14 million mobile phone users in America scanned QR codes or barcodes on their phones in June 2011 — mostly from newspapers or magazines, and on product packaging both at home and in store (according to research from comScore). While this research is encouraging and there have been many success stories, QR codes do face some challenges, especially since they are a relatively new marketing tool. How can YOU tap into the power of QR codes at your next trade show event?
What’s a QR code? These funky little squares of rich data can take your trade show attendee experience to the next level. They will literally whip out their smart phones to engage in your trade show displays, and you can take them to any web page you want them to go to. It will save them the time of writing it down and having to remember where they put it. What would you do if they lost it in their trade show “swag bag,” chock full of swag bag goodies…
Mobile marketing and the use of QR codes is being seen more and more as the main way for marketers to engage and interact with consumers on a very personal, targeted basis. Consumers are more than ever dependent on their mobile devices, especially on the road and at trade shows. This has opened up more possibilities for you to have meaningful, one-to-one, high-value communications with customers.
QR codes are easy to use, requiring only a smartphone. They offer an immediate call to action to the consumer by easily scanning the QR code with their device to find a nearby store, access a coupon, join a Facebook fan page or even view an exclusive video. And you’ve got an opportunity now more than ever to create an engaging call to action at your trade show exhibit.
A starting point for anyone contemplating a mobile barcode campaign is to ask a number of important questions before any campaign is designed or deployed. For example:
1. What is my goal for integrating QR codes into my trade show exhibit? Am I trying to drive sales? Do I want to increase attendee engagement, encourage consumer loyalty or educate my trade show audience?
2. Is the QR Code easily discoverable? Is it well positioned within my trade show exhibit? Is it visible in my print material or any displays at the trade show booth? Will the attendee have to search for it?
3. What is the attendee’s incentive to scan the QR Code? Am I offering enough value in terms of giveaways, discounts, information or services? What’s in it for them, is there enough value for an even exchange?
4. Have I taken the steps necessary to ensure the QR code directs to the right URL? Is it easy to scan by multiple device types using multiple applications and delivers the right content?
5. Am I ensuring the largest possible reach for my campaign? Have I thought of the right printing capabilities for my QR code (i.e. location, color and size)? Make sure that your QR codes are easy to scan so you get the largest possible reach for your efforts.
6. Is the content to which the QR code resolves optimized for mobile? If so, how does it look on other device types? An iPad can scan QR codes, too. Now all mobile devices are smart phones, and an attendee might only be carrying a tablet with them (it could happen).
7. Have I provided an educational call to action within my campaign to show consumers how to scan? How will my attendees take if they don’t know how to use the technology? If possible, make sure to have booth staff who know how to use the technology so that they can encourage attendees to get involved and scan the QR codes.
8. Have I properly tested all elements of the campaign to ensure it works? Test, test, test. What would happen if you were at the trade show, and the page didn’t open? It could happen…But it won’t, because you’ve now read tip #8.
9. Am I utilizing a QR code management solution that will provide me with a robust set of analytics so I can properly measure my campaign’s success? Bit.ly has a great set of tools to not only shorten URLs, but to create bar codes for each one. Just type “.qr” after the shortened web address (i.e. http://bit.ly/excraftnj.qr) to create your own. And track its success to measure which QR codes are most successful for your campaign.
10. Once I have my consumer’s attention, what’s next? What do I want to happen after the trade show, and continue to interact? What’s my desired outcome?
If you take advantage of best trade show practices that answer these basic questions, you can help your brand to successfully launch new mobile campaigns with QR codes. Our advice is to revitalize your brand and the latest technology into place so you can keep ahead of the competition and stay on top of the trade show scene. And if you’re not sure where to start, we are always here to help you!
To download these tips as a viewable and printable PDF, please click the link below: