Posts tagged qr code
Keep it Short and Sweet:
Resist the urge to cram every bit of information into one marketing piece, whether it is an email, flier or direct mail piece.
- Simplicity is Better: Provide pictures to help your customers visualize the products and services. You can also include a QR Code, taking the user to a mobile site that further engages them in your brand.
- Ask Questions: Pique interest by asking your prospects a thought provoking question. This method not only raises awareness about your products or services, but encourages customers to read more of the content. Example, “Did you know that Mail Print offers a Marketing Communications Portal?”
- Highlight Benefits: Do not just write about your products and what colors or versions they may come in. Your content should focus on the benefits of your products and services. Customers want to know how your product will influence their lives.
Follow these simple tips to convert more readers into customers.
When Savvi Formalwear, a group of 35 independent formal wear retailers, wanted to connect with more soon-to-be brides, it chose the print and digital trifecta — direct mail, email and personalized landing pages.
All of Savvi Formalwear’s direct mail pieces were personalized using variable data printing (VDP), with coupons or incentives such as the two free airline tickets shown in the postcard in this post and a PURL that drives brides to a landing page with a store locator and Savvi Formalwear branding.
Savvi Formalwear is using the campaign to capture more of the $1 billion formal wear industry, that like other industries, has suffered because of the 2009-2011 recession.
Not coincidentally the majority of Savvi Formalwear stores are located on the west coast where nearly 20% of the formal wear transactions occur. In these 35 stores, Savvi Formalwear is trying to lure as many of the two million brides that get married every year to their stores and services as possible.
SOURCE: IBIS World Report, Formal Wear and Costume Rental in the U.S., May 2012
Savvi Formalwear’s campaign, named SavviOne, included weekly mail drops across the U.S. and Canada to promote formal wear to couples planning their weddings. Using the power of personalization, Savvi Formalwear significantly increased the engagement and conversions in its multi-channel promotional campaign, according to Mark Morrow, president of Savvi Formalwear.
SOURCE: Case Studies, www.montagedigital.com
Bride Puts Money Toward Print Pieces Not Cake or Dress
While most brides can spend the majority of their wedding budget on elaborate centerpieces, cakes and designer dresses, bride Robin Nelson, who works in the printing industry, invested her wedding dollars in a cross-media wedding campaign.
Nelson said the campaign enabled her to gather more information about each of her guests to organizing the wedding to taking advantage of technologies that count RSVPs and help brides budget for dinner, drinks, the rehearsal dinner and after-ceremony reception.
SOURCE: “Happily Ever After: A Cross-Media Wedding Campaign” by Robin Nelson, XMPie Blog, Oct. 12, 2011
With the use of variable data printing, there was no confusion on head count at Nelson’s wedding. Nelson attributes this to her guests who updated their RURL (Response URL also called PURL for personalized URL) especially in regards to how many children who would be coming with them).
The information Nelson got from her guests through the landing page they responded to allowed her to stay within budget, update her guest list and create a seating chart.
Nelson also downloaded the XMPie Marketing Console iPhone app that allowed her to provide final head counts and meal preferences to her caterer and vendors through report on-the-fly report technology.
So while some brides like the visual trimmings (cakes, bridesmaid’s gifts, etc.), savvy brides are tapping into VDP and digital technology to make their wedding planning less stressful and more personalized to all involved.
*QR Codes are a registered trademark of Denso Wave.
Regardless of how you feel about QR Codes® you have to admit when you get handed a business card similar to one of the 10 examples below, you think one or all of the things below:
- This person is on top of technology.
- This person is harnessing all the tools to start conversations and get me to reach out to them.
- This person is part of a forward-thinking company.
- This person knows his or her stuff.
- This person is successful.
- This person is a graphic design genius.
- This person is cool.
- This person is going somewhere.
- I want to know more about this person.
If you’re almost out of business cards, or better yet you just got a new title and a promotion, consider printing a QR Code on your new cards. Business cards are not dead, according to American Express Small Business. They are still as necessary as a driver’s license.
