A Msgme Quick6 eBook The Who What When Where Why (and) HowQR Codes6 essential points to know — now and going forward — aboutintegrating 2D codes into your mobile CRM strategy.
A Msgme Quick6 eBook1 The Lay of the Land: QR Codes defined2 Show Me the Stats: Why QR Codes in 2011?3 The Scan Plan: How QR Codes Drive Consumer Engagement4 Know Their Role: What QR Can and Can’t Do5 Get Your Intel: QR Code Innovation6 Get Ahead: Key Tips To Maximize QR Code Campaign Success
QR Codes 1 2 3 4 5 6 A Msgme Quick6 eBook1 The Lay of the Land: QR Codes DeﬁnedYou’re starting to see them in magazines, on billboards,and consumer packaging. No, they’re not byproducts of aRorschach inkblot test being conducted by a secretgovernment agency. They’re a stamp that can go literallyanywhere (yes, the ﬁrst picture on the right is a QR Codetattoo) to launch an interactive dialogue.To break it down, the acronym “QR” stands for “QuickResponse”, and “Code” denotes the black-pixels-on-white-background, 2D image. QR Codes were originally createdby the Japanese company Denso-Wave in 1994 andapproved as an ISO international standard in June 2000.QR Codes are ubiquitous in Japan today, while the US hasjust begun to adopt them in steadily increasing numbers.The key factor that has led to QR Codes’ widespread use isthat they can encode large amounts of information,including text, URLs, location, and other data. As a frameof reference, a standard 1D bar code can hold up to twentynumeric digits, whereas a QR Code can hold thousands ofalphanumeric characters. Aside from their data payload,QR Codes provide intrigue, as they can grab a consumer’sattention and connect the physical and digital worlds.
QR Codes 1 2 3 4 5 6 A Msgme Quick6 eBookThe Lay of the Land: QR Codes DefinedFrom a design standpoint, the elements of a QR Code are as follows: Timing Pattern identiﬁes the central coordinate of the data cells. With both horizontal and vertical layout, readers can identify distorted and/or smudged images. Finder Pattern detects the position of the code. By having 3 ﬁnder patterns, readers can detect the code’s size and angle and Alignment Pattern corrects the distortion of read data from any the QR Code in case it gets warped (e.g. if it’s direction. on a bent piece of paper). The black cell in the middle of the alignment pattern provides readers with a central reference point. Cell all data (grey area) is stored as binary code, with 0 and 1’s translated Quiet Zone a contrasting margin space into black or white cells. necessary for reading the QR Code. A thickness of four or more cells is required.Several marketing-friendly features result from these innovative design Did You Know?elements, including high-speed 360° scan-ability, data encryption and Several standards cover QR Codes.resistance to distortion, damage and smudging. QR Codes can also vary in The most recent is the (take a deep breath) September 1, 2006density depending on the amount of information stored in the code. ISO/IEC 18004:2006 - Information technology - automatic identiﬁcation and data capture techniques - QR Code 2005 bar code symbology speciﬁcation. For those interested, you can download the standard here.Lower Density/Less Info Higher Density/More Info
QR Codes 1 2 3 4 5 6 A Msgme Quick6 eBook2 Show me the Stats: Why QR Codes in 2011? QR Code Scans By Day of the WeekHyper GrowthA study from Mobio Identity Systems cited by the BizReport tracked an increase in QR barcode scanning of1,200% from Q3-Q4 of 2010. The Scanlife Q1 2011Trend Report from Scanbuy showed 2D barcode scans 14.8% 14.7% 15.1% 14.4% 14.3% 13.9%outnumbering 1D (UPC) scans and a 1,600% growth in 13.2%mobile barcode scans from Q3 2010 to Q1 2011.Leading marketing resource Mobile Marketer reported S M T W T F Sa 4,549% year-over-year increase in 2D code scanning MSkynet, Inc. Q1 2010, www.myskynet.comduring Q1 2011.Mainstream Use22% of the Fortune 50 have already used mobilebarcodes according to leading PR ﬁrm Burson-Marsteller. eMarketer reported that the US rankednumber 1 for countries experiencing a percent changein growth of mobile barcode scans in Q1 2011. Bluechip brands spanning a diverse set of industriescurrently use QR Codes, including Ford, Canon,Anheuser-Busch, Audi, Pepsi, American Airlines,Disney, Starbucks, Fox, Best Buy, McDonald’s andRalph Lauren.
