Mobile Applications

BBC and the digital Olympics

The Olympic Games in London are officially over, therefore we can expect all the internet memes about the Olympics and about the athletes like Bolt or McKayla to wrap up pretty soon… ¬†ūüôā

But amongst all the different reviews and comments about the Olympic Games in London that you can find everywhere these days, one research about the viewership and broadcasting of the Olympics really grabbed my attention…

In a recent blog post on their Internet blog, BBC discusses their approach towards the distribution of the Games. From devoting around 24 TV channels, launching mobile apps all the way to live web streams, BBC obviously did a very good job (not like NBC). ūüôā

In the same time they broadcasted live events and games on 24 different channels – making sure all the official Olympic sports played at the given moment receive their fair share of broadcast. BBC made sure that the Olympics are also streamed online on their website, with data usage going over 2.8 petabytes (in more familiar terms, that’s about 2,936,000 gigabytes!) on their busiest day within a span of 24 hours.

Further, BBC discusses the findings about the mobile viewers – almost 12 million people followed the Olympics on their mobile platforms – 9.2 million on smartphones and 2.3 million on tablet devices.

Sharing the mobile insights, BBC discovers that the peaks for mobile use are morning and evening periods, making an assumption that people used the mobile apps when they were on the move or in their beds (which makes  sense).

Computer peaking during working hours; tablet peaking at bedtime.

Some other peaks in different device usage that BBC outlined are:

  • PC usage maxes out during the week at lunchtime and during mid-afternoon peak Team GB moments
  • Mobile takes over around 6pm as people leave the office but still want to keep up to date with the latest action
  • Tablet usage reaches a peak at around 9pm: people using them as a second screen experience as they watch the Games on their TVs, and also as they continue to watch in bed
  • Consumption of video content on mobile has been perhaps the key takeaway from the two weeks: we saw¬†12 million requests for video on mobile across the whole of the Games.

Unique browsers peak at the weekend

To seal the deal and to confirm the great job they did, BBC announced that all of their Olympics video content will be accessible online on the BBC Sports website (that also made a record number of visitors) until January, 2013.

As one commenter on the BBC’s blog post says: “…it was a true taste of a multiplatform future.”


There are very few things that connect the real world with the digital world and QR Codes are one of them. There are several QR Codes scanners available for your mobile phones and handheld devices that will help you to generate a certain call-to-action. Previously, you had to wait for print media to generate traffic for your site. However, with QR codes, this can stimulate quick responses from your potential customers. Again, the use of QR codes are not limited to print media as it has several other uses.

What are QR Codes and What Can you do with it?

QR Codes, or Quick Response Codes are 2D barcodes. The traditional barcodes you see with zebra stripes are really 1D barcodes. The name Quick Response itself tells you that they are used for generating quick responses for various devices, including mobile devices and smartphones. The pixilated square barcode is capable of generating various functions, that are defined by the mobile devices. Some of the things you can do are:

  • Send an event invitation with the ability to save ICS event file in your mobile phone
  • Send contact information to save them on your mobile phone
  • Use mailto: tags to send email immediately
  • Send information about a specific location or any maps app your phone uses
  • Allow people to call a number in a snap, instead of having them to type in your long digit numbers
  • Automatically generate an SMS message/template to be sent to another mobile device
  • Show specific text, hidden text, or coupon codes in your mobile
  • Get instant connection to an WIFI network
  • And last but not least, push the scanner to a specific URL

Please click to learn more. See here for a list of various QR Code Scanner Apps for smartphones. Most are free.

Getting Ready for QR Code Marketing

Google has been providing it”s chart API for QR Codes for free and it has been the best source for marketing for many businesses using the QR Codes. There are some free online tools to generate QR codes, which actually uses the QR Code Chart by Google Chart API. You can find them by googling “QR code generator”. ¬†To make the QR Code marketing to work for you, your business, and your site, you need to get some things working properly to get the most out of it.

  • Make sure you have valid contact¬†mechanisms
  • Make sure your QR code is not too complex and contains too¬†much¬†information. ¬†If your code is complex it will generate comparatively smaller pixels and many QR scanners on lower quality smartphone may not be able to read it properly
  • If you are using coupon codes, make sure they are properly working
  • If you are pushing the QR¬†scanner¬†to a specific URL, make sure the URL is properly working
  • Prepare a proper URL from Google URL Builder to make scanning activity trackable in Google Analytics. This usually adds an extra tracking parameter at the end of your URL immediately followed by question mark (“?”). So, your URL can contain parameters like: campaign source, campaign medium, campaign term, campaign content, campaign name or any other custom parameter
  • If you are using the Google URL builder, also make sure you have canonical meta in place for the site. This will help your site to fight duplicate content problems
  • You can also get an easy to memorize short URL from bitly or other traffic tracking URL shortening tools
  • You can automate the use of QR codes using Google Chat API and embed the code on your webpage using permalinks or the URL structure¬†on your site or blog. Here is an article on how you can do it
  • Test your QR code to see whether it is working properly ¬†using various QR Code readers and on various devices and also make sure it¬†can be tracked in your web analytics tool.

