Mobile Engagement Via QR Codes, NFC + Sonic Triggers

Manolo Almagro, Weekly Columnist

This week we highlight three very different engagement technologies that provide ways for mobile shoppers to use their devices to move from off-line to on-line properties.

manoloGetting people to engage with your brand in-store continues to be the toughest part of a campaign.

Lately however, getting people to use their mobile devices as part of their shopping has become easier BUT is typically limited to mobile search, price comparisons and peer recommendations.

A quick look at the latest engagement tactics for mobile reveal that “new” isn’t really that new – remember when bluetooth was the new, hot, technology heh? Ed

  • QR codes Created in Japan in 1994, to help track truck parts. Mobile consumers in Asia have been using them for years. Fast forward to N. America- 2011, QR codes being stamped on everything- regardless of all the controversial reports that show that people aren’t really scanning them, let alone know what they are. To use, you need a QR scanning mobile app, – a steady hand and a data connection.
  • NFC Near Field Communications is really a fancy name for RFID. This technology is very similar to what’s inside that employee badge you’ve been hanging round your neck. In 2004, Sony, Phillips and Nokia created the NFC Forum, in 2006, the first Nokia NFC phone was launched. In 2010, Samsung’s Nexus S  is the first Android phone with the technology built-in. In 2011, there have been a few experiments with NFC with ad-based DOOH networks. For NFC engagement to work – the mobile device has to be enabled for NFC, and the in-store receiver/transmitter infrastructure has to be deployed
  • Sonic Triggers Sub-audible tones are another old-school concept. Originally used in the broadcast industry, the sub-audible tone was embedded on a separate audio track and used to trigger an automated event by the analog tone sensing equipment.  Fast forward to 2011- SonicNotify‘s platform takes this concept to another level. The trick is to set up audio broadcast “beacons” next to in-store merchandise. These units are designed deliver the tones in very discrete proximity. Meanwhile, shoppers need to download the partner app, which is then set to automatically “listen” for the tones.  The magic happens when someone with this mobile app installed, walks near one of the broadcast devices – et voila – the sound triggers an action on their shoppers mobile phone

The power of three? Well, in all cases, someone has to either have the special technology enabled on their phone, or they download something in order to be able to use their mobile device in the specified manner.

Studies show that – shoppers will go to the trouble of downloading/installing/activating an app or feature – mainly because they think it will make their lives easier or they’ll get a deal out of it.

Bearing this statistic in mind, it’s important to note that 80% of all mobile apps downloaded are discarded within 30 days of installation AND 1 in 4 apps are rarely used again after being installed.

This high rate of churn is related to bad user experiences – simply put, if apps are too hard to use, or don’t work as advertised – people stop using them.

Special thanks to Raffi Vartian for sending us the link on SonicNotify. Now exactly where did that guy go? 😉 Ed


One Response to “Mobile Engagement Via QR Codes, NFC + Sonic Triggers”

  1. Raffi Vartian Says:

    Under cover Ed! Carefully and thoughtfully planning my next move…. something combining Bluetooth and Blue-clad booth babes!

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