Using QR Codes in Your Marketing

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South by Southwest is a festival founded in Austin, TX, in 1987. It dedicates itself to helping people achieve their goals and focuses on an eclectic mix of showcases, sessions, films, and music. It was held a few weeks ago.

Companies often use the event to demonstrate new technology and promote products and services.

Paramount+ used the event to create a massive QR code in the sky to promote the new TV series Halo coming to the streaming channel.

Hundreds of drones were used in a “drone swarm” looking like something out of a scene from Star Trek to hover in position in the night sky to form a 600-foot wide lighted pattern which created a functional QR code in the sky. And, it worked. Check out this Twitter video.

It is undoubtedly one heck of a marketing stunt for sure. And it is a powerful sign of the times. QR codes are everywhere today, literally ‘in the night sky’ now!

One way to predict what’s next is to look at the adoption rate in media, like TV. When you see TV advertisers running ads with QR codes in them for Yellowstone’s E-Com site and other Super Bowl ads with QR codes in them. It might signal that QR codes are becoming “mainstream,” and you should pay attention.

When QR codes first came out, I thought they were a terrific way to reduce the friction of people going to your website. But, it was too new. The phones didn’t support QR codes without a specific app – way too much friction for the user.

But today, every major phone manufacturer supports QR codes right inside their photo app, and the QR codes’ adoption rate rises quickly. The adoption rate is everything.

You should be experimenting with using QR codes to take people offline to online. If you don’t, you are simply missing out on another opportunity to engage with prospects and clients. There’s no easier way to take people offline to online, period.

QR codes are tailor-made for quickly and easily linking to content on Smartphones. Here are some ideas for types of QR codes you can create:

  • A website URL: touch and you will navigate directly to your website in the default browser
  • Prefilling a text message: allow the person to send a text message with the phone number and message prefilled
  • Prefiling an email: same as text, but for email, the prefilled can include the subject line and body content
  • VCard: the individual can download your contact information to be added directly to their phone contact list
  • Links to social platforms: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or any other platform
  • Event: prefill a calendar item with event information, including location, start time, and end time

It has taken some time for QR Codes to become mainstream. And stunts like Paramount did at South by Southwest are an indicator that their time has come. You should pay attention.

How are you using QR codes in your agency?

Steve Anderson

Steve Anderson

Often revered as the insurance industry tech guru or the Godfather of Insurtech, Steve Anderson is practically synonymous with innovation. He spent over 22 years as president of The Anderson Network – an authority on insurance agency productivity, technology, and profits – and has served on various boards and committees for IIABA and Big I NY. He’s also the author of the international best-selling book “The Bezos Letters” where he examines “14 Principals to Grow Your Business Like Amazon.”

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