There may be no larger marketing dinner party to be invited to this year than the Quick Response (QR) code party. QR codes are everywhere. They are on your television, billboards, magazines, emails, even business cards. They are quite effective. The audience has a real feeling of interaction and choice when a QR code is placed in front of them. Combine that fun factor with the popularity of smart phones and tablet PCs, and there may be no better way to generate an impulse purchase decision. But as QR codes become more popular among advertisers, so do their widespread misuse.
In this article I will explore the most common ways QR Codes are being misused and why misuse of a QR code could drive your customers away.
A few years ago, Brenda and I were invited to a dinner party. As we and the other guests arrived our host mentioned that she hadn’t really felt like cooking that day and she wasn’t going to prepare the main course. So there we sat, a house full of hungry guests expecting dinner and getting none. Needless to say, the party broke up early as everyone fled home to their refrigerator or nearest drive-thru.
In a similar manner a great percentage of QR code advertisers leave their audience hungry when inviting them to their website through a QR code scan. To put it simply, the consumer scans the code expecting dinner, and if they don’t get it, they will most likely find someplace else to eat. To keep your consumers eating out of your hand follow three simple solutions with QR code advertising: mobile in mobile out, customize and feeding time.
Mobile in mobile out. The most common QR code mistake is sending the user to a site that is not optimized for the mobile web. Yes, most website will display on a phone or tablet, but think about the end user experience. A mobile site is formatted specifically for the device it displays on. Sites that are designed for the mobile web are easy to read without zooming, the buttons are larger for touch screen interaction, and the content is pared down to the most important elements. If you plan on inviting your consumers to scan a code with their phone or tablet, please do not make the mistake of sending them to a site that is formatted for interacting with a personal computer.
Customize. Let’s face it, from a design standpoint; a QR code is a design nightmare. It takes up valuable space, it’s not very attractive, and those harsh angles and thick lines can turn an elegant white tablecloth place setting into Styrofoam plates and plastic forks before you can say, “Pass the ketchup.” But don’t fret, in the busy world of QR codes there are a few things that can make your checkerboard stand out from the competition. Due to the way QR codes are scanned, a designer can have a lot of fun being creative with a QR code in ways that bar codes never allowed. Try to include within your QR code the corporate logo, a company color scheme or photo, or work the code into your design in a unique way.
Feeding time. Now that you have a beautiful place setting and the casserole is in the oven, once the guests arrive, don’t forget to feed them. QR codes are about much more than generating another hit on your website’s homepage, so don’t send them there. Send them to a coupon for a percentage off, or free item with purchase or possibly even a drawing. If you don’t want to feed them with savings, feed them with information like tips, tricks and trivia, feed your consumers’ minds and pockets with information and savings that will keep them hungry for more.
Are you hungry for QR code marketing with your business? Do you need help optimizing your site for the mobile web? Are you interested in marketing with QR codes? Do you need help customizing a QR code for your business? The Simpler Group can help you with all of your mobile marketing needs with special business marketing packages that include custom built graphics that every company needs. Contact us today for a free estimate.
About Doug Simpler — Doug manages the creative department at The Simpler Group, he strives to help customers turn vision into reality by creating unique and custom web designs. He also does print design and video/photo production. He loves the rock music, locally grown organic food, swimming, and reading.