Posts tagged QR Codes
At 17 Johanna (the daughter of one of our team members) is receiving at least 17 pieces of mail a month. Colleges and universities have her number and want her signature on their enrollment papers.
Postcards, letters, self mailers, and view books are coming in from Ottawa University, Iowa State, Park University, the University of Kansas, Washburn University and even Montana State, all attempting to woo Johanna.
Iowa State Tempts Students and Tracks Results
Iowa University’s mailing may look old-fashioned in its #10 window envelope containing a pre-paid return envelope and information request form. However, look closer and you’ll see great bait – The Essential Guide to Finding Your College! It can be Johanna’s by simply going to URL and typing in her easy to track User Name and ID. If she enters this micro-site, she’ll also gain access to a dashboard that allows her to pick the campus activities she might like. Doing so will further arm Iowa State with personal info to use to push Johanna’s buttons in the next touch point or direct mail piece.
Iowa knows from a Cappex study that the most influential recruitment channel is a campus visit (74% surveyed students) followed by a college’s website (59%). So Iowa is handing out tools that seem altruistic, but are intended to lure the student to their campus for a look/see.
Park University Pushes Benefits
Park University mailed Johanna a series of self mailers boasting its student benefits of being adult-friendly and transfer-friendly. Unlike Iowa University, the direct mail pieces contained QR Codes® that take prospective students to information about its eight-week and 16-week programs that help students complete their studies for less money in less time.
Park’s pieces are professional looking and sized in such a way that they can’t be ignored in Johanna’s mailbox.
Ottawa University Hurls Purls
Of the three schools, Ottawa University had the least professional looking direct mail piece though it utilized several tools well – variable data, a personalized URL, and a strong call to action. Johanna was personally invited to Ottawa’s June’s Sizzlin’ Summer Search Day where she’ll get a tour of the university and a free gift. To get a student to trek out to a small town of 12,000 in Western Kansas to tour or commit two-to-four years of her life might require a bigger carrot or stronger strategy.
Finding the Stealth Student
It is estimated that across the U.S., approximately 30% of all college applicants for the fall 2008 semester applied to their college(s) of choice without ever filling out an inquiry card at a college fair. In the world of admissions, these applicants are commonly referred to as “stealth applicants.”
The national rise in stealth applicants, which is expected to increase to 40% in the next year, means that universities are slowly losing their ability to communicate with prospective students at the inquiry level. As a result, universities must evaluate the ways in which they are communicating with applicants, and they must make sure that these strategies are in alignment with the elusive stealth applicants’ preferred mode of communication.
So which University is Johanna leaning toward in these very early stages? None of the above, at this point. Johanna should be considered part of the stealth student population because she’s considering a two-year community college and then finding a university with a good transfer program. Park University wins the communications award for mentioning this benefit.
QR Code is a registered 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.
Many restaurants across America are asking diners to leave their phones on during their meals. These restaurants are using multi-channel campaigns to entertain you and even talk to you while you wait for your meal to be prepared.
Applebee’s with its QR Code® enabled campaign is one of those restaurants. While there are many organizations using QR Codes in their cross-channel marketing, few are leading diners to a landing page that is buzz-worthy like Applebee’s. Printed material at the table utilizes a two-dimensional code that delivers a page with a Persian cat that tells jokes for two minutes.
Applebee’s campaign and the landing page don’t disappoint unlike so many QR Codes® that lead you to a page that makes you wonder why you bothered. Too many campaigns lead to a page asking you to opt-in to a list but offering no reward or incentive?
Applebee’s multi-channel campaign was developed to increase lunch sales among that targeted audience that wanted food fast and good – think about the quick stop at Chipolte or Panera because you don’t want to be late returning to work. Staff members told the diners about the promotion as they were seated and shown a three-sided tabletop tent featuring a 2D code where the cat’s mouth should be. Those who scanned the QR Code® were immediately taken to an animated video of the lower half of the cat’s face.
By holding up their phone to the table tent, they watched and listened to a cat entertain them for two minutes – all part of filling the precious gap of time while their drinks are being retrieved and meal prepared in less than 14-minutes.
