QR codes are hot right now and lots of folks are wondering, how do I use QR Codes in my marketing.
So today, I thought I'd share two real world uses that I saw just today, that in my mind, are absolute winners.
While QR Codes can be programmed to send a text message, call a phone number, or send an email, I still think the best use of QR Codes in marketing is to create a thumb friendly way to transport smartphone toting consumers to a digital destination.
But not just any destination. A destination that is going to add value by solving a problem the marketing creates.
For instance, take a look at this picture of a concert flyer I saw today. We've all seen concert flyers just like this one stapled to telephone poles, walls and just about any surface a band could adhere them to.
But if you stop and think about it a minute, your standard run of the mill concert flyer is really effective at communicating to fans of the band but whoefuly inadequate convincing non-fans to attend.
Why you ask? Because if I'm not familiar with the band, so what if they're playing on April 21 at 9pm?
The marketing (flyer) creates a problem for me the consumer. I'm a fan of live music, I might even be free on April 21 at 9pm but I have no idea what kind of music Jessica Mayfield sings.
With the addition of a simple QR code, the mobile consumer (remember you're going to see this when you're walking or driving by this pole) is able to solve the problem the marketing causes. And if I happen to like her style, I might stop by the show.
So band flyer without QR code = interesting but band flyer with QR Code = persuasive.
More than a few people have commented that using QR Codes on websites seems odd. After all, you're already online and a simple URL would work just fine, so why would you ever use a QR Code on a website.
I have to say, I totally agree.
Unless maybe you're marketing an iPhone app.
I guess the point I'm suggesting is that QR Codes have a role in marketing just like every other tactic. The key to effectively using QR Codes in your marketing is to understand the context of consumption and use them where that context lends itself to a mobile friendly solution.
UPDATE: I just found this video thanks to a tweet from Francoise Camarinha, a new Twitter follower from over the pond. It's simply awesome and shows just how QR Codes can help the consumer cross the online/offfline barrier AND improve their lives. Really smart stuff.
But I'm just one guy... what do you think? Are QR Codes just all hype? Are there real uses of the technology that really make sense? Let me know... comment away.