Print Media to Business QR Code Strategy

Most of the QR Code marketing experts will suggest you tips, strategies, and idea on using QR Codes for your printed marketing materials. Because, the best utility of QR codes is it’s ability to connect print and digital media through your smartphone. QR codes are a great way to generate traffic for your site through yellow pages, billboard, business cards, and print ads.

QR Code Strategy from Yellow Pages to Shop

Here are some examples of print media where you can use QR codes:

  • Business Cards: Download business card or point to the URL on your site where business card can be downloaded or a featured video or promo can be played in mobile.
  • Billboard: You can direct people to a site or shop via QR Code on a billboard. Here is a good article: How to Turn Your Billboard into an Interactive Marketing Campaign and Measure ROI
  • Newspaper/Magazine Ads: If your are ¬†advertising in a newspaper or magazine, wouldn’t it be nice if you can show your newspaper audience a video advert in your mobile website? You can do this with QR Codes.
  • Newspaper/Magazine Articles: Making your voice heard and allowing comments in print media is a hard task. However, at the end of each article in newspaper and magazine, you can print the QR code to make them go to the URL of the article and¬†help¬†them to make comments on the online article and make them more engaging.
  • T-Shirts and Promotional¬†Souvenirs: If you give away promotional souvenirs, then it’d be nice to have QR codes on them with call to action messages.
  • Various other print media: The use of QR Codes in print media are boundless. Use your creativity in making your print media audience visit your site.

Cross Device Audience Transfer Strategy with QR Code

Aside from print, QR Codes work with digital screens, be it small or as large as a billboard. ¬†You can help your visitors to transfer content to their mobile phones or other handheld devices from any other devices. You can help them land on the same URL through the page they see on Desktop/Laptop screen.¬†If you have a recipe site, it’ll be very convenient for your visitors to transfer your visitors to the same page in mobile, because it’s very convenient to move around with your mobile¬†instead¬†of laptop.

Cross Device Content Transfer with QR Codes

You can also help your audience to read your content in multiple devices by posting a QR code at the top, bottom, or sidebar of any article online. You can also encourage them to engage any content with other mobile applications.  You can also send the audience of Interactive TV Ads to your site. If American Idol would use QR codes to send SMS template with QR codes on TV screen, then voting would be a snap.

In the future, devices will be more mobile. And more services in clouds. You will have more portability and mobility of everything. QR codes can also play a great role in making you jump from one device to another. When your smartphone browsers become more advanced with JavaScript, then there are endless possibilities of what QR codes can do.

QR Code Bookmarking Strategy

The web is getting stuffed with so much information these days. People are overwhelmed¬†with more information than they can consume. ¬†So, they have even less time for many things. For those quick surfers, you need a mechanism to make them stay with your site, even if they don’t have much time. Bookmarking strategy with QR codes is a great way, and will ensure future traffic for your site. You can have the QR codes printed in your site, shop, promotional media, and business location with proper messages encouraging the QR scanners to bookmark your site.

QR Code Bookmarking Strategy

Here are some messages that can help you understand this strategy:

  • Bookmark this product to shop later (QR code in¬†products label)
  • Bookmark this shelf in our shop to shop later (QR code in product shelf)
  • Read more information about this product¬†(QR code in¬†products label)
  • Bookmark the commercial or feature of this product¬†(QR code in¬†products label pointing to video URL)
  • See other product, if an item is out of stock (QR code in product shelf)
  • See the available sizes & other features¬†(QR code in¬†products label)
  • Save Contact for this products ¬†(Onsite QR code in product for sale. e.g. your in car dealer place)

These messages should represented with respective QR codes to generate proper call to action. Instead of allowing your visitor memorize a long URL, you can help them to bookmark even deeper and specific link on your site.

Place or Large Physical Product to Site or Contact Strategy

QR codes can be on any place or large physical products (e.g. cars) that are for sale or at any point of sale location. Usually to guide people to some information on the place or products – QR codes are interactive and can help people to make contact or visit a website from a specific location.

