By Brian Murray Throughout 2011 I saw hundreds of posts about QR Codes. Some proclaimed them as the future, some told you what they do, some explained how they can be used and some discussed how stupid they are. I have personally seen some amazing campaigns and some that I have found head scratching (including having one on the bottom right of a TV commercial). Recently, I was sent an advanced copy of Running the Gauntlet by Jeffrey Hazylett which included the use of an amazing new tool called SnapTags. I don't like QR Codes, but I love SnapTags.
What is a SnapTag?
My issue with QR Codes are two fold. First, they are ugly and cumbersome. They remind me of barcodes which all companies try to hide on the bottom or back of products. Why would you possibly want to put a picture of black dots on something that people took hours to create? In comes SnapTags. SnapTags are similar in feature but with one amazing difference. They look pretty! The circle around the image you choose is the key, and can be customized to do whatever you would like!
My second issue is the difficulty they pose. QR Codes require a reader which requires a smartphone or application. They can't be used by everyone. SnapTags allow you to take a picture with any phone and then text them to a specified number. The information is then provided to the person via text message! This taps into the valuable and under serviced market of "dumb phones".
How can a SnapTag be leveraged? The purpose of using either a QR Code or SnapTag is to provide a valuable takeaway from a brand or organization. Jeffrey Hayzlett does this masterfully in his book Running The Gauntlet. At the beginning of each chapter he placed a SnapTag that lead to a video, and the ability to follow him on a variety of Social Media platforms. There was value for each piece of media. These types of Mobile Marketing campaigns must provide value, I often think of them as digital business cards. Give the person the information they will need for later consumption or give them another reason to interact with you.
3 Personal Pet Peeves for QR Codes:
- Don't link me to your mobile website. I can already find that with the website you listed above the QR code.
- Make it easy. Don't put it on a TV commerical in the bottom right which is only visible for 7 seconds. I cannot and will not dive across the coffee table in my living room to use it.
- Give me something. If I am taking the additional effort of engaging with you through a QR Code or SnapTag, please justify this effort.
Jeffrey Hayzlett is a global business celebrity and former Fortune 100 c-suite executive. From small business to international corporations, he puts his creativity and extraordinary entrepreneurial skills into play, launching ventures blending his leadership perspectives, insights into professional development, mass marketing prowess and affinity for social media.
Jeffrey is a leading business expert, cited in numerous books, magazines and newspapers worldwide, and a frequent television guest and commentator, having appeared on shows including MSNBC’s Your Business, Fox Business News, and NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice with Donald Trump, among others. He is executive producer of a number of global television projects and Celebrity Editor of the largest circulation social media and business magazines in the world. With a strong following in business and social media communities, he’s recognized as one of the Top 10 c-suite Twitterers and a key influencer in the social media landscape.
SnapTags was created by SpyderLynk which is a mobile developer. They are currently working with brands such as Bud Light, Toyota and Neutrogena.
Do you love QR Codes and SnapTags? Where have you seen them used well? Comment below or tweet me!