QR Code Survival Guide: How to Get the Most From Your Marketing Budget


Digital Marketing: QR CodeAs a solopreneur or a small business owner, you have a number of ways to create marketing material to attract customers.  Print ads, brochures, and business cards have been the standard.  But how to do you gain a return for your cost in printing these items?  One way to managing the cost, along with engaging your customers further into your sales funnel, is with QR codes. QR codes provide a means for valuing the effort by linking its scan to the reports in an analytics solution.

The rising usage of smartphones among U.S. consumers is the cause for the discovery of QR code benefits.  According to eMarketer estimates, there are 73.3 million U.S. smartphone users in 2011, and 44% of them use their phone to research products.   In fact mobile search has become the fastest growing search segment.  Google introduced image search, voice search, and instant search to specifically make search on a mobile or tablet more convenient.

QR codes are meant to provide an enhancement to the main material on which they appear. QR codes work when the user reads it with a free scanner, usually downloaded to a smartphone. You select what the code returns – a web address or a rich media like a video or PDF brochure.  You can see other examples in this Brand Yourself post “QR Codes and Sharing Contact Information Easily

How Are QR Codes Effective?

So how do you measure effectiveness for your brand?  One straight forward way is incorporating a tag to the URL inserted into a QR code.  If you are used to pay per click campaigns, the procedure is a similar arrangement.   Tags are made with a URL builder.  Google provides a single URL builder for its analytics solution.

So a URL that typically looks like this:

www.yourwebsite.com

…would look like the following string after adding Pamphlet, QRCode, and Neighborhood Promo, for example (with no space for Neighborhood and Promo – adding a space places a “%” sign between the words)

http://www.yourwebsite.com/?utm_source=Pamphlet&utm_medium=QRCode&utm_campaign=NeighborhoodPromo

The URL tag contains the follow parameters.

Campaign Source:   This parameter names the referral source. In this case, you would indicate what material contains the code, such as a flier or a billboard sign.

Campaign Medium:  This identifies the type of media used for campaign — email or banner.  This is where you would indicate a QR code is used.

Campaign Name:  This is the name of your marketing campaign – Father’s Day sale, Year-End promotion, etc.

If you have multiple campaigns, the URL builder can suddenly become a labor bottleneck, because it processes one URL at a time.  Many search engine marketers use a spreadsheet for multiple URL build and concatenate the final URL in the cells.   A concatenate function joins character strings from cells within a spreadsheet into one result.

You are not limited to the URL builder as a way of tagging your campaign.  Ultimately you want to use a little common sense. Ask yourself can you link the property that contains the QR code to your analytics code on the site you want to measure.  Once you walk through how your QR code viewer sees the campaign, you’ll identify the value your business will ultimately see, through pageviews, average time on site, conversion rate, or another metric.

The ultimate point of a QR code is to increase the convenience for your customers to accomplish a task or to view auxiliary information. Be imaginative and see how branding your services can also become convenient with QR codes.

Other QR Code Resources:

QR Code Generator: http://qrcode.kaywa.com/

How to use QR codes in social media: QR Codes in Social Media

QR Code Wiki: QR Code Wiki

QR Code Art: QR Code Art

2 Comments

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    • 2
      Pierre DeBois

      Not sure if you are referring to the URL with tagging — most QR generators will permit the URL. You can also use Goo.gl to create a shortened URL; Goo.gl also can create a QR Code for the URL as well. Hope this clarifies

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