QR Campaigns: A Surprising Success Story

More people are wondering these days: Do QR codes really increase response rates?

Insqribe, a company that provides a real-time QR analytics platform, recently published a success story. One of its clients, Letterbox Deals, used QR codes to launch their first print catalog in Sydney, Australia. The objective was to build awareness and promote the brand through a direct mail sweepstakes that gave away Dell notebook computers. Recipients could enter the contest either by logging directly onto the Letterbox Deals website or by using a QR code found in the mailing.

The results were quite interesting:

  • Fully 25% of entries were submitted via QR code to mobile site
  • 60% of QR code respondents downloaded a code reader to enter the competition
  • A 25%  of the QR code scans occurred within people’s homes

One of the perceived barriers to wider QR code use has been that not every mobile phone comes pre-installed with a reader. Yet with proper motivation (in this case, a chance to win something), nearly two-thirds of those who used the QR code downloaded a reader to do so. This suggests that not having a reader pre-installed on the user’s cell phone is not necessarily an obstacle — if the incentive is right. Admittedly, not every campaign gives away free PCs, but there are many other offers that would also work.

Also interesting is that, according to Insqribe’s data, one-fourth of the entries came from people scanning the QR codes at home. Most respondents could have entered through a home computer, but they chose to use the QR codes with their mobile phones instead. Was it out of convenience, coolness, or some other factor? Whatever the reason, the campaign was a success.

So again we ask: Do QR codes work? For the right campaigns and the right markets, you bet!

Dialogue Marketing: It’s All About Customer Communications

The following was excerpted from an article by Customer Communications Group.

Why use customer communications? Customer communications CAN impact your bottom line. The case to use customer communications mirrors in many ways the case to invest in relationship marketing. A customer communications strategy may be for you if your objectives are to:

  1. Enhance your relationships with your customers
  2. Upsell and cross-sell products and services
  3. Retain customers (especially best customers)
  4. Build loyalty and advocacy among customers

Build Credibility. Newsletters allow you to build your company’s credibility as an expert by providing customers with educative information.

Convey Information. Got a lot to say? Have plenty of information to share? Customer communications work well if you need to convey complex information about your products or services on an ongoing basis.

Break Through the Clutter. Customer communications can be an excellent tool to break through junk-mail clutter. If it offers valuable information to the customer, rather than just trying to sell products, a newsletter can become something that the customer anticipates, especially when sent frequently and regularly.

Deciding Whether to Seek Help or Go Out of House. Don’t have the resources in-house? Consider taking your project to an agency. Being consistent is the key.

Musings on Marketing Print – Part II

  • More print providers are effectively utilizing social media as part of their marketing mix. Those that do not will be at a competitive disadvantage.
  • Marketing content is now about creating two-way discussions with your audience. Dynamic content on websites helps engage customers and improve SEO. If your website is not as good as those of your top five competitors, you will be at a disadvantage.
  • Many print providers are now promoting the use of QR codes (I’m averaging one free consultation per day!) QR codes can drive new opportunities and are a great way to show that your company is on top of the latest trends and technologies. Customers seek that assurance. Be seen as a leader.
  • Marketing is going mobile, and faster than most of us even want it to. Pay close attention and seek out the opportunities.
  • The use of communications programs as a way to engage customers is no longer a nice to do – it’s a need to do. More than half of my B2B vendors have a vehicle to engage me on a consistent basis. It’s even more prevalent in the B2C market.
  • Don’t discount human emotion and its role in sales relationships. A motivated competitor will often promise your customers better quality, service and price. At the very least, make sure that you communicate with your customers as often as your competitors do. In the end, it will come down to who’s better at building trust and making the customer feel wanted.

As we enter Q2, things seem to slowly be improving. I recently received this feedback from a new client that I wanted to share. I’m happy to discuss our programs and send samples – please feel free to contact me at anytime. Best of luck to all!

“Patrick: Quick update on our first release of the newsletter. I got a call from someone who had given us one job previously. After seeing the newsletter, he said he wants to hire us as his company’s marketing department now because it’s clear we ‘do things first class.’ Please convey our appreciation to your staff – we are delighted!”

Yes! You Can Care About “Green” Again

I hope you’ll indulge me and let me get on my soap box for a minute. I recently released a new report in my Marketer’s Primer Series, “Greening Print Marketing: A Practical Guide.” One of the most surprising pieces of feedback I’ve gotten is, “My clients don’t care anymore.”

