QR Codes: Passing Fad or Marketing Phenom

Marketing Matters QR Code

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As the Internet expands from a network of computers to a network of almost everything—offline things like books and magazines included—QR codes are making information more pervasive and available. They allow us to pack interactivity into nearly every object we use.

As such, QR code use in the U.S. is skyrocketing:  Analyst Mobio Technologies reported a 9,840 percent increase in QR code use for the second quarter of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010.  And Gartner says QR codes are on the “slope of enlightenment”—analyst speak for “they are gaining popularity.”

So, what is a marketer to do with these big and ugly hyperlinks?  The answer is to use them to deliver useful, meaningful, and relevant experiences to prospects and clients.  By adhering to the following principles, you can produce an effective QR code campaign, deliver a meaningful experience to your clients and prospects, and—most importantly—generate results:

  • Define Your Goal – The more a QR code enhances or streamlines the lives of your clients and prospects, the more engagement you will get. As such, the most important step in making your QR campaign a success is to clearly define its purpose.  Is it to provide an instructional video, a catalog of products, collect contact information, or deliver product specs?  Is it to increase mobile buying or boost social media engagement?  The more clearly you define the goal of your QR code campaign, the easier it will be to measure whether you have achieved it.
  • Present a Strong a Call-to-Action – Your QR code is a gateway, but you need to incent users to use it. The text near your QR code should explain why users should scan it—essentially it should be the world’s shortest answer to the question “What’s in for me?”.
  • Focus on QR Code Design — Looks matter. Use a designer code, rather than a black-and-white checker box, since designer codes consistently get higher scan-through rates.
  • Develop a Mobile-Friendly Landing Page – The design of your mobile landing page is critical. Do not direct users to your desktop website:  be sure to point your users to a mobile-friendly micro-site that is tailored to your specific campaign.
  • Track the Right Measures of Success — Your measure of success should be the length of engagement time on the landing page or micro-site that your QR code generates, not the number of daily scans.  The number of scans simply measures how many people pointed a mobile phone at your QR code.  The length of engagement time is a measure of how much clients or prospects valued your “offer.”
  • Capture Social Metrics — Collect and analyze data about points of interaction beyond the QR code experience. Did you get more hits on your Web site, more followers on Twitter, more fans on Facebook, or more subscribers to your RSS feed? Did your company get more mentions in the blogosphere? These social media metrics may be as good an indicator of the effectiveness of your QR code campaign as number of scans and length of engagement.

By following these simple guidelines you can deliver successful QR code campaign and a meaning experience to your clients and prospects.

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