QR—or quick response—codes are starting to pop up like whack-a-moles at the County Fair this summer. Or to paraphrase the brilliant possum philosopher, Pogo: “A few months ago I couldn’t tell you what a QR Code was, and now we’re doing them!” Such is the speed of today’s technology evolution.
If your grandparents were thrilled with Ferris wheels and dunking stools, today’s younger, hipper crowd demands laser tag and virtual 3-D games on the midway. QR codes get you into their new world of direct marketing.
So what exactly is a QR code and what can it do for you, a marketer of a small or mid-sized firm?
Let’s say you have a need to communicate a message to a specific audience. So you come to Paul&Partners.
“Help us get the word out about our new widget,” you say. “We don’t have a big budget, we want the approach to be cutting edge because our product is cutting edge, we want to know about who responds, and oh yes, we need it fast.”
Cha-ching! A perfect solution for QR codes!
My head is spinning like a Merry-Go-Round, full of ideas and ready to catch the gold ring for you. Here’s my game plan:
Step #1: We develop a mailing piece incorporating the 1” square box with a vaguely checkerboard QR code pattern.
Step #2: Cognoscenti know that they can scan the QR code with a smartphone which leads to a microsite we also develop for you.
The microsite tells about your widget and why it’s the best widget ever. But it’s interactive, too. The recipient can sign up for your free newsletter…or download introductory offer coupons…watch a short demonstration video…share the information with a friend…or enter a contest to win his very own widget, absolutely free of charge! Then the microsite politely asks the respondent for his contact information. (Yep, that’s the gold ring!)
Step #3: The recipient leaves what he wishes to share, then closes down the microsite. Instantaneously you know you had a visitor. You know who he was and what information he wanted to share.
Step #4: We send out a “thank you for visiting us” email or text message on your behalf using the contact information your respondent kindly shared. This message can include more information on the widget, “must-have” widget accessories or other “would you like fries with that?” upselling.
If QR codes are designed to give you fast access to and real-time responses from your customers, QR codes are also designed to let your customers choose how involved they want to become and how much contact information they are willing to share.
Guessing the number of jelly beans in the jar has never been easier.
By combining technologies, you are entering the next generation of direct marketing. You are reaching out to the Gen X and Gen Y crowd on their own terms. And you are being proactive to generate pre-qualified business leads.
Trying not to sound like techno babble, the strength of this approach is its multi-channel nature, culminating in a closed loop system that tracks, analyzes and measures the value of your campaign. Try saying that with a mouthful of cotton candy!
The whole process builds an involved customer base as it reinforces brand loyalty.
And that’s just as sweet as Auntie Em’s peach pie which won the blue ribbon at the county fair again this year.
You’ll see her pie on display next to the whack-a-moles.