QR This!

Earlier this week, I purchased a new wheel barrel.  Though this may not sound exciting, I was surprised when I opened the box and noticed the instruction manual had a QR Code.

When scanned, a step-by-step instructional video pops-up

Again, not exciting, but useful.  Which should be the main focus when using QR codes.

When QR codes first exploded onto the scene, everyone wanted to use them, but not everyone used them effectively.  About a year ago, I had a co-worker question why we were not using a QR Code in our newspaper advertisement.  The advertisement in question had a call to action that focused on opening a checking account.  When I asked him, “Where should the QR Code take somebody?” he answered, “Our website!”

Don’t get me wrong, I applaud this person for wanting to try a new, measurable advertising component, but this isn’t the best way to use it.  Consider these three steps when using a QR Code.

  • Choose the right media: Who reads the newspaper, sees an advertisement and wants to scan a QR Code?  Typical smartphone and tablet owners are reading their news on their smartphones and tablets, not looking at print.
  • Relevance: QR technically stands for Quick Response, but needs to be seen as Quality Relevance. If someone is going to take the time to scan a QR Code, then it should be relevant.  That is what I like about the above Wheel Barrel example.
  • Mobile Friendliness: If you’re going to set up a QR Code, please make sure it is compatible with a smartphone and/or tablet.  A link to a video or to a dedicated mobile website.  Does it make sense to have a QR Code link to a traditional index page?

It comes down to this, many people see QR Codes as a nifty marketing tool that is high tech, and flashy.  But if those same people would use it as a communication tool, they could build a better experience for their customers and prospects.

Just to clarify, I didn’t need the video to put together the wheel barrel, but I hope there is a QR Code/video package for the Pack ‘N Play I am putting together this summer 🙂

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