QR Codes a missed mobile opportunity?

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Quite often peers of mine discuss QR Codes. Technically they have a lot of promise. But since either Brands aren’t asking advice on how to use them or mobile agencies are clueless when setting these up.

Yesterday I went to Small Dog Electronics in Waitsfield to replace a stupidly riced Apple cord for $85 (Why you suckers use Apple who steals your money I have no idea!). That said my family is all Apple. My new family and in-laws are all Apple so just Renegade Bad Ass me these days.

I saw at the counter a QR Code. It said scan and get to know Small Dog. To be honest these folks give great customer service and my in-laws who can pretty harsh on businesses that do not measure up, like them a lot.

So doing my research I used Google Goggles. Scanned the code which initiated a download…..of the address card into my phone. That is it. No micro mobile site. No special offers. No video showing the store and owners. Nothing.

Now the opportunity that is missed is before Siri and Google Android’s really kick ass Voice Recognition, QR codes were a fast way to a website or content. But not to take a scan and hit send I can do via voice in half the time.

But that isn’t the end of QR codes. If businesses get smart they can make them worth while and people will start looking for them. What if that code asked me to Like or Follow Small Dog on Facebook or Twitter? What if it returned a great mobile site? Or a link to weekly specials? Or to a custom App?

Or one step beyond (I am from another Galaxy which is why I am such a Futurist). What if I scan the code at each purchase (or one printed on my receipt), that is like a Loyalty program, and it returns deals and coupons to my phone when I enter the store next? Check in’s but not via satellite where I can cheat. One where I activate inside. No need to be social. Who really cares that I am in a store and those 4SQ check ins on Twitter are all spam unless you are somewhere really freaking cool.

So some recommendations for your future:

  1. Have a customer QR code for your business. You can get them free very easily online.
  2. Make sure what ever place the code takes the customer it is mobile formatted!
  3. Make it worth my time to scan the QR Code vs just using voice to get to your web site.
  4. Be creative. This can be technically a more intimate location based experience than social. We are engaging on my phone in private. Why should I take the time to scan the code? I either want great content or a bribe. And bribes don’t have to be big just enough to show you want me to buy something.
  5. Think of all the shopping insights you will get if you tie what I buy in with me. No need for a rewards card. I have my phone.
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About chiefalien

Howie Goldfarb with 20 years of Sales and Marketing experience founded Blue Star Strategic Marketing in central Vermont to serve as the objective and strategic adviser of brands to help them grow and thrive. His Degree in Finance and 14 years of B2B sales to Fortune 500 companies gives him a CFO’s view of marketing. Thus bringing a dose of reality to the confusing world of jargon, spin, and hype. Also playfully known as the Chief Alien of Blue Star Strategic, Howie relishes his role as an industry outsider. A native New Yorker and former Angelino, he currently lives in the Green Mountains of Vermont and is still seeking his first moose sighting. His passions are living life, art, music, the outdoors, he tries to cook and loves the Vermont Fresh Network – local sustainability initiatives like farm to table and buying local.
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3 Responses to QR Codes a missed mobile opportunity?

  1. Pingback: You Only Get One Chance Usually | Space Agency Notes

  2. One thing I would add about using QR codes: Don’t send people to your home page if they scan it. You can’t track it, there is no call-to-action, and people will be frustrated with the lack of information. At the very least, send them to your Twitter or Facebook page to follow or like. But you can get really creative with them, even providing coupons or discounts for things bought online.

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