QR Code 101: 20 GREAT! Questions (and Answers): Including How to Respond to ‘What’s the ROI on Quick Response (QR) Codes?’ And, ‘Why Not Wait?’

Atlanta, GA USA – February 15, 2011 – Your “gut” says your company should be using Quick Response (QR) scan codes now, but your boss says let’s wait. What’s a visionary like you to do?

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Video: 2011 is The Year of the QR Code Or, What’s the ROI on QR Codes?
Video Written and Produced by GREAT! CEO & IDEAologist Dan Smigrod

Besides updating your LinkedIn profile to help you find a company that can take advantage of your smarts, see if the answers to these objections can help you move your company forward.

  1. What’s the Return On Investment (ROI)? – Just like our website, how we use the QR codes will evolve. QR codes enable us to activate our brand and engage our customers in all our marketing communication tools, at point-of-sale and with our products and services. If we don’t want to jump into the deep end of the pool, let’s put our toe in the shallow end to get started. It’s not going to cost much to learn and the potential upside in generating revenue and social engagement is huge.
  2. Does everyone have a smartphone to read QR codes? – More than 50% of the U.S. will have a smartphone by the 3Q11 or 4Q11, according to Nielsen (as reported by MediaPost on 2/5/11). And, 45% of mobile users upgraded to a smartphone in 4Q10. Now that Verizon offers iPhones, it’s likely the smartphone adoption rate will continue to grow rapidly.  Our customers probably index higher for smartphone usage too. Smartphone sales now exceed computer sales.
  3. Has everyone heard about QR codes? – While not everyone has heard of QR codes, that’s changing now that more than 50 major U.S. media and more than 100 major U.S. brands are using scan codes.
  4. You have to download a scanning app? – Best practices when using scan codes are to let people know which scanning app to download. It just takes a few words like: Text SCAN to 43588 to get a free scanner app.
  5. QR. EZcode. Isn’t this 2D thing just too confusing for our customers?– Best practices when using any scan codes are to let people know which scanning app to download: that would be true if there was just one kind of scan code. It just takes a few words like: Text SCAN to 43588 to get a free scanner app.
  6. Let’s wait. Isn’t it too soon to get started with QR codes? – Don’t we need help now increasing: a) sales; b) brand engagement; c) activating our customers; d) generating trade and consumer media coverage; and e) leading our company into new ways that our customers want to engage with us? Even social engagement!
  7. Why can’t we wait until everyone is doing it? – Yes. All our competitors will be using scan codes. By getting started now, we can learn how best to use scan codes to increase: a) sales; b) help our customers easily engage with our brand (social engagement); c) activate our customers; d) help generate trade and consumer media coverage; and e) lead our company into new ways that our customers want to engage with us.
  8. It’s just not a priority – All departments in our business will want to be using scan codes. Let’s lead the way.
  9. Let’s keep studying the spaceConsumer and trade media loves writing about QR codes. If we get started now, we can generate buzz: media, social media and word of mouth about how we are using the QR codes.
  10. I haven’t heard of QR codes (and neither have our customers) – Actually, the interest in QR codes is skyrocketing. Look at the  Google Insight for Search results for QR Codes.
  11. Let’s use a free code generator rather than pay for scan codes – While free QR generators are fine for personal use, our company should pay for QR codes so that: a) we can change the URL after the code has been printed; b) get scan code data that can help us understand the effectiveness of our print marketing tools; c) make it easier for the consumer to scan our (less dense) QR codes.
  12. There are other new media/social media/mobile opportunities I want to do first. – Since using scan codes is relatively new, there’s still an opportunity to generate buzz (traditional consumer, business and trade media coverage, social media and word-of-mouth) by getting started now. It’s easy to get started; plus, like the web, the scan codes will not only be used in our marketing communication tools, they will also be used in our product and help with customer service.
  13. There’s no risk in waiting – By waiting, we’re missing out on increasing sales sooner; learning how best to leverage scan codes for our business; plus, our competitors are using – or will be using – scan codes.
  14. The whole thing is just too confusing – While scan codes can be confusing – just like getting started with a home page, Facebook or Twitter for our business – we learned by doing. We need to learn now so that we can engage our customers and activate our brand.
  15. Not our responsibility. Go ask (marketing) (IT) (PR) (Web) (Mobile) – Since I am excited about the potential for using scan codes – by all our departments – let us show the way to innovate and leverage smartphones. Once we get started, we can figure-out later which department should “own” scan codes. Just like all departments use the web, all departments will use scan codes. We all need to help innovate. Once we’re up and running for our needs, we can socialize the use of scan codes by other departments to help achieve their objectives too.
  16. It’s too hard to get an okay from (marketing) (IT) (PR) (Web) and (Mobile) – Yes. I can understand the challenge of getting everyone to “buy in” to the use of scan codes. That was true about our company’s first home page. Back then, our online presence could have easily have started in any of our departments. Once we launched, we figured out how to get all departments to participate in the success of our website. Let’s get started with our department’s scan code needs. Once we’re up and running, we can socialize the use of scan codes – and their potential uses by other departments.
  17. QR codes are a fad – Smartphones are with us – and our customers – 24/7. That’s not a fad. That’s a trend that gets stronger everyday. We need to leverage QR codes on smartphones.
  18. I scanned a code and had a bad experienceLots of companies are making the same scan code mistakes over and over leading to bad customer experiences scanning codes. Like a rocket launch, we need to have a QR check list of pre-launch pointers. Here’s a list of more than 100 pointers to help us with a scan code successful launch.
  19. It’s not a threat or an opportunity for our business – Yes. Scan codes are both a threat and opportunity for our business. Look at: a) Blockbuster versus Netflix; Newspapers and magazines versus the web (and mobile); typewriters versus computers.
  20. People don’t watch video on mobile phones – “38% of iPhone users and 37% of Android users are watching videos now,” according to Nielsen.
  21. Bonus: It’s too easy to make costly and embarrassing mistakes Yes. Lots of major brands are making costly and embarrassing mistakes. Let’s engage GREAT! to provide us (and our agency) with the scan codes; help us with strategy for use of the codes; manage our scan codes, give us a fast-to-market experience; and help us avoid costly and embarrassing scan code mistakes common even by large A-list brands and major U.S. media companies using scan codesGREAT! provides scan code services for  a flat monthly fee that includes the scan codes. [For a quote, please email GREAT! CEO & Chief Creative Officer Dan Smigrod.]
  22. Bonus Video: Let’s go to the video tape. (Do they still make video tape or video tape players?)

