Mike Templeton helps food and beverage marketers turn online attention into in-store sales. He's worked with companies large and small – from big box retailers to upstart products – to activate their brands in today’s digital world.
Putting aside existing use cases like airline tickets and Apple Wallet passes, QR codes absolutely need a mass adoption event in order to prove their worth. If we expect consumers to exert the energy to engage with QR codes, the value must be clear and the experience must be frictionless. The food industry’s campaign with Smart Label – both with the introduction of on-pack codes and their education iniatitive – could be that event that QR codes need.
You’ve outlined both necessary components exactly. Without immediate relevant value, there’s no hook for consumers to engage. And if you can convince them to scan, the experience has to be effortless. Anything less will get tossed aside and ignored in every subsequent opportunity.
I agree completely about the experience. Accessing QR codes was always clunky before, but it was the even more terrible accompanying marketing experiences that drove their downfall. This was a result of poor experience design; you can’t blame QR codes for that.
Who do you think those are more attractive for? Consumers, marketers, or solution providers? The biggest thing QR codes have going is that the protocol for creating them is well-documented and standardized – and anyone can create one for free. When you couple far-and-wide distribution of codes with natively integrated scanners, I think there’s a real opportunity for these to come back in a big way.
Have you seen Apple built this into their camera now? And you can get to the camera right from the lockscreen. Google beat them by integrating a scanner into Google Chrome (which Firefox has done now too), but I agree that the lack of native integration was always one of the biggest challenges.
The opportunity for grocers in social media is large -- it's where their customers spend the majority of their digital time -- but the fact so few consumers follow grocery retailers is probably more representative of the current state of grocers' efforts on these platforms, not that there's a lack of interest.
If grocery retailers want to capitalize on the time and attention consumers give these channels, they have to consider what would be valuable to their audience. Although retailers may want to be there to "connect," consumers are saying they'd most prefer to be alerted to discounts. Start with what your customers want, and then segment out other activities that could be beneficial to different customer groups.