Integrating QR Codes into Your Marketing

In the past five years, we have seen QR Codes seep into marketing plans. First seen in magazines and on food packaging and then later on metro commuter signs, newspaper ads and retail signage. What’s next?

Well, get ready for the second wave of QR Codes marketing ideas in 2013.

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In the past few months, QR Codes have been popping up in unique places:

  • My recent Amtrak ticket stub had a QR marketing tag with the option to purchase my next ticket.
  • A flyer included in my cell phone bill contained nine QR Codes to advertise new mobile apps.
  • My NYC hotel had a QR Code in my room to announce a mobile concierge service.
  • Last week, I purchased cupcakes at one of those popular gourmet cupcake shops, and their weekly specialty menu was just a scan from the tag on their bright pink box.

My firm is currently working on re-introducing QR Code marketing to our clients. Just some of the markets we are working on this Spring include the Festival and Events vertical market, the Real Estate market and the Retail market.

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Our brainstorming sessions have gone way beyond just adding a QR Codes to signage. We are working on event sponsorship packages, retail loyalty programs and new Realtor personal marketing packages.

Why are both consumers and marketing professionals seeing a resurgence of QR Code use? Three reasons:

  1. Smart phones have gained popularity with all age groups
  2. QR Code marketing is cost-effective – anyone can add a tag scanner to their smartphone at no charge.
  3. The price of smartphones has drastically dropped since the inception of QR Code technology.

Display your QR Code in a 1” by 1” square on just about any medium. A QR Code provides a lot of marketing impact for a small square of real estate in your current marketing materials.

QR Codes may even be reproduced onto stickers and added to existing materials. Anyone can quickly introduce QR Tag marketing to their marketing mix.

There is a QR Code solution for most marketing budgets. From a basic mobile site to a multi-tiered mobile site. With QR Code marketing, you can start with a basic mobile site and grow the site as your business grows.

Where will QR tags next appear? Apparel and merchandise providers are now providing the option to imprint your QR Code on anything from t-shirts to tote bags to event swag. QR Codes are popping up on event wristbands and even as temporary tattoos!

But, positive impact on the consumer only happens when they have an interesting experience upon scanning the tag. Gone are the days of using a static flyer on the other side of a tag scan.

Linking your QR Tag to your standard web site often provides a confusing experience for the consumer as they try to navigate a complex site from their smartphone.

Consumers are demanding a positive first impression from any mobile application, QR Code scanning included.

Consumers are looking for an interactive experience and ease-of-use:

  • They want to click-through a mobile centric site with easy touch icons.
  • They want visual aids and easy-to-read text.
  • Consumers want a rich experience with photos, video, audio files and promotional materials.
  • They also want current information, such as that weekly gourmet cupcake menu or a current list of bands playing at next week’s festival.

When meeting with clients, The Market Centre Group is often asked how owners of a QR Code Marketing Program can boost the number of scans or how to get consumers to re-scan their tag for on-going marketing. We are building customer loyalty programs, user groups and social clubs for our QR Code Marketing clients.

Loyalty program members will be encouraged to scan the QR Code often for special promotions, coupons and event tickets. We are tying Social Media to the QR Code Marketing Programs of our clients.

Consumers are encouraged to share special event news and promotions with their Social Media user groups through Tag Sharing.

If you are a marketing professional or someone with a product or service to promote, the surge of QR Code marketing sounds exciting. Your second thought may be about managing a QR Code and Mobile Site campaign.

What are your thoughts about QR Codes and mobile marketing? Have you ever scanned a QR Code? What happened? What did you think? Let me know in this comments section below.

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