Marketing Strategy

We are bombarded with hundreds of branded messages every day, so why when you’ve just captured my attention with a QR code have you failed to use it correctly?

large QR code with hidden letters

So there’s this product that’s been in use in Japan since the mid 90’s. Developed to help keep track of items on the factory floor. Scanable and trackable and can hold as many as 7,000 characters. Essentially it’s a barcode killer. And finally it’s found its way into popular Western culture and is gradually picking up popularity steam for brand and marketing managers.

The QR Code (quick response) looks a bit like an alien face (well it does to me) and can be created for free. The fantastic thing about them is that when a consumer sees an advertisement that engages them they can pull out their smart phone, launch their QR reader (I recommend the i-nigma reader, which can be downloaded free here) and scan the code. In an instant the viewer is experiencing your brand in a world where the physical ad isn’t even on the door list.

Quick, easy and free, the QR code helps answer the question about “how to promote” a brand or product. So why is it that so many people are screwing it all up?

Over the past month I’ve scanned five different QR codes around Auckland and each time I’m directed to a lame website (which hasn’t even been built for mobile devices) with no specific call to action or added benefit.

We are bombarded with hundreds of messages every day, so why when you’ve just captured my attention haven’t you given me an experience?

I don’t want to be redirected to your website, I don’t want to have to register for updates. And I’m certainly not going to sign-up to a loyalty scheme.

We are working on some pretty exciting ideas with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. One of their objectives is to attract a younger audience who haven’t been exposed to classical music.

Are QR codes the answer? Trick question – there is no ONE answer, we believe QR codes can be a component of a wider strategy. For instance, if I see a poster advertising an upcoming concert. It’s 50-50 whether I’ll buy tickets to it – the barrier to entry here is that I don’t know what the music sounds like. Scan the QR code which redirects me to the APO’s 30 sec Youtube clip and, guess what we’ve just shared a moment that has probably turned me into a follower.

How do you educate and inform people about QR codes? Try the obvious approach like Calvin Klein and put up a huge billboard.