Oneupweb : QR Codes & Mobile Marketing in the “Real” World

I’ve written a lot about mobile marketing on StraightUpSearch over the years—advancements in technology, the evolution of the smartphone, tons of different mobile apps that have caught my attention, SMS advertising, location based platforms and much more.

Admittedly though, the majority of my mobile updates have been focused within the mobile space itself. So, today I’d like to explore how mobile marketing can be brought into the “real” world. Granted a mobile device is still required, but there are many options out there for companies to launch creative mobile marketing campaigns that start with their actual products and within their brick and mortar establishments.

As with every mobile topic, I am forced to pick what I want to focus on, because there are always so many new developments to choose from. So, the area of focus for today is QR codes. If you’re not familiar with QR codes, you ought to be.

In a nutshell a QR code is a two-dimensional matrix barcode, which can be scanned by a mobile phone with a camera or a smartphone to reveal information it contains—be it text, a URL or really anything else for that matter. And with the advent of applications like Sticky Bits, this concept is also being applied to the more traditional barcode as well.

The primary obstacles to QR codes at this point is the lack of standards and the challenge of motivating users to engage with these codes.

Establishing common standards is further complicated by very similar, rival technologies such as Microsoft’s Tag. However some creative companies like Sticky Bits and SCVNGR, as well as those mentioned below, are attempting to help answer the question of why users should scan them.

So I know what you’re thinking—this is all great, but how does it add up to a marketing opportunity? Well that’s where you need to get creative—once you do the opportunities are limitless.

Just look at what The Smithsonian did earlier this year. Check out how Clever Cupcakes is promoting their Twitter profile. And be sure to view the Stride Mega Mystery tag packs. As I said, the opportunities are limitless—in fact QR codes are showing up in the wild more all the time.

The real question is what’s your idea for putting them to work for your company?