The more consumers can do with their mobile devices, the more they depend on their devices to do even more.
A seismic shift in our collective behavior in underway — because we instinctively reach to our devices to interface with the real world around us — that effectively endows mobile with an exciting new capability: the ability to bridge the digital and physical realms to influence and trigger activities in the real world conversions, interactions and other ‘calls-to-action’.
It’s this way of looking at mobile that I explore in Mobile: The Great Connector (Vol2), the e-book I have researched and written in collaboration with the Mobile Marketing Association EMEA. While the first volume (The Great Connector Vol 1 – register and download here) revealed the way mobile was connecting the screens that define our daily journey (PC, TV, smart watch – the list goes on), this new resource documents how mobile is bridging our digital and physical worlds.
Perhaps the best example is retail, where shoppers depend on their devices in-store to compare prices, perform product review look-ups, scan barcodes, find items at aisle level and even make payments.
But mobile is not just linking worlds.
Innovations such as the ‘Buy’ Buttons optimized for mobile and introduced by the Facebook, Twitter, and Google to “minimize friction to purchase at the mobile moment of interest” are called out by Mary Meeker, the creator of the technology industry’s annual Internet Trends report, as developments that potentially mark a sea change in how people interface and interact with content — and the companies and brands that produce it.
In view of this emerging mega-trend I dedicate a section in my e-book to tell the story of Quikkly, a European company pioneering what it calls “real world buttons for instant digital actions.”
Quikkly offer a cloud-based platform for driving digital engagement in the real world, an innovation solving the number one shortcoming of QR codes: their inability to do more than point consumers to websites and URLs for more information or promotion. In a world where campaigns must drive deeper levels of engagement with content or activate a wide range of brand interactions — for example, drive consumers to download an app, like a brand in Facebook or view a video about a specific product or service — QR codes are no longer enough.
To complicate matters, QR code campaigns also can’t keep step with the pace of change. As Fergal Walker, co-founder and CEO of Quikkly explains in my e-book: “QR is essentially a programmed URL and if you scan it in 5 years’ time or in 50 years’ time, it will still attempt to open that URL because the intelligence is essentially in the barcode image on the printed page.”
This is where Quikkly turns this model on its head.
Taking a cloud-based approach puts all the intelligence around a campaign in the cloud so that updating the call-to-action to suit a particular campaign or situation is just a matter of reconfiguring it via the self-service dashboard Quikkly provides.
Enter Competition, Vote, Get Voucher, Watch, Listen, Like, Follow, Connect, Comment, Buy — Quikkly triggers actions from printed media and marketing that are clear, simple and immediate, appealing to consumer requirements for convenience and brand demand for conversion.
Bauer Media Group — Europe’s leading multi-platform publisher with more than 600 titles, more than 400 ePapers, eMagazines, radio programs, apps and online portals reaching an audience of more than 24 million in Europe alone —has been the first to integrate Quikkly tags. Since November 2015 U.K. editions of its Heat magazine, a title aimed at women, use the tags to encourage social engagement with people and celebrities, enable ‘click-to-buy’ commerce and interaction with other media and entertainment including music and video.
Quikkly Chief Commercial Officer Ken Johnstone tells me engagement levels are “significantly higher” than that of QR or AR (Augmented Reality). It’s what motivated Heat to strip the AR component out of its mobile app and replace it with Quikkly. “This integration underlines the power of these tags to inspire and influence consumers, and highlights an ideal opportunity for the magazine — and its partners — to build strong, direct relationships with consumers around content and interactions that benefit the entire ecosystem.”
Approaches like Quikkly are giving new life to ‘old media’. At one level, it’s about super-charging print media campaigns: But shift to a ‘Big Picture’ view and it’s the way all customer-facing inventory and collateral — from product packaging to ‘how-to guide’— will need to be made, managed and kept up-to-date.
Editor’s note: In the countdown to the launch of Mobile: The Great Connector Vol 2 I would like to thank all the companies and experts who provided interviews and insights:
• Yaron Assabi, Founder, Digital Solutions @yaronassabi @DSGLimited
• Turkey’s mobile operator Turkcell @Turkcell
• Mobile guru Tomi Ahonen @tomiahonen
• Fergal Walker, co-founder and CEO of Quikkly @fergalwalker @Quikklytags
• Winner of the Smartie Awards TURKEY’S ALGIDA @AlgidaTurkiye
• Sound recognition technology and mobile app @Shazam
• Rob Define, Vice President of Mobile & Product at ebookers @robdefine
• Daniel Craig, Sr. Director, Mobile & Social for the Hotels.com brand @danhcom
• Mada Saghete, Branch Metrics @mada299 @branchmetrics
• Kajol Devgan — a Mumbai-born actress @KajolAtUN
• The MMA SMoX research program @MMAglobal #SMOX
• Monica Ho, Head of Marketing at xAd @HoInDaHizzy @xAdInc
• Location Score Index from Thinknear @Thinknear
• Theo Theodorou, General Manager of xAd EMEA @theotheodorou
• Indoor mapping indoor location tracking solutions provider aisle411 @aisle411
• Mobile payment leader PAYM @Paymnow
• Biggest independent (and amazing) U.K. agency the7stars @the7stars
• Weve, a leading provider of mobile marketing @weveuk
• Smarties Award winner HARRIS + HOOLE @HarrisAndHoole
• Smarties Award Winner Hungry Lion South Africa @HungryLionSA
• Mickey McManus, President, CEO, and principal of MAYA Design @mickeymcmanus @MAYA_Design
• Google’s Project Tango @project_tango
• Smarties Award winner Magnum @MagnumUK
• Jonathan Cohen, Chairman, CEO and Founder of the Agency of Trillions (AoT), a MAYA Company @JonathanPCohen @TrillionsAgency
• Jessica Groopman, an industry analyst covering IoT @JessGroopman @harborresearch
• Global healthcare company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Khurram Hamid @SK786 @GSK
• Mobile advertising and engagement authority David Skerrett @skegz and managing partner with Nimbletank
• Tom Laband, CEO of adsquare @adsquarecom @TomLaband
• Smarties Award winner Heineken @Heineken @WhereNext
And special thanks to Pratick Thakrar and Inspired, a leading omni-channel marketing platform @inspired_mobile, and Chris Babayode, Managing Director of MMA EMEA @MMA_EMEA