First, the obvious question: What is a QR code?A QR code is a two-dimensional matrix bar code. The term means “Quick Response” and the code can be read by most smart phones. The code consists of a series of black modules arranged in a square pattern. Typical embedded information can include text, web address, phone numbers, coupons, special offers, or connect to a mobile device. A QR code scan results in a fast and easy connection to whatever is programmed in the code.
The most efficient use of QR codes is as part of a multi-media advertising strategy and allows you to integrate and tie all your offline and online advertising channels together. Efficient use of QR codes should help the typical auto dealer reduce advertising seepage and waste, while increasing inquiries, leads, conversions, and sales.
The key components of your multi-media marketing strategy should include an SMS text messaging platform, a multi-media ad builder to build TV like mobile ads, a mobile website for smart phones, and finally, the ability to send your mobile ads to social media, YouTube, and the search engines. When you combine these with your typical offline channels like TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, and billboards, you create a seamless fusion and convergence of your brand message!
A typical marketing campaign using QR codes would go like this:
· You add QR codes on billboards, business cards, buses, signs, newspapers, magazines, or just about any print or visual media. You may use different QR codes for different campaigns or advertising channels for tracking purposes. The QR codes can also be used to track and target unique environments, specific markets, and exact locations.
· Embedded in the QR code must also be a call-to-action (e.g. Text ABCBMW to 41513). Make sure you offer an attractive incentive or coupon! The objective here is to: (A) create a database of potential qualified customers; and (B) send them to your mobile website and show them your mobile ad!
· By adding an SMS short code keyword to your radio ads, you will be able increase response rates substantially, as anyone who texts you will get the call-to-action, as well as visually experience your ad on their mobile device.
· Add your QR code to your free Google Local Places Listing! Integrating with your website will boost both your generic and local ranking.
· The combination of offline (newspaper) and digital (mobile device) provides both print and visual (mobile ad) validation of your brand message, with usually higher response rates.
· Use of QR codes will make it easier for you to touch and engage smart phone users and use of SMS text marketing attracts other mobile devices.
· When read with a QR reader from a smart phone, embedded URLs create short cuts so people can go directly to the content you want them to see.
· A Call to Action from a mobile device is much faster than other advertising channels.
· Integrating your QR codes and text message marketing campaign with your print advertising you will help expand the reach of your marketing campaign efforts, reach new customers, and help to test the effectiveness of your print marketing.
Michael Ofori is president of MVO & Associates, LLC, a multi-media advertising agency. Mike can be reached at 978-631-0363 or email [email protected].
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