Wednesday, July 27, 2011

49 Creative Ways to use QR Codes

  1.  QR Codes on bus stops, train stations and subway stations: A quick scan would give you realtime information on when the next bus, train or subway would arrive.
  2. Posted next to paintings and sculptures at museums. Great for visitors who want to learn more about the artist, the time period, and the reaction to the photo. Could also include links to other work by the artist, related artists, and even the ability to buy the image on a mug or poster at the museum shop.
  3. As part of a personalized direct mail piece. Each QR code can go to a PURL (personalized URL (Uniform Resource Locator).
  4. On historical sites and on walking trails. Sure, a plaque is fine for grandma, but I’d like to delve deeper, whether with a wikipedia entry, or an video of a local historian explaining the significance of the site.
  5. At video kiosks. QR codes can appear as people interact with your kiosk, whether it’s at the mall or your place of business.
  6. On For Sale signs. Whether residential or commercial, for sale signs could include codes that had all the information a sell sheet includes, plus video walkthroughs.
  7. Email newsletter signups. Build your subscriber base by having quick links to an email signup box.
  8. E-learning. Have your QR code generate an email that starts an autoresponder, sending daily emails filled with lessons and related information.
  9. Next to packaged food in groceries. Give shoppers quick access to recipes that include the ingredients they see on the shelf.
  10. In a jigsaw puzzle. This would create some real engagement as the user would have to put together the puzzle before scanning the image.
  11. On produce. You could include information about the farm, organic vs. conventional growing, best by dates, etc.
  12. Buying coffee (or anything else.)Like Starbucks does.
  13. On bottles of wine. It would be nice to be able to get info about the vineyard, and maybe buy a case of that bottle I enjoyed at the restaurant.
  14. On tags for sustainable clothes. Is that piece of clothing really sustainable? Let’s quickly scan and see it’s story.
  15. For conference signage. Next to the name of the upcoming sessions in each room would be the QR code so you could get the full description, speaker bios, and see if there’s any room left.
  16. On conference name tags. SXSW has been doing this for at least a year or two. Why trade business cards when you can just scan them. Now, don’t you feel all TSA?
  17. Written in calamari ink on diners’ plates. You can’t make this stuff up.
  18. On jewelry. Examples abound.
  19. As part of interactive maps. Check out this example from Town Graphics.
  20. At the bottom of all newspaper and magazine articles. Then you could quickly get to the online version and see the comments that other readers had left.
  21. On liquor bottles. Linked to drink recipes; this would be especially good for new drinks you’re bringing to market.
  22. On building permits. New York City is already doing this.
  23. On the fliers that you find under your windshield wipers at the mall. One example might be an offer for a car wash; the URL would give you the discount code and directions to the car wash offering the deal.
  24. On the safety bar ads on ski mountain chair lifts. These days, everyone on the mountain seems to have a smart phone, and they’re going to be a captive audience for 5 – 10 minutes, sitting on that chair going up the mountain.
  25. Inside elevators. If I ran a dry cleaning service or something else that helped busy executives out I’d advertise inside elevators in tall buildings. Other good options might include flowers (for spouses left at home with the kids), discounts on take out food, etc.
  26. In bar bathrooms. I often see Home Runners and cab companies advertising above the urinals in bars. (Hey, what can I say? I frequent classy places.) Why not make it easier for patrons to get a safe ride home, rather than drunk dial a wrong number?
  27. Within a video game console to share avatars. Nintendo is already doing just that.
  28. To get more people to sign a petition. Like the one for cleaning up the BP mess.
  29. At bars, clubs and anywhere else music is playing. Sure, Shazam is a great tool for finding music, and often you can even buy the track you discovered at iTunes or Amazon. But in a loud club you may not be able to suss out the song. If a QR code appeared above the DJ’s head, you could quickly scan the code and purchase that new song.
  30. On the backs of tractor trailers. Because “How’s My Driving?” with an 800 number is so last decade.
  31. On wedding invitations instead of RSVP cards. Scan a QR, save a tree. And a stamp.
  32. As a temporary tattoo. Link it to your Facebook profile or Twitter account.
  33. On a laminated card for trade shows. Instead of dropping a business card in a fish bowl. Booths win because they’ll get all the pertinent info, and the event could give away prizes to the people who get scanned the most.
  34. To encourage community feedback. The library in Groton, CT, does just that.
  35. As wallpaper. Well, it’s better than the wallpaper in a bathroom.
  36. On the bottom of flip flops. The imprint they make on the beach…until the tide comes in.
  37. On coffee cups from your local coffee shop. Plenty of advertising opportunities here.
  38. On posters linking to free books. 1st Bank is giving away free copies…of these out-of-copyrighted classics. They also have other boards that link to free sudoku.
  39. On a ball field. Have you seen what the groundskeepers can mow into the outfield these days? They’re artists!
  40. On a human billboard. Think “Eat at Joes.”
  41. As wrapping paper. One company is already customizing this with unique videos attached to QR codes.
  42. On trade show booths. Scan a picture, (be entered to) win a free iPod.
  43. On recipes in magazines. Quick link to videos, reviews and feedback at the website.
  44. For self-guided tours at factories. Scan a code, learn what that dohickey does.
  45. Posted on car windows in dealerships. Perfect for after-hour shoppers.
  46. Scratch and Win cards. It’s not enough to have them scratch off the card, make them scan that card to see if they’ve won.
  47. On movie posters. QR code takes them to a preview of the movie.
  48. On cocktail napkins. The code could take networkers to the sponsor’s site, the beverage’s site, or some networking site with photos, so you can connect with people after the event.
  49. In TV ads to make them interactive. Here’s an exampe from AXA.

