Part of a series of Top 10 Branding/Pre-Sales Mobile Marketing Strategies
A Primer on QR Codes
One form of augmented reality marketing uses QR codes. Let’s begin with a primer on QR Codes.
What are QR codes?
QR codes are Quick Response codes that can be scanned and interpreted by smartphones or feature phones. Once the QR code is deciphered, it can automatically perform a wide range of functions such as play a video, generate a text message or link to a website.
Figure 33: QR Code Scanning
Placing a QR code on any electronic or print medium for scanning on a smartphone can open up a world of possibilities for consumers and marketers.
Watch the Video: QR Code Marketing Introduction: A very basic introduction to QR code marketing.[i] <goo.gl/Hk8X2> (Duration: two minutes)
Watch the Video: QR Code Marketing Introduction and Tips: Introduction to QR codes, how to create them and how to use them including basic usage dos and don’ts tips.[ii] <goo.gl/aq2XJ> (Duration: six minutes)
How are QR codes different than UPC codes?
1D UPC Barcodes (Universal Product Codes)[iii]
1D Designer UPC Barcodes
2D QR Codes (Quick Response Codes)
2D Designer QR Codes
Figure 34: UPC Barcodes and QR Codes
Mobile barcode scanning works with a number of different types of two-dimensional (2D) codes such as QR codes and one-dimensional (1D) codes such as UPC barcodes. 2D codes are capable of storing much more data than 1D codes.
What are the demographics of QR code users?
QR codes are very popular in Asia and Europe, and getting more popular in the Americas where total scans are growing exponentially – up over 600 percent.[iv] It’s no wonder that companies are learning how to capitalize on this phenomenon.
QR code marketing can help you reach a target market that is intensely sought after – high income earners. Over one‑third of those that have scanned QR codes have income over $100,000 and 55 percent have income over $75,000.[v] QR code users are predominantly male (60 percent) and most are 25 to 34 years old (37 percent) or 35 to 44 years old (20 percent).[vi]
Where do people typically scan QR codes?
QR code scanning typically occurs in a retail store, grocery store or at home. People usually scan QR codes in magazines, newspapers or on product packaging.[vii] A good time to consider reaching people with QR codes would be when they are waiting for something or in a lineup (e.g., retail store, airport, bank or doctor’s office).
What can you do with QR codes?
What you can do with QR codes is only limited by your imagination; you can do just about anything you can do on a smartphone. A QR code can link to a request form or a registration page, link to a poll or petition, connect to a map and directions to the nearest store, send a PayPal Buy Now link, send a text message, send an e‑mail, add an event to someone’s calendar, send a link to any website to view text, listen to an audio recording, see a photo gallery on Flickr, watch a video on YouTube, update an inventory database to indicate the movement of a product in your supply chain, or download an app. It can even automatically place a phone call to somebody such as a salesperson to take your order.
QR codes on items in your store window could actually enable someone to order your product even when your store is closed. A QR code found on a coaster in a bar could be used by a beer company to show you a funny video to entice you to buy their beer. A restaurant could place QR codes on placemats or coasters to show you photos or videos to get you to try a specialty drink or dessert.
QR Code Usage Tactical Tips
There are several potential applications and use cases for QR codes.
- Credit instant loyalty points to your account.
- Download an instant virtual discount coupon.
- Automatically send a Facebook like for that product.
- Create and send a pre-completed e‑mail or tweet on Twitter.
- Scan contact data directly into the smartphone address book.
- Distribute free digital assets (e.g., mobile apps, e‑books, ring tones, etc.).
- Link to anything on the web such as:
- A video
- Twitter page
- Corporate website
- How to instruction video (e.g., product installation video)
- Employee’s web page (e.g., an insurance sales rep’s web page)
- Employee support video (e.g., fan belt replacement servicing instructions), and
- Detailed product specifications (e.g., in Japan, QR codes grocery items contain info about when and where the product was grown, as well as best before expiry dates).
Where can I place QR codes?
Figure 35: QR Code Placements
You can place QR codes just about anywhere – the options are endless.
