QR codes are everywhere but how well do they work? If you own a business, that question has likely crossed your mind a few times. The answer depends on who you ask and how they’re being used. Before you run off and get a QR code added to your vehicle decal, signage, table stand, or business card, make sure this tool fits with what you’re trying to accomplish and that you’re doing it right.
That is always first and foremost who you should be thinking of as you consider products, advertising, or anything that relates to your brand’s perception. Justin Amendola, VP of global SMB digital strategy at Pitney Bowes said “We have seen a huge increase in the rate of scans in the mobile market over the past year in the U.S.” What he said next should not be taken for granted. He said “QR codes also answer a need for consumers who have become conditioned for instant gratification to get information wherever they are.”
That may or may not describe your target market. Not everyone is a gen y’er hardwired for “I need it now or I’m outta here.” If your market is mainly 40+ and blue collar, you may have a hard time getting any results from a QR campaign. Why? Because many in this group resist technology. That’s how it pays (and saves!) to consider your market before taking on a new tool or technique. After all, it’s all about your customers and what works for them.
In fact if you frustrate your prospects, they’ll likely turn off their friends from your business with their tale of aggravation. How could a QR code frustrate a user? Simply not testing the link is obvious but sending them to a page that is not mobile optimized, takes forever to load, and sucks down their data plan is something too many businesses and marketers alike miss.
John Lim, CEO of Life in Mobile said “Many marketers have not learned how to truly leverage this technology.” In addition to not having a mobile site as the destination for your QR code, not having a Call To Action is another mistake. Yes, people with smart phones and QR code scanning apps do know what to do but you need to make it clear why they should do it.
A strong CTA like “Scan here for a special (or exclusive) discount” tells them what and why. That can be the difference between sale or no sale. It’s still up to the strength of your offer and the sales copy quality.
While QR codes are a great tool, so is a screwdriver. Neither are meant to be used for every job or by every person. And using either of them used in the wrong way or in the wrong hands can lead to a painful lesson.
Let me know what your thoughts are. If you’d like to learn more about how QR codes may work for your business, contact me.