It’s the simple, easily overlooked feature in Apple’s latest iOS 11 software update that has the hidden potential to turbocharge the ROI and ROO capabilities of every sponsorship campaign in this country.
I’m talking about iOS 11’s ability to now scan and understand QR (short for “quick response”) codes.
This little tech twist means the millions of Aussie’s with an Apple iPhone in their pocket and who have downloaded the new free software, can point their camera at a QR code and be taken off to a new digital environment.
Now, QR codes are not new, in fact, they have been around since 1994 but have been hamstrung by the lack of Aussies downloading a QR reading App. Or the clunky nature of having to open an existing App, like Facebook Messenger and then swiping left, then up and then left again to access the App’s QR reader.
Talk to any Apple aficionado and you’ll quickly find out the QR Scan update has been waiting patiently on the pine in the development stage for the last few iOS updates but has now been, finally, called off the bench.
Realising the huge potential of linking static or audio with mobile communication has seen brands grow tired and impatient with Apple’s apathy towards the QR readers priority in the queue.
One such brand was CUB, who recently partnered with popular audio recognition App Shazam to leverage their partnership of the AFL by offering 18+ fans at a match a $25 voucher off their next case of Carlton Draught.
All fans had to do was open their Shazam App on the phone and listen to a special CUB track played over the ‘G speakers, which linked straight to a beer game for participants to complete to instantly receive their voucher.
Key to this strategy was piggybacking off an established App with 120million active global users and significant penetration in the Australian market, rather than forcing footy fans to download another App – a behaviour that has been in steady decline in this country.
While audio reading App’s like Shazam have great adoption and usage in Australia, their downloads pale in comparison to the amount of iOS enabled handset currently in circulation – presently, around 44% of the Australian market are iOS run Apple handsets.
But what does this mean for brands looking to drive greater sponsorship ROI and ROO from their upcoming campaign?
Well, if you’re an experiential practitioner you can now confidently tag your physical activations with QR codes, and, providing your offer or content is good enough, drive fan engagement and affinity even when the activation doors are swung shut.
You can now also create measurable value from the omnipresent ‘One sponsor's ad in the program’ asset. Simply add a QR code that links, in exchange for CRM-feeding data, to exclusive content on players from the team you’re supporting and you turn the static ad into an engaging data generator, with one nifty tweak.
How about driving corporate engagement and satisfaction even before guests arrive by adding a QR code to your invites? That way everyone can snap and experience a personal welcome from your CEO in the lead-up to the event.
Or, if your sponsorship strategy revolves around data acquisition or direct sales you can, more easily than ever before, link consumers directly to e-commerce enabled platforms with one click of your iPhone camera - and we all know the skyward trajectory of mobile-based e-commerce!
As always, there will be a few digital evangelists who will dive head first into QR enabled campaigns, while the peloton waits in earnest to monitor whether consumer habits evolve to adopt QR codes en masse and drive fans to their most prized and profitable possession, their mobile phone.