2-D Codes… Your Next Marketing Tool?
There’s been a bit of discussion of late around 2-D codes (often referred to as QR Codes).
No doubt many of you have seen them, those black and white squares that are appearing on everything from magazine pages to billboard posters. 2-D Codes have been popular in Japan for years and having won over the US are now entering Australia. With smart phone penetration already at 35% of online Australians* and projected to exceed 50% of all mobile users in 2013**, 2-D codes are set to become an essential part of your marketing toolkit. Yes, these 2D codes will be short lived and will be replaced quickly with newer technology like photo recognition, but there’s still a lot of relevance and opportunity to explore for 2-D Codes within Australia given many consumers still don’t know what they are. Our resident 2-D Code expert, Helen Kruger (@lanikruger) gives you the rundown on all you need to know to get started.
Once you have the basics, integrating 2-D Codes into your marketing campaign will be limited only by your creativity.
What is a 2-D Code?
2-D codes are two-dimensional barcodes that link Smart Phones to the Internet. When scanned with a smart phone camera they connect the user to a unique location on the web or download specified information directly onto the phone.
While there are many types of 2-D Codes the most widely used is the QR (Quick Response) Code, popular because it is free of any licensing restrictions. In addition some proprietary codes, with minor additional features, are also gaining prominence. These include Microsoft Tags, which is currently free, and ScanLife, which is free for personal use but charges a fee for business use.
Tip: Follow this link for a comparison of Microsoft Tags and QR Codes http://bit.ly/kCze83
Far more versatile than traditional barcodes, 2-D Codes can encode a range of information sources:
Getting Started: Creating QR Codes
Creating QR codes is surprisingly simple. There are many free online tools that create unique QR codes and allow you to download them. It is simply a matter of finding the best one for your purposes. A couple of examples include:
Tip: If neither of these providers work for you a quick Google search for ‘QR code generator’ will guide you to hundreds more.
Reading QR Codes
Reading QR Codes is as simple as creating them. Users will need to download a QR Reader to their phone but again there are many freely available online. Some popular Readers include:
Tip: QR Codes are still very new in Australia so most consumers will need to be guided through how to use them. The more education you can provide consumers, the easier it will be for them to use. These sites provide a how to guide for use as well as links to downloadable readers: http://QRtag.com and http://QRme.in/
Possible Marketing Applications
Possible uses for 2-D Codes, from where to display them to what you link them to, are almost endless. Here are just a few suggestions:
Further Reading and References:
If you are interested in learning more about QR Codes or to see how other companies are using them the Mashable information resource on http://mashable.com/tag/qr-codes/ is a great place to start.
* Nielsen’s State of the Online Market: Evolution or Revolution? 9 March 2011 http://bit.ly/mEmmSm
** MobileSQUARED 10 Nov 2010 http://bit.ly/kn4rxZ
The plans for Chardonnay Day plans on 26 May, 2011 are coming together and lots of great meet ups are being planned on a global scale. If you have not already registered, it’s not too late to do so on the Eventbrite site.
In Australia, there’s lots of opportunities to go along to tastings in Capital cities to discover an range of different styles from Wine Producers across Australia and all around the world. Gone are the days of it being “Anything But Chardonnay.” There really has been an evolution in the style of Australian chardonnay over the past few years and this is an opportunity to re-explore and see why the world’s leading commentators are saying “Chardonnay is Australia’s finest varietal.”
• Decanter Magazine
• Tim Atkin – Reflections of Australian Chardonnay from Melbourne Wine Show
• Steve Webber from De Bortoli Wines talks to Paul Henry about Chardonnay stylistic changes at 2010 Landmark Tutorial
Global tweet ups like #Chardonnay Day are like sitting down and having conversation at a table of like-minded wine lovers who happen to connect via social media channels. If you can’t make it to one of the venues below, why not participate virtually – all you need is a few friends, your favourite chardonnay, internet access and you’re set.
