These days there are a ridiculous number of ways to reach out to your members and prospective members. So many, in fact, that it’s becoming a tad overwhelming . We’ve all heard about and have (sometimes unwillingly) joined Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, but it seems like every day there is a new way of reaching out to prospective members while staying connected with current members. Tumblr? What the heck is that? As a marketing nerd, I have to sign up for this and attempt to remember yet another set of usernames and passwords. Not to mention I have to quickly learn how to maneuver the site and create a new marketing strategy for …. Pinterest, who?
I’m going to begin by asking you not to hate me because I too, have something new (or maybe not so new to some) for you to explore! It’s called a QR code. Hold on, don’t run away! QR codes have been around since the mid 90’s but they didn’t become popular until mid-2011! To many people’s dismay they are being used more and more because it’s so easy, a caveman can do it! (Yes, corny. But in my defense, I did warn you that I’m a marketing nerd.)
Q: What does QR even mean? A: QR codes work, are easy to create, and are easy to implement into all of your marketing. With QR codes, you can actually track those pretty pictures that you place in magazines in ways that you couldn’t before. Pretty cool, huh? So, what was originally created in Japan as a “quick response” code (Ding! Ding! We have a definition!) to track car parts by vehicle manufacturers, is now being used by the inquiring minds via mobile phones from…where? Yes, the condiment bottles in your fridge (and a whole lot of other fascinating places too)!
Q: How does this funny looking image work? A: Hang on folks, I’m getting there! I want to reiterate again how easy this is to use and how quickly it can be created. In the time that you’ve been reading my nerdy yet intriguing blog post, you could have had your unique QR code created, slapped on a piece of marketing collateral and sent to print. Yes – that fast. It’s as simple as pulling up a search engine and typing in “create a QR code”. Voila! After you receive your trendy collateral back from the printer, and one of your members picks it up, they can scan it with an app they downloaded onto their mobile device. (Yep, “there’s an app for that”). Hopefully, the landing page that you directed them to will be just as exciting as that collateral they picked up!
Q: Where do I put these things? A: Well, to many peoples surprise, us Americans aren’t even close to using them the way the Koreans are, but does that remotely surprise you? Can you imagine completing your grocery shopping from the subway and having it delivered to your apartment by the time you get home? Picture it, after a long day at work and while you wait with a few other hundred people for your train to arrive, you can literally turn to a wall that hosts images of grocery items and you click to your heart’s desire for the items that you need! Sounds slightly unappealing but how ridiculously convenient, right? By the time you get home and heat up your leftovers, your groceries will have arrived. Talk about saving time! It’s happening right now as we speak, (er, read). Moving closer to western civilization a.k.a. “home”, QR codes are literally everywhere (except in the subways…for now anyway…). Take a look around, you might be surprised! =)
Here is a short list of suggestions for credit unions to implement the use of QR codes in their marketing:
- Magazine ads
- Brochures and flyers
- Statement inserts and ads
- Community event banners
- Signage at your credit union branches
- Business cards
There are, of course, certain places that I would not suggest that you use QR codes:
- Billboards – I would never (and legally can’t) endorse the use of mobile devises while operating a vehicle
- TV commercials – I don’t know about you, but typically I don’t watch TV with my QR scanning app up and ready to fire at a moment’s notice
- Websites -generally a link is much easier
- Tattoos – I’m not making this up folks!
There. Now you are privy to yet another medium to market your credit union along with a few of my tips. No usernames, no passwords. Just quick, easy and a great way to drive prospects to your website or other unique landing pages that I’m sure my fellow marketing nerds would love to create for you! So, next time you ask Aunt Mary to pass the ketchup, check the bottle. I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
For more information on QR codes and Personalized URL’s (PURL’s) and how your credit union can benefit from using them, check out the whitepaper from one of our very own Preferred Partners, Cathedral Corporation.
Post written by Melissa Thompson, Marketing Manager, NAFCU Services Corp.
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