Written by Christine Winter
PR/ Marketing Programs Manager
XMPie,  A Xerox CompanyGood Sports QR Code

You may have heard about a study by the Centre for Experimental Consumer Psychology at Bangor University that used Magnetic Resonance Imagery (MRI) scanning to understand how the brain reacts to physical and virtual stimuli. The findings: physical material involves more emotional processing, which is important for memory and brand associations, and produces more brain response connected with internal feelings, suggesting greater “internalization” and aiding of motivation.

For me, this explains why print continues to keep up with new media channels while other traditional ones fade…. why we seem to prefer to receive offers in the mail over online…or why it’s still refreshing to receive a birthday card in the mail vs. a Facebook wall post.

That said, I agree with many that it’s time to start thinking about new and unique ways to make print dynamic and connect it to the digital world. There are some really cool up-and-coming technologies that enable this. I’ve heard of embedding LCD screens into postcards or brochures, and I finally even got to try out augmented reality at this year’s Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival.

But if you’re not ready to go there, you should consider QR Codes. Believe it or not, QR Codes really are gaining popularity, and they’re cheap and easy to use. A recent Economist article said that three-quarters of American online retailers surveyed by Forrester, a research firm, use QR Codes, and that in April, nearly 20% of smartphone users in America scanned one, up from 14% in May last year.

Several XMPie customers have had great success with QR Codes. For example, when Good Sports Outdoor Outfitters, a family-owned retail store that has been operating in San Antonio, Texas for over 25 years, needed to breathe new life into its marketing efforts, its service provider, the e.f. group, suggested a multichannel campaign that would offer interactive mobile marketing.

A custom, branded QR Code was integrated into a weekly full-page ad in the SA Current and multiple personalized direct mailers, and led to a landing page where the user could opt in to provide a name and email address to receive a coupon via email. Shoppers now had the option to print the coupon or simply show the digital coupon on their phone at the store.

The QR Codes received 335 unique hits, and 202 email addresses were collected through QR Code campaign. Plus, 37 QR Code responders made purchases at the store totaling $4849.34 in sales. Tracking of the campaign provided measurable results for an ROI of 103% for QR Code-generated sales.

Are you realizing success with QR Codes like Good Sports, or struggling for scans? Either way, check out this other blog post for some tips for integrating QR Codes into campaigns.