What's up with QR Codes?
Over the past couple years, marketers have been using QR codes on print advertisements, product packaging, posters, business cards, storefronts, and even TV commercials. Some of these codes direct to product information and videos while others link to contact information or even coupons and discounts. In one of their most recent QR infographics, Queaar.com reports that QR code scans increased by a staggering 4549% from 2010-2011. While this is an impressive number, other data shows that QR codes still have a long way to go to really break into mainstream marketing. A few reasons for this are:
- Not everyone owns a smart phone/tablet
- Smart phones/tablets don't come standard with QR scanners (the app has to be downloaded)
- Not everyone knows what a QR code is or how to utilize them
But even though QR codes haven't reached their prime yet, that doesn't mean they can't be used as an effective marketing tactic now for the right demographics. If you've thought about trying out QR codes with your marketing strategy, here are a few things you should remember:
1. Make sure you have the right audience
While this first point is kind of a no-brainer, it's also one of the most important. If QR codes won't appeal to your target demographic, there's not a big reason to use them. If you know that your target demographic is tech-savvy and would be receptive to QR codes, then it's worth experimenting with
2. Make sure your QR codes have an intertwined incentive
If you've already decided that QR codes are the right move for your target demographic, next you need to make sure that they are intertwined with an incentive. Using QR codes just for the sake of looking like your marketing materials are up-to-date, but directing users to pointless information won't bring you the ROI you're looking for. The Queaar infographic also shows that most people expect to get a coupon a when they scan QR codes, but many also expect to get product info as well. If you use QR codes, make sure the incentive for scanning it is worthwhile and exclusive to those that take the time to scan it.
3. Make sure your content is mobile/tablet friendly
Statistics show that most QR scans are done with iPhones, which means that any content in Flash (including videos) won't work for users who scan your codes with an Iphone or Ipad. It's also important to test your QR code to make sure that it's compatible with all QR scanner apps in the marketplace. Don't rely on just one scanner to test your code.
4. Use the right media channels
You could have an ideal target demographic and a great incentive for your QR code, but if you pick the wrong media channel, it will probably have a potentially negative impact on the success of your marketing campaign. Think about the lifestyle of your target demographic to determine where and when they would be most likely to scan your code. According to QR code data from comscore, the highest number of QR code scans come from printed magazines. On the other hand, the least scanned come from TV advertisements, which makes sense because not many people have enough time to pull out their phone to scan a QR code during a 30-second commercial. Be smart when creating your strategy and try to think like your target market.