Posted on March 21st, 2013 by Timothy Boyle
Almost every product you find in a store, whether it be food from a grocery store, a TV from Best Buy, or apparel from a local retailer, they can almost all benefit from QR code use. Now the ways in which each product can benefit from using QR codes varies, for example a food item might have a QR code to give the consumer interesting recipe options or beverage pairings, or direct someone towards another product from the same company; meanwhile the company selling the TV may benefit from a QR code buy letting the consumer see more detailed specs, learning about special features (in case a customer service rep isn’t there), learning about other accessories that may be beneficial or letting them compare prices to competitors. The point is that companies are failing to take advantage of this technology to either provide additional value to their customers, or help drive sales. For evidence of how almost any item can benefit from QR code use, see below.
So there I was passing through the middle of nowhere Vermont (and really is there any place in Vermont that doesn’t fit that description?), and I stopped in at a local ski and snowboard shop to have a look around. And wouldn’t you know it, I stumbled upon a QR code, as I often do. What I found interesting about this QR code is that it was on a tag of such a mundane product: a winter hat.
Now not every QR code needs to be terribly exciting upon scanning, but it needs to provide some sort of additional value in the least, and I figure if something as boring as a hat can find a way to use QR codes in a useful way, then any company producing almost any product can as well.
As you can see from below, the tag for the hat contains a QR code. The code is nice and big, taking up a good portion of the tag, and has good density for easy scanning; Arc’teryx (the hat maker) has clearly started to read our best practices page—though they must have stopped right before the part about having a call to action. Despite the lack of a call to action, it stands out enough that a potential consumer may be enticed to scan the code. Once scanned, you are taken to a page with a photo of the hat, a description, the hat’s particular features, and the materials the hat is made out of. You also have the choice of being redirected to the Arc’teryx main website where you can see other styles and even make online orders.
So you see, the QR code provides additional value to the interested consumer, and potentially even drives further online sales, all from a QR code on a simple winter hat. If you are an advertiser or marketer for any product out there today and you can’t think of a way to use QR codes, well you might want to find another line of business.
| Read more by Timothy Boyle
Posted on March 20th, 2013 by Sean Dempsey
Many of today’s QR Code generators are unable to track critical data about who is scanning your codes, when they are scanned, and where they are scanned. Without this tracking you can only hope that your QR Codes and/or NFC Tags are being used by consumers and that you have successfully implemented your QR Code marketing campaign. However, with our state-of-the-art Qfuse QR Code Analytics system you can see this data visually and dissect it to make better informed marketing and business decisions in real-time.
Track Individual QR Code Placements
With each QR Code or NFC Tag marketing campaign implemented within Qfuse you can track individual statistics as well as overall campaign success. In fact, with Qfuse you can use unique codes and link them to the same mobile landing page to track individual codes separately. This is helpful if you use QR Codes on various types of physical advertisements (e.g. posters, product packaging, and/or in-store displays) and wish to determine which ads are getting receiving greater traffic and from which location. From this information you can more efficiently decide where to place future ads, invest advertising resources, or make changes to current ad campaigns.
Detailed Geographic Data
Qfuse QR Code and NFC Analytics also tracks month-to-month statistics, allowing you the ability to view scan changes (“deltas”) over time and compare to past performance. It even allows you to track QR Code scans at the country/state/city levels. You can view the specific region clusters, down counts of the individual scans. From here you can view what type of phone the individual was using, what day they scanned the code, and at what exact time of day they scanned it.
The Power of Qfuse QR Code and NFC Analytics
The Qfuse Analytics Platform is like no other QR Code and NFC Tag reporting service! In addition to presenting intricate scan data, it also displays Mobile Site Analytics; this displays a comprehensive breakdown of which pages on your mobile site(s) were visited most and also on which ‘elements’ users specifically clicked, e.g. a click-to-call button or a link to Facebook, etc.
Without data, it is extremely difficult to make educated decisions; instead, all you can do is hope. With Qfuse you are empowered to make better business decisions – easily determine where to invest marketing and sales resources to impact the bottom line. You can also determine the most efficient ways to use QR Codes and NFC Tags for a city, state, national, or even global QR Code and NFC campaigns. Now you’ll be able to gain new customers, better increase brand interest, and drive more sales. Without Qfuse Analytics you are running blind, something that’s easily avoided.
| Read more by Sean Dempsey
Posted on March 18th, 2013 by Timothy Boyle
When the New England based Start-up Qfuse began, the intentions were to do far more than simply spit out QR codes like so many other companies do. What Qfuse wanted to do was not only create QR codes for users but also create a platform that helped ensure adherence to technical best practices, allowed for the building of mobile optimized websites, tracking of all individual QR codes, data collection on all scans, a low cost, easy campaign management, social media aggregation, and a self explanatory and easy to use interface. Whether you are a single individual looking to promote yourself or your company, or a large fortune 500 company, the platform will do whatever you need it to do and more.
One problem with a lot of QR code use today is that QR codes will link to a desktop web site and not a mobile optimized web site. This defeats the purpose of using a QR code to begin with since it fails to tailor the experience to those people using mobile phones—the exact people who you are trying to target. For most people they are either not aware of the importance of linking to a mobile optimized site, or believe they lack the funds to create a mobile website to go along with their desktop web site, or simply lack the platform and knowhow to achieve their ideal goal. With the Qfuse platform a mobile website is attached to each QR code and can be designed to your liking right there on the platform in an easy to use format, allowing you to import, photos, videos, maps, v-cards, and store locators. This ensures that your QR code is attached to a functional and mobile optimized web site and all for an incredibly reasonable and inexpensive price.
