Challenges still exist for companies that want to leverage mobile for marketing efforts that connect with the majority of their users. How do you create a frictionless experience for a user who wants to enter a contest, get more information or simply wants to interact with a company or event.
Smartphone adoption in the U.S. is nearly at 50% (49.7%) according to a recent report from Nielsen, but those users will still have to download an app to scan even a basic QR code. NFC is coming, but it’ll still be a few years before enough mobile users have mobile devices capable of communicating with the high frequency RFID chips.
Arby’s is using Pongr Photo Marketing as a solution, an image recognition technology that I was looking into 3 years ago for a project of my own. Pongr uses image recognition to trigger an event which usually involves returning an SMS message containing a URL. But that trigger can also be tied to back-end systems that include contest engines. The technology also powers Pongr.com, a social platform where users post brand images in order to earn status and points that can be redeemed for rewards.
In the Arby’s ‘Snap and Rock‘ contest, customers enter for a chance at a grand prize of an Ultimate VIP Concert Experience with Taio Cruz, The All-American Rejects or Trace Adkins. To enter a customer uses their mobile phone camera to capture a photo of one of the three musicians on a Arby’s drink cup, then email the photo as an attachment to an MMS or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Within a few seconds the customer receives a text message with a link directing them to a mobile site where they can enter their name and email for the Grand Prize.
Marketing campaigns that use mobile must be simple and straightforward with a minimum of easily understood steps. They must be accessible to as many customers as possible, limiting a campaign to smartphone users who must download an app limits it’s audience before it even begins.