It’s like being a kid in a candy store with all the cool online apps and tools we can use to market ours and others’ small businesses. But like that kid whose eyes are bigger than his stomach, I admit my intentions are greater than the time I have to spend adopting them all.
I keep a growing list of things I want to try; or have signed up for, but haven’t used yet; and recommendations by website and social media experts who seem to spend an inordinate time on Twitter. (Why can’t I manage that? Probably because I’m not using the right Twitter app.) As much as I want to try everything, there’s only so many resources in any small business.
Take QR codes (quick response codes): Those square boxes with the squiggly lines or random pixileted (sometimes colored boxes and triangles) boxes within.
An aside: my brainy mathematics-savvy husband took one look and commented that there are as many variations to QR codes as there are atoms in the universe. Seems like a stretch to me. Might have been one of those really funny geek jokes I never get.
In any case, QR codes are free, so there a lot of them to go around. You take a picture of it with your mobile device and viola! the consumer is immediately transported to a web page. But does my small business need one (or several); that is the question. How do I integrate this mobile application best, if at all?
A few speed bumps emerge as I think through the QR code marketing opportunity:
- Our customers are online, so how would a QR code optimize their experience? Where in the world would they encounter a MyTeamConnects QR code that brought them to a captivating page that rewarded or educated or just impressed them enough to engage with us? (We do email primarily. As we sort out all the other stuff and integrate it, we’d like to ultimately help our customers integrate it too. Therefore evaluating and testing these things are serious concerns.) In other words, is a QR code “worth it”?
- On what would we place a QR code? Would it be on a mailer, a postcard, an ad or a poster? Would it’s presence cut down on ad space and price in traditional print media? Are we better off going a more traditional route and designing an old-school ad if we’re going to do traditional media at all?
- The context would have to be designed and written to make the QR code enticing enough to snap it. To me as a writer, this is new. Not only would the QR capture moment have to be designed well and the copy drop-dead riveting; but the landing page would also have to be equally compelling and satisfying. You’d want to reward your visitor with satisfying content.
In my own personal experience, I can think of a couple of instances where a QR code failed as well as times where it had a positive impact. A successful QR campaigns might involve more information about a specific product, for example. Some examples of not-so-great QR code adoption:
- Recently I saw one on a local ad poster on the inside door of a bathroom stall at the gym. Really? Fail.
- In a theater waiting for a live dance performance recently, there was a QR code in the playbill with the promise that it would enhance my experience of the show. I eagerly snapped it only to be transported to … a local car dealer ad. Not exactly what I was expecting or wanting. Fail.
Still, marketers can be excitable creatures before proper feedback and tracking from a new marketing tool. I’m a sucker for a great idea — and I do think QR codes are cool. (Hey, I can get one for free! I can spend hours or even days on the perfect landing page for it! I can print it! I can give it away!)
I tried the QR code (above) by going to QReateBuzz.com and opening an account. If you snap it, you’ll go to MyTeamConnects home page. I can then track how many impressions were made, etc. Back pedaling a little bit here…maybe I’ll wait for the right time and place and application for the QR code for my small business. But isn’t it fun to try new things?
How about you? Have you had a positive QR code experience? Let me know about it!
Written by Jen McGahan