Vol. 1 January 2012
We here at Minuteman Press would like to wish everyone a very healthy and happy New Year! As we prepare to make 2012 the best year yet, we have been busy researching different ways to help our owner increase revenue in their centers. Part of that process includes keeping up with the latest trends and technology, which brings us to this month’s article, “QR Codes Spur Growth in Digital Printing.” Please take a moment to read the article below and learn how the use of these little boxes can increase revenue for your business.
QR CODES Spur Growth in Digital Printing
You are starting to see them everywhere. They look like jigsaw puzzles, sometimes in color but most often in black-and-white. You see them in magazine advertisements, on posters and billboards, on business cards, and just about everywhere else. They are quick response (or QR) codes, sometimes called QRCs. They act as mobile shortcuts to websites, discount coupons, videos, and other content. New applications are now using QR codes. QR codes are particularly appealing in the world of marketing because they use the cell phone as the response mechanism. This way, they capture viewers’ interest at the very moment it is piqued, thus increasing the potential for increased profits.
QR codes give printers a reason to sell printing. While QR codes aren’t magic, they should increase sales for any printer who uses them. Now that the majority of mobile phone users have smartphones, QR codes have become a perfect way to expand and augment information from the static printed page. Successful quick printers are talking their customers into throwing away their old marketing material and printing new collateral that will integrate with the Internet. Printers are always going to have challenges. The ways people communicate are changing. The age of buyers is changing – they do things differently than their predecessors. Printers will get more involved in content and long term planning with the customers. The future can be very good for printers. They just have to stop fighting the changes, learn the new role of print in the communication process, and get out and sell it.
In February 2011, Mobio Identity, an international mobile payments and marketing company, released data on QR code scanning from its servers (“The Naked Facts: QR Barcode Scanning in 2H 2010”). This data is not intended to reflect industry-wide trends, only what’s going on at Mobio, but it provides important insights of which marketers and service providers should take note. The data are also remarkably consistent with the results of a separate February 2011 survey from MGH. There is a lot to be learned by looking at both sets of data together.
According to Mobio, between July 2010 – December 2010:
- Use of QR codes increased 1200% in North America.
- 70% of those using QR codes would be willing to do so again.
- Seventy percent of Smartphone users in the MGH survey indicated that they would be interested in using QR codes again.
Source: “The Naked Facts: QR Barcode Scanning in 2H-2010” (Mobio Systems, February 2011)
Motivation for scanning a code
Their primary motivators are much the same as they were the first time, only more so. Of those willing to use a QR code again, 87% would like to use them to access some kind of deal; 64% they would like to use them to enter a sweepstakes, 63% said they would like to access additional information, and 60% said they would like to make a purchase.
QR Codes Increase Ad Retention
Also asked in the MGH survey is whether a QR code in an advertisement would make people more likely to remember it.
- 72% said they were “somewhat” or “very” likely to remember an ad with a QR code.
- 16% said it wouldn’t make much of a difference.
Source: MGH QR Code Use and Interest Survey (February 2011)
5 Reasons QR CODES Spur Growth in Digital Printing
1. QR codes are free.
In their most basic form, QR codes are free to generate and cost nothing extra to print. Just add them to your materials like any other image. Your printer or marketing firm may charge you a small fee to manage these campaigns, but it’s usually accompanied by extra value such as functionality testing and tracking. Unless you require specialty services, the actual generation of the code is free.
2. They are highly traceable.
Not only are QR codes traceable themselves, but they provide tracking for other types of media such as billboards or magazine advertisements that are not otherwise traceable. Because QR codes can be set up to record the type of phone used to read the code, they also give you pass along information. If five different people access the code, the advertiser will know it. If the campaign goes viral and is scanned in 11 different countries, the advertiser will know that, too.
3. They turn static media into interactive media.
At its essence, print is a static medium. Adding QR codes creates an immediate, interactive experience. By adding QR codes to articles, newspapers can direct readers to additional video or images for feature stories. Celebrity magazines can provide readers with exclusive interviews with movie stars or other key personalities. Readers picking up the latest Harry Potter book could scan a QR code on the cover to find out when the movie will be released.
4. They make the content portable.
Once the information is on the cell phone, it goes wherever the user goes. This has tremendous benefits for shopping, event tickets, coupons, and more
5. They get viewers actively involved with the brand.
The ability to immediately respond to what they see gets people actively involved with a brand. QR codes can send people to blogs or other communities where they can take surveys or post feedback to articles, events, or images. Many codes offer the ability to immediately Tweet or post to Facebook pages, enabling the campaign to go viral.