An independent (not franchised) publisher of a local ad referral-style newsletter in my area (Wake County, NC) recently expressed this conundrum to me when I asked him if he was selling QR code campaigns to his customers.

Ad publishers are still struggling with how to explain the benefits of these odd looking (ok…ugly) pixelated squares, which we know as ‘QR codes’. This is not at all unexpected, especially outside of the larger metro areas, where QR codes can be seen pasted on windows, telephone poles, and other rent-free real estate assets.  So is this really an ‘old print meet young media‘ type generational disconnect? Perhaps.  But established direct mailer publishers should be careful not to fall behind their larger competitors.

The national direct-mail franchisers are moving full steam ahead with QR marketing because they understand that if a code is scanned and delivers an engaging interactive experience to a prospect, it can provide a deeper impression than any 10 lines of copy.   Valpak®, the #1 national direct mailer,  recently announced that they will be Pushing QR Codes to 80 Million Households. And my sources tell me that Money Mailer will be  following their lead over the next couple of months. The bottom line – even smaller ad agencies and publishers should take note of these trends and be able to articulate the benefits of managed Quick Response campaigns.