QR Codes 1 2 3 4 5 6 A Msgme Quick6 eBookShow me the Stats: Why QR Codes in 2011?Purchasing DemographicPeople who use QR Codes represent a crucial segment for marketers: well-educated, wealthysmartphone users who are actively engaged with digital media. [Phone] [Media] [Education] Windows 4.3% [Income] Physical/Print 5% [Age] Blackberry [Gender] 20.3% TV 22% 55+ 13% Android University+ 28.7% 63% $50K+ Male 71% 51% 35-54 Other 48% Online 73% 13.4% Social 70% College Other iPhone 26% 3% 33.3% $25–$50K Female 23% 18-34 49% 39% H.S. - 11% MSkynet, Inc. Q1 2010 < $25K - 6% www.myskynet.com The Naked Facts: Whiplash Edition, QR Bar code Scanning in Q1-2011, Mobio Identity Systems, Inc Age 18+ Respondents who encountered a QR Code, MGH Survey, eMarketer, March 22 2011
QR Codes 1 2 3 4 5 6 A Msgme Quick6 eBook3 The Scan Plan: How QR Codes Drive Consumer EngagementPeople interact with QR Codes using readers that they download and installonto a smartphone. There are some companies that provide technology sothat feature phone users can interact with QR Codes using their phone’scamera, but the majority of feature phone users (representing 50% of USusers by the end of 2011) will not be able to interact with a QR Code.There are several types of readers that people can download depending on Feature Phones (e.g. Nokia X3 and Motorola Razor) use a standard manufacturer’s operatingthe type of phone they use and what types of codes they need to scan. system and oﬀer little to no support for 3rd partySome examples are: i-nigma, UpCode, RedLaser, Mobiletag, NeoReader, software or applications.QuickMark, ScanLife, BeeTagg, Kaywa, and Zxing.Once people have downloaded a reader onto their phone, they can thenopen the application and use their smartphone’s camera as a scanner totarget a QR Code: Smartphones (e.g. IPhone, Android, Blackberry) have a desktop computer-like operating systems and support the download of third party applications.Various scanning screenshots using (from left to right) I-Nigma, BeeTagg, RedLaser, and ScanLife.
QR Codes 1 2 3 4 5 6 A Msgme Quick6 eBookThe Scan Plan: How QR Codes Drive Consumer EngagementOnce successfully captured, the reader application will convey the information contained bythe QR Code to the user. As you can see, some reader applications provide you with an optionto perform the action instructed by the QR Code, while others direct you automatically:Various result screenshots using (from left to right) I-Nigma, BeeTagg, RedLaser, and ScanLife.There are three main reasons that QR Codes do not work on certain phones: • Code format: several types of scannable 2D codes exist, e.g. QR, Micro QR, Datamatrix, EZ and Microsoft Tag. No current reader supports all types. • Data storage: QR Codes can trigger several actions, e.g. hyperlink, send contact information or open an SMS. Not all reader applications and phone models support each action type. Various types of 2D codes (from • Output: QR Code output can vary in color, download size and download ﬁle type. Some top to bottom) Micro QR, readers and phones cannot return certain outputs. Datamatrix,, EZ and MicrosoftAt times something as simple as rotating a phone or downloading a diﬀerent reader will result in Tag.a successful scan. Including an SMS call to action or reader download instructions signiﬁcantlyreduces the risk of users not being able to interact.
