The mobile food industry has quickly become an industry that spends most of its advertising and marketing time as mobile marketers. QR codes may be one of the hottest topics in the mobile marketing world today. They are becoming more popular with marketing firms, and in turn, the consumer base is catching on. If you’re still wondering what those funny black-and-white squares are, and what they’re for, here is a quick introduction.
QR codes are an increasingly popular way of converting data like website addresses into an image that can be easily scanned. Thus, it’s possible to publish a website address in print, and readers can go to that address without having to type in the address.
Technically, QR codes are a specific type of 2D barcode that are similar to the UPC codes on your groceries or merchandise and the ISBN number codes you find on books.
Almost every smartphone today has a built in camera, and there are many QR code reader apps for all of the major platforms. You can generate your own QR codes at Google, bit.ly, Jumpscan, as well as many other sites. Users can have the camera on their phones scan a QR code from a print ad, a business card, or a computer screen. Once scanned, the scanner software on the phone will read the data and ask the user what to do — most likely, open the website address embedded in the code.
How can you use QR codes?
The variety of uses for QR codes are endless, they provide a seamless link between online and offline marketing which is a topic we have written a series of articles on this week.
According to a survey from MGH, mobile consumers are responding to the influx of popularity with QR codes, “32% of smartphone users say they have used a QR code and 70% say they would be interested to do so, either for the first time or again.” Currently marketers in other industries are using QR Codes to offer promotional discounts (53%) and enter sweepstakes (33%).
Directing QR codes to Facebook Fan Page with an offline call to action, such as “Like us!” greatly increases social community followings and engagement. Directing users to a website could be a “one and done” solution. The hardest part is getting a user to scan the code. If that code directs to a website, maybe they will remember your brand later, and maybe they won’t. However why would you risk it? If they “Like” your companies Facebook page, they will be constantly updated on everything you so desire.
Are you thinking of unique ways to drive engagement that make sense for your food truck or cart? Here are a few ideas:
Facebook Place check ins
Customized landing pages
Facebook “Like” page
It is widely acknowledged that QR codes work to drive engagement, however as more marketers adopt this technology, it could flood the market. If this happens it would make the QR code less unique and exciting, so it is very important to set up an integrated QR campaign for your mobile food business as soon as possible. For those of you looking to use QR technology to increase brand retention, place your codes in an interesting location and direct them to a social page, you will reap the benefits later.
Getting someone to purchase a meal from a direct code may be a tall task. Whether it is the failure to adopt mobile commerce technology, or just simply the market isn’t there yet; increasing brand loyalty may be a better goal for your mobile marketing campaign. Think about placing codes around your service window, linking them to your social media page to continually be updated on news from your mobile eatery. Keeping a customer should always be a primary focus for any business, and generating new customers secondary.
Do you use QR codes already? What is the most intriguing use you’ve seen for these codes? Let us know!
TORONTO, CANADA - Microsoft Advertising has hopped onto the food truck bandwagon by launching its latest B2B campaign with free breakfasts and lunches for media and advertising agencies around Toronto.
With the tagline “Stories on Wheels,” the repositioning is letting agencies know how Microsoft Advertising allows companies to share their brand messaging, Andrew Assad, content and propositions marketing manager (a.k.a. chief story teller), tells MiC.
The food truck, which is making stops around Toronto for the rest of the week, is also pitting agencies against each other with a Digital IQ contest. Video will also be shot at various stops and shown in Microsoft Advertising’s rich media online ad units which are launching in October.
As the country climbs out of its long recession, more and more entrepreneurs are opening the doors for their new businesses. Always looking to maximize their profiles and profits, businesses use advertising through print and other forms of media as their avenue to inform prospective customers that they are opening.
Advertising in the local newspapers, or on a local television station can run hundreds if not thousands of dollars per campaign depending on the size of their market. In an attempt to match the spread of the internet, some companies have even started conducting Google ADWords or Facebook Ad campaigns to try and reach as many people as possible. Unfortunately, these companies are finding that just as the old forms of advertising can hit a fledgling businesses bottom line, so can these new forms of advertising on the Internet and in some cases with a smaller ROI.
With advanced social media techniques on the rise in addition to the ever growing mobile food industry, there may be a new form of advertising that is starting to avail itself to new business owners, and the only cost involved is that of their time. Whether you own a new clothing shop, art gallery or even a new auto dealer, there is no reason for you to pass up this up type of opportunity. The key to this new advertising strategy is having enough room for the trucks to park and open without interfering with your customer’s ability to find parking. As long as you own enough parking or have enough legal street parking near your new place of business, creating a food truck event as means to advertise your business may soon be the most cost effective way to advertise the opening of a business.
Mobile Food Trucks are opening up in almost every major metropolitan area in the country, and with this trend come hundreds to upwards of tens of thousands of loyal social media (Twitter) followers in your area. To inform their followers where they will be parked throughout the day, these mobile food businesses spend much of their time tweeting and posting their where-abouts across the internet. Why not let these tweets or posts include your businesses parking lot? If given enough time, a group of food trucks can virally spread the word to their followers who will intern assist in getting the word out about the event. In the matter of a week or two, your opening event could be seen by nearly all of the people in your area who have a Twitter or Facebook account without you spending a cent.
Finding these trucks can be as simple as conducting a search engine search in your area for local food trucks and then contacting them via their websites or Twitter about your proposal. As most of these trucks serve only during lunch and dinner, you can have them assemble in your lot to entice their followers to visit your new shop at these times.
In addition to their mere presence in your lot, another way to bring a larger crowd into your store would be to hand out coupons (deals determined by you and the truck owners) so that if something is purchased from you, the customer would receive a discount from the items they purchase from the trucks. Reversing this route would be for each of the trucks on your lot to hand out coupons for a savings on a purchase from your business. Either way, it is a win-win for everyone. The trucks will invite new customers, the customers will be introduced to your new business as well as have the chance to sample one or more of the food trucks at your event, and most of all, you will have a whole group of people walking through your place of business who may not have noticed your store until a much later date.
Although the primary focus of this article is centered around new businesses, even existing businesses could uses this new form of advertising to help inform existing and prospective customers about a new clothing line, or even a branding change.
Mobile Cuisine Magazine is the complete online resource destination for the mobile food industry. We hope this article will help those of you who are looking to expand your businesses new or old. We feel that in conjunction with these mobile gourmet restaurants, you will be able to create a new model of advertising that not only expands your reach inexpensively, but also assists the growth of the food truck industry.
If you have any suggestions for us to add to this article, please feel free to submit them to firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave your comments here.
Following its famous cousin Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving that American retailers count as the largest in-store shopping day of the year), Cyber Monday marks the day that most Americans spend the most time (and money) online shopping during the Christmas season. Retail analysts are projecting a 1 billion dollar online shopping season this year, and Sprint is attempting to use the increased popularity of the food truck industry to help their online sales today.
Sprint has recruited four food trucks from the Southern California area to help them promote their 4G cellular network. The offer extends from 11 am until the food from these trucks lasts or 2 pm (whichever comes first).
The trucks involved in this promotion and their locations:
Although you may wonder how food trucks and the Sprint 4G network are being tied together, wonder no longer, just look at your Twitter feed on your phone. Food Trucks and Twitter have become synonymous when mobile gourmands attempt to track down these mobile eateries for their next meal.
The trucks that are part of this promotion have been equipped with the faster 4G connection to get their location out to their followers. According to Sprint, the 4G equipment turns the food trucks into “fast mobile hotspots,” from which you can experience 4G goodness on your own mobile device.
If you have 3G you may wonder what Sprint 4G offers, Sprint claims the following:
4G is 8-10x faster than 3G
Sprint is the first true national carrier of 4G
Sprint 4G is currently in more than 62 markets nationwide and expanding to more in the coming weeks
So whether you plan to upgrade your phone or not, at least you are able to get some free food while making the decision.