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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Warschawski

After an amazing and intense internship at Warschawski, I am BACK. But before I dive back into my marketing and PR posts, I wanted to share my great experience that helped me mature my marketing and PR skills.

A Little Background Info

Warschawski is a full service branding, PR, marketing, advertising and interactive agency in Baltimore, Maryland. It was named “U.S. Small Agency of the Year” four of the past five years and has won over 200 marketing communications awards in the last ten years. I was lucky enough to work for an agency that has been ranked one of the “20 Best U.S. Agencies to Work For” the last nine years in a row. With such an impressive track record, I knew there were high expectations joining a team of rock stars.

The W Experience

Right off the bat, I knew that every Warschawski team member was a BRAND expert and had clearly mastered the art marketing and public relations. The guru that trained his army to become these brand warriors was the main man himself, Mr. David Warschawski.

David is the simply the real deal. I recently was able to attend one of his seminars on how to successfully use social media in an integrated marketing communications strategy to help companies achieve their business goals and reinforce their brand. I will be expanding on some of the basic ideas in future posts. Stay Tuned!

Mission: Grow.

While interning at Warschawski as an Assistant Associate (AA), I played an important role working on client accounts, learned how and why strategic decisions are made, and actively participated in brainstorming sessions for clients. I worked on a variety of accounts, ranging from a tree top adventure company to a luxury high-end mattress company. One advantage of working at the W, I was able to get the experience and expertise of a large firm but have the personalized mentorship of a boutique agency.

My main focus during the AA program was to develop my media relation skills. DONE AND DONE. I was able to generate news and obtain media coverage that increased name recognition, credibility, and visibility for clients. While at the W, I established strong working relationships with key editors, producers, and reporters. I will be posting links to these placements in the near future.

BrandMaPR

When I wasn’t pitching to different media outlets, I was learning how to create communication campaigns that brings clarity to a company’s brand.  These integrated campaigns combine marketing strategies with PR, advertising, and creative and interactive design. Warschawski’s brand-centric and business goal-oriented model, BrandMaPR© (pronounced brand-mapper), helped me understand how companies can positively impact their bottom line and ultimately move their target audience to action. I’m only scratching the surface of an extremely intricate process. Visit W’s website for more information on their BrandMaPR© model.

So Was It Worth it?

Absolutely. Even though traffic was horrible at times (particularly my eight-hour commute during a snow storm), my experience at Warschawski was worth every minute. It was worth the average 3.75-hour commute each day, the $100 dollar gas bill each week, and the 2,480 miles I put on my car each month traveling.  Yes. I’m crazy… crazy about Warschawski. Thank you to everyone at the W. I will miss you all.

Time is On Our SideThings are happening fast. I mean freaky fast. News stories are being broadcasted  to the internet via flip phones, protests are being organized on Twitter in minutes, and I’m watching it all happen right in front of me on the computer. AND let’s not get started with Google’s new speedy search tool Google Instant. By predicting your search and showing results before you finish typing, Google Instant can save 2-5 seconds per search. I guess I can’t waste time on Google anymore. Now I feel bad college kids, this will totally messed up their procrastination clock.  Kidding, this is amazing technology. A little annoying but amazing.

This new “internet time” has companies on edge. Let’s go back to Twitter, the microblogging site that allows users to send and receive 140-character-long messages services from their phones. I finally gave in to the spreading Twitter epidemic and opened an account (my only hesitation was I didn’t have a Smartphone. I know, soo 2002.). I started following Oakley, one of my favorite brands. I looked down at past entries and Oakley had responded in real-time to complaining Twitter users but more importantly, to complaining customers. Below you can see the complaints on the left and Oakley’s responds on the right.

Oakley Tweets

Speed becomes not only a competitive advantage but also a strategic necessity. The more quickly businesses can adjust to customers’ actions and desires––the more quickly they can learn from them and try to stay ahead of them–– the better business will be.

Jeff Jarvis is spot on and Oakley is the perfect example. Mobs can form in a flash and so can fans. While most companies and individuals use Twitter as an extension of their brand, some still haven’t quite nailed how to use Twitter. Ad Maverick, Josh Fleming explains the Top Ten Reasons You #Fail At Twitter. Don’t worry, I’m still working out the kinks but learning google-fast. The internet has caused us to lose control many things: brands, reviews, secrets, relationships with advertisers, price settings, and now TIME.

Pressure to respond is higher than ever. Companies feel the need to give information out to the demanding public in a seconds notice.  I see no problem with this as long as the quality of fact-checking doesn’t  decrease.  Bogus speedy responses like BP’s junk shot technique to clog the oil leak with a golf ball, rubber particles, and hair… then I think Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., chairman of the House energy committee investigating the oil spill, said it perfectly to CBS’s Meet the Press interview,

I have no confidence whatsoever in BP. I think that they do not know what they are doing. They started off talking about golf balls going in as a junk shot. People thought they would be dependent on MIT or Cal Tech instead of the PGA and golf balls…

Key word in Rep. Ed Markey quote, no confidence. I hope we all just breathe, think and then respond. Even if the clock is ticking.