QR codes are popping up everywhere and some think they are the next big thing in the digital media world of marketing. They are easily created, bring physical interaction into the digital world, and are easily trackable… all valuable reasons to include them in your campaign. However, there are pitfalls that are important to remember:
1. Consumer Engagement– Although they are cheap, easy to create, and encourage consumer-product interaction, not all consumers see the value in them. Scanning the code takes consumer time and effort, and if it takes them to a site not optimized for mobile, or is just a let down, you’ve frustrated them. Give consumers a valuable reason to scan the code. Something like a significant discount, something free, or even a funny YouTube video.
2. Awareness– An ArchRival study of college students showed that close to 78.5% did not know how to scan a QR code. To optimize consumer involvement, consider including simple instructions and a recommended app for the consumer to download.
3. Location– QR codes are seen everywhere, some with no thought about context. (For example, on a billboard where it’s impossible to scan unless you are Superman). The best solution is to walk through your own implementation and make sure the QR codes are easy to find and use. I was recently impressed by QR code implementation on a real estate sign outside a house up for sale. All I had to do was pull up to the house, scan the code on the sign, and then take a virtual tour of the inside of the house on my phone, all while sitting in my car. Now that’s consumer convenience and a smart location for a QR code!
QR codes can be effective if done at the right time and in the right place. Remember to avoid wasting your prospect’s time by taking them to a disappointing site, make sure your prospect knows how to use the codes, and take time to stop and think about where you are placing the QR code before you slap it down on every piece of marketing material you have.
What do you think of QR codes? Successful?