Optimize My Brand

Strategy, tactics, ideas and tips from Creative Company.

Mobile marketing, QR codes, smartphones and audiences

It’s all in the works … when do you adopt?

We are continually watching the reports and statistics on the adoption of mobile platforms, what that means to presenting information and engaging audiences, and how different audiences are adopting QR codes or spending time on their smartphones with more than email or fun apps.

woman looking at computerThere is no doubt mobile marketing and smartphones are driving new marketing channels. And, as with all marketing tactics, it’s important to understand your audience and how they are using the technology. Different age groups view platforms like Facebook or QR codes differently.

As with all good branding … it’s essential to consider how and where you can leverage your message at the point of choice your audience is using.

parent and student onlineFrom a study by Noel Levitz of high school students (looking at colleges) and their parents:
  • 82% of students and 86% of parents own mobile phones
  • African-Americans and English-speaking Latinos are more likely to own mobile phones than Caucasians and more likely to do more with their phones, including access the Internet (from the Pew Internet studies). Other studies indicate this is usually because there are no landlines and no computers/broadband access in the home, so the cellphone is the only connection to the Internet
  • Teens who pay for their own cellphone are more likely to do more with those phones (Pew Internet research)
  • QR code exposure: 15% of students say they’ve seen them, 14% of parents have noticed them. However, only 6% of students and 4% of parents say they have used them for a college
  • 86% of students use email, and 80% of parents
From a blog post by Shelly Lipton, on Mobile Marketer:
  • More than 70 percent of baby boomers use smartphones for work-related communications, versus 59 percent for Millennials.
  • Studies have shown that boomers are not generally early-adopters of new technologies, and also feel that most of the content on the mobile web is not targeted to them.
  • According to research by Burst Media, young people are looking for entertainment, games, news and social media, while boomers care more about news, shopping and health information.
  • Both represent increased opportunities for consumers to use the mobile web.
From another post on Mobile Marketer, by Giselle Tsirulnik
  • Ninety percent of the U.S. population sends and receives text messages, according to Nielsen.
  • Comparatively speaking, mobile bar code scanning is growing at a very rapid pace, but is only now starting to move out of the early-adopter stage, according to the ScanLife Mobile Bar Code Trend Report released in January.
  • Scanbuy claims that only 25-30 million consumers in the United States are scanning bar codes, representing a very large growth year over year.
  • Mr. Wehrs [CEO of Scanbuy] said people use texting for communication purposes because it is easy, but when it comes to engaging with a brand, people would rather scan a code than use SMS.

Lots of facts and figures … what do they mean?

mobile access on iPhoneThe mobile, in your hand, instant read and instant response technology is where the growth is. Different generations are using the technology differently. Although you would think Millennials (students) might not be using email as much, they are, because a high percentage have smartphones that keep them constantly connected through email, texting, web surfing and more.

Boomers (parents) and the business world are using their smart phones for work-related activities, and email is a huge part of this. Other studies have shown good email response rates on weekends, because so many users now have their computer and email in their hand, and don’t leave it in the computer on the desk at the office.

As for QR codes? They’re everywhere. They represent a quick and easy way to fulfill on messaging, add content to simple print pieces or packages, and create  visual “one button” call to action. We like the opportunity and we’re incorporating them. The tipping point for use is still not there … but we expect it to tip within the next 6 months. (Prediction? maybe)

The point of choice for a potential client or customer is now in their hand.

It’s just going to take a bit for them to get that fully … and to use it regularly beyond email. It’s coming. And as marketers, we must provide content that’s remarkable to get them to engage more fully and regularly on their smartphone.



About the author

Jennifer Larsen Morrow

Jennifer's four decades of work in the industry, starting as a designer and adding marketing, copywriting and digital marketing, has generated response for clients since 1978.

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