Having just returned from a visit to New York I would like to share with you some things I noticed on the Digital Marketing side of things. Although the States is no longer streets ahead in terms of technology there was some things I was able to pick up on.
Smartphone penetration looked as though it has reached the masses in New York. Most people I saw apart from the younger teens seemed to have their hands on either an iPhone or a HTC device. In Ireland smartphones have not quite made it to the masses but this is expected to change in 2011 bringing a new way for marketing people to interact with those on the go.
2. QR Codes
Speaking of on the go, QR codes (Quick Response) dotted on various advertisments around Manhattan seem to be the norm due in no doubt to smartphone penetration. I didn’t however see many bars or restaurants with QR codes on their windows but I suppose there is not much point if the menu is there anyway. Despite seeing various ads with QR codes around the place I did not see anybody interact with them. The only QR codes I have seen in Ireland so far are on business cards but when smartphones really take off expect to see more.
Foursquare seems to get a lot of press in the Digital circle in Ireland about how big it is in the States. They do have more users over there no doubt but compared to the overall population it is hard to see if it has really taken off. I only had an iPod touch with me but from my base in Staten Island , where I had wireless internet access, to my surprise I was easily able to become Mayor of a few places and think I still hold some of those Mayorships even the coveted Staten Island Musuem!
4. Augmented Reality
I was lucky to catch the Forever 21 Augmented Reality Advertisment in Times Square while I was there. It is a captivating experience even for those who had never heard of Augmented Reality before that stops tourists in their tracks to watch the ad for a few minutes at a time. In Times Square a few minutes staring at 1 ad is like 30 minutes anywhere else in an industry where the average attention span is 6 seconds! Not only that but it seemed to work too,girls would watch the show on the giant screen then dash into the store underneath to hunt for whatever took their fancy.
These interactive billboards are becoming more common around the globe and in the future expect them to be even more commonplace.
For those of you who have not seen the display check out the video below.
In conclusion New York, being as many would say, the centre of the universe is ahead in terms of smartphone penetration and hence mobile marketing with QR codes and to an extent Foursquare. But overall it is no longer streets ahead of Ireland like it would have been in the past.
Maybe you have been to New York recently too and have a different view, if so let me know in the comment section below: