Trends- QR Codes, Microsof Tag and Mobile Barcodes
QR Codes, Microso. Tag and Mobile Barcodes Integra8ng Communica8on Across Pla=orms Laura Wilson, November 2010 Georgetown University
WHAT IS A QR CODE? QR Codes or “Quick Response” Codes are 2-‐D Scannable Bar Codes readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with cameras, and smart phones. QR Codes were created in Japan in 1994 by Denso-‐Wave a subsidiary of Toyota. QR Codes can hold a maximum of 4,296 alphanumeric characters QR Code holds a considerably greater volume of informa8on than a bar code.
Anatomy of a QR Code HOW DO QR CODES WORK? In its simplest sense it is a “print based hypertext link.” Any kind of data can be translated into a QR code by a QR code generator. Image Source: TVP Graphics Inc. The size of a QR Code depends on a module size (colored and white dots) and a symbol version (data capacity). In order to read a QR Code you must have a QR code scanner, a mobile phone with a camera or a smart phone. Image Source: Wikipedia
WHAT ARE QR CODES AND MOBILE TAGS USED FOR? Download data from the code itself: ex. vcard Transport users from printed material to websites, video, audio Prompt an ac8on: email, SMS text, phone call Prompt social media interac8on: Tweet, Facebook status update, Foursquare check-‐in Provide e-‐coupons to consumers to increase conversion, loyalty and repeat purchases. Convey a sense of exclusivity via direct mail campaigns, with QR codes leading to personalized URLs Facilita8ng e-‐commerce and on-‐the-‐move impulse transac8ons. Facilitate charitable giving and increase impulse dona8ons. Enable mobile 8cke8ng and 8me-‐eﬃcient 8cket processing. Provide a forum contest orpromo8onal entry. … and anything else you can dream of!
SOME EXAMPLES IN THE WILD Tweet @LauraEWilson QR Codes in the Wild Email Me for a copy of www.ﬂickr.com/groups/qrcodes this presenta8on
QR CODES vs. MICROSOFT TAG MS Tag using High Capacity Color Barcode (HCCB) technology, which makes it able to encode more informa8on into rela8vely small area. QR Codes are open sourced and the informa8on is contained inside the actual code. The code can be read without an internet connec8on. MS Tag is a proprietary code and users must use Microso. Tag reader to read it. Tag only contains an ID which links to Microso.’s server. Microso. Tags can be edited; QR Codes can not—they have to be recreated. Because MS Tag can be dependant on the color scales it is more MS Tag is much more sensi8ve to the quality of color plates.
MOBILE APPS vs. “SNAP AND SEND” Image Source: Mobile Marke2ng Watch
MARKETSHARE OF MOBILE TAGS Microso. Tag currently dominates the publishing industry in the US. QR Codes are s8ll the defacto standard and are much more commonly used on other mediums. One reason Microso. Tag will never completely kill QR codes is because Tag is not as robust and can not be easily printed on anything other than paper. Source:Nellymoser Mobile Ac8on Code usage study
PEOPLE ARE SEARCHING FOR QR CODES Nov. 2010 All 8me high for searches on QR CK Campaign? Codes SXSW? Source: Google Insights, November 2010
MICROSOFT TAG BY THE NUMBERS In October 2010 Microso. announced 1 billion Tags have been printed in the past four months, bringing the total to 2 billion Tags printed since its January 2009 launch. The number of Tags scanned increased by four fold since emerging from beta in May. Since August, Tag has been used in more than 100 million magazine issues. In the largest known barcode campaign to date, Allure had 450,000 scans, using Microso. Tag for its annual Free Stuﬀ Giveaway issue in August. Source: Microso. Press Release October 2010
MOBILE BARCODE SCANNING STATS Growth has been exponen8al from January 2010, with traﬃc up over 700%. Star8ng in July 2010, there were more scans in a single month than all of 2009 combined. The last 3 months have seen the steepest increase which points to accelerated growth for Image Source: Mobile Barcode Trend Report October 2010, Scanlife the fourth quarter and beyond.
DEMOGRAPHICS OF MOBILE BARCODE USERS Source: Mobile Barcode Trend Report October 2010, Scanlife
TECHNOLOGY ADOPTION LIFECYCLE I would argue that Mobile Tags are s8ll here
BUT THERE IS LOTS OF POTENTIAL 76% of cell phone users are taking pictures with their cell phones. 38% are accessing the internet Currently there are 54.5 million mobile Internet users in the United States, represen8ng 25 percent of online users.
