Those who work in digital marketing refer to the industry as the wild wild west (after www) for a very good reason. Consumers are no longer easily locatable, nor do they move in distinct groups that can be found in certain geographical locations; instead they are savvy surfers of the web, which encompass a wide age range. It can be difficult to ascertain where on the web to get hold them! Using the web capabilities of smartphones is seen as an opportunity to reign in the market, as the limitations of the devices also limits the users to certain functions and locations on the web.
A new mobile application has been developed that allows consumers to enter a unique code into the app, which will make information related to a specific product or brand available. For instance: A musician can have an i–lincc code printed on their CD, which, if entered into the app, directs her to a list of upcoming gigs, and gives her access to other promotional material. Or, a ceramic artist whose work is featured on a television show can have their unique i–lincc code shown on screen, which will allow viewers from all over the world to find out where and how to order their work simply by using the app.
Fab or fad?
Considering how saturated our lives are with media and marketing, one has to ask whether consumers will willingly sign up for more of it. On the other hand, perhaps putting the power in the hands of the consumer is a favourable move rather than an off-putting one, precisely because there is so much marketing everywhere over which they have no control.
It is also worth questioning whether this app is really any different from the QR code which made its appearance a few years ago. The QR code was a sophisticated barcode that could be scanned by any smartphone by taking a picture of it. It would then redirect the user to web content using the web capabilities of the phone. While it has faded as a marketing tool, it is really not that different from what i–lincc codes do. However, using the i–lincc app has certain benefits.
What makes i–lincc special?
It will be interesting to see whether consumers will jump on board with this innovation, or if it will simply be another flash in the pan of the ever-changing digital marketing world.
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Louisa Theart writes for The Tangled Web, which looks at all things marketing and business-related.