QR codes add interactive benefits to attract customers

Every step of the way—from mobile marketing through payment options to assembly of merchandise—the digital icons are driving consumers’ involvement with purveyors of goods and services.

Smartphones are everywhere, and so are QR codes. By now you have seen and may have scanned your share of QR codes. If you haven’t, they can be fun and can lead consumers to videos, pictures, mobile information and more that is acccessible with a simple scan.

Every day there are more and more QR codes for things such as:

  • Marketing and information;
  • Customer service and further client engagement; and
  • Clients and customers choosing to engage with brands, products, restaurants, and companies.

Some smaller brands and companies have adopted QR codes fairly quickly and are having fun doing so. Larger brands and companies have until recently experimented with QR codes as an add-on to current campaigns, slipping them in the corner or at the bottom of printed materials.

One major retailer has created a campaign with a QR code as its centerpiece and, through its marketing efforts, is educating consumers about them. QR codes are the star of Macy’s “Backstage Pass.” As part of the campaign, Macy’s ran TV commercials and full-page newspaper ads featuring QR codes above the fold, thus sharing them with the shopping masses.

Macy’s has done some heavy lifting for the rest of us in showing how to scan its red QR code, which fits nicely into its familiar star. It has even created a video with instructions.

Now that Macy’s, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, and other mainstream brands and retailers have embraced QR codes in their marketing, it’s time for you to look into using them for your business.

What type of information can be encoded in QR codes?

  • Video: Real estate home tours, video product demonstrations, shelf talkers, music videos, movie trailers, and even directions for assembling build-it-yourself furniture or kids’ toys.
  • Maps, geo location: What better way to give directions to restaurants, stores, events, etc. Scan the code, and the directions are in the phone and ready to go.
  • Others: Phone numbers for a recorded message or SMS opt-in.
  • Email messages or addresses.
  • Paypal for instant purchasing and donations.
  • Medical information. Events that load into your mobile calendar.
  • Social media and location-based check-ins.
  • Extend brochure and packaging information with QR codes.

Decrease or eliminate outdated marketing material by putting time-sensitive information onto a QR code mobile landing page, where it can easily be updated. Include a QR code, and the brochure information remains relevant.

The most important aspect of implementation of QR codes is that they really are a mobile gateway and should be treated as such. Your QR code is not just another way to get people to go to your website. They can open a new line of customer engagement and add a competitive advantage, as well as showing innovation.

Now is the time to build your next campaign to include QR codes.

QR code implementation checklist:

1. Consider the mobile aspect.

2. Create and prepare what your QR code offering shall be. Is it a video, opt-in for e-newsletters, opt-in of SMS texting, or special content that is specific to a mobile landing page? Make sure the landing component is complete before your QR code goes public.

3. Determine whether you need a single QR code or a campaign with multiple codes.

4. Choose the right QR code generator—whether it’s do-it-yourself or QR code service, analytics are a must. Here is a great list.

5. Generate your code. Add it as is to your marketing materials, style it with color, or add some other design effects—being careful not to compromise the integrity of the code.

6. Test, test, test, and test again before you print your code. Test on multiple mobile phones (Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, etc.) using multiple QR code scanners. Perhaps even a short, quick print proof to test the code in its final state.

7. Add a sentence or two of scanning directions and where to get a QR scanning app.

This post originally ran on Spin Sucks.

Stephanie True Moss, is chief creative officer at True Moss Communications, Stephanie is the editor at QRmedia.us. You can follow her QR code tweets.

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