Five Successful Ways to Use QR Codes | MarketingProfs

Loves me some square hieroglyphics. From MarketingProfs comes this piece on proper care and feeding

Here are some tips on making the most of QR codes.

  1. Use content that is unexpected and customized for that particular moment. Don’t just send customers to a generic website.
  2. Naturally integrate the codes into consumers’ lives. If you’re a wine brand, for example, offer intriguing recipe pairings or entertainment ideas.
  3. Use the technology to measure and deliver insight. Capture email addresses, locations, buying behavior, and more. Setting up a QR code without that extra layer is missing out on its value to you, the marketer.
  4. Make sure the QR codes are scannable. Just this year, Facebook painted a humongous QR code on the rooftop of its headquarters. This followed an early trend to place QR codes in impossible places. They are tough to scan when you’re a human being with your feet on the ground. Keep the size and placement of the QR code simple and convenient. Don’t oversize the codes, and don’t make them too tiny to be seen.
  5. Think about place-based advertising for QR codes. A Korean fast food place hung its codes outside, where the codes were only scannable when the sun cast shadows over them—at lunchtime. The reward for scanning was discounts and deals at the restaurant. Guinness added them to beer glasses, so the codes were only visible when the glass was filled with its dark beer. If you know where your consumers are, ask yourself what they need from you right that minute. The answer will deliver some clever ideas for valuable or fun content.
via (note: the piece was contributed by Sherry Orel of Brand Connections; click through to see some examples - esp the Guiness!)

when my organization used these in fundraising event posters, I lobbied to have the code direct to a special registration form that included some mobile-optimized content about the event as well as the fields from the standard form. baby steps...


Marshalls Launches Unique Facebook Contest To Win $5000 Wardrobe (via allfacebook)


cool promotion. will be interesting to see if the core marshalls shopper engages - or is it an attempt to broaden the base?

Marshalls is launching a unique Facebook campaign for the next three weeks where people are asked to sign up as fans, take quizzes and earn keys to unlock a free $5,000 wardrobe.  The concept was designed by Hill Holiday and represents yet another big brand moving into Facebook.

The campaign involves users first signing up as a fan for Marshalls at the Marshalls’ Facebook Page.  The contest starts each Thursday, where fans play a quiz based on the campaign’s online videos.  Completing the quiz gets you the key, and for each key earned, $1 is donated to the Dress for Success charity.


Then, as Wednesday hits, key holders are reminded to come back to the fan page to try their key between noon and midnight Eastern time to see if it unlocks a ‘virtual wardrobe’ worth $1000. 25 keyholders also win $50 gift cards.

According to HH:

The campaign culminates on Wednesday, April 28th at noon (eastern) with a live, interactive “virtual grand prize event” streamed from NYC and brought to everyone viaUstream.  Fashion-wise shoppers can watch and participate in the event on Marshalls’ Facebook, and various fashion influencer blogs where theUstream player and social stream will be embedded.

HH also talks about some of their more interesting features of the campaign:

  • TV spots are not only tagged with a “drive to” Marshalls’ Facebook page but include a voiceover mention aimed to increase receptivity to go online and engage.
  • For each week’s kickoff, we’ve created a 24 hour media stunt to help grab attention and invite consumers to Marshall’s Facebook page to earn their key. Check out today as we’ve skinned the site as one big Marshalls shopportunity.
  • We’re using Facebook engagement ads in two ways. First, the “become a Fan” video engagement ads will showcase the week’s shopportunity video (a “behind the scenes” extension of the TV spot). And, second, the “become a Fan” event ads will enable Marshalls’ to invite others outside their Facebook page to the April 28th live event.


Go Big, Get Your Employees on the Bus or Go Home (via

The following is also my column in next week's issue of Advertising Age.

Go Big, Get Your Employees on the Bus or Go Home

Photo credit: Traffic by scottpowerz

The single biggest challenge that marketers face over the next ten years is attention scarcity. Bank on it.

According to Andreas Weigland,'s former chief scientist, more data was generated by individuals in 2009 than in the entire history of mankind. Human attention, however, is finite - and arguably, it shrinks as we age. 

The end result is downright ugly. It's like 25 lanes of traffic trying to squeeze through two Lincoln Tunnel tubes during the peak of rush hour. Your marketing programs may be the biggest, baddest bus in the flow, but you're competing with everyone else for the same space and time. Chances are, however, your bus is empty. Park that idea for now. We'll come back to it.

Each individual, whether it's a stay-at-home mom or a twenty-something online addict, will develop his/her own coping mechanisms. Some of these decisions will be conscious. Many of them won't be. And that spells trouble for marketers.

Already one of the ways we're coping is by digging deeper into social networking sites to connect with our friends and interests. According to Nielsen, globally consumers spent more than five and half hours on social networking sites in December. This represents an 82 percent increase year over year. Human beings have always been drawn to each other. Social networking just makes this easier and scalable - or does it?

Robin Dunbar, professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Oxford University, discovered that we are only capable of managing 150 friendships - this includes brands. Once again, we're handicapped by our darn brains.

Marketers know they need to be engaged in social networks. Some 45% of senior marketers surveyed by The Society for Digital Agencies said that social network engagement is their top priority. However, many marketers that I speak to don't understand the sheer scale that's required, given the above challenges. 

To succeed in a world where attention remains scarce and our brains are limited, businesses must go beyond campaigns and move to real-time engagement. I believe the best way to accomplish this is scale. This means every business must become a social business by deeply integrating their often decoupled employee engagement and digital engagement initiatives.

In short, to revisit the aforementioned metaphor, you must go big, get your employees on the bus, put more buses into the traffic flow or go home.

So what exactly does this look like? It means unshackling your employees. It means equipping them with tools, policies and the means to engage with stakeholders around the clock. Finally, above all, it means allowing your workforce to unlock and share their company and subject-matter expertise. 

According to fresh data from our own Edelman Trust Barometer, we're desperately seeking expertise. Informed publics are more likely to trust what they hear from experts over any other source.

However, the reality there are very few companies understand this. Most are still taking a campaign approach to social networks where it's the brand, not the people, that are the voice - and there's usually only one.

What's worse, the Berlin Wall stands tall inside Corporate America. Robert Half Technology found that only 10% of corporate chief information officers grant their employees full access to social networking sites. Those that do probably aren't guiding them. Manpower reports that only 20 percent of companies have social network policies.

Change must begin at home. If you don't get your employees on buses, your competition will and it will be harder to covet attention. This is every business' challenge in 2010 and beyond.