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What's a QR Code?

It's simply a graphic device, similar to the ever-present UPC code, currently referred to as a 'quick response'? or QR code. The term describes any 2-D bar code that can be encrypted with large amounts of data that can be scanned by the consumer to retrieve information from it.

So what exactly does this mean? Best way to explain it is this: picture yourself standing in the shampoo aisle at your local retail store trying to determine which shampoo to buy for your unruly thin, flat hair. Suddenly you notice a new shampoo for 'fine'? hair with a sign advertising that this shampoo is perfect for thin hair and will add a ton of volume to it. You hold up your cell phone and snap a picture of the black-and-white, matrix style bar code printed on the corner of the sign. Immediately, on your phone, a web page appears that contains testimonials from other consumers with thin hair saying how much they love this shampoo. There is also a message that the product has a 100% money back guarantee if you are not completely satisfied with the product. Happy with what you have read, you make the decision that this shampoo could be the solution your hair has been waiting for! You are now heading to the register feeling better about your purchase decision because of the additional input you have gotten from the QR code.

Just gaining momentum in the US now, marketers have been intrigued with QR codes for years because of their ability to reach consumers instantaneously at the point of purchase. These codes are commonplace in Japan as well as Europe. Within the US there have been some technological barriers, the biggest one being the standardization of code readers in handsets. It's said that standardization will come in time but the consumer will ultimately determine the standard if they perceive the codes to be beneficial. In order for the codes to be effective, they need to solve a problem for the consumer.

The positive news for manufacturers and retailers is that progress is being made with U.S. wireless carriers. By early 2011, between 40 and 60 million phones will have a bar reader built into the device compared to 2010, having a mere 5 to 10 million devices with the technology. Predications have been made that consumer scanning of 2-D codes in the future will be as common as texting. Once it catches on and consumers see the benefits, the technology will be there to follow.

Currently companies such as Ralph Lauren and Gucci have chosen to use QR codes in mailers and in-store advertising to deliver mobile based information regarding new products and even events. Most recently, Johnson and Johnson used QR codes to promote its new Zyrtec liquid gels with on-site ads at CVS. The ads invited consumers to text or scan the code to redeem a $4.50 coupon off their next purchase of the product. Coke and Pepsi have already placed QR codes on product packaging overseas. It's just a matter of time before these beverage kings start using QR's in the U.S.

Even though companies are still uncertain what type of investment they want to make regarding QR codes, consumers are hungry for anything that will help them make a better informed decision. Anything a company can do to provide additional information at minimal or no cost will be a home run for the consumer. Who knows, QR codes may someday even replace the small plastic rewards card we all have dangling from our key chains.

Time and technology will tell.

If your interest has been piqued regarding QR codes and you are now wondering how to incorporate QR codes into your marketing efforts, contact AMP and we can provide a POV on how to best use the codes for your business.

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Google Search Trends Insights January 2021 - AMP Agency

