The mobile food industry has quickly become an industry that spends most of its advertising and marketing time as mobile marketers. QR codes may be one of the hottest topics in the mobile marketing world today. They are becoming more popular with marketing firms, and in turn, the consumer base is catching on. If you’re still wondering what those funny black-and-white squares are, and what they’re for, here is a quick introduction.
QR codes are an increasingly popular way of converting data like website addresses into an image that can be easily scanned. Thus, it’s possible to publish a website address in print, and readers can go to that address without having to type in the address.
Technically, QR codes are a specific type of 2D barcode that are similar to the UPC codes on your groceries or merchandise and the ISBN number codes you find on books.
Almost every smartphone today has a built in camera, and there are many QR code reader apps for all of the major platforms. You can generate your own QR codes at Google, bit.ly, Jumpscan, as well as many other sites. Users can have the camera on their phones scan a QR code from a print ad, a business card, or a computer screen. Once scanned, the scanner software on the phone will read the data and ask the user what to do — most likely, open the website address embedded in the code.
How can you use QR codes?
The variety of uses for QR codes are endless, they provide a seamless link between online and offline marketing which is a topic we have written a series of articles on this week.
According to a survey from MGH, mobile consumers are responding to the influx of popularity with QR codes, “32% of smartphone users say they have used a QR code and 70% say they would be interested to do so, either for the first time or again.” Currently marketers in other industries are using QR Codes to offer promotional discounts (53%) and enter sweepstakes (33%).
Directing QR codes to Facebook Fan Page with an offline call to action, such as “Like us!” greatly increases social community followings and engagement. Directing users to a website could be a “one and done” solution. The hardest part is getting a user to scan the code. If that code directs to a website, maybe they will remember your brand later, and maybe they won’t. However why would you risk it? If they “Like” your companies Facebook page, they will be constantly updated on everything you so desire.
Are you thinking of unique ways to drive engagement that make sense for your food truck or cart? Here are a few ideas:
- Twitter page
- Facebook Place check ins
- Customized landing pages
- Facebook “Like” page
- Coupon page
It is widely acknowledged that QR codes work to drive engagement, however as more marketers adopt this technology, it could flood the market. If this happens it would make the QR code less unique and exciting, so it is very important to set up an integrated QR campaign for your mobile food business as soon as possible. For those of you looking to use QR technology to increase brand retention, place your codes in an interesting location and direct them to a social page, you will reap the benefits later.
Getting someone to purchase a meal from a direct code may be a tall task. Whether it is the failure to adopt mobile commerce technology, or just simply the market isn’t there yet; increasing brand loyalty may be a better goal for your mobile marketing campaign. Think about placing codes around your service window, linking them to your social media page to continually be updated on news from your mobile eatery. Keeping a customer should always be a primary focus for any business, and generating new customers secondary.
Do you use QR codes already? What is the most intriguing use you’ve seen for these codes? Let us know!