The Basics of Marketing with QR codes

Now that we’ve discussed QR codes, their function, and how to develop your mobile site most effectively, let’s get into the basics of marketing with QR codes. If we were to choose two words that you should constantly remember in developing your QR marketing strategy, they are tailored and interactive. Regardless of all the different ways that you may have come across the use of QR codes, you should use them simply as a concept of ideas from which to take elements that will be most effectively tailored to the needs of your company and your consumer.

So let’s start from the beginning. When creating any type of marketing campaign, you need to define your purpose. If it is too broad, consumers will have a hard time focusing on your intention. If it’s too focused, you may have a hard time getting the consumer information that will enable them to best understand what you are trying to represent. Remember that your purpose is used to test whether or not you are meeting your goals. If you have no clearly defined purpose, you also won’t be able to measure any definable goals.

Next, it’s necessary to think about your customer. Consider your target audience by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Who are they?
  • What are they most interested in?
  • How can you draw them in?

Consider your call to action. You’ve defined the purpose of your QR code marketing campaign. Now is the time to think more specifically. The QR code is meant to draw the consumer in. As Hamilton Chan says, “Think of your QR code as a doorway, only you need to explain what’s hidden behind the door. The brief text sitting next to your code should be the world’s shortest elevator pitch.”1 The elevator pitch should answer the following questions that your prospective clients might have when faced with a QR code such as:

  • What are you going to link them to?
  • Is it going to be information or interactive?
  • Is it going to be something that they can walk away with?

The easiest way to do this is by filling in the following “Scan here for__________”.

Now that we have covered how to present a QR code we need to consider the placement. Think real estate. It’s all about LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. We are not just saying that you need to put it in the place where it is going to be most visible. You need to put it in the place where it is going to be most visible to your target audience AND makes sense for them to scan and interact. (An advertisement in the subway where there is no signal is probably not the best location even though it is visible to your target audience.)

The great part about QR codes is that they can be used in any visual medium. Check out 50 count em 50 creative uses of QR codes3 for some great ideas but keep in mind that the combination of 1) defining your purpose; 2) considering your target audience; 3)considering your call to action; and 4) considering the placement of your QR code will determine the number of scans that you get and ultimately the effectiveness of your QR marketing campaign.

According to Ryan Goff of the MGH Modern Marketing Blog:4

  • Consumers are increasingly interested in interacting with advertising that bears a QR code – thus, the promise of interactive features or additional benefits such as deals, coupons, videos, sweepstakes, social media interactions, etc. are more likely to entice a prospect
  • QR codes can help an ad break through the clutter by increasing the chance it will be remembered – great news for advertisers who have already integrated a QR code strategy into a traditional advertising campaign or are looking to insert them in a future campaign.
  • Mobile is here to stay, and brands that don’t embrace ways to weave mobile tactics into their marketing place are going to be left in the dust (just remember all of those companies that thought the Internet was a fad).

Next week, we will delve into more specific elements of mobile marketing as well as the pitfalls.


Written By: Ashley Dowse (7 Posts)

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