By John Arnsdorf, product marketing manager at XMPie, A Xerox Company
Even though QR Codes have been around since the mid 90’s, their adoption rate has only recently taken off. This is due in part to a larger population of people toting smartphones with higher resolution cameras, larger screens, faster Internet connections, and lower data rates. Between July and December 2010, QR Code scanning increased an astonishing 1,200% across North America, according to a report from mobile payments and marketing company Mobio Identity Systems Inc. Additionally, a separate study found that 57% of Facebook and Twitter users said they have scanned a mobile barcode at least once in the past year, while as many as 40% had done so 5 or more times in the past year. Considering the Facebook population surpassed a staggering 900 million active members earlier this year, that is a lot of people scanning a lot of QR Codes. Now that QR Codes have gone mainstream, the challenge is to utilize them in new and creative ways that engage customers and allow them to interact with brands in a whole new way.
I am frequently asked by customers, “How can I use QR Codes in my marketing campaigns?” The real question is, “How can you more effectively use QR Codes in your marketing campaigns?” It is not enough to simply slap a 2D barcode onto something; you need to thoughtfully incorporate QR Codes into each touch point; use one to link to online content, use it as a vehicle to interact with customers, or create experience around your brand. Personally, I don’t like answering a question with a question; however, so I’ve written 5 tips to get you thinking about how you might integrate a QR Code into your next campaign.
- Make a QR Code part of the call-to-action. I’m more likely to make the effort to scan a code if I know it might lead me to a personalized coupon, contest, game or something that is out of the ordinary and unique. I might even scan a code to reveal a surprise, but it better be good. It’s always a good idea to offer a strong motivator to entice your target audience into scanning your QR Code.
- Use QR Codes in your signage and displays. I’m a foodie. Consequently, I frequent a lot of wine and cheese shops, and other specialty stores, to learn about and buy the products they sell. Even though I like learning about the products I choose to spend my money on, I don’t like stores that litter the shelves with information about each product. Displays should have just enough information to draw me in and use QR Codes linking to supplemental information, such as varietal information, tasting notes and food pairings.
- Use QR Codes to save your customers time. If you are inviting your loyal customers to an event, use the code to add the event to their calendar with all the relevant details. If you are prospecting to new customers and want them to visit your brick-and-mortar, use the code to give them a map with door-to-door directions. QR Codes can contain up to 4,296 alphanumeric characters, so use them!
- Make it easy for your customers to give you money. Like many of you, I get countless donation letters from every not-for-profit under the sun. The vast majority of them expect me to fill out a form, write a check, and worst of all, find an envelope and stamp. I’m sorry, but that takes too much of the precious little time I do have, and chances are I don’t have a stamp. I think I am still using the same book of forever stamps I bought years ago. Give me a QR Code I can scan that links to a personalized site with all my information filled out and a place to enter my donation and pay with PayPal, and you’ll get my financial support.
- Give your customers something they can keep. Sometimes, after a long day at work, the last thing I want to do is spend the next 1-2 hours cooking dinner. So, I turn to my restaurant drawer, which is stuffed to the brim with to-go menus that are typically hand-folded photocopies of photocopies. These notoriously poor reproductions of the normal menu are my take-away impression of the restaurant. What a lost opportunity to ‘wow’ me. Restaurateurs, if you are listening, use a QR Code outside your establishment, which links to a PDF of your menu that I can download and keep on my phone. Now I can have your menu instantly accessible anytime I feel like going out for a bite to eat.
However you choose to use a QR Code in your next campaign, make sure you leverage what you already know about your customers and give them a personalized experience. And if you don’t know anything about me, use the QR Code to get me to a page where I can tell you a little about myself. If I think there is something in it for me, I’m liable to give up a little information.
By Judy Berlin, director of Worldwide Marketing, XMPie, A Xerox Company
The Internet and mobile communications through smartphones, and ever-more-popular Apple iPads and tablet computers, are altering the landscape of the commerce world. Add social media to the mix and one can see a dramatic empowerment of the individual to influence brands in both positive and negative ways. We also know that customers today are more inclined to use the Web to research and evaluate products and services through mobile and online networks, and this increased role of e-media in the buying process is taking place across all industries.
