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Marketing with QR Codes in Vermont
Bridging the Gap Between Print and Online Media w/QR Codes & Qfuse
QR Codes Are Now Everywhere
If you live in the United States you have likely begun to notice some unusual-looking black-and-white square boxes appearing in advertisements. brouchures, print publications, flyers, etc. These little 'barcodes' are called QR Codes, or Quick Response Codes.
QR Codes look like a standard bar code which appear on all types of consumer products. However, QR codes contain much more information than "traditional" barcodes. QR Codes have been widely used in Japan and Europe in recent years, but are now starting to gain use with marketers in the United States.
What Are QR Codes?
You can think of a QR code as a paper-based hyperlink that connects the physical world with the online world. For marketers, QR Codes allow advertisements, brochures, posters -- even clothing or billboards -- to direct users to mobile landing pages that contain much more information and interactivity than can be afforded on the printed page. For example, imagine if a customer picking up your brochure could watch a quick promotional video or commercial? Well - in a way now they can! This integration between print and web via mobile adds a new dimension of communication to any marketing or outreach effort.
How Do QR Codes Work?
A QR Code works by simply scanning the code with a mobile device that is equipped with a camera and QR Code reader application. These applications can be downloaded for free on popular smartphone platforms such as iPhone and Android.
Once the QR Code is scanned using the device's camera it is translated into actionable information, such as a navigating to a mobile web page (i.e. think YOUR mobile webpage).
Promotion with QR Codes
There are a number of practical ways QR codes can be used for marketing and promotions in a variety of settings. QR Codes can be integrated into just about any type of printed materials, including:
- Brochures, Posters, Flyers
- Print Advertisements
- Business Cards
- Conference/Event Displays
- Postcards and Mailers
- Apparal or merchandise (e.g. shirts, mugs, etc)
Who Typically Uses QR Codes?
Any type of organization can use QR Codes in their marketing materials. Whether you are a non-profit organization, retail business, musical band/group, a membership association, political campaign manager, sports team, educational institution, or personal user a QR Code can be a great way to differentiate yourself and reach people in new ways. This is especially true if a portion of your target audience is a younger crowd and/or owns a smartphone.
Examples for How QR Codes Can Be Used
There are numerous ways that QR Codes can be used to strategically bridge offline and online media. Here are but a few examples:
- A campaign flyer for a political candidate contains a QR code that links to a video with a message from the candidate, or a mobile landing page with the candidate's bio, campaign platform, and opportunities to volunteer, contribute, or donate online.
- A consultant's business card contains a QR code that links to a landing page with enthusiastic client testimonials, or a VCard to download contact info.
- A band's poster or flyer links to a mobile website which displays music video, set lists, venue information, band photos, and/or free music downloads
- A public education poster about substance abuse provides a QR code that links to a mobile website with a self-assessment quiz and community support resources.
- A local business displays a QR code with a link to their Google Places page with customer reviews and coupons.
- A retail store displays a QR Code next to in-store products to view product demonstrations and reviews.
- An advertisement for a nonprofit organization includes a QR code that links to a volunteer and donation page.
- A restaurant includes a QR code on a takeout menu, which links to a mobile restaurant website for online reservations, orders and interactive directions.
- A home-repair product includes a link to a how-to video with installation instructions.
- A vendor at a conference places a QR code on their display booth so that attendees can conveniently scan and save the vendor's information as they pass by.
- A realtor places a QR Code on For Sale sign in front of a residential property, which provides additional home specifications, interior photos and Google Maps location for later reference.
- A promotional poster for a movie contains a QR Code with a link to a video of the trailer and form to opt-in to notifications when the film is released
A Few Other Advantages of Using QR Codes
- User Convenience -- QR Codes provide a convenient one-step process for directing users to a website, phone number, video, directions, event promotion, etc.
- Cost-Effective -- QR Codes cost nothing to produce; use is only limited by your marketing strategy.
- Versatile -- QR Codes can be integrated with a range of marketing materials for just about any purpose, including print collateral, outdoor display, and direct mail.
- Device Independent -- QR codes, as well as the landing pages to which they link, can be viewed on all popular smartphones and do not require special development for different platforms (e.g. iPhone vs. Android), as is the case with mobile applications.
- Measurable -- Websites visited via QR Codes using the QFuse platform can be traced with web analytics for campaign measurement and quantification.
- Competitive Differentiation -- Since QR Codes are relatively new to the U.S., organizations first to employ them in their outreach campaigns set themselves apart as leaders in strategic marketing.
Proper Use of QR Codes in Marketing Campaigns
In order to utilize QR codes strategically in communications there are a few key considerations to consider:
- Context and Content - the QR code should direct the user to targeted content which complements the printed material. Simply pointing a QR code at your website's homepage is not likely to convert into action.
- Instruction/Call to Action - unless you're in Japan, there's a good chance that your target users may need a cue to entice them to scan the QR code. It may also be helpful to provide some information about what users can expect to find after scanning code (e.g. "scan this code for a special offer...").
- Mobile Landing Page - it's a safe bet that the person who scans the code will be on a handheld device. Therefore, you'll positively need to direct users to a mobile-friendly landing page or mobile website for an optmal user experience. Sending users to a "desktop" website will not be helpful, nor will it make a good impression.
- Tracking & Reporting - if you use QR codes in marketing campaigns it is important to track the number of scans over time & capture geographic data. Our Qfuse QR code tracking and reporting system allows you do this effectivley.
Contact us today to find out how you can best use QR Codes and the mobile web for your organization.
Learn More About QR Codes & Mobile
If your organization is seeking a new way to engage your target audience, QR Codes and mobile websites offer a unique opportunity to bridge online and offline media.
Want more information? Feel free to contact us to discuss how QR Codes can be applied to work with your marketing and outreach goals. Also feel free to watch this educational video for the Qfuse platform--which should help present the benefits of QR Code and Mobile promotion for your organization:
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