Are you missing an opportunity to engage?   1 comment

Marketers are starting to add these odd little boxes that look like crossword puzzles to all types of traditional media. From packaging to print to TV I’m seeing them everywhere. What’s perplexing is that most have little to no explanation with them. Like they are only intended for those in the know. Several will at least let you know to scan it, but the how and why are often left off. Leading to a frustrating experience for the consumer and a missed opportunity for the marketer.

If these are new to you here’s a quick overview. They are 2D barcodes. The most common types are QR codes (short for Quick Response codes) and once scanned allow users to access a richer experience – launch a website, video, opt-into a text message campaign or make a mobile donation. QR codes can be created for free from numerous websites like To scan a code a user needs a smartphone with a camera and the correct barcode scanner. Armed with the right tools QR codes offer a simple and effective way to engage a mobile audience. But not everyone is doing it right. Here are a few things to know before adding QR codes to your campaign.

  1. Let them know what they are going to get. Even if it is just a tease. Make the experience worth the effort. Don’t just launch your main website. It should be a unique, targeted or fun experience for the consumer. (ex. Scan to enter our sweepstakes, scan for a coupon, scan to get show times in your area)
  2. Not all consumers have a barcode reader or the right scanner on their smartphone. There are different kinds of 2D barcodes so make sure to let the user know where to get a reader (ex. Need a barcode reader? Even if a user has a scanner, if you don’t tell them which one to download they may not have a positive experience. Without the right scanner the user can complete the experience and will leave frustrated. Make sure to let the users know where to get a reader
  3. Add the code in a way users can scan it. A lot of marketers do pretty well here, but when dealing with outdoor advertising you really need to make sure glare and other elements are addressed or users won’t be able to scan the image.
  4. Offer the option to get the same info via text message. Although ATT and Verizon both anticipate that over half their subscribers will have smartphones by the end of this year, there are those with feature phones that can’t scan QR codes. You also have people that don’t want to take the time to download the reader. Don’t miss the opportunity to engage. Offering more information via a text campaign allows user to engage quickly.

Here’s a simple example of how to do it right:

These are just a few quick lessons learned to help you get started. We’ll keep blogging about how to integrate mobile. If you have specific questions add a comment or contact Eagle to discuss how to create or enhance your mobile strategy.

Next up: How to use QR codes and mobile to breathe life into traditional media like direct mail.


Posted August 14, 2011 by Amy Blum in Mobile

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One response to “Are you missing an opportunity to engage?

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  1. Pingback: Isn’t It Time to Add Mobile to Your Marketing Mix? « Eagle Marketing Services

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