Does all this mean that print is no longer relevant?
As the director of Worldwide Marketing at XMPie, A Xerox Company, I often receive promotional mail pieces from a variety of sources. The other day, Arie, our IT manager, handed me a mail piece he had received from a most surprising source. Google – the icon of advertising in the online world – sent me a printed coupon with an offer of 200 shekels off a Google Adwords campaign for our company website. Now, if you think about it, despite the fact that Google has a relatively easy-to-implement means of getting their message to us online, they chose to also send a traditional mail piece with a pretty good offer. This is because Google cleverly understands the value of print.
Research shows that print is still a vital component, and when included in an integrated, one-to-one cross-media marketing campaign, it is a force multiplier that generates much better results. In fact, according to Infotrends, marketers today understand this and will, on average, utilize at least three different media types for their campaigns – including print. The winning combination consists of a print component, email, and personalized landing pages, and actually proves to be the most profitable.
Mastering the technologies around online components of a marketing campaign is definitely important, but the value of print as a driving media channel should not be ignored. As mobile and social communications become ever more prevalent and accepted in modern marketing tactics, marketers and their service providers that can reach customers with the right personalized message, using the preferred media channels, including print, will win.
By Larry Zusman, worldwide marketing manager, XMPie, A Xerox Company
We’ve talked about QR codes a couple different times on this blog already, but I’m sure this is just the beginning. The fact is they are everywhere! At PODi AppForum 2011, they “popped up” all over the place – in the general session with Tissot watches, showcase applications, and many PODi Best Practice Case Studies. In almost all cases, the codes accessed mobile sites that not only provided personalized content, but also further identified customer interests through survey questions.
XMPie, together with PODi, used QR codes to implement an exciting QR Code Challenge Contest for an Apple iPad – a new way to engage and interact with attendees. Contestants used their smart phones to access websites with the answers to some difficult questions from the latest Caslon research studies on 1:1 cross-media marketing.
Most interesting was the metrics on participation – over 30% of eligible attendees (sponsors were not allowed to play) participated in the contest, and close to 74% completed all the questions. Plus, approximately 20% accessed the XMPie online video describing how XMPie offers the unique advantage of data consistency in QR code campaigns. How do we know? The XMPie system allowed us to track every event and action for each person that participated, since they were entered into a database upon registration.
What’s next? Surely we will see QR codes on a wide variety of media, including direct mail, magazines, newspapers and catalogs. For service providers that know how to create and use them for campaigns, they offer new sources of revenue and profit. And for advertisers who need to get their message out and learn more about the psychographics of their target audience, these codes can unlock the key to finding out what customers think, feel, and more important, want to buy. Soon, mobile phones will do more, and most likely so will these amazing 2D barcodes that contain secret links to content created just for you.
How are you using QR codes? Have they helped improve your campaign response rates? Did you participate in the QR Code Challenge Contest at PODi AppForum 2011? What did you think? We want to know!
Filed under: Cross Media, General, Marketing Analytics
Today, I am excited to announce that XMPie has just recently launched its very first XMPie iPhone application – and it’s free! It’s called XMPie MC (Marketing Console) and is available in the Apple iTunes Store.
The application allows you to view and share your uProduce Marketing Console Dashboard reports directly from your iPhone. You can magnify the reports to show the table as well as the chart, and you can also refresh the report to update it with more current data and send the report via e-mail. This powerful capability provides new opportunities to continue the dialogue and provide meaningful follow-up within moments of a customer or prospect interaction.
Timothy Perrett, technical solutions specialist at XMPie, gives a brief demonstration of the application in this YouTube video.
Again, this free XMPie MC (Marketing Console) application is available in the Apple iTunes Store. We hope you find it intuitive and beneficial to your business! If you are not currently a user of XMPie’s uProduce Marketing Console for campaign tracking and analysis, and would like to learn more, please visit www.xmpie.com/mc.