Around Australia, there’s no prescribed timing to get involved – it’s an all day event. However, we’re encouraging producers, wine media, retailers and wine lovers involved in the Australian #chardonnay tweet up from 7.30-9pm AEST. There will also be a live Qwoff TV Episode with the Qwoff Boys, Nick Stock and Michael Hill-Smith MW streamed live from Adelaide and we’re hoping to cross over to some of the venues around Australia to see what’s happening.
The details of the big tastings and dinners in each of the capital cities are as follows:
Where: Coast Roof Top Bar and Restaurant
The Roof Terrace, Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour, Sydney, NSW 2000
Time: 4- 6.30pm – Free Chardonnay Tasting
7.30pm tutored master class dinner with Peter Bourne, Andrew Spinaze, Chief Winemaker at Tyrrell’s Wines and David Bicknell, Chief Winemaker and CEO of Oakridge Winery
Cost: Free for Tasting – all are welcome. Hoping to set up a Four Square Swarm!
Dinner: $60 per head including 5 course tasting matched with 10 of Australia’s finest Chardonnay led by renowned Australian Wine Commentator Peter Bourne, Chief Winemaker at Tyrrells Wines Andrew Spinaze and David Bicknell, Chief Winemaker and CEO at Oakridge Winery. Coast’s Head Chef, Adam Lord, continues the tradition of food prepared simply using classic philosophies and preparations. The menu is designed with Mediterranean influences in a modern contemporary Australian setting. All produce is carefully selected with quality primary ingredients chosen to showcase the talents of the kitchen. Incredible value and sure to be a fabulous night!
Bookings essential: NOTE: DINNER IS NOW SOLD OUT
Where: ‘Pink Alley’ @ Collins Quarter,
86a Collins Street, Melbourne
Time: 4pm till 6.30pm for the open tasting, 7.30pm till 9.30pm for the Dinner with Dan Sims
Cost: Free for the open tasting!
$35 per person for Dinner from 7.30pm
Bookings are essential for the evening session so please call Collins Quarter on 03 9650 8500
Where: The Qwoff Boys Headquarters
15b Richard Street, Hindmarsh SA 5007
150 Baroona Rd, Rosalie
Brisbane Q 4064
When: 5pm kick off
Details at – http://www.meetup.com/Chardonnay/Brisbane-AU/
Wolf Blass Visitors Centre
97 Sturt Hwy Nurioopta, SA 5355.
The Wine Store
48 George Street
East Fremantle WA
http://www.meetup.com/Chardonnay/Perth-AU/ or http://www.thewinestore.com.au/about-us.html
Tempus Two Winery
Broke Road, Pokolbin
BYO bottle of chardonnay and get involved.
Rsvp to: email@example.com
If I’ve missed any big Australian venues, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org)or post up on Meet Up site so we’re aware of what going on.
ARE YOU A CHARDONNAY PRODUCER?
These venues above are accepting samples for the tastings on the day so that consumers can try a diverse range of different products and everyone can get involved. Chardonnay-Day-Address-Labels and send your samples along by Wednesday 25th May. We’d love to see lots of different regional examples and if you’re an importer, send your wines along too so we can see how they stack up against the best in Australia.
PLEASE include a sticker on the wine before you send it with the RRP and your twitter handle (eg @mastermindtb or @bestwines) if you have one to make it easy to let the world know what people are drinking on the day. Tasting notes with information on the wines would also be very useful.
TIPS TO GET INVOLVED
If you need more information – don’t forget about these helpful hints to help you make the most of the opportunity.
People are talking about your brand on the web. Given wine is such a natural part of our conversations, you’re sure to see comments posted on wines being opened with friends, wines with faults and inevitably your brand will come up at some time as part of the discussion. So with the tens of thousands of conversations happening online, how does a winery or SME with limited resources track their brand mentions and respond accordingly?