Another big problem with most QR code companies or devices, is that the QR codes fail to provide any analytics or data. This lack of information means that the QR code user is running blind. Without the data you have no idea if your QR code campaign is successful, or how you might be able to tailor it to improve its function going forward. With the Qfuse platform however, analytics are provided for every QR code. The information collected includes: number of scans, time and location of each scan, device used to scan, a month to month comparison of scans, and much more. This information allows you to track each individual code and make changes as you collect the data, and ensures you will know if your QR codes are doing their job and living up to their potential.
For someone using a single QR code or hundreds of QR codes, the platform allows for easy management and puts all your campaigns in a single place. This allows for easy access, helps make changes to individual mobile sites and landing pages efficient, helps you keep track of all campaigns and their success at just a quick glance, and makes sharing within your organization easy.
If you or your organization is planning on using, or already does use QR codes (or NFC) and/or mobile web sites, there is an easier way for you to do it and that is using Qfuse.com. The low cost, ease of use and many extra benefits make this platform an incredible tool that every marketer, or advertiser, no matter the size of your organization, needs to be using. Your life will be better off for it.
| Read more by Timothy Boyle
Posted on March 16th, 2013 by Timothy Boyle
Political campaigns are often behind the times, and not just when it comes to what policy to support, but also with regards to technology. It was really only the past couple elections where the internet really began to be used to its full potential. But those candidates that decided to adapt to the changing world and use these new technologies, benefited greatly. Whether it is Howard Dean, Barack Obama or Ron Paul, all of these three used some new under appreciated technology to benefit their campaign, and were ahead of the pack. Unfortunately change isn’t always a comfortable word in political circles.
The Benefits of QR Codes in Political Campaigning
One piece of technology that could be incredibly useful for the political campaign industry, if they decided to get with the times, would be QR codes. The ways that they could benefit are almost unlimited, and a creative mind could put together some terrific QR code campaigns that would be sure to garner interest, increase donations, or simply help spread the word.
Political campaigns are really just large scale advertisements and marketing campaigns, or at least that’s what they have turned into over the past 50 years or so. Because of this a QR code fits right in with what any campaign is trying to do. There are many ways to use QR codes in a campaign, but here are a few examples to start you thinking in the right way:
Placing Engaging QR Codes on Marketing Brochures and Letters
Every political campaign has marketing brochures or letters they send out to prospective voters. There is no reason to not have a QR code on these brochures/letters. The options of what to link the voter to is unlimited but some good ideas might be to link to a video of a speech or news coverage of the candidate; or perhaps a schedule of all upcoming events; or maybe send the voter straight to a donation page to make financial contributions as easy as possible. Just make sure there is a call to action next to the code.
QR Code on Yard Sign and Tabling Events
Yards signs could all be printed with QR codes that link directly to a candidate’s web site, or info page, or any general background story on the candidate or policy.
Tabling events at colleges, or sporting game, or any other similar events might have a QR code that when scanned takes the person to a donation page so they can donate right at the point of contact, the most likely moment someone would choose to donate to the campaign.
Really these uses are unlimited, and these are just some of the low hanging fruit, a campaign should look to get creative with their QR code use in addition to making sure these basic uses are put into action.
Adopting this technology is a great, inexpensive way for political campaigns to increase their marketing productivity, increase donations, distribute information and appeal to a younger crowd. There really is no reason to not be using this technology, no matter the size or scope of your campaign.
…Oh and just please make sure your political campaign doesn’t use QR Codes like this.
| Read more by Timothy Boyle
Posted on March 14th, 2013 by Timothy Boyle
For every one great user of a QR Code there are probably ten users that are beyond awful, and unfortunately those users end up giving QR Codes a bad rap. Why QR code haters look at these awful QR code uses and then blame the QR code itself, as if it could only be used in such awful ways, is beyond me. Logic is not a universal trait it would seem.
QR codes are only as useful and productive as the user allows them to be. If you want a successful QR campaign, make sure you set them up to succeed and not to fail. Reading a QR code best practices guide is always a good start.
So let’s take an example of poor QR code use and learn from it.
Now, as you might notice in the picture below, there are many things wrong here. First, the man wearing black shorts, sneakers and a tie: this should be self explanatory. Second, the girl in the white shorts and black top…enough said. Third, Wisconsin. Four, how many people do you really think scanned that QR code, let alone even saw it?
This one is pretty easy. If you are going to use a QR Code, please make sure you know who your audience is and how far away they will be from the code. The QR code you see here might work in a book; it certainly doesn’t work on a massive float in a parade.
Second, make sure there is a call to action. Even if this QR code was bigger, no one would scan it. Even I, a big QR code fan, would not scan this code since there is no incentive. Tell me why it’s worth taking seconds out of my incredibly important life to scan your code. If your reason seems enticing enough, I might just consider using up six seconds of my life scanning your code. Of course in this case I would bet my life savings that the QR code in this example links to a desktop website, and likely it is just their desktop home page at that. Terrible.
So what did we learn?
1) Don’t EVER wear shorts and sneakers with a tie.
2) Look in a mirror before you leave the house.
3) For some unexplainable reason God created Wisconsin and there is nothing we can do about it.
4) Know your audience and make sure your QR code is scannable by that audience. Really though, just don’t be dumb. And please, just read our best practices page before you decide to use QR codes.
But for you QR code critics out there, don’t blame QR codes for the idiocy of some QR Code users, after all they do mean well.
Want more? Check out Part 4 of How NOT to Use QR Codes.
P.S. I tried so hard not to turn this particular QR code idiocy into a political swipe. For this I probably deserve some sort of ‘strong will’ award, or medal of courage…Or just straight cash (donations are welcome).
| Read more by Timothy Boyle