With all the media discussion about green these days, my first question was, “Are you sure?”

People do care about the environment. In fact, studies show that consumers are committed to green products even in a down economy. In addition, they are often willing to pay more for them. It’s a hot topic in the news media and B2B world. How can clients not care? Of course they care.

So what’s going on?

In the raging debate about what’s greener than what, it’s become confusing. There are real solutions, but it’s just too hard to know who’s telling the truth. One company says this. Another says that. They all contradict one another. So why even try? It’s easier to throw your hands up in the air and forget about it. If green evangelists on every side are going to make it this difficult, we’ll just tune it out completely.

Does this sound familiar? Most likely, it does. But rather than suggesting that clients don’t care, it suggests they are simply paralyzed into inertia.

What if you could offer them a way to green their print marketing that nobody can argue with? What if it actually cost them less money and made their marketing more effective? Now you’re talking, right?

Here it is, and it’s not rocket science.

Targeted marketing and personalization are green printing. How? By their very nature, they reduce unnecessary print volumes. (Key word here is “unnecessary.”) Why send a 64-page booklet filled with irrelevant information when you can send a 16-page brochure with targeted, relevant material? You make your marketing program more effective while saving the planet at the same time. Or how about this? Cleanse your database on a regular basis. Run it through NCOA. Why mail to people who don’t live there anymore?

Is this the be-all and end-all for greening? Of course not. But greening and personalization go hand in hand. If you’ve been looking for a way to move your clients into targeting and personalization, this is another reason to get them to do it.

For more information on “Greening Print Marketing: A Practical Guide,” visit www.digitalprintingreports.com/marketer_primers_green.htm

Some Musings on Marketing

  • The cost of implementing an effective marketing program is trivial compared to the cost of not implementing one.
  • Taking a committee approach to marketing often ends in failure. A group of people agreeing to disagree combined with diluted accountability rarely produces a positive result.
  • “My many years in the printing industry have taught me that the pursuit of trying to craft the perfect marketing piece often ends up being the reason for doing nothing.” – G. Jacobs
  • The average person is only capable of retaining 3-5 brands per category in their memory. If you want to introduce your company into someone’s consideration, you need to push another company out of consideration. Repetition is fundamental to success.
  • The abandon rate for social media is very high. Beware of creating marketing graveyards.
  • Whether or not you’re marketing to your customers, you can be assured that your competitors are.
  • Don’t discount “little things” like birthday cards and notes of appreciation. Sales relationships are more influenced by emotions than pricing.
  • People will give business to companies they want to give it to and after awarding the job, find ways to justify the decision. Price is often the excuse rather than the reason.
  • Well perceived brands command a price premium of nearly 9% over brands perceived as just average.
  • The most popular way to lose a customer is to lose touch with him or
    her. Industry-specific data indicates that 60% of customer loss is due
    to lack of communication.
  • Irrelevant communications contribute to customer defection and alienation.

If you’re interested in utilizing a highly effective marketing program to help grow your sales, I’m happy to email you some samples and info. It’s easier and less expensive than you probably think.

Patrick T. Whelan

Simple Change, Big Results

Want to get your customers to print more this month? Present them with the opportunities offered by QR codes.

Design requirements for adding QR codes to print are minimal. Simpy use a free QR code generator, download the .jpg or .png, and find space to put a 1×1-inch square. The result could be a complete reprint of their corporate identity materials and marketing collateral.

QR codes are barcodes that look like boxes of black-and-white squares. People with cellphone Internet access and QR code reader software simply point to the codes and take a picture. They are automatically directed to a website with a promotional offer or other marketing content.

QR codes are one of the hottest applications being talked about in marketing today. They are everywhere in Europe and Japan, and they are just now starting to take serious hold in the United States.

They hold a lot of appeal for reaching mobile, tech-savvy consumers. Who has time to stop and jot down a URL on a poster? Or manually type in someone’s contact information into your cellphone? Instead, just point and click on the run. QR codes remove one of the biggest barriers to response — time and effort. Their value is easy to understand.

On your next sales call, try suggesting the addition of QR codes to all of clients’ corporate identity materials and marketing collateral. Especially if they have been thinking about updating their marketing collateral anyway, this may give them the perfect way to justify the spend.

Until next time,
Patrick T. Whelan
Heidi Tolliver-Nigro