Records, and the widespread dispersal of an underground sound.

1. Public Art – Zoo Records “Hidden Sound”

 

2. Temporary Tattoos          3. Stamps           4. Scavenger Hunts             5. Restaurant Glasses

      QR code stamps on dollar bills and other printed material.             Use QR Codes to Check-In with Foursquare or Facebook

QR Codes Tips & Tricks

  • When creating a mobile marketing campaign, remember that there are enormous variety of mobile phone screen sizes and memory limitations. Strive to create original content best suited to a mobile device. If the code is part of a specific marketing campaign, send viewers directly to the content they will expect based on the campaign’s call to action. Shape the path.
  • QR codes are great tools in driving customers to interact with your marketing content, but just that — a tool. Don’t get mixed up with utilizing creative tools with creating an entire marketing campaigns around them. QR codes aren’t the end all to marketing campaigns. Like social media, marketers should use these tools because they are effective, not because they are cool.
  • Use the QR code to achieve a specific marketing goal and make it worth viewers’ time to decode it. Similar to increasing “Likes” Facebook Fan Page, offer incentives to viewers like promotions, discounts, and sweepstakes.  Even sparking smartphone users’ curiosity can get them to use QR codes.
  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Give your audience multiple paths by adding another response mechanism.
  •  Educate the public. Since only 50% might have smartphones, include instructions to use the code.

What is your favorite QR Code Campaign?


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99designs:Crowd Sourcing For Companies And A Chance To Shine For DesignersIt’s tough out there in the job market now. But I think we are a little tougher. It’s been 5 months since I started applying for jobs. Looking for jobs is almost a full-time job itself. But we can always do a little extra, right? In between applying for jobs,  I’ve been helping out two local non-profits in the Washington D.C. area for the past month. I have to admit, it keeps me sane. There’s only so much house cleaning a person can do until they pass out from Clorox ™ over dose. Dance4Peace and Fairfax Symphony Orchestra have been wonderful by letting me help them out with marketing and media projects. But what if you don’t have access to local resources like that? How can you build up your portfolio?

ENTER CONTEST!

Search for contest in fields that you have interest. One part of marketing I love is designing and branding. I recently stumbled upon a website called 99designs. Similar to Groupon’s crowd-sourcing platform that I mentioned in Groupon: Bringing Deals and Business? post, 99designs is a site where designers can enter contest win clients accounts. Once the deadline is up, the company that posted the contest picks their favorite design. With more designs, the company has a better chance in finding a design that fits their needs.  We are all competing for a chance to be a rockstar. Sometimes designers just need a shot. With 99designs, it guarantees your design work will be seen. Watch this video below to see how the company XL Media logo contest brought him the perfect design.

The best part is the private feedback you get back from the company. As one project ends, another begins. So if you’re trying to have a constant To Do List, sign up for a contest and get busy. I’m starting to enter tomorrow! Now it’s your chance to shine.

Interested? Another site that you might want to check out:

Made to Stick: SUCCESSEvery Super Bowl season, I look forward to watching the big game but even more in watching the commercials.  We all remember those great TV advertisements that seem to just stick in our minds, but why? What makes an idea sticky, that’s the hundred million dollar question that every ad agencies wants to know. Dan and Chip Heath, authors of Made to Stick, have the answers why some ideas survive and others die. The acronym SUCCES: simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional, and stories.  The acronym its self is simple (of course) but lets break down each important component that makes an idea sticky.

SIMPLE

Being simple is about getting down to the core idea and finding that core idea. The authors use a great example by the Commander’s Intent (CI) that lets the extreme detailed plans of foot soldiers not to forget the basic mission assigned, do what’s necessary to complete the mission.  When we learn to prioritize our ideas to the essential core idea, it leaves a clear focus and objective to accomplish.

The short story of “Names, Names, Names” is another great example of how a newspaper has found its core belief. Their focus was on amount of local names the newspaper to increase circulation. People loved seeing the names of people they know and their own name inside the newspaper. Therefore, Dun North Carolina newspaper has pushed for local names ever since they discovered this sticky idea, becoming the leader for readership with 112 percent. SO think SIMPLE and get to the core idea.

