Archive for the ‘mobile marketing’ category

QR Codes and Smartphones: 3 Marketing Blunders to Avoid

October 14, 2011

by Paul Prisco, Founder and Principal at Dog Food Design.

Everyone’s talking about QR codes. I bet you’re asking why should I read another article about QR codes?

Today’s consumer is quickly adapting to QR codes as smartphone usage explodes. According to Nielsen projections there will be more smartphones in the U.S. than basic feature phones by year’s end. This is the main reason why you should start paying attention to QR codes—NOW!

Overall time spent on smartphones is increasing rapidly—in countries like Japan social media usage on mobile outnumbers desktop almost 6×1. The convergence of social media (Facebook), mobile devices (Apple) and search (Google) should be a key driver of your strategy given your brand objectives. This merger leads to huge opportunities like advertising, mobile commerce, and gaming.

The strategic value of QR code marketing is often questioned given the recent well-publicized mishaps. A few blunders that come to mind are:

BLUNDER #1 – Placing QR Codes in Remote Areas

QR codes are useless if they can’t be scanned. If you’re placing QR codes in areas like subways it’s not going to fly. Scout out the area first to make sure you’ll get service. Don’t forget to place in locations people can actually get to!

Consider placing inexpensive items like a postcard or sticker in those “No Service Zones” that can be scanned at a later date.

BLUNDER #2 – Pointing QR Codes to Your Desktop Web Site

To achieve results they first have to be measurable, right? You can’t measure anything in marketing without isolating the call to action. So, if you’re pointing folks from a print ad to a desktop site you’re making measurement difficult. Ideally, you want a simple mobile site, which is effortless in terms of usability and has a support mechanism for a call to action. This will allow you to:

• Tailor the user experience

• Create relevant content

• Measure the effort

To keep it simple direct consumers to a Youtube video, map or a phone call—without a mobile site. You don’t have to develop a full-blown mobile site if it doesn’t align with your budget or marketing objectives. A landing page that coordinates with your call to action or offer will do the trick as well.

BLUNDER #3 – Crafting QR Codes that Don’t Scan

There is room for creativity when creating QR codes but there are technical limitations. A QR code needs to be at least 1″ x 1″ and most you’ll find are 1.75″ x 1.75″ to be on the safe side.

Avoid placing on textiles such as t-shirts, which in theory is a great idea but doesn’t work that well. QR codes will work on color backgrounds—but the message here is to test, test, test! Make sure they work on different phones, different angles and on different substrates and keep testing!

All of these marketing blunders reinforce the fact that marketing isn’t always executed with the consumer in mind. Placing your customer first and thinking of ways a QR code will add value to the process should be top of mind.

Paul Prisco is the Founder and Principal at Dog Food Design, A design and direct marketing agency for brands. He can be reached at 404.829.2704 or


Is mobile marketing right for your business?

June 7, 2011

Fill Out Our Mobile Marketing Score Card to Find Out.

by Jamie Turner, Chief Content Officer of the 60 Second Marketer, the online magazine of BKV Digital and Direct Response. Jamie is also the co-author of How to Make Money with Social Media.

Is mobile marketing right for your business?

That’s a question on a lot of people’s minds lately. After all, with the advent of smartphones, iPads, mobile apps, mobile search and other mobile marketing techniques, a lot of people are asking themselves, “Is mobile marketing right for my business?”

Is mobile media right for your business? Take this quiz then click on the question mark to join the discussion on our LinkedIn Discussion Group.

With that in mind, I came up with a handy scorecard that I sent out to all 5,900+ subscribers to the 60 Second Marketer e-newsletter last week. (Huh? You’re not a subscriber to our free e-newsletter yet? Well, c’mon. Hop to it.)

The mobile scorecard is designed to help you figure out if mobile marketing is right for your business. (When I say “mobile” I mean the use of mobile ads, mobile search, mobile apps, mobile websites, mobile catalogs or SMS to connect with customers.)

The scorecard won’t provide a bullet-proof answer, but it will give you a directional sense of whether mobile is right for you.

Just answer the questions below and keep track of your score.

Here goes:

1- Customer Demographics: The median age of my customer is under 45 years old (Yes, +10 points. No, -5 points.)

2- Business Category: My company has multiple bricks-and-mortar locations (Yes, +5 points. No, +0 points.)

3- Business Category: My company sells only B2C (Yes, +5 points. No, +0 points.)

4- Marketing Dependency: My company spends more than 5% of revenues on marketing and advertising (Yes, +10 points. No, +0 points.)

5- Customer Demographics: My typical customer lives in a city with a population of more than 200,000 people (Yes, +10 points. No, +0 points.)

6- Company Revenue: My company generates more than $10 million in revenues per year (Yes, +5 points. No, -5 points.)

7- Industry Competition: Generally speaking, my industry is very competitive and I’m always trying to find ways to differentiate my brand (Yes, +10 points. No, +0 points.)

If you scored between 35 and 55, you should definitely begin investing in a mobile media marketing program.

If you scored between 15 and 35, you should probably begin investing in a mobile media marketing program.

And if you scored below a 15, you’re off the hook — no need to invest in mobile media right now.

How’d you do? Share your score with other people on our LinkedIn Mobile Media Discussion and see how you compared.




Are Smart Phone Users Missing your Emails?

March 10, 2011

by Kristy Barker – Client Services Manager, What Counts?

Mobile marketing has been a hot topic for awhile, but it’s getting even hotter as the number of smart phone users climbs to almost 50% of the cell phone using population. More than ever, people are accessing email, websites and social media on their mobile devices. As an email marketer, this presents some challenges, as well as some opportunities that many of you may be missing.

To make sure you are reaching your recipients at all points of communication, including mobile devices, consider incorporating some of the following ideas for smart phone enhanced emails.

Create a preference center that allows users to indicate whether they usually receive your emails on a smart phone or personal computer. By gathering this information, you could create 2 versions of the email and optimize one for mobile devices. A word of caution about this approach – not everyone consistently checks email the same way, so you may end up with many people viewing mobile versions on PCs and vice versa.

However, your resources may not allow for creating multiple versions of one email. In that case, it’s best to design emails so that they will fit both the mobile device and PC screens. A few design and content considerations can ensure your emails are appropriate for both channels.

Instead of a preference center for users, include a “View Mobile Device Version” or “View in a Browser” link at the top of the email that will take readers to an HTML hosted page of the email.

Include alt-text for images. If images are not rendering correctly on a mobile device, the recipient will still be to use the descriptions provided by the alt-text tags to determine if they want to view the message on a PC later.

Use the subject line and pre-header area to engage the reader. Even if the message doesn’t display properly, your reader will still understand what the email is about – and can choose to revisit it later.

Don’t make clickable links too close together. If the links are too crowded, your reader will have a hard time clicking on them from a mobile device, thus lowering your engagement rate.

Keep in mind the small screen size. You should still follow the “above the fold” rule that you use for normal inbox delivery, but your “above the fold” line may be in a different place on a mobile device. Similarly, your email should be between 500-600 pixels wide. Avoid making your email too long as most people will not be scrolling on mobile devices.

As a step in your testing process, always view your emails on several mobile devices in your office before broadcasting to customers. Even if you follow all of the best practices for mobile device email design, there are still some aspects that may not render correctly on smart phones – and this step will give you a chance to correct any issues.