Personalize and drive to retail
Not everything is about big brands and national programs. Using MailChimp, a popular email marketing platform, marketers can use their latest feature "Pyow" to send a unique QR code to each recipient of an email. These emails are then printed out and redeemed at retail.
Lesson 19: People do actually go to physical stores, in the real world, with real people. Customized coupons, offers, and redemptions are great ways to drive foot traffic and determine the success of your email campaign efforts. If you are a smaller brand, this solution is ideal. This is a solution that will almost exclusively work for small local retailers as the staff will have to have the technology to scan the offers and integrate. That's OK, small business needs some exclusive loving.
Men are not very complicated; just tease us and we respond
You know, I would like to think that as men we have evolved beyond some of our basic instincts; however, sadly, I do not think we can. Those baser instincts are just that, base instincts that we are almost hard wired with. I can choose to react more softly to them; however, completely ignoring them would just cause those instincts to be repressed. And things that are repressed for too long tend to come to light in very ugly ways. Better to acknowledge those instincts, bring them into the light, and then choose how we react to them. For it is really our reaction in society that is important, not our thoughts.
Victoria's Secret incorporated QR codes into its "Sexier than Skin" campaign. The concept was simple: Huge billboards were installed with nearly nude models. QR codes were then placed over the most "revealing" areas, enticing users to scan the codes to reveal the secret -- the "secret" being their line of women's lingerie.
Lesson 20: Men will almost always respond to the thought that maybe, just maybe, we will get to see some boobs. Somehow, the one-in-a-million error will happen, and we are just going to see the naked photo. I do not know where this reptilian brain thought comes from that we temporarily delude ourselves into believing in the possibility of the impossible, but it happens.
Those who deny our baser instincts usually do not believe in evolution, for this is almost certainly a combination of evolutionary desire combined with a misogynistic cultural upbringing. I suspect that future generations, as sexual desires are more open than they used to be, will respond less to the "sex sells" motif; however, this specific campaign is designed well. It targets those who they have always targeted to drive their brand -- males -- and it does it in a way that integrates their product.
Victoria's Secret is in the business of fantasy creation, and they manage it very well.
QR codes serve a purpose, but only if we are asking ourselves the right questions. And that question has nothing to do with QR codes, but a sound digital marketing strategy.
Tweet this by clicking on it* @seanx. I resolve to sign "The QR Code Anti-Stupid Usage Pledge."
*The fact that some people had to be told means that they should have definitely clicked on it.
Sean X Cummings founder and difference maker, SXC Marketing.
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"Scanning QR code with mobile" image via Shutterstock.