In our continuing series of examining Google Search Trends to gain insights into the top keywords queried in the USA, we present our findings for January 2021. Every day, we capture the top three keyword phrases in terms of search volume as reported by Google Trends (US Only). Each term has an estimated query volume attached to it, which we also record. The number scale tops out at 10,000,000+ with a lower limit of 200,000+. After the conclusion of the month, we look at the phrases we collected along with their volumes to get an understanding of what drove queries for the month. The First Month of 2021 Well, we’re off to quite a start in 2021. There was a notion that with the flip of the calendar year the entire world would improve automatically. Now, we should all realize that years are a human construct and large changes to society don’t happen overnight. With that stated, we saw many historical developments in the month of January and the phrases we collected from Google Trends reflected those changes. One of the biggest shifts was related to how we categorized the search terms. We had to create a category called “Stocks” because of actions that people wanted to know more about that occurred in the later half of the month.  Here’s is the month that was by top Google Trends keywords, as analyzed by AMP Agency. January’s Top Queried Phrases There were a good number of phrases that were queried more that 10 million times over the course of a day in January.  Not all of them were driven by Google Doodles, most were driven by the need to know more about an event. Georgia Senate race - 1/4/2021 - 10,000,000+ queries Georgia election - 1/5/2021 - 10,000,000+ queries James Naismith - 1/14/2021 - 10,000,000+ queries Patrick Mahomes - 1/16/2021 - 10,000,000+ queries Martin Luther King Day - 1/17/2021 - 10,000,000+ queries Conor McGregor - 1/23/2021 - 10,000,000+ queries GameStop stock - 1/27/2021 - 10,000,000+ queries The first two keywords in our list are related to the United States Senate special election that was held in Georgia on January 5th.  These phrases were the most queried of all the politics-related keywords of the month, although there were a large group of them driven by political events that are examined in the next two sections.  The two Google Doodle driven keywords were James Naismith, the inventor of the game of basketball, and Martin Luther King Day, which celebrated the national holiday and day of service that honors the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  There were two sports-related keywords with over 10 million queries: Patrick Mahomes suffered a concussion in a NFL playoff game and Conor McGregor got knocked out during his bout at UFC 257. The world of sports was a main driver of search interest in January and we’ll explore the keywords that drove over 5 million queries in a section below. Lastly, actions in the US stock market drove more search volume in January 2021 than any other month since the beginning of 2019. The top query was GameStop stock on the 27th, but there were several others that piqued the interest of users trying to learn more and understand why certain stock prices were soaring. The End Of One  Presidency... The Georgia special election keywords were the most popular and they were a precursor to the keywords queried related to political events that happened in the last days of Trump’s Presidency. The following list presents the phrases of what people were searching before, during, and after the storming of the United States Capitol. Trump - 1/5/2021 - 5,000,000+ queries 25th Amendment - 1/6/2021 - 5,000,000+ queries Capitol - 1/6/2021 - 5,000,000+ queries News - 1/6/2021 - 5,000,000+ queries Brian Sicknick - 1/7/2021 - 500,000+ queries Parler - 1/8/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Insurrection Act - 1/10/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Trump impeachment - 1/11/2021 - 500,000+ queries 25th Amendment - 1/11/2021 - 500,000+ queries Impeachment - 1/12/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries The one interesting note from a search keyword/Google Trends reporting standpoint is the phrase of “News” from the 6th of January.  It’s as if we didn’t have any words to help guide our search. ...And The Beginning Of Another. With the new administration getting sworn in, there was increased search volume around the new President and Vice President and the Inauguration. Garth Brooks - 1/18/2021 - 500,000+ queries Inauguration - 1/19/2021 - 5,000,000 + queries Amanda Gorman - 1/19/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Joe Biden - 1/19/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Kamala Harris - 1/20/2021 - 2,000,000+ queries Poet Laureate - 1/20/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Lady Gaga - 1/20/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries Jill Biden - 1/21/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries With all respect to Garth Brooks and Lady Gaga, the real big star coming out of the Inauguration was Amanda Gorman according to Google Trends. Fanatical About Finances As we stated in the beginning of this post, we had to create a new category for our keyword collections because of the number of keywords related to stocks. The highest queried phrase was “GameStop stock” on the 27th with over 10 million queries but here are the other stock-related keywords that made the daily top 3: GameStop - 1/21/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries GameStop stock - 1/25/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries GME - 1/25/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries GameStop stock price - 1/28/2021 - 1,000,000+ queries American Airlines stock - 1/28/2021 - 200,000+ queries Robinhood - 1/27/2021 - 5,000,000+ queries AMC Stock - 1/31/2021 - 5,000,000+ queries Along with the GameStop inquiries, the other companies mentioned are American Airlines and AMC. Certainly Reddit and Robinhood have changed the game of individual stock trading. 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Thanks for reading. If you liked this article, we invite you to learn more about our SEO services. Until next month.

AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of February 22, 2021

Welcome to the AMPlifier – a spotlight on the latest and greatest industry updates. Whether you want to learn more about this week’s marketing trends, the newest updates to your favorite social media platforms, or simply what meme is currently taking the internet by storm, then read on. You never know what you might learn. IS CLUBHOUSE THE NEXT BIG SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM FOR BRANDS? If you’ve been spending much time on social media lately you’re probably seeing some of the online buzz about the emerging new social audio platform Clubhouse, and more recently, the Twitter-backed competitor, Spaces, which has just launched in Beta. Read More TWITTER CONTINUES TO QUICKLY EVOLVE ITS CLUBHOUSE COMPETITOR 'SPACES As audio social platform Clubhouse continues to gain momentum, Twitter is working to quickly evolve and roll-out its own version of the same, with Twitter Spaces gradually trickling out to more users, and getting new feature upgrades in line with user response. Read More NANO INFLUENCERS: WHO ARE THEY AND HOW TO WORK WITH THEM [INFOGRAPHIC] When mapping out your influencer marketing strategy, the most common approach is to go for the biggest names, who'll offer you the biggest audience reach, and thus, the best return on your ad spend. But don't overlook the value of those with smaller, but more engaged, communities, who can also help connect you with the people who are increasingly more likely to buy from your brand. Read More That’s a wrap on this week’s feed. Stay tuned to see what happens next.