Bridge Offline and Online Marketing with QR Codes
A QR code is the evolved two dimensional cousin of the bar code. It is machine readable, usually square in shape and often contains a web address. In short, it is a black and white box that a smart phone or tablet can read, using a QR app. The information contained in the box directs the device or phone to a website. If this were your QR code, then it would direct the device to your website. In so doing, a bridge is formed between the offline customer and the online world.
Marketing with QR Codes
The power of QR code marketing is that it transports a consumer who is immediately interested directly to your site or product. It takes a physical effort on the part of the consumer to create the bridge between offline and online, and that process is fueled by motivation. The motivational catalyst comes directly from your offline marketing material. This is what we refer to as WOW material because that is the exact response that it created in the user. Wow, I want that now. Wow, I want to learn more about that now. That reaction is critical, but the results can be staggeringly successful simply because the combination mixes interested customers with the product of interest.
The Process of QR Marketing
The QR marketing process is fairly simple. Using a smartphone or mobile device camera as a scanner, the consumer, via their device, is directed to your URL where they have access to the bulk of your marketing content. The difficult part is creating WOW content, and that is achieved by using professional copywriters. Offline content does not contain a great deal of information. It contains only enough information to motivate the consumer to action. It is the online content where the conversion of the consumer takes place. So what we are dealing with is two kinds of content: offline and online. Both need to be catalysts of conversion although they work in different ways. Offline content evokes a call to action while online content converts the viewer from active browser to customer by convincing them purchase.
The Advantage of QR Code Marketing
For small businesses, the advantage is huge. QR marketing is geographical, which means that a small business can target specific clients. Many companies use QR codes in mailers, but they are just as effective in places where waiting occurs. A college campus is a good example of such a place. The cost of implementing QR marketing can be inexpensive because the bulk of your marketing material is housed online and is pretty much a one time expense. The offline material is smaller, and cheaper to produce than many traditional offline marketing ads such as those in print media. This means that small business can do a whole lot more with smaller budgets. Intense marketing around holidays, long weekends, and specific occasions can bring massive increases in traffic. The trick to making this all happen is the content. It needs to be professional, high quality, and able to WOW your viewer. To begin this process, you must start by looking for a copywriter who understands your industry.
Potential content can include things like product/service information, such as specialized birthday cakes, holiday catering services, or auto repair. It may also include coupon information where the coupon itself is the motivating factor. Companies also use QR codes to announce contest, giveaways, and other promotional events. An example would be to use a QR code as the link from offline to an online site where the reader could enter into a contest. Music and festivals use QR codes to direct offline consumers to a place where they can buy tickets. The possibilities for how you utilize QR codes is almost endless. This means that you can be creative and unique in your marketing endeavors.
David S is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.