QR codes are one of the biggest emerging trends in business technology today. If we wound the clocks back a year, we would primarily see just a few early adopters using the technology that appears everywhere today from business cards to billboards. There are many great things that can be achieved with this technology, but in order to achieve great results, you must first understand four things: 1) The product; 2) The target; 3) The Method; and 4) The end goal.
1. The Product:
In this example, we are using QR Codes, which are simple square bar codes that can be scanned using a smartphone with a qr-reader app (many great ones are free). QR Codes can be used to link to a multitude of different things such as: websites, images, videos, text, phone numbers, or SMS. The main thing to keep in mind is deciding what you are wanting to get as a result of the target using this product and knowing if this is useful in getting your target there.
2. The Target:
Who is your target audience? Are they tech-savvy people? Do they use smartphones? Will these people have access to QR Codes scanners?
These questions are the types of things you will want to ask yourself before deciding to use QR Codes to promote your business. If your target market isn’t up to date with the latest technology, I would strongly advise rethinking the use of QR Codes in your marketing plan. The main thing to keep in mind here is deciding whether or not the technology you are using will be adopted by your customers/potential customers or if they will ignore it. If they are going to ignore it, is it worth your time and money?
3. The Method:
How are you going to use the QR Code? Are you going to place it on the back of a business card, on a coffee mug or on a billboard? Figuring out where you are going to place these codes are just as important as figuring out if it makes sense to place them there. For instance, if you place a QR Code on a billboard (which I don’t recommend doing), you have to think about who will be accessing it there. Will people be driving by at 65+ mph seeing it? Do you want those same people trying to scan a code at the same time? Or are you placing it there in the chance of traffic in which people are crawling at 6 mph and have nothing better to do than wait? Is it convenient for your customer and does it make sense?
4. The End Goal:
What do you want people to do once they unlock the data behind the QR Code? Are you giving them helpful hints on weight loss? Are you trying to grow your email distribution list? Or are you simply trying to get more Likes on your Facebook Brand page? In order to be successful in using QR Codes, you need to know what you are trying to get out of it and make sure that your customer knows what you’re trying to get them to do. I recently read an article of a QR code on the back of a book, which after scanned led to a video but no new or information. The problem for the author was that she scanned the QR Codes on a phone that didn’t support video, so she was simply out of luck and the QR Code didn’t help convert her. If the code was properly implemented, the people behind the book might have gotten a conversion out of her.
Now these four things can be applied to a multitude of different products, services and technologies, not only QR Codes.
Have you seen effective uses of QR Codes? Have you seen poorly used QR Codes?
Do you want to use QR Codes for your business? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.