Experts have been predicting the death of QR codes for quite some time now. The complaints usually range from QR codes’ perceived ugliness to their severely limited usage, as well as the fact that they can be easily generated and can, therefore, be used by just about anyone.
As with any other technological tool, the viability and usefulness of the QR code really comes down to how you use it. The trouble with QR codes is not that they are ugly or that they can be used by anyone for anything. It’s really a question of perception. Too many marketers make the mistake of thinking that they simply need to stick a QR code onto their promotional material and sales will immediately start spiking. Obviously, there’s a lot more to the usage of these 2D codes than that, and you ignore them only at your peril. Here are the five golden rules to remember when using QR codes in your marketing or customer engagement strategies.
You’re a consumer too, so think like one
You’re not just a business owner or a marketer, so it makes sense to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask yourself what you want a QR code to do. You will know then that what you AND your customers want is a landing page that is dynamic and useful. Do more than just share contact and product information. Allow your customers to make appointments, place an order, make product comparisons and avail special discounts and coupons.
Were you one of those who thought that QR codes won’t bring you any useful insights and analytics? That may have been the case at one point, but times have changed and the QR code’s uses have evolved. There are tools available now (such as QlikTag) which will help you get information from your customers about the purchases they have made, where they made them and what their purchase history it. Such information is invaluable for creating tailored customer experiences, and for building a relationship with the consumers.
Pique your customers’ interest
The great thing about QR codes is that they are not thrust onto unwilling and unwitting consumers who may feel that their privacy has been invaded. Only those who are even slightly curious will scan these codes and this is the point at which your strategy will really speak. Have you merely placed a large QR code in the middle of your store without a clear call-to-action? You will probably get a few curious scanners, but most consumers will be either too wary or too uninterested to scan the codes. So remember to have a clear call-to-action that will pique your customers’ interest and will get them to use the QR code the way you want them to.
Use QR codes to bolster your Public Relations
Not all QR code scans need to translate to direct sales. They are also a great tool for building your brand’s reputation and sharing stories. After all, everyone does love a good story and the smart brands capitalize on this love by using every platform available to tell their story in an engaging fashion. Use QR codes to link to videos where you can share your brand’s history, vision, and goals. Are you proud of the work you’ve done for the community? Have you started supporting a charity group and want to spread the word? Use QR codes to talk about these stories, and maybe consumers will talk about your brand.
Be nice to your customers
Consumers love a brand that listens to them and makes them feel valued. Why not use QR codes, then, to enable consumers to talk to you directly? You could direct them to a feedback page for suggestions, complaints and to rate and review your products and services. QR codes can also be used to give rewards to your loyal customers, by using the check-in system – discounts on favourite products, special previews and invitations to exclusive launches.