Have QR Codes gone the way of the dinosaur? If you look at current marketing efforts by Facebook, PayPal and Susan G. Komen, the answer is a resounding "no." In fact with the continued explosion in smartphone growth, it looks like QR Codes are even more relevant than ever.
How are the big boys using QR Codes in their marketing? PayPal is actually experimenting in Singapore with accepting QR Codes as a form of mobile payment, while Facebook decided to decorate the roof of its new headquarters in Menlo Park with a 42-foot wide QR Code that is visible from space.
From the point-of-view of a large, national nonprofit, Susan G. Komen is using QR Codes in its print media to drive visitors to its mobile site, show a compelling video and solicit for donations.
Within the next 4 years, it's predicted that over a billion people will own smartphones. Large organizations are already adjusting their marketing to account for this, and it's time that you did as well.
How are QR Codes relevant for smaller nonprofits and businesses? According to a recent article from The Social Media Examiner, more than 50% of all local web searches take place on mobile devices. This means that if you are a small organization QR Codes and mobile marketing definitely need to be on your radar.
The same article emphasizes that the most important part of the QR Code experience is the consumer experience. Translate this to mean that having users scan a QR Code so they can show up at your website is typically not an effective way to engage your customers. Think about the Komen example above where those who scan QR Codes are shown a video.
The QR Code experience needs to be engaging. If you need help with this, you'll want to take a look at my recent post, The "Do's" and "Dont's" of QR Codes in Marketing.
Are there other incentives for using QR Codes?
Yes, the USPS has renewed its summer discount for direct mail pieces that use 2D barcodes like QR Codes and Microsoft Tags; click here for full details of this Summer special.
Who's scanning QR Codes? Although it's easy to make the assumption that QR Codes are only used by young consumers, according to an article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, 70 percent of QR consumers are between ages of 25 and 55. The same article shares that QR Code scanning grew by 1,600 percent last year-wow! Take a peek at my recent video discussing QR Code growth.
In summary, it seems clear that when large successful, tech-savvy companies like Facebook and PayPal are embracing QR Codes, they are clearly not dead. The continued explosion of smartphone growth will only make QR Codes, and the evolution of the QR Code, even more important to marketers.
Slapping a QR Code in any random spot on your print marketing without a plan is a sure path to failure. It's critical to determine in advance where you want to deliver your customer and how you want them to respond.
Finally, education is critical for both employees and customers when including QR Codes in marketing materials; make sure that employees can help educate customers on how to engage with the QR Code and what they can expect when they scan it.
Since use of QR Codes in marketing isn't vanishing any time soon, what are you doing to incorporate QR Codes in your marketing?
If you need help creating a QR Code for your marketing campaign, or even a custom QR Code, I hope you’ll contact me.
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What examples of QR Codes in marketing have you seen? Please share your comments below.