FirstBank's Brian Jensen Describes How Digital Barcodes Enable a Texting Campaign
What's short, flat, and gives away skis and snowboards? It's slabs of cardboard—otherwise known as exhibit hall floor signs—that Lakewood, Colo.-based FirstBank turned interactive by slapping digital barcodes shaped like the snowboards and skis it was giving away onto its calls to action to winter sports fans attending ski film festivals in the Rocky Mountains.
Assuming Warren Miller Film Tour attendees had their mobile phones with them as they browsed exhibit halls associated with the event, FirstBank urged ski fans to "Take a picture. Win some gear." Thousands of powder buffs took the bank up on that offer, with 0.5 percent to 4 percent (response varied during the six-week, multi-city film tour) following the poster's directions and texting photos to a provided number. Denver-based mobile marketing and technology company SpyderLynk then decoded the images, called SnapTags, which were actually digital barcodes. SpyderLynk texted responses to the snow enthusiasts, segmented by winners of the six prizes or those who lost but then received an offer to open a free checking account and get an iPod.
Brian Jensen, FirstBank's vice president of marketing, elaborates on the November 2009 test.
Target Marketing: Why did FirstBank decide to test a mobile marketing campaign at a live event?
Brian Jensen: We ended up doing a sponsorship of the Warren Miller film festival this year, which was our first time doing that promotion. And ... typically the audience who goes to those shows is ... 18 to 34 [years old]. ... And, if you've ever been to a giveaway event in the past, they're really hard to coordinate and organize, because there's mobs of people trying to do all of these different things. ... And that's where the idea came from of, "Maybe we can try to take this technology and actually implement it at the event." And it made it, from a logistical standpoint, just awesome, because what would happen is that the person would see a poster with the promotion going on and they could basically snap a photo [of the prize they wanted to enter to win]. They'd immediately get a message back if they were one of the winners, and if they weren't one of the winners, we could still communicate a message to them about getting a free iPod if they open up a new checking account ...