I speak to all kinds of business owners on a daily basis. Sometimes it’s very clear how I can help them, and sometimes it takes a bit of time for me to figure out how I can provide them with a service or product that they can make use of. Lately however, I’ve found myself asking my clients about what types of advertising they are doing on the Internet. The reason that I ask this is you’d be amazed at how many business owners there are out there that advertise blindly. What does that even mean? It’s very simple actually, if you’re creative enough, you can realize that you can use the Internet efficiently to track all your print advertisements.

AWG QR CodeWe recently put a QR code generator on our site. A QR code stands for Quick Response. It creates a graphical box that people can scan quickly on their smart phones and it will bring up a response. The very interesting thing is if you make the QR code open up a URL such as www.yoursite.com/NYTIMES then you can use it to track through Google Analytics the amount of people that actually went to your site. (Note – to those of you out there who bring their phones into the bathroom, DON’T – I dropped mine in the toilet today and T-Mobile phones do not agree with toilet water – I’ll answer your next question for you as well – the toilet water was clean!)

Now, you can really start to use this very creatively if you start to catch my drift. Let’s say you have a retail store for example, and you sell shoes. You can have a QR code on a billboard on your display stands so people can scan it and immediately “Like” you on facebook, while they are shopping in your store. A URL for the QR Code must be made for a facebook “Like” page. Then once they’ve “Liked” you, you’ll be able to communicate special offers and deals. For example, they could show their phone to the person at the register when they are paying for their items and receive $5 off their order over that is over $50. Now you’ve successfully acquired another way to communicate with a person who has already purchased from you.

Another very good way to use these QR codes for tracking is to use them in a magazine or print advertisement with a landing page on your website with a special offer or ‘call to action’ such as ‘Scan This QR code and get $10 off your next order”. Then when they do, it brings them to the correct landing page where they can buy it.

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You are always seeing “Buy Now” buttons all over the Internet. How about if you had a “Buy Now” QR Code in your print advertisements? Let’s say in this example you have a website that sells all different kinds of Eyeglasses. Let’s also say that you want to have print advertisement for the top 5 brands out there. (For those of you who don’t’ know, many times you can get spiff points or credit towards advertisements from manufacturers – that’s why you see the Intel logo on Dell computer commercials). You could have a custom QR code for each pair of glasses you have advertised that week with a “BUY NOW” QR code. When they scanned that QR code it would automatically put their item in the shopping cart for them. I’ve yet to really see any company take advantage of this type of marketing, but if you start to try and train or re-train your brain to think this way, you’ll be able to use all my ideas with your Google Analytics and get reports instantly. Remember, you can use the Internet to track all of your print advertisements, you just may not be aware that you can. Here at Active Web Group we have a very comprehensive analysis on a business model and the functionality the client or potential client may be using effectively to maximize their revenue stream. The most important thing I’d like to leave you with is this, information is king. Make sure you know if your advertising dollars are making you money or losing you money. Branding is always good, but that can take time. Track your ROI effectively. If you need any help, find a good company that knows that they are talking about.