One of the latest web marketing technologies to hit the United States is QR Codes. These aren’t new to other parts of the globe as they have been around for a few years, but they are gaining popularity here in the States as of late. So what is a QR Code? It stands for Quick Response and essentially allows you to access content online through your smartphone immediately by simply snapping a photo of the QR code with a code reader application.
The benefit of QR codes is that they allow you to marry the physical and online worlds. For instance, I was at Lowes the other night buying seeds and there was a QR code on the back of the packaging. I scanned the QR code and it pulled up a very nice looking mobile website
with tons of information about planting the seeds including where to plant (sun/shade), watering frequency, fertilizing, etc.
So, as always, we here at BitWise beg the question, “What is the business case?” As I thought about this, I came up with a few instances where it seems to make sense to use QR codes in your marketing efforts:
Get more information
– If you do any physical advertising or marketing, QR codes can give you flexibility to provide additional information by directing people to a website or landing page with more information about whatever you’re advertising. We are currently implementing a QR code campaign for an auto dealer whereby “off hours” shoppers can get additional information about a vehicle they are looking at through a QR code printed on the vehicle’s sales sticker. They can then also store that information in their phone so when the dealership is open, they know exactly which one they were looking at and say, “I want this one,” or something along those lines.Upselling
– A great example of this I saw the other day is my insurance provider sent me something in the mail about my insurance and on part of it they had a QR code with some brief language about their life insurance. The QR code took me to a landing page that essentially was trying to upsell me on additional insurance that I don’t currently have through that provider.Lead conversion tracking
– Since print advertising is so difficult to measure, QR codes can provide an excellent way to track the effectiveness of your ad campaigns by providing a QR code that directs people to a landing page with a contact form geared specifically for getting them to give you their information. This allows you easily track the effectiveness of that print campaign.Shopping
– Window shopping takes on a whole new meaning with QR codes. By posting QR codes in windows where you have merchandise displayed, window shoppers can scan the QR code which takes them to a website where they can buy the product online during times when your store might be closed. You can also offer discounts or coupons through QR codes whereby people can redeem them when they come into the store. Ever have trouble remembering at the store what you were looking at online? You can provide QR codes on your website so that people who are looking at your products online can scan it into their phone so when they go to the store they can buy the exact thing they were looking at online.Download information
– Put a QR code on your business card and allow people to download your contact information directly into their contact database. It’s quick and simple.Pay for things
– In some Asian countries, you can now “load money” onto your phone through a QR code and then go to a Coke machine, scan the QR code of the pop you want and out comes the can of pop. The money is then deducted from the balance you “loaded” to your phone. This is probably a little ways off from taking hold in America, but with various things like NFC (Near Field Communication) beginning to take roots, it could be sooner than we imagine.You can see how QR codes really allow for a seamless transition from the physical world to the online world and vice versa. Of course, there could be more reasons for using QR codes, but these seem to me like the major things you could use QR codes for. If you have other ideas, we’d love to hear them.
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