Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mobile Tagging Torpedoes and QR Content Defined

QR content is a massive new category of web media tailored for mobile tagging. 

Tappinn defines QR Content as any web content specifically delivered by scanning QR (Quick Response) Codes or any other form of 2D/1D mobile tagging. QR connected content is consumed by mobile web users in a brand new fashion from a variety of unique contexts, most importantly from pre-existing traditional media, making it a relevant new category in marketing moving forward. The mobile web pages directly connected to a QR code scan experience can offer value and efficiency to the consumer that was unheard of just 5 years ago. QR content is transforming static media into engaging mobile web content.

The mobile Web is growing at an astonishing rate, and as telecommunications networks and mobile devices get faster, they offer ridiculous new opportunities for brands to engage with mobile consumers using QR codes as physical hyperlinks. By scanning a QR code with the camera of a Web-enabled smartphone, consumers willingly initiate a conversation with brands like never before and in places never previously imagined.

Like a keyword search on the desktop Internet, the act of a consumer scanning a QR code is a tacit indication of interest and an active request for some sort of brand engagement. On the desktop Internet, advertising, with its annoying banners and popups, is almost always viewed as invasive, but with mobile QR code scans brands can respond to a consumer request with exclusive and unobtrusive Web content delivered instantly.

This massive concept has ignited a wave of mainstream advertising campaigns driven around brands propelling mobile users to action with QR codes. And it’s only the beginning.

To be effective with this new approach, however, marketers must carefully think through every step of their QR code strategy, from code design and placement, delivering a worthwhile user experience and measuring response. It's not enough to just print a code and see what happens. Among the questions to consider are: where will this interaction occur and what sort of value should the brand deliver? The Web content and user experience (UX) should augment the tagged advertisement and the consumer engagement on a mobile site should be tracked across media boundaries.

Examples of trackable interactions from QR code content include: signups, v-card download, shopping, app download, social followers, music/video downloads, comments and ratings. These interactions, with the individual precision of a torpedo, are different from previous Web engagements, which was more like throwing mud against a wall. They happen in the physical world between a publisher or brand and an individual consumer with a smartphone. 

Tappinn presents 12 QR connected mobile tagging torpedoes. Fast hitting QR connected value fired into the mobile galaxy. In no particular order and meant to be teamed for more power.

Shopping: product galleries and product pages related to the printed advertisement. Not as much a hard sell but more about browsing and sharing with easy links to find where to buy related products.

Signup: Contests and sweepstakes. Enticing mobile users to sign up for a chance to win. Mobile signups offer an opportunity to capture information about users. Events and store promotions can encourage signups where never before possible.

Conversation: Tips, voting and ratings. The allure of what other people are saying can be a primary driver to scan a QR code. Also, people love to share thoughts on an open forum. Voicing approval is important to people. Encourage sharing over social media like Facebook and Twitter.

Video: By far the most useful in early phases of mobile tagging. Consider the viewing environment and content first, and fire other torpedoes to augment. Exclusive and relevant wins. Direct video downloads to smart phones are in line to take over. (Keep file sizes and download times to a minimum, however.)

Contact info: vCard. Download personal contact information directly to the phone’s address book. Eliminate typing information into a phone by downloading immediately. Offer a landing page with other links. Don’t let the full intention of the code be a vCard, however. (Test to determine how well various devices populate data.)

Social: Scan to “like” and “follow” us. Pages should be easy to share. Print advertising has an untapped viral comment component when incorporating the mobile Web if the content can be easily shared. On the other hand, collecting followers by directing them to social profiles is also popular and is encouraged. Print with QR codes has an “social” identity.

App downloads. Brands that have invested in an app can use mobile tagging to send downloads. Link the code directly to the app store or a landing page with easy links to download.

Coupons. Display phone screen at checkout. Interjecting coupons via QR codes at the point of purchase has been the most popular practice so far. Exchanging e-mails for coupons should be the target. Apps that scan QR code are also starting to reward consumers with coupons for scanning. Double dip value. Need more apps to encourage QR scanning by offering their own incentive for active usage.

Audio. Sample, buy, download. Taylor Swift, Soulja Boy, P.Diddy and Lupe Fiasco have all used QR codes to let users to sample tracks from their mobile phones. Lots of room for new collaboration between music artists and fashion brands at the point of purchase. Mobile music downloads from traditional print media and products have yet to be exploited.

Commerce. “Scan to buy” music. Unique buying pages for users who scan codes exclusively with discounted pricing. Convenience is the ultimate driver of mobile commerce in the future .

How-to information. Intended to instruct. Mostly used for product guides and user manuals. Video guides can be utilized as well (such as with assembly instructions on boxes from Ikea). Also, QR codes can be used on warranty cards that house info on the mobile Web.

Find us. Google mapping. Brands use this as “find a retailer,” but small businesses can also use this and link to Google maps. This offers users instant directions to find locations where they can make a purchase. Google maps is an awesome tool to incorporate into QR-connected pages.

The mobile tagging landscape is a wild terrain with unlimited possibilities for brands to offer unique value to smartphone users with QR codes. They must first build and deliver custom mobile websites and landing pages that make sense in their market and that helps shoppers complete a product search with a purchase. If it's a magazine ad, build a landing page that considers the readers of that particular magazine and offers exclusives and rewards to only that particular group of readers. Not only mobile, content and offerings are structured around location and medium. Quick transactions can occur in the mobile jungle with the consumer in command. They asked for it, now its time to hit 'em with some mobile tagging torpedoes of QR content!

To be published in the next IPA Bulletin by IDEAlliance. The Bulletin magazine is the voice of IDEAlliance, keeping its members abreast of business challenges and opportunities, assuring workflows are state-of-the-art, speeding information across the end-to-end digital media supply chain — from content creation through delivery, both digitally and in print.   


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