Bar Code & QR Marketing Is About to Explode

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I walked by a real estate listing today and saw one of these little scanable code stickers on the corner.  “Amazing,” I thought.  That dude understands the concept and will be light years ahead of the competition once this bar code scan thing takes off.  And it will take off.  Here’s why…

Smartphones:  Right now about 31% of the cell phone toting population has a smartphone.  Accoriding to these reports, almost half the country will be smartphoning within the next few years.  
Easy as cheese too!  Marketers can now tie their nifty little message to one of the codes, ask the consumer to take a snap shot photo of it, with their cell phone cam and blam, instant reward!  Of course smart phones have bar code app readers and all that good stuff, but the gist is that it’s easy to reward the consumer with instant discounts, prizes, etc. based on a simple snapshot.  And if you haven’t been keeping the stats, there’s the other half of the American market boys and girls.  So no excuses…get your bar code on because the romance between your brand and your consumer is about to get VERY digital. 
Some advertisers are using it as a point of purchase tool, such as Herbal Essance’s pick your shampoo in store campaign, or Nike’s get a message from your favorite athlete campaign.  Both of these companies are getting their messaging in during the earlier stages and their customer is gaining reward for those early initiatives.  Add a little consumer ego stroking at the actual point of purchase and it’s instant retail love. But that’s not even the most exciting part.  

Wait till the social networks get in on it. Ahh, that’s where I believe it’s going to become a tiny bit of marketing crack for the lesser known brands that figure out this bit of genius.  Lesser known brands that offer their bar codes as doorways to consumer review sites like will be much better served in my opinion.  Think about it.  A bar coded social connection to the product you’re looking at, considering, etc.  Sprinkle in a promo code discount from the manufacturer and you’ve got a consumer/brand marriage proposal!

Creative Uses:
  • Fund Raising:  Instant personal philanthropic videos tugging at the heartstrings of donors.  
  • Restaurant Menu Items:  Instant feedback about a menu item you’re about to order
  • Entertainment Venues:  Instant scannable consumer reviews of the band performing that night at a club or a movie playing from a poster.
The list goes on, but you get my drift.  2D Bar codes or QR codes, whatever you want to call them will be a connector brands (big or small) will be able to use to gain huge traction.  Those brands who think about ways to tie them into social sites, in my opinion, will score big.  

Make your own bar code
This entry was posted in mobile marketing; patty rappa, mobile technology. Bookmark the permalink.

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