Videos and Phone Calls: Best Fit for QR Codes

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A fitness company called Weightplan unveiled a pretty cool use for QR Codes today. They call them ‘Gymcodes.’ The idea is simple. They put special QR codes on exercise equipment in gyms—on the dumbbell rack, on the treadmill, on the stair climber—basically on any piece of fitness equipment. Then, when you’re working out, you simply scan the QR code and see videos of how to use the equipment, demonstrations of exercises and messages of encouragement. You see a list of exercises applicable to the equipment and even hi-res photos of how to do an exercise.

They’re billing these QR codes as a window to your ‘Virtual Personal Trainer.’

And here’s the cool part: scanning the QR codes also allows you to log your workouts on the Weightplan website to keep track of progress, milestones and activities.

This is a great use of QR Codes.

Let’s review what makes this use of QR codes awesome:

–          Immediate access to something on the go
–          Useful information in real-time
–          Video content
–          Quick videos
–          On-the-go content
–          Video where you need it
–          Content that actually shows you something that teaches you something, instead of an offer, or a ‘salesy’ video
–          Integration with the website itself

This use of QR codes captures what makes mobile marketing great. Mobile users want relevant content immediately. They want video and they want integration with full-scale web apps. QR codes that send someone to a landing page simply don’t cut it.

The other way to use QR codes that is receiving a fair amount of attention lately is for phone calls. New data from Google shows that the majority of mobile ads and searches generate phone calls. Phone calls are the most natural action after seeing mobile ad or conducting a mobile search. It follows then, that a phone call is the most natural action after scanning a QR code.

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Why don’t more companies do this?

Why do we fight against the natural tendency of the mobile user? (Which is to make a phone call).

Try this: next time you produce a QR code attach a phone number (preferably a phone tracking number, so you can know how many people called it) to it. My guess is that your conversion rates are going to increase. Why do I guess this? Because that’s what’s happening when you combine mobile marketing and phone calls. Phone calls increase mobile conversion rates. For example, mobile Adwords conversion rates go up 5% to 8% when the model shifts from pay-per-click to pay-per-call. Google search click-through-rates increase by 4% when the copy says something about ‘Call Now’ or ‘Call Today.’ Google Adwords Call Extensions produce much higher conversion rates as well.

If it works for everything else, won’t it work for QR codes too?

Jason WellsContributed by Jason Wells
Jason Wells is the CEO of ContactPoint. Their new product, LogMyCalls is an intelligent call tracking solution that allows marketers to measure marketing ROI, lead quality, customer intelligence and conversion rates from online and offline sources. Prior to joining ContactPoint, Jason served as Senior VP of Sony Pictures over mobile business.

He earned his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

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