QR Codes – Switched On Marketing

Being able to influence remote customers at the point of purchase decision used to be a marketer’s dream – today it is becoming a reality. With the growing popularity of mobile devices and app-savvy consumers, marketers are using these new developments to make their products even more available and increasingly talked about by customers.

Quick Response (QR) Codes are already being used by switched on marketers to introduce their company, people and products to potential customers who might never have given them a second glance, and when the “click-throughs” are monitored, they can become an invaluable source of marketing information.

The curiosity of “what’s behind the code?” may be enough to tease a potential customer into linking to your website or promotional video, but many marketers often take this one step further to ensure they are able to communicate with those who click through.  At many exhibitions and fairs, QR codes are popping up linking to competitions, with those who enter signing up to receive promotional information – finding out more about the company and the products in the process.

Many companies are starting to use QR codes on business cards to enable people to connect more quickly.  Others are inviting purchasers to join their User Club and get additional information about new products or discounts.  QR codes are becoming more popular in restaurants, giving diners the opportunity to share feedback.

Linking QR codes to video clips is the one of the big learns that early adopter marketers have discovered. Pictures and sound are worth a thousand words and using the inbuilt capabilities of mobile devices brings the brand personality to life.

Nearly half of all smartphone owners use their phones while shopping, to compare prices, take photos of products or search for coupons or discounts.  A QR code next to a product price-tag could contain additional product information or offer at that point of sale.

There are many ways that QR codes can be used and marketers are becoming more creative each day.  UK advertising agency, Made By Stupid, has created QR codes featuring graphics from well-known apps, including Instagram, Angry Birds and Shazam; scan them and they link through to the app-store where you can download them directly.

One What If? Forum member, who manufactures industrial consumables, has started to introduce customers to members of its sales, service and support teams through QR codes on the product labelling.  This has already opened up fresh channels of communication with product users and is providing useful feedback and fresh marketing ideas.

How could you use QR Codes to get even closer to your customers? There’s no prize; I would just love to see how many great ideas What If? blog readers can come up with.  Please leave a comment below, or e-mail me via richard.bosworth@whatifspecialist.com, go to @richardwhatif on Twitter, Richard Bosworth on LinkedIn or post on www.whatifforums.com.

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