While there are comprehensive (and expensive) analytics packages available for many wine producers these are usually outside of the scope of your marketing budget and in many cases are un-necessary. In most instances, all we really need to know is who is talking about us and what they are saying, so we can respond accordingly.
Luckily there are many free and simple tools to do just that.
Here’s a guide of some of our favourites:
This tool is a must for any brand monitoring, as the set-and-forget alerts are an easy way to stay up to date with new web content. Once created an automated system sends regular email updates of Google results that match the search term.
The only real limitation is your ability to manage the emails, as the system allows creation of up to 1,000 alerts. Depending on what your searching for results can often contain irrelevant information but as a free tool it’s worth wading through each day to see what is being discussed.
If you’re on twitter, the easiest place to start is with a twitter management program like TweetDeck or HootSuite. Simply set up a search on your brand name (in addition to mentions of your twitter handle) and run the column continuously in the background. Any mention of your product appears in real-time.
These results are limited to real-time only, Tweetdeck shows the most recent 100 tweets, so there is no chance to back search. To capture all comments you will need to look at other programs. Hootsuite has just added some new reporting functionality that helps with analytics added to your profile and shows more sentiment changes on your brand. Worth checking out and finding your favourite platform.
This search component of Twitter will retrieve all mentions on a search going back seven days, up to 1500 tweets. You can search for a url, Twitter name, phrase or hashtag and there are advanced search options such as combining or excluding terms or limiting sources.
The best part of Twitter Search is that it allows you to restrict a search to geographical areas, near a city or country and within a given radius. You can segment the conversation, for example, to Australian or UK originated tweets only.
There’s also a great post on Ragan.com about useful ways to search twitter that can be found here.
Like Twitter Search, TweetReach retrieves tweets going back five to seven days. It lets you do everything Search Twitter does, except for the geographic limits. However it also gives basic analytics like exposure (number of impressions) and most influential contributors.
The free version only lists the last 50 tweets so a brand with a reasonable level of activity will need to be checked more often than every five days or alternatively sign up for some of the paid reports that removes the 50 tweet restriction.
Kurrently’s power comes in including both Twitter and Facebook comments in searches to give a more comprehensive picture of social conversations. This is a particularly useful feature in Australia where Facebook usage dominates over Twitter. For added convenience side bar links also allow searches of Google and YouTube.
Social Mention searches across the entire web taking in 100+ social media sites including Twitter, Facebook, Google, YouTube and Flickr. It also reports on analytics including strength, sentiment, passion and reach.
The volume of information can be overwhelming so well refined search terms are essential. And while older results can be patchy, especially for microblogs, the sheer reach it provides is definitely worth a look.
Analyses activity and reports on a daily basis on the blogosphere. You can keep informed on key phrases, key people and monitor conversations based on topics of choice.
Refining the Search Terms
As with all searches the results are only as good as the search terms. Most of these tools offer advanced search options to help narrow the field but finding the best terms does take some playing around. Most importantly look out for how consumers regularly refer to your brand (do they use the full name, include the word ‘wine’ or shorten the name) as those are probably the conversations you are most interested in finding. Also worth thinking about whether your brand name is often spelt incorrectly and setting up a mention of that too. You’d be surprised how much you can pick up this way.
While none of these free tools offer a complete picture of the conversations around your brand they do give a useful overview, and provide a starting point to enter the conversation. And, really, that is all most brands need. The downside is that many of the free tools are on a specific social media platform so if you’re looking for a combined report across all sites or more analytics to show to a board or stakeholders on the change in sentiment of the brand, some of the paid services are where you’ll start seeing real benefits.
These are just a selection of the tools, and many more out there and new ones constantly being released. Check out sites like addictomatic.com, Backtype Alerts, Alltop for a few other tools we like. Remember, these tools are most useful if they are part of an integrated communications strategy and can take up a lot of time unless you think about what you are wanting to monitor and for what purpose. For many brands listening is just the first step on the social media journey.
If there’s other tools you use that others would find useful, love to hear about them in the comments section below.