Do QR codes have a role in B2B marketing?
I keep seeing QR codes popping up all over in the B2C community – on transit station posters, fast food tray liners, contests and billboards. They seem to be the latest thing in print media and a good way to increase customer involvement.
A recent post on Mobile Commerce Daily said QR scanning in North America increased 1,200 percent in the last six months. I don’t doubt it. Considering it’s still new technology to most consumers, the big increase makes sense. There are many instances in which QR codes can work well in B2C, and smartphone purchases and usage are on the rise as well.
Using QR codes for B2B programs can be just as powerful if you understand they’re a new technology with a (for now) limited audience. At MLT Creative, we’ve recently done a few QR code projects for B2B. Our clients were looking for a way to extend their messaging within printed media, or just to be on the cutting edge of marketing to their customers.
We have found QR codes to be a powerful tool when linked to an informative video segment or a mobile site with a clear message and call-to-action. These are a few of the better ideas I’ve seen for B2B:
QR codes on trade show mailings: This allows you to download the latest guidebook, daily updates and access to a mobile site or attendee interaction.
QR codes at trade shows: This can link to your Facebook page, your latest product sheet, your catalog, a mobile site, an after-event party invitation or a form to request a follow-up call and information.
QR codes on business cards: This can be an electronic contact entry, directions to your location, a link to your blog, access to a video from you or your firm or direct access to your mobile site. Think about it – you could literally put your latest catalog or hottest product on your business card.
QR codes to gather opinions: Best Buy is doing some interesting things with this by sampling their employees on a simple yes or no basis. You could do this with customers as well.
QR codes in catalogs: These can link to specification sheets or instructional videos, or dial in directly to your sales department.
QR codes on direct mail: A postcard can become your catalog, a link to your Facebook page, a direct line to your sales department or a video message from your CEO.
QR codes are growing in use and nobody really knows where it all will end up. It may be a passing fad, or grow into an integral part of our daily life. New technology often sneaks up on us. The best advice is to stay open-minded and be creative with this new tool.
What do you think? Do QR codes have a future in B2B?
Glenn Taylor is a partner and senior creative director of Atlanta-based B2B marketing firm MLT Creative. Located on the east side of Atlanta, GA, with a Northeast office in Rhode Island, Taylor co-founded MLT Creative in 1984 along with partners Billy Mitchell and Craig Lindberg.
Known as the Idea Launch Pad for B-to-B marketers, MLT Creative's services include strategic planning, positioning, brand development, advertising and sales promotions for business-to-business clients.