The question is not whether QR codes are a viable marketing option, but how can sophisticated marketers use QR codes to enhance targeting programs?
Have you noticed those strange little boxes containing hundreds of little black dots filling the corner of advertisements? Almost as if someone took a traditional bar code, chopped it into a million little pieces, and put it back into the same spot? Welcome to the strange new world of Quick Response (QR) codes. These two-dimensional bar codes are making waves as advertisers seek new ways to make traditional print and billboard advertising more engaging - and find new channels to deliver a custom experience to users on the go.
QR Codes Come in All Shapes and Sizes
Where Are QR Codes Headed?
Right now, QR codes are still in their infancy. Users are just figuring out how and why to use them - and not all mobile phones are equipped with cameras or QR readers. The technology is still in its infancy as well, with most QR codes unable to track scanning volume and most codes directing users to one fixed URL. However, according to comScore, 65.8 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending in January 2011. Verizon expects smartphones to account for 50 percent of all its customers this year. With mobile adoption finally reaching its potential, QR codes have a massive audience reach.
The real question is not whether QR codes are a viable marketing option, but how can sophisticated marketers use QR codes to enhance targeting programs?
A few scenarios highlight the potential:
QR codes hold so much potential because they provide instant gratification for users - without having to brand custom URLs or websites. If marketers can make the experience compelling, QR codes may open a whole new channel for direct, personalized messaging.
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Andrea Fishman, VP of strategy and a partner at BGT Partners, leads BGT's Chicago office and has extensive experience in marketing and management consulting. She and her team drive value to BGT's clients through the development of behavioral marketing programs, web analytics, measurement programs, industry benchmarking, competitive assessments, and the design of integrated marketing programs.
Andrea has been with BGT since 2003 and is credited with strengthening partnerships with such clients as ADT, Sony, ADP, and Avaya. Prior to joining BGT, she served as global vice president at divine, inc. She's also held strategic positions within marchFIRST, The Lewin Group, and the office of U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy.
A graduate of Brandeis University, Fishman was awarded the Wasserman Scholarship for academic achievement and was named a 2010 Stevie Awards Finalist as Best Executive in a Service Business. She is a frequent judge for the eHealthcare Leadership Awards and is involved with the Special Olympics and Chicago Cares, a community service organization.
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