qr codes marketing mistakes

Common mistakes business owners make when using QR Codes and how to avoid them

QR Codes are two-dimensional codes that connect mobile users to your online presence and can be a powerful marketing strategy. However since it is a new trend, there often costly mistakes that business owners make that can be avoided. This article looks at the common mistakes and how to avoid them when using QR Codes to market your small business. Here are three that I have picked out for the purpose of this article.

1. Not having a clearly defined campaign strategy.
Often business owners will jump ahead of themselves, print a few QR Codes, stick them somewhere and hope something happens. Yet for QR Codes to be effective, they must be the end result of a well thought overall strategy that is based on plenty of market research.

It is important to have specific goals your business wants to achieve such as to get moreFacebooklikes, to subscribe more people to your newsletter, to increase sales in the month of November 2011 etc.

In addition, it is vital to conduct thorough market research on yourtargetmarket and to know how well they understand what QR Codes are, how to scan them etc. If you’retargetmarket is technophobic, you will need to incorporate a lot of educational instructions or decide that  QR Codes may not be a good idea.

2. Not testing your QR Codes
A surprising mistake business owners make is not testing their codes. Although QR Codes are free to generate, your media ads are paid for so if a code is faulty, you will have wasted a lot of money on your ads.
You should test your code in the following ways:
* Make sure they work on various mobile devices
* Make sure they work with various code reading apps
* Make sure the color contrast between the code and its background is friendly so that it’s possible to scan the code. Plus make sure the code is sized correctly.
* If you are using codes in outdoor locations, go to each of those sites and check that there is Wi-Fi in the location. After all with no internet connection, QR Codes will not connect to your website.

 

 

If QR Codes are going to gain more acceptance with consumers, small business owners need to create fun and exciting QR Code marketing campaigns. Here are some tips to help you create a more entertaining campaign.

1. Create a treasure hunt campaign.
This works when you have a certain time frame for a marketing campaign. By introducing an element of time scarcity you can peak more interest into you campaign. You can then use QR Codes in a treasure hunt whereby consumers have to find a certain number of codes across a particular geographical location and whoever gets the most codes by a certain time, receives a grand prize. Each time they scan a code they get sent to a landing page where they log in their name and get more points. This works very well with holiday seasons. For example you can have a 12 days of Christmas treasure hunt leading to Christmas or a trick or treat treasure hunt for the Halloween.

2. New releases
Nothing whets the consumer appetite like getting early bird access to a new product release. If you’re opening a new branch of your business, you can use QR Codes to promote coupons for the first 100 customers on your opening day. A bookstore can promote a highly anticipated best seller using QR Codes that give the scanner first priority on their buyers list. Infact this can be a great way to sell out inventory even before it has arrived in your store by accepting preorders through QR Codes. This works just as well for new housing developments for real estate agents, blockbuster films for movie theatres, special artist appearances for theatre and music concerts etc. Any business that usually has long line of customers at certain times and occasions can use this strategy.