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?


Advertisements

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

Related Articles

Negative comments Brings Bad PR and ImageBlogging. There are many advantages from blogging for people, organizations, politicians, and of course businesses. Just reading a blog is beneficial. We are all critics now. The blogosphere is at sea level. No credentials or certifications here. Granted, your average Joe neighbor blogging has its advantages and disadvantages too. However, the importance behind blogging is that every voice is heard. From the CEOs of the powerful Fortune 500 companies to the stay-at-home mom (or dad) talking about issues that others want to hear.

Strategic research analysts worship this feedback. Each forum is a focus group. Each Facebook Fan Page is a corporate message board. Every sentence typed can be represented in dollar signs. It’s raw and uncensored information for people and businesses, but only if they want to listen (See my post Gut Feelings Vs. Wikinomics Mashup: The New Traditional ways of Business on how companies can harness these Intellectual Properties for a competitive edge).

But it’s even more beneficial when we participate in the conversation.   For example, let’s take a look at my mother’s recent PR fiasco. But before we do I need to fill you  in on some background information.

My mother and step dad, Dan decided to restore Santillane, an old Greek revival historic house. With plans in turning it into a special events venue and a bed and breakfast, we had a lot of work to do.

After five years, the restoration was complete. The project was a bear to say the least.

Since then, my mother runs a successful business, booking almost every weekend with an event. Before the Santillane business, my mother worked for the local public school system in Roanoke, Virginia as Director of Public Relations and Community Relations.  Jumping back into PR work for her new business different. Retirement must have stunted her growth with new technology, the new relationship, and social media basics.

Sorry mom if your reading, but you know it’s true.

Old ways of communications were gone but thank goodness that she had a son majoring corporate communications (I think that is what she would say). With a new website, Facebook Fan Page, and becoming a part of B&B networks, I thought I set her pretty well…until I GOOGLED her business.

There it was, a negative comment and review of her business. Not too high in the PageRank search results but still on the first page:

Rotten Google Juice

OH shoot. I immediately called my mom and email her the link. I checked the Santillane Fan Page to find another bad review. Is it the same person, I don’t know? But what I do know is what Jeff Jarvis said…

Your customers are your ad agency.

This might be one occurrence or maybe the overall attitude of Santillane. Let’s not take any risks because if one customer took their time to write an review Santillane in a bad light, then think of all the others that didn’t want to waste their time that might feel the same way.  On the flip side, think about the satisfied customers that probably didn’t write a review with the  “ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude. Either way, let’s start listening to become a better business.  Here are three things I try to keep in mind when dealing with negative comments:

  1. Knowing your mistakes and flaws will make our company stronger, only if you act upon them. Let your public know you are working hard to improve troubling areas.
  2. Not responding can possibly lead to more irritation to your publics. Each situation is unique.
  3. Remember, a negative comment is still feedback so don’t get caught up in the moment and respond irrationally. Kill them with kindness; catch more bees with honey than vinegar (but not over the top).

Solving Santillane’s Image and Reputation Problem

  • Let your customers do the talking. Direct past and future customers to review sites to rate your venue and services. Astroturfing isn’t the way to fix a bad online reputation.
  • Create a survey after an event has past.  Attached PDF with radio button forms are great way to get feedback and are user-friendly.
  • Show them change. It’s one thing to listen but it’s another to act AND don’t  just talk about changing. Show them change because that’s ultimately what they want to see.
  • Monitor your connecting networks with a better eye. Google your self as if you were searching for your business. What’s being said and are you a part of the conversation?