QR Code Placement Tactical Tips
There are several other potential QR code locations such as:
- Price lists
- TV shows
- Exterior of a jet
- Facebook pages
- Direct mail pieces
- Restaurant menus
- Sides of your trucks
- Historical site markers
- Games (e.g., video links)
- PowerPoint presentations
- Taxi stands (to call for taxi)
- Name badges at a conference
- Retail shelves (as shelf talkers)
- YouTube videos and webinars
- Marketing and promotional materials
- Press releases (e.g., link to expert video)
- Travel brochures (e.g., video link to a resort)
- E‑mails (e.g., to add a meeting to your calendar)
- Airport signage (e.g., link to flight status and gate)
- Shopping carts or grocery flyers (e.g., weekly coupons)
- Books (e.g., video link about the author, link to buy the book)
- Exit signs (e.g., tweet about the concert, check out from the hotel)
- E‑mail signature files (e.g., link to corporate website, link to video of the sender)
- In‑store signage (e.g., tweet this to a friend, save the date for our grand opening)
- On every product in the store with a direct link to real‑time inventory systems (e.g., find ut size and colour availability)
- On bus shelters so people can access the bus schedule, the real‑time location of the next bus and its estimated time of arrival, and
- Directly on all of your products: e.g., food packaging (link to the recipes), food wrappers (link to the ingredients), appliances (link to the manual), etc.
||Watch the Video: QR Code Marketing Strategies: A basic introduction to QR codes plus a top 10 list of QR code Marketing Strategies.[xxviii] <goo.gl/uSNMD> (Duration: seven minutes; jump to 3:07 for the top 10 list)
QR Code Marketing Strategies
QR Code Marketing Step-by-Step Guidance
Earlier in the book I described a generic ten‑step process for implementing a successful marketing strategy or campaign. Let’s now apply that process specifically to QR code marketing (with some additional steps) and I’ll also share with you some fascinating examples from around the world.
- Determine which priority stakeholders you want to reach.
- Set your QR code campaign objectives.
- Determine how you can meet your customers’ objectives – give them value.
- Brand your QR code campaign – be creative.
- Create and test your QR codes.
- Ensure all the back‑end processes are in place, tested and working.
- Publish your QR codes.
- Make it easy for your customers to scan your QR codes.
- Market/publicize your QR codes.
- Integrate with social media to leverage your campaign.
- Track your results using QR code campaign analytics.
- Optimize your current and future QR code campaigns.
- Apply QR code marketing best practices to maximize results.
Let’s explore each step.
1. Determine which priority stakeholders you want to reach.
Stakeholders could include:
- Alliance Partners
- Channel Partners
- Meeting Attendees
- Trade Show Attendees
- Employees, for example:
- Sales reps
- Retail clerk
- Delivery drivers
- Warehouse personnel.
2. Set your QR code campaign objectives.
A key step for creating a successful QR code campaign is to select objectives that address your business requirements.
- Generate sales.
- Focus on branding.
- Generate PR visibility.
- Generate Facebook likes.
- Generate website traffic.
- Improve customer support.
- Improve customer service levels.
- Generate mobile app downloads.
- Move prospects through the sales cycle.
- Improve employee workflow processes.
- Introduce an entirely new business model for your company.
Clothing retailer Express has implemented a broad range of QR code strategies. Codes in‑store and on store windows encourage registrations for its loyalty program. QR codes on hardcopy mailers provide video content and encourage product purchases. Express also provides an equivalent SMS text option to extend its campaigns to feature phone users.[xxix]
Boston Market created a QR code marketing campaign to enable customers to enter its Summer at its Best sweepstakes. The goal was to drive repeat in‑store traffic with the enticement of a dream vacation to Hawaii. The QR codes were sent to registered VIP members, placed on banner ads and also in print at the restaurants.[xxx]
Budweiser placed QR codes right on Bud beer labels. The Track your Bud app actually shares a story about your beer by telling you where it was brewed and where the ingredients came from. It also provides you with a personal video connection to the brew master and the heritage of your local Budweiser brewery. Budweiser is successfully overcoming the perception that it is a giant brewery that doesn’t care as much about its beer as a local craft brewery might.[xxxi]
Home Depot uses QR codes in their stores to link customers to project guides, How To videos and information about pertinent accessories for cross-selling. They also have links to videos from designers such as Martha Stewart who discusses kitchen designs. These strategies are intended to move customers through the sales cycle.
