Use QR Codes to Connect With Your Customers

Digital printers can add value to their services by framing their organization as a marketing service provider, integrating custom marketing solutions into their clients’ print jobs. A complete and effective marketing campaign may only utilize print for a part of the entire customer experience, coupled with social media and online media channels.

With the emergence and popularity of laptops, smartphones and iPads, consumers have the resources to find information they need online, wherever they are. Web browsing on mobile devices is becoming more popular every day; recently Nielsen’s internet measurement service predicted that smartphones will be the dominant web-browsing device by the end of 2011. Why not take advantage of this tool that your customers already utilize every day, and integrate it into your print campaigns to guide customers to valuable product-related information? With the emergence of the QR code, printers can utilize this new technology to make their clients’ print projects interactive and to create a multimedia experience from something as simple as a label or brochure.

What is a QR code, you may ask?  A QR code is a high-density barcode that can be read with a computer webcam or smartphone camera combined with a specialized application to read it. When the QR code is read with the smartphone or tablet PC, the user can be instantly connected to the encoded web content that is associated with the QR code without typing in a URL or promotional code. As far as content goes, the possibilities are endless: the QR code could link with a sales video, a coupon, a social networking page or a personalized URL.

Utilizing QR codes into your existing print job connects your client’s customers to a wealth of information about their product. For example, Nike Belgium recently used a QR code campaign on storefront window signage to drive traffic to their Facebook page and to persuade people to “like” their new fall clothing line. Another creative use is to include QR codes on a food product label to take customers to information on related recipes and wine pairings. The German Yellow Pages are even utilizing QR codes to take people to their mobile website. Masterpiece Graphix recently utilized QR codes on promotional brochures at Label Expo so attendees could easily visit the company website to gain more information on MGX digital products.

What makes a good QR code marketing strategy? An effective cross-media marketing campaign requires a little brainstorming. Ask yourself: What is it that I am trying to get my customer to do, what is the “call to action”? What is an engaging, interesting way to persuade your customer to access your information online? What kind of web content will best communicate your message and convince customers to buy?

It is important to note that QR codes are merely a way to bridge print and web content. In order to generate interest in your product, one must utilize both engaging print and web content to draw the customer in and to persuade them to utilize the QR code. Web content should be dynamic and mobile-device friendly so users can access and navigate your page easily. The printed piece still needs to be eye-catching and informative so the customer will be influenced to scan the QR code to learn more.

It’s easy to get started with QR code marketing. There are many free QR code generators on the internet that will take your desired URL and create a custom QR code to take people to your site.  For more information on the history, application and use of QR codes, please visit the Mobile Barcodes website. You can generate your own free QR code and download QR code reading software from the site as well.