Using QR Codes As A Powerful Internet Marketing ToolJune 19, 2012
I love QR codes. I don’t just love them, I am enamored with them. Over 18 years ago these little babies emerged from a Toyota subsidiary as a way to track parts and production. They was invented in Japan which should tell you alot right there. The Japanese make good products, but not only do they make good products, they make game changing products that are almost supernaturally efficient.
Growing up in farm country over in Davidson county we had three golden rules. The first was “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” I think that’s fair. 2) “You can do whatever you put your mind to…but you have to do it with what you’ve got.” For country people that means efficiency. Whatever you do or build has to be done right the first time because there simply isn’t time or money for another. 3) “Appreciate what you’ve got.” Sometimes it might not seem like much, but it’s a hell-of-a-lot better than what alot of other folks have. So now you’re asking, What the heck does this have to do with QR codes, country boy?” QR Codes are a technological missing link and what makes them so great is that the small business owner can get creative and utilize them with their internet marketing in very effective ways…and do it within their budget.
Most QR codes are used to send a mobile device user to a company’s website. They are also using codes that were generated for free and look plain and boring. THIS is the reason why QR codes are being perceived as a fad and a waste of time and it’s simply a matter of ignorance and a lack of creativity. To begin with QR codes are not chained down to the ugly square black box style. Back when they were being developed, the engineers allowed for a very important variable…damage. When a code was put on an automobile part they knew that inevitably something was going to mess the code up. Someone smearing it with grease on their hands, water, heat, it was a matter of time before something marred the sticker. So they developed it so it could have up to 30% corruption. That means you could literally tear off 30% of the sticker the QR code was printed on and still get all the information you need. Tell me that wasn’t brilliant and just beautifully efficient.
So think about it. If you have a code that can take up to 30% rearrangement and still works, it means you can customize it. Most codes now don’t need more than a 5% deficiency potential built in because they are being scanned by smartphones which are incredibly powerful devices. They are also being distributed in ways where people are more careful with how they are handled and distributed. That leaves you with a 25% area you can work with to give it aesthetic value. If you add in the fact that the black can be changed to another color, you can now develop that ugly black box into an eye catching marketing tool and separate yourself from your competitors.
Looking good is only one piece of the puzzle. The other is utilizing the QR code in the correct way. Remember, the purpose of the QR code is to generate leads that will lead to new customers. Sending someone to your website is typically boring to the end user. This is where you need to get creative and you can do so inexpensively. Try using it as a link to a video you posted on You Tube. Most new smartphones record in 1080 p HD which is excellent.
A good welcome video message can go a long way. Get over your camera shyness and introduce yourself to your potential customer. They’re not just buying your product, they’re also buying the person behind it. Tell them why you love what you do, what separates your service from others, and then show them around your store…but just enough to get them curious. A personal message from the owner or manager will ALWAYS be more compelling than sending someone to the company’s website.
Here’s another scenario. What if you saw a print ad for a bakery and they had a picture of their famous apple pie right in the middle of the page. It might make your mouth water a little, but will it compel you enough to get in your car and go buy something you know is bad for you? Now what if there was a QR code and the person went ahead and scanned it. Up pops a short video of the baker taking the apple pie out of the oven. You can see the steam rising from the pie and you watch as the baker closes his/her eyes and takes a long sniff. “Oh that smells so good,” they say. The video cuts to a few minutes later when the baker pulls out slices from the pan, apple filling just oozing out and they put the slices on plates, passing them out to any customer that happens to be standing by. We watch closely as the customer takes a bite and…there is the money shot. The customer looks like they’re in heaven. After watching that, how many people who scanned the QR code are going to go to that bakery and buy them a slice of that apple pie?
You can be effective and efficient at the same time, you just have to get creative.