Posted on March 24th, 2014 by Timothy Boyle
According to a recent Forbes article on mobile technology, 2014 is going to be ‘the year of mobile.’ What is meant by this is that mobile will finally become a “mainstream marketing solution.”
Mobile has been largely adopted by consumers, and yet it has taken marketers a few years to catch up, or really to even put themselves in the race. The numbers though are getting to a point where marketers must take this increasing gap seriously. According to data from IBM’s Digital Analytics Benchmark, mobile traffic is driving 25% of total online traffic to retail sites, is accounting for more than 20% of all online sales, and mobile sales are up 55% over last year with exponential growth appearing very likely.
According to the Forbes article, the average firm invests only two to three percent towards their mobile budgets, but the leading mobile firms are beginning to increase their mobile budgets to 10 or even 25%. Indicating that some firms are finally starting to take mobile as seriously as they should.
As Jay Henderson, Strategy Program Director at IBM, states in the Forbes article, the best strategy for firms is “to take a ‘mobile first’ approach,” and he “encourages marketers to build mobile sites form the ground up, rather than force fitting an existing website into a smaller format.” This is also what we would advise at Qfuse.
This is an important point, because rather than viewing mobile as separate and relatively insignificant, it should be viewed as vital to how business will be done in the near future, and integrated into the overall business plan.
As Henderson is quoted in the article, it is forward thinking marketers that “are investing in their mobile apps to include maps of the store, special promotions, and location based targeting. Companies are adding QR codes and NFC to their in-store display to help bridge from physical to mobile.” These sort of integrated plans will go a long way for the firms which implement them earliest. Helping to increase in store sales, prevent lost sales from showrooming, helping increase brand interaction and awareness, and simply creating a better experience for the customer.
For marketers, 2014 should be a year of transition to mobile, and a year of mastering mobile technology and its existing tools. Creating a strategy to build mobile from the ground up, and then connecting mobile to your physical marketing plan—through tools like QR codes, NFC tags, and mobile apps—will greatly increase the efficiency of the overall marketing strategy and enhance the end objectives.
To read more on this issues check out the Forbes article here, and to get started on, or improve upon you existing mobile strategy, check out Qfuse here.
| Read more by Timothy Boyle
Posted on March 19th, 2014 by Timothy Boyle
With the ever exponentially growing mobile usage it can be difficult for companies to keep up, and in fact few are. This means that if a company can quickly move to mobile, and do it right, they can potentially find themselves filling that market hole over their competitors and reaping significant rewards.
As you will see in the Infographic below, brought to you by Surge, you will notice that as of 2014 mobile web browsing will account for half of all browsing. If half of web usage is on mobile, and you aren’t—or you are only dipping your big toe into the mobile waters—then you are missing out on connecting with half of the entire market.
It should be pointed out that it isn’t JUST about getting onto mobile, more importantly it is about doing mobile correctly. This means ensuring your mobile optimized site functions flawlessly since “46% of consumers are unlikely to return to a mobile site if it didn’t work properly their last visit,” and if you site takes more than 5 seconds to load, 74% of users will leave the site. Advertisements or search results that mention a location also see a 200% increase in click-through rates as mentioned in the infographic below. This means that if you are not doing mobile correctly, it might be as bad, or even worse, than not doing mobile at all.
In regards to e-commerce one in five smartphone users scan product codes like QR codes to access information or make purchases. This means that using things like QR codes or NFC tags might help ensure you capture a greater number of sales than you otherwise might without these codes on your physical marketing or packaging.
The future of mobile around the world looks promising, and the growth is very much exponential. So take a look at the infographic provided by Surge, consider where you and your company’s mobile strategy currently stands, and begin to develop a plan and make the necessary changes to match where the mobile market future is headed. You will be far ahead of the competition.
| Read more by Timothy Boyle
Posted on February 27th, 2014 by Qfuse Staff
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Posted on February 23rd, 2014 by Jason Summerfield
When creating a QR code that resolves to a URL it is generally advantageous to keep your URLs short, so that the code only needs to hold minimal data and can therefore be sized smaller and will scan more reliably. Codes that have long URLs embedded within them require the data to be more dense and therefore need to be somewhat larger.