Table Cat QR portion of the campaign has seen a very high level of activation — 30,000 in the first months, and 65,000 to date — indicating its popularity with the public. The agency that came up with both the lunch guarantee and QR campaign reports that their client saw a 10% increase in lunch traffic and nearly a 5% rise in total lunch sales during the campaign.
To avoid frustrating rather than entertaining diners, the agency put the You Tube URL just beneath the QR Code so patrons could access the video even if the scan failed to render the video properly.
Applebee’s also included the Table Cat video on its Facebook page where it received 6,000 likes.
Other Ways Restaurants Can Engage Customers with QR Codes
These little 2D barcodes are helping to reshape the way restaurants communicate with customers. Beyond Applebee’s successful lunch campaign, here are eight other ways restaurants are educating and engaging customers.
- History: Be it a national chain or local mom and pop diner, customers love to know the history. QR Codes are a great way to connect customers to that information.
- Nutritional Facts: Patrons appreciate being able to make well-informed meal selections. Because nutrition facts can take up a lot of inventory, use QR Codes to take them to the ingredient lists and nutritional facts.
- Recipes: If you’re not guarding the recipes, share them with a QR Code that takes patrons to a video showing the preparation of the meal or the complete recipe.
- Coupons/Specials: Consider creating a QR coupon that can be scanned to reveal special discounts or offers. The patron can show their smartphone displaying the ad to the cashier or server to get the deal.
- Customer Surveys: Add a QR Code to the customer’s receipt that leads him/her to a survey to complete along with a reward for doing so. This is an invaluable way to learn more about their experience so you can make improvements.
- Location: QR Codes can link to Internet sites, which include Google Maps. Consider creating a webpage that has your contact information and a Google Map to direct patrons to your eatery.
- Events: Lead your patrons to a web page that displays your upcoming calendar of events. The QR Codes can allow easy access to events and allow consumers to download the calendars to their phones, ensuring they have the info they need to attend the event at the time of the event.
- Education: If you own a restaurant that does something special and sets it apart you can share these attributes or any distinguishing techniques in a promotional video that makes for efficient, ongoing marketing.
So the next time you eat out, don’t leave your smartphone in the car. You may need it for a coupon, entertainment, a free download or entry into a drawing. Prepare to scan, drink and be merry.
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.
Who says an old dog can’t learn new tricks. Zig Ziglar, 82-year old motivational maverick, salesperson, and author just published his 12th book, Find Your Success Code: Born to Win, which features a QR Code® that takes up one third of the front cover.
Ziglar is no doubt pulling out all the stops to hit another home run just as he did nearly four decades ago with See You at the Top, which sold 1.6 million copies and is currently in its 25th edition.
Like Madonna’s tactic of staying relevant by doing duets with Brittany Spears, Christina Aguilera, Nicki Minaj, or Cee Lo Green, Ziglar is staying relevant by using today’s technology to drive his point home – find your success code. According to Publishing Perspective, QR Codes might become commonplace with publishers.
Vibe Magazine Tries to Push the Needle with QR
Last year, Vibe magazine introduced its first digital magazine, available only via a QR Code on the cover. Though the hip hop magazine had been featuring QR Codes inside for three months, this was the first time it graced the cover. Unfortunately, somebody forgot to test the code, which was without the http:// necessary for most readers to open the link in a browser.
Learn the lesson… TEST, TEST, and then RE-TEST with lots of different phones and in lots of different ways.
Other Uses of QR Beyond the Cover
If you are authoring corporate coffee table books, CEO biographies, company history books or success stories like Steve Jobs, there are many other uses of the emerging technology to consider.
Here are a few starts on how you can leverage QR codes in your publications:
- Use a Twitter QR Code so readers are prompted to follow the author or tweet comments about the publication
- Link to templates or applications for tracking personal improvements (think Self Help)
- Link to a shopping list of ingredients the reader needs (think Recipe book)
- Link to a map and describe the location (travel books)
- Link to an audio file demonstrating pronunciation (think Language guides)
- Link to a video demonstration how to perform what you’re describing (product guides)
- Link to additional content relevant to the article, game, contest (think Facebook)
- Conduct surveys, gather feedback (think readership studies on your corporate magazine)
Obviously as a marketer, uses of QR Codes are endless. If you decide to use them in your materials, here are the five golden rules.
