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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Promotional Products & QR Codes-a Multi-Channel Approach Driving Web Traffic


QR (or Quick Response) Codes are popping up everywhere.  Like the one on the left, they are small square boxes read by a QR reader on a smart phone.  With the proliferation of smart phones QR Codes provide advertisers an immediate digital response to drive traffic online through print media.  Promotional  branded items, a form of print media, effectively uses QR Codes; thereby transforming one dimensional advertising into a multi-channel, digital and response driven medium.

Promotional products is a multi-billion industry dating back to George Washington's commemoration buttons.  The industry is cost effective per impression in branding your product or service while maintaining brand recognition long after the immediate nature of an digital direct response advertisement.

Counselor Magazine, which covers the promotional product industry, cited (in their State of the Industry 2011 edition) statistics about the smart phone growth and by inference QR Code's importance.

  • No licenses are required to use QR Codes
  • Most smart phones can scan codes as small as .75 inches
  • Approximately 62% of people scanned a QR codes two or more times.
  • Ages 25-54 have the highest QR Code usage
  • Apple phone scan the majority of QR Codes
  • Don't link a Flash site with a QR Code
  • If you want to track QR Code response, use bit.ly because they have the ability of reporting visits by your QR Code.
What are some effective approaches to use QR Codes:
  • Business Cards: print your QR codes on the back with your Facebook, Twitter or Mobile Website (or all three).
  • Media-URL encoded QR code for a movie trailer
  • Text Messaging-text message encode QR to test drive a car including car salesperson.
  • Real Estate-For Sale sign linking agents' website with additional information on the property.
  • Calendars-QR Code(s) imprinted each month with URL highlighting promotional specials specific to that month.
Creating a QR Code is very easy and free.  The code transforms any URL (web or mobile) into a digitized image.  Your QR Reader (downloaded onto your smart phone) takes you to the embedded URL.  Some sites you can use include:
  • QR Stuff
  • Kaywa
  • Mobilefish
The true benefit is the ability of tracking response to each QR Code.  While the QR Code creation is free, you have to pay extra, (with an annual subscription) to receive this benefit. QR Stuff offers this benefit.  In my opinion, the ability of tracking performance is always worth it.

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