A few years ago, a guy came into our office to tell us about squiggly squares – a.k.a. Quick Response codes. These two-dimensional codes look like a banjaxed crossword puzzle and they allow you to encode information (usually a URL), which can in turn be activated by a mobile phone.
While we were impressed with the technology, but there was an issue with motivation: would people interact with them? It seemed unlikely, especially as you had to first download a reader to activate them. So we filed it under ‘Nice Idea, Not Ready Yet’.
But it looks like now their time has come.
As people increasingly use their phones to virtually enrich real-life experiences, the idea of activating extra content is increasingly commonplace.
Other signs of a QR tipping point is their growing adoption by major mainstream brands. Waitrose put one on the Christmas TV ad – thereby expecting customers to either be very quick on the draw or (even more ambitious) to rewind their Sky Plus to activate it. Diesel have also recently displayed QR codes in-store so that customers can ‘like’ physical products online.
Free QR code generators have put this technology in the hands of anyone who thinks they can benefit from it, and many businesses can.
Since we started executing QR campaigns for clients, we’ve learned a few important lessons to remember:
- QRCs have a 5% click-thru within a targeted audience so make sure you know yours will respond.
- Reward interaction with relevant, interesting, engaging, helpful content.
- Test on multiple devices to ensure you don’t lose a warm lead.
- Think about WHERE the code is going – if it’s a tube poster than don’t bother (and some people do).
- Never forget the analytics.