Hip to Be Square
A scan of the back of Michael Silber business card takes you to his portfolio.
The beauty of QR Codes is you don’t have to print everything about your business. Print the vital information and consider moving the ancillary digits like fax numbers and multiple Twitter handles to a mobile code…
Max Infield is a man of few words but has a story to tell nevertheless. He incorporates his QR Code into the design itself.
Max Infeld’s design from Flickr
Black and Tan Theme
In the home and fashion design world, black and tan is as classic as a half pint of Guinness topped with a half pint of pale ale.
Source: Mailtrade card from CoolestBusinessCard
Wrap It Up
Want to give your card reverence and value? Consider printing a slide sleeve holder that showcases your QR Code.
SOURCE: Linchpin from CoolestBusinessCard.
Musicians, podcasters, or politicians with something to say can use QR Codes on their business cards to link to audio.
Card on a Cloth
Comando Patches innovatively placed its contact information solely in a QR Code it hands out on a business sized embroidery patch. Does your business lend itself to printing on a different medium other than paper? Wood, plastic, chip board, tile?
A special thanks to blogger Oz Mendoza of strangenchanted.com for bringing most of these cards to my attention.
What’s on your card? What does your card say about you? Tell us in the comments below.
QR Code is a registered trademark of Denso Wave.
If you follow this blog, you know I criticize advertisers that cram too much copy or too many visual elements into their ads. This week’s advertisers do neither.
Sleep Number Bed and Drugfree.org demonstrate how to execute a clean ad with a simple six-word hook as a headline and appropriately placed QR Code® that does a nice job of luring prospects into the next buying or emotional chamber of the sales process.
Sleep Number Bed Gets in Reader’s Head in Order to Get Them Into Their Bed
The headline, “This Is Not Just a Bed” begs to be answered. Then what more is it? The photograph of the bed in a reading or TV watching formation re-emphasizes that it truly is not just a bed because my bed at home doesn’t conform to that position. My traditional bed (mattress and box springs) has only one position: horizontal.
Sleep Number’s ad gives readers several options. They can read the headline, initial copy and scan the QR Code if they’re skimmers or they can do all of the above, plus read the next two copy sections on Sleep Number bedding accessories and how to avoid buying a knock off. This gives detail-driven shoppers more facts to absorb without overwhelming them.
I love the way the QR code sits temptingly to the left, not overwhelming the layout, but simply begging to be scanned so prospects can enjoy a video explaining the patented dual air technology that Sleep Number uses to ensure each person in bed gets a restful sleep because their side is adjusted to exactly their preference and pressure points.
Drugfree.org’s Ad Opens the Door & Gets You to Take a Seat and Listen
Hurrah for Drugfree.org for getting my attention with six mere but mighty words – “Your Story Can Change Someone Else’s.”
Drugfree.org then reeled me in to watch and hear from addicts who got clean after I scanned its QR Code and was directed to videos and testimonials galore.
There is not a more effective or budget conscious ad than a type-based ad that is well done and puts the QR Code in a quote bubble, which indicates there are stories waiting behind QR Code.
These poignant stories were worth my scan and can be read at “The Hope Share” campaign URL. Drugfree.org aims to share these stories of addiction and recovery to break through the stigma often associated with drug and alcohol, which some 13 year olds are now victims of.
The marketing campaign is multi-channel in nature with six billboard spaces secured pro bono in Times Square. What a great effort to reach a huge population (around 500,000 people on foot walk through Times Square each day). Keep in mind that addiction is prevalent; statistics indicate that each person is connected to someone through six degrees of separation that is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction.
With the successful execution of these two ad campaigns by this retail and nonprofit giant, I’m surprised more entities aren’t including a QR Code as a measurement and sales funnel mechanism in their ads. After all, a QR Code just takes up a very small portion of your ad. Yet it can convert, trace, inspire, and depending on the landing page — change lives and give hope.
QR Code is a registered trademark of Densowave.
We pitted three corporate giants against one another this week. Between Microsoft, Dassault Systemes and Boehringer Ingelheim, which company do you think did the best job with its mobile tag usage (QR Codes® vs. Microsoft Tag) and advertising composition (copy, layout, call to action)?
Boehringer Ingelheim Gets Wordy
Reading this ad makes me happy I don’t work for a pharmaceutical company. They obviously must be wordy because of disclosure requirements. I can see that it would be a challenge to be a designer for a pharma. I would hate to think my designs had to be blessed by the legal department.
The strongest copy point is how the product “reduced stroke risks by 35% or more” is buried. The QR Code leads to a lot of repeated safety information about Pradaxa® rather than the promised tools and tips for caregivers and is not web mobile optimized. The QR Code landing page seems to be designed for the “eyes” of caregivers who are hopefully in their 30s or 40s rather than seniors 50 and older. It is important to match your QR strategy to the target audience. Keep in mind that only about 14% of boomers even use QR Codes as shown in the VentureBeat graphic below.
Age Groups Using QR Codes
Microsoft Pushes Its Own Tag Technology
Microsoft does a great job of making mom or dad want to run out and buy a new PC, loaded with Office 2010 and OneNote so this lovely teen can have her shot at making valedictorian. The ad isn’t too wordy and has a great offer with a deadline for purchase.
And even though QR Code usage is somewhere around 72% vs. the 24% usage of Microsoft’s mobile tag technology, it remains steadfast on pushing its tag. So I downloaded the free reader as instructed and was quite pleased with how easy it would be to share this offer with a friend. It seems odd that Microsoft would not go for the high percentages guaranteed to give them more conversations by using a QR Code. Are they going to continue to ignore the stats below in 2013, too?
- QR Codes accounted for 61% of all codes used in the first quarter, growing to 72% in the fourth quarter of 2011.
- Microsoft Tags lost share, falling from 39% of all codes in Q1 to 25% in Q4. All other tags accounted for only 1% each in the last quarter.
SOURCE: Nellymoser Study as reported by Finger Food, Feb. 13, 2012
Dassault Systemes Dazzles in its Print and Digital Execution
Dassault Systemes shares a compelling story of how the billion-dollar fashion industry can tap its 3D technology to turn a design sketch into tomorrow’s hottest boutique seller.
I was thrilled that the QR Code took me to a web-optimized page that I could actually read without increasing the screen size, and it took me further down the education and purchasing pipeline and offered three exit buttons to clearly flag where I was in the sales process.
So who won this week’s face off? Dassault Systems with a score of 72 out of 80.
Here are my tabulations and scores based on a scale of 1-10 in eight categories.
|Wordiness||2 (600 words)||8 (100 words)||7 (300 words)|
|White Space Use||0||9||8|
|Call to Action||1||10||10|
|Mobile Tag Usage||1||5||9|
ComScore, a company that follows and measures the digital world, released a study that shows QR code®* users are skewed heavily to young, affluent men.
ComScore’s research showed that in June 2011, more than 14 million U.S. mobile users scanned QR codes. Altogether, these mobile users make up 6.2 percent of the total mobile audience. Of these 14 million, 60.5 percent were male, 53.4 percent were between 18 and 34, and 36.1 percent made $100,000 or more annually.
What does this mean to your efforts? That QR Codes are far from mainstream. If you determine they make sense for your business then they need to be integrated into your multi-channel marketing with an understanding that those who do scan are more like to be affluent men.
ComScore’s study also revealed that the most popular source of a scanned QR code was a printed magazine or newspaper (50%); followed closely by product packaging (35.3%) and websites of PCs (27.4%). So until QR Code engagement in the U.S. increases from 6.2 % of the total mobile audience, your marketing planning should probably take into account a higher success rate with QR codes placed in magazine or print advertising targeted at young men.
But even more important than using that intelligence as a conversion edge, the most important factor in QR Code success is having something extremely valuable at the end of the QR scan for your customer to indulge in – a buy one get one free coupon, a invaluable piece of information that only a select few gain access. No longer will a link to your opt-in page work, or a link to your web page. You must have a plan to encourages the user to give up information so that you can continue to stay engaged.
More Data on Who is Scanning QR Codes in Magazines
Four percent of magazine readers who saw ads with 2-D barcodes actually scanned something at least once, according to research conducted by GfK MRI Starch Advertising Research in 2011. The research showed that 15% of people they surveyed who noticed any magazine ad in the first half of the year took action by going to the advertiser’s site via their address bar. The research also revealed that:
- QR Codes got a better response with men: 6% of men who noticed ads with codes scanned at least one ad, while 4% of women did the same.
- Younger people were more likely to swipe the QR Codes than older people: 6% of readers between 18 to 34 years old who noted ads with the codes followed the code, compared with 3% of people age 35 and up.
Now for the fun stuff, which ad(s) outperformed the others. A Porsche ad in Men’s Journal, a Microsoft Office ad in Working Mother (see add below) and a bedding ad in Hemispheres (an airline magazine) made the top performing ad list by earning up to 17% QR Code scans off their print ads.
Perhaps the Microsoft Office ad pulled well because it targeted women with a “senior executive attitude” of running their home office like that of a big corporation. What’s your takeaway?
Does this woman look like she is the head of the household and is that why it attracted women who scan 2d barcodes?
* QR Code® is a registered trademark of Denso Wave.
It still amazes me how much money marketing giants spend on flawed campaigns. This week I’m going to analyze three companies that ran full page, full color print ads with strong call to actions that lead their prospects down “the road to Abilene”.
The Abilene Paradox is when a group of people collectively decide on a course of action that takes them where no one really wanted to go in the first place. The concept was formed by Jerry B. Harvey who used this analogy to describe it.
A family is comfortably sitting on the front porch playing dominos until the father-in-law brings up taking a trip to Abilene (53 miles away) for dinner. The mother-in-law says that would be nice. The daughter and her husband agree. Four hours later they return exhausted and each confess this was a trip that not one of them really wanted to take.
Three Guilty Companies Lead Prospects Down the Wrong Road
This week, I pulled full page ads ran by UPS, SAS, and Reach Marketing. Each ad was well designed, eye catching, mostly benefit vs. pain front loaded and contained a QR Code®*.
The advertisements were artistically correct but imperfect in other areas beyond where the QR Code led prospects. Here is where each advertisement fell short.
The headline “Reach for Success” is not original; in fact some might consider it lame.
Putting the eight faces of Reach Marketing’s salespeople on the ad probably stroked their egos, but I wonder if it made the phone ring.
Finally, the fact that the QR Code lead prospects to a webpage with multiple options of signing up for a newsletter (Oh boy), testing the prospecting database or reading a bunch of bullets and copy is fairly vague. What do you want us to do, Reach Marketing? Focus on the SINGLE action you want your prospect to take. Take us there, not to Abilene.
Hurrah UPS for using the power of three. They quickly offer up three proven ways to generate customer loyalty in the growing online shopping world with an emphasis on their ability to ensure easy returns – a big hot button for online shoppers.
The UPS ad is clean and uses white space brilliantly. The eye is immediately directed to a tempting QR Code right after you absorb the three benefits of working with UPS. Unfortunately, the QR Code leads you to a place worse than Abilene. It leads you to this message, “The server understands the request but is refusing to fulfill it. Error 403: Forbidden.” I think we’ll all agree on this one, that’s the wrong message for a fulfillment and shipping company.
SAS used the David Ogilvy philosophy of, tell a compelling story in your ad and the prospect will read and respond regardless of the length of the copy. The headline “Big Data” ties to the custom URL “SAS.com/BigValue,” which leads me to believe there will be a big price tag for their services.
Nevertheless, I love the meaty callouts on the right side of the ad that show big time results of reducing calculation times from 96 to 4 hours and optimize pricing down from 30 hours to 2. That screams tell me what you can do with my bloated database.
So I was happy to scan the QR Code and be taken to a YouTube video featuring a Bank of America executive, Jim Goodnight, giving a testimonial. Unfortunately Mr. Goodnight nearly put me to sleep with his dull, all-talk, no-graphics presentation. However, of the three companies, SAS’ QR Code was the closest to not leading me down the road to Abilene.
Where are your QR Codes taking your prospects?
*QR Code is a licensed trademark of Denso Wave
Thanks to three luxury brands, QR Codes® are officially vogue. Fendi, Ferrari and Ferragamo, are flaunting them in their multi-channel marketing, on their products and in their fashion museums. More importantly they’re doing so with style, finesse, and technically flawless integration into their brands. Applause.
In 2011 the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts created a QR-code-collage portrait of Picasso for its exhibition Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris. The custom QR is a work of art in itself.
Look how this Fendi handbag print ad uses a QR Code sparingly, which screams class and clout in just four words and two images. It doesn’t get much cleaner: Brand + Image + QR Code. The code takes users to a simple nine-menu website for their easy entrance into boutique locations, breaking, news or online shopping.
Interestingly and daringly, Fendi uses the QR Code as the only call to action in this advertisement that it ran in the U.S. and U.K. No ULR, no personalized URL (PURL), no 800 number, no boutique addresses – the ad totally banks on QR as the only call to action.
From a fashionista’s perspective, Jenny Oh at Jen Rocks Fashion, QR Codes resemble the classic hounds tooth print so they blend perfectly into the direct marketing of fashion brands like Fendi and Ferragamo. Perhaps with this observation in mind, you’ll never call a QR Code ugly again.
Ferragamo Museum Educates Visitors with QR Codes
Situated in Florence, the Ferragamo museum opened in 1995 to delight the senses of museum visitors, show the history of Ferragamo shoes, and educate attendees through QR Codes. Critics say the exhibition is worth exploring, not just by lovers of fashion but also by anyone interested in interactive museology.
Besides photographs, patents, sketches, books, magazines and wooden lasts of various famous feet, the museum boasts a collection of draws 10,000 models designed by Ferragamo from the end of the 1920′s until 1960, the year of his death.
The Gucci Museum follows in the steps of Salvatore Ferragamo by opening its own museum to boost its image in an increasingly competitive global luxury market. Gucci uses QR Codes in its museums and image ads. Notice once again, the code is the only call to action in these ads that showcase the power of QR is all the information can be packed in the destination of the URL if the image and headline is powerful enough to drive the CTA.
QR Codes Go Zoom Zoom
A Ferrari (Risi Competizione’s F458GT) sported a QR Code on the hood and rear of its million-dollar body at the Sebring International Raceway, Florida. The QR Code also appears on team uniforms and when scanned takes enthusiasts to its website. The website is not mobilized but who cares it’s a Ferrari!
How are you glamming up your multi-channel marketing with QR Codes? Are you shining the light on your brand and letting QR lead them to the next step?
QR Code® is a registered trademark of Denso Wave.
QR Codes® are now being placed on tombstones. There are even smart phone apps that read tombstone QR codes and allow family members to read biographies, see family photo albums and a family tree showing which trunk the deceased resided followed.
If your company is currently using QR Codes to take prospects to instant gratification such as a time-sensitive coupon or seasonal offer, terrific. However, consider the long-term as well as short-term ROI?
Imagine it is 2112 and your company is celebrating its centennial anniversary. As part of the big day your public relations agency sponsors a citywide geocaching treasure hunt to unearth a time capsule that can only be unlocked with a QR Code that will lead the winner to corporate prizes of historic value tied to your products or services.
Levi Strauss could use QR Codes to lead geocachers to 100-year old jeans worth up to $17,000 according to some recent eBay bids or a bank or investment firm could lead treasure hunters with QR Codes to buried collectible coins dated the same year as the anniversary of their company.
The beauty of QR Codes is the landing page or microsite you lead your customer to can be updated and changed as often as needed over time making your campaign timeless.
Is the founder of your company forward thinking enough to be followed, quoted, and covered in the media through the decades? If so consider building a microsite you can lead admirers and analysts to through a quick response (QR) code that summarizes the high points of those business beliefs.
Print QR Codes on bookmarks that can be given away in the biography section of local libraries or bookstores near your headquarters, franchises or stores. Are you thinking strategically in your use of QR Codes as they can be used in public relations campaigns, not just in direct mail, multi-channel campaigns, and integrated marketing? Think about QR usages in 5, 10, and 100 year increments for product or corporate anniversaries.
Timeless Uses of QR Codes
While QR Codes are great to illicit a quick response, what applications can you imagine to unharness a huge response – even if it’s planning years ahead? Below is a possible list of timeless uses you can incorporate with the use of two-dimensional bar codes.
- Mapping for scavenger hunts and geocaching events
- Marketing of museum exhibits
- Commissioning of artwork, murals, new logo announcements
- Announcing of corporate time capsules
- Releasing of corporate anthologies, biographies
- Showcasing of info on headquarter rooftops, (like Phillips in Austin did below)
- Unveiling of leadership bronze statues or corporate headquarter signage
Yes QR Codes can pay dividends in your cross media marketing right here, right now, but what are you doing to land your company on the cover of Deliver, Fast Company or in marketing history books for forward thinking integrated marketing or out of the ballpark PR? Wouldn’t it be a coup for your company to be referred to every time QR strategy is mentioned 50 years from now just like Steve Jobs is in every innovation lecture?
Look into the future and build the ultimate content campaign for generations to enjoy and talk about. The potential of QR Codes in your business’ future is immense; far bigger than a one by one square on a postcard.
QR Codes are a registered trademark of Denso Wave.
Fast Company is the gospel for entrepreneurs wanting to learn success secrets from entrepreneurial greats such as Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Mark Crumpacker of Chipotle. Dorsey was featured on the front cover of Fast Company’s March 2012 issue, which covered the 50 most innovative companies in the world.
In that same March issue you can do a quick flip through 150 pages of “fast” companies on the leading edge and see who is hunting, who is skinning, and who is showing marketing moxie using QR Codes® that make Fast Company readers want to scan, engage, and perhaps buy.
I loved the advertisement by Manta in this Fast Company issue. And, at first I didn’t want to read the text-heavy advertisement by PNC bank, but found myself reading every word of Eric Abbey’s story (Eric is a fast growing manufacturer of pet products).
Manta Drives Sales with QR Code
Manta is an online directory geared to small businesses that want to increase Internet-driven sales. Manta’s ad features Larry, owner of Grandma’s Italian Cheesecake, smiling with a scrumptious cake in hand and QR Code cleverly placed on the oven’s dial begging prospects to turn up the heat on their business by hearing Larry’s success story.
Manta’s QR Code leads to a terrific one-minute testimonial from small business owner Larry positioned by the waterside sharing how sales have jumped from 10 to 50 orders a week because of Manta. It doesn’t hurt that they sprinkle in that Larry went from banker to baker in part of a layoff and has hit the kitchen running thanks to Manta’s jump-start.
Until next week, happy skimming, planning, testing, and engaging your prospects with great content and QR Codes that seamlessly take your prospect from curious to customer.
PNC Bank Engages Readers with Good Story and QR Code
PNC Bank takes a similar advertising approach by showcasing an existing customer who has overcome an obstacle.
In this copy heavy but thoroughly engaging ad, PNC shares how Loving Pet’s owner Eric Abbey was enjoying astronomical growth accompanied by the need for more cash to fill orders for fast selling products like the 330,000 Bella Bowls ordered that month.
The QR Code leads to a full menu of customer videos, including Eric’s. The ad’s successful formula problem/solution was accentuated with a small move clip sharing that month’s happy ending about fulfilling those huge orders thanks to the help of PNC bank.
The moral of the Manta and PNC ads are the power of a well crafted consumer experience. Give readers the opportunity to relate to the characters in the ad, how those characters had a problem and how the advertiser solved that problem. It is simply an ad that becomes a case study – or vice versa.
Until next week, happy skimming, planning, testing, and engaging your prospects with great content and QR Codes that seamlessly take your prospect from curious to customer.
QR Code® is a registered trademark of Denso Wave.