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10 things to with 2-D codes — QR Codes

June 4, 2011

First, they aren’t called QR Codes. They are called 2-D Codes. QR Codes are a subset of 2-D Codes.
And if you thought there are too many options on the market, consider the fact that QR Code is one of the options in the category. Not the category.

As Smartphone penetration increases, so will the potential of usage.

Consider this chart:


This chart comes from a study we’re doing on moms. We have a lot more data on what moms are looking for. But the point is, moms are using smartphones. So is the rest of the population.

2-D Code usage is too hard.

I’ve read the complaint that using a 2-D Code reader is too hard. I’ve been in presentations with senior people who have smartphones. I’ve showed them how to download the app, something they know how to do.
Then, I show them they don’t have to take a picture,  just hover over the Code. Yes, there are a million different readers and a million different code generators, but when placed at a reasonable point in the marketing journey, and when leading to a reasonable place, 2-D Codes are a simple way of getting someone to do something.

Here’s another fancy chart:


This list is simple, and straightforward. The first thing people do with a 2-D Code is drive people, in store, to a coupon. There are many stores that have the ability to redeem a digital coupon. But it isn’t that widespread. Mom and pop stores cannot yet redeem coupons, and that’s an issue for some retailers.

When you ask, and what you ask them to do are important.

I’m somewhat frustrated by people using 2-D Codes all willy-nilly. QR Codes don’t work, they say (not even understanding that they are dissing a brand, not a category).

Bah.

Chances are good that the people didn’t think about why they are using a 2-D Code, and more about just using it because it is shiny and new.

Here are ten things you can do with a 2-D Code:

    1. Have it on your business card. Have the QR code automatically download your data into someone’s contact folder. This isn’t just doable, but if you’ve ever had a business card from someone and wondered what the heck to do with it, you can see value now.
    2. Drive someone to a mobile site. For the love of pete, DO NOT DRIVE someone to a site on the interwebs that isn’t mobile.
    3. Have the QR code be a simple Facebook like. That’s it, scan this to like our page. Do it at tradeshows, on the bottom of e-newsletters, on the side of your website. We already know people don’t click the follow us on Facebook ‘F’ logo. This is easier and people might do it.
    4. Have the QR code initiate a call. Yes, really. A take out menu could print them on their menu. And yes, people can scan it, and it will initiate a call. Is it easier than dialing? In a 10 digit dialing world, it is many less buttons.
    5. On package, a 60 second sizzle video on the brand features of the product.
    6. Send an e-mail (with subject and content). This could be in the booth at a tradeshow – it can be a request for a follow-up.
    7. Add an event to a mobile calendar – sending a save the date? Have people place it right into their calendars.
    8. Link to a Pay pal Pay Now account – selling something at a market and don’t want to take credit cards? Like right to your pay pal account.
    9. Link to a podcast on iTunes – launching a podcast that offers more information on your product? This can be the place to directly download the product from the iTunes store or the Android marketplace.
    10. Deliver a coupon inside of a package. I’m not a big fan of giving coupons to people on the first purchase, but giving them on the second is smart. Have the 2-D Code be all about encouraging the second purchase.
When thinking about this list, consider the actual reasons people scan a 2-D Code. You can drive people to a coupon on a mobile site.
So there you go. Have you seen 2-D Codes in the wild? Have you scanned them? What are the best scanning apps? Share your 2-D Code story.
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