QR Code: A Potential Mobile Solution for Marketers!

So last week you get something in the mail from your dentist with a QR code on it. However, its too small to scan. Then you get a menu from your pizza delivery place and that has a QR code on it. You scan it and find the link to be broken! There are QR codes scattered throughout shopping centres, but they don’t have any call to action (Scan with Smartphone) so people just walk right by them. It’s these examples that are hindering the adoption of codes as a successful marketing strategy.

A Smartphone in the US is the highest selling consumer electronic device, having sold 95 million phones in the year 2010:

Inspite of this, the use of QR codes in the US is low. So, while marketers and advertisers are eager to use QR codes to reach the growing mobile market, consumers still refrain. This is mostly because of the lack of education to use them and poor user experiences when being used.

Another issue is QR content.

QR codes should ideally, instantly link to user to relevant, timely, valuable content such as an offer, coupon, discount, video, how-to, reviews, etc. Linking them to a website is really not a great use case. While it eliminates having to type a URL into your phone browser, this on its own isn’t enough to encourage someone to download scanning software and scan a code.

Solution for marketers:

The good news is that the use of Smartphones continues to rise, phones are being pre-loaded with scanners, and consumers are becoming more educated. The new apple iPhone commercial shows someone scanning a QR code. And not just B2C, with marketers changing email marketing practices and formats for B2B mobile use, a QR Code might act as a great alternative or added option to it.

In the meanwhile:

Pairing QR codes with SMS codes (Scan with Smartphone or Text “offer” to 555555 for coupon) work much better to encourage participation from new customers. It allows them to slowly ease into code use through a channel they are already very familiar with – texting.

Technology is great, but only if you can give customers a way to derive value from it! So, in a nutshell, a QR campaign crafted in an appropriate manner has limitless potential and should be started immediately to take advantage of the early-adopters market. The best solution is to pair it with a texting option to increase participation from the rest of the market.

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