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10 tips on using QR codes

Alex Meisl, Chairman of mobile agency Sponge and co-chair of the Mobile Marketing Association.

1. Ensure the demographic you are going after is likely to understand what a QR code is (and knows what to do with it).

2. Always include an end benefit to the user, whether it’s access to the mobile-optimised site, a voucher or details of the nearest store.

3. Ensure the content behind the QR code is relevant and mobile-optimised.

4. Make sure the QR code is used as part of an integrated communications campaign – it should be seen as part of a retailer’s communications mix rather than a standalone mobile tool.

5. Remember a lot of people won’t have QR code readers, so do offer an alternative or explain what it is and how to access it.

6. Ask why you are doing it. Do you want to maximise response or to show yourself as being cool? If it’s to  maximise response, then a QR code on its own is not necessarily the way to go. Typically, campaigns using QR codes as the key response mechanic perform less well than those which also use text or text-to-email.

7. In-store QR codes can be a great solution to give enhanced product information that allows retailers to direct customers to richer content about the product, such as videos, than can be shown on the label of that item.

8. If it is included as part of a TV campaign, ensure the QR code is visible for long enough for users to be able to interact – two seconds at the end of the ad is not enough time.

9. Don’t forget that a mobile strategy is about accessibility, functionality and benefits, whereas QR codes are one element of a tactical approach centred on customer acquisition.

10. There are a lot of QR code readers out there … make sure you research the options.    

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