While in some circles mobile barcodes are emerging media, for those in the advertising industry, mobile barcodes have been a promising messaging seed marketers have been waiting to see sprout for some time.
Today, the average consumer is becoming increasingly aware of mobile barcodes as major brands utilize them in Sunday newspaper circulars and even edible products. More consumers are not only aware of mobile barcodes, but are using them to interact with brands like Best Buy, Target and Time Magazine.
And the advertising is paying off. According to mobilecommercedaily.com, mobile code scans have increased 1,200 percent in the last six months alone–a sign that more consumers are at least trying the codes and reviewing additional content.
While mobile barcodes are an obvious fit for brands like Target who can connect codes to specific in-store products, mobile barcodes are becoming an emerging media in the travel sector, as well. Last year, Arkansas Tourism was the first destination to integrate QR codes at Fort Smith National Historic Site. This year New York City recently released plans to integrate QR codes around the city to make searching for restaurant reviews easier for travelers.
For travel marketers, mobile barcodes are a unique way to supplement visitor guide content and put information literally in the hands of visitors while on vacation. Beyond linking to travel websites, travel destinations generate additional opportunities like linking to maps, coupons, itineraries, and even historical information—all of which enhance a visitor’s experience. By integrating mobile marketing, not only can destinations claim variety and family fun as key selling points, but also content that is interactive and engaging.
But the value of mobile doesn’t end there. Mobile barcodes also have the potential to build a wealth of real-time consumer data. Not only will marketers know how often their codes are scanned, but when and by who–both factors that will help marketers predict future consumer behavior. Such scientific data will allow brands to target their audience more precisely and effectively, ultimately leading to better vacation experiences for travelers.