QR Codes 1 2 3 4 5 6 A Msgme Quick6 eBook4 Know Their Role: What QR Can and Can’t DoQR Codes are both powerful and limiting at the same time. It’s a tradeoﬀ between increasing functionalityand decreasing user security that requires codes ﬁnd a delicate balance. The most important distinction tounderstand is the following:OPERATION CAN DO CAN’T DOWeb Browser Open a web page on a phone’s browser Execute an action on an open web pagePhone Activate operational functions Execute operational functionsGiven these general parameters, it’s easier then to think about speciﬁc actions:OPERATION CAN DO CAN’T DOContact Info Add a vCard (Contact Info) to a user’s device Save a vCard to a user’s deviceEmail Open a pre-populated email Send an emailSMS Open a pre-populated SMS Send an SMSLanding Page Open & pre-populate (some ﬁelds) on a Landing Page Conﬁrm submit on a landing pageFacebook Open a page where you can “Like” content Automatically “Like” a Facebook PageQR Codes Open a web page with a QR Code others can scan Send QR Code content without scan to another phoneApps Open a web page where you can download an app Download an app automaticallyRingtone Open a web page to download an mp3 Install mp3 as a ringtone
QR Codes 1 2 3 4 5 6 A Msgme Quick6 eBookKnow Their Role: What QR Can and Can’t DoThe second crucial distinction to consider is how QR Codes function from a data perspective. In a QR Codetransaction several types of data exist, each with its own capabilities and limitations: DATA SOURCE CAPABILITIES LIMITATIONS Scans QR Code Understand when, where, and how many No ability to track the actions taken by the users; Reader people scanned a certain code e.g. action on a website or if an SMS is sent. Web Pages URL Shortener Visibility into how people are interacting with Need unique URL per user if you want speciﬁc user various web pages information; no insight into phone operations, e.g. voice calls or SMS Phone Data Web Pull data about the person scanning the User must open a web browser to register data; no code, e.g. phone type, carrier and IP address ability to grab phone number automatically Phone Tasks Phone Pull data about tasks completed by users, No ability to track web actions or QR Code scans e.g. SMS sent or calls madeRunning a successful QR Code campaign requires understanding how to capture and use each of the datatypes. Generally, Application Service Providers (ASPs) provide technology to enable eﬀective data capture,providing marketers the opportunity to focus on consumers and content.One ﬁnal consideration for running a QR Code campaign is ﬁguring out how to drive more traﬃc, as 2Dcodes without an eﬀective call to action will generate minimal user engagement. Consider the following2011 MGH Survey from eMarketer, which shows why people chose to scan a QR Code:
QR Codes 1 2 3 4 5 6 A Msgme Quick6 eBookKnow Their Role: What QR Can and Can’t Do Reasons Users Have Scanned QR Codes in 2011 53% Coupon Sweepstakes 33% Opt-In for Updates Access Video 26% Interact with Social Media Don’t Know 24% 23% 2% As the graph shows, higher participation rates come from building incentives into the call to action. Because mobile phones are such a personal device, consumers will only participate if given a compelling reason such as a coupon, sweepstakes entry or special oﬀer. This shouldn’t be news to marketers. It’s the same philosophy used to run any eﬀective direct, email or mobile marketing campaign. The excitement of an alluring technology makes it easy to forget, but battle- tested consumer marketing principles still apply.
QR Codes 1 2 3 4 5 6 A Msgme Quick6 eBook5 Get Your Intel: QR Code InnovationLocation: QR Codes’ design allows them to turn up almost anywhere. Some innovative locationscompanies have used and discussed include:Appearance: 2-D codes have an Error Correction Level (ECL) set by the code generator that givesmarketers freedom to adjust a code’s look and feel. Some 2-D code providers have pushed this evenfurther, eﬀectively building a business around customizing appearance.
QR Codes 1 2 3 4 5 6 A Msgme Quick6 eBookGet Your Intel: QR Code InnovationEngagement: Beyond placement and appearance, companies are thinking outside the box when it come toimplementation. These examples demonstrate how to push campaigns beyond scan-and-go-to-website: Goal Industry Implementation Company/Brand User Engagement Video Level shaped as a 2D code; when scanned users received password for use Valve Corporation Games in the game User Engagement Video People could print 2D codes, hold them in front of the PlayStation scanner and Sony PlayStation Games access various aspects of the game User Engagement Video Users could create a 2D code for their personal avatar, which could then be Nintendo Games shared with others User Engagement Libraries Scanning 2D codes let users participate in interactive scavenger hunts New York Public Library User Experience Airlines 2D codes used as boarding passes on international ﬂights United Airlines User Experience Real Estate Users could scan 2D codes to access virtual tours of apartments or oﬃce spaces Various Social Sharing Retail 2D codes placed on price tags and other in-store materials allowed users to access Best Buy online reviews Video Sharing Retail By scanning 2D codes in magazine ads users could see interactive videos of new Golf Digest products Operations Retail 2D codes tracked unique garments every step through product lifecycle; users that The IOU Project scanned could view this lifecycle Marketing Retail Users could scan a code to view images displaying latest collection of products Tag Heuer Commerce Food & Baristas could scan 2D codes oﬀ of a mobile application to deduct credits from Starbucks Beverage person’s personal account Cross-Channel Museum People could scan a 2D code, take a picture with a friend or family member, this Smithsonian Natural History Museum automatically inserted person into museum exhibit photograph, which could then be shared or emailed Fun Tourism People could scan codes on landmarks and restaurants to take a self-guided tour CitySearch and Antenna Audio through a particular neighborhood
QR Codes 1 2 3 4 5 6 A Msgme Quick6 eBook6 Get Ahead: Key Tips To Maximize QR Code Campaign SuccessLearning from others’ mistakes is the easiest way to bridge the gap bridge between a “QR Codecampaign” and an “unbelievably successful QR Code campaign.” Here are some classic pitfalls andhow to avoid them: Low User Engagement Potential Despite their popularity, Nielsen Company estimates that smartphones comprise only 40% of U.S. mobile Issue devices as of Q1 2011, and that this will grow to 50% by the end 2011. Plus, not all smartphone users know how to download 2D code scanners. As a result, a signiﬁcant percentage of consumers will not be able to interact with 2D codes. Alternate Calls to Action Solution Include additional calls to action on your marketing materials, e.g. SMS (text) or IVR (voice), that achieve the same eﬀect as someone scanning a QR Code. You can also use an SMS or IVR call to action to provide people with an easy way to download a reader that works with your code.
