As more consumers embrace the use of smart phones, QR codes are being increasingly utilized as a marketing tool. QR codes present an opportunity to easily connect with your clients and potential clients by having your product information easily accessible to scan.
But how effective are they? While embedding these action codes in print material can enable creative marketing campaigns, they should not be used haphazardly. One must be thoughtful in the application of QR codes and incorporate them as part of an effective overall marketing strategy with meaningful context. In previous blog posts we addressed the promotions and price components of a marketing strategy. This blog will address how QR codes may compliment the product being marketed.
Review your product objectives.
Smartphones, when coupled with QR codes, can easily put product information and content right into the consumer’s hands. QR codes can help current customers use the full breadth of a product’s features, potentially increasing their satisfaction. So it goes without saying that when deciding how to use a QR code, you must first examine your product objectives.
Product Features - Do you want to help consumers compare product features to ease their purchasing decisions? As we discussed in the first blog in this series, Best Buy includes a QR code on every product fact card, providing easy access to detailed product features and the ability to compare these product features. QR codes can also be linked to product reviews or specifications, which can be helpful if a sales person is not immediately around to assist a client in a crowded store. Since many consumers are doing research as they shop for big ticket items, this type of mobile technology can assist with those purchasing decisions.
Product Manuals - QR codes can also decrease customer service calls, by expanding upon information found in paper instruction manuals. By including QR codes that link to product assembly, maintenance or product usage demos, consumers can easily follow directions on new purchases without having to read or store those lengthy “how-to” manuals. And imagine not having to search for the manual years from now when you need to repair or disassemble something – just scan the code!
Product Enhancements - There are innovative applications of QR codes becoming an enhancement or an accessory to the product. For example, JC Penney’s 2011 holiday marketing campaign includes both mobile and social elements. They have taken the traditional gift tag to a new level by letting customers create a personal voice recorded message to attach to their purchase using QR codes.
Product Warranties - Are warranties part of your product strategy? Some companies are using QR codes on product tags to help consumers register product warranties, to show what is covered, to provide information on how to make a claim, or to purchase an extended warranty. The QR code can link consumers to a website with the warranty expiration or renewal information. Imagine not having to remember to send in the little warranty card!
Product Loyalty - QR codes can also be integrated into your product loyalty programs. By placing the code within your product packaging, consumers are able to scan and earn points for purchasing a product. Or marketers can put identifiers on receipts for customers to scan and earn loyalty points that they may later redeem for merchandise.
Check the details to ensure success.
With QR codes popping up everywhere and becoming more familiar to the average consumer, it seems that they provide an unlimited number of product marketing opportunities. However, it’s important to review critical QR code specifications and perform thorough tests to make sure that they work. And, as with any aspect of a marketing strategy, you need to measure results and adjust your campaign accordingly. Don’t just make QR codes a gimmick; put some thought into how they can add to your product experience. Know what your audience wants.
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What are some of the ways you have used QR codes? How would you like to see them used?