QR Codes – What Can They Do?
QR codes have come a very long way since their original use as a car part tracking solution, and their purpose is continuing to expand with the growing penetration of smartphones that have the ability to scan them for various outcomes.
Marketers can provide consumers with any number of different forms of interactive experience that can help to spread a message and boost sales at any time of day or night, no matter where the device user may be.
Among the various QR code opportunities that have been discovered so far, there are a few that are already standing out above the rest as being highly beneficial as a part of a mobile marketing mix. These include the following:
• Providing discount opportunities – one of the best ways to encourage a current or prospective customer to make a purchase is to reward him or her for doing so with a special offer.
• Providing expanded details about a special offer – pamphlets, billboards, and even text messages that make special offers can only provide so much information. With QR codes, consumers can inform themselves further with further details about a product or a discount being offered.
• Offering incentives – encourage the use of QR codes by providing an incentives such as a free MP3 or a report that contains information that is relevant and valuable to your target market.
• Offering mobile ticketing – many companies are now allowing QR codes to do a great deal of the work with ticketing for them, including purchasing entry passes for seminars, conferences, events, and even airlines.
QR (Quick Response) codes are popping up everywhere, from print advertisements, product labels, purchase receipts, and even business cards. In fact, QR code scanning has increased by over 4500% in 2011, according to a report from Mobio Identity Systems, Inc. The number is expected to increase as smart phone purchases rise in 2012 and more consumers are equipped to easily scan them and respond.
These positive numbers are encouraging for marketers who currently use QR codes in their marketing strategies, and many are planning to do so in the near future.
Linking offline touch points to various content such as hyperlinks, maps, phone numbers, email, video and social media presents unlimited opportunities for customers to interact with companies.
Here are 10 engaging ways for you to incorporate QR codes in your marketing:
1. Build your social media accounts. A new like or follow can create a long-term marketing opportunity. Add QR codes to on-site display locations and promotional posters. By simply scanning, users can follow your social media account or “like” your page. Add value for the user and entice them to take action. For example, “Like our Facebook page for latest news alerts and exclusive coupons”.
2. Encourage product purchases. Offering on-site product information can help encourage a sale by offering access to product information, reviews and comparisons, a value-added product video and even a mobile “buy now” option.
3. Increase contest, memberships and event signups. Print QR codes on promotional materials to gain additional sign-ups and make offline touch points interactive for immediate response. Offer users a quick and easy vehicle to scan and sign-up for contests, surveys, memberships, event registrations and more. You can also improve offline campaign tracking by using ‘tiny urls’ with your QR codes.
4. Improve direct mail response rates and tracking. Encourage recipients to take action by making your mail piece interactive. Increase direct mail response tracking. Plus, you can add a personal touch for every recipient and increase relevancy by combining purls with your QR code.
5. Capture customers who visit your store while you are closed. Most stores are not open 24/7. Adding QR codes to your store display, linking to your website, can turn a potentially lost sale into an online customer.
6. Engage more show attendees and capture more leads at your next event. Add QR codes to your trade show displays and signage. You can allow contacts to scan your business contact details and allow them to engage with your company, capture your information and convert them online.
7. Motivate survey response. Encourage users to scan and rate their experience. Add value and boost survey responses by offering participants a discount off their next purchase or a chance to win a prize.
8. Bring your business card to life. Use the backside of your business card and include a QR code that leads to a landing page of detail about you or your business.
9. Make your offline promotional material, brochures, and print ads interactive. Leverage QR codes to boost offline promotions and conversions. Add QR codes next to each product description, promotion or call to action. This helps to engage your reader and allows them to easily interact and respond to what they are reading about.
10. Let your presentation stand out from the crowd and leave a lasting impression. Add QR codes to the end of your presentation to sign up for more information, receive a copy of the presentation or view a list of the items mentioned.
86% of marketers plan to use QR Codes
Mobile barcode firm Scanbuy has released findings of a new study that reveals marketers are well aware of QR Codes and the majority say they will be using them at some point in the future.
According to the study nearly all marketers are aware of QR Codes and 50% are already using them in some fashion. Despite many consumers not knowing what to do when coming across a QR Code a whopping 86% of marketers said they plan to use QR Codes sometime in the future.
However, QR codes are not the only mobile barcodes that are being considered. Scanbuy notes that many companies are looking into the likes of Microsoft Tags and EZcodes.
Scanbuy found that the top three placement choices among marketers are magazines/newspapers, direct mail and product packaging.
This is somewhat in line with the findings of a recent study by Martin Chadwick Bailey. It found that newspapers and magazines are where most QR Codes are being found and scanned (35%) followed by on packages (18%) and on websites (13%). Surprisingly few were scanned from billboards (11%) or a piece of direct mail (11%).
Product information, promotions and coupons were the top three content choices for marketers using or considering the use of QR Codes, found Scanbuy.
“We’re excited to see the continued growth in awareness among marketers, and we expect both the quantity and the quality of QR Code marketing to grow considerably in 2012 with 86% of respondents reporting that they plan to use 2D barcodes in the future,” saidMike Wehrs, CEO and President of Scanbuy.