QR Codes 1 2 3 4 5 6 A Msgme Quick6 eBookGet Ahead: Key Tips To Maximize QR Code Campaign Success No Visibility Into ROI Potential The potential for tracking engagement with QR Codes makes them extremely compelling for data-focused Issue marketers. However, without the proper data, calculating ROI becomes problematic. Ask vendors the right questions Solution Make sure you deﬁne the exact goals you want to accomplish when talking with QR Code technology providers. As explained above, tracking code scans vs. webpage traﬃc vs. user actions requires diﬀerent capabilities. Have vendors explain precisely how they are going to provide you with the data you need and check in periodically to understand campaign status.
QR Codes 1 2 3 4 5 6 A Msgme Quick6 eBookGet Ahead: Key Tips To Maximize QR Code Campaign Success ROI is Low Potential Low return from QR Code campaigns result from a combination of three factors: 1) lackluster incentives, 2) Issue failure to track consumer information, and 3) poor user experience resulting from little to no interactivity. These shortcomings arise when marketers take the perspective that 2D codes are a one-shot chance for engagement. Think about QR Codes In Terms of CRM Solution The correct approach focuses on interactive communication with consumers as a means to maximize customer lifetime value: Conduct A/B tests that determine what incentive will result in the best incentive- cost to engagement-return ratio. Use QR Code data to add insight to your consumer database, such as where ads should be located, what type of consumer interacts with your brand or which message resonates best with your audience. Rather than solely directing to a website, use QR Codes to opt users into a mobile subscriber database in order to establish an ongoing, interactive dialogue going forward.
QR Codes 1 2 3 4 5 6 A Msgme Quick6 eBookGet Ahead: Key Tips To Maximize QR Code Campaign Success Ineﬀective QR Code Image Potential You roll out a QR Code that worked ﬁne in your oﬃce, but failed once you published it in the real world, Issue eﬀectively eliminating any chance of earning a return on your marketing spend. Recreate Environment of Live Campaign Solution It may sound obvious and trite, but make sure to replicate eventual live conditions when testing a 2D code. For example, scanning on a computer screen is not suﬃcient. Make sure to test on a physical rendering of the code, including the type of material that you will place it on (e.g. don’t test on paper if you are posting on glass). Smartphone and reader types also aﬀect whether a 2D code can be scanned or not. Test your code with smartphone cameras that use various resolutions and focus types (e.g. auto vs. manual). Small (1”x1”) and complex 2D codes cannot be read by cameras with less than 4-megapixels (e.g. iPhone 3Gs and most BlackBerry devices). Since scan context, scan distance, and scan timing matter when scanning a 2D code, keep ideas like the following in mind: 2D codes requiring web access need to be in a location with cell phone service. 2D codes used on TV require suﬃcient time for user to pull out their phone + open an app + scan the code. 2D codes used in a bar should be tested in darkly lit conditions. 2D codes on skyscrapers need to be tested at signiﬁcant distance. Finally, make sure that your 2D code works with various reader types (e.g. Microsoft Tags can only be scanned with Microsoft Tag readers).
