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Serious Games Meet Mobile Marketing With Barcodes

Following my prior post Serious Games Combining MR And Mobile Tagging, I’ve decided to further explore how mobile tagging and barcodes are to change the future of marketing - and ads to become Serious Games-like.

Mobile marketing is an emerging practice that consumer goods companies can tap to provide a dynamic experience for their customers. With IDC predicting that converged mobile devices or smart phones will grow 8.9 percent worldwide in 2009, consumers are eager to do more than just make a call with their mobile phones.

Gaming, mapping and location, entertainment, news, and social networking applications have taken off, according to IDC, and this is creating a wave of opportunity for new innovations that enable consumers to instantly track, find, know and connect with their mobile phones.

Marketers considering tagging tactics quickly discover a large and muddled technology and provider landscape. Traditional advertising is instantly transformed into a multi-media experience when advertisers incorporate 2D barcodes into their marketing mix. Any product, magazine/newspaper, retail display or billboard with a 2D code can provide access to real-time product or service information, downloadable content or mobile commerce transactions.

Camera Phones To Function As In-Store Sales Assistants

Dennison Corporation and Scanbuy, Inc. have joined forces to produce a new mobile merchandising solution that uses camera phone technology to enhance consumers’ in-store shopping experience and boost retailer profitability.

The solution, to be marketed by Avery Dennison through its worldwide network of service bureaus, ticketing centers and sales offices, connects the company’s line of retail labels with Scanbuy’s ScanLife™ Client application and ScanLife Code Management Platform to allow retailers to communicate with consumers while they shop.

By combining technologies, Avery Dennison and Scanbuy will provide consumers with a completely interactive shopping experience that links millions of ticketed apparel items directly to mobile information.

Avery Dennison's mobile-merchandising solution utilizes Scanbuy’s existing ScanLife application to facilitate the capture of 2D barcodes. ScanLife, which can be used on over 250 million mobile phones and is compatible with hundreds of different phone models worldwide, supports all major operating systems. In addition, the ScanLife application is pre-loaded in certain global regions by leading wireless manufacturers, such as LG, Nokia and Samsung.

The solution can be used in a number of ways, like giving sales suggestions for accessories or compatible items. For example, scanning a 2D barcode on a red dress can give the shopper images of a model wearing the dress, along with matching shoes, handbag and scarf that are available in the store.

The solution will use EZcode™ (2D barcode) technology which can be produced on existing labels in smaller physical sizes, making them a discreet component on nearly any size item.

Barcodes Make Print Ads Interactive

BMO Capital Markets, the investment and corporate banking arm of BMO Financial Group, has introduced 2D barcodes in select versions of its weekly advertisements.

Using the camera on their mobile phone or PDA, readers of The Wall Street Journal can use a special free application to photograph an ad's barcode, which then activates the device's browser and links directly to a customized page on the BMO Capital Markets website. The barcodes, known as EZcodes, are expected to grow in popularity for their ability to engage a targeted audience instantly with an advertisement's interactive message.

The first BMO Capital Markets ad to utilize the 2D barcode technology appeared on the front page of the Money & Investing section of Wall Street Journal, on August 7. Titled "Good Health," the ad highlights the firm's ninth annual Focus on Healthcare Conference which took place in New York. Readers who photographed the 2D barcode were linked to the conference archive web page, which contains webcast presentations, research reports and marketing materials on the more than 75 companies that presented during the event.

The barcodes, called EZcodes and created by ScanLife, bring readers to a customized Web page that offers additional information touched upon in print creative.

Mobile users must first download a free application at for the ball to start rolling. Consumers then use that App, along with their camera phone, to take a picture of the 2D barcode. Readers are then directed to a designated Web site.

The ad for BMO Capital Markets ran on the front page of the Money & Investing section of Friday's Wall Street Journal.

Microsoft Mobile Tagging - Mobile Marketing Innovations that Drive Sales

Microsoft is providing businesses with a whole new way to take advantage of mobile marketing opportunities that link consumers to the digital world with Microsoft Tag solution. Made available to the general public for free beta download in the United States on Jan. 7, 2009, their new software capability is made to enable consumer goods companies and other marketers to engage with consumers in meaningful and creative ways via mobile phones and to measure the effectiveness of that engagement.

Link mobile campaigns to print ads, billboards, and product packaging

Link print advertising to an online campaign

Link ads and posters to movie trailers and show times

Put a link on signs and flyers to market that real estate

Link people to your profile, blog, site, or contact information

Consumers Can Use The Camera Of Their Internet-Enabled Mobile Phones To Snap A Tag
Without having to type long URLs or text short code, consumers can use Microsoft Tag to connect to mobile content such as product information, promotions, music, video, ring tones, free text and more. Because Tag is available for a wide variety of phones including many consumers can benefit from this technology. Consumer goods (CG) companies can use MS colorful, two-dimensional tags to turn cell phones into "sell" phones that assist in the promotion and sale of products.

By transforming traditional marketing media into live links, they can provide detailed information, promotional offers and entertainment online.

Tags as tiny as 5/8" can be included on all kinds of material: the Web, shelf cards, e-mail, calendars, mapping, social applications, paper coupons and promotions such as T-shirts and magnets. Since consumers can share the content that they accessed with others in their communities, CG manufacturers can benefit from positive viral buzz for their brands.

Another plus is that Microsoft Tag can support more effective decisions about marketing spending. By accessing which tags are being read when and where, CG companies can use the detailed impression activity that's available at the back-end Microsoft Tag campaign management site for analysis and timely action. If an offer isn't delivering results or if the promotion needs to frequently refresh, CG companies can create a single tag for the special and update the offer as often as necessary. It's as simple as changing the content of a web page.