Quick Response (QR) codes may be the next big thing in advertising technology. The barcode-like graphics allow those viewing an advertisement to get more information about a product or service using their smart phone.
Municipal Credit Union in New York City began using QR codes in September 2010 (pictured above) to evaluate how effectively its ads break through the clutter, says Louise Cogan-Rupani, marketing manager for the $1.5 billion asset credit union.
“We hoped to create a more interactive experience for our members with our advertising,” Cogan-Rupani explains. “We feel QR codes, by creating a more interactive experience, create a more memorable message.”
Municipal uses QR codes on out-of-home advertisements, such as subway station ads, which advertise the credit union’s most popular products: VISA Cards, auto loans, and mortgages.
Although results so far shows a limited number of responses from QR codes, the 150+ click-throughs to Municipal’s product pages indicates members appreciate being able to get information quickly through their smartphones, Cogan-Rupani says.
She adds that an increase in overall awareness of out-of-home messaging shows QR codes help make the message more memorable. The credit union may use QR codes on traditional (i.e., print) forms of advertising in the future, as well as on advertisements promoting membership.
“Do not be intimidated by the new technology,” advises Cogan-Rupani. “QR codes are a great way to foster interaction and test advertising effectiveness.”
She says it’s important when implementing QR codes to make sure you have dedicated web pages for ads. That way, your message to members is clear and consistent.
This also allows credit unions to track the number of click-throughs and visits their websites receive.
LIBBY VERTZ is an intern in CUNA’s publications department. Contact her at 608-231-4096.