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ScanLife offers 2D bar codes for Twitter, instant-win campaigns

Scanbuy Inc. has added two new features to its ScanLife mobile 2D bar code platform.

One new bar code action, the Twitter Code, can automatically post a custom message, or Tweet, to the popular social networking platform. The other, called the Lotto Code, lets marketers enable instant-win campaigns through the mobile phone.

"The Twitter code gives people a way to share information or content with many others from any physical location or media," said Jonathan Bulkeley, CEO of ScanLife, New York. "In a way, this code acts as a ?Share This' button from virtually anywhere.

"A marketer can use this to send very specific content related to their campaign," he said.

Scanbuy is a global provider of mobile bar code services that use the camera phone as the link between the physical world and the digital world.

The ScanLife platform consists of a mobile application, Code Registry, Code Clearing House and Code Management Platform.

The technology has been deployed and supported by mobile providers and handset manufacturers in the United States, Mexico, France, Spain, Italy and Denmark.

Consumers and businesses can already create two-dimensional codes on the ScanLife Web-based platform to automatically launch specific actions such as opening a Web site, displaying a mobile video and dialing a phone number.

Millions of people worldwide can use the ScanLife mobile application on their camera phones to scan these codes from virtually any printed or digital media.

This new method of mobile navigation avoids the need to type in long URLs or spend time searching for specific content by keyword.

For example, Lord & Taylor could provide information on a sale from its entrance or Disney's Pixar could link to a trailer for its new movie "Up."

ScanBuy claims that the downloadable ScanLife application is available for every single mobile platform, including Google's Android, RIM's BlackBerry, Apple's iPhone, Java and Microsoft's Windows Mobile.

Twitter is a social networking community that allows its users to post short, 140-character messages to their individual group of followers, a phenomenon known as microblogging.

Twitter's user base is in the range of 10 million worldwide and continues to grow exponentially.

Now, a ScanLife user can scan a Twitter Code to automatically post a custom, pre-determined message to their existing Twitter account.

For example, a code could be placed at the entrance of a store to load a pre-filled Tweet with details about a sale and the location.

Or a code could be integrated into a print advertisement for a new film that would let consumers share a link to a new video trailer.

One person's physical location or interest can now be passed on to many others directly from a Twitter code.

"While Twitter is relatively small compared to other networks like Facebook or MySpace, it seems to be more mobile-relevant, since it's all about sending short status updates," Mr. Bulkeley said.

"Using the Lord & Taylor sale example, someone could see a notification on their phone, and simply walk over to Lord & Taylor to check it out," he said.

"It's also interesting to note that many people feed their Twitter posts into Facebook, which increases the reach across networks."

If consumers scanned a code placed at the entrance of Lord & Taylor, a major department store in New York, a pre-filled Tweet would be displayed on their phone, which in this case would link to some information on a major sale.

This can be edited and then shared with all of a brand's or a consumer's followers by logging in to an existing Twitter account.

The Lotto Code gives marketers a way to create an instant-win experience through a 2D bar code.

"We have seen that the technology is very successful when used as a promotional tool, so this fits with that area perfectly," Mr. Bulkeley said. "Our platform collects a lot of data, and this code uses the number of scans from each code to make this possible in real time.

"So a code publisher can set their code to be a winner as often or as little as they want," he said.

The ScanLife system recognizes each unique consumer in real-time through a user ID, which is completely anonymous and unrelated to the mobile phone number.

The user will discover if they have won based on a winning percentage algorithm which is customized and pre-determined by the code publisher.

A Lotto Code could give away virtually anything from a ring tone download to a free vacation so marketers can use this simple tool as an innovative promotional device that replicates an instant-win experience.

Consumers can create their own Twitter codes for free and marketers can create Lotto codes with a standard business account at http://www.scanlife.com.

ScanBuy focuses on three main areas in the world of mobile marketing.

"One is that we make it easier for people to discover mobile content," Mr. Bulkeley said. "Many brands are now investing in mobile, but are having difficulty driving traffic to these sites.

"This technology connects traditional media, which has wide reach, to mobile content," he said.

However, discovery is only part of the equation.

"The second area is that we make it easy for people to navigate to this content quickly," Mr. Bulkeley said. "They don't have to spend time searching for a link, which is usually impossible to find on the phone.

"Third, all of these actions are providing analytic data which makes any traditional media more measurable."