by Samantha Hershman
As a current student, a targeted consumer, and a member of the social media generation, it is clear that traditional marketing techniques are not going to cut it for any business to sustain itself going forward. The pace at which technology is improving and social networks are growing is exponentially fast and companies need to adapt as well as reach customers on this more personal yet fast-paced level. One increasingly popular marketing technique is the use of Quick Response codes, or QR codes, to gain and maintain customers through enhanced customer experience. Chances are you have seen an interesting looking square barcode on a company’s materials, such as business cards, posters, websites, clothing, advertisements, and more.
QR codes are scanned through a free smartphone application which then uses the phone’s internet capability to connect to whatever the company wants to share, such as website links, contact information, video, or images. The beauty of QR codes is the ability to share information of your choice cheaply to customers in a way that is convenient with them and up to date. A survey by MGH, a Baltimore marketing firm, discovered that “72% of smartphone users are likely to remember ads that include QR codes”. According to Business Insider, “1 in 2 Americans will own a smartphone by Christmas 2011”. These details alone are enough incentive for companies to embrace QR codes.
Businesses can use QR codes to their advantage through various creative methods. Bizreport cited 10 great ways they are being used, such as “coupon promotion, advice and information, entertainment, business cards and contact information, advertising, extending store hours, real estate signage, charity donations, and connections to social media.” Examples of successful implementation include a Macy’s marketing campaign, a spontaneous Lupe Fiasco concert, and a Calvin Klein billboard. Many websites offer easy and quick QR code creation, so implementation just depends on the company’s willingness to adapt and create meaningful content to share through the tool. Going forward, companies may have to work to get used to the new pace of marketing and the continuous updating it involves, but it likely to reap rewards. For companies, social media and QR codes are a cost effective way to connect to customers where efforts and ROI can be easily tracked. Through those tools, consumers are now paid more attention because of real-time connection and can benefit from discounts and other valuable content coming their way. By adapting to changing trends, companies can enhance their b2b and c2b relationships.
Samantha is a representative from MSI Promotions, a promotional products company in NJ that specializes in innovative marketing and promotional solutions. MSI is a full-service distributor with superior customer service and creativity. Woman-owned, certified by NJ and the WBENC.