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Herron Printing & Graphics Shows Customers the Value in QR Codes

Published on December 16, 2011

Randy Heron of Herron Printing & Graphics shares a case study involving a long term client and how the brought QR Codes into recent campaigns.

Hi, my name is Randy Herron.  We are a printing company in a suburb of Washington D.C. in Gaithersburg, Maryland.  I’d like to talk to you about a program that we just recently ran with QR codes.  We have a group of restaurants in D.C. that are owned by the same people.  We have been doing print ads for them for years.  They are always trying to cram so much stuff in the ads that they don’t look attractive anymore and I think there is too much information on it.  I think it’s hard to kind of follow and see what is there.  We have been talking with them for probably about four or five months trying to convince them that the way to go is to just pick maybe three for four key items and then have a QR code at the bottom with everything else and they were worried about people not going to the QR code.  I told them what you should do is offer a coupon, maybe a free drink or a free appetizer and so when they go to the website they can print out that coupon, but plus they get everything they want to tell them.  They can elaborate on each point that they did put in the ad.  They can talk about other things that are coming up, even future events.  

So the customer wanted to do it after you know.  It has been a long term client.  I can talk to them well and I have been hounding them to death, so I don’t know if it was so much to get me off his back that he decided to do it or not, but at least he said we could try it.  So we tried on the 1st of December.  He said people were talking about it when they come in, that they went to QR code.  They saw the information.  He is sort of excited about it now.  One of the things I wanted to do was actually track the QR codes.  I wanted to know where did they hit it at, how many people hit it, how they were on the site, just all that information.  He wasn’t willing.  It was enough of a stretch to get him to actually do it and he wasn’t willing to put money out to track that.  Now that it has been two full runs of ads, so that’s like four ads for each restaurant have gone out that I think I have him convinced that either next month or the month after we’re actually going to start tracking it. 

One of the things that I thought with the QR code like when we were talking with this one particular client was that we wanted to make it so that it did something.  It wasn’t—like the idea with the ad was that fact that before it was so cluttered that you couldn’t read that ad and see what all was in there.  So the sales pitch or whatever for this was let’s de-clutter it, get it out there, but you’ll still get your information out by just going to a landing page on his website and that has been very successful.  

One thing that we have done with our business card is we still have a traditional business card because I'm not sold that everyone has it yet, but I want people to ask me what it is and try to get us to get that in conversation.  So we have come up with a new business card.  It’s just a two-by-two square.  On the front there is a photograph.  On the back is a QR code.  There is no information whatsoever.  So if they want the information they have to go to the QR code.  The whole point in doing that is it’s more for them to say hey, what is this and how does work and what you can do.  

The next step in this, our business, what I'm going to do is have like a visual business card, so that when you select that it actually goes to a website that will have our information where I can sit and talk for 35, 40 seconds about what we do and who we are and I think that going forward that QR codes will be on everything.  

Over in, I believe, it’s South Korea and in Singapore they said that on everything you do, I mean if go to Starbucks to buy a cup of coffee you actually—there is a QR code.  You scan it and it charges either your credit card or your phone bill depending on how you have it set up and I think that is coming here.  I mean it’s so easy to use and you can get so much information in it that I think it just makes sense.

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By Cahill Jones on Dec 31, 2011

Nice job Randy. I like the business card idea with the short video.


By John O'Rourke on Jan 04, 2012

Randy - Great video. It's good to see you again, my friend. Sounds like you used technology to solve a customer problem and educate them on new opportunities. Nice!


By winn taylor on Jan 10, 2012

nice job! in regards to your customers reluctance to track, due to additional cost, try google analytic. It's free. They will give you html code that can be copied into the code on the page you'd like to track. Super simple.


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