Long before I turned my attention to internet marketing, I was heavily involved in billboard advertising for multiple companies. Billboards are great for reaching large numbers of people, but difficult for tracking return on investment (ROI). The question I spent far too much time trying to answer was, "Do these Billboards actually WORK?!"
FINALLY, there is an effective solution! QR CODES
By using a QR Codes linked to a website, social network profile or product offers an advertiser is now able to track where customer saw their billboard and the rate of return on these billboards. QR Codes are customizable interaction points that point users to a specific url, photo, video or text online. All the user must have is a smart phone and a QR scanner. Please see the following example for a better illustration of the capabilities of QR codes.
For Example: Ron Jon's Surf Shop in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
Ron Jon's has billboards all over the state of Florida. They are trying to figure out which express way (I-4, I-75 or I-95) gets more tourists through their doors. It used to be a guessing game, however QR Codes will allow Ron Jon's to get a much better picture of where their tourist traffic is coming from (literally).
Ron Jon's could set-up 3 different QR Codes to be used on the 3 express ways. Depending on the traffic to the associated URL's plus any other variables they would like to set up, they can decide where there is more traffic that is interested in their shop.
They could also track these QR Codes in relation to coupon redemption. Ron Jon's gives out 15% off coupons, by pointing the QR codes at 3 unique Coupons, they could even track where the customer saw their billboard and whether or not they came into the store to redeem it.
Ron Jon's could also enhance a marketing technique they already use, a count down to their shop. As shown in the photo a RJ's billboard, they post the milage to their store on nearly all billboards. The QR Code could also point to this information to make this technique more interactive. I know if it were me interacting with a brand for 200 miles, I would be determined to at least visit the store when I got there!
If it were me in charge of the content, I would point the QR Codes to a fun voice file with some surf music or trivia. If each billboard had a new trivia question about surfing, it would turn finding Ron Jon's billboards into a game for traveling families. I would also talk up all the things there is to do once you get to the surf shop like take lessons, rent surf boards, or shop.
QR Codes are the tracking device billboard advertisers have been looking for. This will allow advertisers to interact with customers and track their results like never before. Finally this old fashion form of advertising is interacting with the 21st century!
Related Post: What is a QR Code?