Figure 36: QR Codes on Wine Bottles
The QR code on this bottle of Portuguese wine directs consumers to Adegga, a social wine discovery community for wine lovers. Prospective customers can read other wine lovers’ comments about this wine.[xxxii] But linking customers directly to a wine community is risky. What if there are comments from people that don’t like this wine?
It could have been a bold move by the owners of a winery who are confident in the quality of their wine; it demonstrates that they are not afraid of a high level of transparency about their wine. Unfortunately there are no reviews or tasting notes for this wine at Adegga and nobody has made it a favourite. The link simply points to other wines from this winery.
Now let’s consider potential powerful approaches for wine bottles (also applicable to other products) to achieve both marketing and sales objectives. A scan of this QR code could instead link to:
- A video review of this wine by a wine critic describing its refined taste, what food it complements and why it’s the best wine in the under $20 price range
- A video of the wine maker describing the making of this wine, and/or
- A specific site to order a case or two of this wine.
At the other end of the spectrum, the Russian government created an innovative mobile app using geo-location technologies and augmented reality to show people the horrific accidents that have occurred on the very streets that they travel on every day. It has been successful at meeting the objective of increasing road safety awareness in Moscow.
Figure 37: City of Moscow QR Codes
The city of Moscow implemented an innovative and shocking marketing campaign by placing these QR codes throughout the city to encourage citizens to download an app to learn about road safety.
||Watch the Video: Public Sector QR Code Innovation – Moscow: Learn about how the Russian government created an innovation mobile app to increase road safety awareness in Moscow.[xxxv] <goo.gl/SKVAy> (Duration: two minutes)
One powerful approach for moving prospects through the sales cycle is customer references. A video of an enthusiastic satisfied customer talking about how happy they are and how they achieved specific objectives can quickly close a sale or at least move prospects through the sales cycle.
Many of the QR code objectives discussed focus on sales and marketing, but their potential goes far beyond that. QR codes can also be used to reengineer business processes. For example, a purchaser of an airline ticket could be sent a QR confirmation code to their smartphone. That code could then simply be scanned at the airport to quickly get the traveler through security and onto the correct plane. QR codes could also be used to track the shipment of products through the supply chain so that employees and customers could get access to real‑time information about the location of a particular item.
As you can see from these examples, QR code campaign strategies can vary significantly depending on your objectives, regardless of whether you are a retailer, realtor, winery, brewer, auto dealer or government institution.
Use Multiple QR codes to meet Objectives
In many instances it makes sense to create multiple QR codes, each with a different objective. An auto dealer could have a QR code on their entry door that links to online reviews of their dealership. Each of their sales reps could have a QR code on their desk and on their business cards that would transmit all of their contact information to clients.
Each car could have a QR code with links to detailed product specs, expert reviews, customer reviews, etc. A QR code in a magazine advertisement could link to a YouTube video for a particular automobile. Clearly, QR codes can address multiple objectives for a single company.[xxxvi]
A realtor creating an advertisement or brochure for a particular property could consider having seven different QR codes instead of one, each serving a different purpose. The first code could point to detailed house specifications (e.g., price, square footage, number of bedrooms).
Other QR codes could point to a photo gallery on Flickr; a 3D virtual tour; a YouTube video intro of the home and/or the realtor; a map where the home is located; an automatic like button on Facebook; and finally a QR code that would actually place a direct phone call (or text or e‑mail message) to the realtor.
||Watch the Video: QR Code Marketing Strategies – Realtors: Tutorial for realtors on generating QR codes and executing a QR code real estate campaign.[xxxvii] <goo.gl/pC6aT> (Duration: 36 minutes) (Note to realtors: also review these additional endnotes for more videos on QR code marketing for realtors.)[xxxviii],[x
Figure 38: Transportation Security Administration (TSA) QR Codes
The TSA uses QR codes on airport signs to meet a simple objective – help educate people on airport security procedures. But the poster designer mistakenly used a stock photo of a QR code, sending people to the website of a TSA critic!
3. Determine how you can meet your customers’ objectives – give them value.
It’s unlikely that your QR code campaign will be successful unless you are also meeting your customers’ objectives. You need to determine how your customers might answer this question – “What’s in it for me?” In many cases, customers are trying to meet very specific objectives such as saving money or time, buying the right product or service, obtaining free content, getting entertained or receiving education.
