QR codes and barcodes have been around for some time. As an agency and someone interested in the latest technology, we have been aware of them for years as a viable marketing tactic and as a part of a larger campaign.
It has only been recently that clients/prospects have recognized QR codes as a marketing tactic. However, there is a lack of education on how to appropriately use and implement them, causing distress among consumers in many different marketplaces.
If you are like me, you see QR codes everywhere, from restaurant menus and print advertising to business cards and out-of-home. QR codes can be effective but, unfortunately, they have just about lost their appeal for me. I have been consistently disappointed in the lack of content and/or the lack of application when scanning that I rarely scan anymore.
Remember: As an advertiser or marketer, you are asking people to spend time to take out their smartphone and pull up their scanner. If you don’t offer a valuable experience, you may have lost them for good.
Another problem with technology among some is the evolution to bigger and better. This is where it potentially gets worse. As an advertiser or marketer, if you do not understand the basics, moving up the technology marketing evolution ladder is meaningless and may cause a distraction from your brand and messaging.
Some good and effective uses of QR codes:
- Business cards: scanning gives you immediate access to v-card info
- Video: scanning plays a video humanizing the CEO and the brand
- Free song: scanning a musicians code offers fan a free song download
- On wine bottle: scanning pulls up a geo-locator with the closest place to buy
- Buy a book: increase e-commerce of a new book buy, offers a free chapter.
- Storefronts: scanning gives you immediate discount to shop that day in-store.
Here is one of the more innovative ways to implement QR codes using a music video (Shin-B):
There are many more great applications that help to create touchpoints and promote a positive and exciting experience with your brand. What have you seen or done with QR codes?