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QR codes can work, but instruction may be necessary

QR codes represent an innovative one-on-one mobile marketing opportunity for your business, but that doesn't mean you should haphazardly throw the barcodes on products and ads and hope for the best.

Mobile Marketer explains that companies need to invest time and effort into a QR campaign to engage customers.

"Enabling real objects to serve digital content gives marketers the ability to deliver targeted content to consumers," Jane McPherson, chief marketing officer at SpyderLynk, tells the news source."Most important, this technology allows marketers to convert mass marketing to direct marketing. Marketers must think strategically about the role of the mobile barcodes in their marketing initiatives."

What aspects can you take from previously successful QR marketing campaigns to implement into your own?

Starbucks used the codes to let its customers find their favorite roast via a mobile barcode campaign, and also handed out bookmark fliers containing a coupon and a code. Meanwhile,
Taco Bell used QR in an attempt to market its new Doritos Locos Tacos by placing the codes on its packaging.

AdWeek points out that beer company Guinness designed a scannable glass that displayed a code only when customers filled it with the dark libation. A scan would lead to options for sending out an automatic tweet about the product, posting a Facebook update, checking into foursquare or receiving coupons.

"By incorporating mobile barcodes, marketers are able to not only promote new initiatives, but engage consumers in innovative ways," Mobile Marketer notes.

But engagement can only come after understanding, and too many customers are still unaware of how to use the codes correctly.

According to the news source, "While awareness of mobile barcodes as a marker for interactivity is growing exponentially, assuming consumers understand how to activate it without instructions can be a mistake."

The solution? Provide directions. Mobile Commerce Press reports that a recent QR campaign from Coach let users scan barcodes on satchel mailers, which were accompanied with instructions for how mobile users could access Coach's website directly.

"The second option was provided as they were unsure if every recipient of the mailer would know how to properly scan the code," notes the media outlet.

McPherson tells Mobile Marketer that clear QR code instructions can drive participation by between 500 percent and 800 percent. 

Content Writer: Matt Rowe Matt Rowe Chief Technical Officer

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