You must have seen plenty of QR code showcases already but somehow I feel that people haven’t learned QR code marketing yet. Reason could be that QR codes are kinda of new to internet marketing. I’m not saying that QR codes are new, but they have a lot of room to grow and the possibilities are yet to be explored. The world of SEO might have exhausted its regular tips but QR code is yet to explode. Today, I will dare to understand the world of QR code marketing. Stick with me, it’ll be worth it.
Why are QR codes here to stay?
As of now QR codes are still facing everyday debates. On one side are the stakeholders who want the general public to fall in love with the new technology while on the other side are the critics who consider QR codes as nothing more than a new marketing fad. I will try to sit in between the two and judge the situation.
I am assuming that QR codes are going to stick around our heads no matter what, as marketing agencies are using them like crazy. The big ugly black squares aren’t leaving us that quick. I know that there are other options (and more will be invented) for linking in the real world but QR codes look to me to be the best suited option currently.
Before listing genuine reasons, let me mention some of the authentic reports that support the rise of QR codes:
- Mobio Technologies – A study by Mobio Technologies Inc. confirms that the usage of QR code jumped upto 9,840% in the second quarter of the year 2011 when compared to the numbers last year in the same time period.
- Gartner – The marketing research firm confirms the high-rise in the usage of QR codes in recent times.
- comScore – The very famous comScore sent shivers down the Internet Marketing industry when they confirmed that around 14 million Americans scanned QR codes from their cell phones in the month June of 2011. That is huge when compared to the time period since when QR codes have been in America.
The data above confirms the ever-increasing usage of QR codes and the interest of end users. Sometimes it is really comfortable to scan a QR code on the back of a book. It takes minutes to reach the landing page of that book and buy another copy for your friend. You just skipped a lot of steps.
Now, let me list a few reasons in favor of QR codes:
- Cost involved: Seriously, the cost involved behind the implementation of QR codes is one of the most important reason why it will be a success. An agency which is already printing ads need not invest anything extra to publish QR codes in those print ads. Just get your QR code ready and push it into all your billboards.
- Ease of Implementation and the Positive Results: Implementing QR codes is quite easy. You really don’t need a separate department to handle them. Moreover, the end results are greater engagement and a decreased bridge between the physical and online world.
- Hardly any Competitors: Critics have tagged QR codes as a short-term fad but nobody has actually been able to come up with a better alternative. There are hardly any competitors of QR code technology.
- Variety of Usages: Retailers can gift consumers with plenty of surprises if they scan their QR codes. Discounts, surprise offers and freebies are just few suggestions that will keep QR codes attractive.
- Instantaneous Access: QR codes provide instant access to consumers for their products and related offers. It is this bridge which increases the inclination towards QR codes.
QR Code Marketing Tips
Now that we are sure about the future of QR codes, I guess it is time to understand how we can cash in upon the ever evolving technology. Here goes my quick tips for QR Code Marketing:
- Focus: See, QR codes can be used to perform multiple tasks. It is very important for marketing agencies to focus on exactly what they are expecting back from QR code marketing. One must decide as to what their QR code will do and stick to the same. If the marketing campaign distributes one QR code all around its area of expansion then it will avoid confusion at the end-user level. Also, consumers will know what the company is up to and what it is trying to present. In short, things become simpler for everyone.
- Be Truthful: Advertisers get the opportunity to leave a pitch next to their QR code. One can use this small space to attract consumers to scan the QR code. The end results might just be a huge turn off for the consumer if advertisers try to fool them with their pitch. If you say that scanning the QR code will result in a surprise gift then better give a gift. Right?
- Unique Designs: It is important that you merge QR codes with your regular marketing campaigns. If it’s at odds with your normal marketing style this will cause your viewers to feel unsettled.
- Analyze Results: Just like a webmaster analyzes traffic results to understand if his marketing campaign is bringing in results, similarly every QR code campaign must be analyzed to understand if it is bringing in positive results or not. If the landing page gets good traffic and visitors spend a good amount of time on that page then the QR campaign is surely a success. Analyze and edit your campaign for better results.
- Look for Alternatives: One must not stick to a QR code campaign if it ends up killing other traffic sources like Twitter and Facebook. There are times where a particular brand’s followers just don’t have the QR code app in their cellphones. It is useless to pitch QR codes to them. Again, analyze and use what actually works for the brand.
What not to do with QR Code Marketing
- Non-Mobile Pages: Isn’t that very obvious? You expect your customer to use a mobile phone to scan a QR code. It is obvious that he will visit the landing page from a cellphone itself. This is when the importance of mobile compatible landing pages becomes very important. If you ignore this fact then you are bound to fail.
- QR Codes without Data Signals: Did you push your QR code inside an underground tunnel which enjoys zero data signals? Why? The attention span of an end user is short. Don’t expect them to save the landing page link and visit it once they have a data signal. You will be expecting too much from your customer.
- Overly Fancy QR Codes: It is good to have a marketing campaign which pops out of a billboard but overdoing it can do more harm than good. Pushing in extra hard work in order to give QR codes overly fashionable styles can act as huge turn off for end users. Avoid it.
- Incomplete Testing: It is very important to test a QR code with various QR code scanning apps and different cellphones before you release the same to public. There can be no bigger turn off than a broken QR code.
There is a lot about QR code that we are still not aware of. QR codes are evolving and we are the real-time testing agencies for QR codes. If we do not take QR code campaigns seriously then others will surely learn from our mistakes.
Salman Siddiqui is an alpha geek, design guru and seasoned WordPress critic. Writing, for him, started out of ego but it has become the most luring and enlightening career option of his life. He is walking that extra mile for his freelancing dream.