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For those of you still trying to get your head around qr codes. Here's a nice guides from Chris Zobel, Director of Digital Strategy at Luckie & Company, who has put together an excellent breakdown for marketers looking to effectively incorporate them into their strategies.

Chris explores the four key basics of QR code marketing and what you should be doing with your marketing.

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  1. 1. 360 LuckieDigital INSIGHTS QR CODE MARKETING Four Rules of QR Marketing: Knowing the Basics Corporate Activation: Home Depot Deploys QR Codes Nationally Stats Powerpoint Fodder: 4 Charts Every Marketer Should HaveLuckie  &  Co.    600  Luckie  Drive    Birmingham,  AL  35223              P  205.879.2121                www.luckie.com  
  2. 2. MARKETING WITH QR CODES QR CODE MARKETINGMobile  barcodes  hold  promise  for  marketers  as  a  mechanism  for  acGvaGng  other  media  and  providing  a  bridge  between  the  physical  and  digital  worlds.  But  they   CORPORATE ACTIVATIONalso  present  challenges,  including  fragmentaGon  between  open  and  proprietary   HOME DEPOT TEAMS WITHbarcode   formats   and   the   requirement   that   consumers   download   a   dedicated  applicaGon  to  read  the  codes.   SCANBUY FOR NATIONAL QR PUSHWith   deployment   at   an   early   stage   in   most   markets   outside   of   Asia,   consumer  adopGon   of   barcode   scanning   remains   uneven,   both   in   general   and   across   the  leading  smartphone  plaLorms.  However,  awareness  is  growing,  thanks  in  part  to  high-­‐profile   apps   such   as   RedLaser   (now   owned   by   eBay)   and   the   inclusion   of  scanning  capabiliGes  within  popular  ecommerce  apps,  such  as  the  Amazon  app.  Given   the   hurdles   to   be   overcome,   the   burden   lies   with   marketers   to   provide  value-­‐added  experiences  that  encourage  greater  adopGon  and  repeat  usage.(source:  eMarketer,  March  2011)   Home   improvement   retail   giant   Home   Depot   is   going  mobile.     This   week,   Home   Depot   launched   a   new   QR   code   campaign   across   the   company’s   2,200   US-­‐based   stores.     Scanbuy,   a   respected   leader   in   mobile   barcode   soluGons,   is   behind   the   Home   Depot   iniGaGve,   which   is   being   called   an   extensive   “naGonal   communicaGons   strategy”   uGlizing   mobile   barcodes  enabled  by  the  ScanLife  system.     The   effort,   says   Home   Depot,   “incorporates   2D   barcodes   (QR   codes)   to   give   customers   more   immediate   access   to   relevant   informaGon   such   as   product   raGng   and   reviews,   How-­‐To   guides   and   videos  on  specific  products.”     Customers   will   have   no   shortage   of   access   (source:  Late  Night  with  Jimmy  Fallon,  2011   opportuniGes   to   the   codes,   which   will   be   placed   in   direct   mail   pieces   linking   to   product  More   and   more,   QR   codes   are   showing   up   in   mainstream   media   although   the   informaGon   and   video   demos.   Unique   codes   will  ongoing  conversaGon  has  been  whether  or  not  QR  codes  will  take  hold  and  be  a   also   be   found   on   store   shelves,   signage   and   other  staple   in   the   digital   community.     The   fact   is   that   the   U.S.   is   in   the   lead   with   regard   tradiGonal  markeGng  material.  to  the  adopGon  of  QR/barcode  scanning  with  approximately  181%  change  within  the  past  quarter.   Codes   outside   the   store   will   also   enable   mobile   users   to   make   purchases   online   through   their  With the increase in smart- mobile  device,  converGng  any  media  into  a  virtual  phone sales in 2011, “buy  bu_on.”  consumers will have the “The  Home  Depot’s  decision  to  bring  this  service  ability to use QR codes. to   their   millions   of   customers   unquesGonably  Nielsen predicted that 50% shows   how   this   technology   can   be   extremely  of mobile subscribers will powerful   for   both   the   consumer   and   the   retailer,”  be smartphone users this said  Mike  Wehrs,  CEO  and  President  of  Scanbuy.  year which translates tomore than 142 million (source:  Mobile  Marke:ng  Watch,    March  23,  2009)  users by the end of 2011. QR Code Marketing, May 2011
