QR Codes – Do They Work?

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QR Codes – Yay or Nay?

I was reading Kent Lewis’ post on QR codes and other marketing strategies and I had to pause for a bit when he said “QR codes require too many steps and rarely solve a problem uniquely.”  Really?  I downloaded Scan on my IPhone and used it at Olive Garden just like a camera – click on Scan, focus the image on my Iphone and voila – I’m entered to win a trip to Italy.  Like anything else, it depends upon how you’re using the code.

I was walking around a Vermont downtown and saw a modest storefront with a QR sticker in the window.  He  sold antiques and his shop was only open 3 days a week. For grins, I whipped out my IPhone and scanned his QR sticker.  It took me to his Facebook page talking about auctions he was attending, pieces he had for sale and his hours.  He had excellent engagement – offering to have customers “pm”(private message)  him for a piece he’d just bought at the auction.  He had no website, only a storefront, a sticker and a Facebook page.  It got customers into the habit of visiting his Facebook page and checking out his latest finds so they could get in the store to get the best deal.  He told a story.  He got customers engaged.  He had antique furniture.  He had the recipe for success:  Content.  Relevance.  Engagement.  All without a website.

QR Codes are Dead!  Really?

Forbes highlighted an article on  a company called “Scan” which is the easy app I downloaded onto my IPhone.  The quote that stuck out in my mind from the article was “It wasn’t about being the first, it was about being there at the right time in the right way.” Exactly.  Right time, right place and making it easy for customers to buy from you.  Walking by that store front after hours and scanning the code gave me live action to the storekeeper, what he specializes in, furnishings I might like for my own home and a way to contact him if I saw something I liked.  Think about that for a minute – how easy would it be to put a QR code up about your product or service in a high traffic, RELEVANT area for potential customers?  (Dilapidated downtowns, are you paying attention?)  The brick and mortar store has taken a serious hit – is the QR code a way to breathe new life and new customers into your storefront?  How else could you use a QR code?  Web Help U.S. put a QR code on his business card and offers a special for those savvy enough to scan the card and get his discount.

There are many ways you can incorporate these ideas into your own marketing strategy.  Like anything else, making it easy for customers to buy from you is tantamount to having success in your business.  Bravo to Scan – I hope they can override the negative PR QR codes have received as of late.  25 million downloads tells me they’re well on their way.

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