We recently finished helping a client run a QR code promotion. It was the first QR code campaign I worked on directly; it was also the client's first. The campaign lasted a week and was loosely modelled on a scavenger hunt. We placed eleven QR codes across a variety of print and online placements, using five partners in addition to the client's own properties. Twice a day we released clues on the client's Facebook fan page as to the locations of the codes. And for every QR code you found, you gained an entry into a draw for a prize.
A few things came up during the campaign that I thought I would share here for when you're doing your next QR Code campaign. Either things we anticipated, didn't think would be a big deal and turned into a big deal - or things we didn't really anticipate and had a bit of a scramble about.
Kate's Five Things You Should Do for Your Next QR Code Campaign
1. Always have a non-smartphone option for entry.
There's a reason we pay lawyers a lot of money. My client's lawyers, in reviewing the contest guidelines, made sure we had a way to enter the contest if you didn't have a smart phone. I wasn't too concerned because a) who DOESN'T have a smart phone (ahem, my own arrogance and naiveté) and b) if for some reason you didn't have a smartphone, I expected people to just say "Hmm, guess I won't enter" (more personal arrogance and naiveté).
I was SHOCKED by the number of people who left angry, angry comments on the Facebook wall about having to have a smart phone to enter. Accusations of discrimination and threats to boycott were rife. It was epic. The interesting thing was we actually put everywhere we promoted the contest, a note to see the Rules & Regs for a way to enter if you didn't have a smart phone. People don't read. So the community manager patiently (and in a much more friendly tone than I would have mustered) answered each accusation with a link to the Rules & Regs. What was especially awesome is that other fans started answering as well - which rekindled my faith in the self-policing of online communities.
But the point is, if we hadn't had that option in the Rules & Regs, it would have been quite a different story. So make sure if you're using a non-ubiquitous technology as a contest entry, that you have a lower-tech, alternate way to enter.
2. Test test test, especially with your client's boss's boss's phone configuration.
All the case studies about running any kind of QR Code campaign or promotion says to test, Test, TEST! Different hardware, different OS versions, different QR Code readers. We did this. I even had a testing matrix. It was a thing of beauty. But, we approached our testing by figuring out which phone/OS combinations were the most popular - both in Canada (using data from ComScore's MobiLens) as well as with the client's stakeholders by checking their web stats. Here's the overview data from ComScore: