QR Codes add interactive elements to wide-format graphics.
By Jason Pinto
Third, know how to educate without cluttering: Not every consumer is familiar with QR codes. So, it may be necessary for a campaign to educate the consumer directly on the printed material – but be careful not to clutter and take away from the printed piece’s main message. To do this, you will want to provide specific instructions that make it clear that people can take a picture of the code with their phone to access additional information. You may even want to provide a website URL that allows them to download a QR code reader.
The best way to begin transitioning QR codes into your service offering and effectively market this new capability to your customers is to integrate the technology into your shop’s own promotional graphics. For example, Sir Speedy of Tampa printed its own direct-mail promotion complete with the recipient’s customized QR code to engage interest. When the customers received the mailer, they were encouraged to scan the code and upon doing so were promptly taken to the Sir Speedy website. Of course, QR codes can be utilized for a plethora of other corporate-identity and promotional items, from business cards and letterhead to fleet graphics, internal and external signage, and more.
You may be asking, “Are that many people even using smart phones?” The answer is yes. More than 63 million Americans own smart phones– 19 million of who access the Internet on a weekly basis, according to American Online (AOL). And a recent study from IPG’s Universal McMann and AOL found that almost 15 percent of all media consumption now occurs via mobile devices. That same report indicates that mobile usage is expected to grow by 60 percent over the next two years.
Should QR codes be in your future?
QR codes are one of the hottest applications in the marketing world today and for good reason—the concept of building digital elements into mail and printed graphics is a win-win. The codes are easy to create, print, and track, and cost little or nothing to add to your graphic applications.
As customers continue to seek communications through multiple channels, print shops that recognize the growth of QR codes and act upon it are better positioning themselves to provide the information their customers want, when they want it. QR codes are an immediate-response mechanism that catches consumers at the very moment of interest: walking, reading, playing, shopping, traveling. They take advantage of every opportunity in a big way. If QR codes aren’t on your marketing “to-do” list, they should be.
Jason Pinto is chief marketing officer of interlinkOne (interlinkone.com), a Wilmington, Massachusetts-based provider of integrated marketing solutions, including software for marketing, sales, Web-to-print, and more.