The Rise of the Mobile Barcode
Are two-dimensional (“2-D”) barcodes such as Microsoft Tag in vogue and the latest technologically driven tool in a marketer’s toolbox?
For those who are not familiar with them, 2-D barcodes allow marketers to deliver instantly relevant information to consumers via Smartphones and some feature phones. It’s available on Windows Phone, iPhone, Android, Symbian S60, Blackberry, and J2ME phones. Of course, your phone needs a camera and it must have Internet-access.
As 48 million Americans now use a Smartphone this offers traditional brick and mortar retailers new means to engage and educate customers. The value to the consumer is added detail and improved information at the point-of-purchase (when they often need it most). This information can also be changed in real-time based upon a retailers update to a promotional campaign. For instance a coupon or sweepstakes could be introduced at various times of the campaigns lifecycle.
Microsoft (which in terms of full disclosure is a client of ours), has a product called “Tag”. Coincidentally, JCPenney and Simmons Bedding Co just rolled out an in-store 2-D application (utilizing Microsoft Tag) as a means to simplify the buying process for JCPenney customers as they shop for mattresses and bedding at all JCPenney stores. When the consumer scans the 2-D Tag for a Beautyrest mattress, they receive a 3-D rendering of that particular mattress’s model.
From the consumer perspective, the means to view that data is very simple – download the application (this is the reader), open it, point and click. This then triggers the intended content to be displayed.
2-D Tag codes can be used to transform traditional media (FSI, billboards, packaging, merchandising, and email) into new entry ways for accessing richer levels of information in a timely manner.
In a June article, Robert H. Bloom, the U.S. Chairman and CEO of Publicis Worldwide stated that he is rather confident that very soon a next-gen 2-D code will appear in every TV commercial and every print ad. He further added that we will be able to then scan a 2-D code on our ever-smarter handheld device from the comfort of our home when a product or service we want appears in a TV commercial. The 2-D code will immediately connect us to the marketer’s site on our TV where we will finalize our purchase and switch back to the task at hand. Fast forward a few months and if you were watching Bravo, you might have seen a “Closet Confessions” commercial with a scannable barcode allowing mobile-phone users to instantly obtain additional information from Bluefly on the featured product and coupled it with a discount to buy it.
Analytics (such as charting the number of scans for an individual Tag within a specified timeframe or mapping the number of scans for an individual Tag within a specified timeframe) are provided allowing advertisers and marketers to optimize their campaigns, and learn more about their customers and related purchasing behavior.
As Smartphone penetration grows and the third-screen becomes ubiquitous, 2-D code usage in your campaigns can be a way to raise attention to your product or offer and perhaps break the tie at retail.
Have any questions or for immediate consideration of your marketing needs please contact Marty Glovin, Senior Vice President Digital at Marden-Kane via email at Marty@MardenKane.com or call 516 301- 2221.
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