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I almost called this post – QR codes are stupid. Except that I don’t think QR codes are stupid. I actually think they are pretty clever and can definitely be an effective touchpoint in lead development. It’s the lousy marketing experiences I have seen that accompany QR codes that make me crazy. So I guess I should have called this ‘Some marketers are stupid” but that really seems like a step too far.

The point is just because its easy to generate a QR code and they are latest shiny object for marketing, it doesn’t mean you should just insert one randomly into your marketing mix. If it doesn’t add some sort of value to me as a prospect (make a purchase easier, help me pair your product with another, lend a helping hand of some sort or educate me on the spot) than don’t do it.
In no particular order here are 5 things you must consider before launching a QR code marketing campaign.

For those of you who clicked through to this post but don’t know what a QR or quick response code is check out the Social Media Examiner’s QR 101.

Design a mobile experience.
I am going to be on my smartphone so don’t send me to your non-mobile web experience or content. Your QR code will not generate more or better leads if drives me to an experience that is neither optimized for mobile (teeny tiny print means I won’t read it) or provides some content that makes sense for me in that moment. Mobile is the medium for QR code marketing and so you can't just send someone to your website and hope for the best.

Hey – get outta the way.
Don’t place your QR code in a high traffic area where I have to negotiate people, cars or other moving objects to get the click. Keep it simple and remember the user. Most of the time QR codes seem to work but I have noticed that when the lady with the big hat is standing directly in front of it I can’t get it to work...or her to move.

And related…hey - make sure I can get bars.
Not to be repetitive but QR codes are for mobile devices. If I have no coverage because I am in: a)the subway, b)in a bathroom in the basement of a club/bar, c) any other random dead zone, than I will never experience your marketing.

QR codes are for the top of the funnel.
Don’t send me to a landing page that requires me to register. I don’t want to fill out a form on my phone. Provide me meaningful and relevant educational content that is minimally promotional. I will remember who you are and I will like you more for it.

And although this one is a bit of rip-off as I mentioned it already, it still is the most important:

Act like a commercial. No value. No help. Just a request to buy.

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