Determine which needs you could address with your QR code marketing strategy. In the absence of a salesperson, simply consider what top three questions your customer might have that require answers. Your QR code could be at the ready to help the customer make a more qualified decision to purchase or achieve some other objective.
Best Buy, one of the pioneers in QR code usage, has QR code labels on many of their retail store shelves that link to product specifications and expert product reviews. Since they have many products in the same product categories, they also offer a convenient QR code product comparison feature that enables customers to select multiple products and view a side-by-side comparison. This is a direct benefit to customers because it aids in the decision-making process and minimizes the risk of buying the wrong product.
||Watch the Video: QR Code Marketing Strategies – Best Buy: Best Buy’s in‑store on‑shelf QR codes enable customers to compare two products.[xli] <goo.gl/TvQ1k> (Duration: one minute)
A QR code can be call to action or it can simply encourage people to try a QR code to see what’s behind the door. Consider aligning your QR messaging to your customers’ objectives. Be clear and concise about what it is you are offering, both before and after they scan the code. Consideration should be given to where the customer might be in the sales cycle and what approach might best encourage the completion of a sales transaction.
4. Brand your QR code campaign – be creative.
Zoo Music posted animal pictures made up of QR codes throughout the city. By scanning different parts of the animal, a different song would play from that particular artist. Due in part to the branding visibility, CDs from these alternative music artists flew off the shelf.[xlii]
Watch the Video: QR Code Branding – Macy’s: Using a creative designer QR code, Macy’s branded its in‑store merchandising app as Macy’s Backstage Pass because it gave people an inside view of videos of the designers, fashion advice, insider tips and beauty secrets.[xliv] <goo.gl/r5Hvq> (Duration: one minute)
||Watch the Video: QR Code Branding – Lego®: Lego® actually used Lego® building blocks to create the QR code for their marketing campaign.[xlv] <goo.gl/kf4uX> (Duration: three minutes)Watch the Video: QR Code Branding – Resumes: Check out this innovative QR code resume – an innovative branding approach.[xlvi] <goo.gl/kO8I2> (Duration: one minute)5. Create and test your QR codes.
QR codes are not perfect and the more information you try to pack onto a QR code, the more likely it will generate errors when someone tries to scan it. Therefore, you should minimize the amount of information included. One way to do that is to shorten any web URL address that you want to point to, using a tool such as Google’s goo.gl[xlvii] or bit.ly.[xlviii]
While having the right amount of information per code is essential, remember that you are not limited to just one QR code per product or service. Again, keep top-of-mind the before scan and after scan objectives of your target audience and make sure what you are trying to achieve in the scan makes sense.
Once you are ready to create your QR codes, there are many free online sites that can instantly generate your QR codes such as Kaywa[xlix] (used for the QR codes in this book), QRstuff,[l] Zxing,[li] Scanlife,[lii] QRrei,[liii] Kerem erkan[liv] or QRrage.[lv] Likify.net[lvi] can be used for campaigns to generate QR codes for getting likes on Facebook. Then test your QR codes on a variety of phones to make sure they work as planned.
QR Code Creation Best Practices
- Ensure that the usage terms for the online free or fee QR code Generator that you use allow unlimited scans (some may be limited), do not route the link request through the vendor’s server and always allow for commercial use. Otherwise usage could be restricted once you get your QR codes printed and out in the marketplace.
- When pointing to a website, the QR code must point to a mobile-optimized website.
- Ensure the experience is fast by transferring less than 500KB with your code (or an appropriate size based on the infrastructure available to your typical customer).
- Print using maximum resolution and test it in the environment it will be in to ensure that it works well.
