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John Foley: QR Codes and Other Ways Your Audience Interacts with Print

Published on April 20, 2012

John Foley owner of interlinkONE and Grow Socially gives a few tips and tricks on QR Codes, mobile marketing, and other ways you can get your audience to interact with printed pieces of all shapes and sizes.

Hi, it’s John Foley from interlinkONE and Grow Socially and thanks for having me chat a little bit today about mobile marketing.  We’ll talk a little bit about QR Codes.  We’ll talk about other ways that you can help your audience interact with your printed pieces, whether they be posters.  

And it’s interesting.  In this particular discussion, I talk, okay, first of all, you see a lot more adoption, whether it be a QR Code or a SnapTag, beetag, Microsoft tag, of people actually interacting with these things.  Now, I think that'll continue to happen.  I think that we don't have a mass market here today, but you do have a lot of folks that are scanning QR Codes where they were unsure whether they would.  So there's growth there, right?  There's obviously growth in the mobile market. 

So what are some of the things that I’ve seen recently?  I attended the CES, the Photo Marketing Association at CES here in Las Vegas, and I’m always on the hunt for QR Codes, as most people know me from talking about them for a long time.  And it was really good to see (a) QR Codes in action that were done right, right, where they actually brought you back to a mobile experience or mobile-optimized site.  They had them on big square things hanging from the ceiling and they were big enough for me to scan from the floor.  I thought that was really well done.  I didn't see a lot of different types of tags there, but I saw a lot of QR Codes; as an example, just generic 2D barcodes. 

So with that said, I see them being used more and more and actually being used better.  I know they're still a little ugly, but we can put some logos on them, we can change colors of QR Codes and they can be used for different things that you actually have. 

Now, so a lot of folks ask me, so, John, what's next or what are we going to work on in terms of mobile.  And I say one of the things we want to talk about in mobile and what we’re working on as an organization example is really about geofencing.  And if you never heard of geofencing, it’s really the ability to put a fence around a location, and then, when somebody enters it or leaves it, if they signup and opt-in to a program, we could notify them.  So it’s been used for a long time in the trucking industry.  I know we’re talking about marketing communications.  But, when a truck left the area, it would send a notification or whatever. 

I think that's something else that we’re going to start to see.  A lot of people are still - you know, near field communications, I think we’re going to see that technology evolve, but it’s really based around the hardware of the phones versus actually the ability to be able to do it.  So we can do NFC today but not all the phones have the piece of equipment on it that we have but we’ll see those embedded. 

Back to geofencing, I think it’s going to be a great marketing tool when we can put and set up fences around locations for whether it be a retail storefront, your business, whatever it may be, maybe it’s a tourist attraction.  And, when people enroll in the program and opt-in, as long as they have location-based turned on in their phone, they’ll be able to actually be notified, if they choose to do so, whether it be a text message and it could be attached with a coupon, it can be whatever, to do that.  And that's called geofencing and I think that's another thing you’ll start to see adopted for mobile marketing purposes. 

But like I mentioned yesterday in my speech here at the very end, I asked all these service providers that, really, I look at them as communications service providers today, no longer just printers.  I said to them if you’re not looking at mobile marketing and the ways that you can help your customers tomorrow with mobile marketing, you’re already behind the curve.  So let’s learn about these things and I’d keep my eyes on how we can effectively use QR Codes, how we can look at near field communication down the road and then, last but not least, make sure you learn about geofencing because it’s going to be a great marketing tool.  

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