Next time you’re biting into that Big Mac, you won’t need to put too much effort into finding out the nutritional value of the meal you’re consuming. McDonald’s is now going to do most of that legwork for you. Last week, the fast food giant launched new packaging design in 14,000 of its United States outlets, which include a QR code that links you to the meal’s nutritional information with a simple click.
It’s not the first time the global fast food chain is providing their loyal customers with a direct link to their food’s nutritional information. In the early 1970’s, McDonald’s began to share their nutritional values, so that their customers could make healthy decisions on which meal to consume, or at least be aware of what they were eating. Two decades later, McDonald’s made their nutritional information available on the Internet, and then in 2006, the food’s nutritional information was listed on the packaging, making it one of the first fast food establishments to do so. The fast food chain have continued to make their nutritional information available, while keeping current with technology – so QR codes seemed like the next logical step.
McDonald’s Chief Brand Officer, Kevin Newell said, “Our new packaging is designed to engage with customers in relevant ways and celebrate our brand. Customers tell us they want to know more about the food they are eating and we want to make that as easy as possible by putting this information right at their fingertips.”
There is some debate as to whether or not people will actually use the QR codes, but with the ubiquity of mobile devices these days, there’s no question about whether or not people will actually have their smartphones on them when consuming their Big Mac meal.
The QR codes won’t be on all packaging just yet, but will be featured on all bags and cups, including those for take-out. Currently, the QR codes are only in the United States, but will roll out globally this year, in 18 different languages, so whether you’re in Italy or Indiana, you won’t have to wonder how many grams of fat are in your Chicken McNuggets.
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Cell phones have evolved from a luxury to something most of us can’t live without. Along with being a great source of entertainment and an effective tool for organization, they can also be a valuable tool in a marketer’s arsenal. This is especially true if it has a camera, and almost all cell phones do. They can be used for research, marketing, customer engagement and more. Here are some handy tips and tricks to help make your phone’s camera a helpful and effective search engine marketing tool.
Your camera phone can be a helpful research assistant. Use it to take photos of logos and advertising you like. Later, you can refer to them for inspiration when creating your own search engine marketing campaign. You can also use it, with one of the available apps, as a business card scanner. At event and conferences when you’re networking, you can snap a photo of each business card you receive and it will automatically put that person’s info in your contact list. A neat and efficient solution that is much preferable to having to carry around a stack of cards that can be easily lost.
A camera is crucial for successful social networking these days. More and more people prefer to communicate in pictures rather than words. MMS is overtaking SMS in popularity, and entire social networks, such as Instagram, are springing up around photo sharing. Photos are a great tool, speaking volumes about your website and brand. With a camera phone, posting images (and even videos) to Facebook, Twitter, Tumbr, Pinterest and other networks is a snap, no computer, USB cables, drivers or software needed. This makes it easy to share at conventions, exhibitions, and press conferences.
Get your customers in on the fun by using QR codes. These codes, which look somewhat like traditional barcodes only they are square, can be great marketing tools. Customers and potential customers can scan them using the camera on their phones and depending on how you’ve set them up, can be sent to your website or a page displaying a coupon. QR codes can be put anywhere-billboards, magazines, mailers, flyers, email signatures, and even business cards. Their popularity continues to increase with most major brands now using them.
This is one of the easiest ways to use your camera as a search engine marketing tool. Content is king these days-the more high quality pieces of it you create the better, and a camera phone is great for this. It lets photos be taken on the fly and upload them immediately, making it simple to cover events, breaking news stories, and funny moments. Customers can even get in on it by encouraging them to take photos of your product or logo they find in interesting places. For example, Glamour.com has a regular feature where readers upload photos of themselves holding a copy of the magazine in exotic or funny locations. Marketing with images can be enormously effective-just ask Instagram and Pinterest, who’ve become monster successes by helping people do just that.
Camera phones are no longer a luxury. They’ve become powerful, fun and useful tools for everyday life and something most can’t imagine living without. Marketers can and should take advantage of all that they have to offer as they can help create effective marketing that attracts and retains customers and increases brand recognition. Try these tips and see what they can contribute to your marketing campaigns for websites, products or services. The results just may surprise you and make the camera phone become a must have marketing tool.