QR Codes: Cracking the (QR) Code
What QR codes enable is the ability to market to prospects in context. This is more than being able to offer a transactional percentage-off promotion. It's putting a connection from your product in front of consumers. Best Buy uses QR codes as virtual salespeople, allowing shoppers to learn about products without having to find a store employee who's knowledgeable about that product. But imagine offering an incentive along with the information (e.g., buy today and get 10 percent off) or even an accessory such as a free HDMI cable available for a limited time. This is possible because the QR code user is a discrete target who can receive customized communications based on behavior and location.
Mobile offers personalization down to the individual level. This is a critical difference from every other form of communication and should always be considered when developing mobile marketing strategies. Take advantage of this personal aspect as well as respect it because you'll only get one chance to lose a customer by not valuing their privacy.
3 QR Code Tips
To make the most of the opportunity that QR codes afford, retailers should keep the following basic ground rules firmly in mind:
- QR codes are essentially physical hyperlinks that lead to content; just as with online hyperlinks, these links should be relevant, timely and offer incremental value.
- QR codes aren't a magic bullet. They should be used as part of an overall strategy that incorporates mobile and ties all other customer touchpoints together.
- Users' privacy should always be held sacred; violate this rule at your own peril.
The growth of mobile as a marketing tool allows retailers to engage consumers in a manner that they could have only dreamed about 10 years ago. But with this ability comes the challenge of tossing out old paradigms and changing old habits. If you're looking for a way to cram QR codes into your existing strategy, it's time to stop, regroup and rethink that strategy.