last year, daily deal sites like Groupon were in the cross-hairs. This year, it’s the QR code. When “experts” start telling me some marketing tactic isn’t cutting it, I listen. but I also think about their claim just like it was a product I was thinking about buying. I’m still a customer for the QR code. for the experts, no sale.
in 2011, Groupon and other daily deal sites were catching some blowback from the powers that be. Specifically, the deals sites were no good for small businesses. After reviewing the numbers they gave, I wrote a post in defense of daily deal sites. My point was that deals sites did work – if the business had a plan to cultivate the new and existing business the discount attracted. Over the course of the year (as I let my blog languish) I was happy to see people smarter than me echoing the same point – like this post from smart guy and awesome skier dan kraus: Don’t Blame Groupon Part 2. So it’s a year later, and groupon especially continues to suffer – but couponing in general is still around, and it will continue to pay off for businesses that do it right.
this year’s rant
A few weeks ago, the gurus over at MarketingProfs took at shot at QR codes. no wait – they wanted me to pay to read an article on MarketingProfs about an article that took a shot at QR codes I could read for free on the atlantic monthly site. a synopsis: tons of marketers are incorporating QR codes into print and display advertising, but hardly anyone is using them. depending on whether you ask comscore or forrester, 5-6% of smartphone users scanned a QR code. only 14 million people in the month of june. 14 million people in a single month – yeah, that’s pretty crappy – not. the author compares QR codes to roller-skating horses – not sure why – and asks why click on a code when it is so much easier to google the company? (answer below)
here’s an example that absolutely justifies dissing QR codes:
when VW was launching some new car, they wrapped eight of them in QR codes and sent them around the country.when people scanned the QR code, they could register to win a pimped out version of the new car that they could forward to friends and share on facebook. no, that’s not right. they could sign up for a test drive of the new car. nope, not that either. the real answer? they could see pictures on their phone of the car they were taking a picture of. bring on the skating nags, meine freunden.
better: a new delhi bar that used QR to provide patrons with information tailored to the moment.
or the extreme implementation that TESCO used to become the #1 retailer in south korea
answer to why bother above: just as with daily deals, smart marketers who want to win with QR codes need to plan what they will do with the small but still significant number who indicate a desire to engage. these are your prospective evangelists – do not waste their time taking them to the web site or showing them pictures. treat them like the special people they are, and welcome their referrals just as enthusiastically.
- Is it Time For You to Add A QR Code? (grasshopper.com)
- Are QR Codes Here to Stay? (community.constantcontact.com)