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DG3's Val Digiacinto gives insight into the effective use of QR codes

Published on September 24, 2012

Val Digiacinto, VP of Interactive Solutions at DG3, talks about his passion for QR codes and how they approached their go to market strategy for this area of their business and how to use them successfully.

Hi. Val Digiacinto, Vice President of Interactive Solutions at DG3. And we’re just going to discuss a little bit my passion about the use of QR Codes. We’re one of the country’s leading suppliers of QR Codes and mobile marketing, and we’re very passionate about how we feel the QR Code execution should really be utilized in all of the collateral that it’s in today. And what we’ve started to see was because it’s become such a popular buzzword and people just hear the word QR Code, people are excited about it and really want to do something that’s going to allow them to have a QR Code on their collateral, on their advertising, and they rush to do that so quickly that they create a failure. And the failure is not just for them but it really can tend to hurt the whole process of QR Codes.

So one of the things that we would like to discuss, when we were planning our Go-To-Market strategy we decided to take that whole process on. It was something I learned from a friend of mine, Mike Managio at DMB, that if you want to be successful, take on the project completely. And so our Go-To-Market strategy was to develop and design the QR Codes branded because we found that you get a 25 to 30 percent lift if it’s branded as opposed to a naked code or just that black and white QR Code. And that’s with or without our client’s help. If they have a design department we’ll allow them to work with us to get engaged with that design process as well. But we’ll execute it and guarantee that the QR Code will be scannable and will actually do what it’s supposed to do.

The second thing we do is make sure that we take care of the landing pages. So we’ll host the landing pages and we’ll design them again, with or without client’s help. If they’re designers and they’re following their brand from an agency we’ll be happy to have them supply that information to us. And last, but most importantly, is we gather the marketing metrics through a system we have that’s called AMP, and it’s a portal 24/7. It allows people to log on when they use their password and watch the program build in a dynamic way.

So you can sign in and an hour and a half later sign back in again and see the changes to the program after it’s launched and follow every one of the QR Codes, the micro-tracking, the location finder, all of the information. We can tell where people are doing hits, what publications are actually working and which ones maybe aren’t working. Did you make a spend as an inside front cover and find out that that extra spend on that particular publication wasn’t paying off as good as to run a book for another publication. So we can find out a lot of information, very powerful information.

But then there’s the other side of the story, and people rushing in and just trying to put QR Codes onto a page so that it’s there. And most often what we see is that they unfortunately put the URL that takes them to the landing page of their website, to their home page, and it’s the end of the engagement. The call to action that got somebody to spontaneously say hmmm, reach into their pocket, take out their cell phone or their Smartphone, and scan the QR Code was immediately stopped at that moment, because they wind up on a website that has nothing to do with the call to action on a page that they can’t read. When they zoom in to be able to read it they no longer can navigate. Even if they could navigate, they’d now have to go search for the thing that made them excited about wanting to scan the code to begin with.

So without an objective, without a call to action, without a reason for having the QR Code on that page, you’re really going to probably hurt the ad rather than helping it, or hurt the piece of collateral rather than helping it. People don’t want to fumble. They think the whole value of the QR Code process is to speed the process along and give me the instant gratification that I’m looking for in today’s world. So we like to say brand the code, make it a part of the call to action. You’d better be sure that the first thing they see after they scan it is something that relates exactly to why they scanned it to begin with. Whether it’s a piece of collateral, whether it’s an ad in a publication, whether it’s a billboard, whether it’s a phone kiosk, whether it’s a digital HDTV that they scanned or whatever it is, it better be relevant because if not, you’re going to drop them within seconds. And we’ve got the metrics that prove exactly that’s what’s happening.

So be relevant. Make sure the objective is there. Tell people why they should scan the code. Put a little tag line around the code to help push your message even further. Scan the code to; scan the code for. Give somebody a reason to scan the code and that’s the reason why they’ll hit it, and that’s the reason why you’ll have a successful campaign. So do it, but like Mike Holmes says, do it right.

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