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Cover of JAM May 2012“By the end of 2012 there will be more connected devices than people on Earth”: the first sentence of Heather Maitland‘s article really kicks off The latest edition of JAM is a very timely look at mobile marketing. A host of excellent articles that build up to the final one (well it’s in the middle really) by Roger Tomlinson, which is the most poignant: the impact that social media development has had on how people buy. But more of that later.

Heather has done an excellent job on summarising where we are and where it seems to be heading- smart phones, tablets, Facebook, twitter, shopping …it’s big business and one we can’t avoid. After all the mind blowing stats, comes the little one, and for us the key one, basically you’ve got three chances before people give up on your mobile site.

So what makes for a good user experience? Well Heather starts us off with a good checklist ( if you want it, then buy a copy of JAM!) and the following articles start to put flesh on it.

Loic Tallon in an interview with Helen Bolt, talks us through how to create a good mobile experience. Same hymn sheet as me I think : talk in terms of the experience and the technology comes later; be specific about objectives…spot on.

Amy Clarke tells us not to neglect our email – for most it is still a bigger pool than our Facebook fans ( and it has less distractions ), but remember that more and more people are reading it on their phones, so follow Amy’s advice and make your email mobile ready.

Jim Richardson talks about apps or website optimisation, otherwise called responsive websites (these scale and change their layout depending on the device they are viewed on – have a look at Masque-Arts and change the width of your browser). Faced with the cost of app development and fragmented smartphone platforms, he thinks that arts organisations should take step back from apps and consider how their website performs on smaller screens.

Chris Unitt then looks at some latest stats and follows on from Jim’s article in comparing responsive sites to mobile specific sites.

Then we step into the world of the app! Vicky Lee gives us the background to developing the amazing StreetMuseum app from the Museum of London (what do you mean you haven’t installed it? Do it now and be inspired). And Allegra Burnette discusses integrating mobile into the mix at MoMA.

To this point the articles have given us an insight of what to do, how to do it and some fascinating peeks into what has been done. Roger‘s article is the key as it is really the why. Marketing had changed, it is more intrusive than ever before. Social media pushed it down this path and the mobile world has consolidated this – marketing really has become a brand in your hand. As Roger says it is up close and personal. By taking our marketing into the social media world we are butting into conversations among friends. We must be careful here as the potential for rejection is very high. Roger‘s observation is that we are now helping people to buy not selling. Of course that is what the best selling had always done, an no matter how we approach it selling is the end goal. So it’s marketing Jim, but not how we know it.

The Journal of Arts Marketing is published by The Arts Marketing Association

What is a QR Code?
So you may have heard that QR Codes are set to become the ‘next big thing’ but thinking to yourself, what is a QR Code!? QR or Quick Response Codes are a type of two-dimensional barcode that can be read using smartphones and dedicated QR reading devices, that link directly to text, emails, websites, phone numbers and more! You may have even got to this site by scanning a QR code!

QR codes are huge in Japan and across the East, and are slowly beginning to become commonplace in the West. Soon enough you will see QR codes on product packaging, shop displays, printed and billboard advertisements as well as in emails and on websites. The scope of use for QR codes really is huge, particularly for the marketing and advertising of products, brands, services and anything else you can think of.

Why should I care about QR Codes?
With as many as half of us now owning smartphones, and that number growing on a daily basis, QR Codes have the potential to have a major impact upon society and particularly in advertising, marketing and customer service with a wealth of product information just one scan away.

How is a QR Code different from a normal 1D UPC barcode?
Ordinarily we think of a barcode as a collection of vertical lines; 2D Barcodes or QR Codes are different in that the data is stored in both directions and can be scanned vertically OR horizontally.

Whilst a standard 1D Barcode (UPC/EAN) stores up to 30 numbers, a QR Barcode can store up to a massive 7,089! It is this massive amount of data that enables links to such things as videos, Facebook or Twitter pages or a plethora of other website pages.

How do I scan a QR Code?
If you have a smartphone like an iPhone, Android or Blackberry then there a number of different barcode scanner applications such as Red Laser, Barcode Scanner and QR Scanner that can read and decode data from a QR code. The majority of these are completely FREE, and all you have to do once you install one is to use your phone’s camera to scan the barcode, which will then automatically load the encoded data for you.

What can be encoded into a QR Code?
In its simplest sense a QR Code is an ‘image-based hypertext link’ that can be used offline – any URL can be encoded into a QR Code so essentially any webpage can be opened automatically as a result of scanning the barcode. If you want to encourage someone to like your Facebook page – have your Facebook profile page as the URL. Want your video to go viral – encode the URL in your QR Code. The options are endless.

In addition to website URLs a QR Code can also contain a phone number – so when it is scanned it prompts the user to call a particular number. Similarly you can encode an SMS text message, V-card data or just plain alphanumeric text. The smartphone or 2D barcode reading device will automatically know which application to use to open the content embedded within the QR Code.

Where can QR Codes be placed?
The answer to this is almost anywhere! QR Code printing can be done in newspapers, magazines, brochures, leaflets and on business cards. Further to this they can be put on product packaging or labels, or on billboards or even walls. You could even tattoo a QR Code on your body – now that would be an interesting take on giving a girl/guy your number in a bar!

You can use QR Codes on a website but they should not generally be used as a substitute for an old-fashioned hyperlink because obviously the user is already online and doesn’t really want to fiddle around with their phone only to find a website they could have just clicked through to in half the time.

How can I make a QR Code?

********* Click here to use our tool :) ******

What size does a QR Code have to be?
Generally speaking, the larger the QR Code, the easier it is for it to be scanned, however most QR reading devices are able to scan images that are small enough to fit on a business card for example. This of course assumes that the quality of image is good.

QR Codes for Marketing
If you want to use QR Codes for business or marketing purposes then you should consider that people have higher expectations from scanning a QR Code than they do simply clicking a link on a website. You should offer something special or unique to people that have taken the time and effort to scan the barcode. For ideas of what this could be, or just for more information about QR Code Marketing have a look at Piranha Internet who have successfully incorporated the use of QR Codes into several marketing strategies for their clients.

Also remember that many people won’t know what a QR Code is or how to use it. Up until their use is more widespread you will need to provide instructions about what to do with a QR Code.

Who invented the QR Code?
Denso-Wave – a subsidiary of the Toyota Group – are attributed with the creation of the QR Code as far back as 1994. Originally it was designed to be used to track parts in the vehicle manufacturing industry, but its use has since grown tremendously.

Source: http://www.whatisaqrcode.co.uk/