UNEXPECTED

To get people to remember an event or idea, people need to be disrupted from their normal schema. For Example, a flight attendant making quick unexpected joke about the disco lights on the floor to exit the plane will catch everyone’s attention because it’s not a part of the normal routine. Another way to grab and hold persons’ attention is by surprise. The Buckle Up…Always commercial by the Ad council is sticky because it shows how to disrupt the normal schema about driving safety in neighborhoods. When a car comes flying into the side of the minivan AND BOOM! It highlights the idea that accidents can happen everywhere, even in your quiet neighborhood. This shocking event makes us remember to always buckle up. The commercial was successful in sending its message. UNEXPECTED, got it?

CONCRETE

Sticky ideas are concrete. I remember learning addition and subtraction math problems by using concrete images like apples. This has been the success story for Japan in why their students are more advanced in mathematics.  The Nature Conservancy, or TNC, has also caught on in using sticky ideas in their environment project to save land. Their goal was to save two million acres. WOW, that’s a lot of land, specially to most public and private businesses wanting to help conserve the rare land by donating money. So they began to split this idea in tangible and reachable goals so they didn’t overwhelm businesses. They redesign their goals into a more realistic look in saving acreage in terms called landscapes. The new objective was to save five landscapes. Eventually over time, TNC protected all two million acres of land. Landscapes were the new type of measurement that allowed TNC to be successful in accomplishing their goals.

Concrete ideas can also work in explaining complex ideas like racial discrimination to elementary school students. By breaking down abstract ideas like  racial discrimination and transforming them into concrete idea like blue-eyed brown-eyed kids activities,  children can make better sense of the information.

CREDIBLE

Today, everyone wants proof to know if products work. To make people believe in your idea, it must be credible. Two scientists, Warren and Marshall experience this first hand in their discovery that bacteria caused ulcers in the stomach. A simple action of taking antibiotics and bismuth would cure the pain but that was not enough to make the medical world believe. Being interns in training, their credible wasn’t established.

Winning the credibility of others is a fight against personal learning and social relationships that have been crafts over years of life experiences.

It takes great amount work to persuade a person with a new message. Celebrities that match our own morals are great sources of credibility, like Oprah and her book club. Once Oprah has your novel on her list, it’s a bestseller a week later. People idolize Oprah and respect her decisions. Her fans naturally think “If Oprah likes it, I must like it too.”

EMOTIONAL

Sticky ideas play on our emotions. We are human and hate to see others struggle. Most charities you see on TV focus on one personal story, usually a cute malnourished girl. We have all seen her cute face. We are more likely to make that idea stick to help out the little girl when they play on own human emotions. Again, being overwhelmed by the scale of the problem might make a person feel their contribution is meaningless. But if you tap into just one individual story, it gives hope us the idea that one person can affect other people’s lives.

The Philip Morris’ anti-smoking advertisements started the Truth campaign.

These commercials were stuck in our mind because they were emotional (and concrete). Instead of acting rebellious against The Man by smoking, Truth campaign made tobacco companies the new Man. Advertisers associated emotions that already existed and transferred them on the tobacco companies.

STORIES

Everyone likes a good story. They can either motivate us to act or provide knowledge about how to act. But the bottom line is stories make people act and can transfer messages through entertainment. Instead of using a dry email to send message about a copier error, people could tell the story of the Xerox repairman and mystery code that led two men on a wild goose chase around the office…Weird but within the story holds the message.

People want to be entertained NOT giving instructions. Stories are successful because they subtly transfer a message in an entertaining way.

Sticky ideas = S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Advertisers can have a long effective frequency of viewers by using these sticky suggestions. Ideas should have a primary focus and simple core. Get rid of all the non-essentials. Ideas should break out of own normal schemas for idea to be more memorable. Ideas should be concrete and in context that people can understand. Ideas have to be from a trusting source. Credibility is crucial in persuading people of your message. Ideas must make people care. Emotional ideas are effective because they make us feel and want to act. Finally, stories make us informed and take action while still being entertained. The message is not lost in the story but is highlighted through the interesting account.

What is your favorite sticky idea you know?

For more sticky ideas, visit heathbrothers.com

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