3 Mistakes Marketers Make Using QR Codes And Their Solution!

The QR in QR codes stands for “quick response.” They have been implemented so people with smartphones can scan them and be lead straight to company webpages, contact information, or informational pages.  Based on a survey of 138 companies, there were 13 times as many QR code scans in December of 2010 as there were at the start of the year (BeQRious, 2011). With the rise of smart phone in general, anyone could potentially have a QR code scanner in their pocket and it’s no wonder people have been utilizing them.

Naturally businesses have been trying to market their products using this technology but there are a few common mistakes that nullify QR codes that can be easily avoided.

3 Mistakes in QR Code Marketing

Bad QR Code Placement: The first thing to think about when producing QR codes is placement. It needs to be easily accessible, where someone has time to take the picture and scan the code. People don’t want to feel rushed or like they’ve missed out because your code’s in the wrong place. You do not want to put your QR code on a billboard next to the highway that people are driving 75 mph by. This completely defeats the purpose and your condoning using mobile devices while operating a motor vehicle. Bad idea.

Lack of mobile optimization:The second is not having a landing webpage that’s mobile optimized. This means that people are scanning the QR codes on their phones, just like they’re supposed to, and being led to a webpage they can’t even read well on their phone. (This feels like a slap in the face to me, and pointless) Every QR code should lead to a mobile optimized website and directly to your product, service, video, or whatever you’re offering them. You also need the website you’re leading people to to be fun and interactive. If your QR code leads to a white background and a paragraph of blah, people aren’t going to be impressed. Make it fun and interactive; a mobile optimized short video about your product is a great way to keep people interested and convert

Using Non-Trackable URLs: Thirdly, the URL code contained with the QR code should be short and trackable. Sp often marketers use the same URL for each location. This is a major pitfall. Using a unique URL for each QR Code location makes it so you can see direct ROI and performance based upon location and placement. Using the analytics from each QR Code location tells you how well it’s performing. You can adjust the location, placement, and duration of a advertisement in order to maximize your ROI.

Excellent QR Code Placement

 – David went to Target…
“When I went to Target, I knew that Noah was writing this article. I stumbled upon a coffee maker that I thought looked pretty awesome. I’m more of an expresso drinker myself however I’m always interested in great marketing and advertising. This is a perfect example of how to use QR Codes effectively for marketing.”
  1. Placement: The advertisement was in the center isle, plenty of space to hangout and scan the QR Code and read the signage.
  2. Display: The display is at eye level and overall looks good and inviting.
  3. QR Code: The code is placed at a comfortable level for easy scanning.
  4. Landing Page: Once you scan the QR Code, you are taken to Target.com’s mobile webpage displaying the product with information.

QR Code Placement Tips:

I would like to see the link go to a mobile optimized video review or product video. This would better explain everything so I don’t have to read text and I can see how it works.
Below are some photos of the QR Code experience:
Coffee Maker DisplayCoffee Maker Display with QR CodeCoffee Maker Display with QR Code [Larger View]Target.com Mobile Optimized Website for QR CodesTarget.com Mobile Optimized Website for QR Codes [Part 2]


QR Code Marketing Summery

With the potential QR codes have it’s smart to make sure you’re not making one of these mistakes. In summation have your QR codes lead to a mobile optimized site, keep the URL’s trackable and unique, maintain an interactive website that’s interesting, and remember to think about placement when producing QR codes.

I like this QR code because it’s on a beer can. I can just imagine someone walking around a party doing all of the advertising for their favorite beer while having a great time with their friends.

3 Replies to “3 Mistakes Marketers Make Using QR Codes And Their Solution!”

  1. I agree that points 1-3 for the QR example in Target are very well executed. But bringing a person to Target’s mobile page about Keurig seems incredibly redundant to me, considering the person would be standing in front of the products. Why divert their attention to a screen when you should be encouraging them to grab the item from the shelf and buy immediately?

  2. @Barbra,

    I agree that it would seem odd to have people browse online while they are shopping in store. However, when you look at the following statistics there is a credible reason why:

    According to a JiWire February 2012 report, 34% of mobile consumers in Q4 2011 said they had comparison shopped in-store with their mobile device, while data from a Pew Internet & American Life Project report released in January indicates that one-quarter of adult cell phone owners used their devices to look up the price of a product online while they were in a store during the 2011 holiday season.

    You have uncovered an additional point that I believe Noah could explain in greater detail that was overlooked in this article.

    1. Thanks for the stats David – I didn’t know the percentage was that high. It brings up though the challenge in-store marketers face at getting people to buy in the moment. I would think the QR code would be most effective if it brought the user to a cool, interactive landing page about the product, not highlighting the price online.

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