When people hear the phrase “mobile marketing,” they often think “text message marketing.” While text message campaigns can be a great way to reach users, they’re not the only approach when it comes to mobile marketing. In this post, we examine five points to consider when evaluating text message vs. QR code marketing as tactics for reaching your mobile users.
1. Mobile Phone Types
For starters, determine whether your audience uses primarily feature phones or smartphones. If a large percentage of your audience still uses feature phones, you’ll probably want to use text message marketing in order to best reach feature phone users. That’s not to say you can’t still experiment with QR code marketing for your smartphone-enabled audience members, but SMS is probably your best foundation for mobile outreach if feature phones are a major factor.
2. Opt-In Database
Before you can send text message marketing to your users, you’ll need to have them opt in to receive mobile communications from you. If you already have a robust list of users who have opted in, that’s great–text message marketing is for you. If you don’t have any users opted in, try sending your audience an email message asking them to opt in to text messages so they can get the latest money-saving offers and promotions. If you have some trouble building a mobile opt-in list, experiment with QR codes to see if you can attract users to opt in to your mobile communications that way.
3. QR Code Awareness
Most people have seen QR codes by this point, but the technology is still new to some. If your users have never heard of QR codes, don’t have smartphones (see #1), or are suffering from QR code fatigue, you’ll likely have trouble reaching them this way. Consider QR codes for appropriately placed (i.e., not underground or in the air) advertisements or for events, where you can tailor your QR code content to include information directly relevant to the event.
4. Business Type
What type of business do you engage in? If you’re business to consumer, text message marketing may work best–it can feel more personal and is easily targeted to specific offers, such as $1 off or buy one get one free. If you’re B2B, QR codes may help you tailor your printed materials or ads at different industry events to create content specific to a particular audience. B2B marketers can also create a QR code resume to put their contact information directly into colleagues’ smartphones, where they can act on it immediately.
5. In-Person or Virtual
QR codes are an in-person technology, best suited for physical ads or events. They’re not meant to be used on websites, blogs, or social media, where direct links are best–they should be used to lead people from offline to online content. If your business is based primarily online, text messages may be probably the best way for you to reach users on the go and drive them to your web presence. If you use a lot of print materials or atted many industry events, QR codes are a great way to connect the in-person experience to the mobile realm.
So that’s text message vs. QR code marketing in a nutshell! Keep in mind that you don’t have to choose either/or, and can employ a mix of SMS, QR, email, social, and other channels for your mobile outreach. We’d love to know: What mobile techniques have you used thus far, and how have they worked for you?