Are QR Codes Good for Marketing?

It seems like those small square shape symbols, are popping up everywhere. We are finding them in direct mail pieces, magazine advertisements, product labels, and even T-shirts. QR codes ( Quick Response Code) are two-dimensional barcodes and have been around for quite some time, they were originally used in the automotive manufacturing industry in Japan for tracking vehicle parts, since they have significantly greater storage than that of a traditional barcode.

QR codes can be scanned by a smartphone through an application that is available as a free App, which scans and reads the code, opening the web browser on the devise to a specific URL, initiating any of a wide range of actions on the devise, such as launch a website, a Facebook page, view a coupon, a video, dial a phone number, capture contact info of the phone user, etc.

These codes offer a unique way to connect the print component to online media, engaging your target audience in an interactive way and allowing for outstanding response tracking analysis.

Ways to incorporate QR codes in to your marketing these codes can be placed just about anywhere, as long as the surface is relatively flat and the print method will ensure good quality reproduction. So depending on your marketing campaign, you can placed them on your actual product labels, books, signage, banners, T-shirts, mugs, flyers, to name just a few. In order for them to support your marketing efforts enhancing response, they must be properly incorporated in your marketing mix. Take a look at your marketing plan and find the place where QR codes can increase your target audience engagement in a productive way.

Some examples of putting QR codes to good use, directing smartphone users to a URL such as:
• A sign up page,
• a catalog or price page
• a video that shows a demo, testimonial, etc
• a recording with testimonials, event schedules, etc.
• an instant discount coupon
• a contest

A few good QR codes good practices:

• Do some research and make sure your audience is at least 90% smartphone user
• Tell the scanner what will happen when the code is scanned, such as “scan me for video demo”.
• Make the code at least 1″ x 1″ to make sure it can be read properly
• Create a re-directed landing page that can be changed without changing the code
• Consider a plan B for those people who are not (yet) Smartphone users
• Test them before you send them to print

QR codes are not the next marketing shiny object. In today’s mobile society, mobile phone advertising is here to stay and where 1 out of 10 mobile phone users own an iPhone, Android or Blackberry, the use of QR codes for marketing purposes is a fast growing trend. If you have a great use for your QR code I would love to hear from you. If you are not quite sure how to make it work fro you just get in touch with us, we’ll be happy to help you set up a highly profitable campaign incorporating these powerful response vehicles.

Free Underwear Sample – How Far Should Your Direct Sales Model Go?

Last month, I was talking to someone who had a pet product. They were putting together a business plan, and specifically a new marketing plan with one of the key features being direct marketing and direct sales. They wanted to try the old “Ben and Jerry’s” trick, whereby they would give away free samples, and pet owners would be so hooked on the product, that they would continue to order more through their website. In fact, their conversion rate in trying this out was almost 25%, and mind you they were in a fairly well-to-do area, but if they stayed with the same demographics, such a strategy could work.

How do I know this? Well, before retirement I ran a mobile car washing operation, and franchised it around the country. Our bonsai and blitz marketing team constantly went out and gave away free car washes as samples. If people enjoyed the free car wash at their office, then they would have us back on a regular schedule once a week. It was a great way to build new routes, win friends and influence people. Can any product or service the marketed this way you ask? For the most part I would say the answer is yes.

Indeed, I have a very good friend and she goes to one of the major colleges in Los Angeles, her and her friends are on the Red Bull marketing team, and they drive around in a car with a giant Red Bull can on top and give away free samples. Wherever they do this, the sales for Red Bull go up in the local liquor stores, convenience stores, and grocery stores. In other words it works.

It works so good in fact that I might even recommend that Marissa Mayer, the new CEO of Yahoo have college interns run around to all of the soccer fields wearing Yahoo T-shirts, giving away prizes and inviting new users to come partake in whatever it is they are offering online. Incidentally, I did put together such a bonsai and blitz marketing campaign strategy report and I sent it to the president of Pacific Telephone in San Francisco in the early 90s, she loved the idea.

Still, there may be some products it won’t work for, such as giving away free underwear samples as a direct sales model. However, there have been large array sales teams that go out and do home parties, and they do give away free lingerie samples, and it works for them. This of course is in the privacy of the guest home being used, and not in public. Suffice it to say, direct sales work, that’s why all the successful companies do it. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

How Being More Authentic In Your Marketing Will Attract People To You And Business Faster

Authenticity! We hear a lot of people using that word these days and a lot of people are talking about being authentic in your marketing. It’s a very interesting concept to look at as you read headlines and study marketing. You’ve seen them,we’ve all seen those outrageous headlines that we all know can’t really happen but appeal to our sense of wanting things to be easy and to be able to get rich quick and all that. How about this one for example…”$12 Million in 12 Weeks” – saw that one recently and it actually made me laugh out loud.

Being authentic in your marketing, in your business, and in all the things you do, not only has to do with being honest, but it also has to do with being who you are.

So many business owners are afraid to get out there and show people who they really are, what’s in their heart, what they really want, and to share with everyone, clients and prospects alike, that they genuinely want to help and to make a big difference in the lives and businesses of those they serve, and beyond.

We want to help you grow your business – that’s a pretty clear statement that is easy to understand and tells people what we want to do.

We all have different likes, goals and interests. We all have things that make us uniquely us and whether you wear your hair short or long, whether your skin is white, or some other color, whether you have a lot of money, or you don’t have a lot of money, it doesn’t matter, just be who you are.

I know this for sure – the more of me I share with you, our clients, and prospects alike, the more people will be attracted to me, the more people want to do business with me, and with us, and our company. What you see is what you get with me, and for a long time I was afraid that because I was direct, and to the point, I might put-off or even offend some people, so I held back a little.

What I’ve found is, people understand when I’m direct, I can still be loving with them and still give them what they need. I’m not talking about being mean or militant or any of those things. I’m talking about just being direct with people – being a no-nonsense kind of person.

Being who you are will attract the perfect clients to you. When you are just you and being authentic, only those who resonate with you the most will want to work with you… and that’s what you want – you don’t want to be that person who takes anyone and everyone as a client.

So, be encouraged, whoever you are whatever kind of lifestyle you lead, and whatever you do in your life, just be you.

If you’re a mom, let people know. Just be you in your marketing, and in your business, and see if your business doesn’t actually thrive and increase, because people want to know you – the real you – and do business with you.

You hear it all the time… people want to do business with people they know, like, and trust. Notice, the know, and the like, come before you can build trust with people. And, there are many ways to do that.

Think about how you can give people more of who you are, be more authentic in your business, and in your marketing, and watch your profits soar.