Wasting Marketing Budgets Part 1: The Wacky Usage of QR Codes
Companies spend thousands of dollars a year trying to create effective marketing campaigns to reach the largest possible audience. The effectiveness of a QR campaign is highly dependent on driving awareness, and crafting a compelling offer that is simple enough for consumers to engage and understand. It’s all about creating the right and provocative CTA or call-to-action.
If a marketer is looking to use QR codes to his/her advantage, there are a few rules-of-thumb they should follow: Firstly, there should be a premeditated strategic plan. Just wanting to have a QR code and placing it anywhere is not enough. A lot needs to be considered including the need to be clear that scanning the code actually leads to something. In other words, the call-to-action needs to be clear and concise. Not everyone yet knows what QR codes are and might require some direction.
Secondly, the landing page that links to the code needs to be properly optimized. In saying that, the code should properly link to an actual mobile version of a website. If it is not, people will more than likely vacate the site immediately as its not compatible, thus lowering your page’s rank on Google and other social media platforms.
Lastly, there needs to be clear consideration of the code’s location. I’ve seen many products (particularly toiletries) that have tiny QR codes next to the barcode. What – do tell is the purpose of this? What am I supposed to gain by straining my eyes to scan a code I can barely see? I thought that was as bad as it got, but alas, I was wrong! Check out some of these examples below of businesses who paid marketers thousands to advertise QR codes in some pretty bizarre places.
Where Mobile Phones Cannot Scan…
It’s a tad bit tricky to scan and load up the intended landing page when you’re 30,000 feet up in the air. Unless you take the magazine with you and who does that? FAIL!
To compound the frustration of this QR code placement, when it was initially scanned, it didn’t even lead to a mobile site!
On the side of buses
Unless the bus is stuck in traffic, waiting for ages at the stop, or broken down, firing up a code reader and scanning it isn’t going to be easy…
“Wait, I got it! No wait now, I got it! Darn, it’s moving again…”
On the Roof of a Building
I mean really?! What were they thinking? That I might scan this while flying a plane?
Perhaps if I was hot-air ballooning or skydiving…. Something tells me though that scanning a QR code might be the last thing on my mind then however. Maybe the purpose of this is to create more publicity than to actually have people scan it.
QR codes used in email signatures… Why would you scan a QR code with your mobile device when you’re already online? Maybe a better question is how could you?
Codes that lead to non-mobile sites
This is possibly the worst mistake of all as it shows a lack of concern and diligence from your team. You’ve persuaded the viewer of the ad to get their phone and scan the code, then you send them to a page that hasn’t been optimized for mobile. MAJOR FAIL!
On the Subway
Maybe the marketers were living in the future? Not many subway systems have underground cellular service. I live in New York City and only one carrier offers underground service and only on a few train lines. Does the cost of this ad and QR code placement really justify the number of potential views?
Tired of wasting money on marketing efforts like this one? Try our free Summer Marketing Webinar Series and get the marketing help you need without spending any dough.