6. Ensure all the back‑end processes are in place, tested and working.
Next you must make sure that all your back‑end processes are in place, tested and working before you publish your QR codes and launch your campaign. This could involve training retail store clerks or other employees that may have to take action once a QR code is scanned. Not paying attention to these details could result in dissatisfied customers and a negative impact on your brand.
||Oops!Watch the Video: QR Code Marketing Misstep – Chili’s: Punch Mobile Marketing describes why Chili’s QR code campaign didn’t quite go as planned.[lvii] <goo.gl/iDXvy> (Duration: four minutes)
7. Publish your QR codes.
Where? The short answer is, everywhere you can: business cards, brochures, print ads, TV ads, posters, corporate letterhead, etc. If you are using QR codes that require Internet access (e.g., link to a website), they must not be located where the Internet is inaccessible (e.g., on a subway or airplane). The Home plus subway example mentioned earlier is an exception, since Wi‑Fi is available in Korean subways; that’s not the case in most subways around the world.
Furthermore, the QR codes must be readable; placing them behind a dirty storefront window or on a dirty bus will not likely work. It is truly amazing how many different places you can publish your QR codes.[lviii]
Companies should place QR Codes where they are most likely to reach their target market. Mandarin Oriental places QR codes in the rooms to enable guests to quickly download its mobile booking app.[lix] Red Bull successfully printed QR codes on flyers to drive attendance to its Crashed Ice! event.[lx] Elmer’s has QR codes on its Elmer’s glue bottles and on in‑store displays to enable instant downloading of its photo-sharing app.[lxi]
Porsche placed mobile codes on its vehicles to provide prospects with more information, encouraging them to research the vehicle if there’s no sales rep around or they prefer to self‑serve.[lxii] Allure Magazine launched a successful Free Stuff Giveaway campaign that generated almost half a million scans. The campaign was a branding success with 25,000 registrants.[lxiii] Another company created QR code temporary tattoos that could be used by employees at trade shows.[lxiv]
The Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel launched a unique marketing strategy by getting its waitresses and waiters to wear QR codes. Customers that scanned these codes were delighted to learn about an upcoming pool party and Enrique Iglesias concert. This strategy was also fully integrated with the hotel’s social media, web and radio marketing campaigns. A contest for a free weekend group party package, including private jet transportation and a yacht excursion generated excitement and visibility across multiple channels.[lxv]
Kellogg placed QR codes and an SMS text option on its Crunchy Nut cereal boxes. This resulted in 40,000 QR code scans, 6,000 text messages, 38,000 video views and 50,000 page views. In the future, Kellogg can also deliver offers, contests and coupons via QR codes.[lxvi]
Random House promotes its children’s books by placing QR codes on over 50,000 children’s menus in over 100 restaurants. This is a good strategy for reaching its target market – children and their parents. The menu placement has the added advantage of a captive audience in a relaxed environment with time on their hands while waiting for their food, rather than on a busy street where people are hurrying by.
This strategy has provided a positive brand association for the participating restaurants such as T.G.I. Friday’s and Round Tablet Pizza. The net branding benefit to Random House was over 100,000 views per month.[lxvii]
The power of QR codes lies not in the code itself, but in the creative ways that marketers use them to generate buzz and branding impact. One music band created a music video that briefly flashed a few hundred QR codes on the screen. One of those QR codes linked to a contest prize, but you end up linking to a lot of other content from this band before getting lucky enough to capture the QR code linked to the prize.
Wow!Figure 39: The Tokyo N Building QR Code
It’s hard to miss this QR code on the side of a building in Japan. The Tokyo N building actually has a QR code spanning the entire side of the building.
Scanning the code actually gives passersby information on the vendors that are located within the building. You can even view the tweets occurring from inside the building at the time – ”Ten percent off shoes today. Come on in!”[lxx]
||Watch the Video: Public Sector QR Code Innovation – New York: Central Park in New York became the World Park when QR codes were situated throughout the park turning it into an outdoor mobile museum. Links to trivia questions and famous video scenes from movies that occurred at that exact spot made this a unique branding success. At an empty band shell, the QR code linked to a music video from a past symphony event.[lxxi] <goo.gl/HA7Pk> (Duration: four minutes)
Watch the Video: Magazine QR Code Marketing – TAGHeuer: Brief demonstration of a TAGHeuer watch QR code campaign in Glamour magazine.[lxxii] <goo.gl/N7iAg> (Duration: three minutes)
Watch the Video: QR Code TV Advertising – Axa Insurance: Axa Insurance in Belgium used an innovative TV commercial to get prospects to download its home insurance app. Viewers scan the QR code to make a surprising discovery about what caused a house fire.[lxxiii] <goo.gl/JOImj> (Duration: two minutes)