DEMOGRAPHICS OF SMARTPHONE APP USERS 28% of the U.S. cell phone users have smart phones, according to Nielsen (11/1/10) 41% of the U.S. recent acquires of cellular are geIng smart phones, according to Nielsen (11/1/10) …there are millions of untapped potenKal users of mobile tags! Source: ComScore MobiLens, October 2010
WHY SHOULD WE USE MOBILE TAGS? Can give instant informa8on. Interac8ve; Engages users in tradi8onally sta8c mediums. We really want to engage consumers on their mobile phone. Mobile search is diﬃcult to op8mize for because you can’t use “regular” keyword research. Now we can direct them and eliminate the need to “search” on their own. Marketers/communicators can measure it “live.” Possibility of sophis8cated analy8cs about consumer behavior. Free to create (and minimal expense to implement).
ARE THEY REALLY EFFECTIVE? There is lots of talk and not a lot of proof (yet) outside of Japan. Mobile tagging is s8ll in it’s infancy in the US and there is not a signiﬁcant amount of data out there made available to the public. This is the ﬁrst 8me we have had a tangible and measurable link from something in the “real world” to your mobile phone. Emarketer reported a Chevy case study of their use of QR codes at SXSWi in March 2010– only 2% reach at one of the most tech focused conferences in the country. October 2010 CTIA Wireless panel says that they are “Not hot today.” In two magazines…Real Simple (December 2010 issue) and Time magazine (this week’s issue) I found 17 mobile tagging campaigns. But are people using them?
BUT…ARE THEY REALLY EFFECTIVE? CK’s campaign is probably one of the most well known in the US to date. Generated a lot of press coverage. Generated buzz on social media, blogs etc. More people probably saw video online than through actual interac8on on smart phone. Was this campaign really valuable for the user?
WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING? “I get “I don’t have great “I don’t to remember deals.” have to URLS look it up anymore.” on my “I get instant Posi8ve own.” informa8on.” Reac8ons Nega8ve “I tried it “They o.en Reac8ons don’t work.” once and…” “I’m not taking “My phone out my phone to isn’t take pictures of compa8ble.” adver8sements.”
OPPORTUNITIES SPEFICALLY FOR COMMUNICATORS IN NON-‐PROFITS Get instant feedback and ask people to vote their opinion on a cause, campaign, issue. Give “preloaded” ways to contact your local and federal representa8ves about an issue. Facilitate an instant and impulse contribu8on to a cause or campaign. Remind people to share the informa8on instantly—preloaded tweet, Facebook status update etc. Download a special mobile applica8on Subscribe to mobile push no8ﬁca8ons for updates on the cause/campaign Help people ﬁnd other ac8vists & supporters– create community
THERE ARE STILL LOTS OF CHALLENGES There s8ll is not widespread use of smart phones (yet) There is consumer confusion about various mobile tags No universal reader that reads all types of codes/tags Lack of preinstalled readers—consumers have to seek it out Failed scans hurts consumer adop8on of this technology Diﬃcult to con8nuously show the value of the interac8on Consumers who use it may become jaded because of marketers/communicators “abuse” of it
5 DEADLY SINS OF MOBILE TAGGING CAMPAIGNS "Just because you can, doesnt mean you should." Not considering if the consumer actually wants or needs this informa8on on their mobile device. Sending the consumer to a generic homepage– not targeted, special, unique content Assuming audience has a smart phone and knows what a mobile tag is Boring, uninteres8ng content—if it’s boring on a desktop it’s worse on a mobile phone. Relying on this tac8c rather than using it as a part of a comprehensive mobile strategy
What Makes a Good Mobile Tagging Campaign? Targets a tech savvy early adopter/inﬂuencer audience. Gives instruc8ons to the consumer and gives other op8ons when possible (SMS text for example). For a QR Code—keep URL short (it reduces chance for error in code) Drive the consumer to relevant, targeted content or a unique experience If sending to a website it must be op8mized for mobile users. It is easy for content to be shared on social networks. Ul8mately the mobile experience was worth the users 8me and eﬀort.