Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cool and clever stuff only works if also clear and easy. So what about Blippar?

It doesn't seem that long ago that QR codes were all the rage. In fact it was less than 3 months ago I write about QR codes being cool, but pointless unless used properly.

That still rings true, and I suspect the same for newer kids on the block, including Blippar. For those not aware of this new technology, read this insightful piece entitled Can Blippar make QR codes redundant?

Blippar which is just about to launch, is an augmented reality mobile app which sets about making it easier for mobile users to interact with offline advertising. It uses image recognition to launch interactive content on the user's phone, which is easily triggered by a logo or image on an ad.

I go back to the point of my earlier post. Very cool, if used properly.

People talk about low take up rates of QR code apps and the like. That doesn't bother me so much. Enough people have used them/are using them to make use of them.

But from a charitable perspective, while this stuff excites me, I'm skeptical. Not because I can't see ways to use them, but the take-up on this kind of stuff (I.e. QR codes) has been minimal, if even noticeable. So what's to say we'll release the risk shackles and dive head first into something like Blippar?

I hope we do, the possibilities are endless. Imagine you're an environmental org and want to highlight to print readers the destruction of forests. An image of some trees doesn't really cut it, but a quick snap of the ad and a 30 second "walk" through said forest just might do. The clip finishes with you posting a video message or attaching your name to a petition that's being blasted directly to the Environment Minister.

This would work because it's powerful, good content that uses a 'less' engaging media to bring home an important message. Backed up with a direct action request.

It wouldn't work if it was simply clever and cool.

And that's the point with any new piece of technology out there. Don't be dazzled simply by the bright lights. Think about real, easy ways to bring your content to life, aimed at the right people, armed with an end goal in mind and delivered to enhance other media simultaneously.



Ted Grigg said...

It seems like we are in an age of quick sensations that do not relate to any strategic focus that I can see.

The marketing community seems to focus enormous energies on what is new rather than what works.

For a while, there was email, the total replacement to the escalating costs of direct mail. Of course, for years this went largely unchallenged and unproven.

In fact email is a legitimate new medium that compliments direct mail and other traditional media. It rarely stands alone and works best with customers who already know the sender.

Then we had a relentless march to test PURLS. Why? Mainly because it was novel. And it makes sense for some strategies, but not for everything.

Then comes the QR code. It is really nothing more than a link in graphic form.

Marketers need to step back from the foray, listen to donors and customers and continually review why they respond to certain things and not others. Then apply those media and channels with offers that customers want and respond to.

Test the big things and don't get bogged down in all of the noise out there.

Jonathon Grapsas said...

Hi Ted

I loved your last comment most of all, "test the big things". How true.

Some great points, and you're right, we do get caught up in the excitement of new stuff. I'm up for testing new things IF they're really thought through and used properly. But not just for the sake of it.

Mind you, there are some groups of donors (younger donors, recruited through face to face, on the street) that want to hear from us through their smart phones, or not at all. Hence where stuff like this becomes interesting/test worthy...


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