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QR codes are so yesterday…


I think QR codes were innovative at first glance, but now… they’re just an eyesore.

Flipping through a magazine, you see these really fantastic print ads, and then to the far left or right, there’s this:

Well, apparently I’m not the only one…

bieMEDIA, an online marketing and media solutions company, is predicting the end of the QR Code.

With all those QR scanner apps out there, you’d think that consumers MUST love ’em, right?

57% of consumers who have scanned a QR code say they did nothing with the information, compared to 21% who shared the information with someone and 18% who made a purchase, according to a survey by Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB).

In fact, of those who have scanned a QR code, just 41% said that they found the information they received useful, while 42% had mixed feelings and 18% said the information was not useful.  (The End of the QR Code is Near – MarketingVOX, January 24th)

Enter Pongr.

When brands ask consumers to snap a product photo and text or email it in, Pongr recognizes the image and replies. (Forget QR Codes: Pongr Easily Turns Your Photos Into Brand Rewards –  Fast Company, January 9th)

So how does Pongr work for its clients?  Here’s an example:

1. Fan photographs self with Michael Jackson’s Immortal, sends it to mj@pongr.com.

2. Pongr’s image-recognition software identifies album in photo.

3. Fan is entered in contest to see premiere of Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson show.

The call-to-action by the brand is so much greater here. With QR codes, you’re hoping that the link embedded within will be enough of a pull to bring in a new consumer.  Using a mobile visual search

…provides consumers with faster, more convenient and compelling, interactive marketing experiences. (bieMEDIA Predicts the End of the QR Code – MarketWatch – January 24th)

As Jamie Thompson, President of Pongr explains it (in the Fast Company article):

Some brands are stuck in the mindset of this old-fashioned data-sampling model, where they think their customer might be the guy on the panel, because some data company has painstakingly and very expensively created a panel for them. Yet the reality is, there’s 100 million other people out there that they don’t know, that they’re not looking at, and they’re not slicing into that correctly.

So get the user to share real information with you, so that you know who they are.

That about sums it up.

(Note: I have no connection to Pongr. I just think that the company is super innovative, and it provides support to my anti-QR code claim).
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Filed under: Business, Marketing, Social Media, Tech, , , , , , , , , ,

2012: Say goodbye to traditional marketing


With the advancement of technology, a lot of dependable and traditional forms of marketing are becoming…well…sort of antiquated.

Rather than dwell on things in a negative light, allow me to make a few marketing trend predictions for 2012.

Social Media Integration

If your company has not jumped on the social media bandwagon, well…you best jump right on, because as with most things related to technology, things are only going to get MORE advanced.

I’m sure that I’m not the only one that has noticed the recent uptick in social media integration on TV.

Facebook pages promoting shows and their stars are a given at this point. But using Comcast’s Xfinity, a viewer can access program guides based on Facebook trending topics, and networks are also integrating Facebook into their shows. During NBC’s “Meet the Press” debate earlier this month, viewers were able to see Facebook comments and queries on-screen…

…“The convergence of social and on-air is the result of over a year’s worth of groundwork — getting people used to it, learning how to talk about it, not mentioning platforms as if they have air quotes around them,” [Ryan] Osborn [senior director of digital media for NBC News] said. “They are actual viewers, just engaging with you in a new way.” (As Social Media Hits Television, 2012 Is the Year of Must-Tweet TV– Jan. 16th, Reuters)

Clearly TV networks have marketing budgets that are quite larger than average-sized B2B and B2C companies, but aside from “the funds”, two important pieces to this social media integration puzzle include a creative in-house team, and a person/time devoted to social media. Where there’s a will…there’s a way.

Apps

With over 500K apps available to smartphones, 2012 will be the year when the formerly hard-hit auto industry will have its comeback.

App integration means bringing services such as Pandora, Google search, and Twitter into the car. The car maker benefits from the known brand and features of the app, while car owners get the services they know and use on the road.

Pretty amazing.  I never envisioned the auto industry as one to embrace technology like this!

What about safety, you ask?

…automakers are attempting to create safe interfaces. The apps use the car’s navigation display, and can be controlled with voice and in-car buttons.

And for those who want to view their apps on screens larger than their phones or tablets…there are smart TVs.  I actually blogged about this in May of 2010 – Computers…coming soon to a TV near you, but it seems as though this technology will actually become prevalent in 2012.  You can read more about this here: Smart TV: Six big features that matter (ZDNet).

Imagine all of the advertising integration possibilities…via these new modes of app integration.  Banners, streaming, real-time, product placement…the options are really practically endless!

Mobile shopping

Smartphone users are shopping and purchasing through their smartphones at the rate we expected. However, we were surprised to see that users are buying physical goods at about the same rate as apps, indicating that the technology is on the verge of widespread adoption,” said Ann Graham Hannon, vice president of the financial services division at Market Strategies.

Along with mobile shopping, more retail companies will  create mobile-friendly websites.

But with an increase of technology, comes an increase in cyber attacks…  Yesterday, Zappos announced that their site had a security breach.

Zappos plans to send out an email to its 24 million customers that says, in part: “there may have been illegal and unauthorized access to some of your customer account information on Zappos.com, including one or more of the following: your name, email address, billing and shipping addresses, phone number, the last four digits of your credit card number (the standard information you find on receipts), and/or your cryptographically scrambled password (but not your actual password).” (Hackers Hit Zappos, 24 Million Customers, January 16th – PCMag.com)

So what now?

Pop up stores

This is completely a personal opinion (ie. I haven’t found any material online to support this prediction)…

While I think that technology is amazing, it could be that because we are advancing toward unknown territories, consumers are too quick to trust the online medium for all of their needs.  Case in point – Zappos’ online security breach.  As such, I think a lot of brands are going to jump into the pop-up store (short-term sales store) phenomenon.  We’re almost at a point where the brick-and-mortar is considered “vintage”, so what better way to stand out from other online retailers, than to have items available for people to touch and see in real life vs. on a screen?

I don’t mean to say that more retail stores will necessarily open, no…this would defeat the purpose of something new and fresh. What I mean is that pop up stores will  assist brands that already thrive online…as a “new” medium to reach a new audience.

What do YOU think??

Filed under: Business, Marketing, Social Media, Tech, , , , , , , , , , ,

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