Home > Digital Marketing Trends, Mobile Technologies, Technology > What’s Exciting in Mobile Marketing? – Mobile Barcodes & Tagging

What’s Exciting in Mobile Marketing? – Mobile Barcodes & Tagging

Coachella2In one of my first blog posts, I questioned whether digital marketers were ready to keep up with the rapid adoption of mobile technologies.  After digging deeper into ‘the state of mobile’ over the last couple of months, I’ve become more convinced that we’re up to the challenge.  There is definitely a lot of exciting innovation going on in the world of mobile – particularly by companies that are creatively applying new technologies to provide dynamic marketing solutions.

In this multi-part post, we’ll begin taking a look at three technologies in particular that will have a potentially huge impact on mobile marketing, whether used independently, or in various combinations: mobile barcodes & tagging, Location Based  Advertising (LBA), and augmented reality.  This first post will focus on mobile barcodes and tagging. 


Mobile Barcodes and Tagging

How does it work?

See a code, take a picture, and let the magic happen.  The basic concept of mobile barcodes and tagging is that technology advancements now allow the cameras in our mobile phones to act as barcode readers: 

Mobile Tagging Process

This opens up the potential for applications of all types.  The GoMo News article, “Mobile Barcodes 101”, helps shed some light on this:

“The most common use of mobile barcodes is to request information or a service or content from a Web site. It might be details of a promotion, or a discount voucher via SMS or MMS, or to activate a download such as a ringtone, music track or game, or click to call an IVR or human agent, or buy a travel or concert ticket. The advertiser pays the set-up costs as well as its operator partner on a per-click, download, view, redeemed coupon, ticket sale or call, depending on the campaign.” 

Great, but does it have legs?

I think that mobile barcodes and tagging represent a great new addition to the marketer’s toolbox.  Their use is limited only by one’s imagination and creativity.  They can physically be placed in a number of different environments, including online on websites, emails, and social media platforms; and in print in magazines, newspapers, posters, and signs.  They can allow people to connect to all types of information, including websites, videos, games, tickets, and more.  And they are still in their infancy, so there’s still the novelty effect in their favor.  My take is that we will be seeing the use of mobile barcodes and tagging explode in marketing and ad campaigns over the coming months.

Want to learn more?

What exactly are mobile barcodes?  What do they look like?  How are they different from the codes we see on merchandise tags at stores? Who have been the early adopters of this technology?  How are they successfully being used here in the U.S. for marketing campaigns, and why has our adoption been slower?  And, what in the world are QR codes, BeeTaggs, and JagTags? I’ve collected a series of links below to help answer these questions and others that you may have.

Follow these links for extra info on mobile barcodes and tagging, ranging from basic definitions to powerful examples of this technology at work:

Mobile Tagging

Mobile Barcodes 101

Marketers Give Mobile Barcodes Another Go

Nike Breaks Mobile Barcode Campaign at Mountain Dew Event

Personalized 2D Barcodes Suit Marketing Campaigns

Fox Uses JagTag Mobile Barcodes to Promote X-Men DVD Release

Got feedback?

I’m trying a bit different format on this series of posts regarding “What’s exciting in mobile marketing”. Please let me know what you think!

– Jim S.

  1. Plamen
    December 7, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Dear Jim,

    What is happened a year later?

    I found AR challenges very interesting, doing some months researches. In my country- Bulgaria, these kind of services are almost unknown.

    • Jim Suchara
      December 19, 2010 at 5:21 pm

      Sorry for the delay in response. Great question! I think there has been significant progress in two of these mobile technologies over the last year.

      Mobile barcodes, QR codes and tagging are becoming more and more prevalent. We are seeing them used in a lot of marketing campaigns in the U.S.

      Marketers’ interest in Location Based Servies (LBS) is also rapidly rising, though it remains to be seen whether potential customers will feel this represents an infringement on their privacy. I think they will get past these concerns once they can begin to realize the power of local business-based offers and savings.

      Finally, I believe that Augmented Reality (AR) has not yet taken off over the last year the way it could (or should) have. Perhaps we need to see more realistic and meaningful AR applications before more businesses buy into the technology.

      In 2011, we should see continued rapid growth in each of these areas, and their use will really increase as more powerful case studies are shared by companies successfully using these technologies.

  1. November 3, 2009 at 4:55 pm

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