House for Sale Appointment Booking QR Code Strategy

Property to Site with QR Codes

Like all other display products, property is a great place where you can advertise your site. It is very convenient for people coming in taking a snap on a QR code that makes them visit your site. Moreover, if you have a real estate bidding site, it’s better to have people visit the property listing. And this also can be a good idea for traditional marketing for your property auction site.

Tourist Place to Travel Site with QR Codes

If you have information rich travel site, you can engage people in travel destination to get travel information, maps, DYI guide, and various other information on your site. As you spread to more destinations, the greater traffic you’ll have for your travel site.

Shop to Site with QR Codes

If your shopping site is more interactive than your physical store, then it is convenient for your shop visitors to get more info and interact with your products online. Or maybe if you don’t have any product in inventory, they also can see the products you sell and can get availability alert.

Convert Window Shopping to Online Shopping

Window shopping one of the great advertisement media and has been around for a very long time. Add a touch of interactiveness to the window¬†shopping¬†of your potential customers with QR codes. You can help them to buy online even if they don’t have time to shop at your store.

Use your creativity to find various ways you can advertise your site on any place or large physical products. Usually, try to seek what type of utility would help a person to purchase a product from a specific location and how can the information and interaction with your site can help you potential customer.

Facebook Page Promotion with QR Codes

Facebook Marketing is great way to connect your audience, create brand value, and engage with your customers. Now-a-days, there are many strategies to increase your fan-base and QR codes can be one of them. People that visit your shop, window shops, and/or engaged with your business location Рare more likely to be your fans. By directing the audience with QR Codes placed in various locations or one prominent location, you can increase the fans for your Facebook Page. With QR codes, direct them to this location:

If you ‚̧¬†us

Then also like us in Facebook

Like Blueliner Marketing in Facebook

Or you can create a multi-functional mobile sites where people can also become page fans, follow you on Twitter, and interact with other social web apps. You can also offer some special discount, coupon codes or freebies which visitors can get access to by paying with a tweet for your business or a like on your Facebook page.

Word of Mouth Sale Strategy with QR Codes

“Hey! Where did you buy it from?” is perhaps the commonly asked question by everyone when they find a cool product. And the oral answer to this question might point to a¬†domain¬†name, but the answer very rarely points to any specific page on the site where the product can be purchased. ¬†QR codes can very effectively help in this for Word of Mouth marketing strategy to point to more specific deeper links and/or encourage effective engagement.

QR Code in Product Labels and Tags

Credit Note: Photo Credit is available on QR Code

QR Codes on Product Labels, Tags, Packages

In word of mouth marketing, information spreads from mouth to mouth. But, you can make it more interactive with QR Codes in product labels, tags or Packages. This will help your potential buyer to get more information about the product or make a purchase online from your mobile site or from desktop.

Buyer to Shop with QR Code

Referral QR Codes on product labels can also point to the location of your store or contact information to encourage word of mouth marketing. For referred customers, you can use QR codes on product label and redirect to them to a page where they can get coupon codes, get direction to come to the store, and/or purchase online.

The QR code marketing tips, strategies, and ideas mentioned in this article is just a tip of the iceberg on what you can do with QR Codes to increase visitors and sales through your site or business location. You can be more creative on gathering more QR code marketing tips, ideas, and strategies based on these strategies or other innovative strategies.

Have fun with these QR code marketing tips & strategies and happy marketing.

The Bay Area is the tech hub of our nation, as we know.  The titans like Facebook get involved with the presidential administration. Startup companies like Loopt reside in the background, innovating for the present and future.  They had a strong outreach at the SXSW Interactive Festival in March, and the emergence continues with the Q application.

Loopt is a geolocal mobile application which pulls your friend list from Facebook and posts their whereabouts in real-time. Founder Sam Altman envisioned the mobile application as a hybrid of Yelp and Foursquare’s mission statements. ¬† This article from ReadWriteWeb has a clear example of the applications’ benefits. ¬†You are in an unfamiliar neighborhood and looking for Mediterranean food. ¬†You can type in a simple query about their price range, cuisine region, and get feedback updated in real-time. ¬†You also get the location with contact data. ¬†Loopt Q’s most intriquing feature is the answer interface. ¬†Your results come in a simple graph form that is an aggregated index in constant regeneration.

I find the potential intriguing in that it seems to cut through the clutter of information that many mobile applications provide on a static level. Foursquare has an option to leave tips about destinations, but I don’t feel that feature is very popular. Users tend to simply check in, make a benign statement, and enjoy their experience. Loopt differentiates by engaging the opinion of a user which instantly provides value to others. ¬†

Sharon Howell, the manager of corporate communications for Loopt, has this update for all users, “One note on the information above. Qs will live within the existing Loopt app ‚ÄĒ so no need to search for a new application. If you download the latest Loopt today, you‚Äôll get a notification when the new release (complete with our new Qs feature) comes out.”
Here’s a video discussing the virtues.



