Innovative Marketing with QR Codes
From the introduction of the first “brick” mobile phones in the ‘80s, mobile technology has moved far beyond the provision of simple analogue voice calls. The mobile phone is now an essential communication device for the general UK population with a 114% penetration rate!
Feature rich mobile handsets have greatly increased the marketing options available to businesses and some are making significant efforts to reach new customers through a variety of mediums. Previously mobile marketing was a purely one-way contact method as customers were blasted with SMS advertising messages which resulted in annoying potential customers much more than converting sales.
Newer technologies such as QR Codes and NFC Smart Posters allow advertisers to present their customers with feature rich, interactive brand messages, but many are struggling to make a success of their efforts. Mobile marketing can yield impressive results, but there are three common reasons these campaigns regularly fail:
- Failure to set a strategy. Following on from the SMS method of fire and forget, many marketers regard QR Code advertising as a wait-and-see medium. They print codes on a few items and then sit back hoping for a response, without ever deciding how they want the customer to react, or setting a clear “path” from interaction to sale.
- Failure to consistently use their QR Codes. Most businesses test their QR Codes on a small number of printed promotional items, ignoring the opportunity to integrate them with their other communications channels and regarding them as a niche experiment.
- Failure to collect customer information. As with SMS marketing, advertisers frequently fail to implement data collection techniques as part of their QR Code marketing. They present their marketing message to the customer but never collect any information in return, keeping the medium a passive experience.
Mobile marketing is no different in its intentions to any other advertising effort, but many brands fail to see the consistencies. Yes, QR Code marketing should translate to sales, but other basic tasks such as user data collection are often neglected. So with the common failures in mind, the solutions are surprisingly simple.
- Set a strategy. Draw up what you hope to achieve from your QR Code campaign. Think about the customer experience and how QR marketing fits into your wider marketing strategy. Decide how you will define the success of the campaign and lay out the actions required to achieve it.
- Get the QR Code out there. Once the investment has been made in designing a QR Code, it should become as ubiquitous as your phone number and website address. Wherever you print contact details, you should also have your QR Code. Flyers, posters and even email signatures should all have the code on them as standard.
- Interact. When a customer scans your QR Code, give them something to do on your website. Push your marketing message, but also pull something from them, such as some basic contact details. This information can then be used for future marketing efforts, giving you a way to pull them back to your business again and again.
Using a defined customer experience, an expectation of the campaign’s intentions and a facility to collect and retain customer information in a backend database will all help ensure the success of a QR Code campaign. Taking a holistic approach to mobile marketing will also give the best possible chance of turning a QR Code marketing effort from a quirky experiment into another valuable marketing channel for your business.