8. Make it easy for your customers to scan your QR codes.
Macy’s made it easy for customers to download its QR code reader. Customers simply have to text the word reader to Macys (62297) and the correct QR code reader is automatically sent directly to them. Macy’s also provides free Wi‑Fi in its stores to ensure that customers have online access.[lxxiv]
9. Market/publicize your QR codes.
A tiny QR code on a poster may not get noticed, so consider marketing strategies to raise the visibility of your QR codes. You could send your QR codes to all your prospects, customers, employees, channel partners and shareholders in your annual report, via e‑mail, on giant billboards on the side of a building, in advertisements, etc. Another powerful approach for generating free publicity is through the use of guerilla marketing techniques.
Wow! Figure 40: QR Code Haircuts – Unilever Clear Shampoo
Unilever had explicit objectives in mind for its Clear shampoo QR code campaign – branding and sales. They wanted to convince people that Clear wasn’t just about healthy hair, but about having a healthy scalp too. They sent guerilla troops out into the streets of Bangkok with haircuts in the shape of QR codes that pointed to the Clear mobile site – thousands scanned it.
Unilever then convinced a local TV celebrity, Terng Pradon, to get a QR code haircut. This celebrity endorsement ended up everywhere, including on a magazine cover which generated thousands of more visits to the Clear mobile website. Without any media investment at all, traffic surged 400 percent. The campaign claims to have reached ten million people through PR.[lxxvi]
||Watch the Video: QR Code Guerilla Marketing – Unilever: A description of the marketing impact of Unilever’s QR code haircut guerilla marketing strategy for Clear.[lxxvii] <goo.gl/V49KR> (Duration: two minutes)
||Watch the Video: QR Code Training – Best Buy: One approach to increase the scans of your QR codes is to create a YouTube video to explain to people what they can do using your QR codes. Here is a sample video of Best Buy explaining QR code usage to customers.[lxxviii] <goo.gl/W83ck> (Duration: two minutes)
10. Integrate with social media to leverage your campaign.
QR codes can be used to integrate with social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. QR codes can generate a Facebook like, make someone your Facebook friend, link someone to your Facebook Fan Page, get someone to follow you on Twitter, automatically send a tweet on Twitter, etc. By implementing these strategies, your campaign will reach far beyond the individuals scanning your QR code; it may reach all of their Facebook friends or Twitter followers as well.
Verizon ran a QR code contest for a smartphone via Facebook. They also added an incentive – if your friend bought a Verizon mobile phone you would get a free smartphone. The promo was a branding success with visibility on 25,000 Facebook profiles. The promotion also generated $35,000 in revenue in a single week with minimal investment.[lxxix]
||Watch the Video: QR Code/Facebook Integration – Diesel: Diesel used QR codes to encourage customers to post a Facebook like for the jeans they were trying on in the store.[lxxx] <goo.gl/CKLBf> (Duration: one minute)
11. Track your results using QR code campaign analytics.
To truly optimize your QR code marketing efforts, you should implement analytics with every campaign. What you measure will be dependent upon what your QR code does. You could measure a wide range of things such as the number of people that scanned your QR code, the click stream paths on your website, the number of downloads of your app, the number of people that scanned and then called you, the number of store visits, the number of sales generated, etc. It is important to analyze this data to determine the effectiveness and ROI of each of your marketing campaigns.
An appealing feature of QR codes is that different ones can be used in different publications and different places, enabling companies to track the performance of every QR code in every ad in every marketing channel – a very powerful method for determining ROI.
Tracking your QR code scans is an important step and it’s easy to do if you used the URL shorteners mentioned previously (bit.ly or goo.gl). To track the number of people that scanned your code, simple add a “+” to the end of the URL. For example, if you want to determine the number of visits to goo.gl/yU4MG, you simply key in goo.gl/yU4MG+ to see the campaign results. Voila, campaign analytics for QR code scans.
||Watch the Video: QR Code Analytics Tutorial – Google: Tutorial on “How To Use Google Analytics[lxxxi] Goal Tracking For QR code Campaigns.”[lxxxii] <goo.gl/LLQrP> (Duration: eight minutes)
12. Optimize your current and future QR code campaigns.
As you measure your results, determining what is working or not working will help you optimize your results as you proceed. Rather than viewing a QR code campaign in isolation as just enabling a single transaction, consider the bigger picture of how this single transaction could be part of the ultimate goal of building long‑term relationships with customers. Move from a transactional focus to a relationship focus.
