QR codes gain popularity in social media marketing

08/10/2012 01:44:00 PM
JIm Offner

With the growth of smart phones and accompanying apps, quick-response codes are starting to fill an important social media marketing role, some avocado marketing agents say.

The Irvine-based California Avocado Commission is using codes, said Jan DeLyser, the organization’s vice president of marketing.

“This year, we feature California avocado advertising in the bread aisle, and there are recipes posted, and QR codes on those that will take the consumer to a recipe,” DeLyser said.

QR codes provide instant communication to consumers who need information that may close a deal on an impulse sale, DeLyser noted.

“It’s further information at the point of purchase that can provide ideas on the spot, to give the consumer ideas,” she said. “To get the information to the consumer at the point of purchase helps generate more sales.”

For some marketers, QR codes are new enough technology that they are still trying to figure out how best to use them.

“We do QR codes, but we’re still trying to figure out what niche they play,” said Ross Wileman, vice president of sales & marketing for Oxnard, Calif.-based Mission Produce Inc.

Putting a code on an individual piece of fruit is a challenge, Wileman said, but Mission Produce uses them on some bags.

The Chilean Avocado Importers Association, Washington, D.C., is expanding its use of QR codes, said Maggie Bezart, marketing director with the association.

“All of our point-of-sale materials app to our QR programs,” she said.

It meshes well with the association’s social media efforts, Bezart said.

“We found we got great interaction with the consumer, and the QR code program is a part of that, driving them to our program each month,” Bezart said.

QR codes provide a venue for instant feedback, which is a key social-media strength, said Mary Ostlund, marketing director with Coral Gables, Fla.-based Brooks Tropicals LLC.

“We’re visible and vocal when needed,” Ostlund said.

Consumers often use Facebook as they would a search engine, and QR codes function much the same way in helping them find answers quickly, Ostlund said.



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katia billeci    
Washington, DC  |  August, 10, 2012 at 03:46 PM

What is the grocers role in QR code placement here? Thanks for the article!

Alan    
Silicon Valley  |  August, 10, 2012 at 06:43 PM

Great use of an old technology. GLIIF, LLC. has developed a superior solution with analytics.

Bruce Colthart (@bccreative)    
NJ USA  |  August, 11, 2012 at 02:47 PM

Don't blindly hop on the QR code bandwagon. Assume that no one will pull out their phone, launch an app, focus on the label and then drool over your so called content, egocentrically dubbed "more information" by you, the supplier. Consumers want to be WOWed when they commit to the scanning process. So you have to entice them with something they can't get elsewhere. Like the latest episode of a short, funny video, or a special coupon. Have a plan or else you're wasting your [and everyone else's] time .

Philip Warbasse    
Santa Monica, CA  |  August, 12, 2012 at 11:01 AM

The first time I ever saw a QR Code on produce was this past Spring for Dole bananas. The code was printed on a small sticker and placed directly on the fruit. It resolved to a mobile Website for Kids - once scanned. The experience was solid which is very important to a successful strategy. I own a design agency in LA. We do a lot of QR Code work, but none for this industry - we would like to start. Here is some quick advice and a few extra tips to consider - with all due respect to Jim Offner, who did a nice job with this article. 1.) Don't be afraid to use QR Codes - they are not going out of style any time soon. As long as traditional advertising and mobile exist, together, we'll need them. 2.) When you use a QR Code, make sure the User Experience to which it points is a good one. Make sure it's mobile friendly and compelling. 3.) Try not to print QR Codes less than an .75inches square. 4.) Regarding the white border around the outside of the code. It must remain in place. Don't cut it out. 5.) Designer QR Codes get more scans than standard codes, see http://print2d.com/dt/services_barcodes_designer.shtml 6.) Integrating traditional media with QR Codes enables you to track the response, but don't track the code (scan rate), track the full User Experience. 7.) User's can't do anything without a reader on their phone. You can help them for free. Direct them to 2DGO, found at http://www.2dgo.org (must be on your smartphone, not your desktop, to download readers). I hope that helps. Please feel free to contact me, should you have any questions. Thank You! Sincerely, Philip Warbasse PRINT2D http://www.print2d.com/dt

Kevin P.    
France  |  February, 25, 2013 at 04:25 AM

The user experience must be considered as a whole. The process must be flawless, starting from the scanning. Generate your codes for the best print quality (use a vector format, not a bitmap) because you don't want scan to fail. You can use this free EPS (PostScript) file generator online: http://kamocu.com/en/qrcode/ which can be inported in Adobe IdDesign or Illustrator. And don't over design your QR code as it won't work in difficult condition (low light, far distance...).

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