A few weeks back in San Diego, health care executives gathered to talk about the potential for technology to impact lifestyle.  Technology is making a strong impact on wellness as the younger demographic loses access to health care.  The new package passed by Obama remains a mystery, so the individual must take greater initiative.    

Doctors have responded by versing themselves in new applications. They are also stepping up engagement through social media and CRM enterprises.  A personal visit from a sales campaign still pays the biggest dividends, at the tune of 61%, according to research group Knowledge Networks.  Compounded with the emergence of tablet devices, physicians have access to discover the newest developments in medicine at an unheard of pace.

The brisk pace of digital information also is important to consider for a couple of reasons.  Developers must be sure that their campaign promotions are entertaining before anything else. New people to wellness transformations are skeptics at first, lacking the proper confidence to follow through with the steps.  A memorable program with a backbone of interactivity and humor will go a long way towards fulfillment.

The Instagram application has become a hit for the mobile sharing set who are not near their Flickr stream.  Instagram is a mobile application which allows the user to snap pictures and filter them to their various social media networks.  The product differentiation comes from the dashboard.  Not unlike Adobe Photoshop, users can play with the color scheme of their still images. A completely different perspective surfaces, where debate and discussion reign supreme. Hipstamatic is another mobile photo application with similar sharing capabilities and tools to alter images.    

According to this piece from Viralbeat, Levi’s Brazil is tapping into the growing community ¬†of mobile photogs to share the message of their latest campaign. ¬†Many benefits occur with this strategy. ¬†One, you are engaging a new audience at a cost effective level. ¬†Then research and development is done through general feedback and latent market testing. ¬†Sales are not an important factor in the beginning stages. ¬†A few users think that Instagram could improve their base by developing an online website for easy transferral of images. ¬†Security encryption has also been an issue. ¬†These last two statements should be on the mind of any e-commerce retailer. Mobile users want simple navigations, precise click buttons, and tools to reinvent their content. ¬†If you are still not clear, then take a photo, click, and fill in the blanks.

The article also delves into an important statement about digital strategy.  New technologies reach a tipping point where users typically move on to the next application.  Innovation does not occur to sustain the curiousity. This is an important point for any brand strategists to roll out new creative tools.  If the action is successful, you have secured a customer foundation and can move forward with development, innovation, promotion, and research all in one.  In the case of Instagram and Hipstamatic, you can click, locate, tag, and share.

Today is one we hold dear in America, and that is Election Day. ¬†We have seen the significance of social media in generating a solid turnout during the 2008 campaign, and time has only intensified the political discourse online. ¬†Nowadays, Tea Parties have become the latest movement to emerge from interactive marketing, and they are a factor in the seats available for The House of Representatives, State Governance, and The U.S. Senate. In New York, Civil Court Judges are also on the ballot, along with the following: ¬†Comptroller, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and the State Assembly. ¬†The buzz has been building for along while with voters remaining disenchanted about the country’s direction. ¬†Foursquare plans to check in the polls.

Foursquare created a mobile application segmented for today’s poll results. ¬†Once you check into an authorized polling site, the details you receive are staggering. ¬†Techland spotlights the features, and they range from seeing the number of voters in real-time to posters updating the status of machines. ¬†Last but not least, you can find the closest polling site in your district. ¬†As the article mentions, the true value of Foursquare can shine with the voting exercise because people naturally share their leisure experiences through the application. ¬†Demographics also could be more accurately measured, which could help state and local governments with tight budgets. ¬†They can use a more efficient campaign strategy to get relevant information to key districts about candidates. The potential for engaging others with similar tastes about their civic duty is tantalizing. ¬†As politics blend into the online discourse of our social order, mobile engages.

Net neutrality may not become the only subject to infiltrate and suppress the frenetic, open world of internet cyberspace. According to this report from The New York Times, sweeping regulations plan to be pushed through Congress by national security officials allowing surveillance officials to wiretap digital devices or any direct peer messaging services e.g. social media sites, Skype.  The bill has been crafted by the Obama administration and will probably not reach the legislature until early next year, and its chances are truly unknown with the upcoming House and Senate elections in November.

Not unlike the Patriot Act after 9/11, one wonders if this could be another overreach by federal bureaucrats to mindlessly survey the private denizen when the strategy could be used for a grander purpose, such as lessening identity theft cases and measuring the true threat of click fraud measures.  The federal and global governments have taken a long time to craft financial regulations. Banks that misappropriated funds in the open marketplace felt the punch, but the feds really have not taken a stance on the rising security breaches within these systems that are pushing consumers to use online banking management systems.  At the moment, it appears that bureaucrats want to parallel the strategy of traditional telephones, but the hardwire is completely different.

