Connecting with customers with QR code campaigns that stand out

By: Jack Winston

Marketers are embracing QR codes as a technique to connect offline customers to online marketing campaigns.   By scanning a 2D barcode with your smartphone using an app like Quickmark or Scanlinfe, your phone’s browser is redirected to a web page url encoded in the QR code.  While QR codes have been around for almost 20 years, the availability of free QR code reader apps over the last few years created the field of QR code marketing.  The holiday shopping season of 2010 marked the first surge in QR code scanning frequency.  Since then, mobile marketing pundits have both hyped and panned the potential for QR codes.

It is clear that their usage is still in the early phases of adoption – both by marketers and consumers. A report by Nellymoser showed a 439% increase in usage of QR codes in magazines in 2011, illustrating an increased interest from promotional marketers.  A report from Scanlife shows a 300% increase in the volume of scans of QR Codes, showing in increase in interest from consumers.  A report from Forrester showed that, even though consumer interest is rising, adoption of QR code scanning is still only in the range of 15% of all smartphone users.  The Forrester report made the observation that a lack of compelling experience or content behind the QR code link was a key barrier to greater adoption.  In other words, most QR code campaigns are lame.

The majority of QR codes you see on products and in print advertising simply point toward a brand’s web page.  Marketers are starting to see the potential for finding more creative ways to use QR codes to engage their customers or improve their buying experience.  Examples of campaigns that are not lame include:

JC Penny offered online holiday shoppers the option to record a personalized YouTube greeting for which a custom QR code was automatically generated and printed on the gift card.

HGTV ran a campaign that printed QR codes on promotional materials distributed through Valpak that linked to a well designed landing page that offered entry into a sweepstakes, social sharing functionality, and previews of upcoming TV shows.

WJ King, a UK microbrewery, printed QR codes on taps and bottles that linked to a YouTube video of their brewmaster describing that particular beer style.

Sweepstakes marketers are starting to adopt QR codes as a technique for promoting their campaigns by driving smartphone users to their online sweepstakes pages.  In past entries, we have discussed how Bozuko offers an alternative to simple sweepstakes and how QR codes can be used to location-gate a Bozuko campaign.  In addition to on-location marketing, a QR-linked Bozuko campaign can be deployed via direct mail, in print media, or directly on products.

The brand awareness and return of a like-gated, mobile ,instant-win promotion with minimal hurdles to play can drive unprecedented levels of campaign participation.

The user experience of interacting with QR-gated Bozuko promotion is simple.  1. Customers see a QR code in an ad, or on a product. 2. They scan the code and are redirected to a mobile optimized entry screen. 3. They accept the terms and enter with an information gate including an email address and/or Facebook Like.  4.  They play a quick, fun game for a chance to win something interesting.   To see how straightforward it is, try out our demo game by scanning the QR code here.

We see a huge potential for bringing mobile, instant win games to consumers wherever they are interacting with your brand.  Check out how our new Bozuko Enterprise offering lets brands and businesses run unique, facebook-integrated, mobile marketing campaigns.

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