Using QR Codes on Promotional Products
In marketing there are constant developments and it is sometimes difficult to keep up with the latest trends. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter were definitely the focus of 2011 but now that we are in 2012 its time to learn more about the next trend in marketing which seems to be QR codes.
QR (Quick Response) Codes are two-dimensional bar codes that encode information such as an address for a website, words, a phone number or an e-mail address. Most codes are one colour and look like a pixelated square. In order to “read” the QR code the user needs a smart device with a camera and a QR code reader. Using the smart device you take a photo of the code using the QR code reader and it will take you to the website or reveal the information contained. They are very simple to create and there are lots of websites that let you create QR codes for free. However, it is also possible to create QR codes that incorporate an image or a logo but these do need to be purchased.
A company called Lab24 conducted a brief survey on the use of QR codes, and according to its results, 46 percent of those surveyed are scanning QR codes for discounts. Another 42 percent use QR codes to serve as tickets (i.e., for a concert), and 67 percent scan QR codes printed in magazines.
A QR code is a really effective way of condensing a lot of information into a very small space and that is what makes them so great for Promotional Products. Instead of crowding your promotional item will every contact detail of your company you can just print the logo and a QR code with all the contact details or a link to your website so the person who receives the product can easily access more information if they want. Because QR codes are 1 colour it means they can be printed on at the same time as your logo at no additional cost.
QR codes can be used to share more than just basic details like company contact details. If you share information of value with your customers they will appreciate your product and brand a lot more and will definitely be more inclined to recommend your product to a friend or family member. A great example would be if you are a winery; instead of crowding lots of information on your label you can just print a QR code that takes the user to a specific website with information about the wine and maybe even recommendations on what type of meals the wine goes with. You could even go further and share the recipes of the meals and have a form where the user can sign up to receive more recipes via email. Because you have shared something that customer is interested in they will be much more likely to sign up to a newsletter than if no information was shared at all.
Promotional Products are absolutely limitless in terms of what items can be branded but some are harder to brand than others. Our team loves working on unusual briefs but we are often faced with briefs where there are tight budgets or awkward products that don’t allow a large branding area so customers feel that are being let down because they can’t squeeze what they want onto the small branding area of some promotional products. Alternatively they may not have the budget for extravagant full colour prints that are required to meet their brand guidelines. In these instances a QR code is beneficial because its design and it can be applied easily and in a cost effective manner to all promotional products.
An example of how JEM Promotional Products has used QR codes in one of our marketing campaigns is in our recent Christmas Competition. To encourage customers to place orders in the lead-up to Christmas we held a competition to win a DeLonghi Coffee Machine worth $999. All clients who placed an order during a certain period of time were sent the below puzzle ruler:
Our clients had to solve the puzzle to get the code word then scan the QR code which would take them to the competition entry page so they could enter. We chose the puzzle because it is interactive and would also be a talking point in the office. Because QR codes are so new they are also a good talking point and have a level of mystery about them, when people see a QR code they are intrigued and want to know what it is about. We found that we had a lot of clients actually call us and ask how to scan the code which meant it was also another opportunity for our sales team to interact with their clients. The number of entries was also higher than all our previous competitions.
Because our QR code was a link to a website it was possible to track the number of visits to that page via Google Analytics. We also made sure there was no link to the page anywhere on our website so that visitors could not accidentally stumble across it. Campaigns that can be tracked really appeal to marketing managers because it means they know the most effective ways to spend their budget in the future.
Websites are most company’s most powerful asset because it is where you can share information with your customer and promote your brands exclusively without interference from your competitors. The most visits you can get to your website the more opportunities you have to create loyal customers and sell your product. More visits to your site also means Google starts to see your website as a valued resource and they are more likely to rank your site higher than your competitor’s websites.
The key to a successful QR code campaign is effective integration. Give enough incentive to your customer to scan the code in the first place whether it is a prize, contact details or discount; make whatever information you share valuable to your customer and then encourage them to stay connected to your company with further incentives. The worst thing that you can do with a QR code is to just provide a link to the homepage of your website. You want to take the customer to the specific page with the information they most need. You don’t need to give away prizes or discounts in every instance but it does need to be worthwhile for the customer even if it is just free recipes like the example mentioned earlier. For help with a QR code campaign please contact our team on (02) 8205 1334 or email@example.com
By Elyse Daniels
JEM Promotional Products
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