  3. 3. FOUR RULES OF QR CODESUSE A SHORTENED URLSomeGmes,   simple   is   be_er.     With   QR   codes,   simple   can   make   all   the  difference.     Since   QR   codes   are   generated   based   on   the   amount   of   LONG  =  COMPLEX/BUSY  informaGon   they   contain,   the   simpler   the   info,   the   more   readable   the   This   code   is   an   example   of  code  can  be.    Some  codes  can  carry  contact  informaGon  and  will  be  more   an   extremely   long   product  complex.    Others  may  be  a  URL.    Whichever  they  may  be,  remember  that   code  from  Amazon.com  for  this   code   will   be   printed   and   you   want   to   ensure   that   the   code   is   able   to   an  iPhone  4.    NoGce  how  it  be  scanned  on  the  first  try.    Simplicity  is  the  key.   may   be   difficult   to   resize   this   code   due   to   its  In   addiGon   to   simple   codes,   the   size   of   the   code   is   important   as   well.     complexity.  Couple   size   with   complexity   and   you   have   a   recipe   for   an   ineffecGve  code.     Make   the   code   large   enough   so   the   user   doesn’t   have   to   press  their   mobile   camera   against   the   code   to   scan   it.     A   bigger   code   will   SHORT  =  SIMPLE  eliminate  codes  blurring  and  not  scanning  correctly.   This  code  sends  you  to  the   same   product   page   on  As  with  all  markeGng,  code  size  is  enGrely  dependant  on  the  execuGon.     Amazon.com   but   uses   a  Billboards   vs.   direct   mail   will   have   obvious   size   differences.     Also,   try   not   shortened   (bit.ly)   URL.  to  mess  around  with  the  color  of  the  codes.    CreaGng  creaGve  gradient   Since   it   is   less   complex,   it    codes  may  interfere  with  the  way  in  which  the  codes  are  scanned.   would   be   easier   to   resize   and  implement  creaGvely.  In  short…Keep  It  Simple  &  Scannable.  PROVIDE INSTRUCTIONS AND EXPECTATIONSMuch  of  the  conversaGon  around  QR  codes  is  that  US  QR  usage  is  low.    It’s  true,  we’re  not  at  the  forefront  of  QR  usage,  however,  the                U.S.  boasted  a  181%  increase  in  usage  since  earlier  this  year.    So  what’s  the  problem?      With  any  new  technology,  the  masses  need  to  be  led  a  bit  and  convinced.    Since  these  codes  are  sGll  in  their  infancy  in  the  US,  we’ll  need  to  handhold  a  bit  to  start.    Once  again,  we’re  living  in  a  society  of  “What’s  in  it  for  me?”  which  means  transparency  is  key.    You’ll  need  to  give  the  140  million  prospecGve  users  a  bit  of  a  QR  101  iniGally  and  this  can  be  accomplished  by  including  instrucGonal  text  with  your  codes  to  start.    InstrucGons  should  start  by  telling  users  to  scan  the  code  with  their  smartphone.    Next,  and  most  importantly,  let  them   know   what   they’ll   get   aier   scanning   it   (Rule   4   will   explain   why   this   is   so   important).     It   is   a   good   pracGce   to   give   the   user   an  addiGonal   opGon   if   they   don’t   want   to   scan   the   code.     A   URL   or   a   text-­‐to   code   may   be   most   effecGve.     Lastly,   there   is   a   good   possibility  that  the  users  may  not  have  a  2D  barcode  reader.    Readers  are  available  for  smartphones  for  free  and  they  are  universal,  so  there  should  be   an   abundance   of   readers   to   choose   from.     Let   them   know   how   to   get   a   reader.     UnGl   these   codes   are   fully   adopted,   instrucGons   like  this  will  make  penetraGon  progress  much  faster.    Once  the  hype  is  over  and  QR  is  mainstream,  the  codes  will  be  able  to  stand  on  their  own. QR Code Marketing, May 2011
  4. 4. FOUR RULES OF QR CODES …CONTINUED  DIRECT USERS TO A MOBILIZED DESTINATIONQR   codes   are   made   specifically   to   be   scanned   by   a   mobile   handset,   so  the   desGnaGon   that   you   are   developing   for   users   needs   to   be   mobile  opGmized.    This  means  that  once  a  code  is  scanned,  the  content  should  be   forma_ed   specifically   for   various   mulGple   handsets   (Apple   iOS,  Android,  BlackBerry).  The  easiest  way  to  lose  a  prospecGve  customer  is  to  not  have  your  messaging  in  a  format  that  is  naGve  to  the  device  it  is  being  viewed  on.  When   developing   for   mobile   handsets,   keep   in   mind   the   way   in   which  users   browse   content.   When   developing   for   smartphones   with   touch  screens,   you   need   to   accommodate   users   navigaGng   with   their   fingers,  hence   easy-­‐to-­‐use,   touch   navigaGon   needs   to   be   incorporated.     For  BlackBerrys   and   other   feature-­‐based   phones,   the   experience   may   be   a  bit   different   and   more   standard   “cursor”   navigaGon   may   need   to   be  uGlized.   BAD EXPERIENCE   GOOD EXPERIENCE   A  bad  mobile  experience  is  one  in  which  the  user  is  presented  with  Once  you  have  the  user  on  your  mobile  site,  it  is  important  to  keep  the   standard   website   that   may   not   have   all   the   funcGonality.     