This guest post has been contributed by Mark Fraser, CEO of zappit
Keeping up with the latest mobile technologies can be hard. Owners of small businesses would be forgiven for assuming that technologies such as Quick Response (QR) and Near Field Communication (NFC) are best left to bigger firms that have more resources and a deeper understanding of how they work. They would be wrong though.
QR codes are scanned and read by a smartphone before directing the user to undertake an activity, such as going to a website, opening a map or sending a text. They are now being used in billboard and magazine advertisements, with on-screen media and on in-store displays and table-top talkers (an object that sits on a table in a restaurant or café). The potential is enormous as they offer a quick and simple way for a business to interact with their customer. Whilst some SMEs might not be able to afford a billboard or national media QR campaign, it is straight forward and cost-effective to have something in an office, shop or restaurant, allowing them to engage with customers, build a database of knowledge and information and subsequently improve Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
But whether they execute a QR campaign themselves or use a third party to help them, how should SMEs go about this and what should they look for when they do – here are zappit’s top five tips for successful QR campaigns.
Make it easy for people to scan your QR Code. If you have a physical object for people to scan, ensure the code isn’t hidden away or hard to reach as people aren’t going to spend time searching for it. If you own a shop, then have it at point-of-sale, if you are a café or restaurant have it on the tabletop or if your business is office-based have your QR Code somewhere in reception. If you are using QR in print, position it prominently on the page.
Make sure it fits with your existing branding. If you have a standalone unit, board or box on which you have your QR Code printed, do make it part of the overall brand experience. Have your logo near the QR Code and make sure the look and feel is consistent with other marketing and promotional materials.
Do not just send people to your website. The experience you provide to the person scanning the code is arguably the most important success factor with QR. Sending a customer to a desktop website will turn people off immediately and you should look to provide as compelling an experience on a mobile website as possible. This can be money-off, a competition entry, exclusive content, anything that will encourage people to make that scan.
Make the most of your data capture with analytics. QR Codes generate a lot of data on your customers and prospects. The right analytics dashboard can track mobile campaign redemption and conversion metrics, device manufacturers and operating systems as well as in-depth link and social media metrics, e.g. how many Facebook likes, Twitter follows or YouTube views occur during a campaign. This data can be hugely important so use analytics to maximise its value to your business.
QR Codes can be a powerful marketing tool. Not just for big business, they can help SMEs to get closer to customers and prospects and build long-standing relationships with them. Given the prominence of smartphones (almost half of the UK population has one), marketing to people via those phones is a wise move for any SME.