Your People..Your Brand

Ask your people. Would you like to find out what your customers think about your brand? Like to find out what your people think of your brand? Most executives are afraid to ask there people for fear they may tell them something they do not want to hear..that's a brand killer!

Your people are your brand and if you are in the service industry and 99% of us are...your people are the face of your brand and are the most important asset a brand has.

Here are some questions you need to ask your people...

-What do you think about our brand/products/service
-Make sure your people understand you are asking them as partners and that they should always feel they can speak their mind.

-What are the clients saying about our brand/product/service

-How many new people a day are coming in

-Have there been any unhappy clients..please go into detail on how problem was solved

As with any question/suggestion you need to make sure you have follow-up and a action plan. You have to show your people their in-put counts. Ask them to come up with a solution or a new program. And give them incentive to do so (money talks) Give them power and they will go the extra mile..show them their ideas are important and they will go the extra two miles..and show them you care they will go for miles and miles.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Architect Barbie Dream Home..Design Competition

The American Institute of Architects lobbied long and hard for an Architect Barbie to be added to Mattel's Barbie lineup, and it got its wish just a few months ago. Now, it is going full steam ahead with a contest to design a dream house for her to live in. Over 30 applications have been submitted, and five designs by people who pattern houses for a living have been chosen as finalists. Anyone can vote online for the winner (you don't have to be an AIA member).


Although Mattel has no plans to turn the winning design into a real product, it's still super fun.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Marketing with QR Codes...not your grandfathers marketing tool!




1- Placement: where and how do you want to use your QR code
Put it on a poster, decal on your front window, maybe a direct mail piece or directly on your products? How about on your business cards? Accessibility is key make sure your clients can see it and access it from all angles.

2- Branding: what is your message: Where do you want to send those receiving the code and what do you want to give them? What do you want to tell them…’Like us’, sign up for our newsletter, view our special of the day, enter our contest to win or even better place an order.

3- Create your code: There are lots of sites that offer QR code creation service for free. No reason to pay to create a QR code. The sites or apps that do charge are marketing services to accompany the QR code creation..maybe something to look at after you gain experience with QR codes.
I use and recommend: http://qrcode.kaywa.com/

4- Call to Action and Marketing your QR code: Have fun with it and be creative but remember you want consumers to not only receive the information quickly but also to take action.

5- Track your progress: You need to take the time to measure the outcome of your QR code campaign. When you create your code, make sure that analytics or tracking will be available, whether it’s measuring the number of scans or another activity by the hour or day. Some forms of tracking allow you to see what type of device people used for their scan as well. If you are using a URL for your QR code, you can make it one specific for this campaign and then track it with Google analytics.

Conclusion:
Whether you decide to implement QR codes into your marketing plan, they are definitely worth experiencing as a user. Scan a few offered by other businesses or check out some examples online to see how they work for you as a consumer. This is an excellent way to become familiar with the medium and get those creative marketing juices flowing.