Should you QR? Heck, yes! QR, or Quick Response Code, started as a shipping and tracking device and has now taken the mobile marketing world by storm. I asked Shamrock’s in-house mobile Guru, and here’s why:
What’s a QR Code?
Worldwide, in 2011 QR code usage increased 20%, making it a pretty big deal. Used cleverly by many large companies for entertainment and product/loyalty marketing, many of these applications target mobile phone users — primarily smart phone users. Just to give you an idea of how QR codes may explode — smart phone growth was almost 50% in 2011, which increases the capabilities to use QR codes dramatically!
How Does it Work?
First, the mobile user finds a QR code application in order to scan a QR code onto a smart phone, which the user then takes a specific action as a result of. Or users can generate and print their own QR codes for others to scan and make use of by visiting one of several pay or free QR code-generating sites or applications.
QR codes can be found in magazines, on signs, on buses, on business cards, or on almost any object which users might want more information. Users with a camera phone equipped with the correct reader application can scan the image of the QR code to display text, contact information, connect to a wireless network, or open a web page in the mobile phone’s browser. This gives them the opportunity to learn more about a product, receive a QR code Only discount, enter a contest, or do many other marketing-oriented tasks.
What Are Some Cool QR Code Promotions?
They can be as simple as a local restaurant offering its chef-endorsed recipe of the week or something Shamrock recently did for a client. We included a QR code in the client’s literature so that customers could dig down, right on their smart phone, for How To instructions on product installations.
One of the best usages of QR code I recall includes a 2011 holiday promo from JC Penney. This holiday season, the clothing retailer gave consumers the option of sending personalized holiday greetings to loved ones. Once an item was purchased, users were able to scan the QR code, record up to 60 seconds of voice, and then attach the QR code to the gift, making the gift that much more special.
ONE LAST THING…
The JC Penney usage of a QR code is a good example because it contains all the elements of a good campaign: it was fun; it was timely; it was interactive; it was creative — and it helped move the needle on JC Penney’s overall strategy of positioning itself as a forward-thinking, contemporary retailer. If you’d like to see other examples of good QR code marketing, check us out on Facebook. This week we’re talking about the best ways to use QR codes.