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QR Codes: Plan Your Mobile Marketing Campaign

Posted by
Mar 27, 2012 04:44pm
Posted in: Small Business Advice

Welcome to Part 3 of 4 of “The Definitive Guide to QR Codes in the Sign Industry” (Here are Part-1, and Part-2 of the series).

In this post, sign industry veteran Jon Aston, of Marketing Partners, outlines an insightful, back-to-basics approach for planning to launch your own “baby steps” mobile marketing campaign using QR Codes. If you have comments or questions for Jon, please leave us a comment below.

QR Codes – What we’ve learned so far:

QR code - corkbin

Who says QR Codes have to be butt-ugly?

In Part-1 of this series…

We learned that >8 Million Canadians now own smartphones – and that it won’t be long before more of us access the internet via mobile device… than do using desktop devices.

Canada, in fact, is one of the fastest growing QR Code adoption markets worldwide. Month-in and month-out, millions of Canadians are scanning QR codes – more than are using twitter on a regular basis.

In Part-2

We learned that QR Codes present sign and display businesses with a terrific opportunity to demonstrate the measurable results and value they bring to their customers.

The Point:

Local sign and display companies like yours are uniquely positioned to help small business customers take full advantage of this mobile marketing technology.

From this point forward, our goal in this series is to teach you how.

Let’s Start with some Marketing Campaign Basics, OK?
For starters – and for the love of all that is right and good in this mixed up, crazy world – please start with a plan.

Planning your campaign will minimize the risk of wasting a bunch of time and money, only to achieve disappointing results. You don’t have to be a seasoned marketing veteran to do this right.

Just follow these steps:

  1. Every successful marketing campaign begins with clearly stated business objectives. Why are you planning a campaign? What do you plan to accomplish?
  2. For each campaign objective, consider how you will measure success.
  3. Develop an overall strategy for accomplishing each objective. Keep it simple.
  4. Determine suitable tactics, which – when executed – will accomplish each strategy and objective.
  5. Develop an action plan for implementing your tactics. Who will do what? When? What resources (time? money?) are required?

Planning your QR Code Campaign

OK. So now you have some ideas for campaign objectives, strategies and tactics – and you have a tool for developing your Marketing Campaign – right down to an action plan. My job now is to provide you with more of the knowledge and key tactical advice you need, in order to launch your own successful QR Code campaign.

Our Primary Objective: Generate Qualified Leads

The Strategy
Reach customers with a simple message, call to action and QR code wherever you can, as frequently as you can. Demonstrate the technology at every opportunity. Keep it simple.

Measuring Success
Track and measure total QR code scans, contact form submissions, number and value of quotations issued, number and value of invoiced sales.

Now for the “How To” Tactical Advice…

In this case, “keeping it simple” starts with messaging that targets your intended audience.
Let’s assume that Joe Customer has NO IDEA what a QR Code is or how to use one. Your first job is to educate them. “Discover how this crazy looking thing can bring you new business” is a pretty strightforward message and call to action – all rolled into one. Feel free to use it, unless you come up with a better idea. The shorter the better.

Picture your message parked next to a large QR Code.
Underneath both is “” in large and legible type. With that in your mind’s eye, picture it as a graphic on the wall beside or behind your sales counter. During the course of the campaign, you and/or your staff will point the message out to every customer who graces your shop with their presence – and invite them in joining you in a little experiment. When the experiment is done, you can tell them, you’re going to share the results with them.

Stand next to your customer and scan the code while both of you are looking at the wall graphic on your smartphone’s screen. When the code is scanned, it opens the campaign page on your website. The page header is the same graphic we find on your wall. The headline and sentence or two of copy below the header restate your invitation. An embedded form asks for the visitor’s name, company name, website and email address. Simple.

Ask your customer if they mind if you submit the form on their behalf. When the form is submitted, an autoresponder will send them an email to say thanks. The email can also ask them to share the campaign page with any family, friends or colleagues they think might be interested in learning more about how QR codes can help bring new business.

There are three types of media you can use to reach customers with your message, as frequently as possible:

  • Owned Media (Your signage, website, business cards, etc)
  • Earned media (Other people sharing your message: by word of mouth, forwarding email, or sharing with their social networks, etc)
  • Paid Media (Direct mail, Print advertising, Pay-per-click advertising, etc)

For this campaign, let’s concentrate on “Owned” and “Earned”.
Make a list of all of the owned media you will use to display your campaign graphic: The more, the better. Some quick ideas to get you started:

  • A wall graphic at your sales counter, and/or a banner stand in your showroom. Try to reach customers wherever they are likely to go in your building.
  • A banner on the storefront
  • Window graphics on your front door
  • A graphic on the side of your truck. Another on the tailgate.

Now, for each choice of media, we need to generate a unique QR Code.

To do that, you need to set up a web page that redirects to your campaign page – and generate a QR Code for each new page. The QR Code in the wall graphic at your sales counter, for example, might have a  “”, but that  URL will simply point to “”. If you hang a campaign banner on the front of your building, point the QR Code to “”… and will also redirect to “”.

Important (for tracking purposes):

Be sure to sign up for a account – and shorten your links  before generating your QR Codes.

You get the idea.

It probaly sounds like more work than it really is. The point, if you haven’t guessed it, is to both generate leads and – in the process – collect data about which sign media is doing the job for us. This will help us build a case study to share with customers – to show every interested prospect or customer what we can do for them, with our mobile marketing campaign sign packages.

Learn more: QR Code Tools and Resources

If you’re up to it, I invite you to deep-dive the subject via my QR Code bookmarks on Delicious.

Useful Highlights:

Design Inspiration:

Stay in the know!

We sure hope you are enjoying the series so far. In the final installment of this series, we’ll focus on what to do with all of this data you’re going to acuire – and how to convert it into new business. In the meantime, sign up below to ensure you are notified when Part-4 is published.


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