Quick Response (QR) codes can be placed on virtually any flat surface, providing marketers with a way to bring interactivity to their advertisements. QR codes are simple in design and functionality; they allow any individual with a smartphone that has a QR reader to launch an application, load a website, or dial a phone number, among numerous other options. Since creating a QR code is free, and it is inexpensive to add the code to advertisements, businesses are implementing them in a variety of ways. They can be seen plastered on bus stops, printed in newspaper advertisements, and even included on business cards.
Data shows that 40 million users have installed QR code readers on their mobile devices. Mobile phone service provider AT&T estimates that 10.4 million scans were made between January 1st and October 1st of 2011. Marketers must keep several guidelines in mind when crafting effective QR codes. Whenever possible, use any existing information about consumer behavior to determine where to place the code. Also, make the content of your code valuable by including content that will inform the consumer. In order to encourage QR code usage there needs to be relevance to the consumer, and one way to encourage consumer relevance is through creativity. The following are a few examples:
- Retail stores such as Starbucks brand merchandise with QR codes that allow consumers to launch websites detailing the products they are enjoying, including nutritional information.
- Brands have been partnering to offer customers free products. Recently Mountain Dew and Taco Bell partnered to provide customers free music through QR codes on beverage cups.
- Public transportation organizations have begun featuring QR codes with up-to-date information such as real-time schedules and last minute updates.
- During the holiday season, JC Penney allowed its customers to record voice messages for gifts that would be distributed in the form of QR codes that were paired with the purchased item.
In a world where competition is around every corner, advertisers are always looking for a new way to reach that prospective customer. QR codes are among the most recent options to engage the consumer with something unique and dynamic. To explore how to incorporate QR codes into your next advertising campaign, contact Strategic Marketing today at (561)688-8155.