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Home » News » August 2011: What’s Your QR IQ?

August 2011: What’s Your QR IQ?

QR IQ by Paravista
Do you know why marketers have been so quick to recognize and adopt QR (Quick Response) codes as a powerful instrument in their marketing tool kits? Did you know that those black and white square matrixes (which also can be in color) hold more than 100-times the amount of information as a traditional barcode? The full potential of QR codes has yet to be tapped. Why not be part of the growth?
Today, we find QR codes in direct mail pieces and brochures; in newspaper, magazine and transit ads; in point-of-purchase and product displays and instruction manuals; on consumer packaging, and even business cards. While the printed piece creates immediate interest — and the emotional appeal — the QR code takes consumers further, delivering a deeper level of understanding and engagement. And doing it with the immediacy that today’s consumer not only expects, but demands.Many cutting-edge applications of QR codes are beginning to take hold. In South Korea, UK-based merchandiser Tesco set up a “virtual” market in subway stations. Busy, on-the-go consumers simply scan the QR codes adjacent to the items they want; they are taken directly to an online shopping cart, where they can quickly complete the order, and have the product delivered to their home the next day. Just imagine the number of consumers who can now “buy on the fly,” who may have otherwise not taken the time to “stop and shop.”

At Paravista, we have partnered with clients on many projects that incorporate QR codes as part of a cross-media marketing effort, one that also bridges traditional and digital media to create richer customer experiences. For example, we successfully collaborated with one of the largest global telecommunications providers. The program used QR codes to bridge a direct mail campaign – featuring several products – to an immediate e-commerce purchase offer for each product. On a national scale, Paravista recently worked with a leading cosmetics company, using a QR code on a point-of-purchase display to connect customers with a rich source of online product information to help drive purchase intent.

Regardless of industry, the delivery of targeted and specific information by these little “smart codes” at point-of-decision leads to a higher level of customer engagement, and increased sales opportunity.

Personalized. Accurate. On demand.

The advantages of QR codes go beyond sales. QR codes can provide companies with greater workforce productivity and efficiency. For instance, a sales person can scan a QR code on a product information sheet to remotely access a software interface that allows them to develop a personalized, client-specific version. Or, imagine instead of leafing through a lengthy product manual, giving the customer the option to scan a QR code and be taken to a virtual product demonstration video. A QR code strategically placed on packaging can direct customers to specific product information, favorably influencing their purchase intent. These are just some QR code applications, with a great many more on the horizon.

A Moving Target

So, what do you need to know about the QR code users? They are highly mobile. And as more and more people opt for smart phones, there will be an equal growth in and adoption of QR codes as a functional marketing tool. Today, roughly 71 percent of all smartphone users have scanned a QR code. Demographically, they are well educated, with incomes above the national average.

First Things First

Start by knowing what you want your QR code to be used for: Is its primary function to collect user data? Is it a way to deliver virtual coupons? Will it lead your user to a specific page on your website where they can get more information? Will it help them register for an event, enter a contest, or take a survey? Will it take the user to a product tutorial? As a marketer using QR codes, the sky is virtually the limit. At the same time, stay grounded: Understand your customers, and what they’re looking for. And realize that they want information that is relevant, accurate and fast.

QR codes utilization must be in synch with the rest of your marketing strategy. When used correctly, they create a bridge between the tangible and the virtual, and, more importantly, between your brand and your customer. If your customers don’t understand why you’re taking them somewhere, they will lose patience very quickly. And just as quickly, move on.

QR Codes: Reading is Fundamental

While the possibilities for marketers are virtually endless, it’s important to ensure that your QR code can easily be seen by customers, and that it meets all of the technical requirements to be quickly and accurately read. Here are some ABCs for QR codes:

  1. Show It: Make sure your QR code is clearly visible. Don’t hide it on the back page of a brochure or in a highly complex graphic design. Give it prominence by ensuring that your design draws the viewer’s attention to it.
  2. Consider Size: QR code readers vary from reader to reader and Smartphone to Smartphone. Be certain that your code can be easily scanned. At every stage of project development, test and verify that your codes are large enough and sharp enough to be properly read; and perform testing on several devices, using several QR code readers .
  3. Give it Context: Place QR codes in close proximity to relevant content or a call-to-action to deliver a richer user experience and positively influence behavior.
  4. Make it Colorful: While QR codes are most often seen in black and white, you can also customize them in one or multiple colors for a more unique or integrated design.
  5. How-to Icons: While QR Codes have rapidly gained ground in terms of consumer acceptance and use, there’s still a population who have yet to try them out. It still makes sense to offer simple how-to icons and a brief description of how to download a QR code scanner and utilize the technology.
  6. One is good, more can be better: Consider placing multiple QR codes in a single piece and enabling each one to deliver different content and media about a specific product or product line.

Simplifying Success

Want to know more about all the possibilities of QR codes? Click here or call 732.752.1222 and speak to one of our “Possibilities Professionals” who will gladly answer your QR questions with ASAP answers.

For additional QR Code resources, and to download a Recent Presentation on QR Code Technology, click here.