Federal bureaucrats must also be careful of forcing through regulations that will stifle the opportunity for venture capitalists to innovate greater interactive technologies that can manifest our communicative potential. ¬†Currently, we are in an age where mobile devices are changing the pace in which we receive information. Chips soon will process the transmission of those details with fewer codes in warp speed. ¬†Whether that pace is healthy remains up for debate, but the federal system should aim to protect the marketplace’s right to experiment while surveying the hackers. A tough balance, but not impossible.

According to a report on Mashable, Visa has entered a partnership with the MTA to allow the smartphone carriers of New York to pay fares with the wave of their iPhone, dubbed the payWave system. Visa is also working with Bank of America to bring smartphone payments to retaliers in the the City. Both initiatives would use a touch-sensor at registers or stalls to facilitate quicker transactions.

On the surface, it is not surprising that with the advent of QR codes, retailers are looking to delve deeper into mobile applications to further gage personal data profile. ¬†I have yet to be convinced, however, that paywave systems are the technology of present time. ¬†The MTA entered a partnership with Citibank a few years ago, allowing consumers to wave their card along the 6 train for gate access, but has not really deployed the system across the grid. ¬†Advertising on the project has been scarce as well, leading one to believe that the MTA is still too byzantine to market new services at an efficient level. ¬†I don’t even need to get into their hackneyed fare raise initiatives to justify my point.

I think for those who have trouble remembering their core pocketbook items, the system can be a boon as a backup service.  For all the demands being placed on our smartphone, however, I would recommend a second battery that is charged.   At the moment, Lexington Avenue will experiment with the payWave technology, with future projects scheduled in L.A., while other global destinations such as Singapore, Malaysia, Paris, and Istanbul have jumped on.  To see the payWave system in action, jump on the 1 train below.

Mobile technology currently is in transition. Large firms seek to establish control over broadband waves, while others want to limit application sharing. Blueliner looks to set its own initiative with this campaign that synthesizes the 7 Pillars of Marketing with a vision of a future where digital content is shared through a multichannel network of platforms. The slideshow also asks pertinent questions about mobile technology as an information device, while spotlighting studies that demonstrate its nascent growth for advertisers and marketers. Enjoy.

The launch of Facebook Places application brings a cornucopia of themes to the table. Foursquare has seemingly taken an earnest stance with Facebook’s geolocation initiative, as seen in this video with Holger Leudorf, the Foursquare Vice President of Mobile and Partnerships.

Competition is healthy within any marketplace, as the crux of free market capitalism.¬† Privately, I wonder about the start-ups’ true thoughts.¬† Foursquare has done a solid job of leveraging partnerships with Starbucks, for example, into a multi-pronged channel that delivers advertising and brand equity amongst a loyal base. They have also been a hit with local restaurants and retailers by providing an analytic dashboard to track customer data and grant mayor medallions for repeated visits.

Nevertheless, I think that reality will surface to the top.  Facebook has become the behemoth of social networking, and they want more. Their partnership with Bing to gain market share in search indexing, along with its leveraging of user profile data to tailor campaign strategies, can offer credibility to geolocation that eludes Foursquare at this moment in time.  In fact, it could pose a threat to Craigslist by carving out target demographics.

Places will allow novice users to manage their accounts through one interface, and Facebook wants to be the final destination for your interactive experience.¬† In today’s deluge of information, an option of efficient streamlining is gladly taken.¬† The odds are that Foursquare can survive for a little while longer with hardcore loyalists,¬† but reports are surfacing that some Foursquare users are already migrating to Facebook Places.

Places can take Facebook deeper into a dimension of privacy debate.¬† Users have deactivated accounts this year after heavy criticism of protocol negligence.¬† It can be difficult to remember the level of information placed on your user profile, and the inclusion of geo-location magnifies the potential for risk amongst those sharing their points on Earth.¬† The downfall of MySpace was more than just a hackneyed design scheme.¬† Cases of pedophilia and other malicious acts popped up in several states, damaging the website’s integrity amongst the public.¬†

Everything intensifies when information is shared through mobile devices, which already have automated GPS systems through carrier networks.¬† Surely, one must exhibit prudence when combining too much information through various user interfaces.¬† I doubt that Carmen Sandiego would love geolocation.¬† She couldn’t steal treasures and teach geography to children if they already knew her whereabouts.¬† Serendipity is fun sometimes.¬† Geolocation kills it for me.¬† Sorry, Facebook.