Using QR codes to connect with customers
Quick response or QR codes are gaining widespread use as consumers seek immediate access to relevant, compelling content. When scanned by a camera-enabled smartphone, these two-dimensional barcodes can link the phone to a browser; direct users to a website or digital content that motivates them to take action; or activate phone functions such as email, instant messaging and text messaging. In short, QR codes connect the offline and online worlds, allowing users to interact with you, your content and each other in richer ways than achieved through print media alone.
QR codes on the rise
According to a recent survey by MGH, a Baltimore-based marketing agency, 32 percent of 415 smartphone users said they’ve used a QR code, and 70 percent said they plan to use it again or for the first time. For those who have used one or are planning to, the top motivator to scan a code is getting a coupon, discount or deal (53 percent and 87 percent respectively). The survey also found that 72 percent of smartphone users would likely recall an ad with a QR code.
Creating QR codes is quick, easy and often free. Kaywa qrcode.kaywa.com is one of the simplest generators. Others that offer a range of features include QR Stuff qrstuff.com, QR Generator qrcode.good-survey.com, BeQRious beqrious.com, Maestro sparqcode.com, GOQR.Me goqr.me and myQR myqr.com.
Once you’ve created your code, the potential uses are infinite. Applications include common customer touch points, such as:
- Business cards
- Ads, posters, signs, billboards, brochures and promotional merchandise
- Sides of cars, trucks and trailers
- Product labels, tags and packaging
- Store displays
- Tradeshow booths, nametags, ticket stubs and other event and convention collateral
- Restaurant menus
- Point-of-sale receipts
QR codes can attract and engage the people you want to reach most. Specifically, they can help you:
- Personalize content by linking individual users to a personalized URL (PURL).
- Create viral content that people share via their smartphones or computer.
- Build online communities and a loyal fan base by directing users to your blog, Facebook page or other social media sites.
- Mobilize and convert users with a compelling call to action or offer.
- Enhance search engine and social media optimization of your content.
- Monitor and measure the reach and effectiveness of QR-coded materials and the actions they trigger.
When used appropriately, QR codes can heighten the impact and performance of a multichannel marketing campaign with offline and online components. To maximize the effectiveness of these codes, you should accommodate the following criteria:
- Great content that reinforces your campaign, rewards users for their time and is worthy of sharing
- Instructions on how to access the QR code and why it’s there
- Mobile-friendly website and digital content
- Promotion venue with cell phone coverage
- Tests to ensure quality and proper size and use
- Tracking and reporting system to measure results
For more information on using QR codes, contact V3 at 800.882.1844.