There are lots of different options to choose from when you’re looking at mobile media marketing and mobile marketing campaigns in general. So what is it that makes the QR code so alluring? QR codes re-introduce the element that’s missing from so much of our time spent out on the net. That is, the “here-and-nowness” of physical time and space. While some might see this as a hindrance, an expert in mobile marketing services sees opportunity — the chance to “game-ify” your mobile media marketing.
What do I mean by “game-ify?” You’ve probably heard of geo-caching, where players use the GPS on their mobile phone to locate a hidden object in a kind of scavenger hunt. The hidden item is out there in the real, physical world, even though users are still very engaged with their favorite mobile device. It’s a game because of the excitement and enjoyment of finding something new and unexpected. Geo-cachers then make a coded, physical note letting others know they’re among the few who found a given treasure.
Mobile marketing trends favor this sense of excitement and adventure, and for good reason. Are you using your QR codes to get people excited about your product? If your codes lead to the same marketing material that everyone else can get to on your website, you’re leaving advantages on the table. One of the biggest mistakes mobile marketing professionals make with QR is to skip the “game” by not making them exclusive.
That’s right — although there might be some exceptions, like a QR code on your company billboard, most of your codes should be exclusive. That is, the offers and content they generate should be just as fixed in time and space as the codes are. Let me give you an example. In my home town of Charlotte, North Carolina, I ran into two businesses that are working together to put the fun into mobile marketing.
There’s a certain Italian restaurant that sits next to a certain movie theater. Not everyone enjoys movie theater popcorn, so many people go to the restaurant before they take in their film. They may come in at 4:30 and leave in time for the six o’clock show, or they might come in around six and linger in the restaurant until eight or so. In any case, when you look around your Italian restaurant and read the table tents, you see QR codes.
Where do these codes go? To special offers for the movies at the theater. Not just any movies, not just any old visit to the theater, but the movies that are playing tonight. It’s an arrangement that gets more people to go from the restaurant to the theater — and it points them in the direction of movies the manager wants to sell out. Their buying behavior for that specific day, in that specific part of town, is impacted.
But it works both ways. Because this little collaboration has to catch people who skipped dinner and went straight to the movie, right? Well, those moviegoers almost certainly got a popcorn — at least one shared between a couple or amongst a family. Scanning the codes on the popcorn bags leads to special offers at the restaurant — and you can even get free garlic knots if you mention the movie you just came from. People who take up these offers, on either side of the bargain, feel like they’ve just stumbled on buried treasure.
There are lots of ways that you can use mobile marketing to help your customers make a game out of choosing to buy your products. Not all of them depend on working together with another local business, though this kind of arrangement can be the most fun. Next time you think about mobile marketing, make sure you’re thinking from the customer’s perspective. Why should they care? If you’re just leading them to your website by their phone, odds are they won’t care at all. Make it fun for them! Devise a game … and make the “goal line” the specific offer at the specific time you want it purchased.