Flash  enGre  experience  mobile  (unless  its  part  of  a  larger  ‘off-­‐mobile’  strategy).   components   may   not   show   up   and   standard   code   can   malfuncGon.     A  good  experience  is  a  concise  experience  where  select  informaGon  Keep   your   content   short,   concise   and   to   the   point.     Don’t   try   to   recreate   is  produce  and  presented  in  a  way  that  is  easy  to  navigate  and    view.  your  enGre  site  on  mobile.    SGck  to  the  facts.    Stay  focused.  PROVIDE USERS WITH VALUABLE CONTENTNo  ma_er  where  you  place  your  QR  code,  it  is  mandatory  that  you  make  sure   that   whatever   the   desGnaGon   may   be,   you   had   be_er   be   offering  the   users   something   of   worth   to   them.     In   many   cases,   marketers   are  using   the   codes   to   extend   the   markeGng   message   will   li_le   regard   for  what  the  consumer  wants.    The  truth  is  that  most  of  the  people  scanning  QR   codes   are   doing   so   to   get   coupons,   discounts   or   some   sort   of   deal.    Others  are  looking  for  addiGonal  informaGon  about  products.    This  is  the  case  for  many  apparel  and  fashion  companies  uGlizing  codes  on  tags.      When   developing   mobile   strategies,   understanding   the   price   of   entry   for  mobile  consumers  is  vital  to  the  success  of  the  campaign.    Knowing  what  it  would  take  to  get  a  user  to  scan  your  code  and  lepng  them  know  what  they’re   gepng   before   they   scan   is   the   key.     Also,   there   is   no   “one  strategy  fits  all”  methodology  here.    What  works  for  Calvin  Klein  may  not  work  for  Apple.    What  works  for  Apple  might  not  work  for  Macy’s.    As  consumers  differ,  so  is  the  method  of  entry  for  them.        The   playing   field   is   evenly   split   guys   to   gals.     It   is   important   to   match   the  QR   “scanners”   demographics   to   your   products’   target   market   and  develop  your  content  based  on  where  these  intersect.  Make  them  want  to  scan  it.   QR Code Marketing, May 2011
  5. 5. STATS  POWERPOINT FODDER QR, or quick response, codes are being adopted by many marketers as a way to entice people into using their mobile phoneto get more information about products and services or otherwise interact more deeply with advertising. Outdoor ads inviteconsumers waiting for the bus to scan a poster to reach a relevant website, catalogs integrate QR codes to hook directlyinto ecommerce sites and stores place codes next to products that direct shoppers to how-to videos online. But how muchhave consumers caught on to what mobile barcodes can do?According to February 2011 research from agency MGH, awareness is high among smartphone owners. Nearly two-thirdshave seen a QR code, and about half that number, or one-third overall, had used one. The demographic breakdown of userswho had seen vs. used a QR code was virtually identical. Smartphone users were almost evenly split by gender, and whileusers under age 55 were relatively few, the field was not dominated by 18- to 34-year-olds. Users who had seen or used QRcodes tended to be more affluent and educated.Most  respondents  reported  seeing  QR  codes  on  a  product,  followed  by  in  a  magazine  or  on  a  coupon.  And  they  were  typically  used  to  get  coupons  or  discounts,  or  to  access  informaGon. (source:  eMarketer,  March  2011)   DEMOGRAPHIC PROFILE WHERE TO USE THEM WHERE ARE THEY BEING USED US BARCODE GROWTH QR Code Marketing, May 2011
  6. 6. CONTACT USAdding QR codes to the marketing mix is quickly moving from an experimentto an essential ingredient. More studies and credible bodies of research areemerging from venerable institutions like Cornell and Harvard, and industryassociations like eMarketer and Nielson pointing to the increases in positiveconsumer behavior from website visits to increases in sales and increases invalue per order.Let us help you integrate QR codes into your marketing mix in a way thatmakes the most sense for your business Chris Zobel   Director of Digital Strategy With   over   15   years   experience   in   the   digital   space,   Chris   heads   up   our   digital   strategy   and   planning   group.   Chris   is   tasked   with   developing   customized   digital   markeGng   strategies   for   clients,  as  well  as  idenGfying  opportuniGes  and  providing  digital  soluGons  to  help  support  the   full   integraGon   of   digital   media   throughout   everything   we   do.     From   online   ads   to   online   gaming,  he  finds  the  right  place  for  the  right  message.   chris.zobel@luckie.com   For  further  insight  you  can  follow  Chris  on  Twi_er  twi_er.com/chriszobel