Time to Go Mobile

David Murphy

Howard Furr-Barton, managing director of online and mobile marketing company Brand Attention,  urges brands to invest in mobile websites, and in QR Codes to drive traffic to them

Howard_furrbarton_brand_attention
With ever-increasing Internet speeds, alongside cheaper mobile
browsing, it was only a matter of time before mobile data capture
caught on. The Quick Response or QR Code allows mobile users to capture
data using their phones camera. The camera is simply aimed at the
code, allowing the embedded software to automatically detect, de-code,
and display the information on screen. Naturally, marketers have been
quick to pounce on this technology, not only for its creative marketing
applications, but for its ability to provide results that are 100%
measurable.


Imagine a poster campaign implemented across London.
You, as a marketer, want to find out which poster locations are giving
you the most publicity and attracting the most attention. Using the QR
Codes ability to embed URLs, you can create separate landing pages for
each individual poster, allowing you to track exactly who read your
poster, at what time and in what location. As with most new technology,
the birthplace of the QR Code was Japan, where they can be found on
McDonalds wrappers, bus timetables and even printed on prawn crackers.
According to comScore,
in Japan, 2007 was the first year that saw a 50:50 split between users
surfing on mobile devices and those browsing on conventional computers
from work or home. With the UK set to follow suit, businesses are
scrambling to get mobile-ready. The problem lies in the fact that
conventional websites are designed to display on a screen size 10 to 20
times larger than most mobile devices. This makes browsing on a mobile
device an absolute nightmare, with endless scrolling and sluggish load
times. The solution: dedicated mobile websites designed specifically
for mobile surfing.
In the past, mobile sites couldnt support and
utilise the applications and versatility of a conventional site.
However, with rapid advances in handsets and their surfing
capabilities, mobile devices are now capable of exploiting nearly every
application and function available through conventional websites.


So whats the difference?
Unlike conventional sites,
dedicated mobile websites need to be dynamic, in that they should
display and perform in a uniform manner across all mobile devices. Like
conventional sites, they should also comply with guidelines laid down
by W3C, the body that enforces the disability and discriminatory act
across the web. Businesses should also ensure that their dedicated
mobile site is registered under a .mobi domain. .mobi, as with .gov for
government sites, is the standardised domain extension for sites
designed for mobile browsing.
So your two essential marketing tools
for 2007 are: a QR Code marketing campaign; and a Dedicated Mobile
Website. These two tools really are a marriage made in Heaven. Use them
together and youve got yourself a creative marketing campaign thats
effective, measurable and applicable to practically anything.