The personal computer first launched in the 1980s. Since then, humans have grown as attached to their computers as any invention in history (besides perhaps maybe automobiles, which now contain built-in “desktop” computers). But for the first time in over thirty years, marketers are decreasing their “home-based” spending and redistributing that desired cash into mobile marketing. The success of social media and third-party apps has allowed markers to easily (and much more efficiently) conquer what was once only achieved from television viewing and home computer usage: targeting their audience effectively and attentively. The increasing popularity of smartphones (and later tablets) has shifted the marketing paradigm from an advertiser-to-consumer relationship to a consumer/marketer/advertiser digital symbiosis. Therefore, innovative marketers are working less on generating independent content and more on growing avenues where the consumer can participate themselves. Here’s marketing data from Cisco to prove it…
- Global mobile data traffic grew 70% in 2012
- Average smartphone usage grew 81% in 2012
- Mobile video traffic exceeded 50% for the first time in 2012
- Mobile connected tablets will generate more traffic in 2017 than the entire global mobile network in 2012
- 2/3 of the worlds data traffic will be video by 2017
- Facebook is accessed by 7,000 different types of devices every day (Source: TechCrunch)
- The number of businesses that say Facebook is critical or important to their business has increased by 75% from 2009 (Source: Hubspot)
- 80% of U.S. social network users prefer to connect to brands through Facebook (Source: Hubspot)
- 56% of customers say that they’re more likely to recommend a brand after becoming a fan (Source: Mind Jumpers)
Augmented Reality and QR Codes
One trend that has been a big force in the mobile marketing field is that of QR codes. A QR code is a form of branding that allows users to scan a specially designed “code” from a sign or form of packaging using their mobile device. Once a code is scanned, the user is redirected to a pre-assigned third party site of choice. QRstuff.com reports that overall global QR code activity increased 381% in quarter one of 2011 and a further 16% in quarter four of 2011.
Companies such as Ralph Lauren are taking advantage of mobile marketing by placing QR codes on advertisements around heavy foot-traffic areas. Once a user scans the code on their mobile device, they are instantly redirected to a second page, where further in-depth content can be viewed and analyzed.
However, while QR codes had their time and place (and are still utilized by many), it’s augmented reality that is the future. Augmented reality (or AR) is essentially the layering of media–everything from video, music, text, picture, graphics, animation–on top of a live video feed or real world environment in real time to create an interactive experience.
Many companies are taking advantage of mobile marketing by placing augmented reality logos and text on advertisements, urging readers to get more info about the product or service with the simple wave of their mobile phone. Once a user takes the cue and whips out their mobile device, launches the app (which may be a third party app or may be one that’s specific to the publication or product in question) and holds it up to the picture in the ad, they are instantly redirected to a site, or perhaps a video, where further in-depth related content can be viewed, analyzed or often simply enjoyed.
It should be noted that this tool–that of augmented reality–is not only a huge mobile marketing tactic, but also a gigantic force in the realm of print, bringing it to life and linking magazines and mobile phones like never before.