QR Codes Hype or Worth The Work?
- 4 Comment
Reposted with attribution from Marketing Edge Podcast:
Any new technology has its advocates, people that push the envelope on what can be done. The magic, however is when the tech advocates’ perspective meets those practical enough to ask the question why will this new technology help us solve X. Today we are talking about the technology of QR codes.
You see the challenge of solving for X is not a exclusive to mathematics. This X can be a practical business challenge such as selling more products. We’ll hear in this special Marketing Edge Podcast how an independent band was able to breakthrough the musical cacophony of hundreds of other bands and sell more songs by using QR codes. John C Havens @johnchavens Executive Vice President of Social Media at Porter Novelli shares that story.
I chose the letter X because it also is used in geographical references, such as X marks the spot. QR codes also can transport the user to other destinations. Take print advertising, a QR code can morph a staid stock photo into a multimedia experience in an exotic destination. That’s part of our conversation with Sarah Evans aka PR Sarah Evans. @prsarahevans on Twitter
A brilliant line from Evans in this podcast is “marketing gets people in the door and PR keeps them coming back.” She speaks to using QR codes as a way to enhance a customer experience, and that can be anywhere, in-store, through a billing statement, anywhere. The manta being how do we keep them coming back.
Havens, co-author of Tactical Transparency has dived deep into mobile tagging and scanning technologies as well as augmented reality. He makes the case for using QR code technology as a way to give early adopters of QR code readers access to your brand. It’s also more than brand, it’s capturing an immediate moment. Those moments can be transaction moments, excitement moments, information moments.
Let’s take community action. Say there is an intersection with a long traffic light. Petition commuters stuck in traffic by posting a QR code at the intersection, or someone with a poster of the QR code on an easel that launches an email to legislators saying, “I’m stuck at this incredibly long light at 3rd and Elm and I want to get out!”
Window shopping, literally, QR Codes in front of displays in retail windows take shoppers to a website where they can buy what’s in the window. With QR codes not only can you find out how much that dress is in the window, but what other colors it comes in and accessories can be purchased. QR codes make store hours your hours.
QR codes may well save some printers, imagine talking Christmas gift catalogues? Now you get the picture. Enjoy the podcast with John C Havens and Sarah Evans, along with a cameo soundtrack from Sarah’s dog. Which of course led to a good idea about a QR application.
The Reasons to Play With QR Codes
- Effective way to integrate media (print, web, multimedia)
- Great way to understand mobile audience (more smartphones were sold than PCs in 4Q, 2010 – that’s a game changer)
- Point of Sale enhancement (it’s like an in-store kiosk for any product you want to promote)
- Point of excitement selling moment (QR Codes printed on concert program allows audience to leave with music they purchase in their pocket)
Cautions When Using QR Codes
- QR Reader quality not consistent, making user experience a larger variable than some would like. (a potential workaround is using Jagtag where you snap a picture of a jagtag and text it to a number. You will then receive a text with the detailed content. Another popular method is Microsoft tag. )
- Simplistic use of QR Code, e.g. a QR Code is not a good replacement for a web address because it is likely not to meet heightened user expectation )
- Give user time to understand it’s a QR code and to read it e.g. QR code on highway billboard, not good, on billboard at tourist venue or at baseball park, better.
So tell me did you scan the QR Code above? Sorry I just had to for old time, early adopters sake. Please let me know in the comments if you successfully scanned a QR Code this year? thanks
The Marketing Edge, one of the longest running marketing and public relations podcasts. Host Albert Maruggi weaves his 25 years of marketing and PR experience across business, technology and national public affairs in interviews with newsmakers, authors and business leaders. Maruggi is a frequent speaker and conducts workshop sessions on new media. For more information or to discuss your business challenges and goals, e-mail him.