In the flurry of new and exciting mobile marketing opportunities we’re hearing about these days, a few have stood out for me as having a lot of potential. Sybase 365 is working with a couple of smart, young companies developing novel approaches to Quick Response (QR) codes, those two-dimensional bar codes you see on print advertisements that work as triggering mechanism to get consumers to engage.
I was initially skeptical about the use and benefits of QR codes. After all, most of them were being used to initiate a mobile web session, and we had been doing this for years with the tried-and-tested short code and keyword method. Interestingly, QR codes originated in Japan (developed by Toyota for inventory tracking), and were initially employed there in place of keyword text messaging because the country didn’t have an SMS infrastructure.
However, having seen them proliferate in the U.S. over the last year, and after speaking to marketers about their usage, I realize now the value they have on two fronts. First, they stand out from the page or screen and are therefore a more powerful call to action. Second, they can contract a far larger amount of information and variables, helpful for measurement from different media and campaigns.
But, there’s a downside: most QR codes require that the consumer download a reader before any interaction can begin. So, that’s one extra step consumers have to take before they can get the information they want. And extra steps always mean you lose people. To further complicate the issue, different QR codes require different readers. That means that even if people make it through the process of downloading one reader, they may need to download another one the next time.
Those downloads are a barrier, and I can’t cite any numbers, but I imagine loads of people don’t complete the interaction when they find out they have to download an app to do it. Kind of defeats the purpose of “Quick Response” if you have to download the reader.
That’s why I wanted to tell you about two companies working with Sybase 365 who are doing it better: JAGTAG and SpyderLynk.
JAGTAG’s codes, also called JAGTAGs, eliminate that extra step, the barrier of downloading an app. With JAGTAGs, the consumer takes a picture of the tag using any device with a camera and MMS capability, and then sends it to the MMS short-code specified in the ad. JAGTAG’s servers match the dot pattern in the code to campaign content, and quickly return it to the consumer.
Another company, SpyderLynk, makes interactive tags, called SnapTags, out of a your existing logo by placing a broken circle graphic around it. The breaks in the circle create a unique code that servers then match to campaign content. Similarly, consumers take a picture of the encircled logo and send it via MMS to a short code.
When consumers want more information, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to get it. Not only is the success or failure of any one campaign at stake, but the initiation of a mobile marketing relationship with your target consumer.
By using MMS and the native camera on the phone as opposed to forcing users to guess which software they need to download to the phone, these two companies in partnership with Sybase 365 are putting the Quick back into Quick Response codes.
• JAGTAG case study and video below
• Spyderlynk Inception the movie campaign page on Facebook .