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Decoding the Code: Seven R's of a Relevant Mobile Barcode Campaign

by Igor Glubochansky  |  
April 4, 2012

In this article, you'll learn...

  • Seven tips for launching a successful mobile barcode campaign
  • How to maximize the marketing benefits of using QR codes

Mobile marketers have used mobile barcodes as a powerful means of reaching consumers directly. We place barcodes on magazine pages, in-store signage, and TV screens. But in our excitement, we mustn't forget that mobile barcodes need to be based on a strong strategy that encourages consumer interaction.

The primary benefit of mobile codes is clear: They enrich the brand experience by linking the physical world to the digital. Though half of smartphone users have scanned a quick response (QR) code, getting consumers to understand the value of codes and to continue scanning them remains a challenge, according to a recent Chadwick Martin Bailey survey.

Mobile barcodes undoubtedly offer consumers a new and different experience. But a smart marketing strategy must be the driver behind every one of those jagged black-and-white boxes, else your mobile barcode campaign is just another gimmick that says to your customers, "We're on to the next big thing, but not quite there yet."

As with most any digital channel, relevancy is central to an effective mobile campaign. What works on Twitter, for example, may not fit the corporate blog. The same is true for barcodes.

The following tips—the seven R's—provide a strategic framework for developing a successful mobile barcode campaign.

1. Recite the code

Mobile barcodes are a strange-looking phenomenon to the average consumer, and even the most savvy smartphone users could use a short reminder about how to use them. Include instructions (usually below the barcode) for scanning, link to a scanner app, and hint at what happens when a user scans.

2. Redirect to a mobile site

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Igor Glubochansky is executive director of advanced mobility solutions at AT&T. He can be reached via

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  • by Patrick Zuluaga [PMZ Marketing] Wed Apr 4, 2012 via web

    A good approach to encourage engagement and interaction with recipients is to personalise each QR Code by linking it to a personalised URL with a personalised message and offer. This is one to one communications to achieve better marketing results!

  • by Steffan Klein Wed Apr 4, 2012 via web

    A great idea is to use each QR code together with a short Sell Anywhere Link printed above it, such as See here for an example:
    That way anyone with a QR code reader can read the QR code, and anyone else can just use the short URL. This also means you don't have to explain QR codes - which takes up a lot of space. Anyone with a mobile phone but without a code reader can still act on it.

  • by Tricia Olson Mon Jun 11, 2012 via web

    Question: Where is the best place to go for creating a secured QR code? I haven't been able to find that option.

  • by Patrick Zuluaga [PMZ Marketing] Mon Jun 11, 2012 via web

    Hi Tricia, what do you mean by a secured QR code?

  • by Tricia Olson Mon Jun 11, 2012 via web

    Tip #5 "Review your security". Perhaps I've misinterpreted?

  • by Patrick Zuluaga [PMZ Marketing] Mon Jun 11, 2012 via web

    You might have read this article

  • by Tricia Olson Mon Jun 11, 2012 via web

    Thanks for the article!

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