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QR Codes: Marketing Force or Fad?

All the marketing innovation in recent years has taken place in the digital world. From social media to web site engagement to “cloud-based” marketing automation tools, there aren’t many things coming along that capture people’s excitement in the print domain. So that’s partially why the explosive growth of “QR codes” has captured everyone’s imagination. The powerful little squares that look a bit like bar codes are showing up everyone, limited only by marketers’ imaginations:

  • On ads that link to a video
  • On roadside real estate signs that link to a video tour of the home’s interior
  • On trade show displays that link to demos or web locations
  • On brochures that automatically dial a phone number
  • On the back of business cards that load contact information into your Outlook database

There are already hundreds of clever applications, but perhaps the best example we’ve seen are actually mounted on gravestones! The QR code can link to a video remembrance of the deceased, or perhaps even the deceased himself, a voice from beyond the grave!

The rule for B-to-B marketers? Make sure it links somewhere optimized for mobile display, and that whatever link you provide adds value in moving the sales process along. Avoid ideas that mean little: putting a QR code on a webpage that just links to another web page, or putting it on an ad that links only to a home page already listed in the ad.

We’ve been able to monitor click traffic on web pages for a while now by using Google Analytics. But where do a visitor’s eyes go? Where are the dead spots on your web design, and exactly how far down are people scrolling on each of your main pages? We’re answering those questions with a new tool called ClickTale, which provides fascinating “heat maps” that identify where the mouse travels on a web page (but may not click). Why track mouse movement? Because there’s an 80 percent correlation between your eye movement and where the mouse travels. Quick hit: with one client, we learned that the unusual placement of its all-important “quote” button, even though it was at the top of the page, rendered it nearly invisible.