Monday, March 12, 2012

Cracking the QR Code in Mobile Marketing


By Amy Vale

It seems like mobile codes are all the rage now, they are everywhere and everyone seems to be jumping on board the code train. QR Codes are one of the big items for the 2012 mobile marketing ecosystem, but this doesn’t mean that everyone understands what they are and how to take advantage of their marketing prowess. The idea essentially is to use your mobile as a device with a downloaded ‘reader’ to scan a bar code, which directs you to more information about the brand or product.

We are seeing barcodes in print media, for example in magazines and newspapers alongside adverts and other marketing material. We are also seeing barcodes popping up in retail stores, where consumers are encouraged to scan QR Codes at the shelf to help provide information that will close the sale.

QR codes have been gaining momentum since about 2010, and the broader public is slowly but surely learning how they work and beginning to appreciate their uses. For a consumer, they offer an easy way to access an app or a quick way to access more information about a product. For example, standing in the shopping aisle, if a shopper wants to find out more about a product, they traditionally would google it on their smartphone. With QR codes, they simply scan the code and get the information they need. For a brand, it offers a way to direct the consumer to the information they want, not what pops up first on google when they search. It also offers a new medium for traditional marketing tools such as competitions and offers.

Along with the benefits, QR codes do come with challenges for the brand and publishers need to be aware of this. First, we need to get the consumer to scan the ad. This requires a willingness to scan and also knowledge on how to scan. For many people still, QR codes are a confusing, bizarre pattern. Publishers play a key role in educating the consumer in how to use QR codes. Secondly, once the consumer has scanned the code, we need to keep the consumer engaged. This means custom mobile landing pages, and quick and convenient ways for the consumer to get the information they are looking for.

To help you navigate the challenges and get the most out of your QR codes, we have compiled our top 4 do’s when incorporating QR codes into your marketing strategy.

1.      Mobile bar codes should be integrated into your overall strategy alongside traditional advertising, mobile ads and an app campaign.

2.      You want to aim to give the user access to content that goes beyond the space that they are scanning from, and definately link to mobile formatted content.

3.      Update the code with new content regularly and dynamically, for example, it is effective to make use of a mobile bar code over the holiday sales, but remember that consumers will continue to scan codes throughout the year so consider things such as daily or weekly specials if you’re in the retail space.  

4.      Help your consumers to access to codes. In a print ad for example, position them in a way that makes it easy to see scan. Include copy next to the code, explaining it and how it is used and make sure the QR code is easy to scan. Use a URL shortener such as bit.ly to condense long codes so the QR code will be less complex.

8 comments:

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