QR Codes 1 2 3 4 5 6 A Msgme Quick6 eBookGet Ahead: Key Tips To Maximize QR Code Campaign Success Poor User Experience Potential Your QR Code campaign, though moderately successful, didn’t blow away your expectations. Issue Think Like A User When Designing the Campaign Solution As with most things, the little details really matter. Take for example QR Codes that direct users to a website. That sounds ﬁne from a brand perspective, but for a person scanning a code? Not quite. You need QR Codes that direct users to a mobile optimized website. Want another example? Take QR Codes placed on consumer packaging. One one hand, successful companies will use these codes to direct users to a compelling campaign. After the campaign ends, users that scan will receive an error or out of date message. On the other, market leading companies will ensure that QR Codes remain updated and relevant throughout an entire product life cycle. Rather than sending an error message, they will send an up-sell to a new campaign or subscriber opt-in list. By adopting the above mindset, you should be well on your way toward achieving your QR Code goals. More than anything, remember that QR Codes are an entry point for an audience to engage with a product or service. Ask and answer for yourself, “What do I get” and “What does my audience get” at each step along the way.
QR Codes 1 2 3 4 5 6 A Msgme Quick6 eBookThanks for reading!Want to learn more about QR Codes and mobile marketing?Check out our: blog @ blog.msgme.com or webinars @ www.msgme.com/c/SolutionsWebinarsYou can also email us with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.orgThe QR Codes eBook, part of the Msgme Quick6 eBook Series.
QR Codes 1 2 3 4 5 6 — Sources A Msgme Quick6 eBookSourcesOliver Williams. "Why isnt everyone using QR codes?" Published March 8, 2011. TShirt Image, QR Code. Retrieved 10 May 2011. http://j.b5z.net/i/u/2076610/i/Retrieved 30 April 2011. http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/28604.asp QR_Code_Tshirt.jpgPackage overview for mbarcode. Maemo.org. Retrieved 28 April 2010. http:// Umika Pidaparthy. “Marketers Embracing QR Codes, For Better or for Worse.” CNNmaemo.org/packages/view/mbarcode/ Tech. Published March 28, 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2011. http://articles.cnn.com/ 2011-03-28/tech/qr.codes.marketing_1_qr-smartphone-users-symbian?_s=PM:TECHPR Web. “Stepping Beyond Performance With Datalogic Gryphon 4400 2D Bar CodeReaders. SFGate.com. Published April 29, 2011. Retrieved 1 May 2011. http:// Wikipedia. Retrieved April 29, 2011 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QR_codewww.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/04/29/prweb8358353.DTL Zxing. "Barcode Contents - A rough guide to standard encoding of information inQr Code Generator. http://wpqrcodegenerator.com/index.php barcodes." Published June 28, 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2011. http://code.google.com/ p/zxing/wiki/BarcodeContentsQR Code Standardization. QR Code.com. Denso-wave.com. Retrieved 23 April 2009.QR Code.com. "About 2D Code | Denso-Wave." Copyright(C) 2000-2010 DENSOWAVE INCORPORATED. Retrieved 23 April 2011. http://www.denso-wave.com/qrcode/aboutqr-e.htmlQR Code.com. "About 2D Code | Denso-Wave." Copyright(C) 2000-2010 DENSOWAVE INCORPORATED. Retrieved 23 April 2011. http://www.denso-wave.com/qrcode/qrstandard-e.htmlQR Stuﬀ.com. http://www.qrstuﬀ.com/Rachel Lamb. "Best Practices for Luxury Department Stores Using QR Codes."Published May 5, 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2011. http://www.luxurydaily.com/20994/Roger Enter, Nielsen Wire. "Smartphones to Overtake Feature Phones in U.S. by 2011."Published March 26, 2010. Retreived 10 May 2011. http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/consumer/smartphones-to-overtake-feature-phones-in-u-s-by-2011/Scanlife. "Mobile Barcode Trend Report Q1 2011." Published Q1 2011. Retrieved 1 May2011. http://web.scanlife.com/pdf/scanlife_trend_report_1q11.pdfSmartphone Image.” Retrieved 11 May 2011. http://www.technologyfault.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/smartphones.jpgTan Jin Soon. “QR Code.” EPCglobal Signature Council/Automatic Data CaptureTechnical Committee. Section 3. Retrieved 10 May 2011. http://qrbcn.com/imatgesbloc/Three_QR_Code.pdfTattoo Image, QR Code. Retrieved 10 May 2011. http://biglegalbrain.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/qr-code-tattoo-e1303569212822.jpgThe IOU Project. “New Clothes Will Share Product Life Stories Via QR Code.”Published 20 April 2011. Retrived 1 May 2011. http://www.springwise.com/fashion_beauty/iou/
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