Open Standards and Interoperability Important for Continued Adoption of Mobile Barcodes: NeoMedia CEO [TMCnet]


Open Standards and Interoperability Important for Continued Adoption of Mobile Barcodes: NeoMedia CEO
August 20, 2010

NeoMedia, a company specializing in 2D mobile barcode technology, has been working with retailers such as McDonalds, Nokia (News - Alert), VW, and Mazda and their agencies to harness the power of mobile by creating simple to use, powerful new forms of customer interaction through mobile barcode scanning technology.

In a recent e-mail interaction with Technology Marketing Corporation, CEO Iain McCready (News - Alert) elaborated on the company’s products and solutions, as well as the role they play in brand marketing campaigns. Our exchange follows.

TMC: What are the important applications of NeoMedia mobile barcode technology and solutions?

Iain McCready: NeoMedia’s technology platform transforms mobile devices with cameras into barcode scanners, enabling a range of practical and engaging applications including consumer oriented advertising, mobile ticketing and couponing, and business-to-business commercial track and trace solutions. 

A few examples of how these applications have been put into practice include working with Nokia to deliver an interactive campaign to promote new handsets, Papa John’s to make ordering pizzas directly from phones easier and more convenient and TecCom to trace counterfeit automotive parts.

NeoMedia’s suite of products, services and IP portfolio means we are the only provider able to offer our customers a comprehensive end-to-end mobile barcode solution.

TMC: How can brands leverage your mobile barcode solutions for their marketing campaigns?

IM: Mobile barcodes are becoming an increasingly important element of interactivity for brands to integrate into their cross media initiatives whether out of home, online, on television or in print.  Mobile barcodes allow brands to energize their traditional and/or digital media buys.  For example, by embedding a mobile barcode on a billboard, they are able to activate the advertisement and engage the consumer on-the-go, allowing them to act at the point of impulse.  Having established this dialogue with the consumer, be that around product information, movie times, trailers or coupons, they can then continue to correspond with the consumer, based on consumer opt in, and continue to communicate their brand message -ultimately bringing even more value to the initial ad buy.  A big opportunity to bring ‘life’ to media channels which were previously static.

Analytics can also be leveraged which can provide insight based on the consumer scan of the code that includes time of day and location, for example, and can help a brand to make better purchase decisions around their advertising and ensure optimal utilization and communication of their message.  The potential for brands to leverage mobile barcodes in all of their initiatives is therefore enormous.

TMC: Recently you signed an agreement with Buongiorno (News - Alert). What is the scope of this agreement?

IM: We are very excited about our agreement with Buongiorno, a leader in the mobile entertainment market. The marriage of our solution with Buongiorno's mobile marketing know-how and distribution channel is an important step towards boosting adoption globally.

Under the terms of the agreement, B! Digital, Buongiorno’s mobile marketing and advertising division, will employ the NeoSphere barcode creation and management system to create and manage mobile barcode campaigns globally, with an initial focus on the North American and Western European markets. The partnership represents a shared vision for a new class of marketing that enables immediate and actionable interaction that stimulates and excites consumer experiences. It will enable Buongiorno’s clients to deliver a richer and more interactive experience to consumers.

TMC: Buongiorno has said the association with NeoMedia will propel their mobile barcode offering to a new level. How do you help them achieve this?

IM: We are helping Buongiorno simplify barcode campaign deployment for their customers. Through the addition of NeoMedia’s mobile barcode management and infrastructure solution to Buongiorno’s product/services portfolio, clients can rapidly develop and deploy targeted and engaging advertising and marketing campaigns that blend interactivity, excitement, immediacy and measurability by utilizing mobile barcodes. Our partnership enables Buongiorno’s clients to deliver a richer and more interactive mobile barcode experience to consumers worldwide.

TMC: What are your key markets?

IM: NeoMedia is a Global company supporting 2D barcode implementations around the world. Our key focus areas are Europe and North America, but we also have active customers in Asia.  In terms of differences between the markets, Europe tends to be focused on ticketing, scanning and capture solutions whereas the focus for the US is predominantly focused on mobile marketing and advertising. The US is poised to become a significant market for 2D codes globally – although still in its infancy – and we are responding to this opportunity with the expansion of our team in the US market.

TMC: How do you position your company in the current market?

IM: NeoMedia is aggressively pursuing opportunities for expansion around the world. Our recent announcements with players such as Neustar, SonyEricsson (News - Alert) and Buongiorno, are a testament to our growing success and momentum. NeoMedia has been a pioneer in the mobile barcode field, since the mid 1990s, and during that time has spearheaded the development of a robust IP portfolio that encompasses many preferred mobile barcode implementations.  And we continue to use our experience to deliver market leading technologies to the industry. To our customers, we are the enabler – providing the technologies that are required for brands, operators, handset manufacturers and industry partners to better interact with their customers. Thus, NeoMedia is the innovator and global market leader in 2D mobile barcode technology and infrastructure solutions, harnessing the power of the mobile phone in a whole new way to transform traditional communications into a multi-media experience.

TMC: How do you think the mobile barcode technology will evolve in the coming years?

IM: The convenience and opportunities that mobile barcodes offer to brands, enterprises and consumers alike; answering the need for information on the go, interactivity, measurability and traceability; will ensure that the market for mobile barcodes will continue to grow. Already we’re seeing impressive adoption by brands, handset manufacturers and operators for use in mobile marketing and advertising campaigns, and this will continue to grow as barriers to adoption such as consumer education, handset integration and consumer awareness are overcome. As big players such as Google (News -Alert), Facebook and eBay offer mobile barcode solutions to their customers, the education is accelerated and penetration to the consumer, in all aspects of every day life, will continue to grow. 

Industry agreement on open standards and interoperability will also be particularly important for the continued adoption of mobile barcodes. NeoMedia has worked closely with the standards bodies to help overcome the hurdles to broad scale market development.  Brands are interested in scale and are not interested in proprietary solutions.  NeoMedia promotes an open and interoperable approach to the market to empower the mobile ecosystem and this openness is what is required to drive the industry forward.

TMC: What makes your product unique and compelling to your customers?

IM: NeoMedia is a market leader. We are the only technology enabler able to provide a full end-to-end solution for global mobile 2D barcode implementations, including comprehensive mobile code solutions for mobile barcode creation, management, resolution, and data reporting as well as mobile coupon, ticketing and hardware scanning solutions.

Our NeoReader universal mobile barcode application allows mobile phone users to access specific web content with one click by scanning a 1D or 2D barcode. Our NeoSphere Code Management Platform provides a new and simple way for advertisers, publishers and media companies to use 2D barcodes and link them directly to the multimedia capability of the mobile Web in order to make any print or any static media (product package, advertisement, billboards, retail display, publication) immediately interactive, delivering a compelling brand experience that is targeted and measurable.

We also have a robust IP portfolio, and the most significant portfolio in this space that encompasses many preferred mobile barcode implementations.