- Provide some instructions to the reader so they know how to use the code
- Drive to mobile friendly content that enhances their learning
- Include the URL in case the reader prefers to gain the information via a computer, not a mobile device
- Add value to the reader by making the additional content relevant
- Track the performance of your codes or what’s the point
- Test the codes before publishing (do we really need to say why you have to test… see the Vibe comments above)
For nine more ideas on how to turn your book or magazine into a multi-media experience, visit Start a Wildfire. Now take a 15-minute brainstorming coffee break to re-think and re-invent your existing publications and approach, just like Ziglar did.
QR Code® is a registered trademark of DensoWave.
If you’ve waited in line at Panera Bread for a hot Panini lately, chances are you’ve seen the banners with QR Codes® that say, “ My job is to make your Panini perfect.” Scan the code with your QR reader enabled smart phone and you’ll be taken to a non-mobile enabled You Tube channel showcasing their Grilled to be Great videos.
Lesson learned? Cross media marketing is the rage and Panera Bread has its bread baking, sandwich making, and order taking down to a science, but its QR delivery is still a work in progress. Perhaps in the future we’ll see Panera include better call to actions other than “scan to learn more.” And then they’ll graduate to include customer rewards such as coupons on the landing page or even their secret recipe for their addictive green tea.
Saving Trees with Digital Coupons
Donatas, a pizzeria chain with 200 shops in five states, has fully embraced QR Codes and integrated them into its pizza boxes. Rather than printing coupons to continually tape to the box tops, its boxes feature a prominently displayed QR code* in the upper left hand corner that when scanned lead pizza lovers to digital coupons to use the next order.
Donatos is feeding the Midwest and driving customer relationships with QR codes to its pizza boxes.
Grocer Helps Fill Your Cart with QR Promo
Price Chopper, a Kansas City based grocery brand, found out through research that 75 percent of Americans don’t know what they’ll be making for dinner when 4 PM rolls around each and every day. To remedy the situation, the grocery chain created Meal Central – an area in each store where customers can pick up all the ingredients for a quick meal at a reasonable price and scan a QR Code to take home the recipe to prepare the meal.
The Price Chopper’s multi-channel campaign solves four real problems – (1) as a consumer, what can I serve for dinner on a budget without thinking (2) increases in-store sales (3) is measurable (4) creates a valuable archive for consumers to retrieve recipes on the grocer’s website and come to the store with a link the recipe to pick up ingredients.
In our fast moving world, QR codes make good sense to use in retail environments because people don’t want to wait or even to drive home to get the coupon off the refrigerator.
How can your business use QR codes to solve a problem your customers are hungry for a solution and to package it into a multi-channel campaign? Shoot us an email when you’ve built your QR campaign so we can write about your creativity and execution later this year?
QR Code® is a registered trademark of Denso Wave.
The Da Vinci Code took the world by storm in 2003 grossing $758 million worldwide at the box office. Also seeking higher numbers, churches are turning to QR Codes® in an effort to increase donations and tithing.
Do you see the irony in the movie’s star character Robert Langdon being a symbologist and the possible saving grace for churches today being a QR Code®? Perhaps history does repeat itself.
Recession Causes Churches to Adopt High Tech Donation Practices
According to the Religion News Service, the recession has caused church contributions to drop by $1.2 billion even though membership remains relatively the same.
Unity Temple on the Plaza is run by an old-school board that is willing to try new-school things when it comes to raising income for the church. The board at Unity knew that statistically donations tend to increase about 15% with churches that offer online donations to its congregations or parishioners (through QR links or direct web access).
Unity’s bulletin announcement below simply directed people after the service to its Tech Table to learn how they could make donations quickly and easily by swiping the QR Code® in the bulletin or posted in the temple.
If passing the plate is coming in light on funds, perhaps QR code® swipes will stimulate more generous giving because it’s quicker, easier, and perhaps an electronic way to amp up generosity. And let’s face it more and more people live a credit or debit card life.
More Ways to Incorporate QR Codes into Your House of Worship (or business)
1. Save space. Put a QR Code® next to each bulletin item to save space by directing members to links for more information.
2. Provide a digital bulletin. Put the bulletin info on the website and place QR Codes® on signage leading into the service area. Allow parishioners to access information in the way they desire.
3. Attract attendees. If your church building has different rooms for different ministries such as AA meetings, put QR Codes® on the signs outside the door that links to info about that ministry, meeting, or specific event schedule.
4. Attract new members. Use QR or other 2d mobile barcodes on coffee mugs to give first-time visitors or on t-shirts for the youth group wear with text that says “Got God?”
5. Reinforce the message. Savvy ministers and pastors are linking members and guests to the sermon notes through QR Codes® that lead to a podcast, video, or blog post.
Has your church or temple used integrated marketing, including QR Codes® in its communications or marketing materials? How about in its alternative methods to tithe? Perhaps you can volunteer to assist them in this new terrain. It can be part of your pro bono contribution to help close the gap on diminishing returns in this recession.
Quick response codes (QR Codes®) are making their ways onto new mediums and usages every day that increase interest, engagement, and sales.
Take concert ticket sales for instance. A concert merchandiser could run an ad in an entertainment guide, send postcards to patrons who have signed up to follow the band, and in addition they could be creative by posting “bills” on telephone poles like the one shown on the right for Jessica Lea Mayfield.
Using a QR Codes® to take music fans to an audio or video clip is brilliant engagement of the potential customer. Concert bookers can instantly increase pre-concert ticket sales through such a means of promotion. Any avid music lover walking by could scan the code and decide immediately if he or she would attend the event and place it on their smart phone calendar then and there on the spot.
I enjoyed viewing the You Tube video of Jessica Lea Mayfield singing that this QR Code® led me too. Seeing concert flyers is common when walking in any city but actually being able to familiarize yourself with the singer or band is not.
Tell Me More Before I Take a Pour
QR Codes® on the side of wine bottles are becoming both hip and useful. Vineyards can’t possibly get all the information they want to share on the label. So using a QR Codes® to take wine lovers to reviews, wine ratings, varietal information, or even a tour of the vineyard makes good sense.
Sacre Bleu utilized QR Codes® as an additional means of social media marketing. They added QR codes to their bottle labels that when scanned, direct the consumer to a mobile-friendly site filled with promotions, information about the brand, special offers and even tips for matching the wine to food.
Sacre Bleu did not have the budget to run ads in Wine Spectator or Food and Wine magazine. So after studying up on the influence of wine labels and marketing avenues, it learned that its highest buying consumers were millennials who said they didn’t read those magazines anyways. They used social media.
Sacre Bleu uses QR Codes® to direct millennials to its Facebook page for various offers.
“I Do” Plan to Attend Your Wedding Ceremony
Brides and grooms are leveraging QR codes® to keep their wedding invitations clean and show they are socially “hip.” With QR codes®, there’s no need to clutter the invitation with maps and additional details, which can instead be posted at a personalized URL (PURL) for attendees to find and save.
Graphic designers love it because it allows them the flexibility to create a white-space rich invite without trying to cram all the information into an undersized envelope. Brides like it because they can achieve the look and feel they want while giving details about wedding registry locations, wedding service location, and so much more on a landing page instead of the scrapbook worthy wedding invite.
Couples who register their wedding receptions on Foursquare and create Twitter hashtags for the event are using QR codes® for a range of tasks. These include sending guests to an R.S.V.P website and even automatically adding the ceremony to guests’ electronic calendars. Besides having the “cool” factor, it makes a bride’s life easier by not having to spend hours manually counting reply cards.
Weddings, wine bottles, and concert bills make good sense for QR applications. However, before you go too crazy with QR codes®, watch this slide show showing the 10 biggest what-not-to-dos when integrating quick response codes.
QR Codes® are a registered trademark of Denso Wave.