Like most people I have started to see a large number of QR codes appearing in printed adverts and sometimes appearing on advertising hoardings and posters. Noting that these marketing materials cost money and that businesses do not spend money likely these days I had a look into what were the benefits of using QR codes and why would you issue a leaflet or poster that had been QR coded.
My background is in online advertising where I am used to tracking every action on behalf of visitors to my sites and identifying, down to the last decimal place, the return on advertising. This gives me the advantage of being able to refine advertising messages and/or creative rapidly and to maximise the return from my marketing expenditure. Whilst QR codes work created, in Japan, to help the tracking of car parts they are ideal to bring this interactive tracking to printed advertising materials.
If you are used to using traditional printed advertising and still do so you will be aware that there is a great gap in your understanding of which different advertising creatives are attracting the most attention. Yes we do put “please quote ABC 123″ on the bottom of leaflets but let’s be honest, how many potential customers actually quote these numbers when they telephone our call centre or submit a coupon. With a QR code our online systems contract which codes were scanned and, even more valuable, track which one is subsequently led to a profitable action such as the customer signing up for some additional information or purchasing a product online.
Why am I mentioning them now? Well, there are millions of potential customers who are now walking around the streets with a hardware device in their hand which can be used to scan QR codes. I am talking about the new generations of smart phones, powerful handheld computers incorporating a camera and the ability to download a scanning application.
In these hard economic times every pound of advertising and marketing spend most be used to the benefit of your business. If you run a business and do any form of advertising you must consider integrating QR codes into your printed materials. The incremental cost is minor, there are free QR code generators on the Internet and hosted QR code tracking applications can be employed for a low monthly subscription cost would offer the opportunity to make significant gains in the effectiveness of your marketing materials.
PS these codes no longer need to be the standard black and white variety. It is very easy to colour these to ensure that they match your business branding and complement any marketing materials you publish.