QR Codes have received a bit of a mixed reaction among marketers which probably stems from mixed applications and results within the industry. There may be a general perception that consumers just aren’t savvy enough to use them, but aren’t URL’s on print/outdoor a little passé?
The fact of the matter is that QR Codes are a strong call-to-action which makes it easy for consumers to enter your mobile conversion funnel and interact with your brand. QR codes have the potential to enhance many offline campaigns with the benefits of mobile. If you think about it, isn’t it just converting mass marketing to interactive direct marketing with the added benefit of the back end data mobile provides?
QR Codes give you the opportunity to provide a real sense of value for customers by linking them to a useful app, an interesting mSite or some kind of loyalty scheme. Of course we can’t just go around whacking QR codes on everything and just hope for the best, the QR code should take consumers to something highly relevant [read: mobile landing page]. The mobile destination should marry with and enhance the physical environment in which the QR code is placed.
Part of the problem is that some marketers haven’t been thinking about QR codes strategically enough, but perhaps the biggest shortcoming lies in consumer education.
QR Codes as a technology have been around for years (1994) but their use in marketing is a bit more of a recent invention. As such, some consumers haven’t been exposed or educated about how to use them. Another problem is that most smartphones don’t come with a QR code reader preinstalled. Instead QR code readers must be downloaded from an app store – the silver lining here is that they tend to be free.
Marketers should think about including brief instructions along with their QR code offering to teach uninitiated customers how to use them. Marketers should also take into account the fun factor of using a smartphone. Long before consumers see the benefits of QR Codes they think they’re cool. If marketers provide consumers with a great experience the first time round and add value, then I’m sure the industry will see the long term benefits of using QR codes as a way to begin a dialogue with consumers via mobile.
By not including QR codes on appropriate offline mediums are marketers simply passing up the opportunity to connect with consumers in a more meaningful, engaging and measurable way via mobile?