Subscribe to the Free Daily Online Scan Code Newspaper From GREAT!

That’s GREAT! Quick Response (QR) Scan Code Resources

1.     That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  101 Ideas for Using QR Codes
2.     That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  101 ‘Pointers’ for Using QR Codes
3.     That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  101 Major U.S. Brands Using QR Codes
4.     That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  50 Major Media Companies Using QR Codes
5.     That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Using QR Codes
6.     That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  Top 10 Best QR Codes Uses in the U.S
7.     That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  (Video) ‘10 Reasons Free QR Codes Will Bite Me In The Tush’
8.     That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  (Video) What’s the Return on Investment (ROI) on QR Codes?
9.     That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  (Video) – 2011 is the Year of the Quick Response Code
10.   That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  Multiple Choice:  (2010) (2011) (2012) is the Year of the QR Code
11.   That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  Top 300 Must Read QR Code Articles
12.   That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  Top 150 Must Read QR Code Articles
13.   That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  How Newspapers Can Use QR Codes to Delay the Demise of Print
14.   That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  QR Code Book : ‘I Live in the Future & Here’s How It Works
15.   That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  Top 10 Reasons EZcodes Are Better Than QR Codes
16.   That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  Guest Post: The 10 Commandments for Marketers
17.   That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  Guest Post: How to Use QR Codes to Promote Your Business
18.   That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  Guest Post: An Introduction to QR Codes
19.   That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  Product Camp Atlanta: 25 QR Code Ideas in 10 Minutes
20.   That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  Follow Dan Smigrod’s QR Twitter Account: uSCANme
21.   That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  Free Daily Online QR Code Newspaper (The uSCANme Daily)
22.   That’s GREAT! – QR Code 101:  All ‘That’s GREAT!’ QR Code Lists, Videos, Articles and Resources

Bonus: GREAT! ScanLife Promo Code (“Invitation Code”) = great (for smallmediumlarge businessesand agency/resellers so you can play with a robust, paid scan code platform (For example: generate free QR codes to practice with and generate usage reports for these codes). When you are ready to use the scan codes commercially, please request a quote from ScanLife or email GREAT! CEO Dan Smigrod.

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*Though Quick Response (QR) brand scan codes are a registered trademark of Toyota subsidiary Denso-Wave, Quick Response Code (QR) are commonly – and incorrectly – used generically to refer to all Two Dimensional (2D) mobile barcodes: including ScanLife EZcode brand scan codes; Microsoft Tag codes; datamatrix codes; and still other scan codes that are scanned or photographed on a smartphone such as an iPhone 4. Saying Quick Response code or QR code is like saying that you TIVOed the TV show when you actually used the Comcast brand digital video recorder to record the TV show.