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QR codes: Can they play in the B2B world?

23 Mar

I’m coming off the heels of SXSWi and one thing that was very noticeable was the use of QR codes. On collateral, posters at booths, t-shirts and even on a man dressed completely in green spandex. My client used QR codes at the booth, and a lot of people pulled out their camera and took a shot.

Today, I got one of my favorite magazines and on the back cover ad there was a QR code for Lancome. They seem to be popping up everywhere.

I understand their practical use when it comes to a B2C play and I even understand the B2B play at events and trade shows. Outside of that, I’m not really sure how they will start showing up in B2B. I searched on “QR codes B2B” and found an interesting post from GlenTaylor, “Do QR codes have a role in B2B marketing?” He makes some good points but I still wonder if there’s more.  Another blog pointed out all the functions a QR code can perform, “Can QR codes find a home in B2B marketing?“- dial a phone number, send a text, send an email, etc. Honestly, I thought they could only take you a Web page.

I don’t doubt that we’ll see more of these popping up in both the B2C and B2B world. It will be interesting to see how creative the B2B world can get with these.

Where have you noticed QR codes popping up lately?


Event Marketing Gone Wrong

2 Nov

Who would miss this?

My neighbor raised $1,000 for a charity in less than 5 days for the opportunity to rappel down the side of a historic hotel in downtown Austin.

I thought, “This is going to be awesome, the charity is going to receive amazing exposure.”  I could already envision the crowds of people that had made plans to attend and the  downtown foot traffic that would come to a complete stop when they saw what was happening.

Guess what? None of this occurred. Some people stopped, but only to look at the event MC to figure out what she was talking about (her voice echoed for blocks). One person even asked, “Is (insert the sponsor name) hosting a contest?” There was no charity signage, or very little, on the side of the street where the event sponsor, announcer and spectators were positioned.

Where did this event go wrong?

  • Target audience: volunteers for the organization, adrenaline junkies, companies that wanted free publicity, anyone interested in helping out a nonprofit should have been targeted as fundraisers, sponsors or attendees for this event.  The one ad I heard for this only requested fundraisers.  I never heard a schedule or request for spectators.
  • Promotion: every business within a 1 block radius should have known this was going to happen so they could hop out, grab a coffee and check out people rappelling 15 stories down an iconic hotel.
  • Awareness: it was not evident whom this event was for. The sponsor name was more apparent than the charity that was putting on this event. Some additional signage, event volunteers and charity participants would have made a difference. No one took the time to tell me, one of about 12 spectators, about the charity while I stood there for over an hour.
  • Voice: unfortunately the MC stayed on the microphone all day.  It would have been great to hear the voice of the individuals that had raised at least $1,000 and rappelled down the side of the building all in the name of charity.  It was a missed opportunity to hear from others what this charity and event meant to them.  It would have been great to hear from a couple of volunteers even.  Anyone that had a passion for this charity could have helped fill time (about 15 minutes) between each person rappelling.

The highlight of the event was my neighbor wearing a banana suit while launching herself down the building. For her sake, and the sake of the charity, I wish she’d had more people cheering her on.