QR codes, a.k.a. Quick Response codes, are a useful way to encourage individuals to interact with a product or service. They can be used for a variety of engagement tactics including driving consumers to an ecommerce landing page, providing a coupon or giving in-depth product information.
Marketing firm MGH conducted very helpful QR code user research in February 2011:
As you can see, getting a coupon or accessing additional information are the two main uses for QR codes. The study also showed one-third of all smartphone users have scanned a QR code and two-thirds have seen one. Users who were aware of QR codes tended to be more educated and affluent and the largest majority of users were ages 35-54. As QR codes become more common, awareness is certain to grow in most demographics.
Before employing a QR code in any campaign, make sure you have covered all the basics:
- Not all users already have a code reader downloaded on their phone. Any time you place a QR code, provide a website URL like www.FSQR.org so they can download a reader to scan the code.
- This may seem obvious, but many companies have gotten it wrong: make sure the QR code goes to a site designed specifically for mobile.
- Think through the placement of the code in the real world. Putting a QR code anywhere with bad cell reception such as a subway makes it useless.
- As with any marketing initiative, measurement is key. Follow the success of a QR code with a trackable URL, which will provide stats on the number of QR code scans per hour as well as the devices used.
About the Author
Nick Jerome is a marketing services manager at FASTSIGNS®, a visual communications services provider with more than 550 locations around the world.