Analysis: How should QR Codes be used in Hispanic Marketing? (premium content)

Dean Donaldson (photo), global director of Media Innovation at Media Mind recently pointed out that “Targeted Coupons” as one of the main trends in his article “12 Digital Media Trends for 2012.”  Donaldson agues that the “many discussions about direct-response focused activity will see a push beyond click-through to look at better ways to maximize consumer response. From online-targeted ads through social media mobile apps to QR codes on billboards or TV Screens, agencies will look for technology to move display inventory closer to the end of the purchase funnel and that just means more coupons.”

QR Codes (Quick Response Codes), are increasingly being used in media and advertising. Is this also the case for Hispanic advertising? It seems that both media and advertisers are relatively slow in introducing them.

Carmen Torres, Media Supervisor at Tampa, FL, based 22 Squared tells Portada that at this moment she is not working with QR codes for the Hispanic market. “This is a versatile tool that can be a good resource for any advertiser to reach this market of consumers given their use of the Internet through their mobile devices more than other subscribers.”

However, other Hispanic media properties have included it in the marketing solutions they offer to clients: “We recommend an online component,, with all our print buys, and offer mobile texting, insertion of QR codes, search engine optimization, social media, and even reputation management for a comprehensive media solution,” says Myrna Cortez, Advertising Sales Manager, at the San Antonio Express News.  

Who knows but QR codes may just be a fad that will soon pass. “Our clients ask for this very seldom but as we have seen many new mediums added to the stable of advertising pies over the past 6 years it could fade as fast as it has arrived. Time will tell,” says Vincent Andaloro of Latin Pak, a St. Louis Missouri based direct marketing firm.

What are QR codes good for and how should they be used?  

In Retail Advertising QR Codes are often used. Randy Novak, Vice President, Industry Research and Relations at Geomentum, a Downers Hill, ILL based hyperlocal marketing firm, whose clients include Walmart, Sears and other big box retailers says that  he has used QR codes in print campaigns for several clients. “Most clients are testing best use for QR codes to reach people who are interested in finding out more information. QR codes are efficient because they don't take up much space, and still have the power to deliver additional content. Currently, there is a mix of use for QR codes, including promotional response drivers such as coupons; "How-to" tutorials, especially in the home improvement category; Recipes; and Proximity to local stores. In some cases, QR codes simply provide a link to a mobile web site, however, we don't necessarily believe that is the best use. People use them for more than simply going to a web site. They want something in return such as an offer or more in-depth information. If people do not find information provided through QR codes to be of value, they are unlikely to use them.”  

Response Rates   

“In terms of response rates, mobile tends to have higher response rates compared to print, but that is more a function of the targeted aspect of mobile, coupled with the huge volume of coupons delivered in print. There are far more print coupons delivered and redeemed than there are delivered through mobile,” says Geomentum’s Randy Novak.  

Latin Pak’s Andaloro notes that “the print QR will pull higher due to the fact the recipient has a collateral piece to scan from as opposed to TV which moves very quickly to be able to scan the QR.” “I believe once advertisers start utilizing QR Codes, Hispanics will be more likely to adopt the technology increasing the response rate of digital coupons. We are tech-savvy and we like to have and use the latest technology available,” 22 Squared’s Torres concludes.

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Marcos Baer @MarcosBaer

Marcos oversees editorial and sales. He is based in Portada's NYC headquarters. Prior to launching Portada in 2003, Marcos worked in both the media and finance sectors. He occupied leading roles at the Spanish edition of The Wall Street Journal, in Spain’s newspaper Cinco Dias and at SwissRe. He is an MBA, and a CFA. Marcos is a print junkie and also loves all things digital media. He also is passionate about everything related to New York City and loves to play tennis.


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