Tuesday, April 13, 2010

5 Ways To Win With QR Codes In 2010

Brand advertisers are starting to fall in love with smartphones, no doubt. The mobile device offers a completely new gateway to reach consumers. Currently the word "app" dominates the mobile marketing conversation. Surprisingly, opportunities lie where they were never before imagined. Connected consumers can access information anywhere. Brands can communicate in totally of new ways. It's all happening so fast! Where do we go?

QR codes add the missing link to print advertising, literally. Short for "quick response", they are a link from the physical world to the digital one. They store URL's and when scanned by a smartphone, direct the phone's browser to the link embedded within. Traditional medias can be blended with QR codes to add an entirely new "digital" dimension to them. This gives users a quick way to interact via the mobile web without having to type a URL. The convenience of these codes have yet to reveal themselves to the masses. We still have some work to do. Here are my winning tips for QR code success in 2010.

5 Ways To Win Using QR Codes In Print Advertising

(1) Awesome Content. This is most important. QR codes and mobile web pages should be simple and direct. Let users connect with unique information corresponding with the ad that they can share. (product gallery, specs, videos, news and promotions ect..)

(2) Stay Consistent! The only way you can win with QR codes is to be consistent with your use of them. General awareness and accessibility is still low. Using QR codes whenever possible will only intrigue consumers who are unable to connect. Even if the users aren't there to begin, don't get discouraged. Every day a new smartphone user is born.

(3) Be Social. QR codes and mobile pages should have quick links to social network fan pages. Magazine ads can now aim to accumulate followers on Facebook. Also, the ability for users to easily share on those networks will maximize your ad's viral potential. 

(4) Retail support. Give users the ability to "find a retailer" from a QR code. This is a phenomenal way to bridge the exploration gap between print and store. Also, custom campaigns with exclusives for particular retailers is way to get everybody involved. 

(5) Give Stuff Away. People love freebies and are willing to give up information to win. This has always been a popular way to get people to act on your brand. The same holds true for mobile marketing, the viral component is huge.

It's only a matter of time before the desktop is dead and the mobile device is king. Carriers such as Sprint, AT&T and Verizon are embracing the mobile web! Smartphone commercials are dominating TV right now. The need to be connected at all times is climbing. In the next year we will see a parade of smartphones hitting the market. Combine this with the 4G speed that networks are touting and you have you a tipping point. Good luck!


  1. Great post. Even though smartphone adoption is low right now, tech research companies are estimating that there wiill be approx. 170 million smartphone users in the U.S. by 2013. Those brand managers that get involved in mobile content now will be reaping huge rewards down the road.

  2. Neustar & NeoMedia are on the right track & making great headway.