Mobile marketing is a rapidly developing segment of the industry, so it is only natural that there are a number of trends and fads surrounding the sector. Some turn into legitimate marketing channels, says Econsultancy’s David Moth, such as texts or mobile apps, but others turn out to be significantly overestimated. Three of these are QR codes, augmented reality and NFC.
QR codes have been around for a while and there is research suggesting that they could become a successful marketing tool, Moth admits. However, their effectiveness does fall short of the expectations placed on this tactic from the start. People with smartphones need more incentive than simply seeing a QR code on a page, on packaging or on a billboard to engage with them.
Augmented reality was heralded as the next big thing in marketing, with the Mobile Marketing Association saying four years ago that it will drive not just ad spend but also transactions and in 2011 it will be the leading integrated mobile tech on the market. It is obvious that this has not turned out to be true and augmented reality is still used by a limited number of marketers – in fact a decreasing number – perhaps because there has not been any significant proof of its effectiveness.
The third fad that turned out to be overestimated is near field communication, or NFC. NFC was thought to completely change the way people pay for things, the way they buy and the way they experience advertising content. So far, however, it has not been made widely available to consumers. This could be because the technology is too complex at this point and needs some fine tuning before it becomes usable on a wider scale.