To easily create short URLs for QR codes, many people opt to use a URL shortening service such as bit.ly and goo.gl . The obvious advantage being that such services allow you to take a long URL and immediately make it short, meaning your QR code is nice and small, with only minimal data. Another advantage is that these services will provide some basic stats on how many times the link has been clicked over time, so if you only use the link for a QR code you can get a sense of scan performance.
While URL shortening services like bit.ly and goo.gl are extremely practical for generating short URLs to share as links on the web, in email and social media posts, they are not well-suited for professional-grade QR code publication and management. Sure, these services are preferable compared embedding a long URL directly into a QR code, but it’s important to understand that they are not ideal.
The reason that bit.ly and goo.gl are not ideal for QR code campaigns, is because the destination URLs cannot be changed once your QR code is published. This means that the QR code you create using one of these services will always go to the same place and is locked forever. It’s not hard to imagine how this can be problematic when you are producing printed materials with QR codes (e.g. advertisements, displays, packaging, labels, business cards, brochures, publications, etc) – what happens if you want to change the destination of the code at some point after it’s printed? If you’ve use bit.ly or goo.gl to create your QR code you’re out of luck.
In order to maintain true control over your QR codes, even after they’ve been printed and published, you need to use a professional system (e.g. such as Qfuse) that generates dynamic QR codes. Dynamic QR codes allow you to change the code’s destination at any time, according to your business needs. Such management features, combined with powerful qr code scan analytics, is the only way to ensure that you can maintain complete control and measurement of your code’s performance throughout its lifecycle.
If you simply need a QR code for personal use than bit.ly and goo.gl are probably sufficient for your needs. But if you’re planning a professional campaign with any longevity, you’ll want to make sure you use the right tools for the job, so look elsewhere.
| Read more by Jason Summerfield
Posted on February 20th, 2014 by Sean Dempsey
A “Cheat Sheet” for Getting Started with QR Codes
Ok – so here’s the deal. If you don’t know the first thing about using QR Codes and/or Mobile Landing Pages for marketing and engagement, this quick post will focus as a decent “cheat sheet.” I’ll layout the basics first and then explain how our platform, Qfuse, can help easily and cheaply:
Preliminary) If you know NOTHING about QR Codes at all, here’s a great 1-minute overview to lay the groundwork - http://qfuse.com/learning/what-are-qr-codes (read this first)
Ok – now that you know what a QR Code IS, how can it be useful to you and why consider Qfuse? Good questions. Well here are 5 key points:
1) QR Codes are a great way to do engagement. We just published a great piece on this in our partner ExactTarget’s blog. I know it’s about a page long, but worth reading to get a sense why this is helpful: http://www.exacttarget.com/blog/qr-codes-and-mobile-landing-pages-for-list-building-and-engagement/
2) QR Codes allow you to connect offline and online media. We call this “Connected Media.” Essentially with QR Codes you’re able to take any marketing collateral on which you can print (e.g. brochures, business cards, flyers, posters, etc) and extend the delivery and sounding board for your message/marketing. This allows you to now convey virtually an unlimited amount of additional info and interactive content which a static, printed piece of paper never could. For example you can add video or social media or seek immediate lead capture via a contact form, etc. Read more here: http://qfuse.com/features/connected-media
3) Our platform is dynamic, mobile-focused, and has analytics to track your success. You can print codes and then change where they direct anytime after printing. Our codes allow you to direct to mobile-friendly content for easy engagement. And Qfuse also tracks the results of how well your scans perform and what content people click on after scanning a code. Because we believe knowledge is power and leads to greater ROI. Read an overview on our feature-set here: http://qfuse.com/qr-code-features
4) If you do decide you want to go into QR Codes and the mobile web, it’s important to chose your vendor wisely since otherwise you may miss out on valuable features and capabilities. See what sets Qfuse apart here: http://qfuse.com/learn-more/what-sets-qfuse-apart
Lastly) Pricing. It’s FREE to get started. Try it out! No obligation. Basic plans with a single landing page are permanently free. After you start using it and you want to manage multiple advertising campaigns and/or you need more features, it starts around $12. So we’re not talking big money here, folks. :-)
Info here: http://qfuse.com/get-started/packages-and-pricing
Don’t Drop The Ball With Your QR Code/Marketing Campaign!
SO MANY people and organizations use QR Codes very incorrectly; but when using Qfuse you really can’t screw it up. :-) But if you have any questions let us know since we’re here to help.
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Read more by Sean Dempsey