The Ugly Secret About QR Codes In Transaction Document Campaigns
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The Ugly Secret About QR Codes In Transaction Document Campaigns

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QR (Quick Response) codes are the latest silver bullet in Transpromo and transaction document multi-channel marketing in the US and Western Europe. But the word on the street is very mixed; some......

QR (Quick Response) codes are the latest silver bullet in Transpromo and transaction document multi-channel marketing in the US and Western Europe. But the word on the street is very mixed; some companies swear they’ve boosted response rates; other say nothing happened. To successfully use a QR code in a marketing campaign requires close attention to three critical issues. We’ll discuss those three secrets and the hidden dangers in QR codes, dangers that if misused can not only sabotage a campaign but turn potential customers off your product and your brand.

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  • 1. The Ugly Secret About QR Codes In Transaction Document Campaigns Stephen D. Poe, EDP Nautilus SolutionsSlide 1© 2011 Stephen D. Poe
  • 2. Agenda What are QR Codes? Successful QR Code Usage In Transaction Document Campaigns • Technical Quality • User Demographics • Expectations Successful Transaction Document Campaigns using QR CodesSlide 2© 2011 Stephen D. Poe
  • 3. What are QR Codes?Slide 3© 2011 Stephen D. Poe
  • 4. QR Codes Quick Response Codes • 2D matrix barcode, created 1994 • Readably by many cell phone and hand held devices • Most popular in Japan • Controlled by ISO standardsSlide 4© 2011 Stephen D. Poe
  • 5. QR Codes Functionality Scanned by handheld device • Needs camera, QR code reader Currently 179 QR Code readers listed for Android • Can result in one of four actions: Link to a URL Write an email or an SMS Display information • E.g., contact info, product infoSlide 5© 2011 Stephen D. Poe
  • 6. QR Code Usage in Japan Other 14% Coupon 32% Product info 23% Special Promo 31%Slide 6© 2011 Stephen D. Poe
  • 7. QR Codes in the US Finally becoming popular • Growth in US smartphone penetration is a driver • Mostly with consumers • 1200% growth, July-December 2010 Drop-off after Christmas But 87% of these scans are by consumers for product information Slowly moving into transaction documents • US Postal Service Offering a 3% discount for mailers using a QR Code (or a similar 2D code) on their mail in July and August 2011.Slide 7© 2011 Stephen D. Poe
  • 8. QR Codes in Transaction Documents Within the transaction document marketspace • Mixed message on the street “Great boost in response rates!” “Did nothing – the campaign was a failure.” • Why the mixed message? Both can’t be right? What are QR Codes’ ugly secrets? • What are their hidden dangers? What are the secrets for a successful Transaction document campaign taking advantage of QR Codes?Slide 8© 2011 Stephen D. Poe
  • 9. Successful QR Code Usage In Transaction Document CampaignsSlide 9© 2011 Stephen D. Poe
  • 10. Secrets of QR Code Usage Must be an integral part of the campaign planning Cannot be an afterthought • QR Codes cannot be bolted onto an existing Transpromo marketing campaign (and be successful) Requires careful attention to three critical issues: • Technical Quality • Usage Demographics • ExpectationsSlide 10© 2011 Stephen D. Poe
  • 11. Technical QualitySlide 11© 2011 Stephen D. Poe
  • 12. Technical Quality Error If it can’t be read – immediate fail!Slide 12© 2011 Stephen D. Poe
  • 13. Technical Quality Many generators, many readers • Not all generators or readers are created equal • Make sure your QR Code can be read Focus on three critical issues • QR Code is correctly generated • QR Code is readable • QR Code link is correctSlide 13© 2011 Stephen D. Poe
  • 14. QR Code Generator Software Review generator(s) Which are best for your environment and requirements? Which work best with your existing document composition or document reengineering systems? Which meet your production requirements? See code.google.com/apis/chart/docs/gallery/qr_codes.html for a sample (non-production) generatorSlide 14© 2011 Stephen D. Poe
  • 15. QR Code Test Plans Test the generator output • If generating individual, personalized QR Codes, test many outputs • Is it printable? Test the readers • Can you read the QR Code? • Track which readers are most used by your customers Multiple platforms – iPhone, Android, Blackberry Multiple readers Test the results • Does the QR Code go to the intended landing page?Slide 15© 2011 Stephen D. Poe
  • 16. Technical Quality Error “It works fine in a browser” But how about on a mobile device? “Video cannot be played on mobile” Fail!Slide 16© 2011 Stephen D. Poe
  • 17. Usage DemographicsSlide 17© 2011 Stephen D. Poe
  • 18. Usage Caveats Smartphone penetration • Between 27% - 33% in the US • So perhaps 67% - 73% of the recipients can’t take advantage of your QR Code Is your customer demographic likely to have average, higher, or lower penetration? For the customers without smart phones • What other options can the customer use to respond to your call for action other than QR Code?Slide 18© 2011 Stephen D. Poe
  • 19. Usage Demographics QR Code users (especially in the US) are Early Adopters • Familiar with new technologies • Savvy, sophisticated users • High expectationsSlide 19© 2011 Stephen D. Poe
  • 20. Fail to meet their expectations? They won’t ever, ever click on another QR code from you They will have a negative impression of • Your brand And these early adopters • Your product are typically also heavily • Your company wired into social networks The news of your failure will spread quicklySlide 20© 2011 Stephen D. Poe
  • 21. ExpectationsSlide 21© 2011 Stephen D. Poe
  • 22. Early Adopter Expectations Novel Experience • The Early Adopters expect something different and special • Must be unique and special to the QR Code click- through • Not the same landing page as your web, print, or TV channels • A video, a discount, a special promotion • Quick 2-3 question surveys can be used – make it interactiveSlide 22© 2011 Stephen D. Poe
  • 23. Early Adopter Expectations Personalized QR Codes • On a Transpromo document, each QR Code should (ideally) be individual to that user • Same concept as a personalized URLSlide 23© 2011 Stephen D. Poe
  • 24. Early Adopter Expectations Result must be optimized for a mobile device • A landing page written for a conventional Web browser will be ignored or ridiculed • Your creative designers must develop separate web presences for QR Code campaigns How well they can be viewed/interacted with on different mobile devices should be part of your production test planSlide 24© 2011 Stephen D. Poe
  • 25. Successful Transaction Document Campaigns using QR CodesSlide 25© 2011 Stephen D. Poe
  • 26. Successful Campaign QR Codes cannot merely be bolted on – they must be integral to planning from the start Use classic Transpromo techniques • Develop targeted messages and offerings knowing the end users are early adopters • Design the creative suitably for a mobile platform • Test, test, test • Track the results QR Codes and mobile devices offer new and novel tracking data which can add to your campaign tweaking • Use segmentation testing as per normalSlide 26© 2011 Stephen D. Poe
  • 27. For More Information Stephen D. Poe, EDP Nautilus Solutions +1.214.532.0443 sdpoe@nautilussolutions.comSlide 27 27© 2011 Stephen D. Poe