The Creative Side of QR Codes

QR codes are springing up everywhere you look. They are becoming a simple way for marketers to engage consumers. All a consumer needs is a mobile device with a camera and the ability to download the code reader application. With the amount of people owning a mobile device, marketers have vast amounts of people to reach. QR codes also allow marketers to unleash their creative side. These codes can lead a person anywhere a marketer wants. Whether the destination is to their website, a contest page, or even a separate page solely created just for the code, the possibilities are endless and creativity can really shine.

Need some creative ideas for your QR code? Here are some ways to add some spark to the black and white code:

* Link your business card to your Facebook profile, Twitter stream, or Linkdin account
* If you have t-shirts for your business, link from your t-shirt to you blog
* Link to a contest
* Link to a Google map that shows your location and provides directions and contact information
* Use ads to connect to mobile shopping
* Link clues to a treasure hunt to engage customers to become interested in your business
* Use a coupon to link to a special discount or sample/freebie
* Link to a product demonstration
* Use codes to link to fan forums, inventory, surveys, or mail in rebates
* Link to homepage to increase traffic on that website
* Link to a newsletter, press release, or promotions page
* Use a code on a printed catalog to link to an online catalog or an online store
* If you have a product that requires installation, link to how to videos or online manuals
* Link from a product to the product’s commercial

There are many ways to use QR codes.  See how many QR codes you see in a day, week, or month and look for how businesses are being creative using these codes.

Facebook is Gearing up for the Holidays

The holiday shopping season has officially started as Black Friday has once again snuck up on us. This crazy day of shopping provides great opportunities for businesses to motivate loyal customers and attract new ones with fun holiday promotions. Facebook has become a very popular outlet for holiday advertising and promotions. Businesses have used their Facebook pages to let consumers know about their upcoming Black Friday deals and have used it as another place to post their ads.

Lowe’s began running a series of display ads to push consumers to its Facebook Fan page that will provide a sneak peak to the specials on Black Friday. This sneak peak will happen at Midnight on Black Friday. The also used an email campaign to create buzz about their specials and perks.

Remember the Christmas crazed lady from Target’s commercials last year? She is back again and crazier than ever this year in a 27 second video on Facebook to remind consumers to go to Target’s 2-Day Sale. They also posted store maps and fun videos to get consumers excited for the annual shopping event. Target is also offering a contest that fans can enter for a chance to win a $25 Target Gift cards.

Office Depot is ready for the holiday shopping spree with posts on their Facebook pages. They share a link for 10 great holiday shopping tips. They also list Pre-Black Friday deals and the top 30 smart gifts. Office Depot’s competitor Staples is also using their Facebook page to post their weekly ad with Black Friday specials. They are also taking one step further and giving fans a sneak peak to their Cyber Monday deals.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

An important part of marketing is increasing market share and bringing new customers to the company. But at times, marketers are so focused on generating new customers that they forget to keep their current customers happy. Giving quality service and attention to customers is called customer relationship management (CRM).

There are a numbercrm customer relationship marketing networking handshake of reasons why a marketing plan focused just on getting new customers may fail. First of all, it is very expensive, especially for a small company, to market and try to attract new customers. There is a high price to pay to find potential customers, as well as implement a marketing plan of new advertisements and promotions. Not that it is a bad idea to attract new customers, but it is much more cost-effective to put a lot of focus on pleasing the current customers. Secondly, if a company is too focused on attaining new customers, their existing customers may not return or not go to that company for all of their needs. For example, if a customer is extremely happy with their car insurance company, they may go to them for all of their insurance needs.

By giving excellent service and going the extra mile with customer relationship management, customers are more likely to return and tell their friends about the company. Word-of-mouth is a free marketing tool that may come with exceptional service to current customers. Not only is it free, but potential customers are more willing to listen and respond to recommendations from their friends than they are to a random ad that they might see. Go the extra mile with quality service to please your customers, and you could see the difference in returning customers and new referrals.