QR Codes Unlock Marketing Potential


These funny looking codes are popping up everywhere. They are called QR codes and they could be the hottest trend in marketing since email. Literally, a QR code is a "Quick Response" code. They're square bar codes, which can be scanned with a free QR Reader app such as Google Goggles, Kaywa, or ScanLife. QR codes are readable with any number of smartphones that are equipped with cameras. Simply scan a QR code, and "Presto!"... your phone will launch a website, video, contact info, or even produce a message. Essentially, it's a hyperlink for the real world. Today, QR codes are all over and, with expanded usage, they are evolving to meet the demands of modern marketing. In this issue, we'll explore QR codes, their usage and their untapped potential.

Driving Marketing Response

QR codes originated from a subsidiary of Toyota by the name of Denso-Wave in 1994. Shortly after their development, QR codes had seen heavy use in Japanese marketing. Only in recent years has the American market begun adopting this information-delivering barcode. You can find them on business cards, the sides of buildings, inside magazines, the front of billboards, banners on buses, and many more. Bringing a wide range of information to your audience has never been easier or faster. Any of the 73.3 million projected smartphone users in 2011 can scan the QR code and instantly be exposed to a world of information, much more than you can reasonably fit on any advertisement.

More than Link — Engage

It's not enough to just have a webpage on the other side of the QR code though. Your customers will need to be intrigued by the content. It has to be unique and only easily accessible through the use of the code. An unlisted Youtube video, a special mobile-optimized landing page, or hidden messages with special instructions are among many of the possible destinations.

A recent article written by Lauren Johnson for Mobile Marketer tells of a very successful ad campaign by Kellogg Co. using a QR code on the back of a cereal box. This was accompanied with the launch of a new slogan, "It's Morning Somewhere". Upon scanning, a website would be launched and a video played. A different video would be played depending on when it was scanned, coordinated to a location in which it was actually currently morning. So far the code has accumulated 40,000 scans, in turn accumulating 38,000 played videos. The success of the campaign is attributed to it being easily slipped into the consumer's daily behavior.

Brand Boosting Power

So how do you go about standing out in a marketplace adopting this technique so rapidly? Having exclusive information on the other side of the QR code is essential, but first you need to get your customers to recognize your brand. If all they see is a bland looking barcode, it's easy to pass over. This is where advertising innovation comes into play. On the cutting edge of QR innovation lays the solution to the mundane nature of the image.

As shown in this example, we've customized a QR code complete with Malouin Marketing's brand colors, superimposed logo, and a little visual flare. The best part is that this code works just like your basic QR code, but has extra brand boosting power. Go ahead, download an app and try it. Scan the QR for an exclusive offer. You'll be glad you did!

By making your QR code instantly associable with your organization, it leaves a lasting impression on your target audience. Between a catchy hook and gripping, unique content, these mysterious little boxes can become effective marketing tools. Not only will the distinctive logo stand out, but also engaging interactive content will leave your audience with a lasting mental imprint.


Malouin Marketing
2110 Artesia Blvd., #356
Redondo Beach, CA 90278
(310) 880-7890

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