Ever since I first saw a QR Code a couple of years ago, I have been totally fascinated by them. I started reading every article, report and blog I could find on the topic online. The more I read, the more I became convinced that this new mobile connection device would be the key to increasing print and direct mail as important and relevant communications channels.
I had unfortunately stood on the sidelines a decade or so ago when Internet communications decimated the print and direct mail industry. Like many others in the business, I was forced to play “catch up” and defend the continued use of print as a viable form of marketing communications.
Then, a few short years ago, QR Codes arrived on our shores! At that time, it seemed to me that they were the salvation that could help resurrect the direct mail industry. So, I began e-mailing articles to my customers. My goal was to help educate them about how this new device, when integrated with print, connects the Internet and mobile marketing – making print INTERACTIVE.
Much to my surprise, only those who shared my enthusiasm about QR Codes seemed to pay attention. So, I opened up a Twitter account @NScevaJr and devoted my Tweets to QR Code news, Smartphones and their relationship to direct mail and print. Every single day QR Codes are in the news and my Tweets are a testament to that fact.
However, how do others outside our industry see them? Do they know what they are and how to use them?
The Japanese see QR Codes in their daily lives. If the general U.S. population does not see QR Codes in their daily lives, will mid-size to small American marketers really integrate their use in their overall marketing efforts? Will they really become a part of the American marketing culture?
To find out, my plan is to go shopping for QR Codes as often as I can. Being a resident of a large and progressive city like Denver, CO, it shouldn’t be too hard to spot them on products or point-of-sale displays. Or, am I being too naïve?
I’m heading out to my local grocery store, Safeway, which is a large national chain. I’ll shop not only for my own personal needs, but to explore every aisle in search of QR Codes. I want to see if the general public sees them and knows what to do when they do see them.
I’ll report the results of my shopping excursion in a future blog post. At that time I’ll let you know my thoughts on shopping for QR Codes as well as which products I find that utilize them. Then, I’ll tackle area malls, restaurants, etc. Wish me luck!
In the meantime, have you been shopping for QR Codes? Share your comments below and let me know what you found as you walked the aisles of your local supermarket.
Neal Sceva is a Certified Direct & Interactive Marketer (CDIM) and an integrated marketing solutions specialist for CPC Solutions. A 30-year veteran of the print and direct marketing industries, Neal may be reached at 303-345-5188, firstname.lastname@example.org, or at http://twitter.com/nscevaJr