The power of QR – taking print online

QR Codes are something of an enigma, you may not have even noticed that they exist yet, but they are starting to become more and more prevalent in the print media spaces across the country.

Random garbles or brave new world?

To many they are random garbles of black and white, small boxes of nonsense adding another layer of complexity to an already challenging visual marketing space. To some they are gateways, portals to a brave new world of targeted content allowing you to effortlessly engage with specific adverts.QRBlog

A QR Code is a new way of taking a potential customer from Above-The-Line, to Below-The-Line. In simple parlance, it allows someone with a smartphone to scan a type of barcode which takes them to a website URL of your choice. The QR Code can be on a poster, direct mailer, newspaper, magazine or even a TV advertisement (possible since the advent of pausing live TV).

QR codes and consumer behaviour

As marketing developments go, it sounds pretty small fry, after all URLs have been around for a while and any marketer worth their salt will have known how to set up tracking URLs for hyperlinks.

What has changed though is consumer behaviour, where previously on a smartphone you had to manually enter URLs, now you can use your camera to capture the data and send you straight into a web browser.

This ‘convenience factor’ has been central to the success of QR Codes, certainly in the B2C arena. Another contributing factor has been the creativity with which QR Codes are being applied, for instance:

The QR code key to success

The key to the success of using QR Codes is to ensure that you provide your user with an engaging destination, after all thy have taken the effort to go beyond the face of your campaign, so you need to ensure they feel suitably rewarded for their efforts.

In return you will record data so rich it is astonishing, are your users more likely to engage on the high street, or around the corner? On the 12:15 to Euston, or the 13:20? Do they prefer page 5 or page 7 and whether they preferred the mailer in pink or blue?

The measurement possibilities for this mechanism are very powerful, especially when you consider that in a lot of instances it would be very difficult (or even impossible) to measure engagement with these campaigns, you would either be relying on someone to quote a campaign code and for that to be properly recorded or for someone to use a campaign specific phone number.

At Sage we’re currently testing the possibilities for using this technology in the B2B arena, to see how and where we can use it to enrich our customers experiences and also to give us rich data feedback from our campaigns.

Keep your eyes open, you never know where you might see a QR Code waiting to be scanned!

Alex Walker, Sage Accountants’ Team