A little while ago, I got the opportunity to craft a QR code experiment on the OU campus. The premise was simple: Improve the campus discovery experience for prospective students.
In other words the idea was to digitize, improve and share data about the sooner spirit to future sooner. Campus wide QR implementation meant to serve two main goals:
- To improve campus promotion within the recruiting class by providing cool facts about the campus and the sooner lifestyle.
- To improve campus navigation for the incoming class, while integrating social interaction into our students’ lifestyle.
We chose to use Camp Crimson as our test field. For your information, Camp Crimson is a freshman immersion camp where the incoming class learns about campus and campus life.
After the whole experience, here are the five rules (in my opinion) that should guide you in the process of creating a QR campaign.
- Educate/Secure your content: One of the biggest misconceptions around QR codes is that people are automatically going to scan them if given the opportunity. The first thing you need to understand is content safety. People want to know they can trust your content. Reassure them that nothing malicious is going to happen to their device. This is critical. You need to educate your audience before end so they know what to look out for. To fix this, we created a brand for our scans. SoonerScan. And we taught our students our to use them before they came to campus. In result, when students see a QR code within our logo, they know it’s content approved.
- Understand your audience: QR scanners are not browsers. The reason people will scan your code is because they’re looking for more information, additional content or a limited promotional item (coupons, discounts, etc). QR Scanners are hunters. Note that because they are hunters some will be savvier than others. Therefore the success here lies in combining QR codes with other forms of media and communication channels. QR codes should not be your only strategy otherwise you might miss a segment of your audience.
- Mobile friendly content: Since QR scanners are hunters; they’ll most likely scan from their mobile device (phone or tablet). To maximize the experience your content need to be mobile friendly. Otherwise they will not enjoy the experience and move on with their life.
- Make the content valuable: Once again, it’s all about maximizing the experience. If you produce a code that links to your regular site, they’re not gaining anything new. Instead create a mobile friendly page with cool/fun facts or a sign up sheet for your organization. The key here is to combine interaction with engagement.
- Code density is critical: You need to control the density of the code you create. The density of the code is closely related to the amount of information you put on it. To facilitate the scanning process, try to limit the data as much as possible. Ideally you will just put a link that will launch a site, a video or prompt you to like a Facebook page.
To read the rest of my analysis, please visit my personal blog.