2010 Year in Review – Mobile Grows Up, QR Code Invasion, PURLs Gone Wild and more!

Okay, folks. 2010 is nearly over and it’s time to look back and reminisce about the year that was. So, what happened this year in the world of personalized cross-channel communications? Actually quite a bit. Let’s take a look at several major trends we noticed this year.

Mobile Grows Up

Any way you slice it, 2010 was the year that Mobile Marketing – at long last! – finally came of age. Here at Easypurl.com, we quite literally witnessed an explosion of marketing campaigns that leveraged the power and reach of the mobile channel. What’s so enticing about the Mobile channel is its promise of unparalleled reach and measurability. In the US alone, there are more than 292 million wireless subscriber connections! And of that tremendous number, smartphone users now make up more than a quarter. That’s a lot of eyeballs! SMS (text) messages, emails and landing pages optimized for mobile devices, and QR Codes (the Tremendous Triumvirate) have all played a huge roll in coming of age of the mobile revolution.

QR Codes Invade America

Scan me!

Yeah, they do seem a little quirky and gimmicky. And most of you probably have scanned one (yet). But that being said, 2010 was also the year that QR Codes finally took off here in the US market, in a big way. Though of course QR Codes have been used quite widely in Asia for a long time. I just got back from a trip to Thailand, and I can tell you that I spotted QR Codes on most major outdoor advertisements over there, and people seemed to be using them to engage with brands using their mobile devices. Interestingly enough, upon my return to the US I spotted a big QR Code in on a monstrous billboard overlooking Times Square. I then did some research and discovered that over the past year, mobile barcode scans rate went up an astounding 700% in the US alone!  Now that American consumers are beginning to embrace QR Codes likes, expect to see them soon somewhere near you, regardless of where you are.

PURL Gone Wild!

Another major trend we spotted this year was in PURLs — they have finally gone mainstream! What do I mean? Well, up until this year, many marketers regarded Personalized URLs, or PURLs, as a gimmick that might not stand the test of time. Additionally, many major mailers regarded PURLs as a tool mostly used by smaller companies or for highly specialized B2B initiatives, where the marketer knows a lot about the prospect list and is able to leverage the segmentation data to drive personalization. Well, times have changed! This past year we’ve seen major B2C brands embracing this technology in a big way, to generate more Web traffic, improve Web conversion rates, improve tracking, and boost performance. Radio Shack, Disney, Prudential, Home Depot, McAfee, Gevalia, Kaiser Permanente… and dozens of other major  brands are now using PURLs in major initiatives to communicate more effectively to their customers and prospects.

Cross-Media Goes Social

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’re well aware that 2010 was the year of the social network. Social media is now a part of all of our lives. There was even a movie made about it that’s nominated for several Golden Globes! According to Nielsen, Americans spend almost a quarter of their time online on social networks and blogs. And, eMarketer states that 73% of US companies currently use social media sites for marketing purposes. Wow! It should therefore come as no surprise that social media has seeped into the world of personalized communications as well.  This past year, we’ve seen projects that allow consumers to share interesting offers to their friends on Facebook by adding it to their feed. We’ve also seen marketers include the Facebook ‘Like’ tag on their offer to help grow their social media presence. This not only helps add “fans” to their Facebook page, but it also generates leads in Easypurl.com. Any way you slice it, social media is here to say and we’re going to see a lot more of it.

With a year as technologically advanced at 2010, we can’t wait to see what 2011 will bring! And as always, the team at EasyPurl.com is ready to meet and conquer the ever-changing technology frontier!

What else have you seen change or advance in the world of marketing this year? We’ve love to hear what you have to say.

Rio Longacre
VP Sales & Marketing

img: GoMo News
img: Kyan Blog

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