FINALLY! A Well Implemented QR Code Campaign

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While many in the marketing community jumped on board the QR code bandwagon, I’ve been very skeptical of the value they can and do deliver. I’ve been critical of how and where they are used. I’ve been critical of the way in which they are used. I’ve been critical of campaigns that send consumers to dead web pages, out of date coupons & websites that are not optimized for mobile.

I’ve been on a crusade to find a well planned and executed QR code campaign. My habit is to scan a QR code whenever I see one.  Every time I scan a new QR code, I’m filled with curiosity, trepidation and skepticism – hopeful that this may FINALLY be a well thought out campaign; a campaign that will showcase the possibilities of the technology and highlight a compelling business use-case.

Well. I found it.

I think.

Last night, I took the family to Red Robin (Yummmmm!) to celebrate my 6 year old son’s excellent report card (his choice). After dinner, we paid the bill and received our receipt, along with this:

Red Robin QR Code

Being the curious type, I scanned the code immediately and was quickly whisked away to the following series of screens.

Red Robin QR Code Sreenshot 1

Red Robin QR Code Sreenshot 2

Red Robin QR Code Sreenshot 3

Red Robin Add On Viral

I like this campaign for several reasons.

Timely

The code is presented at the most optimal time – the restaurant is seeking feedback on your experience. What better time to capture that feedback than while you are right there in the building.

Incentive

There is an incentive to scan it. A chance to win $1000, hell yes I’ll scan it!

Mobile Optimized

The experience was clearly optimized for mobile. Simple. Short. To the point. Answer just a few short questions. Get in. Get out.

A Better Way

This is an improvement over other alternative methods of collecting the same feedback. The team did not just slap up a QR code on a flyer because it was cool or trendy. I HAVE to think the response rate on this feedback survey is WAY UP over the previous iteration where a long url or phone number is printed on the receipt. I’ve NEVER taken a survey that way. Ever. I also have to think the feedback is more reliable because it is happening right at the point of sale rather than if/when the consumer got home and remembered to bother making a call or navigating to the internet.

Viral

I even like the last screen where they are giving you additional shots at winning money if you share with your friends. That’s another nice touch.

In my humble opinion, this is a well thought through campaign from end to end. What say you?

Featured image courtesy of lydia_shiningbrightly via creative commons on Flickr.

Sean McGinnis

Sean McGinnis is founder of 312 Digital, full service digital agency based in Chicago, Illinois. 312 digital provides high performing websites, SEO, content marketing and other online marketing services to small and medium sized businesses across the US. He speaks and blogs about SEO, content creation, social media and a number of other digital topics. Sean has been involved in Internet Marketing since 1998. You can find him on .

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19 comments
shadysayed
shadysayed

Sean,

 Interesting use of QR code. We're building a service that makes it easy for you to author QR codes and easily create the mobile websites behind them through a simple interface. We worked with the city of Luxor in Egypt and placed QR codes throughout the city that would give tourists more information about the monuments of the city. I know it sounds spammy but I'd really appreciate it if you checked our product out and gave us your feedback. It is still at its infancy so we'd like to have someone of your caliber have a look at it. our product name is tagipedia. you can google us (I don't want to link bait) but we are at tagipedia dot com. you will need to register for free and create an account before you can create your first QR code (we call them services at tagipedia. its a long story :)

I'd really appreciate your feedback.

TomMartin
TomMartin

Sean,

 Can't remember which ketchup brand it is -- but the next time you're at a Chili's and a few other places, look at the back label. They have a QR code on them that takes you to a similar, program... only instead of a survey, you play games, kill time, kind of thing.

Given the placement (in restaurant where you have to wait for your food) I found the entire thing very well executed. 


 @TomMartin

JimMadson
JimMadson

I completely agree. I get a monthly, local business publication that used to be filled with QR codes. I would scan all of them and I was always disappointed. The publication’s own ad that had a QR code that had a broken link. I called my ad rep and told her.

I was just looking at the recent issue and there were only two. One that went to a website that was not optimized for mobile and the other was a broken YouTube link. I took the opportunity to tell my coworkers that the QR code is dead.

We used them successfully a few years ago when we did both a print and interactive annual report for the Mayo Clinic. In the print version, the QR codes liked to videos that enhanced the written stories.

Here is one of the pages.

http://tinypic.com/r/2sb4g7s/4

TaraGeissinger
TaraGeissinger

I've never taken one of those receipt surveys either -- even with the promise of a prize. I think what I like best about this example is that it's just so user friendly. I've seen some good uses of it in tourist areas as well, where you can scan them and get more info about what you're looking at. It's one of those marketing techniques that just doesn't work for everyone. A few years ago it seemed *everybody* had to have a QR code, whether it made sense or not!

andykinsey
andykinsey

great way to use QR codes. I've seen a similar thing done at Pumpkin coffee in the UK and I think once at Starbucks, though it must have failed as they no longer do it.

melgallant
melgallant

I've never taken a survey that way either. Pretty cool to see a QR code that's actually useful!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

I would just like to say I appreciate that you had to point out you wouldn't normally go to Red Robin had it not been the choice of your son. It was like you were preparing to be teased incessantly by me. Darn.

Latest blog post: The Three Things, Edition 29

anitahovey
anitahovey

Boston Pizza does the same thing...I don't remember if the prize is that big though. Problem was I didn't have a QR reader on my phone, so I had to download it in order to participate. Not everyone would want to, or have space (problem with my previous phone). All in all, I agree, not a bad use of them.

Anita

Sean McGinnis
Sean McGinnis moderator

@TaraGeissingerI've seen one other "good use" of QR codes - at the recent MPI TechCon conference where I spoke they hung QR codes all over the walls and encouraged you to click on them - including in front of the urinals in the men's bathroom. REALLY creative and well done by @KyleHillman.  

Here's the video that appeared when you scanned the one in the men's room. Many more on Kyle's Youtube channel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tt7ihyxcQ3w

Latest blog post: Online Reputation Management

Sean McGinnis
Sean McGinnis moderator

@melgallant Right? I've seen so many QR codes that were just "used" and not well thought out at all. Nice to see someone thinking it through before choosing a QR code as the solution.

Latest blog post: Online Reputation Management

melgallant
melgallant

@ginidietrich Oh my gosh - I love Red Robin! We don't have that chain this side of Canada so whenever I'm back west we always make a trip for some all-you can eat fries. It's the seasoning salt Red Robin uses that makes those fries so delish. Terribly unhealthy butso delish!

Sean McGinnis
Sean McGinnis moderator

@anitahovey That's cool. The only way I can think of that might result in MORE data would be to hand the customers an ipad with the survey right on it. Not sure the results you'd get with that method would be as accurate though, because people might be wary of leaving the feedback - assuming you could tie it back to them.


This was pretty clearly handled by a vendor or agency on behalf of Red Robin (or so it seems). Would not surprise me if a company delivered this and then sold the solution into even smaller restaurants charging by the location or the number of patrons.

Latest blog post: Online Reputation Management

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