New uses for QR codes in your marketing mix?

Posted by Paladin on February 08, 2012

Quick response codes have been in use since the mid-90s, but new ways to utilize this link between offline material and online content are being applied everyday. With no length, size or space limitations, it’s easy and cost effective to engage customers at the time when they are most ready to receive the information. Effectively tapping this marketing and communication channel can provide a competitive advantage in securing and strengthening B2C and B2B relationships.

Going beyond the basics of placing a QR code on business cards to share contact information, companies are utilizing this tool to educate and persuade decision makers about their products and services. Before including this technology tool into your marketing mix its important to remember the marketing basics.

  • Test the code repeatedly. A potential customer can become irritated and unresponsive to your message if the code doesn’t work.
  • Size relevance. Determine the best size for the code based on the information coded and how the customer will access it. The minimal size is a 1.25” and includes a border that separates the code from any other content.
  • Provide an alternative access. QR codes may be more familiar, but not all customers have the capability to access this information. To make your content accessible, add readable copy nearby explaining what the code does and an alternative way to access it.
  • Mobile-optimized. The final destination needs to be optimized for the small screen and mobile broadband constraints.
  • Share unique information. The QR code content should be unique and provide value to the customer. Make it more than just a link to the website home.
  • Capture the information – companies need to determine what information they want to capture from the scan and then develop the measurement tool to track the results.

The applicable uses for QR codes are endless. Codes can convey anything that is printed or digitized and immediately connect customers with information they want to know or obtain. To get you thinking about ways to incorporate QR codes in your marketing mix, here are a few interesting applications currently being utilized in the marketplace.

  • Tradeshows or events
  • Deliver dynamic service or product information all in the size of stamp and paperless.
  • Link to an after-event activity
  • Enable customers to register for contests, request a follow-up appointment, provide feedback via a survey, get an event schedule and directions
  • Outdoor signage – large code shares business overview that can be scanned by prospects driving or walking by the location
  • Seeking investors – for start-up companies looking for investors, link to a business or marketing plan
  • Point of sale receipts – include upcoming promotions, service support, replacement parts, coupons, feedback form, assembly instructions, coupons
  • Fundraising – easy access to information; can be included with grant applications to show reviewers how funds support programs, events, research
  • Social media – link customers to business Linkedin, Facebook or Twitter accounts and their respective online communities and information blogs. Make this a value-added connection for the phone-scanning customer
  • Call to action – alternate special offers by linking codes to new landing pages and combine them with emails to opt-into your customer list
  • Speaker conferences – QR code can link to the presentation, handouts, contact information, next speaking event.
  • Product information and packaging – assembly and care instructions, required safety sheets, manufacturer information
  • Music artists – free downloads to fans in attendance
  • Transportation – code links to site that shows current position of bus, train, airplane using built-in GPS and anticipated arrival time. Another use, digitizing boarding passes
  • Medical alerts – code on driver’s license or medallion with important medical information
  • Pet identification – creating code on a collar tag with owner contact and pet information
  • Real estate listing – code on sale sign links to home video and realtor information
  • Tombstones – code links mourners to videos and other information celebrating the person’s life
  • Shelf signs – display ingredients and nutritional information
  • Ball fields and arenas – display sponsorship information and special promotions

As familiarity with QR codes increases, it is important to determine how this tool can be effectively utilized to connect with your customers in a unique and relevant way. For B2B connections, making the scan worthwhile to the customer is key to adding value to your business relationship.

How are you using QR codes?

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