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On a recent LinkedIn discussion, Theresa Sutton, president, The August Group, posted insights and usage suggestions for QR (Quick Response) codes to counteract some of the bad advice on how to utilize the codes effectively that she says has been widely disseminated.
The technology allows flexibility (link to online digital content, activating phone functions, etc.) but usage, according to Sutton, is a problem. “The whole point is to encourage people to engage with your brand via their smartphone. If John has a smartphone and takes the time to scan your QR code, the payoff has to be pretty good or the next time he sees your ad, he won’t want to take that extract minute out of his already time-pressed day to be disappointed again.”
Sutton advises, like other marketing initiatives, start with a goal and strategy. “Take a user to your home page? Good, if you are consistently changing opportunities to engage with visitors from this point. Take them to a landing page for an exclusive offer they can bring or show in your store to redeem? Even better.”
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For those potential or existing customers without a smartphone, consider adding the URL under the QR code. Sutton says mass consumer direct mail pieces and magazines offer good examples of how large brands are not limiting offers based on the technology to which their customers have access. “Even though a QR code scavenger hunt sounds like fun in theory, you could alienate more than you engage if your customers can’t participate!
“Remember your audience and be realistic when you check the performance of the QR codes you do employ.
“It’s great to stay on top of technology, buts it’s even smarter to key in to what your customers want and how they want to interact with you.”
In her post, Sutton notes the following sources: Seven Reasons to Use QR Codes in Your Promotions by Tim Malone, and Cracking the QR Code by Jason Heller.