13. Apply QR code Marketing Best Practices to maximize results.
- The QR code must work (i.e., not packed with too much data or be placed in an area without wireless connectivity if required).
- The QR code should point to a shortened URL such as those from bit.ly or goo.gl.
- Simply add a “+” to the end of your shortened URL to get detailed analytics about the number of times your QR code was scanned.[lxxxiii]
- Test the code using multiple devices or test using online tools.[lxxxiv]
- When linking to a website, make sure you are pointing to a mobile-optimized site.
- Consider QR code campaign techniques that have proven to generate the most interaction: contests, sweepstakes, sample offers and promotional discounts.[lxxxv]
- Combine a QR code scan with GPS location information to provide an even more customized result for customers.[lxxxvi]
- Point to casual and personable video content for impact. For instance, a QR code on a storefront that points to a website with all of your offers may be much less powerful than a video of the store manager welcoming customers into the store and providing some background about himself and his store, and whispering a secret code for an instant discount.
QR Code Marketing Strategies: Would a QR Code strategy help you achieve your business and marketing objectives and if so, how would you apply it? What would your objectives be? Where would you place the QR codes? What strategy could you use to generate free publicity?
Wow!Figure 41: Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality is like having an instant Wikipedia page for everything your camera points to. Check out the top augmented reality campaigns this year.
Augmented Reality Marketing
In addition to QR code marketing, there are many other forms of augmented reality marketing that do not require a QR code. Instead, they often require a dedicated augmented reality app such as those from Blippar or Layar. Organizations are starting capitalize on these augmented reality apps, but they are still making missteps in their approach.
Organizations should first ensure they educate users on downloading the required apps, standardize on a particular app for all their augmented reality campaigns, invest in content that engages the user and create an app that has specific objectives in mind.[lxxxix]
Furthermore, linking augmented reality apps to social media can open up entirely new capabilities and streams of information to enhance the app. For example, an augmented reality app could show you photos from Flickr that were taken nearby, since most photos contain geotagging which identifies the exact location of the photo. Or, you could even see the exact location of who is tweeting nearby and what they are saying.
||Watch the Video: Augmented Reality Advertising: Mobile augmented reality can be a powerful tool to link the physical and virtual worlds.[xc] <goo.gl/IjgVt> (Duration: one minute)
||Watch the Video: The Augmented Reality Transformation: Augmented reality integrated with a phone’s ability to recognize images opens up all kinds of opportunities to transform education, customer support and entertainment in the future, as we can see from the TED Talk.[xci] <goo.gl/200CU> (Duration: eight minutes)
Augmented Reality Campaign Analytics
To truly optimize your augmented reality campaign or app, you should implement augmented reality analytics. You can measure all kinds of things including the number of people that accessed certain information, the click stream path through your app, the number of downloads of your software, the customer evaluation and the rating of your app.
For augmented reality apps being used to view products (in a store, at home or elsewhere), you could even potentially track the percentage of people that viewed a particular product and whether they bought it or put it back on the shelf. It’s important to analyze this data to determine the effectiveness and ROI of your augmented reality campaign or app. Analytics intelligence could help you to adjust your current and/or future campaigns.
Augmented Reality Marketing Strategies: Would an augmented reality strategy help you achieve your business and marketing objectives and if so, how would you apply it?
 This works with bit.ly addresses as well.
[l] “QR Code Generator: QR Stuff Free Online QR Code Creator And Encoder For T-Shirts, Business Cards & Stickers.” QRStuff. Accessed November 4, 2012. http://www.qrstuff.com.
[lxxiv] Depending upon your country/region, you may want to provide additional guidance on QR code usage such as “Go to your app store and search for ‘QR code reader.’ Then, scan it!”
Figure 38: Transportation Security Administration (TSA) QR Codes
The TSA uses QR codes on airport signs to meet a simple objective – help educate people on airport security procedures. But the poster designer mistakenly used a stock photo of a QR code, sending people to the website of a TSA critic!